5. Downward acting springs for added ground contact in rough
2. Motors located at stationary point in suspension
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Sheet metal box beams were successfully used on early Lotus racing and sports vehicles. Utilizing similar strategies in the Tricat significant weight savings will be realized. The Tricat body is constructed of thin welded plate. The body can also be sealed easily with gaskets offering protection to the more sensitive components of the vehicle. This particular entry is a hybrid vehicle is utilizing a two-cylinder motorcycle engine coupled to a generator for power. Actual locomotion is from two electric drive motors located at the pivot point of the drive arms. The motorcycle engine is fueled from integral cavities in the chassis acting as a fuel tank. Constant motor speed results in maximum efficiency in generation of power. Two batteries store a minimum cache of energy for short bursts of power or speed beyond that being offered by the hybrid system. Control of speed and high torque is simpler in this configuration. The front drive wheels allow excellent traction and rear articulated body provides sharp turns. A regenerative motor is being considered for the rear wheel that would also allow traction for reverse motion in the event the front wheels become ineffective. Spring over shocks provide dampen the rough terrain and are installed to act downward adding increased ground contact over standard configuration that tend to bounce a vehicle vertically. Steering and navigation is a larger version of the simple RC vehicle servos. Dampeners on the rear of the vehicle soften the shock on the unit and stabilize the vehicle. Navigational assistance is provided by the “secret sauce” unit designed for easy removal replacement as the unit is programmed and refined. I doubt that the vehicle chassis will be nearly as important to victory as the “brains” of the vehicle.