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


by donboy, published

Autonomous-Webserved-Tanktrack-Robot by donboy Dec 17, 2014


Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

61821Views 12045Downloads Found in Robotics


Start a new project merging several skills in one task. This is my tank track robot controlled by a Raspberry Pi using a webservice. You can control the robot over dynamic website with webcam view. The RSPI also provides RPI-Wireless-Hotspot, so it is possible to connect directly with your smartphone.
An Arduino-Micro communicates to the RSPI over I2C and controls 8 servos. Also a battery state monitor is implemented. I decide to use standard AA Accus for powering with 2 rows a 5x 1,2 volt. A step-up/ step-down switching voltage regulator guaranteed 5 volt supply despite low battery.
See latest video on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2brukbh378

03/12/18: Due to frequent questions: the servo is a MODELCRAFT BMS-410C. You can buy this in Europe at Conrad (https://www.conrad.de/de/modelcraft-standard-servo-bms-410c-analog-servo-getriebe-material-kunststoff-stecksystem-jr-404753.html). The servo is therefore interesting, because he has a receptacle for the axle in the rear housing insinde !

01/04/16: After a long break, I return to the project again. The Raspberry Pi 3B has now integrated Bluetooth and FiFi which means it has more performance and i can remove the "Ampere-eating" WiFi-Stick. Also checking the use of adressable digital servos or selfmade Digital2PWM-Adaptor for serial (BUS) connection. My intention is reducing the amount of cable to the arm.

07/07/15: Project goes on. Currently, the main problem is the power, respectively the duration of the battery power supply. 1 camera, 8 servos, 2 controller, web service, and Wi-Fi hotspot consume a total of 2.5 amperes. Maybe I wanted to solve too much at once :-((
My aim is: Remote-controlled robot with camera. Looking for an alternative video transmission system without web service

02/26/15: Add Tank-Track for 1.75mm Filament rod.

02/05/15: Software implemented. RSP used as WLAN Hotspot with Webserver -> communicates to Arduino over serial - Arduino over I2C to PCA9685. RSPI won't work in Multislave I2C Mode :-((

01/21/15: Fault in the electrical circuit improved. MOSFET got too little voltage on UGS -> reduced resistance

01/20/15: Build new Battery-Pack for more current available. Using 16 x AA á 6V (4 x 4 pack)

01/19/15: Implements PCA9685. Works fine! First trial without RSP for verfication of trigonometric calculation on Arduino.

01/08/15: First trial completed. Built a experimental arrangement with a old joystick and a second Arduino-Micro which simulates the RSPI-I2C communication (see image). ARGHH! Huge twitching of the servos because Arduino is overloaded with I2C and 8 servos! Special servo driver ordered (Adafruits-PCA9685) to save Arduino-Performance.

01/06/15: Add layout extension board preview. Not checked if all works - release of eagle file after validation by function.

12/28/14: Laser pointer moved to the middle of the gripper - now i can point to the thing i want to grip exactly.
-Change cam to a RSPI-Wide-Angle Cam. In fact this camera is much lighter than the first one!
-Change arm wiring! Because of problems with bending and buckling the wires between the servos i decide to route them on the side which made it necessary to implement the cam to the other side. So add 2 additional cable guides. (see new images)

12/21/14: The chassis is wide enough now.It is not necessary to desolder the cinch video connector.

This is a work-in-progress project and wil bee updated regularly ;-)

More from Robotics

view more

File Name



All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Hi, I'm having trouble printing the track, any tips?

hi i printed this in full a few months ago buthad to cease the build. can you please upload instructions to put the arm and grabber together. i may just be dumb or something but i cant figure it out or if youll email or message me a how to id really love to complete this build [email protected]

Where did you get your servos?

What parts do I need and how much money is it

Does anyone have the code for this? I can handle the wiring and I'm altering the frame slightly so i don't have ton of issue there but I have no clue where to begin with the wireless interface or setting up the web serve for my camera. this is kind of my first real work with rpi3

how much does it cost

Simple et Pratique, excellent comme design. Je vais utiliser ez-robot comme base et ordi, mais je vais ajouter votre Bras robotisé il est le meilleur que j'ai vu a date. Si vous le permettez.

