• Venator Robotics

Wheel making at Edinburgh Hacklab!

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

Visited the Edinburgh Hacklab at their open night yesterday to cook up a batch of wheels for V3.

The typical way to make robot combat wheels is to grab some cheap plastic castor wheels and melt/press a fitting into the centre so it can be mounted to the motor. The lovely folks over there were super helpful and friendly. Using their lathe to shape the outer surface of the wheel, and then a pillar drill to press in brass threaded inserts, we managed to make up a set of wheels in less than an hour. Was also really exciting to see a lathe (and a very experienced operator) in action for the first time. Amazing bit of kit - I so need to learn how to use one of these.

3-D printers, lasercutters, mills, lathes. These guys have it all. Check out this room with loads of cool gear - Puts my weeny budget pillar drill to shame! If you live even remotely nearby and are interested in this sort of thing, you need to check this place out. I'm two hours away but the trips are so worth it!

Spent the rest of the evening being stunned by the amazing creations of Hacklab members (apparently there is another roboteer among you guys!) The possibilities of all this equipment is too exciting - Brilliant evening!

Finished wheel! Funky pattern around the insert is a result of the melting plastic as the nut is pressed in

And finally the wheel itself! The brass insert screws right onto the drill motor gearbox. Now to attach the rubber and bike tyre to add extra traction - I'm aiming for the final diameter to be around 90mm for plenty ground clearance.

Thanks again to the guys from the Hacklab for their help - will definitely be coming over again!


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