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If you’ve dealt with robots or other wheeled projects, you’ve most likely heard of mecanum wheels. These seemingly magic wheels have the ability to relocation in any direction. If you’ve ever seen one, it is quite apparent exactly how it works. They look much more or less like regular wheels, but they also have rollers that rotate off-axis by 45 degrees from the typical motion axis. This triggers the wheel’s driving force to relocation at a 45 degree angle. However, there are a great deal of details that aren’t obvious from a quick glance. Why are the rollers tapered? exactly how do you manage a car utilizing these wheels? [Lesics] has a great explanation of exactly how the wheels work in a recent video that you can see below.

With four wheels, you can have a pair of wheels — one at the front best and one at the back left — that have a web force vector of +45 degrees. then the other pair of wheels can be developed in a different way to have a web force vector of -45 degrees. The video shows exactly how moving some or all wheels in different directions can relocation the car in numerous different directions.

It is simple to confuse mecanum wheels with omniwheels, but they are different. While both have a primary wheel with rollers, the omniwheel has rollers at a 90 degree angle to the primary axis so they can slide in that direction. These are typically utilized in a triangular configuration understood as the Kiwi drive. Mecanum wheels are not without their disadvantages, including cost. However, you can make your own.

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