Attempt At Making Robot Wheels
March 22, 2010
It has been a while since my last post. The Vulcan Five is not looking too good beacuse of the PCB fiasco. I'm trying to salvage that situation, but its going slowly. So unfortunately for this coming up competition it will not be entered.
However recently I have been experimenting with making my own robot wheels for maximum grippage on my sumos. Here are some puctures of the results.
So some details. The hub for this test wheel is 1" diameter acrylic rod in which I machined a hole large enough to accept the maxon motor you see in the last picture. I found some cheap containers at the local Dollarama. I drilled a hole in that and used a screw to line everything up.
I then mixed up some of the silicone rubber. Mold Max 30 from Smooth-On (cause thats they only thing the hobby place had). It has a shore 30 rating the same as the tires on the Vulcan Five. I then used a syringe to pipe the rubber into the mold. Then comes the waiting. About 16 - 18 hours for the rubber to cure.
The next day the rubber was hard and ready for demolding. However I wasn't able to remove it from the mold that easily. Seeing as this was a test run I just smashed the mould apart to get at the wheel. It was pretty grippy but could be peeled back from the hub, so I would have to put some channels in the hub to prevent potential slippage. Running it across a surface I noticed that it picked up a lot of dirt and debris. But a little warm water and soap should clean that up.
I would call this a success, but I would need to rethink how to do the mold so that I can remove the wheels without destroying it. Once I get all the kinks worked out I'll try to post a walkthrough.