Let's Make Robots!

How to do belt-tracks

Just a quick tip on belt tracks, if you'd never did them before, and want to try :)

Simple; one wheel in each side follows a motor, rest is free to turn.

Motors can of course be in same end, but some times it is convenient to have them in each, and that is easy, see the picture.

Belts should always be a little loose, to minimize friction, yuo do not want tight straps.

Cool thing is, you can tun on a plate. And they make a nice, steady base.. and look awsome :)

Uncool thing is they tend to slow things down.

When turning, the tracks has to skid, that is rub over the surface. This is not that efficiant.

You want your tracks to be able to skid over your surface. On indoor systems you should chose hard / plastic tracks, or have a strong motor, or add some tape over the tracks to minimize drag.

  • Tip: When applying tape, make sure to put it on where the wheel is bending the track, a small piece at a time, then turn the wheel, put some more on. If you add tape on the long flat surfaces, a big piece at a time, it will make the tracks too tight.

Hardest thing may be to find the right tracks, but it starts to get easier - look in the components-section.

Get tracking!



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

sorry im new but surely more friction would be better as you get a good grip and it could move better


sorry im new but surely more friction would be better as you get a good grip and it could move better


Friction is neither good nor bad, it depends on the situation.

If you are trying to climb over obstacles, friction is very helpful.

However, when you are trying to turn, too much friction makes it difficult. That is why tracked vehicles are generally used off-road, where the loosely backed dirt provides some additional slipage for the tracks, and turning is easy.

Can you paint the tracks instead of the tape? I'm sure that would get rid of the grip. I taped tamiya tracks and it worked with masking tape, the only problem is they attract and trap a lot of dust and hair!



This may be a late post, but I have a question:

 I bought the exact same tracked set, but have never been able to use it properly because the worm gear keeps jumping off the other gear and not driving the tracks at all.

 Do you guys have the same problem? if so, how do you solve it?





It is a problem with these worm gears, they cannot take much load, I did not fix it, sorry.

Out of plain curiousity, how well do belt tracks work on staircases?

I guess that would depend on a lot of factors :)

Could it be that all the tracked living room robots I see on LMR have too much traction because the belts are too wide? More surface area touching the floor = more friction. Frits solves the issue by reducing friction with a smaller friction factor (tape instead of rubber).

May I suggest to my fellow LMR scientists to remove some surface area by cutting off some excess? And then to report back to us all?

I, for the time being, am an armchair roboticist. So no expensive track cutting in my lab for now.

I just thought of something. If you find your motors are underpowered and your tracked vehicle is not turning well: make it wider. The wider the vehicle, the less the sheer friction on the track at its ends.

JIP probably has a formula for this. I would have to make one up but I can't because my pen has run out.