View Full Version : Skid plates for robotic VX

03/04/2005, 03:13 PM
We will do our best with our sensors and control software to keep our robotic VX on safe terrain... but mistakes are expected. We want to minimize the exposure. Last year the CMU robot "Sandstorm" ended up high-centered on a berm on a switchback and burned its tires trying to free itself. We expect to run over stuff and want to minimize risk to the vehicle. Anyone have advice on skid plates? Any other advice on how to protect the underside? Thanks!

03/04/2005, 04:22 PM
I'd have to say a reinforced, full belly plate , like green dragons' would be in order. BoB?

03/04/2005, 05:00 PM
Also might want to apply a sheet of teflon over it to allow it to slide over obstacles easier like the rock crawlers do.

03/09/2005, 03:03 PM
Thanks! Any tips on suppliers?

03/09/2005, 03:24 PM
There are no off the shelf makers of full skids. You would have to custom make it. There are plenty of attachment points on the belly. You should be able to find a person who can cut and weld metal around the campas. Check Spazz and Swordies galleries to see theirs. Make sure to leave some openings for cooling and access to maintanence areas. For suppliers of materials you might want to check out some of the rock crawling boards such as Pirate4x4.com (make sure to post in the appropriate area there because they can be vicious!). There are a lot of fabbers in your area also that may be able to help locating materials.

03/09/2005, 04:29 PM

03/09/2005, 08:09 PM
the skid plates off of a trooper will bolt right on to the frame of the VX. They wont offer you complete protection from everything, but they are a quick way to see what else you need to protect.

Also, I put much faith in the stock trooper skid plates. Unlike skids from other manufacturers, the ones off the trooper are actually reliable to protect the bits they are supposed to protect.

03/10/2005, 08:43 AM
Great advice, thanks!

03/10/2005, 01:35 PM
I was looking into this and heat was also a factor... you need to make sure the engine can cool itself normally with a huge plate over the bottom...
Just a thought

03/10/2005, 02:52 PM
well considering heat travels up, I don't think you're going to trap much of it with under body protection. I'm no thermodynamist so I could be wrong.

03/10/2005, 05:14 PM
A full skidplate definatley makes a difference on engine cooling, yes, heat travels up but while it goes up, cool air comes in to replace it. The VX's engine compartment is very tight and with the flexible mud flaps that are in the upper inside wheel well there is not much getting in anyway. I only put my skidplate on when I'm off roading as it increases the engine temp a bit. Plus the weight.
When I've off roaded without it, the temp never goes above the halfway mark, when I'm doing slow and go or off roading with my plate, the temp will get to 3/4 or above and the A/C compressor will cycle on and off.
It wouldn't be a big deal if a constant 30-40mph could be had but, I doubt that can be achieved. So, I would think a good plate with good ventilation would be in order.