Check out the complete firmware and software I developed for this robot, and any other rc controlled robot, with simple inverse kinematic.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsq6k2zKWDI

buenas tardes deseo saber si este robot tiene planos en explosivo, es para una tarea por favor es urgente! y pues deidimos escoger su proyecto por que inspira buenas ieas

Very excited to watch this project develop!

Hello, I'm developing a project that uses your robot as a base, but I plan to still make many physical modifications. So, could you please put the pieces in an editable format? Or some form of conversion to an editable format? Or the measures? Anything like that would help! Thanks :)

Hello there is a tutorial for the wiring? What servos? What about the code? How do they control him? A guide for everything would be good

You inspired me to develop new treads for a Mars Rover project that uses a combination of Tectrix Parts and a track pattern based off of your track system. Thank you for sharing your design.I would like to share a picture but not sure how to yet.

You inspired me to develop new treads for a Mars Rover project that uses a combination of Tectrix Parts and a track pattern based off of your track system. Thank you for sharing your design.I would like to share a picture but not sure how to yet.

You inspired me to develop new treads for a Mars Rover project that uses a combination of Tectrix Parts and a track pattern based off of your track system. Thank you for sharing your design.I would like to share a picture but not sure how to yet.

You inspired me to develop new treads for a Mars Rover project that uses a combination of Tectrix Parts and a track pattern based off of your track system. Thank you for sharing your design.I would like to share a picture but not sure how to yet.

You inspired me to develop new treads for a Mars Rover project that uses a combination of Tectrix Parts and a track pattern based off of your track system. Thank you for sharing your design.I would like to share a picture but not sure how to yet.

Why not use lipo batteries. That will solve Ur current issue

Agree completely flipped to the comments to say this as I use lipos on quadcopters and a radio controlled skateboard since both are pretty power hungry (especially the skateboard). With 2 5S 5000mAh batteries though can ride the skateboard for over an hour before it needs a recharge and imagine not hauling a meat bag around that much power would easily run this thing for a long time (not that you'd need the voltage but just means the packs can be parallel or just 1 pack or higher mAh lower voltage packs).

Cool.. I've got a controller that I'll use .. an arduino yun + motor controller. I'll take a look at the printable parts today.

hi i want to make this robot. But you don't give all documents. for example servo, controller etc. who can give me all documents? Thanks

Yes i totally agree why is the source code not provided ?

How wide do the grippers open up to?

Hi, I've not measured that until now. Round about 50 mm

Hi, What software did you use to design? Thanks!

Hi, I use different software: QCAD, Blender, Heeks, Creo Elements.

Hello i am building this project is there any chance to get your I2c code and other code
[email protected]

Hello I am new to printing so which parameter you recommend for a quality piece and the base part does not stick to hard to piece.

Hi, it´s awsome, i have a question, What voltage source you use? tenx

Hi Dario,
at the moment I'm using 16 x 1,5V AA batteries connected to 6 volt (4 x 4) like you see on the last image. I know! This is not perfect, but i didn't solve the problem of too many current consumers. So it works till now.

Any chance you remember where you got the fisheye lens? Having a hard time finding the 1/3" variety.

Look at vision-dimension: http://www.vd-shop.de/fisheye-und-weitwinkel-m12-miniobjektive-c-193_201_257.html
These guys have a lot of M12 lenses. I bought these fish eye lens years before to build my own 50" Multitouch-Round-Table.

Instead of scaling it bigger, maybe give it a bucket over the tracks that can hold a bigger battery - or incorporate the battery with a bucket so the rover can pickup items and carry them around. Love the project, definitely going to implement your arm/cam design.

Hi Wreck,
thx for your comment. I had this idea already. on the next update i do, I will definitely implement something like that ;-) But first i have to solve the problem, that the arm could not turn 180° caused by servo rotation limitation.

