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Unread 10-21-2007, 05:14 PM
dmlawrence dmlawrence is offline
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Holonomic drive train and field-based control

We're considering using a holonomic drive for the upcoming season. We have a few questions for any teams that have done this in the past:

What is the approximate cost of the materials needed?
How significant is the reduction in pushing power?
What are the (dis)advantages of field-based control?
Overall, is it worth it?

Thanks,
David

Team 1751
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Unread 10-21-2007, 05:21 PM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmlawrence View Post
We're considering using a holonomic drive for the upcoming season. We have a few questions for any teams that have done this in the past:

1) What is the approximate cost of the materials needed?
2) How significant is the reduction in pushing power?
3) What are the (dis)advantages of field-based control?
4) Overall, is it worth it?

Thanks,
David

Team 1751
1) Can't really estimate this, as it is entirely based on how do it. But, If you went with the Kit frame, AndyMark wheels and either dewalt/banebots/AM gearboxes it can probably be done for less than $800.

2) So significant that you would only have a chance at pushing other holomonic robots with omniwheels.

3) advantages; easier on the driver
disadvantages; coding, gyro drift can put it out of alignment, and you need something to originally align it.

4) Entirely based on the game, no way to know for now. But as a reference, for the past few years it probably wasn't the best choice.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 05:31 PM
Jeff K. Jeff K. is offline
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

We haven't done an omniwheel holonomic drivesystem, but we have done a mecanum system using the AndyMark wheels, and tried field oriented control, but opted for driver control because it was easier.

1. Materials, gear, aluminum, give or take about $100 per gearbox, and 1 for each wheel so $400 there, and then if you went with the mecanum wheels, $375. Using omniwheels would be more cost efficient. So roughly $800 like AdamHeard estimated.

2. We could actually push some robots around, or at least hold our ground. The forward traction due to the mecanum wheel was present. Majority of robots though will be able to push you around with any type of holonomic drivesystem. But traction is the tradeoff for maneuverability, so don't rely on it.

3. It just depends on your driver and your robot. We spent a large amount of time programming it to work off the gyro, but due to vibrations, the gyro kept getting thrown off.

4. Last season was an interesting season and was a good exercise in programming. If we could do it would we do it again? No.

Last edited by Jeff K. : 10-21-2007 at 08:03 PM.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 05:38 PM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmlawrence View Post
We're considering using a holonomic drive for the upcoming season. We have a few questions for any teams that have done this in the past:

What is the approximate cost of the materials needed?
How significant is the reduction in pushing power?
What are the (dis)advantages of field-based control?
Overall, is it worth it?

Thanks,
David

Team 1751
1) it depends on where you're getting your parts.
We bought 4 56mm Banebots transmissions with encoders ~ 400 dollars.
AndyMark Mecanum Wheel set ~ 400 dollars.
You don't need to use the encoders so that would cut it down to a total of 600 dollars.

2) You wont be pushing many people, unless they have just as little traction as you. The omni/mecanum wheels have so little traction compared to today's standards.

3) Advantages: It seems more intuitive, allows for the maneuver that defines 'holonomic': Ability to rotate and translate simultaniously. Easier on the driver when robot is backwards
Disadvantages: Takes getting used to, natural bouncing of the robot due to omni/mecanum wheels may cause the gyro to do funky things

4) Drive systems will always be based on the game. In a game like last year where there is the potential for robots to be built that are unable to do anything but build until the end (ramps) I wouldn't suggest it.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 09:20 PM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

we are also planning omni and with the research and designing I have done;
1. I agree with everyone else around 600-800 dollars

2. Traction is completely based on the design, I'm not allowed to go into details with this until we have completely tested the design, but I will have something up on an omni design to help with traction around build season

3. I agree with other on this too. Although it would be really nice to have a gyro for driving sake, errors with the robot getting hit, and the overall roughness of games may throw the gyro off, which in turns completely messes the driver up

