Robotics
Sweet robot with mecanum wheels
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Remember the 3D-printed mechanum wheels I blogged a while ago? Well, maker ROB K636 built a cool mecanum bot powered by four battery packs, an arduino, screw shields and what looks like a motor shield.

I really like how he created colored wheels using regular old Rit clothing dye.

My question is, why use mecanum wheels other than for cool? Wouldn’t you want one wheel on each side of a square chassis to enable 360-degree movement? The way it is now, it seems like you could use regular wheels and achieve the same range of movement.

(Note: the maker has generously shared the wheels’ .STL files on Thingiverse.)

14 thoughts on “Sweet robot with mecanum wheels

  1. The mechanum wheels give it a turning radius the size of it’s footprint, and allow linear movement in all 4 directions. You’ve seen the forklifts with these wheels in the same configuration, no?

  2. Regular wheels would not provide the same range of movement as the mecanum wheel. Mecanum wheels provide the ability to move in the same direction as the axis of rotation, so the robot as designed can move directly sideways, which you can not do with a regular wheel…

  3. “Wouldn’t you want one wheel on each side of a square chassis to enable 360-degree movement?”

    As far as I can tell from videos on the internets ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPmC4KPvOfg ) Mecanum wheels are always used with the wheels in the traditional configuration with 2 on each side.

    You might be thinking of the Omni wheel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omni_wheel ?

    An interesting thing I noticed when looking at the photos and videos is that the rollers on the front and back wheels seems to be always perpendicular to each other – ie the wheels on the front have to be put on the other way around from the wheels on the back.

  4. Rob’s mecanum robot looks a lot like the Proof of concept mecanum platform Segway came up with: http://vimeo.com/2080386

    You can see there that mecanum robots with four wheels actually are even more versatile than two-wheel zero-radius robots as they can crab-walk without turning, and they still maintain a zero-radius ability much in the same way a treaded tank-style vehicle or a four-wheeled bobcat tractor does it.

  5. Those look super snazzy in red. Also, it warms my heart to see the ScrewShield + MotorShield + Arduino combo, that’s exactly how I powered the Rail-O-Graph train Usman and I brought to Maker Faire last year.

  6. Thanks for the comment.

    I find the the ScrewShield to be one of the nicest things to have with an Arduino. Well worth the price. I am using it for a temp hook up for a joysticks.

    Hopefully a fully working video up soon.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

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