Building a sumo robot. A physics question about motors, torque, and gears…?

The objective of the contest is raw pushing power. I have (3) duplicate electric motors at my disposal.

Would I get more power from attaching all three on a single axle that is torqued up with a gear ratio? Or would it be better to have each run independently, with its own gear set?

We are using the lego mindstorms robotics kit, and are limited to those parts, for anyone familiar.

Any other suggestions that may pertain to robot design or further increasing the pushing power are welcome.

I would attach all three motors to a single rotor, with one big gear to torque up the axle. If the single large gear is large enough, you can drive it with all three motors, one at, say 2:00, one at 6:00, and one at 10:00.

The only tricky bit is calibrating the three of them so that all three of them drive the large gear to the same position at the same time. Otherwise one might push ahead of the other two, and you’d only get torque from that one.

If you CAN, you might want to consider using small belts instead of gears. Belts would be easier to calibrate, though if you’re locked into legos, I don’t know if they have those. The belts might not provide as much power before they slip, but they’d certainly be easier to calibrate.

1 thought on “Building a sumo robot. A physics question about motors, torque, and gears…?

  1. I would attach all three motors to a single rotor, with one big gear to torque up the axle. If the single large gear is large enough, you can drive it with all three motors, one at, say 2:00, one at 6:00, and one at 10:00.

    The only tricky bit is calibrating the three of them so that all three of them drive the large gear to the same position at the same time. Otherwise one might push ahead of the other two, and you’d only get torque from that one.

    If you CAN, you might want to consider using small belts instead of gears. Belts would be easier to calibrate, though if you’re locked into legos, I don’t know if they have those. The belts might not provide as much power before they slip, but they’d certainly be easier to calibrate.
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