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Topic: Cheapest source for rubber tracked robot (Read 5 times) previous topic - next topic


I am building a treaded robot not really heavy duty but will be good enough. I wanted to make it as cheap as possible, I have most of the stuff including motors and batteries, controller.
But the problem is the drive system.
I want to buy use the cheapest ever rubber track source to make my treaded robot. Will cycle tires work? But I want small.
My robot wont exceed 3/4meter length and 3/5 meter bredth.
Please help me complete this project.
I will use arduino to control my motors and software(sensors).
It will be an semi autonomous robot.

I wish to build something like this.

Please help me.

Thanks in advance,


searched dx.com?
What country do you live in? Part of the price is the postage costs ...
Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)



I want to buy use the cheapest ever rubber track source to make my treaded robot. Will cycle tires work? But I want small.

Something like (bicycle tires, likely) that could work, but it would still require a bit of fabrication; for instance, you would need a way to remove the beads and sidewalls of the tire, leaving just a relatively "flat" tread, then you would need some way to either punch holes in the tread (for a direct sprocket drive) or some way to attach cleats on the inner surface of the tread. You would have to space them such that they fit whatever sprockets you are planning to use (or design and fabricate sprockets to fit).

You really don't have many options; there are rubber track manufacturers, but they are generally meant for heavy equipment and even the smallest would be too large for your needs (ie, small ride-on excavators and dozers). Another possibility, but still likely too large, are tracks meant for snowmobiles (also called snow machines).

You may need to go with a completely custom design. On possibility would be to use toothed cog belts flipped "inside-out" (for instance, timing belts that are used on car engines would be a possibility). Driving them could be a chore, though (maybe a toothed "idler" sprocket pulley in-between the idler wheels driving the top-side of the belt?); dirt would also be an issue.

You could always go completely homebrew; plenty of the projects at this site deal with building custom tracks:


...it isn't easy, though, and may not be any cheaper than other methods. Most companies who design such tracked machines, design their belts custom as well, then outsource the manufacturing of them. I don't know if the company you linked the picture from does this, but they might. Then again, maybe there's a custom, small project cogged-drive belt manufacturer out there that does these kinds of things...

Finally - have you thought about forgoing a belt altogether? In many cases, a 6 or 8 (or more) wheeled design can be nearly as effective as a tracked design, and much simpler to design and source parts for...
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


I tried small bicycle's tires and they were too hard for fitting. Is there anything that can be done?

This thing- http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-custom-and-strong-tank-tracks-for-very/
is good but takes hell lot of time which I can't waste.
The only option remains is using cycle's tire after trimming them. I dont know why they have put simple rubber robot tracks at so high rates of about 1000$ for two :/

Have you built a treaded robot before? Maybe I can take it's idea.

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