Mecanum or Tank(4 or 6 wd)

So i was wondering if we should switch our drive train from a 6 wd, to a Mecanum drive with 4 wheels. I know that you lose pushing power(torque) with mecanums but you do have an edge when it comes to maneuverability, because you can move side to side. With a Tank drive, you get speed and pushing power, but you dont get the side to side maneuverability that mecanums offer. I personally am leaning toward staying with the tank drive, but i was wondering if mecanums could be potentionally better for this game? So what do you think is better Mecanum drive or Tank drive?

Mecanums add a slight amount of torque to your drive. They are highly maneuverable but the friction is con. With all the pros that mecanums have, there are some cons.

The thing to consider is exactly when do really find yourself wishing you could move side to side?

The way I see it, there are two possible scenarios.

(1) You need to orient yourself better around a game piece/goal. Then perhaps going to mecanum might be a better move, but is having this new ability to orient your robot worth the cons of mecanum? Could this be remedied by a better manipulator?

(2) You need to get past defenders. In my experience, I have NEVER seen a mecanum robot get past a well built ‘tank drive’. Never. If this is your reason for going to mecanum, then I’d really recommend against it.

You seem like you know the pros and cons really well, so now it’s just deciding why exactly do you want to do mecanum, and is that reason actually worth it?

In my opinion, for this game, tank drive is perfectly perfect.

  • Sunny G.

We have a working pneumatic transmission! I love it. We do use it in competition.:eek:

We don’t really know how much of a problem this is yet, with the mecanums that Vex has made, on field tiles. If the rollers don’t slip, mecanums don’t lose either speed or torque relative to tank drive. What we need is for someone to do some empirical testing to determine how much the performance of the mecanum wheels differs from the ideal case.

My Team is about to make a similar decision is scheduled to be made around December 5th we are unsure weather we should stay with our 6 wheel drive (that has a suspension:D) to the mecanum drive.

here are our deciding factors:
Can we get all the 393’s on the drive? (1 per wheel)
how much force are we loosing while moving forward?
can we still make it as quick (or quicker) than our previous drive train?
what else will we need to make this effective? (parts)
currently will our robot benefit when picking up the elements?
can our (single) driver handle it? (probably)
how often would we use it in competition anyway?
how extensive will we have to modify our robot to make it work?
do we have TIME?

Our driver/programmer is pushing for it but i don’t want to miss a competition because it will take more than a week to get right and our competitions are not very far apart (dec 3, dec 17, jan 7, jan 14, jan 21, and so on)

My robot has a 6 wheel tank drive with a drift drive wheel in the back our base works real nice it also has a brilliant center of gravity

I was under the impression that the mecanum wheels lose power due to the angled rollers dissipating a certain amount of energy. I could be wrong

I’d stick with tank here - in my experience the majority of mecanum use is in lining up with the scoring goals. With a U-tank-drive, if one side is “hooked” on the goal, the robot will self-right and self-center to the goal. If your drivebase is already done and you’re happy with it, I wouldn’t fool with it.
Also, the physical width of the mecanum wheels may make their use a bit prohibitive in some designs.

A mecanum drivetrain results in much more maneuverability, but it can prove to be a drawback if the driver does not take advantage of the controls. The harder to drive base can make the whole experience of scoring more complicated.

I feel like in Gateway, they may not be the best choice(for a high school team that is). Though really it comes down to preference. In a game like Clean Sweep however, I would see them as being much more useful. Thats just my opinion.