by John Blankenship and Samuel Mishal
A robot equipped
with omni or
has mobilities far
different from robots
with standard wheels.
A LEGO NXT-based
robot equipped with
wheels can provide
Find out if your
next robot needs
FIGURE 1. Two small omni wheels and a mecanum wheel.
SERVO 12.2011 41
Mobile robot bases typically utilize wheels, but there are numerous options and configurations. Typical bases might use four wheels or two wheels with
one or two casters. The use of omni wheels or mecanum wheels (see Figure 1)
can provide additional options.
Both omni and mecanum wheels can make it easy for a robot base to move
in a variety of directions but in very different ways. A mecanum wheel consists of
numerous rollers angled at 45º while the rollers on an omni wheel are mounted
perpendicular to the wheel’s normal rotation. Omni wheels are generally used in a