Ultimate Traction Control: Spikes vs. Rubber

In this experiment, we set out to find the best possible traction for the wheel on the Sumo Robot. By altering the tread that we used on the wheel, we planned on finding a pattern that would help the robot push the most weight. We used three wheels with different types of rubber on them and three with different spike patterns.

For our experiment, we set the robot on a piece of plywood facing away from a door. We had a scale that was hooked at one end to the jam of the door, and was tied around the robot at the other end. Once we put the wheel we needed on the robot, we turned it on to see how much weight it would pull before it stopped moving.

To see which wheel had the highest coefficient of friction with the wood, we divided the number of pounds which the wheel pulled by the weight of the robot. This gave us the coefficient of friction for the wheel. Since the weight of the robot was the same for all of the trials, the robot that pulled the most weight had the highest coefficient of friction.

Research Done By:

Andre Grujovski

William Poirier