Picture of Tankbot - Internet Controlled Tank Robot
Do you remember a game called Tank Wars? This is an attempt to make a physical version of that classic arcade game. You, the player drive an Arduino powered tank and fire a laser at a target.

This project uses an Arduino to control a tank through a web page. The tank is driven from a control panel on a web page, that is communicated to over a  WiFly. The tank uses a Parallax Ping to avoid obstacles, a servo for aiming the turret and a Tamiya tank platform for locomotion.

Why did I make this you ask? Because like everyone else I wanted to make a tank that fired lasers.

Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
For the tank you will need:
-Tamiya Dual Motor Gearbox: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/319
-Tamiya Tank Treads: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/321
-Universal Mounting Platform: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10016
-Arduino Uno
-Arduino Motor Shield
-Sparkfun ProtoScrew Shield: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9729
-Laser Pointer
-Parallax Ping: www.parallax.com/tabid/768/ProductID/92/Default.aspx
-Mini Servo: http://www.hitecrcd.com/products/analog/micro-mini/hs-55.html
-Nuts, Bolts, Standoffs, Plexiglass
-Dynamite Prophet Sport II : http://www.dynamiterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=DYN4063
-Dynamite 7.2v Battery: http://www.dynamiterc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=DYN1466
-WiFly RN-XV : http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10822
-XBee Breakout: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8276

For the target you will need:
-TSL230R : http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8940
-Sparkfun TriColor LED :http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10111
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evanm33 months ago

hey! i'm building the same tankbot with 2 motor car chassis kit. I'm studing step by step your instuctions but on the plan of tank built i can't understand why have more wires on the motors A and B. My car dosent have more than 2 wires at the same motor.

landy31 year ago

You can buy everything for

Tankbot in


landy31 year ago

You can buy everything for

Tankbot in



how u upload the without checking when i try to upload i am getting this error

Does it work in different network? or has to be within local network?
wombat_boy2 years ago
Mguilbeau2 years ago
What does the 1750 mAh battery connect to?

high school sophomore
tankbot Web Interface help ? ?
New question. Do you not using any wireless shield with the RN-XV? How do you convert the 5V in the TX / RX to 3.3V? The specs say that support only 3.3V in the TX / RX

chewy39393 years ago
How much did this end up costing in the end?
Which Motor shield you used?

joe (author)  vteixeira coelho3 years ago
The official Arduino motorshield.
Thanks for the reply. I bought Ardumoto from Sparkfun, they use the same 298 h-bridge.

Go job In the tank!
Rgramza3 years ago

Hi Joe, maybe if you can help with one last item. I get an compiling error message below from Servo.h

In file included from TankBot_apr07a.cpp:27: C:\Users\Ron\Downloads\arduino-1.0-windows\arduino-1.0\libraries\Servo/Servo.h:99: error: expected ',' or ';' before 'typedef' C:\Users\Ron\Downloads\arduino-1.0-windows\arduino-1.0\libraries\Servo/Servo.h:102: error: expected constructor, destructor, or type conversion before ';' token C:\Users\Ron\Downloads\arduino-1.0-windows\arduino-1.0\libraries\Servo/Servo.h:105: error: 'ServoPin_t' does not name a type

Servo.h code looks like this:

typedef struct  {
uint8_t nbr        :6 ;             // a pin number from 0 to 63
uint8_t isActive   :1 ;             // true if this channel is enabled, pin not pulsed if false
} ServoPin_t   ; 

typedef struct {
  ServoPin_t Pin;
  unsigned int ticks;
} servo_t;

This is the standard servo.h file and have not seen this before. Any thoughts? Thanks, Ron

4-8-2012 10-37-17 AM.png
joe (author)  Rgramza3 years ago
Hey Rgramza - Are you using Arduino IDE v1.0?

Rgramza joe3 years ago
Hi Joe, I got it all working. I am using IDE V1.0, the problem was a missing semi colon in the credentials file. The Wifly is working great. I can see it registering the data. I don't have the sonar ping, so I have disabled those sections of code and trying to come up with a distance code more than 12 inches. Sure have learned alot in the process. Thanks for your help. All the best, Ron
Rgramza3 years ago
Hi Joe, great instructions. Question: I have loaded xampp as a server and its working well. How do I provide access and control to my Ipad. I tried localhost and but it does not work. BTW the files are in the correct place as I am able to access them on the same computer. Thanks!
joe (author)  Rgramza3 years ago
Hey Rgramza - You should put in the ip and path of the server, so if the server running xampp on and installed the tankbot code in /tankbot you would use the URL

Let me know how it goes! I just uploaded a new version of the web code and arduino code.