I'm using this guy for the base rotation: http://www.adafruit.com/products/154 but you can always hack any servo to be continuous - pull an extra wire off the potentiometer (middle pin) to get position feedback. I had to basically start the design over since my servos don't fit yours, but i'll call it a remix anyway since it will look very similar.

Yes, i used servos like you describe for both track drives. But if i use this for the arm, i will lose exact positioning and so the cam comes indispensable and additionally I lose the possibility to move to the loading area/bucket by pressing a button. Another solution, using a stepper drive seams to be the better choice

Did you put bearing on rear wheels ?
And, did you glue or screw the 'turnTable' ?

no, i didn´t. It was not necessary because there are no quick rotations or loads. But what i'm still missing is the possibility to adjust the tension of the track. I will fix this with the next updates...but probably not before winter

You think you can make a PDF for instructions like you'd see in a Lego play set to know how to put this thing together? Thanks!

Nice idea! After I'm not completely satisfied, not before the project is completed

Is there anyway you can make the model bigger?

What should be bigger? Do you mean the back side area (electronics-platform) or wheels. The arm was constructed in consideration of the maximal force to the servos. A bigger arm needs another servos.

Like scale the entire model bigger?

I am building a similar project and would love to see your code for Arduino.
Thank you.

Hi, which servo did you use for the gripper ? what size of screw did you use for the gripper ?. And how did you attach the servo there ? I printed all parts of the gripper and I don't understand how the servo can be screwed there. The hole in the 'gripper drive' is way too small to accommodate a servo and there is no holes for screw the servo horn. Also, there is only one hole in the 'gripper base' to screw the servo case itself.

Comments deleted.

Do you know you can control servos directly from rasperry pi ? Check this link: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruits-raspberry-pi-lesson-8-using-a-servo-motor/overview

EDIT: I just saw that rasperry has only one hardware PWM pin. Software pwm could works but... it jitter. So, an arduino can does the job !

Thanks for your note. Of course, i know that. But I've intentionally use an additional controller because there are some trigonometric calculations needed for the 4 main servos. -> I use x,y and z coordinates and they are calculated into angle of rotation for the servos. On the other hand the RPI performs Web-, Cam- and Hotspot-Service...It was a question of performance to outsource 8 PWM-Signal control

Cool, it's a good idea.
Can I get the firmware / sources somewhere ? Because without code, your awesome robot cannot moves... And your inverse kinematic code (for positioning arm with x,y,z position) sound interesting.

Hello, your robot is an awesome project !
What are the black squares on the tracks ? And on the grips ? I don't think it's printed parts.

The black pads on the track is a self-adhesive foam rubber as used for window seals. These rubber pads increase the grip enormously

Have you got to the instructions as of yet? This is a fantastic project, I am salivating at the prospect of making it....only reservation a lack of confidence without instruction!

Wow, this is the product of true dedication and hard work. Keep building and 3d printing.

Great work, love it...
Have a few questians:
Whats the servo you have with the tap at the bottom side? or is it something you glue to your servos?
Can you upload a picture how that is done?

Hi, these are Modecraft MC-410 Servos..the cheap one. I built another cover with a mounting hole for the tap, but after disassembling the servo, i saw that the cover was already prepared to accommodate a M3 nut inside. Only what i had to do is to drill a hole in the cover...READY ;-)))) Sry have no pics, maybe I'll do that yet.

Thanks, then I know how you solved that.

What servos did you use in your chasis? I would like to make sure that I get the same ones so that they will fit. Also, what did you put on the tank treads, looks like it is some type of material to grip the floor with. Thank you for the help. This is really good. Hope to get this printed out this week.

Hi, chassis-servos are Modelcraft RS-2. These are older one I had hacked them a long time ago. But actually should fit any conventional servo.(add new pics) The black pads on the track is a self-adhesive foam rubber as used for window seals. And yes! These rubber pads increase the grip enormously ;-)

Do you have the dimensions of the chasis? The 3d printer I have cannot make things that are too big