Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Wifi Camera Tank, Only Bigger

by shmorgan, published

Wifi Camera Tank, Only Bigger by shmorgan Dec 31, 2012

Featured Thing!


Tank Platform to move around a Web Based WiFi Camera

Scaled up version of the original, Now with Gear Reduction, greater ground clearance, spring loaded tension on treads and bearings.

All Files.zip contains all the STL files, the SCAD files, The Arduino Tank Code and EasyN Web Code.

(Also added Speed Control to Web page and Arduino Code), Need some help getting the web pages to work correctly with IE. Anyone?

I have added a basic connection diagram and a few pictures of the internal connections of the EasyN Camera.

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I just uploaded the code from my old archives.
I tried to email you the code, but it bounced back, Guess it was too large. I have uploaded the code to this thing, Good Luck.

The Arduino code is there but not the compiled WebUI file to be uploaded to the camera.

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Wifi Camera Tank, Only Bigger by shmorgan is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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This is a scaled up version of the original Stepper Driven Tank Camera.

You'll need:

Printed tank

  • 2 Sets of 32 Tank Tread Segments

  • 8 Outer Hubs

  • 2 Rear Hub Filler Bearing Sleeve, For Read Hubs only, so you can place bearing in Gear A instead)

  • 2 Gear A

  • 2 Filler A Bearing Sleeves

  • 2 Gear BC

  • 2 Gear D

  • 2 Gear BC Bearing Cover

  • 2 Gear BC Bearing Spacer (You can use the bearing Sleeve if you do not want to purchase the BC Bearings)

  • 2 Main Beams

  • 2 Front Mounts

  • 2 Stepper Motor Mounts (One Left and One Right)

  • 1 Arduino Holder

  • 1 Camera Holder


  • 2 stepper motors, nema17 (Kysan 1124090 - ultimachine.com - SKU UMN17MTR)

  • 1 Foscam-knockoff wifi camera (Easyn FS 613A M136, Tomtop, etcetera)

  • 1 Arduino Uno (www.adafruit.com/products/50)

  • 1 Arduino Proto Shield (www.adafruit.com/products/51)

  • 2 Pololu stepper drivers A4988 Black Edition (www.pololu.com/catalog/product/2128)

  • Battery, 3S 2200mAh recommended (Hobbyking)

  • 5 Amp (Minimum) 5V regulator (do not run camera off arduino's vreg)

  • FTDI Serial Breakout Cable(https://www.adafruit.com/products/284) - Recommended for testing the serial port on the Camera and getting console access to camera)


  • 2 M8 265mm Long Threaded Rods (McMaster Carr 90024A080 1-meter Long should supply all 4 pieces needed)

  • 2 M8 185mm Long Threaded Rods

  • 12 M8 Acorn Lock Nuts (McMaster Carr 93625A300)

  • 8 washers (15mm X 8.45mm X 1.5mm) (McMaster Carr 93475A270)

  • 4 washers (19mm X 8.75mm X 1.1mm) (McMaster Carr 90107A030)

  • 8 M3 X 10 - Stepper Motor Mount (McMaster Carr 91292A113)

  • 8 M3 X 30 - Rear Outer Hubs and Gear A (McMaster Carr 91292A022)

  • 8 M3 X 20 - Front Outer Hubs (McMaster Carr 91292A123)

  • 4 M4 X 20 - Stepper Mount to Beam (Nuts optional but recommended) (McMaster Carr 91292A121)

  • 4 M4 X 20 - Front Mount to Beam (Nuts optional but recommended) (McMaster Carr 91292A121)

  • 2 M3 X 10 - Gear BC Bearing Cover (McMaster Carr 91292A113)

  • 128 M3 X 20 - Tread Segments (McMaster Carr 91292A123)

  • 8 22 X 7 X 8 Sealed Bearings (Outer Hub and Gear A) (www.vxb.com/page/bearings/PROD/Kit7925)

  • 4 12 X 3.5 X 8 Sealed Bearings (Gear BC) (www.vxb.com/page/bearings/PROD/kit727)

  • 2 Springs (23.5mm Long, 11mm Dia, 1.2mm wire Dia) (Home Depot Packet of Springs!!)


  • 8 Zip Ties

  • Jumper Wires for connections

  • Heat sink for 5V Regulator

File Name



Any chance you could upload the WebUI to the thing files? It is not in the All_Files_1.0.zip file. Much appreciated! On my last steps to completing this baby.

I tried to email you the code, but it bounced back, Guess it was too large. I have uploaded the code to this thing, Good Luck.

is necessary to modify the camera to get the seria signal on the port or i just can programme the arduino only

You have to solder 3 wires onto the UART (serial interface) of the motherboard in the camera. There will be 4 little connectors marked J2 if i remember correctly. Actually quite easy in retrospect. Google to find out which pin numbers equates to com/tx/rx. Then use an FTDI / USB cable and a terminal program and you can watch the camera boot up. I bought the F19821W V2 Foscam and the firmware is totally different than what shmorgan used. I was able to fully decompress the firmware and mount it in Linux to modify the HTML pages with tank commands. I wrapped everything back up and tried uploading my new modified formware to the Foscam but am hitting a snag. It says that my upload was successful but the changes I made do not appear. If anyone else has gotten past this stumbling block let me know. Otherwise I might just use Raspberry Pi and a webserver to finish this off. Thanks! [email protected]

These cameras change so fast and the firmware seems to be updated very often. It would be hard if not impossible to keep up with the latest versions of the camera. One option is to use the camera as is, and use a wifi enabled Uno or Spark Core for the controller. I personally was thinking about the Spark Core and may revisit this once their new Photon comes out in Feb. Right now the network stack for the CC3300 is very poor, major issues with Multicast/Unicast. I am hoping that the new Broadcom Chip works better.

Hallo shmorgan,

very nice project, but i'm missing the 'custom web code' for the camera and the browser, thank you

I just uploaded the code from my old archives.

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<p>The code should be in the zip file.</p>

The Arduino code is there but not the compiled WebUI file to be uploaded to the camera.

<p>What code do you use for this robot? I am trying to use the L293D chips to drive the stepper motors but they seem to not be able to run two motors at once. I ordered the A4988 chip and can not figure out how to use it. Can you possibly post the code.</p>

<p>where is the file for the treads? can't find it</p>

<p>What software do i need for the Arduino. real newbi to this stuff..</p>

<p>I can't find the web code you mentioned in the info. Can you also post some info or how to go about hacking the camera code. Like what tools and what techniques you used to access the camera code and reload it.</p>

<p>May we see video of this thing in action? Looks great!</p>

<p>I uploaded a short video of my make. (The red and white one)</p>

<p>Where is the wiring schematic? I don't see it with the rest of the pictures. Also, does the 5 volt regulator need to be 5 amps or 5 watts? Could you give the type that you used?</p>

<p>Please see the Schematic.pdf file in the downloads. I just used a generic 5 AMP 5 volt regulator. It does get HOT, beware, the camera pulls a great deal of current.</p>

<p>Looks like a great platform shmorgan ! If your interested there is a great open source Robotics platform which has OpenCV service with a foscam input and many other cool services (voice recognition, distributed control, arduino service, motor control, etc)</p>


<p>Best yet! This website rules, and the people who contribute are awesome! Can't wait to know enough to contribute myself.<br>http://whatisacnc.com&lt;/p&gt;

<p>I printed this and after putting the threads together, they do NOT fit properly on the outer hubs. The treads are too small to fit 180 degrees around the hub. In fact, I can only get 3-4 teeth to engage nicely before it's visibly off. </p>

<p>Everything looks good and all my parts appear to be generally dimensionally accurate. Each individual tread piece is generally +- a few thousandths of an inch from what I'd expect. The outer hubs are +- 2 hundredths of an inch in diameter from the expected 2.5". The inaccuracy in my measuring could easily account for much of that. I believe my printer is pretty accurate. I print motor mounts and gears without trouble all the time. </p>

<p>I'm going to try and modify the outer hubs next but overall this is pretty disappointing as I already spent a fair bit buying all the nuts and bolts only to find that it's clearly not going to work as it is.</p>

<p>I assume it is too tight, if so, this would be correct, as the will losen up after they get broken in. One thing you can try is running a drill bit throught through the inner hole, this will both losen up the tread and make it move easier. I too had to do a bit of playing to get it to fix perfectly.</p>

<p>How do you made the conections between arduino and camera and how pass commands to camera->arduino?</p>

<p>It is basically a hack to connect the internal (normally not exposed) serial console port of the<br>microcontroller inside the camera to the Arduino serial port on pin 0 and 1. I<br>include pictures of how I connected and exposed the serial port, and detail the<br>connections in the schematic diagram. The other required piece is hacked WebUI<br>code, to add an additional file (tank.htm) to the available web pages in the<br>camera. This code captures the keystrokes and sends special commands via the<br>serial port to the Arduino. These commands have to be structured in such a way<br>as to not be duplicated by the console messages also coming from this port. That<br>is why they are structured like {arfh} for halt, {arff} for forward, etc. I did<br>change the structure of these commands from the original code posed by tjhowse,<br>as some of the commands were only one bit off, and I had issues with false<br>forward commands being received by the arduino. I also updated the code on the<br>Arduio to use interrupts to drive the stepper motor speed, rather than using<br>the PWM.</p>

<p>I've got my camera, arduino & stepper motors coming through amazon. I'll probably wing it on the rest of the parts, but McMaster will probably get an order. I'm close enough to them that regular orders arrive overnight usually. :-)</p>

<p>BTW. The stepper motors appear to be cheaper from UltiMachine. And they give you a ton of lead wire, 750mm.</p>

<p>Great to hear, can't wait till you get it posted!! Let me know if you have any questions or ideas for changes.</p>

<p>Will do. I'm new to arduino and 3D printing but not mechanics and electronics. I only recently got my mendel/prussa printing nice enough that its output is as nice as its own parts. Small steps, but this looks like a worthwhile project and a lot of fun especially when I want to know what the dog is doing. :-)</p>

<p>Very nice! A much more reproducable design.</p>

<p>Hi, very nice.</p>

<p>More information about the wiring would be nice.</p>

<p>You Got it!!!</p>

<p>Perfect :)<br>Thank you</p>

<p>That is so darn neat!! Love it, well done, and a huge thank you for sharing! ;)</p>

<p>very cool work.. :) well done..:)</p>

<p>Like your airplane work too!!</p>