10.24.2011

Buildin' a tank

Yay, I build a tank! Atleast sort of. It has two continuous tracks and battery in the middle. For prototype's sake I've chosen a control that maps a different when attached to the Power Functions remote control modules, but it works compact and flexible nontheless. It's amazing how awesome this technology is! I mean you driver forward, backward, rotate directly on spot and on each track's middle if desired. It's more flexible to control than a normal wheel-powered vehicle but less easy to make. The power can only reliably applied on those wheel with much of it's radius exposed to the continuous track's surface. Everything else will fail in most circumstances. However, within these limitations, it's capable of more complex maneuvers than a wheeled vehicle. Also, it bears a better surface usage it seems. Not as awesome as a completely omniwheeled robot but still extremely awesome. I had my doubts about it's efficiency on flat and slick surfaces, but it seems to function well enough with some short beams attached to the tracks. Yeah, it seems just the perfect stuff for a remote-controlled vehicle! I'm currently thinking about how to extend, what to also add and so on. I want additional lamps getting activated depending on which track is used and so on. Together with some remote-controlled features, I could create a real little tank with gun and such! I like this idea, but the gun would be rather useless cause you wouldn't be able to aim with it. So I'm thinking about some else... Maybe multiple tracks with different directions in case it falls down somewhere? Hm, it'll probably just smash in most cases... However, I guess I'll work more on the general compactness of this design and make it a bit larger to a) be able to climb small stairs and obstacles, b) have some kind of shock absorbers to get higher ground flexibility and c) add something to interact with. Not a sensor stuff from NXT but something that's remote-controlled, too. Like a retractable claw at it's front so I can pull stuff and move from one point to another... It's more fun to realize ideas with this than NXT as you can create ANYTHING without beeing limited by only a few motors. Get as much as you want with as many motors and batteries as you want! The only limitations is the remote control's channel of 4 channels with 2 controllable currentd each (thus, 8 controllable currents in total. Yeah, I think I can work forward to this. A compact, tank-alike base contruct with a retractable claw to pick up or atleast pull objects... Sounds totally doable I think. Whatever. I can only work on this with enough time and I have to some other things as well. Anyway, I should try to hard making stuff to complex and such. In the end I have to buy quite some Lego equipment for it in case that there will be extensions beyond driving and blinking. Hm. Gonna write this on my wishlist for Christmas!

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