Tank Boots Are A Dangerous Way To Get Around Town

Rollerskates are all well and good, but they’re even more fun when they’re powered. Then again, why stick with wheels, when you can have the off-road benefits of tracked propulsion? That’s precisely what [Joel] was thinking when he built this impressive set of Tank Boots.

The build uses a set of tracks from a tracked snowblower, sourced for $50. The tracks are a simple design sans suspension, consisting of a pair of plastic wheels inside the tracks and run via a chain drive. Each snowblower track was given a metal frame with a ski boot and a motor, gearbox, and controller straight out of a power drill. Power was courtesy of a lithium-polymer battery pack.

Riding the boots isn’t easy, with falls and tumbles rather common. Regardless, they get around great offroad in a way that regular rollerblades never could. Bolted together, they make a great tank chair, too. We’ve actually looked at the benefits of tracks versus wheels before, too. Video after the break.

12 thoughts on “Tank Boots Are A Dangerous Way To Get Around Town

  1. It pays to look around before “inventing” something with silly proportions. Tracked grass skis have been around for many years as a commercial product and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone fitted motors on them in the past century.

  2. Here’s a note for people making costumes using drywall stilts, or oversize boots where the operator is significantly above the normal floor level:

    Give the operator a controller in the manner of a tonfa, with the front end extending out further than the fist and the back end extending out further than the operator’s elbow. Make it robust, out of 2×3’s or whatever.

    If the operator begins to fall over backwards, he can pull his elbows back and hit the floor using the ends of the tonfas, and mostly catch himself without hitting the floor hard. If he falls forwards, he can extend the fists forward and catch himself in a similar manner.

    Did this myself for a 10 foot robot costume build, operator inside had tonfa-shaped grips inside the robot arms, and the costume actually fouled the feet and fell full forward onstage at a competition… with a loud boom. Operator (not me) was perfectly safe, he was able to catch himself using the tonfa grips without issue.

    (The stage had a riser at the entrance with a mismatched edge to the stage, the robot got its foot caught on the riser while going on stage, the operator pulled it loose tearing the foot mechanism apart (which no one noticed at the time, including me who was right there), operator got 3 more steps and the torn foot got tangled in the other foot and down he went.)

  3. I see the following big problems:
    1. contact area with the soil is very small. Adding a high center of mass, means that keeping it over the contact area is a pain in the butt, that translates in pain in the contact area with the soil of the rider when it contacts the soil. The ski tracks are a good example.
    2. the contact points are the 4 wheels, the track is not sustained by rollers, so you got very high contact pressure from putting a lot of mass on it. This translates to lack of speed and crossing obstacles.
    3. while the ski boots keep your ankle in one piece, it prevents you to bend forwards at the ankles, next available articulation is the waist, so for going uphill you need to go backwards as the knees are lower and its easier to control as lower the bending point it is.
    4. lack of power. We see 4 power drills but he is using only 2 motors.
    5. adding heavy and/or large boots to our legs its a shortcut cu ER.

    Skipping to the end, you should keep the blower tracks intact and fix its engine, add a chair and leg support, remove the blower bits and enjoy.

    Otherwise is a nice project.

  4. HaD project articles range from, at one end: links to projects that are super cool, solving a problem or doing something genuinely new and fun, and done by “regular” people …
    but more often are just sponsored clickbait garbage. Not complaining per se, I read daily, enjoy, and pay $0 for the privilege.
    But sometimes, just sometimes, it is so over the top it circles back around.
    This is one of those times. Someone said “I want tank boots” then did it. No way I’ll click a youtube link 99% of the time, including this, but I do love that someone, somewhere, somehow (sponsored videos?), made tank-track rollerblades. Thank you, HaD.

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