Happened across this the other day, a robotics team from New Jersey who won 3rd place at the Robocup Junior World Championship using our Transwheel omnidirectional wheels. Cool pics of their robot after the jump
Some great videos from this year’s RoboCup which just wrapped up in Holland:
Tech United vs Hibikino. Impressed by how far these soccer bots have come. Awesome ball handling and “kicking” skills
The latest Asimo humanoid robot. (skip to 6:20). Impressive bipedal motion
This is from Germany 2013 but I like this video because it shows a software monitoring of the autonomous rescue bot and some live comments.
And of course…
Received this great video from Cody Martinson weighing the relative merits of some different omnidirectional wheels for robotics, including our Kornylak Transwheel and the Rotacaster omni-directional wheel, which we also sell at store.kornylak.com
So here is Cody’s video. Lots of great robotics info in here and some good insights into using these different wheels for your projects
This kid will probably be studying at Cal Tech some day.
from his blog: “This year’s project was named Slug-o-Lete; and the tasks involved the robot acting as a bull, and a toreador. In both modes the robot is to stay within a seven foot diameter circle using tape sensors, and to respond to bump sensors. The robot will have a switch that allows the robot to change from bull to toreador mode and back again.”
Check out more at his blog: Samuel Toepke
From our friends at Hamilton Caster, the US Department of Energy has tapped the Hamilton, Ohio-based manufacturer to help dismantle a uranium-enriched plant using their custom all-steel 45,000lb capacity trailers.
Read more after the jump to their blog
The Brisbane Boy’s College (BBC) is a day and boarding school from Prep to Year 12 in Queensland, Australia. One of our customers, Colin Noy is the Biology Coordinator for the College, and the founder of the highly successful Robotics Club at BBC. With 145 participants, his is the largest school-based robotics club in Australia.
Colin and his club uses our Transwheels for their robots, and we were discussing mounting options for the Transwheel onto lego axles and various motors for an upcoming RoboCup competition.
In case you aren’t familiar with RoboCup, it is an international robotics competition founded in 1997. The official goal of the project is no less than this:
By mid-21st century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win the soccer game, complying with the official rule of the FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup.
Though the main focus is obviously soccer, there are also competitions in rescue and home robotics. RoboCup mainly attracts teams from universities and research institutions, and there is a Junior League that draws teams from primary and secondary schools such as the BBC. This league also adds a “dance” component to the competition.
Colin was kind enough to take some time to chat with us about his robotics program, the upcoming RoboCup Australia Junior Nationals, and of course, robot wheels.
TCF: As the Biology Coordinator for the school, how did you get started in Robotics?
CN: I’ve worked at BBC for 32 years. I have always been interested in machines and electronics but only as a hobby. I am also an avid woodworker. I have taught basic computing and junior mathematics as well. Robotics is not part of the curriculum [at BBC], but a student introduced me to RoboCup 11 years ago and asked if the Science Department had the resources to purchase the equipment needed for him to enter the competition. The Head of Science had some project money and we purchased enough equipment for him to enter. The following year, 2002, I started Robotics Club as an after school activity for a handful of interested students (10 to be exact). The club has grown in popularity and I coordinate 13 trainers who
are staff, and past Robotics club members who are studying Mechatronics or have completed their degree and want to give back to the club. We have Sciences, Humanities and Technical [programs] and an extensive co-curricular program of traditional sports and other activities of which RoboticsClub is one. I started the club as an alternative to contact sports, to cater to the boys who were gifted with their hands, computers and their minds.
TCF: What age ranges do you see in the club?
CN: We have extended down to year 4 (9 years old). Our top students are building custom robots from components and programming in Robot C. Junior School (year 6 and below) are given training in robotics and have a variety of challenges to complete. When they get to Middle School (grade 7 ) we train towards Robocup.
TCF: That’s great. Do you find it a hard sell at first?
CN: [The younger students] all like to try out the club. Many find it is not their thing, but quite a few will continue throughout their school years. I have had boys in my club for 7 years. Then they come back at and after Uni to be trainers. The Nerds do well. It is not every activity that can boast that the students represent their country. [We represented Australia in the World RoboCup in] 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011. (In 2012 we were to represent Australia in Mexico, but the organizers changed the robot specifications over Christmas and we were not able to rebuild in time)
TCF: The RoboCup’s official goal seems ambitious.
CN: The ambition is the same at the University level in Australia, [but] the Junior level is designed to give students a taste of robotics and start future Mechatronicists on their journey. It also teaches problem solving, persistence and group work in the robotics setting.
TCF: How are you using Transwheels in the competition?
CN: They are used on most of our competition robots. The silicon rubber wheels give the best grip. We modify the wheels to suit the application. Some I have bored out to put a lego axle joiner into them. This allows us to put lego axles on each side and use them as drive wheels. Others have a grommet inserted so that the spin freely on the lego axle and act as a trundle wheel instead of a skid pad. This is easier for the robot to go over speed bumps and obstacles. We have made axle connectors to fit into the wheels so that we can connect them to various motors. The motors generally have a D shaft so the adaptor has a grub screw to secure it.
As the size of the robot is limited, we have been creative in our design of connectors. Last weekend I filled the rings around the centre axle with resin so that I could secure the axle connector to the Transwheel with screws through the hub. One set was then bored to 19mm to fit onto our motor connector. Our robots have a maximum size of 22cm so the axle connector had to be embedded in the wheels then fixed in position to allow a quick change.
Our original Transwheels were used in 2006 on our soccer robots. We had developed an omnidrive out of lego with 3 motors at 120 degrees to each other and the robot was steered according to the power in each motor. The Transwheel is ideal for this as it allows multidirectional motion
My top teams have used Kornylak transwheels to compete in the Robocup Junior World championships in Singapore 2010 and Istanbul in 2011. They currently have the wheels on their new robot for the Australian championships.
In the 10 years since I started the group at my school, we have placed in the State and National RoboCup competition every year. Recently we took first in 3 divisions in the Queensland State Championships. Our club has represented Australia four times since 2006 and been qualified to represent another 3 times, but [for those years] lacked the funding to go overseas.
TCF: Fantastic. Your email signature states that your Club is “the most successful activity in the history of the College.”
CN: No one has challenged me on that, so it must be true 🙂
Note: Colin related some issues with the Transwheel gathering fibers in the axles when used on felt surfaces (such as the green felt pool-table type surface used for Soccer in Istanbul in 2011). On a positive note, he reports that the wheels can be field-stripped fairly easily to fix. But be aware of this, find out what surfaces you are competing on and test them out. We are working on a solution.
As always, we value your feedback! – TCF
Dug these up from a few years ago, at the RoboCup competition in Atlanta in ’07.
Kornylak’s Transwheels have been popular with robot builders for many years, and we saw several in use here.
Send us your photos/videos and feedback!
Our engineers have been compiling a page with lots of ways to attach our popular Transwheel omni-directional wheel to your robots.
There is a great view here of the plastic mount options
We’ve made these wheels available to consumers individually, mostly in response to the robotics market. You can purchase them online here
Recently a robot hobbyist shared some challenges and solutions when inexpensively attaching a small motor to the Transwheel for a four-powered-wheel omnidirectional robot. His comments are below. Of course his comments are not meant as an endorsement of our product, but we appreciate the feedback. As always, our design team is listening!
I’m not sure how many people are in my situation, but I hope I can do a good job explaining it. I’m building a small prototype first and I’m a hobbyist, so I apologize if my heaping
mess of a robot interferes visually with what I’m trying to convey.
Most small hobby robots use 2 motor-powered wheels. If the robot needs to change directions, it will simply rotate on its own axis like a Roomba. One wheel will turn forward and the other will turn backward. To slightly turn, the robot will turn one wheel faster than the other. In my situation, I needed to be able to change directions without the robot rotating on its own axis. In order to accomplish this, I knew I needed 4 motor-powered omni wheels, mecanum wheels, or your Transwheels. Of the three, the Transwheels are by far the best value. In addition, no advanced programming is required for using Transwheels.
I have 2 powered wheels oriented east-west, and 2 powered wheels oriented north-south. To change directions I simply turn one set of motors off and the other set of motors on.
However, most small motors come with a 3mm or 6mm shaft that I need to attach to the Transwheel, which has a minimum bore size of .25 inches. In my situation, your wheel mounting page offers few methods for mounting a powered wheel that are both effective and inexpensive. The link to superdroidrobots only offers mounting options for 4” wheels. The plastic mount only works for servos, I’m using cheap motors. The bolt mount is not compatible with a small motor. Lastly, forcing an oversized shaft through the bushing is a good option. However, I lack the capability to make my own shaft. So every shaft I purchased from servocity.com was either too small to stay in the wheel or too large to fit inside.
To solve my dilemma, I tried to attach a set-screw shaft adapter onto the wheel:
As you can see, the holes for that particular adapter just edge over into the gap area on the wheel. Drilling a hole through the entire wheel is also pretty difficult. The screws would never go in straight, so I always had an off-center adapter. If the entire wheel face was one flush surface, this adapter would work just fine.
Luckily, I found a pololu adapter that fits the profile of the transwheel:
But this adapter only fits if the bore is .25 inches. If the bore is any larger it will take away surface area for me to drill the screw holes. Any sort of bushing just gets in the way of the adapter. When I wanted to rebuild my prototype to make it better, I decided to purchase double-row wheels to allow for smoother movement. But you don’t have .25 inch, plain-bore, double-row wheels. So that started our email chain. Therefore, my first solution to the problem is to simply make those available.
**NOTE a .25” double-row wheel is now available in response to the hobbyists’ inquiry. Similar custom inquiries are welcome.
… Hopefully, you have a better understanding of my problem and various solutions. I don’t know how many people out there have come across this kind of issue, but I hope this email will be of some use to you. Thanks again for the wheels and for making a great product.
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Kornylak Corporation is featured in an episode of Today in America with Terry Bradshaw. Check it out!
We finished a new video today for Palletflo, the Gravity-Driven Live Storage System pioneered by Kornylak Corporation.