only if you’ve assumed my frame of reference!
if you’re going KOP, this is the way. Throw on the axle nut holder upgrade (or 3d print one out a durable filament) and these wheel changes become pretty quick.
In addition to other advantages already mentioned, an advantage of WCD is that it can be built much lighter. The two big advantages of the KOP are that it WORKS and it’s done almost immediately, allowing you to focus on other mechanisms. For a low or mid tier team, it’s hard to imagine the advantages of the WCD outweighing the advantages of a KOP.
I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. From a team that has used the KOP drivetrain for the last 10 years, there was something incredibly reassuring about knowing that the drivetrain is going to be solid, sturdy, and very reliable.
Having a lighter chassis doesn’t appear to be much of an advantage in this season considering the number of teams coming to the inspection station to get re-weighed after adding ballast. In many cases, the ballast was added low down, effectively making the chassis heavier. I saw one team that used a 1 inch square, solid steel bar for some of the chassis rails.
Several years ago, I saw a robot with an amazing scoring mechanism that obviously required a lot of advanced machining work. It was installed on a KOP chassis. Two of the mentors were old-school machinists who probably could have taught the students how to make custom swerve modules from scratch without CNC equipment. They said they couldn’t build a chassis that would be significantly better and they could get the KOP chassis running by the end of the day after kickoff. This left them the rest of the build season to design, build and refine their scoring mechanisms.
This season has been weird with that. I don’t know of another year that really encouraged small robots like this year, and especially not one that did so with what was for many teams a single manipulator. I think robots generally had to be in a smaller volume for 2017, but that game also just about required 3 separate mechanisms above the drivetrain to do everything (gears, whiffle balls, climber). I wouldn’t expect robots to keep coming in so far under weight in the future.