Petition to Remove 6+" Mecanum Wheels from Vendor Sites

Every time I see a robot on the field, or in the pits with mecanum wheels on their drivetrain, I get sad.

I’d like to formally petition FRC vendors to remove 6+" mecanum wheels from their websites. The only way to get teams to stop using them is to take them off the table as an option.

I’ve never been scouting a team and thought “Awesome, they have mecanum drive! Definitely move them up the pick list”.

I’ve never seen a mecanum drive on Einstein for a real FRC game.

I’ve never watched a mecanum drive improve a team’s on field performance relative to a KOP chassis.

If teams want a programming challenge associated with a holonomic drivetrain, swerve is getting much more accessible.

Let’s quit enabling poor strategic design decisions and do our part to eliminate mecanum drivetrains!


I think it takes a lot of chutzpah for you to decide what teams should or shouldn’t do or what’s cool or not.

Why you are at it lets outlaw scissor lifts. casters, large cylinders and other things.


Our team is using a field-oriented mecanum drive this year and it is working quite well for us so far, our driver loves it and says that it is definitely better than tank drive! We attended a Week 0 event yesterday and saw multiple other teams using mecanum drive, in fact at least 5-6 of the 30 teams there had mecanum, which was awesome to see! This year is definitely the year for swerve or mecanum, and which one a team chooses is often based on the time/money they have and personal preference. For our team, which has done west coast drive the past 10 or so years, we are very happy with our decision to try mecanum this year :slight_smile:


About half of the 30 teams at Week 0 yesterday had swerve or mecanum, which is very high and not at all common for our area. I’m used to seeing like 1 mecanum bot and 1 swerve bot at events, so seeing so many driving around the field was super cool!


I understand the sentiment here but not everything is about winning on Einstein and there is still a significant gap in price with swerve compared to mecanum. I have seen mecanum robots win regionals and for some teams that is more than enough. Could they have won better if they had tank? Maybe. Could other teams who used mecanum have done better with tank? Sure.


You guys killed it yesterday. I was super impressed with your robot!


I have a better idea. 90% of teams would benefit by using the KOP chassis so lets ban the use of custom drives.


Thanks! I agree that it’s not quite as good as swerve drive, but Mecanum can still go a long ways with NEO motors, field-oriented programming with a gyro, and an excellent driver :wink:


This cannot be a real thread, I think I am being pranked



Both 1986 and 3719 were mecanum drive robots on Einstein in 2017 at St. Louis. Here is a link to one of the Einstein matches.


In 2017, 1986 had the best red auto in the world and made Einstein with an 8 wheel mecanum drive train. Also the significant difference in weight between a swerve drive and mecanum should not be overlooked. I don’t think that it is reasonable for one individual to try and impose his/her will on the entire FRC community. Unlike most professional competitions such as nascar, f1, etc. in FRC there is a huge spectrum of teams with differing experience, skills, and resources. What might not be a good choice for your team might be the only reasonable option for another due to cost, availability, software resources, etc. Limiting the options for less experienced teams will increase the barrier of entry into the sport. This is a slight exaggeration as there are many other alternatives, but imagine if you were a rookie team and were told that the only way you could move sideways is if you used a swerve drive. This would be absolutely terrifying for most rookies. If you don’t like mecanum don’t pick teams with mecanum but we shouldn’t push to take away options for other teams.


Apparently that is not a real FRC game

Unrelated, here is a match from the 2018 Einstein where team 494 competes with their Mecanum wheels


Not just price. There are plenty of teams (us in the past and maybe even now) who could program a mecanum drive to be incredibly effective, but would struggle to get a swerve drive running effectively. A poorly programmed and driven mecanum bot will be easy to push around and may not go exactly where the drivers want every time. A poorly programmed swerve bot will be completely unreliable.

There are definitely times when mecanum is not the best choice for a team, but that is far from always the case.

Also, banning the wheels would prohibit other drives that are versatile and also easier to program than swerve and have the ability to be just as effective as a tank drive like butterfly.


I say lots of dumb things without thinking… this thread is definitely one of those times…


Yeah, this reminds me of the thread where someone proclaimed “We will drop any team from our pick list if they have reversible bumpers.” Like, ok. You do you…


OK, so what is the lesson learned, if any?


Don’t post on Chief Delphi on three hours of sleep.


OK. I was hoping for something more along the lines of “Ensure brain is fully engaged before operating fingers* .” :stuck_out_tongue:
But yeah, that’ll do if you stick with it.

(* or mouth)

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I will say, just like a lot of certain frc mechanisms, I will take a much closer look when Mecanum wheels are used. Same is true with scissors lifts, or reversible bumpers, etc. All can be excellent when well implemented, but carry a lot of potential to not be implemented well. Just one of those things where I have seen too many bad implementations that I attribute to those mechanisms. Am I biased? Yes. Do I have the right to be sceptical? Also yes. Do I have the right to tell a team this is how to do things? No.

Edit: going to point out that I will dissuade teams from a certain strategy that defines robot architecture, i.e. jumping to the traverse bar. And if your team insists on a neiche strategy you may find yourself on the bottom of a picklist or not at all. But I am talking in terms of mechanics with the above.


Have we learned nothing from real life? Banning mecanums doesn’t make them go away, it just makes using them more dangerous. If kids want them, they’ll find a way to get them, but this time it’ll be through shady corner deals, back alley build spots, and hacky DIY kits. Soon you’ll see black markets open up with people down on their luck trying to sell mecs for a quick buck.

If you want to discourage poor drivetrain choices, you destigmatize mecanums as a crime and treat them as what they really are, an illness. Don’t just throw users straight into DNP, put resources into rehabilitating them. Wean them off this alluring system by letting them experience short rounds of it in a safe and controlled environment, where they can be shown that they don’t need to move sideways to be competitive.

If we are successful they will turn to our lord and savior, the Kitbot, to rid them of their omnidirectional sins. There they will be welcomed to the kingdom of functional autos through the warm hands of the all-knowing powerhouse mentors.