View Full Version : [Project] Wudy the Autonomous Tank

04-05-2010, 10:59 AM

Myself and a coworker have been working on this the past few months. Been updating facebook with pictures and videos and I am in the process of moving them to my own server.

More pictures and video check out these links:



Yes the tracks and body is all made of wood as you may have guessed. We are going to work towards a steampunk theme. Not sure where I am going to find an 18" barrel that is light enough. Anyone out there make balsa wood barrels? :)

Currently I am working on battery selection, and power managment. Think the lead acid batteries I have on there now are at the end of their lifecycle and would like something new. Thinking a motorcycle battery (20Ah.) Anyone know of a good small smartcharger for 12v Lead Acid battery?

Webcam drivers are being a pain and take up alot of CPU on my roboard (not surprizingly.) Thinking about moving the camera to a Network camera independent of the control computer. Anyone know of a good camera that I could easly pull a stream off of at will via software. (Not use their built in "interface" that is designed for a human. Good and all and will likly be used by a human but after all it needs to feed to the robot's brain.)

04-05-2010, 11:49 PM
I've used a lot of wood on my rovers. Mostly because I like the feel and look. Then again I tend to use oak and poplar. With a rolling robot you can get away with a lot more weight than you ever could with a walker. As for the 18 inch barrel, look into craft stores...or maybe garden stores. You might be surprised at what you find.

good luck.


04-06-2010, 09:05 AM
It sounds like you are looking for something like a one bushel basket.

04-09-2010, 07:53 AM
Thanks for the feedback msprague and darkback2. Those baskets look light enough and cheap enough to make a couple diffrent versions of the turrent section. Dependent on mission. Looks like sealing/reinforceing them will not be difficult. This I may be skipping the barrel idea for now for a more standard construction for the moment. Pototyping first then worry about looking pretty second go. :)

Getting a webcam to work is driving me crazy. Thinking about getting a TCP Network security camera with IR, PAN&Tilt, POE all that good stuff but anyone know how software can interface with these?

04-09-2010, 12:03 PM

Very impressive ! Good work !

04-09-2010, 12:46 PM
Thnk Kanda. Four years of woodshop in High school paid off for something.


might be the next addition. Any thoughts?

04-09-2010, 05:02 PM
I find the wooden tracks most interesting. larger tracks like this are somewhat expensive (not counting the DIY elbow grease) and hard to come by.

04-09-2010, 06:45 PM
I am betting this design can be scaled up or down very well. Gives the robot designer some extra variables that are not predefined. I built the whole thing from just 2 x 1"x12"x6' pine boards a about 4 feet of 0.25" dowel rod costing a total of about $20. Granded it took close to 25man hours to get it completed. But alot of that time was developeing the process. I could build it again in maybe 4-6 hours. I have he wood ready to put a deck on to cover the internals and to profide a location for the turret to sit.

My next (wood) project is going to be a wooden hexapod. Mainly out of balsa. I need a table top hobby sander before I am going to attempt that :)

04-09-2010, 06:57 PM
A wood project that might be of interest:


04-10-2010, 12:08 PM
Yeah I have alot of experiance with rovers.... but not so much walkers. Servoes look like the way to go. Linear acuators look too expensive. Anyone know how to pick servos. For the diffrent joints?

Going to go buy a motorcycle battery for Wudy today. :) Then will put in the first deck.

04-15-2010, 11:13 AM
I thought about making balsa wood covers for my main walker squidword. I think one of the problems you will run into making a wooden walker is the weight to strenth ratio of your wooden brackets. You may be able to strengthen the wood with fiberglass, which...now that I think about it could be really compelling. You could also use a stronger type of wood. If you worked carefully with the grain direction...

As for a desk top sander, I use a sanding bit and my drill press. I cut a hole in a piece of wood that fits the bottom of the sanding bit so that I can raise and lower the deck around it...total cost about 10 bucks. Then again...a desktop sander would be nice.

Choosing servos...OK, so if your going the hobby servo route, and you can calculate the total weight of the bot, then it makes it easier to try to calclulate the torque that you will need. Most hexapod builders on this sight using hobby servos use at least HS 645MGs The ones using serial servos mostly use bioloid AX-12s. I built a larger hex that used levered legs that used HS 422s for the lift servos.

check out the pheonix...its a really cool hex, and the design seams simple enough that it could work with wood.

Hope this helps.