4537 Off-season robot: swerve drive on a boat

We figured we’d do something different in the off season - add a swerve drive to a robot boat. This the first sea trial with our WAM-V 16. The swerve drive is four electric trolling motors controlled by Talon SX’s over CAN (with a star configuration), with rotation being Neo 550s on Spark Max’s. We only rotate 180 degrees, but reverse the motors to give the full range (there are issues with this, but it keeps things simpler). A Roborio + PDP controls everything using WPILib, and we’re using the normal driver station software, although for batteries we have something a bit better than the normal FRC option. At the moment it is using the standard FRC radio, so we keep it very close to the drivers, but that will change for a better configuration with a much bigger range soon, and we have a LoRa system to manage emergency stops without resetting the rio.

It is part of the Maritime RobotX competition - by using FRC-legal parts we can make it available to current FRC students and alumni, and with WPILib they can use the FRC coding skills to manage driving (although we won’t be using WPILib or the Rio for most of the challenges outside of driving and central control - that will tend to be a mix of Arduinos, Pi’s and Jetson’s).


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any video of it working? this sound cool as hell

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Is this the fabled water game?

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Interesting! :rofl: Swerve everywhere! (l remember that someone has done swerve on a drone and he has also posted the cad on CD)

Try: https://youtu.be/sk8p_La-6oI And for the boat just moving around under teleop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsRaeEvT18E

We need a drone for the competition. :slight_smile: Fortunately we found a COTS drone that can land and take off from the water.

this is insane

how far can the boat go before losing connection?

Haven’t run it too far yet, so we haven’t found the limit. I did find in testing that it was about 30 meters inside, so I’m assuming 100m outdoors. In the competition we’re going for a 1km range.

No words. This is awesome; I had this conversation in my head: “Why?..well Why not!”

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Looks like you’ll be getting great practice for Charged Up!

Very cool work, seems similar in concept to Azipods and bow thrusters on larger ships today.