As a first year competing team we have faced many run in’s with the design restrictions due to small parts and First. We have overcome them all but I still have one main question which is directed to any veteran teams. We have decided to power ours with the motors that came in the kit. (Not the drill motors) We have gear’d it down say to 8-1. We are still hauling with some serious speed. Some serious feet per minute with even a more grander 10 mph conversion. Is this a typical speed that robots run at or will it be s big problem that we will have to overcome. Our controls are well designed to only put out about 75 percent power but i am still concerned. Thank you
PT Panthers and PARADOX

Just some thoughts for you. Many of these points have been brought up before, but I’ll mention these again.

Last year, we had about the same motors, except for not having the Chiapuas (big black motors). Some of the fastest robots drove about 9 feet per second, while a few got over 10 feet per second. Most of these fast robots used 4 motors to get this speed.

This year, robots will probably get up to 15-16 feet per second, since the new Chiapua motors have been added (not to mention an extra Drill motor).

Now, since you are driving your robot around, here are a few tips:

  1. Do not spoil yourself… load the robot down to get it to be close to 130 lbs. Duct tape a box of bolts or something to your drive base and DRIVE IT ON THE CARPET. Driving a light drive base on cement will give you a false sense of security.

  2. While your drivers should not drive your drive base too gingerly. While they should not drive it recklessly, they should try to find weaknesses. Now is the time to see if and when it breaks.

  3. Many teams will be switching gears, therefore getting really good speed and then getting really good power. Although a robot may be very fast, it may find the need to push a goal around, therefore requiring power also. Many teams will use the drill motor gearboxes (3:1), some teams will use separate drive wheels to drive their robots while raising and lowering the wheels to change speeds, while others will be building gearboxes from scratch to get transmissions.

One thing for sure… drive trains will be all the rage this year.

Andy B.

Another thing to do is load up a goal (or reasonable equivalent) and see how easy it is to stall your drive system. If you can hold your bot back with one hand, (stalling the drive motors) you probably don’t have have an optimum drive yet. If your wheels break loose on the carpet or push you back, congratulations, you are probably close.
Good Luck,