Let's Make Robots!

Robo- / Tank Battle

Hi guys,


We are developing a new “analog” robo-tank game.


The main difference is that the players shall drive a real radio-controlled tank models (12 x 15 cm) on a real arena. Tank is controlled using video stream from the camera installed on the chassis. Need your advice on how to make the competition more interesting - arena types and sizes - battle types - gaming strategy.


Here's the video from the first prototype

 Our Facebook Page


Many thanks in advance


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I think that this is an interesting and novel idea. As you state on your Facebook “We are happy to present the Drone Commanders, a new multiplayer online game”
So your goal is to enable people to drive the tanks via some sort of browser or desktop application. Then I would recommend to move away from the RC controls pretty quick and go for another form of wireless communication like Xbee.
You’ll need at least a PC acting as a server taking commands from the users and issuing them to the tank, also getting feedback from the tank and sending it back to the user.
You seem to have a good modeling experience based on the diorama pictures, but I’m concerned about the scale. One of the first things you probably should figure out is the scale of the setup. Find a lineup of different RC tanks that you think you can hack and base the buildings and the rest of the scenery to that scale. It would look silly if the tank where bigger than the houses. So I thing finding the right RC model scale is important. It is rater useless to go for the smalles tank you can find as it probably doesn’t have room for your communication, camera and transmitter.

Hi Geir

you understand it right. We are preparing a kind of online multiplayer game where players will be able to drive tank models through the arena and destroy each other.

Tanks will be controlled over video stream in Internet browser (no additional client software will be required I hope). Hits will be defined and processed on a software level. After the tank is destroyed it wll just stop on the arena.

There will be a server running the whole staff. As a communication interface we plan to use WiFi. 

We are building the models ourselves (approx. sizes 15 x 12 cm). It will not be exact reproductions of current and historical tanks but some kind of fantasy veehicles.


Thank you for the interest.

Best regards


me of that idea for LMR biped robt soccer.

Reminds me a bit of the BattleZone arcade game. You might find some inspiration in that.

reminds me to BPexplorer.com.au. it isn´t online anymore it seems.. http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/13922/BP-Explorer/ and a video http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7056011629993860149#

  really cool to play with I have to say, and the idea that you are controlling a robot on the other side of the world is just COOL. users where able to control with the arrow keys to drive. no special software needed. I remember once I was looking at the ceiling and saw some people because I flipped over the car :D everyone has a few minutes to play until the control goes to an other user. with codes hidden in the arena you could play something longer. like licence plates etc.

succes with your project. If it all will be online I really want to try yours.

BP Oil had a promotional which had a similar setup if I remember correctly (pre-oil-spill)... (ah reading Dannyv already mentioned this)

I will be curious with your solution for the streaming video, I have a solution which works - but I want more compression, currently I'm sending jpg frames..  The client I use is an Applet although I think HTML5<video> could be supported....

Best of luck !


That was me :P

Hey nice one Max. It looks very cool.

I am guessing the turrent is fixed foreward? Otherwise I guess the turrent will require a seperate video stream and contrlo, which could always be an option for future expansion.

What might also be fun is to stream the sounds of a tank engine (powerfull diesel) and tracks (clinking metal) rather than the sounds of the servo motors...

For interest, how will hits be calculated? Some form of IR?

I guess one could also include various pyrotechnics to create smoke etc when a tank is 'hit'.

Do keep us posted. This looks like a really fun project.