Let's Make Robots!

Taphill Tank

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processing_code.txt2.27 KB
processing_error_output.txt23.51 KB

Hey all

This is my first robot and its taken me quite a lot of research but google is my friend as i've never done anything like this before.

Inspired by many of the robots built on here i've been wanting to create something that can be controlled via smart phone but also feedback information to the user, saw casca's laser cut chassis and thought yes! thats what i want :)

So i set out designing myself a chassis which would hold a Tamiya Double gearbox and track and wheel set, spent quite a few hours in front of graph paper and illustrator putting together something that would hold my bits but give me enough room to drill any extra holes i might need for adding additional toys. Sent my designs off to Razor Lab who did an excellent job of cutting out the pieces however i'd overlooked a couple of areas but nothing a junior hacksaw wouldn't sort out (i've a couple of rejects which will be going on the bay).


Im going to be running an Arduino 328 just because i bought one and have been messing with it so the next thing i need to buy is the motor driver so i can get this baby moving.

I was initially trying to do this on the cheap but as i get more and more into it i can't help but chuck more cash at it.

But i'm hoping that once i know more about it i'll be able to share my knowledge with everyone else. I'll be making my chassis designs available once i've ironed out a few glitches.

(These are the first pictures i've taken on my iPhone 4, pretty good quality eh!)

My ardumoto arrived the other day so i got the trusty iron out today and soldered up some headers.

Wired up the motors to do a test only to realise that 5v isn't going to power them and neither is a 9v clip on so 6AA's down the VIN pin it is until i can afford some liPoly batteries.

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It looks like a great build but some of your pictures are missing?
In stead of linking them up with an URL like this https://www.me.com/ro/dshooter/Galleries/100073/Cut%20away/web.jpg?ver=12788860600001 , just upload them to LMR.

You can probably see them fine, but all the rest of us can't.


Thanks, hopefully you should be able to see them now. I'll post more as i progress.

I plan on controlling this with WiFi using the touchOSC app for testing and eventually writing my own bespoke app. My question is though with Wifi i will require a PC to run processing and act as a middle man, is there any way to achieve this without having something running on an additional computer ?

i.e smartphone to tank

Would bluetooth require a similar setup or could you just pair the two devices?

I guess my bespoke app would have to do the job of 'processing'

If you have two devices that can communicate, why would you need a pc in the middle?

smartphone/Bluetooth should work for bot control. should be able to pair the devices and open a com channel. I'm starting to work on something similar.



I'm selling my other chassis cut-outs on ebay, they're not perfect but with a cut here and there should work out ok :)


Looks really neat and clean! Keep up nice work! I start loving laser-cut chassis parts. 

If its Android or WinMo it'll work, I think Apple locks down its Bluetooth pretty good though. You can get Wifi serial modules i think, theyre pretty expensive though.

Well been a bit of time since my last update. I've redesigned my chassis which now fits everything perfectly and also can be used with Tamiya's double or twin gearbox (pm me for schematics)

I've added bluetooth as a way of communicating, it a was cheap alternative to the Xbees. I've got it installed, paired and but falls on the last hurdle, when i run my processing code it seems to connect ok but it seems as soon as it recieves a signal from the computer it then fails. 

I dig the lazer cut chassis, made using Adobe Illustrator eh?  machine needs a vector file I suppose.

I wonder why your Bluetooth fails using the computer (a terminal program?)  Have you checked your soldering joints for continuity?  I noticed the solder joints on the motor driver aren't very well bonded to the the board.  I make sure to heat up the pad and pin for a couple of seconds so that everything heats up before applying solder.  A flux pen can also make a big difference.

It sounds like you are using an Iphone, is that correct?  I've had success with a nokia smartphone to control a robot via bluetooth and accelerometers, which used a Python script.  Keep up the good work it looks awesome.


Thanks for the comments

I've had it running on the wire so i know it works, however I'll give the joints another visit with a soldering iron. I wondered if it was due to lack of power although i'm using 7.2v (6xAA eneloop).