Is swerve drive still a possibility with only two months before the competition?

My team was planning on ordering SDS Mk4i modules in the fall but ran into administrative and budgetary issues that prevented us from doing that. Those issues are now resolved, but the lead time if we were to order Mk4/i modules today is 8 weeks which poses a clear issue. We’d really like to go with swerve drive this season, is that still realistic? Are there teams out there that would be willing to sell swerve modules to us? Are there other swerve modules out there that would come in in a reasonable amount of time and still offer good enough quality? So many questions :smiling_face_with_tear:

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


I wouldn’t do it.


REV MAXSwerve and WCP Swerve X are both somewhat readily available, but you’ll need to consider if you can get the programming done in time.


We ordered WCP swerve X mid-November and still haven’t received them. They might be waiting on a giant lot of parts, but if the lead time is the same it will be rough.


There is one variant which we are waiting for a 3/8" hex bearing to come in… Hoping it comes in this week and we can ship it out.


On the one hand it’ll be tight to finish this year, on the other hand you don’t want to put off the order and run into trouble again next year…


If you want swerve drive specialties, they won’t come in time. There are products from rev and wcp that might. I wouldn’t recommend using swerve this year because you have to build, program, and train on it.
However, you should still order the modules now. This will allow you to work on swerve as an off season activity and get it ready for next year. If you wait till after the season ends, you will have a longer wait time before you can work on swerve.


If you do not have 8 swerve modules sitting in your shop, and half of those on a test chassis, you should not do swerve. That’s not just from an availability perspective.

Order them now, do not plan on running them this season.


Build season is a terrible time to try swerve.

You need to have the resources to have a second drive working and the self awareness to switch to it if you need too.

We worked on swerve all through the covid year and didn’t really have it working well until the end of preseason last year.

It really depends on your teams goals. Are you prepared for a bad year if it doesn’t work? Sometimes the juice is worth the squeeze.


Andymark gets SDS deliveries a lot faster, some configs are in stock right now, if the one you wanted isn’t in stock then you can always sign up for a email notification. I will second what you others have said above about trying swerve during build season. While I might be able to be done it would be very very difficult. Hope this helps.

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People keep saying that AM has these in stock… But I can’t find any combination available at all. We are just looking for spares.

What’s the magic combo?

I wouldn’t plan on using them on this year’s bot, but I would order them now anyway to avoid any of the admin issues. Then, you could take this offseason to get familiar with swerve so that by next season you will be able to confidently use it on your competition bot.

If you have a programmer who feels very confident that they could get it done it’s definitely possible. If you don’t, I wouldn’t recommend even trying for this competition season. If you do make sure you do as much research and preparation before starting programming it. Most of the issues that came up as my team was trying to develop swerve were because we did not do that research before hand. Most of the issues that we faced were fairly common for many other teams and we spent weeks trying to solve them despite the fact that if we had simply done a little research many of those issues wouldn’t have even been a problem. Overall it’s possible but it would be a pretty huge risk.


As a programmer a would say the coding for the MK4i is simple with the example code given on GitHub . But that said it took us like 2 months to get our modules because of all the demand and then a week to assemble then there is code tweaking. Hope this input helps.

Same here.

No motor pinion :slight_smile:
I do know they get deliveries faster than the 8 weeks though

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FRC is like running a road race. You have the entire offseason to invest in equipment and train yourself for the race. Kickoff is the starting gun.

When the race begins, you don’t want to still be deciding which kind of shoes you should wear. Your shoes should be laced up and on your feet, otherwise you will still be learning how to tie the laces while everybody else is halfway to the finish line.

With enough skill, luck, and people, you might very well be able to pull together a swerve drivebase. But you have to ask yourself what you will be sacrificing while you do it.


I would suggest not doing it. However team 8849 convinced me otherwise. They have essentially no mentorship and seem to just go full speed ahead into whatever they try, for better or worse. but they switched to swerve between DCMP and champs (they got rookie all star) and were driving on sds mk4s within a week of having received them in the mail. IDK how they managed but it is clearly possible

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Pinion selection is required to add to cart… Oh well, I’m on all the email lists

I would quote a recent post of mine on a separate, similar thread: