Meccanum Drive Learning Curve

I was just wondering how much practice you guys suggest to get familiar with a meccanum drive. My team is planning on switching over from 2 omnis and 2 non omnis with arcade control, along with making some other changes.

About how many hours of practice would you guys say is good for getting the hang of a meccanum drive? And to put it in perspective, how many hours would you suggest to get the hang of a 2 omni, 2 non omni arcade control drive (or something similar)?

Thanks for your time.

These questions depend on the driver, the programming and the design of the chassis of the robot. But for this question and the way you stated it, I’ll use the past experiences from my team to answer it.

When you are driving with the robot using 2 omnis and 2 non-omnis it would take at most an hour for the driver to get used to the robot and its programming. However, if you do the same with Merccanum drive it would take a week at least for the driver to get used to the controls but the outcome of that practice would be grand for competitions.

The reason Merccanum is one of the most difficult drives is because of the programming since the motors have to be in perfect synchronization and you will have to program 10 different direction; back, forward, left, right, slide left, slide right, diagonal forward left, diagonal forward right, diagonal back left, diagonal back right on 10 different buttons and that can easily confuse the driver.


10 different buttons?!?! When I did mecanum drive, I just did one joystick for moving the robot and used the other one for turning.


It’s easier to program 10 different buttons for the driver to not accidentally move in the wrong direction and like I said at the top of my post, it just depends on the driver, the programming and the design of the chassis as well as it’s intended purpose in the competition.

For the first time, I ever heard of 10 different buttons for driving. It sounds really complicated. No wonder it takes a week to get used to it. Most people can drive right away with the way 64540A said


Yeah, but my coach wanted to make my team suffer and build a full Meccanum chassis than can literally go in any direction imaginable. During the time when we were supposed to be building a universal chassis for this competition and teach our middle school FLL team about vex robotics since they were transferring over. It wasn’t a fun week.

then you really need a lot more than 10 buttons. I really do not think your coach means one button for one direction. In the X-Y plant there are infinite many directions. You can not enumerate all of them.

Yeah, but you can get the basics like backward, forward, left, right, slide left, slide right, diagonal forward left, diagonal forward right, diagonal backward left, diagonal backward right.

Yes, you can get 10 basic maneuvers with 10 buttons. But as 64540A said, all those maneuvers can be control by two joysticks, one for moving and the other one for turning. I guess it is just personal preference.


This is not how you program a mecanum drive. You have one joystick control the driving and strafing, and one to control the turning.

In response to @NoobBuildZ03’s actual question, I would recommend as much time as possible to practice driving. However, having learned to drive both (split arcade first, mecanum second) I’d say that they take the same amount of time to learn, with about 5 hours of practice each.


Yeah we have mecannuns and my driver loves it. he used it last year and was really good. Our programmer hates coding it but he thinks about whatever makes our driver win works.