Here's everything you need to start building your own sturdy robotic
tracked vehicle. The Budget Robotics TankBot kit comes with the following:
- High-power Tamiya Twin Motor gearbox kit
- Tamiya rubber tank tread kit (treads, sprockets, axles)
- Precision pre-drilled and pre-cut plastic base -- includes second
deck for microcontroller or other electronics
- All construction hardware
- Illustrated assembly instructions
The assembled TankBot measures 6.5 inches long, 4.25 inches wide, and
3.75 inches high. The bottom deck piece is large enough to accommodate one
4-"AA" battery pack, with an available surface area of
approximately 3.75 x 2 inches. The top deck measures 4.5 x 2.5 inches,
large enough for an OOPic or similar microcontroller, along with a 9-volt
battery. The decks are separated by four 1-inch polypropylene-reinforced
The TankBot doesn't include "smarts" -- add a microcontroller,
switch box, or other electronics of your choice.
Tamiya sells several tank-like kits, which many robot builders have
used as a base for their own creations. The Tamiya kits are okay, but we
designed the TankBot with added features, and at a competitive price.
- Tamiya's treaded vehicle kits come with only one deck, and it's made
of a fairly dense wood that's hard to cut. The TankBot uses rigid
expanded PVC plastic: it's lighter than wood and is easy to cut and
drill, yet it's very strong.
- Though one of their treaded vehicle kits comes with a motor, it's
designed to power both treads at once. You need to purchase a second
motor, or a Twin Motor gearbox, in order to enable the vehicle to
turn! All the extras just add to your costs.
- TankBot comes with a second deck for mounting electronics.
- We've adjusted the width-to- length ratio of the treads for typical
robotic applications. TankBot turns a lot better!
- The motor mount on the TankBot is adjustable so that you can vary
the tension of the treads.
As with all Robotics kits, assembly is straight-forward, and
takes less than 20 minutes, including putting together the Twin Motor
gearbox. There are no glues or tapes, so the TankBot can be disassembled.
This is handy if you want to share one TankBot with several students in a
Available in colors. You can also purchase just the TankBot plastic
base pieces and hardware, in case you already have a Tamiya tread kit and
Twin Motor gearbox kit.