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4wd vs 2wd? A Drive System Comparison

A couple days ago, my FLL team was designing a robot for next year's robot game, when we came to an unanswerable question: Should we use 4wd or 2wd?
Being their mentor, I encouraged a more 'scientific' way of deciding by creating a chart, and this is what they came up with:

4 Wheel Drive
  1. Slippage occurs during turning
  2. Navigates more terrains smoothly
  3. Uses more battery power
  4. Capable of in place turning
  5. Goes straighter
  6. The robot has more support
  7. Must use gears / pulleys to transmit power but has unnecessary gear lash
  8. The chassis usually becomes a boxy shape

2 Wheel Drive

  1. Free-er turns
  2. It is more difficult to navigate all terrains
  3. Uses less battery power
  4. No in place turning
  5. More likely to drift
  6. Have to use a caster wheel or other means of support
  7. Could be directly connected to motor and not risk slop
  8. The chassis usually becomes a rectangular kind of shape

Both drive systems have been used successfully in the past. A good example are the two 1st Place Robot Peoformance Winners: 1221 Built on the Rock had a stable and versatile 4wd robot while 4 Mindstorms Troopers had a simple and speedy 2wd drive robot.

We would also like to ask you to contribute to our comparison. So comment away!

Robolab 2.9

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