Friction from mats stopping turning

My team recently competed at TSA states in virginia for vex. This is our first year, and we actually felt pretty confident in our robot. But when we arrived at the competition and tried running our robot, it wouldn’t turn because of the friction on the mat. We are currently using a 4 393 motor 1:1 ratio high traction chassis. With our mats back at our school, this was not a problem. We assume that the difference in friction is due to the mats being more worn at the competition but are still concerned for our next competition. Is this a problem with our robot or their mats?

I would think it is most likely because of the anti-static spray used on the mat.

the spray will increase the friction.

1 Like

We had this same problem for worlds. For the first 2 days we could barely turn on the fields, screwing with our autonomous and especially our driver. This problem was only fixed after we replaced the omnis on the robot.

I was just surprised nobody had warned me of this before.

So do you think that it would be best to just scrap the high traction wheels and use omnis?


No, especially if the high traction wheels are there for a purpose. They usually wont be causing the problem anyway. The problem we found is that older used omnis grip on the field a lot easier.

There was a roller on one wheel that completely stopped the turning of the robot when it was engaged with the mat. Simply because the rubber was old and would get pulled from the roller and catch the plastic.

Try to replace your omnis

It may not be the wheels at all. My team went to worlds (In the Zone) and we and 2 omni wheels one on each side and 2 five inch high tractions wheels, yes I know goofy set up but it was our first year and we didn’t have many parts. At worlds specifically the competition fields not the practice fields our robot would not turn. We then learned that they regularly sprayed it with anti-static spray. We tested it when we got back and this was the problem for some reason the robot would not turn with the anti-static spray even with a four motor drive. We even tried switching out the wheels for different ones, it did not help. Not saying this is for sure the problem but you may want to look into this. Hope this helps.

Its probably because your field is new and doesn’t have anti static spray. I recommend you apply anti static spray to your field in the future along with trying to talk with other teams in your area to test your robot on their field. I know that personally we try to test all of our code on at least 2 fields before a competition and that normally works pretty well.


One thing we noticed at Worlds is that a black film would build up on the tires. The film seemed to cause problems turning. We used a (hotel) washcloth and water to wipe it off and the turns got better.

1 Like

At the time it was new. We did apply some anti-stick spray but did not apply it regularly maybe that was the issue? Thanks for tip.

if you’re using a three wheel drive, maybe make the center wheel traction and the outside ones omnis. Otherwise, I’m not sure how to reduce friction on a 4 wheel drive.

Unless you’re going with an X drive or something