4. IMHO, I have yet to see a game in which they have been a bad choice, more often than not poor proformances with omni drive systems have been based on how the driver drives the bot (trying to get into pushing matches, for example,and drving it like it was a 4 wheel drive bot). I have seen many many chances in the last few competetitions where a good (driven) omni bot could do very very well. Especially when the functional part of the bot (the arm or shooter or whatever) is designed around the drive system (for example a three axis turret for the 2006 game, so you can run around other robots by the ramp and still score points).
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Unread 10-21-2007, 10:40 PM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

I agree with most of whats been said, but, my teams is also working on a prototype, we found that it will cost less than $500. We do plan on salvaging some old parts to save money, but it is enough to build a working prototype. Also I've estimated that, at best, it will have about 70% of the pushing power of a 4 wheeled robot, and, at worst, about 50%. Remember, your not trying to win pushing matches.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 10:54 PM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernoX14 View Post
it depends on where you're getting your parts.
AndyMark Mecanum Wheel set ~ 400 dollars.
It also depends on WHEN you're getting your parts.

We at AndyMark will be coming out with new 6" Mecanum wheels before kickoff, with a significantly decreased cost compared to the 8" version. We are shooting for an early December availability.

More details will be released soon. They will be smaller, cheaper, and with rounded (not stepped) rollers.

Andy B.
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Unread 10-21-2007, 11:54 PM
Lil' Lavery Lil' Lavery is offline
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmlawrence View Post
What is the approximate cost of the materials needed?
How significant is the reduction in pushing power?
What are the (dis)advantages of field-based control?
Overall, is it worth it?
1) It depends on the exact method you select, but it can be done fairly cheaply. With some modification to kit parts it would be possible to build one for only around $250 beyond the basic KoP. Although it could range to much higher depending on the specific wheels, transmissions, sensors, etc. you select.

2) Once again depends on the method of holonomic drive you select. In the common 4-wheeled method, you get between 50-70% of your torque (varying on the angle you're driving at).
Additionally most currently available omni-wheels (and mecanum) have significantly less traction than other wheels (particularly traction wheels). But this is a problem that could potentially be solved (although the torque reduction is something inherent with the system itself).
Higher traction omni-wheels (and mecanum wheels) often have enough traction to allow for a robot to hold it's position, but rarely enough for significant force to dislodge an opposing robot from it's position.

3)The biggest advantage of the field-centric control is it allows accurate "Frisbee motion" (translation and spinning simultaneously) in straight lines to be accomplished without significant strain on the driver. It also may aid your driver in other situations as s/he doesn't have to account for the current orientation of the robot.
The high contact environment may also cause issues with the gyro, and a field-centric system makes it harder to complete "frisbee motion" in arcs (although this takes a great deal of programming to accomplish this period).

4)In the past holonomic drives have not had a great deal of success. To the best of my knowledge, only 341 (2007) has won a regional using a holonomic system (and a handful using mecanum). Although at least part of this lack of success also stems from the far lower quantity of teams that use these systems. It would be interesting (although next to impossible) for a numeric study to show the success rates of robots featuring holonomic and mecanum systems (especially considering that in the early days of these systems only teams with more resources used them).
The basic trade-off added maneuverability for torque (and often traction and ability to traverse inclines and other terrain features). That must be analyzed with each new game, but to this point it seems like holonomic hasn't granted a huge advantage in any previous games.


I'd highly recommend that you browse some of the other threads on Chief Delphi dealing with holonomic/mecanum systems to get further information.
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Last edited by Lil' Lavery : 10-21-2007 at 11:57 PM.
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Unread 10-22-2007, 12:19 AM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Add to your list of regional champions 343 in 2002. The pictures don't show it particularly well, but six omniwheels (two omniwheels on two sides, one on the others) drove that robot to a victory at the NASA KSC Southeast Regional alongside 180 and 186.
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Unread 10-22-2007, 08:20 AM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker View Post
It also depends on WHEN you're getting your parts.

We at AndyMark will be coming out with new 6" Mecanum wheels before kickoff, with a significantly decreased cost compared to the 8" version. We are shooting for an early December availability.

More details will be released soon. They will be smaller, cheaper, and with rounded (not stepped) rollers.

