Mega 2560 to run multiple stepper motors with rotary encoder

i have a project that im looking to build in the future that i want to use my arduino on. it is a single person tracked vehicle. similar to the “Ripsaw” on discovery channel. i want to used the arduino for the steering control. my plan is to use a rotary encoder on the steering wheel for the input. then the stepper motors will actuate a set of clutches and brakes. the stepper motor will be on a rack and pinion to actuate the master hydraulic cylinder similar to a car clutch and brake. there will be one clutch and brake on each side of the drive-train. My hope is to program it so when the steering wheel is turned the motors will actuate at determined spots.

for example
motor1-left clutch
motor2-left brake
motor3-right clutch
motor4-right brake

as you turn the steering wheel to the left, it will progressively actuate the clutch. the further you turn left the clutch will stay depressed and the brake will begin to actuate. this will give the desired turn. same order as turning to the right. when the steering wheel is in the center it will not actuate anything.

is this a good system to try or would other hardware be better to use. ive thought of possible using servos or a potentiomiter.

If this is for a person-carrying vehicle (rather than a radio controlled model) then {A} if it is for use in public areas where there is a risk of injuring someone else, don't do it at all or {B} if it is just for use by you on your own private property be very careful.

You appear to be planning to use an Arduino to manage injury-causing forces even though you appear not to be familiar with the programming or the mechanical engineering.

Start with a small demo project for each part.

Think long and hard about all the ways in which things WILL go wrong.

A Mega is perfectly capable of operating several stepper motors.

Stepper Motor Basics
Simple Stepper Code

also look up the AccelStepper library

OPs pic.
In other words you have a tank track vehicle and you want to translate a steering wheel action to a "skid-steer" response form the tracks.

If this is the case, your system will have to be integrated into the throttle drive system.

Tom... :slight_smile: