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[DPRG] Robot wheels

Subject: [DPRG] Robot wheels
From: Chuck McManis cmcmanis at mcmanis.com
Date: Mon Dec 9 23:47:00 CST 2002

At 08:23 PM 12/9/2002 -0600, Daryl Gallatin wrote:
>Is hacking stuff together common in the robotics field?

Yes, there is no "mass market" to support mass market products as yet and 
most hobbyists are not willing to pay "market rate" for these kinds of 
things which keeps margins too small for most people.

>I had a feeling it looked something like that, but hoped it would be a 
>little easier
>
>New business idea. A robot store that sells wheels(lots of different choices)

There are a number of businesses that do this, the most famous/popular is 
McMaster-Carr. (www.mcmaster.com) For example they have over 400 "wheels" 
made out of different materials and targeted for different purposes. A 
quick search reveals "furniture wheels" these in nylon, only $15.17 each.

         6" x 1 3/4" 2 3/8" 25/32" 1100 9955T44 15.17

But wait, you don't want to spend $30 on a pair of wheels when you can get 
a pair of kids roller skates and 8 wheels for less than that. So you might 
end up hacking the wheels off a pair of skates.

Now there are of course people serving the hobby community such as Jim Frye 
over at Lynxmotion
(www.lynxmotion.com) but they only go up to 3.5" as far as I can tell. Then 
there is the Robot Combat site (www.robotcombat.com) which carries the NPC 
wheels and Colson wheels (generally for the Battlebots crowd but you get 
the picture.)

I kind of hate to tell you this but the first three barriers to Robotics are:

         1) Getting Motors
         2) Getting Wheels (and mounting them)
         3) Getting a circuit to drive the motors from a computer.

Once you get past these the next three are much more tractable.

>sorry, just a bit frustrating

We've all been there.

>Hmmm, if I get the motors in by Friday and get the wheels, Guess I could 
>swing my robot by this saturday for a critique and how to get the wheel to 
>mount onto the shaft
>
>Thanks for the info all!

The good news is there is lots of support out there...

--Chuck



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