pic: 8WD Gearbox Module

This is part of the FRC Team 537 preseason project of designing an 8 wheel drive shifting drivetrain. It features a built in supershifter with a 4.73fps low gear and 12.11fps high gear. The two internal wheels are gear driven to prevent any problems with chain or belt.

A few questions (also for the related chassis render):

Has your team built this design? How well did it run?

How were the outer wheels supported? Was there any additional support for the middle pairs of wheels or just the transmission? It seems to me like you would have any issues with suspending that much load from a few pairs of standoffs, and some of the load would be supported by the axles and bearings, which would reduce the efficiency.

What is the weight of this design versus that of the same design using a COTS shifting gearbox and belts? How thick did you make the gearbox plates?


Two motors for two wheels implies eight motors for eight wheels. That’s a lot of drive motors.

This would be the center module. The outer wheels are run by chain/belt.

The design was never built. The outside wheels haven’t had a support designed yet and the frame is a very rough design that would have additional reinforcements depending on the special functions. The gearboxes will be supported by bolts both on the back and on the front side and those spacers are only used to space the plates apart. The gearbox assembly weighs 12 pounds with everything in the picture. The benefit of this gearbox/drive train is that the interior wheels are gear driven so there is no issue of chain or belt slippage or stretching. The gearbox plates are 3/16 in the design but i believe we are using .19" because it is much cheaper.