The 10 Best Robot Wheels
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Whether you're completing a school project or tinkering in your garage, your robots are going to need a way to get around. We've selected basic options as well as kits that work with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and more, at various price points, so everyone can get in on the fun. That said, please note that many of these do include small parts that can be choking hazards to small children. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
October 21, 2020:
This update shifted the list a fair deal, as more high-quality wheels have become available. We also removed a few expensive items that were primarily suited for heavy-duty use, as the rest of the list focuses predominantly on items better suited for hobbyists building a simple machine that runs on a raspberry pi or arduino.
You may notice that, while this list is about wheels for robots, there are a number of items like the Xiaor Geek 4WD and Tamiya Tracked Vehicle that may be better described as starter kits. While the increased value and convenience of these complete kits was taken into account, they were initially selected because of the quality of the wheels that were included. The Emozny Mecanum Kit, for example, offers a four-motor kit at nearly the same price it would cost to purchase the wheels alone.
Do note that most of these will function best on smooth, flat surfaces, though with a strong enough motor, the Tamiya Track Set should be able to navigate some obstacles or rough terrain. The KangTeer Roller Ball in particular should not be purchased for anyone hoping to use their robot on carpet or grass, as the ball tends to float rather than rotate freely if used on soft surfaces. Just make sure to do a bit of research to make sure the wheels will fit your specific needs before you decide to buy.
May 09, 2019:
As you may have already noticed, robotics can be an expensive pursuit, but we've aimed for a blend of both affordable and higher priced wheels here. On the relatively less expensive side, we think the Tamiya Track Set, Colson Performa, and Pololu 60 Millimeter are all fine options that also all happen to come from well regarded companies. There's also the Tamiya Tracked Vehicle Chassis, but it requires assembly, as does the Xiaor Geek 4WD; this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's important to note. More expensive, "fancier" options include the Unihobby 6-Inch and Pitsco Education Tetrix Max, which are Mecanum and omni-directional models, respectively. These types offer greater flexibility, as they can move laterally, and are quite eye-catching, to boot. Finally, we have decided to add the Eudax DIY Assortment for the true tinkerers. The durability is nothing to write home about, but it's budget-friendly and gives you plenty of parts to play with.
Nexus 6-Inch Aluminum Mecanum Wheels If you're ready to step up to the big leagues and invest in something more rugged, this is a good place to start looking. These are made from a light, yet strong, aluminum alloy and use rubber rollers that provide ample grip, and the large diameter makes it easier for them to traverse rough terrain. The cylindrical wheels covering the circumference are mounted at a 45-degree angle from the plane of the main wheel, allowing them to roll forwards, backwards, sideways, and diagonally. nexusrobot.com
VexPro Omni-Directional The VexPro Omni-Directional are surprisingly affordable, given their quality, and come from a top name in robotics parts. They also offer high-quality Mecanum wheels, but no matter which you choose, you can expect fluid motion and top-notch stability. vexrobotics.com