How to do belt-tracks

Just a quick tip on belt tracks, if you'd never did them before, and want to try :)

Simple; one wheel in each side follows a motor, rest is free to turn.

Motors can of course be in same end, but some times it is convenient to have them in each, and that is easy, see the picture.

Belts should always be a little loose, to minimize friction, yuo do not want tight straps.

Cool thing is, you can tun on a plate. And they make a nice, steady base.. and look awsome :)

Uncool thing is they tend to slow things down.

When turning, the tracks has to skid, that is rub over the surface. This is not that efficiant.

You want your tracks to be able to skid over your surface. On indoor systems you should chose hard / plastic tracks, or have a strong motor, or add some tape over the tracks to minimize drag.

  • Tip: When applying tape, make sure to put it on where the wheel is bending the track, a small piece at a time, then turn the wheel, put some more on. If you add tape on the long flat surfaces, a big piece at a time, it will make the tracks too tight.

Hardest thing may be to find the right tracks, but it starts to get easier - look in the components-section.

Get tracking!



I ordered the solarbotic’s tread package
I saw your yellow drum machine and I had to order the Treads like you did! I cannot wait to get started :slight_smile:

They are cool, treads… they

They are cool, treads… they sure are, give some spirit & edge to a bot! "here-I-come-on-my-treads"

/ Fritsl

You have asked the same

You have asked the same question many places, please refrain from that - many people are trying to read every new written line in here :slight_smile:


/ Fritsl

Another One

Nice. Here’s mine. I do believe those are the same tracks/wheels. Mine uses servos modified for continuous rotation. The Mark II has a 5:2 gear up rather than the 1:1 chain drive. Not autonomous (yet!)



God created the integers; all else is the work of man - Leopold Kronecker

Oh yes, the same :)Let me

Oh yes, the same :slight_smile:

Let me know if you need spare parts, I went over the top, and especially the wheels - I have not a bag, but a sack full! (Seriously; dump me a PM, I would be happy to ship some, I will never get to use them all even if I build robots the rest of my life :slight_smile:

And… The rubber-tracks… They have so much grip. When you get some weight on top, you will get a much better drive / turn if you tape them up… Which is why I am using hard plastic for belt tracks only now!

/ Fritsl

Where did you buy those
Where did you buy those plastic gears. I’ve been trying to fnd them locally, but can’t. I’ve looked online, but haven’t found anyone who has a good assortment. I need different sizes and worm gears for a robot I’m planning on doing after I get an easy one working.

I got bags full! Mail me. /

I got bags full! Mail me.

/ Fritsl

Tape Them Up

How do you mean tape them up? Surely tape would reduce the grip? I can see how that would make them turn better, though!!

God created the integers; all else is the work of man - Leopold Kronecker



/ Fritsl

Removed the space so the link will work… rubber treads make turning a nightmare. I had an old RC toy that was on treads and when I tried to turn it the motors had to kick up and got warm. The friction makes it hard to turn unless it is on dirt or gravel. For smaller robots that won’t go outside, plastic is best to minimize the friction and save the motors and battery.

Tape and turning friction
I dunno what surface you guys are having the trouble with. I’ve used these rubber tracks a couple of times and they go straight and turn fine on the street and on a laminate and wooden floor. The only surface I’ve found that they are truly RUBBISH on is carpet.

The problem is carpet! And

The problem is carpet!

And sofas.

And beds.

And tablerunners.

Another tip

I just thought of something. If you find your motors are underpowered and your tracked vehicle is not turning well: make it wider. The wider the vehicle, the less the sheer friction on the track at its ends.

JIP probably has a formula for this. I would have to make one up but I can’t because my pen has run out.


Yes. Mine’s rubbish in bed, too (TWSS). Why would you want to take your robot to bed? Anyway - I have the solution. Don’t mess with a perfectly good robot: CHANGE YOUR FLOOR! It’s a much less painful solution.

tracked vehicle not turning, a suggestion

Could it be that all the tracked living room robots I see on LMR have too much traction because the belts are too wide? More surface area touching the floor = more friction. Frits solves the issue by reducing friction with a smaller friction factor (tape instead of rubber).

May I suggest to my fellow LMR scientists to remove some surface area by cutting off some excess? And then to report back to us all?

I, for the time being, am an armchair roboticist. So no expensive track cutting in my lab for now.

Universal formula

Try f(x) = 42… should work on anything you throw it at!


Out of plain curiousity, how well do belt tracks work on staircases?

I guess that would depend on
I guess that would depend on a lot of factors :slight_smile:

How to get worm gear to work properly



This may be a late post, but I have a question:

I bought the exact same tracked set, but have never been able to use it properly because the worm gear keeps jumping off the other gear and not driving the tracks at all.

Do you guys have the same problem? if so, how do you solve it?