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Pros and cons for different types of drive selection – Robohub

Different wheels for robots and rovers. Credit: CC0 public domain
In the past, we have looked at wheel design and the kinematics of skid steer and mecanum wheels. In this post, we will take a quick look at different types of mobility types (ie. wheels, tracks) and how to connect them. 
I know the items in this list are not direct comparisons. For example, listing rocker bogie is not necessarily exclusive to other types listed. Also, I know that you can design a vehicle to get around the pros and cons that I list below. The list is based on the common mechanical configurations.
For the purpose of this post:
Source: Robots for Roboticists
*Mecanum X vs O configuration is based on how the wheels are mounted. With mecanum wheels the left and right side wheels are physically different. Looking from the bottom you want an O configuration. The X configuration does not allow rotation (without fighting the rollers).
Mecanum wheel configurations. When viewed from the bottom the direction of the rollers form an X or an O shape.
** Basic description of inchworming. Inchworming moves one set of wheels at a time to utilize static friction for increased mobility.
Inchworming image. Image on left shows standard driving. Images on right shows inchworming during each of the two stages of motion. The top image shows the robot lowering while moving the front wheel. The bottom image shows the robot raising up while pulling the rear wheel in.
First described here and further examined by others.
For more examples of unusual locomotion methods, visit
Are there other mobility options that I should have included?
Drive Selection – Wheels, tracks and more appeared first on Robots For Roboticists.


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