{IDEA} The open source mechanisim project

I am a senior this year, so I will be headed off to college after I help teach my fellow team members how to use CAD. while I was thinking of projects for them to recreate/improve on, I came across a problem. It is really hard to understand how something works unless you actually build it; and while building something is the only true way to see if it is a good idea(simulations aside), building things costs money. Money is starting to become a issue.

My idea was to start a sort of open source project for First Robotics Mechanisms. Things like simple wheel bases(west coast anyone?) to basic game piece manipulators. I don’t want to make a “standard” set of CAD that every new team just downloads and sends to the local machine shop, that would do more harm then good. Instead I want to make a “list” of proven and tested mechanisms so each team does not have to independently test everything they build.

I have been working on three drive concepts, a west coast, a box style(where the wheels are inside a 3x3 aluminum extrusion), and a Crab drive. I will submit them for criticism in a few days(probably not the crab drive, it will take longer).

I encourage anyone who is designing any sort of mechanism for their future bot to submit a copy if they need help or they think it could help someone else.

I haven’t ever tried anything like this before, so any input on how to make this work is welcome.

Thank you.

I do totally understand where you are coming from but the greatest fun of this project is the trial and error to design. Students love to test items and see how they work. They learn so much this way. You do not want to have too many proven designed ideas out there available. This could take away some of the fun for designing. I do believe that drive systems could be available pre designed and proven that teams could use, this way they at least can have a moving robot to compete with. The rest should be left in the dark to test teams design abilities.
Our latest drive design that has been proven to work can be viewed at http://www.team1322.org/ideas.htm , we do not have complete CAD drawings just basic drawings of our six wheel omni directional drive system.