'Little Tank' Robot Arduino/Picaxe/Tamiya Platform


Introduction: 'Little Tank' Robot Arduino/Picaxe/Tamiya Platform

About: part time robot designer :-)

Neat little laser cut tank design, a companion to this instructable. Made in response to the poorly made offerings on the market, and a general need for a ready to go, easily adaptable tracked platform. Uses a Tamiya 70097 motor/gearbox combo and a Tamiya 70100 track and wheel mechanical kit.

Easily adaptable to a wide range of battery, sensing and microcontoler combinations. Use A standard or micro servo (adapter plate included in cut file), standard servo recommended. Parallax Ping mounted on the ranging mast; SRF05, 05 or multiple IR ranging solutions will fit as is.

Deck height is adjustable to accommodate just about battery arrangement, including lipo (with a regulator).

Cut files provided in CDR and DXP format, or get www.ponoko.com to cut them for you if you'd prefer not to cut your own.

Cut files are sized for 4mm acrylic material - if you use a different material thickness, be sure to resize the file for a good fit. Easily adaptable for CNC , just create an offset and machine away.

Step 1: Cut Your Parts!

Settings for a Epilog helix - Bottom up engraving, 300DPI; raster = 57 speed, 100 power; vector = 8 or 9 speed, 100 power, 5000 freq.

Step 2: Wiring Diagram

Step 3: Assemble Your Tools and Components

As always, don't cut your fingers off or stick a hot soldering iron in your nose...

You'll need:

qty 1 laser cut parts from you, ponoko or something similar
qty 1 microcontroler of your choice (picaxe used in this instructable)
qty 1 pParallax ping, SRF04, SRF05 or IR range finder (ping used in this instructable)
qty 1 Tamiya 70097 motor/gearbox combo
qty 1 Tamiya 70100 Track and wheel mechanical set
qty 1 standard or micro servo (standard recommended)
qty 3 servo extenders (male to male) or roll your own with wires and female headers
qty 4 .5" screws and nuts size 4-40 (hardware store)
qty 16 .75 screws and nuts size 4-40 (hardware store)

multimeter and soldering iron if you make your own wires

Step 4: Assemble the Ranging Mast

You'll need the 2 components of the ranging mast, 2 spacers, 2 .5 4-40 screws and nuts, 1 .75 4-40 screw and nut.

Step 5: Top Deck / Electronics Deck

You'll need 2 .75 4-40 screws + nuts for the top deck and 2 .75 4-40 screws + nuts and 4 spacers for the electronics board + microcontroler.

Step 6: Sides / Tamiya 70097 Motor Gearbox / Assembly

You'll need the Tamiya 70097 + 2 sides to create this assembly.

Step 7: Complete Frame / Electronics Deck / Servo

You'll need the previous assembly, plus the top and lower deck for this assemble.  Use qty 10 .75 4-40 screws + nuts to complete this step.

you'll need qty 4 4-40 nuts to attach the electronics deck to the main frame.

you'll need qty 2 .5 4-40 screws + nuts to attach the servo. - also, attach the servo BEFORE attaching the top deck...

Step 8: Wheel Bars / Wheels / Treads / Sonar Mast

Not Much to say here.. no other parts needed. So...

Step 9:

Destroy Jupiter 2! Destroy Robinson family! Destroy! Destroy!

Have fun



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    Is there any way to print these files out to correct size and cut by hand?

    the wiring diagram is suuuper confusing, could you make another one

    This looks heavy duty! Could you give me the exact size of the templates?

    Here's what I built with this kit. What would you make?

    what is the wiring diagram for an arduino instead of an picaxe

    what is the wiring diagram for an arduino instead of a picaxe

    what is the power source for this thing i would like to know please as i am thinking of making it.

    bonjour le plan et 100%

    superbe réalisation

    Where can I find 4mm Acrylic sheet?

    I'm going to follow you, because i like this!
    Give it an X-Bee!

    I bought most of the parts with the exception of the gearbox and range finder… I did have a problem with the tank’s tracks… exactly like the ones pictured.. . The rubber shriveled up and broke! I don’t know if it was from the batch of rubber they used for my tracks or unlucky AC in the summer and heat in the winter in my project room… Has anyone else had a problem with the rubber tracks? And does anyone know of a replacement “metal” or swivel plastic tracks that would fit this kit??

    3 replies

    I left one of my robots in the garage over the summer, and I had the same thing happen. Your tracks were probably exposed to too much heat at some point.

    If they were new out of the box, you should complain to the place you bought them.

    I may have to just r-order them, I am looking into micro servos right now and I got a XRF wireless UART serial data module XBee shape arduino from the UK. I am also looking into alt wheels/tracks etc etc.. the chassis is pretty sweet I have to add..

    Cool. Post back if you get this chassis working with a different set of tracks, or with micro servos as the drive instead of the Tamiya gearbox.

    Hey there. I have posted a nice review of this product on my blog.
    http://ignoblegnome.blogs pot.com/2012/02/introduction-last-september.html

    About how much does it cost and would you sell one

    I found the only really good place for a battery pack was the lower deck, underneath the servo. This only works with a mini servo, as the standard servo gets in the way. I used a 3xAA battery holder, and it fits just fine.

    I may use the new-ish 1.6V NiZn rechargeable batteries with this robot. They start fully charged at 1.8V, so they should last a while.

    I ran into some trouble on this step. You have to assemble the parts in the right order, or you'll wind up taking it apart and re-doing it.

    I suggest the following order:
    1) Attach the left side to the bottom deck.
    2) Put the left motor shaft through the left side.
    3) Slide the right side over the right motor shaft and attach to the bottom deck.
    4) Attach the servo to the top deck.
    5) Put the top deck in place, and attach the motor first, then the deck screws.