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Robotank halfcad.jpg
The robotank

Status Ongoing
A very large tank, meant to be used as a modular platform for future projects.
Manager Edward White, James Parkin

This is a project in the making: If you are interested, contact Tom Clayson or Oskar Weigl, or even just write your name below.

People Involved


We are creating a large robot tank which can act as a platform for many future projects. The tank will be able to travel great distances and at great speed over land, and will also be water-tight: allowing it to be adapted into an amphibious craft. The tank will have surplus power, ample empty space within its structure and a flat top allowing it to be used for many new projects in the coming academic year.

Design goals are:

  • Very robust!
  • Ability to traverse almost any terrain, including stairs
  • Watertight
  • Adaptable to many different projects, such as:
    • Adding a Kinect, to make it roam autonomously and avoid obstacles
    • Portable Quadcopter recharging unit / Aircraft carrier

Concept Renders

Robotank consept 2.png

Other concept ideas

CAD Design

Robotank halfcad.jpg

CAD Design halfway there!

Sub Assemblies


Track System

The track system will be based on 2 parrallel motorbike chains with metal bars half pvc tube segments screwed across them.

  • We were considering using 4 of the following chains. They are 1770mm long.
  • We will power the tracks using two of these drills
  • Quick guess of required main drive shaft torque: 200-300 Ncm
  • Dimensions of tracks are: between chains 34mm, chains are 15mm thick, pipes come out aprox. 6mm outside of chain.


The main body of the robot will be similar to a boat in structure and contain a lot of empty space for use in future projects.

Budget / Parts List

Name of Item Price Link Status
Chain 4x£11 chains Processed
PVC feet 2*£3 bought locally Processed
Large Sheet £32 A large sheet Half processed
Small Sheet £8 A smaller sheet Obtained
Drills 2x£10 b&q drill Processed
Polyester Webbing £8 webbing Discarded
Aluminium Blocks £18 aluminium bar Obtained
Bolts £19.20 25mm M4 screws Processed
Nuts 6*£2.35 300 M4 nuts Processed
Big Washers 5*£2.65 300 M4 penny washers Processed
Small Washers £4.95 300 M4 washers Processed
Silicon Sealant Gel £4.15 Silicon Mastic Awaiting
Steel Rods - spare 8mm steel rods Obtained
Threaded Steel Rods £8.49 M8 threaded rods Awaiting
Angle Irons £5.70 aluminium 25mm*25mm*3mm 500mm long Obtained
Bearings £1 each 8 x 24 x 8mm ball bearings Awaiting
Microcontroller complementary Forebrain micro-controller Obtained
Sensors complementary Seraphim expansion layer Awaiting
Total £216.26

Build Log

  • Cut and drilled PVC pipe to make the tank feet. We may still need some more. 21:55, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • CAD Drawing started 19:15, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Cut main base plate and one side panel. 28 May 2011 (UTC)
  • 1st tank track assembled. 15:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Main base plate bent into shape. 22:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  • 2nd tank track done! 18:49, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Second side pannel cut 8 June 2011
  • Drill cradles modeled and printed 20 June 2011
  • Screwed in half of agngle irons, cut screw heads in half so they will fit into angle irons. 22 June 2011
  • Assembled the tank body. 23 June 2011
  • Mikhail has finished creating the main drive shaft and the adjustable idler wheel shaft as well as several axels. 20 July 2011
  • Shiny new Forebrain micro-controller has just arrived from friends at Universal Air. Expansion layer with accelerometers, gyros etc should be here soon... 30 July 2011
  • Expansion layer with sensors finally arrived. Sorry for the delay - I will bring it into college on 16 September 2011