Sunday, 22 May 2011

ThinkTank - Part I

Yesterday Rob and I had our first brainstorming session for The Tank.

After getting some inspiration from the Internet we started planning out the features for our first iteration, which basically included:
  • Proper (dual drive) tank tracks
  • Pan & Tilt turret
  • Pneumatic cannon
  • 2 web cams (turret and tank)
  • Wifi control

First point of discussion was the tank tracks.. which I had no idea how we were going to do that, then Rob found this instructable:

Which looks tough!
The only thing is we cant actually drive the chain with those bolts in the way (they use a roller blade wheel). What we really need is about 3 chains joined side-by-side. That way we could have the half-pipes (used as track from the tutorial) connected to the 2 outer chains, leaving the middle chain free to be connected to the driving gear.

The hard part is getting the 3 chains attached to each other, which Rob thinks we can actually disassemble the chain and replace each individual axle with a longer one, with spacers between the chain, forming quite a thick track... except its a massive job!
We would need to drill out each axle, replace it with a bigger one, then bash the ends to keep it riveted in working order.

We then found that we can get full working push bikes from the tip, with good chains on them for $5 each (but then we have to pay to bring them back to the tip). So thats the first thing we will have to try.

We briefly discussed how the cannon will work and a mechanism idea for rotating the turret, then how the Netduino will fit in the picture.

Ended up getting Anthony over as our Netduino consultant, and discussed how we can get motor speed control by using "Pulse Width Modulation" with the digital outputs of the Netduino and a BJT (transistor). Also got his help to set up a development environment on my machine, so I can play around :)

Pretty good first day of planning, with a few jokes thrown in (such as running the tank with a motorbike engine and flame-throwers.. which wont be happening, lol)


Anonymous said...

Lol this is great!


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