Mecanum drive is a method of driving using specially designed wheels that allow the robot to drive in any direction without changing the orientation of the robot. A robot with a conventional drivetrain (four or six wheels) must turn in the direction it needs to drive. With this year's game being all about movement on the field, we felt this would be the best solution to optimize our effectiveness in picking up and moving the totes and bins. As of now, we have the chassis configured and the wheel mounts set. We still need to actually fasten the wheels in place but it works well enough now to complete a few test runs. Our next steps are to get the tote lifting mechanism from our design into production and then mounted to the robot.
This video shows our second test of the Mecanum Drive after the programming team uploaded their code to the robot. The first test was unsuccessful because a wire disconnected from the motor controller. Someone on the electronics team failed to properly crimp the connector.