Kiwi Drive Concept

I’ve been playing around with some ideas for a kiwi drive after watching 1114 this year, and 1425 in 2014. I also dug into the archives and took inspiration from 116’s 2005 robot.

Here’s the Album containing different views of the drivetrain. Sorry about the render quality, it’s the first one that I’ve done. I’d be interested to hear what people have to say about this unique drivetrain.

Kinda reminds me of the poor pit lighting from Palmetto this year… :stuck_out_tongue:

On a more serious note, I remember 116 from 2005 in Annapolis. That was a cool concept then and this a cool concept now.

Thanks for reminding me about 116’s drive way back when. It inspired me to build a dual omniwheel and a holonomic demonstration chassis.

Thinking about these past efforts makes me really grateful for AndyMark and VexPro/WCP. Today’s FRC teams can spend more time on tweaking and practice, because we have access to good COTS components.

Here’s another working Kiwi drive:
This was our robot for the 2011 game. Breakaway

I would be a little worried about mounting Omni’s sideways like that. Especially if the game is rough. In Breakaway we were constantly being hit. This would lift the corner of our robot and then slam it back down.

We are planning on experimenting with a Kiwi bot this off season as well. If next years game doesn’t lend it’s self to an omni drive robot, at least we learned something!

The way you have those three drives angled in, there is no need for the second wheel. It will never touch the floor. If it does, you have bigger issues to deal with!

Yeah, back in my day, we did it up hill both ways in the snow with drill motors! And we had to remove anti-backdrive pins from gearboxes to do it! And we didn’t complain about it!

Obviously some years are better than others for kiwi drives but I think 1425 and 1501 proved that a well built kiwi drive can compete amidst heavy defensive pressure. My initial thought process for having dualie omni wheels was that I was worried about a single omni wheel not being strong enough. Now that you’ve pointed that out, my logic doesn’t make a whole lot of sense!

What is the benefit of putting the wheels at such an angle? I wouldn’t assume omnis are designed to handle that much loading at that angle. And it looks like it would add a lot more difficulty for the machining?
Is it a shock system to help guarantee that all wheels are touching the floor?

In general, three wheels will always be touching the floor no matter what angle they are at. The two reasons I see for using the nearly flat angle are 1) it lowers the center of mass, and 2) it moves the contact point outward just a little more from the center of the robot.

I believe that the motors are moving upward as much as the wheels and gearbox move down, so I’m not sure about 1.

For 2, this could also be done by putting the motors inboard of the wheels; the wheels could be just a fraction of an inch from the outer frame.

Both were design considerations. A third consideration was that the geometry of a sideways omni wheel made it easy to “retract” the omni wheel using the pneumatic cylinders shown. When the omni wheels are retracted the robot rests on a singular contact point extending down from the frame presumably covered in rough top tread.

The idea is that each omni wheel can be retracted independently, giving the robot the ability to change its center of rotation about each pivot point. There’s also the advantage of retracting all omni wheels when in scoring position so the robot becomes difficult to move.

The entire frame is riding lower when the omni wheels are sideways. Also there are more omni rollers in contact with the ground when they are sideways as opposed to when the ground is tangent to the wheel.

Looking a little closer - what are those cans inboard of the gearboxes (one of them is partially obscured by the signal light)? If those are pneumatic cylinders, perhaps these raise the robot and lower the wheels to the floor?

Hmm, and there seems to be a foot midway along the short face of the frame. Is there some reason that you want to “raise the landing gear” and be stationary?

Thinking up names for that - how about a kizzy drive? It sounds close enough to kiwi, and those of you who remember the Roots miniseries a few decades ago may recall that kizzy means “stay put”.

This could also be achieved by raising the axles relative to the chassis while keeping them horizontal.

This is the point of dualies - there is always a roller in contact with the carpet, provided that they’re mounted on a horizontal axis. Having multiple rollers in contact with the carpet at that angle will also introduce some additional friction as the rollers point in different directions.

The biggest issue is the one Wayne presented - wheels weren’t meant to be loaded that direction. Omnis probably even more so - the whole point of omnis is that they don’t exert a force parallel to the shaft. As a result, sound engineering would tend to reduce the sustainable force parallel to the shaft in favor of other requirements.

…Kinematic calculations are left as an exercise for the student…

Both of these points make sense. The same functionality behind the “kizzy drive” can be achieved with wheels that are tangent to the ground. Thanks for the comments!

Ironic that you say that just as I’m leaving my last dynamics class of the year… but I agree!

I can’t speak to 1501, but I know that 1425 had major issues when under heavy defense last year. They were effective at low levels of play, where coordinated defense wasn’t common but at DCMP I remember watching them get pushed around the field extremely easily.

Also, it would require a lot less machining to mount the feet on pneumatic cylinders (though you’d still have to harden them against lateral forces, perhaps with a pipe-within-a-pipe), and hard-mount the wheels. Whichever you actuate, moving the feet close to the where the wheels contact the carpet will decrease the vertical travel required to reliably switch.

This happened to many of the robots with Mechanum and Omni… compared to those robots, they were slightly more successful, simply because their triangle design was hard to push, but at the same time, they were pretty easy to spin