Minibot Design Insufficiency (Contact Pressure Based)

My team has a fairly basic minibot design - a couple plates of metal, a couple traditional wheels designed to move up the pole, and a motor. We’re thinking we don’t have a terrible design idea, as we can get the minibot to move up the pole at a decent rate if we press the minibot against the pole. However, without a human hand, we aren’t seeming to get enough contact pressure between the wheels and the pole for the minibot to climb effectively. Naturally, adding weight (our first idea) would slow the minibot down too much and make it above the 15 lb weight limit, so we were wondering if there were other methods that could get us the necessary contact pressure.

Did you try using a “lever-arm” to get more force on the wheels?

Put your two wheels on two pieces that are hinged together and use surgical tubing to make them "compress’ onto the pole.

the only trick will be how to place the surgical tubing in such a way that you can get the minibot on the pole at deployment and still provide an inward force wheel to pole.

Good luck

Have you thought about magnets at all?