I am making a mobile robot with a metallic chassis. Usually, a non-moving appliance will have the ground pin of the wall socket connected to the chassis, but in a moving device, there is only the virtual ground, AKA the minus side of the battery. Thus I conclude that that should be connected to the chassis. In what instance would that be inadvisable?

(Side note: my system doesn't have separate logic ground and power ground, so that shouldn't be a concern. Also, if that is in any way relevant, I am also using the chassis as a heat sink.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your question seem to be truncated \$\endgroup\$ – Eugene Sh. May 5 '17 at 20:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ As you're using the chassis as a heat sink, just make sure that any components that are electrically connected to the heat sink are OK being shorted to ground. \$\endgroup\$ – Roger Rowland May 6 '17 at 4:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneSh. Yes it is. Fixing that. \$\endgroup\$ – Danya02 May 6 '17 at 10:30

Using the chassis as a common ground is a typical method used in many applications and if done correctly is generally acceptable.

Two things to watch for however.

  1. Grounding straps should be used wherever there is a joint. Do not rely on bearings or other flexible parts for a conduction path. A flexible strap should be securely attached to the chassis on either side of the joint.

  2. In some case an electrostatic discharge to or from the chassis can cause more delicate systems to reset, lose control, or in extreme cases, fry. Make sure the chassis is grounded as close to the battery as possible, not through some other wiring or board.

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