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To get Bandbeesten back on its wheels, this project seeks to create an entirly new animal that is lightweight, durable, and moves under its own power.


Team Name W.A.L.T.
Duration Summer - Fall 2014
Faculty Advisers
  • Dr. David Alexander
  • Dr. Edwin Odom
  • Russ Porter
  • Matt Kologi

Team Members[edit]

  • Shawn
  • Amanda
  • Christian
  • Maddie
  • Robyn
  • Joe

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The BandBeesten project was started in 2011 by Dr. Edwin Odom, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Daniel Bukvich, Professor of Percussion and Music Theory. The goal of their collaboration was to create a full drum set that could easily be played and moved easily by a single person during marching band performances.

The Fall of 2011 marked the beginning research of ideas for what they called the Beest. This acedemic year was solely an experimentation year; For more in depth design details refer to the Team Drum Roll webpage.

The design team of 2012-2013 made progress with the BandBeesten's design. Dan Mathewson, a UI graduate student, designed a robotic, power driven front wheel to enable the machine received commands through the operator's body movements. This design made it onto the field and more information on this can be found in Dan Mathewson's thesis.

In 2013, the design team started designing a new BandBeesten with a sturdier frame. This design relied only on man-power and did not have any assisting motors. The design used was very strong and could hold a full set of drums with ease. more information about this design can be found at

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Design Specifications[edit]

  • Move forward backward, and do 360 degree rotations.
  • Have a forward speed of 2 mph
  • Have a reverse speed of 2/3 mph
  • Complete a 360 degree rotation in under 2 seconds
  • Lightweight/ sturdy design
  • Able to support ~150 lb
  • Be able to stay charged during long performances

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The first generation of the Bandbeesten was a great proof of concept using lightweight aluminum and incorporated few connecting beam, but the minimalistic approach did have flaws. The frame was weak and would flex whenever the user wanted to perform a maneuver.

In 2013, a solution was found by using a tetrahedron frame. This frame puts every beam within it in either tension or compression, minimizing bending and flexing. Although this frame was very strong, wood was used as a building material making it bulky.

The latest version of the Bandbeesten combines features of previous generations by using a minimalist aluminum design to minimize weight and a tetrahedron shape to maximize strength.

Beesten frame design 2014.png
Frame Design
  • Strong tetrahedral shape
  • Aluminum tube construction
  • Lightweight construction
  • Use a simple design that would allow for folding when not in use
  • Drums mounted to one central location
  • Add electric motors to help with maneuvering
BeestenFrame 1.JPG
Frame Prototype
  • Strong tetrahedral shape
  • lightweight
  • Wood needs extra support due to weakness when applying pressure across grains
  • Using a weak material in the prototype allows easy observation of stress concentration points

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The BandBeesten must be able to be moved in any direction on a moment’s notice to keep up with the marching band’s routine. Its wheels must allow maneuvers such as crab walking and rotation as well as straight motion. Designs considered are Omni-ball wheels, conventional casters, and Omni-wheels.

Final Beesten Omniball 2013.jpg
Omni-Ball Wheels
  • Predesigned by previous generations of the Bandbeesten
  • Allows for all-directional movement
  • Over-constrained, causing frictional loss
  • Difficult to maneuver due to friction
  • Omni-wheel guide casters cause vibration
  • Available balls have a low weight rating
  • Driving system is difficult to incorporate
[[]] Conventional Casters
  • Inexpensive
  • Readily available
  • Time-proven design for all-directional movement
  • Little in-house machining or assembly
  • Available in large sizes
  • Unstable if all casters are offset to the same side during a turn or crabwalk
  • Design causes wobble during rotation
  • Time and force is needed to start caster rotation
[[]] Omni-Wheels
  • Allows for all-directional movement
  • no swiveling involved
  • Able to maneuver in any direction instantly
  • Expensive and complex design
  • Manufactured wheels are too small, large wheels must be built
  • smaller wheels may not be big enough to clear obstacles
  • debris could become stuck in crevasses between wheels

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