Thanks for the tank... Building a Netduino Tank

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Today's Hardware Friday project is a kind of project that seems to appeal to to the boy in all of us. I mean who doesn't like the thought of building their own Netduino Tank!

Building a Netduino Tank

It was About 8 or 9 months ago that I posted my first video using my Netduino powering a Tamiya Tracked Vehicle Chassis Kit. After that I actually did a little more work on the project, but I never posted any video or updates for the project itself.

Last week I was asked if I still had the project, and would be able to bring it to the Maker Faire. I thought, sure thing! So I got to work making it actually do something a bit more than going in a very long slowly arcing circle.

V1.5 (if you consider the video linked above v1) actually had a piece of plexiglass as a base, sitting on some standoffs up off the wooden base of the Tamiya kit. But it was my first time working with PG and I ran into a couple of issues, I drilled holes and they weren’t right, so I drilled some more, and they still weren’t right, the "rectangle” was off center on the vehicle itself, and I never even got around to taking the protective coating off the plexiglass. I did mount a GoPro camera on it, using zip ties, and drove it around the office scaring the pets, but never published that video, or even took pictures of the setup.


Friday evening I got to work getting the original Netduino going again, along with the motorshield, and a new piece of plexiglass. The end result was the photo seen above, a cell phone picture taken at something like 2 in the morning Saturday before Maker Faire, so I apologize for that Big Smile

I ended up doing a little bit of coding, on the project (all sample code is hosted on Codeplex, at the time of this blog it is using Changeset 67198 (motor test project). I didn’t add a bunch of logic to the code, it basically has 4 programs, one that spins, goes, and repeats. Another that just spins. Another that goes forward then backward, and finally one that doesn’t do anything (stop). You can trigger through the programs using a button that was wired into the breadboard. Not the ideal setup, as the button was hard to get to while it was moving, but it was 2am and I just wanted to finish.

I made the programs fairly short because I figured that the area where it would be displayed wouldn’t be very big, unfortunately even with the short programs there wasn’t any way to safely have it running during the Maker Faire, so it for the most part remained unplugged the entire weekend. But it looked cool!


Parts List (quantity)

  1. Tamiya Tracked Vehicle Chassis Kit $20 (1)
  2. Tamiya Twin Motor Gearbox TAM70097 $10 (1)
  3. 9V Battery Case (1)
  4. AA Battery Case 4-AA (1)
  5. AdaFruit Motor Shield $21 (1)
  6. Yellow push button switch $1 (1)
  7. Plexiglass platform
  8. Long screws (4)
  9. Nuts, for above. (4)
  10. Aluminum spacers, mounted between base and platform (4)
  11. Small breadboard (1)
  12. Heat shrink
  13. Solid core wire
  14. GoPro HD Hero 2 (2)
  15. GoPro 3D Case (1)
  16. Plexiglass Sheet



C#, Coding4Fun

The Discussion

  • User profile image

    That is very cool, have you tried to produce any other 3D footage? Wish I had some of those old school 3D glasses you used to get on cereal boxes still around.

  • User profile image

    Thats an amazing tank, could you please share the tutorial of making it?

  • User profile image

    @Emma I haven't gone and created any additional 3D footage with the tank yet, I found that it is not the most stable platform for video, but it was a fun project.

    As for the request for more of a tutorial, I'll see if I can get the time to do a more detailed write-up, perhaps along with a Jameco kit or something so you can order all the parts together.

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