An Interesting Treads Design...

In preparation for the FTC competition, I've been getting familiar with RobotC, the language we're planning to use. In order to test my programs, I built a small rover that uses treads. Since the new plastic treads don't have good traction, I used the black rubber treads. Now, I don't think I've ever gotten a really good design with these treads! They're so small that it's hard to really secure them to the outside of a robot well. When I'd make a rover with these treads sticking out on both sides, I had trouble with the treads bending out and the chassis "sagging". So this time, I tried spreading the weight out more evenly, by positioning the motors directly above the treads. The result was really nice... a very strong and compact design that had no trouble with wheel camber. I even found a snug little place for the Ultrasonic sensor. :-)

Notice that the treads are connected to the robot from both sides, increasing the strength of the chassis. This is possible since the treads are underneath the robot.

I souped up the gear ratio a little, which gave the rover some pretty decent speed while not diminishing the power too much.

Here's a video of the rover in action...



Unknown said…

nice and compact design.
Do you have building instructions for it?

By the way, have you seen my Goliath robot that I've built two years ago to the same purpose? It's similar, though not that compact as your's.
No, I didn't take the time to make BI's since it's just a test bot. I was mainly just wanting to introduce the concept of positioning treads underneath part of the robot to spread the weight out more evenly.

I did see Goliath... it looks like you fixed the camber problem by positioning the treads in a triangle shape?

Anonymous said…
Two years ago (NanoQuest season) the Lego Guards had a similarly geared robot with treads. The structure was different, but they solved the camber problem by using multiple geared wheels to power the tread.

You can see a couple pictures here.
Roger Evans said…
great design! I got a working copy to run, but was hoping you might have a few more pics of the front/bottom.
Thanks! -Roger
Unknown said…
Can you please post the building instructions?
Unknown said…

Please send me the building instructions.

My email id is

KoolKucumber said…

This robot is a very compact design, which I've been trying(and not succeding very well) to build for a while. Could you please send me the BI's for this robot?
My email is
Uncle Andy said…
Is it possible to get the design plans for this bot? I have a tank design, but like you said, the treads are positioned on the outside of the motors and there is sagging.
luci_j_m said…
Is it possible to get building instructions for this design? Great video!
Unknown said…
Nice design. Could you send me the building instructions @
Robotics said…
2Could you please send me the BI's for this? My team needs a compact and simple base for our missions and this seems perfect. You can email me the instructions at Thanks
Unknown said…
Could you possibly email me the instructions? I teach robotics classes and I thought this design would be a good one to make in class. my email is

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