What if you only had 2 swerve pods?

What do you think would happen if you only had 2 swerve pods and casters in the other corners? If you put two drive motors on each pod, could you get 90% of the same mobility that a normal swerve bot would have?

Someone posted an FTC robot that was exactly like that a few weeks ago.

The main drawback would be loss of traction, since you’d be distributing your robots weight amongst 6 wheels, 4 of which would be unpowered.

EDIT: Found the video:


I think your biggest problem would be weight distribution. With many robots already traction limited I wouldn’t want any weight going through unpowered wheels.


With FTC motors, I don’t think you will be traction limited. :slight_smile: :turtle:

Maybe not the best choice for FRC, But if they restrict motors to a point where to put motors becomes a real design limitation… But the GDC would never do that.

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Big thing to consider.
And traction distribution. So many times a robot has one corner on a raised section of the field, which may cause one of the two powered corners to be in mid air. Trying to move a robot with one module would be tough too.

I swear there was a bot on 2011 archimedes that had this and some omnis in kiwi-ish orientation for rotation control.


Championship 2004 - YouTube

Fun to see concepts from FRC antiquity get reconsidered once again.


I mean:

But Aren Hills also a madman so…


Dropcenter differential swerve; new FRC meta


How about just making the whole robot a single differential swerve module with wheels on two sides. It turns by the differential between the left and right sides.


Hmm I really like this idea. I think we should call it “That Awesome New Kinematics”, or TANK for short


I wish I could find a photo of it but, I’m pretty sure you are describing the Chief Delphi (47) 2000 robot. If any of us old timers can verify. Best I could find was a video from Champs.

Rookie, nebwbie, greenhorn, what_you_may_call it, please forgive if it is a stupid question. Funny, I was about to ask a similar question as a new thread but I would add it here. Thinking of learning and trying out swerve. We do not have money so four swerve modules is too much for us and so is three modules, we cannot afford it… So I was wondering about one swerve module or two modules if we are lucky. So my question is about doing with one module or two module for swerve. Does it work? Is it worth it or just wait until some day we can afford swerve. Can we learn about swerve with just one module? Does it make sense to try swerve with one module? Can you get experience with swerve by using only one module? Or is not just worth it?

2 module swerve will have some limits in terms of power and traction given that you would only have 2 propulsion motors and some weight would be on non-driven wheels, so 2 (COTS) module swerve probably wouldn’t be competitive. 1 module swerve would not work. In theory you could traverse the field, but you would have no way to turn, so it wouldn’t really be functional and you wouldn’t learn more than the extreme basics.

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Depending on your printing capabilities MinSwerve could be an option for getting your programmers time working on controlling swerve while you figure out a way to get a set of competition-grade modules. Just note that you definitely can’t use these on a comp. robot, both due to durability and motor legality.

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Not the first time this has been asked.

See this post for pictures and video of 1114’s articulated swerve drive.


I lean towards saying trying swerve isn’t worth it until you can buy a full set of 4. When I’ve worked with students to figure out how to program the modules, they’ve been able to get it working in just a couple hours thanks to all of the code examples available now. So while swerve seems intimidating, it’s not super difficult to pull off.

Also, I wouldn’t recommend competing with a swerve robot until you can afford to have an extra module at the ready in competition. (5 modules minimum) It would be a pretty terrible experience for one to catastrophically break and you be done for the rest of the day while you take it apart and try to fix.

“A drivetrain can’t win a competition for you, but it can definitely lose it for you” -someone wise


It may be better for your team to focus on increasing the effectiveness of their fundraising for a year. This will benefit your team in the long run since FRC is expensive and there will be other expensive things your team would benefit from in the future. Being able to have swerve modules is an enticing incentive for your students to work on fundraising.

Your team is in the GTA. There are many other more experienced teams in the area your team can learn from and many potential sponsors. If they start now, they should have more than sufficient money to purchase a full set, plus spares this time next year. I am suggesting to start now because it will be difficult for the other teams to help once the competition season starts in January.

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Thank you very much. Appreciate your answer very much, very helpful. Thanks all.

Honestly, a 5th module isn’t required. Sure it helps, but teams have competed all the times without backup gearboxes on 6wd (including kitbot). With the durability of today’s modules, catastrophic failures are exceptionally unlikely. Even if there’s a mechanical failure, its likely a single part rather than the whole module, and in many cases, the module will still function.