Rgramza joe3 years ago
Hi Joe, well I think I am closer. Meaning I am getting a 404 error, which means server is talking but the URL is not found. I am using When I use the the full URL, I get no server. BTH I can connect to my printer page and router from the IPAD using URL http:// numbers. I have turned off the firewall and user controll but no change. xampp control panel is on and running. Your new down load looks great! Any thoughts...? I am still researching... Thanks Ron
joe (author)  Rgramza3 years ago
Hey Ron - We'll get this thing working! Lets do a little trouble shooting, On the Xammp box where is the index.php located (i.e. /var/www/html/tankbot/index.php)?

On the xampp box can you tail the log file:
i.e. tail -f /var/log/httpd/error_log

Then attempt to browse the page from your ipad/laptop
Then attempt to browse the page from the xampp box (where it works already right?)

Let me know what it says.

Rgramza joe3 years ago
Hi Joe, I have the index.php, tankbot header and images folder in the htdocs root directory. I now can bring up the image using explorer either using or my IP address 192.168.15.xxx or localhost. All work well. Still can't get another window xp computer or Ipad to find the site. Here are the access log.____________________________________________________________127.0.0.1 - - [05/Apr/2012:22:26:56 -0400] "GET /images/tankbot-controls2_54.gif HTTP/1.1" 304 - "" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0; Trident/4.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; .NET4.0C; InfoPath.3; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; yie9; Creative AutoUpdate v1.41.02

Not sure about tail -f var/log stuff or where to go....I have disable all the security not sure if thats the problem. It seems I need to provide privelages in the admin section to the ipad or another computer, but not sure...
Rgramza Rgramza3 years ago
Hi joe, I got it. My firewall was blocking port 80. I had to open the port, but an error message came up. So I closed and reset the port on the main computer. Now the Ipad can open and access the file. Thanks for all the help. Cheers!
Catsunami3 years ago
That's so cool! I'm building a robot too (albeit mine is aimed at cuteness rather than super awesome laser-ness), and I'm looking for caterpillar tracks like yours. How wide are they?

joe (author)  Catsunami3 years ago
Hey Cat - Each track is about 3/4" wide. The length is adjustable and it makes the tank remarkable capable at climbing over obstacles. You can check them out here:

Catsunami joe3 years ago
Oo that will work perfectly. Thanks! Good luck with the contests!
jgulick3 years ago
Wow Joe! That's pretty cool! Great job!
joe (author)  jgulick3 years ago
Thanks jgulick!
tzq33tdq3 years ago
COOL!!! how would i add a camera though???
joe (author)  tzq33tdq3 years ago
The easiest way would be to buy a WiFi web cam and stick on the top. The arduino can't really do video over the WiFly, 9600 baud is too slow. But it would be awesome to have a tanks eye view!
sitearm3 years ago
@Joe; Hi! Love the video, the cat, and your punchline, "Because like everyone else I wanted to make a tank that fired lasers." Have tweeted. Cheers! Site
joe (author)  sitearm3 years ago
Thanks Sitearm!
tigerbomb83 years ago
can you please make a diagram using fritzing
Dude... he was nice enough to share his work... you need to do a bit of work aswell...
MakersBox3 years ago
Nicely done. I could see two of theses battling it out.
it's very fun for stealth attack!! :)
joe (author)  RobinHooD_ex3 years ago
So far it has only stealthily attacked the cat. But one day it will rise up and take part in the robot revolution.

jhunmar1003 years ago
nice one i can vote this project pretty cool..
joe (author)  jhunmar1003 years ago
Thanks Jhunmar!
megaduty3 years ago
My kinda tank! I already have a leg up on the physical tank part with a side project. May just attempt your setup! I voted for ya!
Mega Tank.jpg
joe (author)  megaduty3 years ago
Thank tank is awesome!
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