Wheels. Wheels. Wheels.

Last year pneumatic wheels were the most popular wheels used on a drive train. My question is: What wheels are you using for Steamworks and why?

My team is nowhere near this point of brainstorming yet, but I expect most teams will use 4 inch rubber treaded or treaded wheels due to the less reduction needed and therefore less weight. I don’t really see any reason you would need bigger wheels. Just speculation though.

Almost certainly solid rubber wheels. 4 inch (2014 KoP) most likely because we already own a bunch, but we’ll make that decision after we figure out our design speeds.

We’re thinking that we’ll need mecanum wheels, for a few reasons.

  1. Lining up with the gear peg will be much easier if we can slide laterally after we target it with our vision system. If we went with a normal drive base, we’d have to curve ourway into alignment, which seems to be too much trouble.

  2. It would be very nice to glide sideways right into the hoppers, so as to get one set of 50 fuel to fall into our basket. I’m not sure this would be possible on a robot with normal wheels unless the wide side of your robot was the front.

Be sure to heavily consider the fact you will be driving to the feed chutes on the opponent side of the field to get gears and fuel at some point. Mecanums usually mean you’re easily pushed around by a standard drive robot.

This is coming form personal experience.

Our team noticed that the gear mounting peg had vision system capabilities. It seems like mecanum wheels would be very good to realign to place the gear on the airship.


We are most likely going with 3.5" diameter Colson wheels. Small ground clearance should be fine and it works well for our gearing and speed.

where did you read that?

This year is great because of the field surface. No obstacles to beat your robot up with. This year we can finally use our new set of omni wheels. They will be great for maneuvering for shooting and placing gears.

The game this year will be fast and furious. Skill will over take brut force this time.

Section 3.13 Vision targets. 1st part discusses boiler high goal and then 2nd part discusses gear target strips.

Most likely the 3in x.875in Colson wheels.

Going with 4" by 1.5" Colsons.

Don’t want to have to worry about the drive wheels.

I think defense will be pretty big this year. It seems that only the boiler is protected from interference. I think hitting teams trying to place gears will be a fruitful strategy.

What would be the advantages of Colsons over the Andymark performance wheels with the blue roughtop tread (Blue Nitrile Roughtop Tread 1 in. Wide 10 ft. Long - AndyMark, Inc)?

Colsons don’the really wear down. Over the corse of the season they really show any sign of wear other than a little scuff, which rumor has it makes them perform better.

Blue nitrile/rough top tread becomes smooth and needs to be replaced.

Also if you want to slow down a COTS gearbox, you can use a 3.5" (or even 3") Colson COTS and you don’t need as much reduction for a given speed. If we decide to go with a Vex 2-CIM Ball Shifter, we would leave out the 3rd stage and go with 3.5" Colsons and still get slow enough speeds.