Thoughts on Tank Tread Drive for 2018-2019 Turning Point?

Hello lovely Vex Forum community.
As the title suggests i’d like to hear all of your thoughts on a Tank Drive system.
Pros, Cons, and general discussion.

So far our team has been working on a 2 motor tank drive which gives us a more ATV approach to the competition. Realistically it should give us more grip unlike Omni-Directional wheels and will be better for holding that KOTH center platform objective.

Some of the cons i can see would be a slower drive compared to that of a 2/4 wheel drive.
What are your thoughts?

Pros: Easy way onto the parking platform, easy way to stay on it without being pushed off.
Cons: Definitely slower (especially with only 2 motors), I’m not too sure about this but it may take a bit more space on your base, leaving less for things like a lift or cannon and other stuff.

It would be good if it didn’t break so easily and took up less room

Depends on how fast you can get up and onto the center platform. Also: make sure you use rubber grip treads instead of the normal plastic stuff; I think it would help hold on to the platform against pushing. As long as it is fast and reliable, it should be a solid drive format.

I would strongly not recommend. Tank treads are really, really, really bad at turning in place unless you have ridiculous amounts of torque. Turning in general is a crapshoot with tank treads. You might be able to get the center park and defend it more easily, but for the rest of the match you will be struggling to navigate the field.

I wouldnt recommend it. It is really slow and yes, it helps with the center platform, but if the other team can shoot two flags while you are on the platform, they already have 2 points more than your parking.

I would agree @Rod. Even though tank treads will likely help you get onto the center platform, they will most likely provide you with a severe disadvantage for the rest of the match. The potential benefit you will gain for the parking bonus is not worth compromising the rest of the match. Due to the slow nature of tank treads, the opposing robot will have a massive advantage while battling for the caps on the separate poles, as they will be able to drive around faster. Also as stated by Rod, turning would be very difficult.

We tried rank treads for our NBN Ball intake. Tank tread is definitely in the lowest-echelon if VEX product quality. The treads fall off ALMOST INSTANTANEOUSLY. And every other robot I’ve seen with tank treads has had them fall off almost instantaneously. Strongly advise against.

Which part falls off?

I certainly can’t answer that one. I’ve seen multiple robots with tank treads, and they’ve never fallen off a single one I’ve seen, let alone falling off almost instantaneously. Maybe it’s because people were careful not to use damaged treads in the cases I’ve seen. Putting them together and taking them apart always runs the risk of damage, as with the chains, since you have to bend them how they’re not really supposed to bend.

That doesn’t mean I would advise tank treads, though.

The links are not that strong, and when the link between 2 segments comes undone, that’s all it takes to be dribbling tread around the field.

I’d say that the age of the tread really matters. Tread that’s gone through 3 seasons isn’t going to work as well as brand new tread.

Just put a c-channel with bearings on the other side of the tank treads, just like you would with a regular wheel base. This stops the sprockets from bending sideways, which is what allows the tank tread link to break. Its not easy to break a tank tread link by pulling it apart, you would have to rotate the link to get it to break easily.

I never had any problems with tank tread in NBN or since then. If you look at the ball transfer systems that some of the top teams, such as 1104 and 2587, had you’ll notice they made use of tank tread rollers in addition to regular chain.

My team uses a 4 motor tank drive with every other tread being rubberized and in pairs of two so it goes plastic tread then 2 rubber ones and then a plastic and so on. It works like a charm for the koth. our team has not lost the koth once but the tracks makes it so we are EXTREMELY slow. we travel much slower than the other teams and it makes it hard to get low flags for example but lining up your aim is a little easier with the flags becuase your drive is not as responsive. I would recommend the tank treads but use with caution, as you will have to cut your round short and head for the platforms earlier as it takes you longer to get there. But the advantage is really good because thats 6 easy points. the treads are very reliable too. A ball got in our treads. so a ball was in the treads with the sprockets and everything and we were much slower than normal but we were still able to get the high platform. so i guess if you want to win the platform easy but have a hard time scoring literally everything else. one thing we do to help even more is we wipe our treads down with an alcohol swab before each match to get rid of any dust thats on them and that helps us a lot.

I haven’t had an experience with a tank tread bot up until this weekend. I can say that tank thread drives of all kind are a really, really bad idea. Not only are they slow, bot the links are very easily outdone. Our team pushed a bot from the side and the links broke, leaving it to scurry around on sprockets. I assume it only had tank tracks ever so often in the chain in order to make it grip better and be speedier. I would still recommend a omni / traction wheel drive for best performance.

We had a match against a tank tread bot, and the links broke as soon as we tried to push them. The worst part was that the links littered the field and got caught in the other robots making it difficult to maneuver, should have been a match affecting DQ.

An effective, strong, fast tank drive can be good, as it makes climbing and holding position on the platforms much easier. In the attached image, the tank drive bot is the only robot successfully high parked. Sorry about the poor quality.
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At our league, there was a V5 powered tank tread drive robot that was amazingly fast and climbed the platforms with ease. It used one V5 standard (200rpm) motor per side. I think, from what I saw of that robot, V5 will save the tank tread drive as a viable choice.

Interesting. I wonder how much of that was design vs. driver.
How was the rest of their game? Was it the rubber links or the plastic? (For turning) Did it seem like the treads restricted any other design ideas?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions about another team. Go ahead and tag them if they are on VF.(If you know) Maybe they can answer better.