Swerve Drive

It could be just me but I think swerve drive is REALLY cool. Also it could be just me but since the build season is over I find myself with an amazing amount of free time. I have decided to at least draft code for a swerve drive that I hope to build over the summer. Is anyone who has done a swerve drive before willing to share technical specks/code or anything other info that would help me? I’m programming in LabVIEW because that’s what my team uses but know enough about other languages to read most code and write a little bit.

Check out these papers from Ether: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/papers/2426

Everything you’ll probably ever need to know about programming a swerve and then some.

If you really wanna check out someones swerve, I highly recommend 1717’s. They hands down have done a phenomenal job the past few years.

I’ve been impressed with the quality of their swerve and their code.


swerve drive is really cool if done right… Most teams try to utilize swerve drive to it’s fullest, allowing them to drive in any direction, but I have seen teams go different routes with it before. For example, with this year’s game, you could have it default to normal tank drive most of the time, but hit the trigger on the joystick and the wheels can snap around exactly 90 degrees so you can drive sideways to line up the tube.

Whatever you do with something as cool as swerve drive, do not let the coolness drive your decisions for the build season. Honestly, swerve drive is never ‘necessary’. Wildstang didn’t have swerve drive this year (heck, from what I saw they didn’t even have fancy wheels) and it didn’t seem to matter much for them.

For a game like 2009’s Lunacy, swerve drive definitely helped maneuverability with the trailer (many a team tried some form of it, including 111), yet it still wasn’t necessary to win. Food for thought.

Here are links to a paper and presentation on what we did and learned with swerve implementation, using the WildSwerve modules.




This page was of great use to me when building mine.

We’ve done swerve drive 2 years in a row now and try to document it carefully. Definitely a phenomenal drive train but no shortage of work. Definitely something to iterate in the pre-season and only then carefully consider whether to actually use in any given game. Jesse’s right, it’s never necessary and it’s a huge investment. Not that we’re unhappy with the experience!