FPV-Rover 2.0 Has 3D Printed Treads and Plenty of Zip

[Markus_p] has already finished one really successful 3D printed tracked robot build. Now he’s finished a second one using standard motors and incorporating what he learned from the first. The results are pretty impressive and you can see a video demo of the beast, below.

Most of the robot is PLA, although there are some parts that use PETG and flex plastic. There is an infrared-capable camera up front and another regular camera on the rear. All the electronics are pretty much off the shelf modules like an FPV transmitter and an electronic controller for the motors. There’s a servo to tilt the camera, as you can see in the second video.

The body fits together using nuts and magnets. The robot in the video takes a good beating and doesn’t seem to fall apart so it must be sufficient. What appealed to us was the size of the thing. It looks like it would be trivially easy to mount some processing power inside or on top of the rover and it could make a great motion base for a more sophisticated robot.

We’ve seen some similar projects, of course. This tracked robot uses mind control. And OpenWheel is a great place to get treads and other locomotion designs.

Looking for a tracked rover you can drive around on the desktop? [Markus_p] has one of those too!

11 thoughts on “FPV-Rover 2.0 Has 3D Printed Treads and Plenty of Zip

    1. As mentioned by [thankrules] and [Barry Woods], traction is depends highly on the surface. What doesn’t depend on the surface type, however, is high-centering resistance. If you have a multi-wheeled vehicle compared to a tracked vehicle (note that I assume the track is appropriately-tensioned, as is standard), the tracked vehicle will be notably more resistant to being high-centered because there is no (or a greatly-reduced) “niche” for a pointed surface to slip into.

      Additionally, recovery from such a situation for a tracked vehicle is much easier, since the “tire” conforms to the high point at all times and always maintains a tread lug on or about to brush over the high point. Tires, however, have a small gap in the middle and any high point which gets into that gap ends up positioned where geometry starts causing problems – just like a conventional 4WD vehicle which has “dug in” because the operator tries to get out of a stuck spot by applying too much throttle.

      In summary: Tanks and snowmobiles use tracks for a reason. They are specialist scenarios, but that’s the kind of motivation you need to deal with the complexity and maintenance of tracked systems. Everything’s a tradeoff!

  1. Yes, I think it will tend to gather dust, but it is pretty neat build anyway. Well done.
    I purchased one similar to this so I could run it under our solar panels to check for a loose or hot connection. Unfortunately, I did not measure the gap between the panels and the roof. Oops! My robot tank is to high to fit.
    So after a bit of playing, dust gathering is the current state.

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