reusing drive design

vote vote vote

Can you? Have you? Should you? Will you?

Details, details, details.

Can you? i think as long as its not the exact same chassis from last year its ok…as long as you build one
Have you? we haven’t
Should You? if you see it as a great advantage, yes
Will you? if you see it as a great advantage, yes

sometimes its better to focus on the game piece part as that should take a lot of thought

can you? most certainly. If it works, don’t ignore it

Have you? not to my knowledge. Our best drivetrain (2004) is no longer usable because a) it used the drill motors and b) it used very heavy snowblower treads, which were great for getting up steps, but unnecessary for flat carpet or ramps. Plus it was really heavy.

Should you? Yes and no. If it works well, try to improve it. customize it for the specific game. I wouldn’t suggest reusing the EXACT same drivetrain because you will probably be at a disadvantage to ones that were specially designed for the game. change the gear ratios, the wheels, etc.

Will you? probably, if we find one that works well. The team really liked the shifting transmissions we used this year, so we’ll probably have some sort of multi-speed capability in the future.

On our team, we design the robot around the strategy. That includes the drive base.

While holonomic and crab drives were quite useful last year, with little defense and more focus on maneuverability, it has become apparent that such a drivetrain can be easily defended this year. This year requires more stability, as the field is very open and the objective of launching balls through the air into a goal is rather delicate.

If you’re low on resources or design time, re-using a base may be a better idea. However, if you have the time/resources, I feel that your strategy should dictate 100% the design of your robot. This way, nothing is compromised.

Plus, it’s more fun to try new drivetrains. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to drive a holonomic or crab drive robot. Trying new things is part of the fun of FIRST.

if you look at what are considered the “great” teams in first you see, lets call it consistency with their drive trains. Teams such as 56(Robbie) 25(raider robotix) 11(MORT only in the last 3 years) 494 and many more tend to have a similar design. 25 has had 6 wheel drive forever…I think that it helps to establish a team, you have a strong base to build off of every year. I was a member of MORT from 03’-05’ and starting in 04’ we were able to design a drive train that was both powerful and quick. It ended up being one of the main reasons we won the Palmetto regional and placed 7th in our division at nationals. This year the team took that design and adapted it to fit this years game. I am currently on team 125 and last year they had a transmission, and this year we kept that but we also made changes to the sprocket ratio so that we could go faster and have more torque. Having a proven drive train allows you to make small adjustments and then concentrate more on the end effector or manipulator of choice.

the chances of the optimum drive subsystem from one year being the optimum drive system for any other year are slim.

Can you?
absolutely

Have you?
for as far as i can remember, except for last year

Should you?
If it works

Will you?
Absolutely, 8 wheel drive on trucks works extremely well, even on ramps. we are guaranteed 6 wheel ground contact all the time.

I don’t think we’ve ever used the same drivetrain year to year, portions that work have been used but one item we have used the exact same design is the 177 arm…the long aluminum construction goes back to 1997 and has been used in some variation nearly every year.
Will we re-use…
If the game merits defensive strength again i can say we will definitely use this years again.
Should you…You definitely need to re-use what you know or at least take the best of what you know, i mean if you have a solid drive design with just tweaking it leaves more time to focus on the game specifics…and you can let the younger kids make the system as the design is ‘mostly’ done giving a good way to get them involved and up to speed on how to work with metal etc…

This year we basically used last years design with some modifications. We added the larger CIM motor to the FIRST gear box and changed the size of the middle wheels. Anyhoo, trying to have one drive train for every year is hard. HOT BOT 67 was one of those teams. All of my years in FIRST they have started up right then fell over. This year the rules say you can’t fall over, so they had to have a new design. This may not be the reason they changed there design, but its one of the reasons I think. (anybody from team 67 can correct me on this) Finally, If the specs for your drive train from past years will benefit you, then use it. Unless there were motors that aren’t in the kit anymore, thats when it get interesting.

We have done FRC for 6 years now. Every year, our drivetrain gets significantly better. However, there is always room for improvment. Next year’s drivetrain will be the keeper I think.

we have used the same drive system the past 2 years with 4 chips and 2 AM gear boxes, but we have always used tank drive, but we built an omni bot just to see how it worked. BUt I beilive it was talked about in a west v. east thread that the east coast tends to use the same drive, i find this true with most teams , 103 used the same drive last year and this year, so did 357, 341 did, and also 25 did.

We do believe in adapting to the game and we have experimented in the off-season with omni drive. Unfortunately in 2005 we thought that pushing and shoving would be more of a game factor.

For 2006 We did improve our drive system by adding a pop caster system that was programatically integrated. When you make a hard turn the air cylinder automatically fires, dramatically increasing your maneuverability. We also introduced an improved program based, automatic transmission.

Both improvements have contributed to our success (13-6) this year.

Can you? Yes, we can do it because we have time between now and next year to think about designs.
Have you? Certainly. Our 2005 robot was all about hugging the floor to avoid wedges. This year our robot (see photo- tag: frc604) was built with Poof clearance both sides and front/back, keeping it high off the floor. Two very diiferent designs.
Should you? I think so, because our center of gravity was just a tad too high this year. (You know what that means… Timber!)
Will you? Yes, because we are eager to try something different once again. You’ll see next year! :wink:

Can you? As long as it meets the rules of whatever manual you happen to have, yes.
Have you? Not yet. 1293 started with window-motor drive in 2004, then progressed to kitbot-based 2WD, then this year went to 6WD with Skyways and IFIs.
Should you? I believe it was Dr. Joe who said a good drive base is key to an inspirational season. If you can best inspire the kids by using an older design, go for it.
Will you? Ask me in about nine months. :wink: Seriously, though, if the game next year calls for what we used (and abused) on Chomp, I intend to push for its return.

Heh. We went from drill motors in '04 to kitbot 2WD last year to 6WD with 9x2 Skyway Beadloks this year. But then you are a much older team than we are…

We have used similar drive trains the past 2 years (6WD with 4 motor kit transmissions), the only changes being wheel position and sprocket size. 2 years ago though we had our 2WD and casters, and prior to that we had a series of 4WD that turned terribly.

Depending on how the off-season goes will determine what happens with the drive train next year. If we aren’t using an almost identical one to the past 2 years then we will finally be trying a drive train without wheels.

Since the begining SPAM has been using our evoultion of a Tank design. in 2004 we hung out on the limb and made a VERY sucsessful Holonomic drive. in 2005 we made used the dewalt gear boxes with a new 4 tread system. we reused it this year.

Team 1255 started with a tread-based drive two years ago, kept the treads last year, and moved away from them to a 4WD this year. However, all three years the drives were structured for power over mobility. Anyone that saw us this year wouldn’t dare call us an “agile” team, but when you can nearly push another robot onto your ramp at 3/4 power (missing one of 4 chains) then you know you’ve got a strong drive.

I’m graduating this year, but I’d like to think that the team will keep the defensive strategy that has served us well. That said, hopefully they will explore other 4WD setups (other trannies besides the kit), 6WD setups, and maybe delve back into the tread designs.

well, this is our second year and we used the same four wheel drive, but I don’t know, as long as the wheels don’t get pressed in, the chain won’t fall off. So we’ll see what we do next year.