Tank tread robot build aims for a smooth ride

There’s all kinds of interesting things going into this tank robot build, but that beautiful suspension system immediately caught our eye. It helps to protect the body of the robot from being shaken apart when traveling over rough surfaces. Make sure to check out the four parts of the build log which are found on the left sidebar at the post linked above.

This a Master’s thesis project and has been built from common parts. The motors for the treads are pulled from a pair of cordless drills, with some capacitors added to help combat the draw when they start up. The treads themselves are each made from a pair of bicycle chains connected with numerous PVC pipe segments. The curved section of each PVC piece goes toward the chain, leaving the edges toward the ground for great traction. The tree wheels which support the middle of the tread each have a hinge and spring to absorb the shock of running full speed into concrete sidewalk corners like we see in the video after the break.

Comments

  1. Mark says:

    What an awesome project for a master’s thesis. Mine was a steaming pile of crap next to this.

  2. regiscruzbr says:

    Man, I loved the idea for the treads…

  3. barry99705 says:

    What the hell is a tree wheel?

  4. Hirudinea says:

    And made from such off the shelf parts, really nice. Suck it Rommel!

  5. Kaj says:

    Looks like a version of Christie suspension, nice.

  6. Ben says:

    Nice job! Do the treads slip at all when they are running or is the tension enough to make up for the lack of sprocket wheels? I would love to get a masters for something like this. Keep up the good work.

  7. rue_mohr says:

    aha! someone figured out a way to pull of using bike chain! good stuff!

  8. NXTreme says:

    I am pretty sure that the tread design was copied from amando96’s tutorial on LMR [http://letsmakerobots.com/node/21908]. If credit had been given in the original Masters thesis, no problem. However, the fact that there is no mention of where the idea came from originally makes me strongly suspicious. Would one of the HAD editors mind adding the link to the LMR tutorial to the post? Thanks!

  9. Matt says:

    I wish my post grad work was as interesting =). Looks cool. And if it’s plagairised, NXT just cost him his degree…

  10. SuperNurd says:

    If you go to his site http://www.robolex.com you see that it now has object recognition with a kinect, new treads, and a modified tread suspension system.

  11. MakerDino says:

    I love the tracks! Innovative!

  12. Big James says:

    Nice build.

    Any one know what was used for the leaves in the leaf sprung version?

    J

    • Hi James,
      I think I mentioned it somewhere on my website, oh well.The leaf spring suspension design used carbon steel saw blade pieces. The blades are stacked to adjust the stiffness of the suspension. I used 4 saw blade pieces for the front wheels and 3 for the rest.

  13. spiked3 says:

    ” this tank robot build, …..
    This a Master’s thesis project ”

    Can you explain why this is a robot and not a remote control vehicle. How was this used to get a masters? What college awards degrees for this kind of research? I need to get in ASAP. How much did it cost for your masters?

    • Hi,
      Indeed in the video it is just remotely controlled which is not that cool. However this is a very old version and even at its final version, the robot took around 10-15% of the whole project. What’s not mentioned in this article are the rest of the parts of the project that deal with the autonomy, mapping, object recognition and path planning. Check the link in the article if interested. Have a nice day!

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