[Joe] sent us an email to show off his latest build. Tank Wars is the beginning of a video game/robot hybrid. You control the tank via an iPad, telling it where to go and how to fire. You have real life targets, in this case another robot. When you hit your target, the interface is updated with game stats. Currently, this is only a step past being a wifi controlled robot. [Joe] is working on making the game part of it a little more interactive.
The tank and the target are both run by Arduinos with RN-XV WiFly modules. The tank has obstacle avoidance both forward and backward, which, from the video, seems like it might make navigating a bit challenging at times. The iPad interface is just a web page, so it could really be used on any device. This is pretty cool, we can’t wait to see how he proceeds from here.
Continue reading “Tank Wars: a video game controlling a physical bot”
[Mike Li] is showing of his stair climbing robot. It’s a bot that cruises around on a pair of tank treads, but some interesting modifications gave him the traction needed to ascend a flight of stairs without slipping backward.
The image above shows this process in great detail. You can see the unaltered treads leaving the top of the image. In the foreground, strips of rubber-backed rug add some sticking power to the otherwise smooth surface. To really stop the bot from slipping, segments of CAT5 cable have been screwed to the tread at regular intervals, holding the carpeting tightly in the process.
You can see in the video after the break the little robot has no problem with rough terrain. The design was inspired by the iRobot Packbot which has a set of treaded appendages sticking off the front end. These ensure that the vertical face of an obstacle, such as the beginnings of a staircase, can still be reached by the main set of treads.
Continue reading “Treaded robot modified for stair climbing”
This little beast is named Mechatron. Built by a father/daughter team called Beatty Robotics, the goal was to build something “retro-futuristic, tough, and industrial”. We think they definitely pulled off some of their goals here. Weighing in at nearly 50 pounds, Mechatron is still very agile, as you can see in the video below. He can fire his gun, which uses brass or plastic bullets, at a rate of nearly 1,000 rounds per minute while traveling in any direction thanks to the use of the mechanum wheels. 8 range finding sonar sensors, a laser and a turret that rotates 360 degrees will make sure you don’t elude Mechatron’s watchful eye… and shooting. While we were initially debating how they could make the Mechatron look more reto-futuristic, we all agreed that the lights in the video helped a lot. Maybe a curvy body piece could help too, depending on what era they were hoping to achieve.
Continue reading “Mechatron, industrial looking security bot”
[Dan] wrote in to share a project he recently finished up, an autonomous Airsoft tank. The toy tank makes use of a wide array of technologies to get the job done, and will stop at nothing to hunt you down (provided you are wearing an IR beacon).
An Arduino board is used to control the tank’s motors, while a Lego NXT module handles most of the other operations. The tank makes its way around using an ultrasonic sensor, which ensures it doesn’t get stuck on any errant furniture or hung up in a corner. While driving around autonomously is well and good, [Dan] upped the ante a bit by making the Airsoft turret completely autonomous as well.
He fitted a Wiimote IR sensor to the tank, successfully interfacing it with the NXT module after a bit of trial and error. Now that things are up and running, he can place his IR beacon anywhere in the room, and the tank will drive around scanning its surroundings until the target is found. Once the tank locks on, a flurry of Airsoft pellets take down whatever stands in its way.
We think that [Dan] did a fantastic job here, but see for yourself in the videos embedded after the break.
Continue reading “Autonomous tank will track you down, cover you in welts”
When you think of Memorial Day weekend, what comes to mind? Well around here, all we can think about is this tank cum boombox that Instructable user [Elian_gonzalez] put together.
This build is actually the third version of his Music Tank, and it comes with all sorts of improvements over previous models. The tank is primarily constructed out of plywood, with cavernous compartments for holding all of its goodies. In its capacious body, the tank sports a 60 Watt stereo system that powers a pair of external speakers mounted on either side of the turret. The turret itself contains an air-powered cannon built from PVC tubing, which we imagine can be used to shoot a multitude of different projectiles.
While the concept itself is pretty cool, the tank happens to be nearly self-sustaining as well. The tank has a pretty deep battery well and uses a 50w home made solar panel to help keep things topped off while in use. [Elian] does not specify a total running time, but we imagine that it can go for hours on a nice, sunny day.
Keep reading to see a long video walkthrough of the Music Tank MK3 in action. Continue reading “Music tank puts the boom in boombox”
If you ever wanted to incorporate tank treads into one of your build you should check out this guide. The method shown above is our favorite, which uses rubber fuel line hose and #10 machine bolts to hold together two lengths of hollow-pin roller chain. You can see the drive sprocket is keyed into the outer length of chain but the wheels that distribute the vehicle’s weight rest on the rubber tubing. You’ll also find details on building hinged track, molded track, plastic conveyor track, treadmill track, and bicycle chain construction. This should cut down on development time when you finally get around to making that paintball tank.
This line following tank uses analog circuitry to sense where a dark line is and adjust its course. Despite the opening paragraph on the schematic page (which looks to be leftover from a past project writeup) this circuit relies on a set of transistors for motor control. [Chris] does a great job of explaining the setup in detail; it boils down to a phototransistor detecting reflected light and flipping which motor is running based on what is detected. A couple of potentiometers are included to tune up the accuracy of the circuit. There’s a short clip of the treaded-terror making a loop around the track after the break.
This is another great way to try your hand at analog circuitry. Once you’ve built the body (tank or otherwise) and line tracking circuit it can be repurposed by swapping out the brains for your next project.
Continue reading “Line following tank without a microcontroller”