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Unread 07-04-2017, 11:23 AM
murdomeek murdomeek is offline
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Tank Drive materials?

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here but I have been doing VEX for well over 9 years and going.

I am currently working on a project with FRC components that requires a tank drive due to the terrain.



At the moment, the best 'tank tread kits' available anywhere that are to out scale are the ones from VEX. However, the plastic would not last long in the terrain we are driving this on. (dirt, some rocks, tree roots, etc)

I have read this tutorial that seems fairly robust if we use metal, however, it will take too much human labor to put this together with the length of chain we have: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-...acks-for-very/

We have found other alternatives with rubber belts, but they are very expensive: https://www.superdroidrobots.com/sho...nd-wheels/161/

And these other rubber belts, we are unsure if the belts will slip off the sprocket due to smooth inside design: https://www.superdroidrobots.com/sho...nd-treads/162/


Does anyone here have any suggestions for us?

Thank you very much!
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Unread 07-04-2017, 11:28 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

AndyMark Rhino Tracks. If you're using FRC components, they're where I'd start.

If you're building something smaller--VRC-scale--then there's a strong chance you'll need to build your own.
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Unread 07-04-2017, 11:31 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricH View Post
AndyMark Rhino Tracks. If you're using FRC components, they're where I'd start.

If you're building something smaller--VRC-scale--then there's a strong chance you'll need to build your own.
Yeah we saw that as well. However, the price is abit too much.
Do you know if they just sell the tracks separately? Can't seem to find it on the site

Thanks!
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Unread 07-04-2017, 11:35 AM
MuskieProgramme MuskieProgramme is offline
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

http://www.andymark.com/Rhino-Track-Drive-p/am-3288.htm

...It's linked in the "Included Hardware" section
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Unread 07-04-2017, 11:39 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuskieProgramme View Post
http://www.andymark.com/Rhino-Track-Drive-p/am-3288.htm

...It's linked in the "Included Hardware" section
Thanks, I guess i'm blind today

However, $200 per tread is still a bit over budget.

Thanks for the fast response guys!
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Unread 07-04-2017, 11:47 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

I've seen teams use something similar to the Instructable, but use metal and fill with tread. However, as noted, it's pretty labor-intensive.

Most of the custom FRC treads will use something similar to the Rhino, but maybe not with all the hardware. Conveyor belt material from McMaster+rollers (crowned or flanged so the tread won't come off)+joining material for the tread and possibly something to make sure you don't slip the tread. Add power.
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Unread 07-04-2017, 11:59 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

Maybe someone from WARLords or 6072 can comment about the tank treads they used in 2016? Both teams had a pretty cool system (each pretty different) and they stood up well to the test of competition. That said, if you are looking for something on a different scale, Andymark does sell the Rhino treads alone here:

http://www.andymark.com/Rhino-Track-Drive-p/am-3288.htm

And the pulleys here:

http://www.andymark.com/Rhino-Track-...p/am-3298a.htm

With access to those and copy pasting numbers from and Andymark plate cad files it shouldn't be too hard to throw together your own system.
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Unread 07-04-2017, 06:04 PM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusbernstein View Post
Maybe someone from WARLords or 6072 can comment about the tank treads they used in 2016? Both teams had a pretty cool system (each pretty different) and they stood up well to the test of competition. That said, if you are looking for something on a different scale, Andymark does sell the Rhino treads alone here:

http://www.andymark.com/Rhino-Track-Drive-p/am-3288.htm

And the pulleys here:

http://www.andymark.com/Rhino-Track-...p/am-3298a.htm

With access to those and copy pasting numbers from and Andymark plate cad files it shouldn't be too hard to throw together your own system.
Yeah the hubs are easy enough to 3D print, and even then $8 isnt too much.
Trying to recreate the rubber tread though would be quite unfeasible


Thanks for your suggestion though!
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Unread 07-04-2017, 06:43 PM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

6072's system from 2016 used a ton (think 60 or 70) individual tracks that were attached together. I don't remember the specs exactly, but it doesn't seem too difficult to design a 3d printable system of interlocking tank treads that lock around one of the pulleys above. Maybe a bolt for the pieces to pivot around/connect to. Not sure the exact application of this, but it doesn't seem to be for a FRC robot. That means a 3d printed system could be implemented with smart design and good understanding of the obstacles or whatever your treads are trying to drive around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murdomeek View Post
Yeah the hubs are easy enough to 3D print, and even then $8 isnt too much.
Trying to recreate the rubber tread though would be quite unfeasible


Thanks for your suggestion though!
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Unread 07-04-2017, 07:27 PM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

If you're looking for something durable, perhaps K-1 links for #35 chain would do the trick? Essentially you would build your drive base as a chain run (like your picture) and then attach whatever traction material you want to the K-1 links. If you go this route I would recommend using two rows of chain per side so it's better supported.

We used these in 2015 for a tote conveyor, and they held up well.
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Last edited by cbale2000 : 07-04-2017 at 07:29 PM.
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Unread 07-04-2017, 07:41 PM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

I think you'd be very interested in TankChain. I know MORT (FRC 11) and other teams used it in 2016 to apparent success, so you can probably contact them if you have questions about what positives and negatives they found.
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Unread 07-05-2017, 07:24 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

The FTC team Brainstem (not sure the number) used 3D printed tank treads in 2016 ResQ. I don't have the CAD files, but it can be done. You'll have to outsource the files and get them printed with heavy duty filament to go over the terrain you want to navigate, unless you have an expensive high-end printer on hand and the filament.
you can also use modified polycord from McMaster Carr.

I would suggest just purchasing from AndyMark though, because trends are just a pain to fabricate if you have no prior knowledge of how to build them, a low budget, and no access to high end fabrication tools.
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Unread 07-05-2017, 08:28 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

This stuff may work for you.
http://www.andymark.com/category-s/555.htm

Also if you have pneumatic wheels you can do everything you said this chassis was going to drive over except for potentially cheaper. A website called surpluscenter.com has many options for wheels, adding hubs to them may be a little weird and may take so work.

Last edited by FrisbeeFunTime : 07-05-2017 at 08:34 AM.
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Unread 07-05-2017, 11:42 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrisbeeFunTime View Post
This stuff may work for you.
http://www.andymark.com/category-s/555.htm
I'd take the McMaster option myself on cost. Even the 6" wide isn't all that much extra there. You can also custom-cut that--admittedly you'll be doing that yourself so you'll need to be careful to cut straight--but it's actually pretty handy to get two belts worth with one purchase.

The thing about tank tracks is that typical wheel widths (1") likely aren't going to be wide enough; they'll dig in a little bit. Maybe for a VRC-scale robot, sure, but for FRC, I think the narrowest I've seen is in the 2" range, like the Rhino; 2" to 3" is actually pretty common in FRC (at least among the teams that use tank tracks...)
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Unread 07-08-2017, 09:38 AM
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Re: Tank Drive materials?

Our team made custom tracks for the 2016 season, they took some work and searching for supplies though. It was one piece of blue nitrite sticking up then the next down so one work give traction and the other drive the wheel. Then we just had a wheel with blue nitrite driving it with friction.

Here's a picture of the early stages of our off season bot with our second track design: http://imgur.com/lNIL3gH
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