Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

Wheel Locks


Entry ID #: 4079
Created: Wed, Jan 11, 2017 10:21 PM

The NYIT Bears team from the IEEE Student Branch at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury has competed in VEX Competitions in 2012. Every season, students join and students graduate, but there is a fundamental principle amongst our members: keep the legacy alive.  By following our timeline, one can see that each generation of students is performing at a higher level of engineering excellence, and that is something we hope to continue. In Nothing But Net, our team placed 14th in the world in regular competition, 1st in robot skills, received the Amaze Award. Our goal is to design and build robots that can tackle as many game challenges as possible.  For without a good robot, chances of success are very low. VEX challenges are great because every team has the same opportunity to succeed.  Every team begins the year on equal footing because everyone must use VEX approved raw materials and the game is released at the same time. For VEX-U teams, we can use 3D-printed parts within the volume of 3”x6”x6” which improve our odds of success.  3D printing is especially useful this year because of the irregularly shaped game objects. Important challenges for this year’s game are many.  We only have one robot, we want to try to hang, and we need to manipulate two very differently shaped scoring objects: a star and a cube.  3D printing will greatly help us in all areas. For every single robot we design, the most important thing is the chassis and drive train.  If the robot cannot move, the robot cannot perform and it becomes a sitting duck on the playing field.  Because we try to save as much money as possible, we try to reuse as many parts as humanly possible.  One of these parts we try to reuse is the wheels, specifically the 4” wheels, either omnis or regular ones.  If we think about it, the wheels bear most of the robots weight during its lifetime, and as a result there is wear and tear on the square axle hole.  For us, we noticed that the play in the axle resulting from years of use significantly affected our driving ability and our autonomous programming.  To solve this issue, we tried to come up with a solution that would allow us to reuse the wheel, but not have so much play on the axle. Our solution was the wheel lock.  It is kind of like a sandwich – one slice of the wheel lock goes on one side of the wheel and its mate goes on the other side. A drive shaft bar lock is mounted on either side – because it is metal and the axle is also metal, there is little to no possibility of the axle eroding a hole in the shaft bar lock.  Two screws combine the entire assembly. Please see attached document for more information.

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