pic: attachment chain tread


I had been playing with this idea for a while, when someone pointed me to this photo. I really am fond of the idea for the attachment chain tread. There are some upgrades for this style design that I have in mind but I am wondering who did this tread setup pictured. I got this picture off of 229’s drive train photos, so any of you FIRST robot junkies that have the answer please let me know. Thanks.

I dont know about that on in particular but i remember 45 had somthing like that long ago attaching plates to roler chain.

We did attachment chain with metal treads in 2002, with purchased attachment chain. In 1999 and 2001, we welded our own attachments onto standard chain (gosh, was that fun!), since FIRST’s additional materials rules did not allow attachment chain during 2001 and before. Our 1999 robot (TKO)had half-rounds of EMT conduit, and 2001 had bent pieces of steel sheet metal attached to the chain. We did ALOT of filing and sanding on all of those cleats to make them smooth and not snag the carpet.

The same cleat design was used in 2002. Metal cleats provided great front to back grippy traction on carpet, and allowed for just the right amount of side skid for tank tread turning.

Then, we wanted to make softer treads for demos and such, so we molded some urethane cleats. Again, these gave us great traction while driving forward and reverse, but once we turned, the chains popped off. We even had the bottom middle idler sprocket lowered about 1/8" for ease of turning.

Good luck with this design… I would start with 1.5" wide cleats and a middle lowered idler of 1/4".

Andy B.

I remember that driveline, that was a good system.

And who could forget Wildstang’s hidden little gem of a track system in 2002.

Wildstang Photo Gallery

Greg, I clearly remember the tread picture you brought up as well. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what team it was. Though, for some reason, I have a feeling that it’s from a 2001 robot. Hope this helps, somewhat…

Ah, as several others have pointed out below me, it was team 885. I should have remembered that, as they are “The Green Team,” the only team from Vermont. And yes, it was their 2003 robot.


Hey Greg, what was the original picture file named??

Throw that name in: http://images.google.com/ and see what comes up.

Maybe you will get lucky and it was archived or you will find a link to the team’s webpage at least?

idk… just a thought.

would be better if it had less weight (if ur making the treads long its gonna be alot of chain weight… and u could use a big ol’ tension on it… that way it wont pop off… somewhere in the middle just put a high tension spring and ur good to go

I disticntly recall this picture, and I know the team number, but I can’t bring it to the top of my head.

I think it’s from 2003.

[edit] as JVN just pointed out to me, they are from 885.

The previous weekend I was at the SCRRF robotics workshops and the LA Bomb Squad and their robot was there. What surprised me was that their robot had rubber treads that were on sprockets, which reminded me of this picture.

ill askmy team if they have any other pics…i joined in 2005 so i dont have any.

Thanks to JVN for letting me know this was team 885. As for my improvements, I’ll fill you all in later :wink: hahaha

oh boy Greg has just released a semi-evil laugh!!! :ahh: well it wont be that bad since the design may be released to all teams :smiley:

Would these tracks fall under the “no metal contacting floor” rule? I’m just wondering if perhaps this attachment chain tread would still be legal for next year.

With the way the attachment chain works in this setup, the only possible issue is how you fastened the rubber to the chain, and judging by the IFI wheels, it shouldn’t be an issue.

heres a link to a pic of a vex bot that had chain treads although i didnt make it i just found it here

This is awsome. It’s my first time that I have seen anything like that. Looks like a sweet idea.


I can’t stress enough how much this helps a tank tread design in maneuverability.

I like the concept–if I were to try treads, this would probably be the way.

That said, I’m having a bit of trouble finding attachment chain. I can get the individual links from McMaster-Carr (at about $1.85 each–ouch!), and I can’t seem to find them anywhere on Stock Drive Products. Any leads on where to get these things a bit cheaper and/or together?

An alternate solution would be to use table-top or flat-top conveyor chain from McMaster. Comes in Delrin and stainless (if you can spare the weight) and they have drive sprockets, too.

Or… another interesting conveyor product is Intralox. It has been used on several large scale RC tanks. RC tanks with paintball guns for main armaments and Wi-Fi cameras - how sweet is that! I’ve thought about building one with a Vex controller!! :smiley:

I’ve really thought about trying it out to see how durable Intralox would be for FRC competition. Here’s a great summary of using Intralox 900 series to build a sweet WWII German JgPz 38(t) Hetzer, but I’d look at the 800 series it’s a little stronger.

I saw some tracks links that seem to have very good traction. The rubber is soft, like pencil eraser rubber, and at 2 inches wide (3 inch option also available) that is a very attractive idea. Called Lynxmotion Tracks, they’re for sale at the RobotShop.