I am working on the golf ball caster concept I initially mentioned in the Club Robots 2019 thread.
Folding Prototype assembly
It rolls pretty good on non slick surfaces. On slick surfaces, like laminate, it may slide a little on the ball’s dimples, depending on the weight of the robot and just how slick the surface is. If using a golf ball with the old school consistent dimple pattern, there is very little difference between when it is sliding vs. rolling on a very slick surface. Some of the fancier dimple patterns with varying or very large dimples can catch a bit more on some surfaces. I did make concave rollers for smoother bridging over the dimples within the caster itself.
The metal pins should be nylon. I just didn’t have the right size on hand.
Very cool! It’s nice to have unique design for the robots.
Nice implementation of common parts… What would you consider the weight limitation utilizing a skid steer platform? Or maybe even have one large centered wheel on a pan setup along with 3 of these type casters on the outside.
I am not entirely sure of weight limit. With the current makeup, the weak point is the compression of the expanded PVC at the shafts. That said, I applied between 50 and 100 pounds of my body weight on one caster on a rug without any sign of failure. Certainly that would not last too long before it starts to hurt it.
If the frame was made from a more solid and rigid plastics or metal, it would be able to take a significant load up to the point of the golf ball flattening. I would think that would be over 100 pounds, pending the golf ball make.