Variable Speed Transmission Knowledge (Search Tried!)


I’m trying to create a system that will allow our drivetrain to run, but also have our winch system in the same drivetrain. In the drive position, the winch would be in neutral, but then when the team decides to winch up our robot an actuator will move a gear on a splined shaft into place, engaging the winch. The wheels would still be turning while the winch is in operation. I was wondering if this was at all possible, due to the meshing abilities of the gears.

I know a few years back, I saw a variable speed transmission from a NASA team based on the same idea, but basically, I’m looking for any pictures or ideas that would show such a neutral and drive position for this winch and the ability to mesh the winch drive gears through such a method.

In addition, feel free to tell me I am a total idiot for thinking of such an idea!

Thanks a lot.

Team 219

You’re not an idiot. I’m confident that you’re not the only FIRSTer to think of this as well. It’s a pretty good idea, IMO. As for tips on implementing it, take a look at the white papers section. You should be able to find all sorts of good stuff from the papers on multi-speed transmissions and adapt it for your design.


Thanks a lot Joel.

Hopefully the white papers will be back on-line soon.

Take care,


They’re not on-line?
Technical White Papers


Team 190 used a system just like what you need in 2002 try pming someone who is still there and you might get some help.