Let's Make Robots!

Question for Rover 5 users about alternate wheel options.

SO, having completed my holiday obligations, it's time for a little present from me TO me.  I've been collecting assorted parts, and experimenting with Arduino code and have decided that pretty much everything I want to do with a robot base can be most efficiently, cost-effectively accomplished with a Rover 5, and it's at the top of my "Been a good boy" list.

The only thing I don't like about it is those rubber treads that seem to keep falling off.  And since it's my intention to get the Rover 5 with 4 motors and encoders, I've decided to go with independent wheels.

SO, what fits best?  I've seen the mecanum wheels, but the Fingertech wheels (which would be the only ones I could justify expense-wise)  seem to be somewhat more trouble than they're worth--Tho I haven't completely discounted them yet.

Wheels seem to be unnecessarily complicated and expensive--I mean we're talking about a hobby where people are doing interesting things with under $5 microcontrollers after all.

What's been working for you guys?

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... but instead of buying off the shelf ones I went and 3d printed and assembled a set of mechanum wheels: http://letsmakerobots.com/robot/project/48-wheeled-rover-5-mechanum-wheel-test

Design/3d model for this type of wheel was sourced from thingiverse.com and I used my local fablab/makerspace's 3d printer.

You just unscrew the 4 little metal brackets. Then you can slide out the 4 legs and remount them at a different angle.

I switched out my FingerTech Mecanum wheels for the Vex Mecanum wheels on my Rover 4. They work great!

The Vex are less expensive than the FingerTech.

Here a video of my bot attempting an autonomous figure 8.


I have a thread over on the Parallax forum where I describe my efforts in more detail.


Probably the hardest part (with hardware) about adding the Vex wheels was adding a set screw in order to secure them to the Rover 5 axles.

Ok, with all those pets I would still try the treads but I think RC car wheels or whegs will be your best choice.

I THOUGHT that was the Wild Thumper wheels.  (Another great design, btw.)

It was my plan to use the mecanum wheels.  I still might.  But another reason I'm going to hold off is that somewhere I read a comment that mecanum wheels have a lot of dust catching projections and crevices.  My workspace is also the critter hangout.  Between my wife and daughters, we have 2 dogs, 5 cats and a very nervous cockatoo.  I sweep up a pan or two of assorted litters and sheddings each morning, and I've already killed two roombas.  But I digress.

And you're right about mechanical arms.  But I'm still researching the various mechanical devices that servos get attached to.

I'll probably start out with the existing treads.  (Nothing says "robot" quite as obviously as treads.)  My observations were concerning what seemed to be the only inconsistency in what otherwise seems like a great design--the treads fall off.

Actually, I was just wondering what wheels people are using in place of the treads.  I've seen mecanum wheels used, and (I think) the large ones from the wild thumper.

Frankly OddBot, your designs have done as much, or more, than anything I can think of to lower the cost of entry into hobby robotics. I was just grumbling a little, about how the price of something so simple as wheels, when compared to processing power--orders of magnitude better than what landed men on the moon--can be cheaper than cigarettes.

In my mind nothing says robot more obviously than a mechanical arm but to each their own.

The tread problem is largely due to trying to make the treads stretchy so the wheel base can change. We have made a new mold for one part that should prevent the motor assemblies from bowing as much as they did under tension.

I did design the chassis specifically with the finger tech mecannum wheels in mind due to their small size but normal RC car wheels can also be used. You can even put Wild Thumper wheels on it and crank up the ground clearance.


Sorry for replying to this old thread, but that is what Google found.
I am just starting with the Dagu Rover 5 and want to elevate the clearance.
With the wheels mounted like this:
I get 6cm clearance.

Where can I find the guidance to increase the clearance?
Rover5Introduction.pdf does not show anything.

Thanks in advance

I confess to once being confused about this. Once I figured it out I realized it's almost obvious (after you know how).

The metal "L" brackets held in with two screws each need to be removed in order to pull the motor/gearbox away from the main robot. Once the gearboxes are pulled free of the teeth engaging them, they can be rotated. After you rotate the gearbox reverse the process to put it back together.


Thanks a lot for the quick help.
That was the missing information.
Maybe the producers of the Dagu Rover 5 should put this to the manual?

The "L" bracket with one screw out:
I had quite some hard time to get these screws out with the red
screwdriver that is delivered with the Rover.
Maybe the producer can add some better screws which are more easy to
grab with a larger screwdriver?

Completely removed:
afterward I was able to pull out the gearbox carefully.

I keep 2 of the teeth in place because I had the impression that this
serves stability:

In the end I was able to increase elevation from 6cm to approx
which is not the final level, one may keep in only one tooth
but I do not know how stable this will be.

Thanks Duane once more!