Andy B.
Hmmm interesting. Any other new stuff?
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Unread 10-22-2007, 09:51 AM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Perhaps my idea of crab drive is a bit skewed, but with Crab drive and 4 traction wheels touching the ground, couldn't you program it to be semi-holonomic, like Team 118?

My prelim. parts list make the cost & weight pretty high compared to others (~$2k including motors, chassis $@#$@#$@#'y, and the # of victors you'll need for its control). The weight is around 50lbs depending on your machining skills (crab modules are tough to do accurately w/o machining).

For comparison, 6-wheel tank drive with 2 AM super shifters is roughly the same cost (victors included) but ~8lbs less.
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Unread 10-22-2007, 10:21 AM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

holonomic and crab drive systems are different.

crab drive is a heck of a lot more complicated to make, which is why many teams vote for omni, until they have an idea on how they work, before moving on to crab drive.

Crab drive is really good IMO, but heavier and harder to make. holonomic is still very good and quite a bit easier to build. If you want JesseK look up the many other threads on the comparsions.

I think overall all these factors will be based on the game, but I would do it anyways cause I think they are really fun to watch and really fun to drive!
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Unread 10-22-2007, 11:36 AM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseK View Post
Perhaps my idea of crab drive is a bit skewed, but with Crab drive and 4 traction wheels touching the ground, couldn't you program it to be semi-holonomic, like Team 118?

My prelim. parts list make the cost & weight pretty high compared to others (~$2k including motors, chassis $@#$@#$@#'y, and the # of victors you'll need for its control). The weight is around 50lbs depending on your machining skills (crab modules are tough to do accurately w/o machining).

For comparison, 6-wheel tank drive with 2 AM super shifters is roughly the same cost (victors included) but ~8lbs less.
Swerve (crab) systems have limitations on motion that holonomic systems do not have (but they gain full torque from their drive motors as opposed to a vector quantity, as obtained in holonomic systems). A swerve system cannot, for example, achieve accurate "frisbee motion" (spinning and translating at the same time). Additionally swerve systems cannot "instantaneously" change direction, as the wheels have to re-position alignment.
There are a great deal of different ways to build a swerve drive. The way 118 did it in 2007 didn't allow for them to change the orientation of their frame, thus requiring them to build a rotating turret for their manipulator. Contrary to this, 111's swerve allowed for traditional "tank drive" motion as well as swerve motion, but they wouldn't have been able to couple 6 drive motors together or have a multi-speed transmission nearly as easily as 118 did.
Most swerve drives do require a fair bit more machining and machine expertise than holonomic systems, as well as a fair bit more weight and money dedicated to it. But there have been lighter, cheaper, and less-complex swerve systems in the past (1261 in 2006.)
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Unread 10-22-2007, 11:57 AM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

My team built a holonomic drivetrain in 2006, using DeWalt transmissions and 6" AndyMark omniwheels. The costs that people have listed above are similar to what we spent.

It was a great learning experience, and we got a lot out of the whole design process, but it turned out to be poorly suited to the game that year. We had virtually no pushing power, which made it exceedingly difficult to get into and stay in position while shooting balls into the goal with 2 defenders in the way. We also spent a lot of the season tweaking the software to improve driver control and autonomous mode - holonomic is very software intensive... without good code, your robot won't drive straight, or even at all. You also have to find the right person to drive it - we had a veteran driver, but he struggled with it the entire season. When I drove the mentor match at IRI, though, I was able to take off and go with almost no practice... some people just think the right way, and others don't.

All this being said, there are great benefits - namely the phenomenal maneuverability. Two things will help you out greatly: first, think about the design and how it fits into the game. Not all games will lend themselves well to a holonomic drive. Second, build a prototype! Unless you have tremendous resources available, and impeccable time and project management skills, you may find yourself in week 6 (or at your first regional!) still trying to get the drivetrain moving. If you do those two things, though, holonomic can be both a fun project, and a great advantage on the field.
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Unread 10-22-2007, 02:28 PM
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Re: Holonomic drive train and field-based control

here's a question for people who have done omni-directional drive systems before:
did you use sensors, and what were they? personally i think omni wheels should have a gyro, but other people think it would be better without one. also, wouldn't you need a gyro or sensors to do autonomous driving?
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