your robot will be patrolling the house, it probably doesn't need
real rubber treads. If your robot will remain stationary, you can
make good-looking treads out of foam rubber pipe wrap. Besides patience
and a steady hand, here's what you need:
30-foot rolls of Armstrong Armaflex pipe insulation tape
can of Plasti-Dip spray on heavy duty flexible rubber coating
bottle of Elmer's Squeez'N Caulk
by cutting the pipe wrap to length. Because the Armaflex tape is
1/8" thick, you'll need twice as many lengths for the 2"
wide treads as the number of treads you want to end up with. For
each 1" tread, you'll slit a 2" tread in half, so figure
this accordingly. The number of finished treads you'll have will
depend on whether you want yours to wrap around all the wheels front-to-back,
or wrap separately around just the front and rear wheels.
For the base of each tread, stick two lengths together back to back
to achieve a 1/4" thickness. Take care to keep the edges flush
to avoid unsightly seams. For the tread teeth, stick some additional
lengths together front to back. Cut these into 1" lengths and
attach them to the tread base, leaving a 1/4" gap. You'll need
about 12 teeth to show on each wheel.
seal the pores on the edges of the foam tape, use a paintable latex
calk. You can apply this either with a brush or your finger. It'll
take several coats on all edges to achieve a smooth finish. This
can be applied either before or after attaching the teeth.
Finally, spray on a coat or two of Plasti-Dip flexible rubber coating.
This product dries flat and gives the foam a uniform look.
they're installed on your wheels, they'll look very much like real
treads. Total cost: under $25.