Gutted Hoverboard Becomes Formidable Track-Drive Robot

When “hoverboards” first came out, you may have been as disappointed as we were that they did not even remotely fulfill the promises of Back to the Future II. Nothing more than a fancified skateboard, hoverboards are not exactly groundbreaking technology. That doesn’t mean they’re not useful platforms for hacking, though, as this hoverboard to track-propelled robot tank conversion proves.

Most of the BOM for this build came from the junk bin – aluminum extrusions, brackets, and even parts cannibalized from a 3D-printer. But as [pasoftdev] points out, the new-in-box hoverboard was the real treasure trove of components. The motors, the control and driver electronics, and the big, beefy battery were all harvested and mounted to the frame. To turn the wheels into tracks, [pasoftdev] printed some sprockets to fit around the original tires. The tracks were printed in sections and screwed to the wheels. Idlers were printed in sections too, using central hubs and a clever method for connecting everything together into a sturdy wheel. Printed tank tread links finished the rolling gear eventually; each of the 34 pieces took almost five hours to print. The dedication paid off, though, as the 15-kg tank is pretty powerful; the brief video below shows it towing an office chair around without any problems.

We noticed that [pasoftdev] found the assembly of the tread links a bit problematic. These 3D-printed links that are joined by Airsoft BBs might make things a little easier next time.

6 thoughts on “Gutted Hoverboard Becomes Formidable Track-Drive Robot

  1. “the brief video below shows it towing an office chair around without any problems”

    According to the linked blog post “it can easily tow a chair with a seated person using only around 25% of the power (and to be a bit more specific, around 25% of the power is needed for overcoming the static friction, after that a 20% is enough to keep it going!”

    1. hi there!
      yep, I tested it with both people and extra weight, we went up to 100Kg in the seat and it was still able to tow it easily! crazy. A proper video with more testing is coming as soon as I can take the little tank with me in a garden

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