Hi, I’m Patrick and I am a rising sophomore at Regis High School. For my main project, I decided to build a Arduino RC Tank based on this website. I chose this project because I wanted to do a bit of everything, mechanical engineering, electronics, and programming. Also, I just wanted to have some fun driving a tank around my house.
This project is one of my first using the Arduino motor controller. Before coming to BlueStamp, I still did not even know how to pronounce solder correctly (I was pronouncing the “l”) and I had no experience with Arduino. But by the time I had finished BlueStampEngineering, I learned new coding skills that I will use for future projects, gained a better understanding of how circuit works, and learned the proper way to pronounce “solder.” My favorite part of this project was getting the ultrasonic sensor to work. I thought it was extremely cool how my tank could just turnaround by itself after getting close to an object. Even though there were many problems with learning the code for the first time, I persevered through the hardship and came out on top with a tank that shoot small pieces of putty. It may not seem like much now but my experience here at BlueStamp has given me the confidence and foundational skills to utilize the Arduino in any future projects that I will do in my free time.
This is my third and final milestone for main project, the Arduino RC Tank. For this milestone I have created an autonomous mode using an ultrasonic sensor, created a turret mounted upon a servo with a laser to guide it, and an ON/OFF switch. Also, the tank periodically moves forward when not controlled to help remind you it is on so that the battery is not wasted. Just as a summary, the first step of building my entire project was creating the chassis which was pretty much straight forward. Next, I uploaded the code to control the DC motors. This is where I encountered my main challenge- connecting the PS2 remote (which I had explained in my previous video). Once I had the motors working, I moved onto the ultrasonic sensor. For the ultrasonic, I simply connected it to the Adafruit motor shield and and uploaded a sample code to the Arduino to the control the tank. The code first ordered a ping from the sensor and then when the ping traveled back to the sensor, the Arduino would calculate the distance by using a formula. My code specified that once the tank becomes to close to an object it turns around about 150 degrees and goes in the opposite direction. The only obstacle I found as I was building this was finding the right angle to mount the sensor so that it easily detect what is directly in front of it. In the end I mounted it upon the bottom of the front of the tank. The next step was 3D print a mount for two more DC motors that would act as the turret. Once the DC motors were installed in the printed part, I mounted the entire part onto a servo so that it could turn back and forth. I also added a laser which I could turn on and off as a side thought. The problem I encountered was a jittery servo so I had to solder a capacitor to regualteteh power sent to the servo. Finally, the last problem I encountered was that I had accidentally melted one of the wheels in the tank treads while trying to solder a faulty wire. I had to wait a week without driving the tank until I found replacement wheel. From this project, I learned a lot about the Arduino which I had no prior experience with and different techniques for soldering for many electrical components. Even though I encountered problems during this project, I enjoyed the experience very much.
Here’s the list of materials in an excel spreadsheet: patrick-p-bom