Black Neoprene traction treads leaving marks on the field

In last week’s competition, we noticed that we were leaving black marks on the field from the black neoprene traction treads on our MK4 swerve modules. The field wasn’t damaged, it just looked like someone was bad at coloring within the lines. The refs did not flag us for it, but could someone eventually hit us for that. We have the blue nitrile, but as several have noted they do wear much quicker. Thoughts?

Were you able to identify whether particular situations were resulting in the marks (i.e. pushing matches with other robots, bumping up the field elements/perimeter, sharp turns, high acceleration or sudden stops, etc.)? Did you ever have issues with the steering angle of one or more of the modules such that you might have been dragging a wheel? I wouldn’t expect tread to leave marks unless there was some fairly high friction forces between the wheels and the carpet. So, I would expect that there would be some cause for the skid marks.

If your wheels had lost traction with the carpet and were spinning at the time that you left the marks, then you might be at risk of causing the sort of damage that other teams have been flagged for (i.e. burning through the carpet). There are ways that you can prevent wheel skidding if that is the problem. But the easiest would be to just make sure that your drivers were aware of it so that they could avoid it (i.e. not pushing at full force into the wall or fender or other immovable objects on the field).

I can run your numbers through a drivetrain simulator to see if you would be expected to loose traction at stall if you like. In order to do this I would need to know the following data: what gear ratio of the MK4s are you running? What drive motors are you using? What is your total robot weight (full up with bumpers and battery)? Do you have any current limiters on your drive motors?

We have blue nitrile wheels and leave blue-black skid marks from driving aggressively all over our practice carpet. The carpet doesn’t appear to be damaged, and the marks appear to fade over time.

Just be careful not to melt holes in the carpet, that can get you dinged.

This has been noticed before…

Thanks. Looks like we had an issue with one of the swerve modules which we just replaced last night. Yes, we did put in current limiting on the spark max’s.

My question was more fundamental in nature. The field wasn’t damaged, it just has some black streaks on it. Was not sure if someone would consider that damage or not. Some of the marks were from pushing/defense.

See you at Campbell!

Since there is no clear definition of what constitutes damage, there is some risk of getting flagged. But what you are describing seems much more superficial than what other teams have actually been called out for. It sounds like (at least in NC) if the field crew or refs have a concern with what they are seeing they will bring it to your attention. The only card I think I have seen in NC for field damage was given in Asheville during semi-finals and the offending team had been given at least a few warnings prior to getting the card. I didn’t see the extent of the damage they were causing, but the field crew took the drivers to one of the spots and they spent some time assessing the damage so that the team understood what they were getting flagged for.

So, I think you are pretty safe.

I will not be at Campbell with the team, but I will be watching. Good luck!

The black tread definitely leaves marks ANYTIME there is scrub. Take a loose piece of tread and just rub it on the carpet. We had a SERIOUS problem with the black tread separating from the backing. You can glue it back, but it needs to sit 24hrs for a good cure. FYI: We were running a 4 traction 2 omni WCD.