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Thread: Mods for robotic VX

  1. #1
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    Question Tires for robotic VX

    Austin Robot Technology has selected a VX as the off-road vehicle to serve as a platform for our robotic entry into the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. I would like to use this thread to get advice from members of this club regarding off-road matters. The race consists of 175 miles across the desert Southwest, most likely the Mojave Desert. Last DARPA Grand Challenge was held for the first time last year, the course was 142 miles from Barstow California to Primm Nevada. Most of the course consisted of unpaved rocky service roads along power lines. Some of the route went over paved roads (less than 20%). Speed is moderate (20 to 30 MPH). We will have some means of isolating the computers from shock, dust, and heat.

    Let me start by asking about tires. We are considering 265-75-R16 BFG A/T KO.
    An alternative is Firestone Destination M/T 265-75-R16. We want puncture resistance, we want traction. We have a conflicting desire for a "soft" ride.

    Any advice on tires, comments about the above choices or other suggested tires. Any advice on tire pressure?

    Thanks for any help!

    Art
    Last edited by Art : 03/04/2005 at 03:27 PM Reason: Make title specific to tires

  2. #2
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    Cannot offer any advice, but TOO COOL, lets see some pics, videos... whatever. Good Luck!

  3. #3
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    Welcome and good luck! Bob Land Racing did Laughlin and a number of other notable offroad events - not sure if his site is still around but you may wish to search the web or this site. Cyrk, you have the autographed picture with stats on it - see what he lists for tires.

    I'd think you'd most importantly want to use tires that competitors had used in Baja or Dakar or any of the other big events.

  4. #4
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    I'm not positive on what the conditions of the desert are but if it's deep sand the Mickey Thompson Baja belted tires did well here. I would not do a standard MT style tire (Like BFG MT) in the sand as it will dig in too much. You would want the widest tires possible too to keep you floating on top of the sand. For me the 31x11.5 Mickey T. Baja belted did very well in glacier silt and deep sand. No lift required just a little bit of trimming up front of the front wheel wells. The Baja Claws mounted backwards might do real well too.

    But if a MT tire will work I can't believe how well my TrXus MT's do in all the conditions I have put them through. Not sure if they make ones that will fit, but most likely they do.

    All the above tires give a descent ride.
    2001 Ironman Daily Driver... 3.5" suspension lift (OME912 springs and 1" spring spacer), ball joint flip, 1.5" front diff. drop, 33"x12.5 TrXus MT, 16x10 Eagle Alloy rims, Interceptor, PV muffler, K&N air filter, Alpine Supercharger, Bilstein shocks, and some trimming.

    2000 Ironman Project LS-1 VX... very slow progress but someday....... ohhhhh someday......

  5. #5
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    Personally, I'd find a hard-ish compound all-terrain (AT) tire, or get some kind of run-flat insert to put in an AT tire. (maybe have new centers welded into H1 runflat rims) There's obviously no way to change a flat out there. If I was running normal AT tires at 20-30mph I'm not sure that I'd want less than 20psi, probably around 25-30psi. You risk popping them the higher the PSI, but you risk rolling it off of the bead at lower pressures.

    I have a few pics of Bob Land's VX, and the tires that he used. They were not off-the-shelf tires. Bob told us that he had them custom cut, and were a very hard rubber compound. The ones on the VX in the pics below have a race on them, and I had a hard time telling them from the brand new ones in his shop.

    http://tad.grosvenor.org/gallery/MoabMay2001/a22_19A

    You can see the size here: (7.50 R 16 it looks like to me)
    http://tad.grosvenor.org/gallery/MoabMay2001/a24_21A

    Here's the tread that he ran on his Amigo:
    http://tad.grosvenor.org/gallery/MoabMay2001/a21_18A

    Keep us up to date. This company has an entry as well:
    http://www.mitre.org/news/digest/adv...hallenge1.html

    A group from Florida entered a 1993 Trooper last year.
    http://cimar.mae.ufl.edu/teamcimar/g...2004/index.htm

    -Tad
    Last edited by Nazrat : 11/15/2007 at 03:24 PM

  6. #6
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    I saw this and the other post inthe intro forum.. First, WELCOME!! The project sounds very cool. I even watched the last one when it was presented to TechTV.
    If you would like, I can made a specific forum to keep all of your updates and questions in one place so it doesn't get spread out. Let me know.
    Scott / moncha.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moncha
    If you would like, I can made a specific forum to keep all of your updates and questions in one place so it doesn't get spread out. Let me know.
    That sounds like a good idea. Thank you!

  8. #8
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    There ya go!

  9. #9
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    No advice except....GOOD LUCK!....because as far as I know, no robot has completed the trip (have they??) if not that would be really cool for the VX robot to make history. not to mention the fame would increase it's popularity and there by increase it's value. Good luck indeed. Please don't forget to post pics of that ...Desert-Storm Trooper.
    Last edited by StormTROOPER : 03/02/2005 at 01:48 AM
    It's the love child of a Hummer & SLK, uniquely rugged & SLeeK

  10. #10
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    gl.....keep us posted on how it turns out
    ________
    LoveMirage live
    Last edited by MZ-N10 : 09/05/2011 at 03:59 PM

  11. #11
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    re: tires

    I run Pro Comp ATs on my VX and they are very good tires. Pro Comp also has a mud-terrain and an "X-terrain" if you want a more aggressive tread pattern. Here's a link to their website... http://www.procomptires.com/ . Good luck!
    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself... and zombies.


    My VehiCROSS

  12. #12
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    We need to get a BIG vehicross.info sticker on this robo-vx.

    Are sponsorships available and how much does sign space go for?

  13. #13
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    My thoughts also, was just giving them time to settle in

  14. #14
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    I'm assuming that this project is on some sort of budget.

    I'd pick something not horribly expensive -your money would be better spent in software rather than tires. Having spent a fair bit of time driving about the Mojave Desert, I'd have to echo AlaskaVX's comment about flotation -fatter the better. The MT Bajas are reasonably priced, and offer excellent sand traction. Your speed(s) and route will not likely take you across tire-puncturing terrain, so just steer clear of any brush and mountains and your tires should be fine. You can add a can of Fix-A-Flat to each one to give you piece of mind.

    Your robot's biggest enemies will be heat and vibration. Heat can be beat with a fair amount of A/C, but the VX is a well-known rump-shaker. Since plush suspensions aren't my thing, I'll have to hand that one off.

  15. #15
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    Don't count out the Yokohama Geolander AT+II's!!!

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