Crazy Drive Trains

I know there are MANY CD posts that have something to do with drive trains, but even after reading many of them, I am still coming across new and interesting drive trains. We all know about swerve drive, tank drive, mecanum wheels, and the simple ones, but what about the hybrids? The crazy contraptions? Those drive trains that shouldn’t work and yet do! I wan’t them all!! Pictures or even videos would be much appreciated!

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Perfect lol

stealing this from @CalTran who found it today


The image didn’t seem to load. I don’t know if this is just a problem for me or not. Could you try again?

See if it works now.

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This isn’t my team’s but we were talking to the Humans at our comp and they mentioned this thing called Butterfly where it’s two drives (I can’t remember which ones) and it switching between them. You can probably find a YouTube video on it somewhere.

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Yup thanks!

Ball drive existed


There was a team in 2019 with swerve that climbed to hab 3 by independently actuating each module down, don’t remember the number and don’t have time to search for it now.

If no one finds it by tonight, I’ll search for it and edit this post.


That team was 5006 Apophis.


@MikLast unearthed this somewhat recently:


I call it fidget drive, no clue what the team that made it calls it.


Here’s a list of interesting drives

Lobster Drive 2 skid steer drivetrains 90 degs out of phase

Nonadrive Combination of a butterfly (prior to the creation of a butterfly drive) and an H drive

Twitch/Linkage Drive A pseudo swerve drive


Not my team but 1533’s 2016 “swank” drive deserves an honourable mention.


190’s 2008 drivetrain “ManBearPig drive”, which involved the “Rolling Pin Of Doom” and 3 CIMs. Omni wheels on the left, Colsons on the right, drop the rPOD down to lift the Colsons off the ground and drive sideways.

190’s 2010 drivetrain “XKCD” which involved custom mecanum wheels with locking rollers that turned them into traction wheels.

And lastly, while it’s never been built…there’s always the UberWheel, the variable tantential velocity wheel developed by @Ty_Tremblay for his senior design project.


I like my swerve drives so this is another honourable mention for me.


Tri-wheel is the technical name. At least three teams ran it that year on 2 or more corners of their drivetrains.

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You beat me to it! We played with them at Central Missouri. I stopped and did a double take when I first saw this, and later gakwed at them in the pits for a bit. It was a really cool design.

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I’d like to submit my teams mecatankanum from 2016.

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Out 2016 robot had a “hybrid” traction, the big pneumatic cement cart wheels dealt with most of the obstacles but if the robot were to get stuck in the middle the drive belt would act like a tank tread moving the robot through the barrier (it was really good at passing over the rock wall)