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Vex IQ Education Kit (2nd gen)

Drifter Car

This vehicle drives like a car, with pivoting front wheels and powered rear wheels geared up for speed. You can use normal rubber wheels on all four wheels to make a normal car, or you can use the omni wheels in the rear, which allows the car to "drift", where the rear wheels slide to the sides while still applying power forward.

Several programs are provided below for you to experiment with, for both drifting and normal driving. One drifting program allows you to manually control the angle of the front wheels separate from the overall direction of the car, so you can counter-steer during a drift for that "getting sideways" look. The last program uses the gyro sensor to make a kind of "stability control" to help control the drifting automatically.

Building Instructions

Front Steering

Geared Drive Wheels

Drifter Car


The "Drive" programs are designed for normal (non-drift) mode, and the "Drift" programs are designed for drifting. 

Tips for Drifting Manually with the "Drift RC" Program

Drifting is not easy (either in a real car or with this model), so it will take some practice, but here are some tips for remote control driving with the "Drift RC" program, which allows you to control the drifting angles manually.

Driving with omni wheels in the back is strange and not the same as the way a normal car drifts, so the the "Drift RC" program has a special feature to drift with the omni wheels.

First, practice driving "normally" with the just the right joystick. You can use either the "Drive Right" program or the "Drift RC" program for this. If you have the omni wheels on, the rear wheels will start to slide out on momentum if you turn while going fast.  

Now to drift, you will continue to control both the speed and overall direction of the car with the right joystick. But you can then also add extra or opposite steering with the left joystick to override or "counter-steer" the front wheels. If you keep both joysticks steering in opposite directions, the rear wheels will be trying to pivot the car one way (through "torque vectoring") and the front wheels will be trying to steer it the other way. This allows you to hold and maintain a drift angle.

Example 1: How to drift continuously in a circle

  1. Accelerate smoothly as straight as possible to get up to speed, using only the right joystick.

  2. Steer all the way to the right with the right joystick while still also pushing forward. This will start the car doing "donuts".

  3. Keep doing donuts with the right joystick and now add steering all the way to the left ("opposite lock") with the left joystick. If everything works out, the car will start drifting in a large circle.

Example 2: How to drift through a 90 degree turn

  1. Accelerate smoothly as straight as possible to get up to speed, using only the right joystick.

  2. Add some steering with the right joystick in the direction you want to turn, and immediately also steer the opposite direction with the left joystick.

  3. When the turn completes, remove the steering from both joysticks.

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