Picture of Tank Platform
In this Instructables I will show how to build a simple and effective platform for any Robot project or Remote Control project. This Tank platform is great base for any robot design as it goes over rough terrain with ease. The other great plus with this design it can carry a lot of weight for there size. So there is endless possibles with this design.

The motor this platform uses can be control by any means. I use an cheap RC car to control the motors.The gear box and motor combo can deliver different gear ratio settings to suite your application. The gear ratio I use is 114.7:1 @ 4.5V. This ratio work well with the remote control that I use. I have try other ratios but this over heat the transistors on the RC board.

The this Tank platform use two motor so it use skid steering to turn. So you need least need a two channel RC car to make this project but most RC car have at least two channels anyway.

I will show both the new and old design. The old design will be known as Mk1 and the new design Mk2.

Step 1: Tools and Parts

Picture of Tools and Parts
I got all the parts for this platform from Jaycar ElectronicsJaycar Electronics. The RC car I got from a local market for a few dollars.


1. Double Motor Independent 4 Speed Gearbox / Axle Assembly Tamiya ITEM 70097
Jaycar Cat no. YG2741 $22.95
2. Tamiya Track & Wheel Set (You need two if you want to build Mk2)
Jaycar Cat no. YG2867  $16.95
3. 2 X Tamiya Universal Plate Set
Jaycar Cat no. YG2865 $8.95
4. M3 stand off posts 25mm
Jaycar Cat no. HP0907 $5.95
5. M3 bolts
Jaycar Cat no. HP0400 $2.50
6. M3 nuts
Jaycar Cat no. HP0425 $2.95
7. Cable ties
Jaycar Cat no. HP1200 $1.85
8. 3 by 1 AA battery holders
Jaycar Cat no. PH9203 $0.95
9. RC car any will do mine cost me $20
10. Switch on/off
Jaycar Cat no. ST0300 $2.95

All prices in AUS$


1. Philips Screw Driver
2. Side-cutters
3. Pliers
4. Soldering Iron
5. Knife
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JesraelD5 months ago

This might be a stupid question, but for skid steering, don't you need one motor to move forward while the other moves backward? So how does letting go of the left motor control switch will make a right turn? I am just not clear on the steering mechanism used. Thanks.

wbannister1 year ago
David97, can u send me plans how to do yours?
David972 years ago
Thanks for this instructable, here is a picture of my one. I am using a arduino duemilanove and a l298 motor driver board. The whole thing runs on 9.6V and uses PWM to regulate the voltage. These are really great at climbing!
vek113 years ago
How good is the torque that this gearbox offer?
njc12303 years ago
Should i use the contoller included with R/C car I use or should I use a different one?
tamiya rules
GWSC4 years ago
Scorpio Technology ( http://www.scorpiotechnology.com.au ) have 2 band Radio Controls for around $13 and will have 4 Band Infrared controls for around the same price very soon. They also have cheap motor gearboxes, gears and other things.
djsures4 years ago
These kits are perfect for robotics hey? I use them often too! Sometimes the tracks fall off, but only on thick carpet. I hope they never discontinue this kit. I don't know what will do without it hahaha. Great job!
Chowmix124 years ago
I found this http://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Tumbler-Remote-Controlled-Car/dp/B000VRJINM/ref=pd_sim_k_2

It includes 8 leds inside, 2 geared motor in full enclosures, and a tank style remote control layout. DO NOT buy it from Amazon. Its $10 at CVS if your in the US. Its great and has moderate range!
john31s5 years ago
what size are the nuts and bolts you used
Chowmix125 years ago
I made a similar platform but without the RC control... I included a suspension system on the road wheels with paperclips. now I have smoother ride and better traction on different terrains... Check it out!
aseaheru5 years ago
spy bot? rotating cam to spy and 2 more for foreword + reverse?
Sparkington (author)  aseaheru5 years ago
You will need to find a 3ch remote system and add another motor
ok, thank you...
i am a ditz
dizzyzane5 years ago
 use a adder-subtracter. heres a lego one. www.youtube.com/watch
lane295 years ago
flamesami5 years ago
can you let me know the price of the parts in total please?brilliant Instructable. I think I'll make this if it's within my current price range
Sparkington (author)  flamesami5 years ago
Just updated the instructable to include the prices, cost can be kept down by what you can find in your junk box
thanks a bunch. unfortunately, I have nowhere near enough money for this
=.( so I will look through my stuff and make a crappier version of this if I can
tomtortoise5 years ago
This is insane i was trying to make an rc tank and i got all three parts and a car from good will but the circuit board didn't work but i will try again. nice tank though can you post a video.
Sparkington (author)  tomtortoise5 years ago
With the rc car all you do is find the wires that go to the steering motor or solenoid, that will be motor 1 and the wires that goes to motor that drives the rc car those wires will go to motor 2 
rocket_man5 years ago
 This Looks sweet i cant wait to make this.
ppatches245 years ago
Totally sweet faved and 4.5 stars thanks for the sweet idea i am making one
if u wanna make a nplatform just get the remote control platform from tamiya
ids there a website or something for that? if there is, post it please,
no u find a lot of this stuff in model stores try chinese model stores
chinese? like, in china? or in chinatown?
like chinese places (malls, hobby stores) what country u live in.???
artcobain6 years ago
i have that kind of toy too. i've always wanted make it remote controlled.
aseaheru6 years ago
take this, add a turret thing, add the nerf nade launcher, and you will kill in nerf tag.
mrdepo966 years ago
how big are these things? like 8 inch by 5 inch?
The plate is 6.5 inch by 2 1/4 inch. The tracks add about an inch in width total.
huh, smaller that they looked...
Yeah, I have one and I measured it. You can fit a lot of electronics onto one, though. They can fit like 2 arduinos or something.
UbuntuNinja6 years ago
Sparkington (author)  UbuntuNinja6 years ago
They are the right parts.
Are you sure? I just looked and that gearbox does not have the 114.7:1 gear ratio. It only has 207:1 or 58:1 ratios. This is the one that has the 114.7:1 ratio: Double Gearbox L/R Independ 4-speed. Sorry if I'm being a bit nit picky about this. I just want to make sure i order the right one. Did you see the comment i made on you orangeboard? It might be useful information to update the instructable with. Thanks.
Sparkington (author)  UbuntuNinja6 years ago
Here the website site that were I got my gearbox http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=YG2741&CATID=9&form=CAT&SUBCATID=306. Sorry for the confusion but the ratio I did use is 114.7:1 as long it got that ratio, your good. That link you supply (the second time) look like the same box that came with my gearbox. Sorry I didn't read the orange board properly. Hope you have good luck with your project. I will update this ible this weekend and list where I got my parts. :)
Yeah I was actually starting to wonder myself if the two were the same. It would be good to list where to get parts just to avoid any confusion. This is a really cool idea. Have you looked into using rechargeable batteries like they use in real RC vehicles (not that this isn't a real RC, this thing is better than store bough ones any day)?
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