The Mecanum wheel is an omnidirectional wheel design for a land-based vehicle to move in any direction. It is sometimes called the Swedish wheel or Ilon wheel after its inventor, Bengt Erland Ilon.
Mecanum wheel-fitted robots or industrial machines can make a 180 degree turn without taking much space, whereas a normal forklift takes a lot of space and time to achieve the same task. Consider this perfect sideward movement of Mecanum wheeled machines. Watch the video from Lesics for more info:
This would be tedious to achieve using normal wheels. Mecanum wheeled machines achieve all these crazy movements, but their wheels never tilt. Let’s see how Mr. Bengt Erland Ilon came up with this brilliant design.The Mecanum wheel is based on a tireless wheel, with a series of rubberized external rollers obliquely attached to the whole circumference of its rim.
These rollers typically each have an axis of rotation at 45° to the wheel plane and at 45° to the axle line.Each Mecanum wheel is an independent non-steering drive wheel with its own powertrain, and when spinning generates a propelling force perpendicular to the roller axle, which can be vectored into a longitudinal and a transverse component in relation to the vehicle.