Two years of Omnis!

I’m just about to do my first event of the year, and realised that two years ago at the same event, the organiser posted this picture:

Setup time for Bolton Comic Con – NWCC

This picture filled me with a sense of dread. Why? Because up until this point I had been running a single castor setup in R2’s center foot and I knew that with that in place my droid may as well have been a static one on a carpeted floor like this.

However, I had recently updated to an Omniwheel setup, using wheels from Vex Robotics.

With fingers crossed, I went to the convention and was so happy to discover that the omni wheel handled it all with no issues. I could turn, reverse, even spin on the spot with out a single problem. I had a great event and put plenty of smiles on faces.

That was two years ago and they’re still going strong!

A little dirty, but still good!

These have been over lovely smooth gym style floors, deep pile carpet, hard concrete, cobble stones (that wasn’t fun!), asphalt, pretty much any hard surface. Even driven through snow! Dozens of events, with a heavy weight droid of 60kg, and a very cavalier attitude of where I drive. In fact, the majority of the time I prefer to unload at a carpark nearby and drive him to the event.

Since replacing these I am now onto my third set of drive wheels (latest set are hard Vex colson wheels) but haven’t had to do a single thing with the center foot apart from a little bit of fluff cleaning.

Are there any downsides? Not that I’ve found. You do get a rumble that is really noticeable on wooden floors like gyms or village halls, but I actually like that. Feels very solid.

By far, this is one of the best upgrades I’ve done to the droid since his first event outing in 2017. Since then his main drives have also been upgraded to Vex parts, with hex bore Colson wheels holding up a lot better than the previous ones I had.

Now to get the batteries charged and ready for the fun times on Saturday.

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