Teaching students to understand gear reduction, torque, etc. is a really important part of teaching them to design a robot. I’ve been looking, for some time, for a software package that would help them visualize how complex gear systems work. I came across the following software demo of a program called “Gears Simulator”](http://www.tucows.com/preview/346223) that has impressed me enough that I am thinking about purchasing a class set of the software.
It is really cool, includes planetary gears, and lets you view a 3d animation of your gear system spinning away. No… it doesn’t include shift-on-the-fly… as far as I can tell. Sorry, folks.
But it is extremely cool and could be easily integrated into many pre-season workshops for VEX and FRC (and FLL, for that matter) rookies.
If anyone has links to similar software that is easy to use and graphically/interactively demonstrates basic concepts like gearing, why not post a link in your reply.
In the meanwhile, check out “Gears Simulator”… I’m having trouble getting through to the main website to find out how much a license costs (edit: 55 Euro… but I still haven’t got through to the developer’s site), but the demo (link above) is a free download from TUCOWS and is worth checking out.