Let's Make Robots!

Tank tracks. Sources? Theory?

Hello all.

 

I am looking at tank tracks at the moment, and I want to ask two types of questions.

Firstly - theory

I am looking for a rescource which explains stuff like the theory behind tank tracks. What does good and bad design like? For model robots, does it make sense to use bogie systems etc. I'm guessing there is a lot of stuff on the net, but no idea what to put into google to get the results back that I am looking for. 

Can anyone throw up any useful links?

Second - Sources.

I read Servo magazine each month, and there are a lot of tank track bots being shown each month - but I don't see anyone selling anything but the small kits. For the medium and large sized bots, I don't see anything to buy. 

Again - can anyone point me at some links?

 

Thanks

 

Steve

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the popular orange tank treads seen on smaller robots are made by Tamiya available through many places like Amazon or Ebay.   VEX also makes a good looking green set, but are more expensive.

Somebody on the  LMR site suggested a two sided timing belt from a car/truck.  I don't know the cost, but I liked the ideal.

that sounds like a good item to get at an auto salvage yard.   as is other items such as DC motors from automatic door windows, adjustable seats, etc.

http://letsmakerobots.com/node/25586

I recommend the RC tank article link at the bottom.

I don't have any links for you, but check out frenchguy's post on his RC tracked vehicle. Read the comments, as there was lots of discussion and lessons learned as he built it. Hardmouse also built a very nice tracked lawn mower. Mot is working on his MoTank, which may be helpful for you to review.

Too long a wheelbase (front to back distance) makes it hard to turn. You can raise the drive wheels above the road wheels for improved turning. You'll notice that most tanks use this technique.

There are many remote controlled robots being used by military and police organizations for bomb disposal. I've seen clever designs with four "normal" inflatable tires around which is wrapped a set of tracks. The advantage is that if the track is thrown or destroyed, you still have a viable vehicle.

Unfortunately there really arent any large tank track "kits". You have to make them yourself. Heres a great site that has lots of information about making your own tank tracks:

http://www.rctankcombat.com/articles/track-systems/

I bought 4.5" steel conveyor belt material off ebay and added bolts to it to create my own tread. It's very strong and customizable.