Mecanum wheels on a gym floor. Will we be in danger?


We’re building a T-shirt cannon robot and are trying to decide whether it can be used on the gym floor without damaging it, and hence risking damage to ourselves. We are using the old andy mark mecanum wheels right now. Has anyone done this or used other mecanum or even regular wheels on a gymnasium floor? Did you cause damage?


They do leave some interesting skid marks on a gymnasium floor. Were they permanent? I don’t believe so.


I know at least some normal wheels will leave marks, but others won’t, or even remove marks. Only way to be sure is grab a wheel and try to scrub them on a remote area of floor the administration hopefully don’t notice. Regular tile is a good test before you go full gym floor though.

I think we use the white HiGrip wheels from andymark and haven’t noticed any marks left behind. We also have our drive train down tuned a bit to help prevent skidding in the first place though.


While I don’t have any personal experience with this, I suspect you could limit any marks by keeping the weight of the robot low and/or limiting it’s speed.

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I ran a robot show at our book festival. It was in the cafeteria. Starting off on low speeds, i didnt see any marks until turning it up to full speed. We use 2 omnis and 2 AM white HiGrips.

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Our t-shirt robot uses mecanum wheels and we haven’t had an issue with them on our gym floors, running at medium-ish speeds.

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Keeping the weight too low may cause marks, as it makes it easier for the wheels to break static friction and spin out.


Which ones?


Every year that we ran our mecanum wheels in the cafeteria, they always left marks on the floor - to the chagrin of our custodial staff. We usually tried to remove the marks, but never to their standards.
I suggest that you run the corner of the gym - in a innocuous location (just in case you leave permanent marks).


The AM mecanum wheels on a demo bot I used to run definitely left a mark. Driving a mecanum bot often involves some sort of slippage and if you wan’t to avoid marks totally i’d suggest some sort of omni+colson combination. Colsons are designed not to leave marks and omni wheels will prevent the majority of scrub while turning.


I will warn everyone here, scuffing up the gym floor is probably the easiest way to make the school admin hate you. Which is bad for FRC teams.

Our team will lay down carpet each time and only drive in that area.



Use carpet or at the very least a tarp, regardless of the type of wheel used.


For an event once in high school we needed to drive robots around a large area on the gym floor. At the time we didn’t have any large carpet sections. To keep from scuffing the floor we borrowed the floor mat from the school’s indoor drumline and color guard. It was basically just a giant white tarp that covered the floor, and weighted at the edges. If we scuffed that a little, no one cared. You can see some pictures here:

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At low speed they may leave marks that can be removed by “buffing”, but at high RPM they will leave permanent marks. Your athletics director will be very upset.


We put the mats down and run it on top of them. Avoids the potential of ticking off the admin and building maintenance


I have had high grip cut through tile when traction was lost.


This is true. They would act like a sander and remove the layer.