Posted by Ken Leung at 03/20/2001 5:37 AM EST
Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.
In Reply to: Re: DRIVE SYSTEM
Posted by Matt Leese on 03/18/2001 3:11 PM EST:
It is true that the drive system is very dependent on the game… If the game is like last year’s where there were a lot of robots pushing each other, you will need to build a high torque and/or high maneuverable drive train to beat your opponents, while this year traction and torque are a lot more desirable if you are planning to manipulate two goals onto the bridge…
However, it never hurt to do some experiment on your own, where you can try out the motors in different type of driving. Two years ago we tried out a holonomic drive system that’s supposed to allow the robot to maneuver anyway it want. It turns out to be totally unnecessary for the competition. But we learned a great deal about putting together drive train and manufacturing skills.
Do all you want to do off-season. Call it a personal hobby if you want. Try out different drive system that have been used:
The tank drive with two drill motors, each controlling one side of the drive train with two wheels.
Or the two wheels, two casters design where each drill motor control a wheel, and the casters allowing the back of the robot spin more freely, losing less energy in friction compare to the tank drive
Maybe even add couple of motors to the tank drive to spin the wheels, up grade it to a crab drive…
Hey, even just trying out 6 wheels with the tank drive is lots of fun. Try out the design of having the center set of wheels lowered more into the ground than the front and back ones. Do different modification to the wheels to add more traction…
Trust me, it is SO much fun, as well as a great learning experience in both building a robot and team work. There are just so many good things about doing this. FIRST will never stop you from exploring engineering on your own.
Just make sure you actually get a fresh start when the competition starts. You want to examine the game closely, and decide what kind of drive system will give you the best result. Then, follow the good old steps of designing, prototyping, testing, manufacturing… etc.