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Unread 12-14-2011, 03:54 PM
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WCD vs. Swerve

This year in preseason robotics, we are experimenting with both a WCD and a swerve chassis to prepare for the season. I am leading a grouping making the WCD. People always call WCD a back-up drive, but then I point out to them that most teams in Einstein in a given year use it (or a modified form of the 6 wheel drive). Can somebody please elaborate on why you would want to use WCD over swerve in a game that requires maneuverability (such as 2008 or 2011)? Thanks
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Unread 12-14-2011, 04:07 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

WCDs are a lot lighter than swerves, and for the most part are a lot simpler. It's easier to program a WCD, also. This extra time and unused weight can be used for other things.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 04:17 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

Having recently CADed and priced out both a WCD and a Swerve build. Our team is planning on building a WCD drive for it's final off season project.

The WCD is a lot simpler and cheaper compared to the swerve.
With a WCD you can probably get a drive base done within the first week of build season, with a swerve and even if you prototype it over off season it would probably take longer depending on how fast your machining turn around is. With a limited amount of abilities I would rather focus on building manipulators and testing them, then on drive.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 04:23 PM
Alex.q Alex.q is offline
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

It takes a lot of time, resources, and expertise to make a good swerve drive. There are also more opportunities for things to go wrong with a swerve, so it can be less reliable. I would not recommend using a swerve drive unless you can see a huge advantage in the game by having it that would offset all of these disadvantages. (My team is in the same boat, we prototyped a swerve and a 6wd).
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Unread 12-14-2011, 04:30 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

A few years back, our team built a swerve during build season. We had prototyped one as an offseason event, so we thought all would go well. It did not. It ended up as the biggest single build mistake our team has ever made.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 04:36 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

As everyone has already stated, Swerves take more resources and time. A 6WD WCD in my opinion is better. Swerve might look cool and perform a little better than a WCD, but there are a few reasons that I would not go with a swerve for next season.

1. We have no idea what the game is. Swerve Drive might not be necessary. I'm still not entirely convinced it was necessary for Logomotion.
2. Cost factor. A 6WD WCD is significantly cheaper than a swerve, even if you custom make your swerve drive. (i.e. not use the wildswerve or 221 Swerve Drive Systems.)
3. Takes a lot more time and knowledge to program a swerve. Unless you have a complete team of Wildstang, Trinity, Winnovation, or D'Penguineers programmers, it will take a significantly longer time to program it in the build season.
4. Lastly, Swerve Drive robots are significantly harder to drive than a standard 6WD. Having omnidirectional movement at your fingertips whenever you want can be a little intimidating. Whether it's Coaxle Swerve or Unicorn Drive, it doesn't make any difference. It takes a huge learning curve to properly learn how to drive a swerve.

This is just my $0.02, but I would like to see what others say about this. I think Swerve Drive is awesome. But if I was going to chose to go with swerve, I would take an extensive period of time to make sure I can create the perfect drivetrain for the next season.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 04:48 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

Wow, sounds like everyone's prototyping a WCD and a swerve this year. Thought we were the only ones! Anyway, we too ended up only building the WCD. It's way simpler, cheaper, and easier to build. Even if we had built the swerve drive, we'd have never used it this year because of the complex programming and likely engineering issues that would have cropped up. We may use the WCD, though.

Also remember that good drivers trump good robots. Not only is it easier to drive a WCD, but the shortened build schedule affords you more practice time.

Swerve drive IS awesome, but only if you've perfected it. It sucks when it doesn't work or doesn't drive or doesn't fit in budget.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 05:02 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

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Originally Posted by O'Sancheski View Post
1. We have no idea what the game is. Swerve Drive might not be necessary. I'm still not entirely convinced it was necessary for Logomotion.
I know what you mean, but swerve drive is NEVER necessary.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 05:21 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

Swerves require good code, and a lot of it to really use their performance as an advantage. A lot of tweaking, testing, and practice as well.

6wd's require no special code, and don'y rely on sensors at all.

Half your robot could be broken, some drive chains snapped, a drive motor burned out, etc... and your WCD will still be trucking.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 05:37 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

i have only seen one successful swerve drive. that drive was done by bomb squad (16) and they have been working on that drive for years. we have had some mildly successful attempts, but nothing has worked as well as theirs. also looking at the type of drive train on Einstein, you'll notice a skid like west coast is there a lot more
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Unread 12-14-2011, 05:53 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

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Originally Posted by Chexposito View Post
i have only seen one successful swerve drive. that drive was done by bomb squad (16) and they have been working on that drive for years. we have had some mildly successful attempts, but nothing has worked as well as theirs. also looking at the type of drive train on Einstein, you'll notice a skid like west coast is there a lot more
111 (2003 National Champions). 118, back around 2005-2007, had a few solid ones. 1717 hasn't won a championship division yet, but they have a pretty potent swerve.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 05:56 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
111 (2003 National Champions). 118, back around 2005-2007, had a few solid ones. 1717 hasn't won a championship division yet, but they have a pretty potent swerve.
Wasn't 67 a swerve in 2005?

Also, we were swerve in '09 as well.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 05:57 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

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Wasn't 67 a swerve in 2005?

Also, we were swerve in '09 as well.
I can never remember for sure if 67 was a swerve or omni in '05. I'm pretty sure they had a 3-wheel swerve, though.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 06:41 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
I can never remember for sure if 67 was a swerve or omni in '05. I'm pretty sure they had a 3-wheel swerve, though.
Swerve for sure.
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Unread 12-14-2011, 09:48 PM
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Re: WCD vs. Swerve

my point is that they are the only team that consistently uses it and seems to have come close to, if not perfected it.
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