Outdoor Motors

Hey! I’m a member of a high school robotics team in Tallahassee, FL, and we were wondering if anyone has experience with outdoor motors.

We are building a weeding robot for the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam competition.
One of the goals of this project is to be able to weed for at least 18 hours every day. Therefore, the drive motors need to run for hours on end and handle water and dirt. In addition, our calculations show that drive motors needs to have at least 6 N-m or torque and spin at about 30 rpm.

As of right now, we’re not sure where to look for these motors- we haven’t had much luck searching online. Do you have any advice on where to start looking, and what exactly to look for?

We really appreciate it!
Chris Witmer, Technical lead
OctoPiRates 3502

*What’s the power source?

We are aiming for 12v, but we are still deciding. Lithium Ion batterie(s), anything up to 48v.
Actually, if anyone has experience with large Lithium Ion batteries, advice on that too would be appreciated.

There are quite a few options for waterproof motors and motor controllers in the remote controlled car/vehicle area. You’ll probably have to make your own gearbox for them though, I don’t know if you’ll find one that would connect up to a standard FRC gearbox.

Whoa…we were an InvenTeam last year, and we were also working on a weeding robot, albeit an aquatic one. We just used standard FIRST CIM motors and planetary gearboxes. They were raised above the water and splash-guarded to a certain extent, and we didn’t have any problems with them. I think you’d be okay with CIMs as long as they were covered to some degree - they’re pretty burly, so you can get away with a lot, but you still want to shield certain components.

On a side note, if you need any advice on going through the InvenTeams process, PM me. We learned a lot last year and would love to share.