RC Robot Tank



Area of Interest

Mechanical Engineering


Saratoga High School


Incoming Freshman

Final Milestone

My final milestone was to fully assemble my robot, and have my PS2 Controller be able to turn my motors and move my robot left, right, forward, and backward. I already had my wires from the PS2 Receiver to the circuit board. Then, I had to attach wires from the two motor ports to motors on the gearbox. I also added two wires for my Anker USB Charger and soldered them to my Micro USB. The final step was the code. Before I made the PS2 controller move the motors, I had the motors turn automatically from a simple program to make sure that the motors were connected to the board properly. Once that was working, I combined my code for initializing my PS2 and getting my motors turning. I added commands for my robot to move forward and backward and turn. Finally, it worked. Then, I screwed in the circuit board to the Universal Plate and added a velcro for the receiver. I neatly organized the wires on my robot so it wouldn’t interfere with the tank treads. I had many challenges. First, it took a while to find the right wiring schematic and find the right code. I also had a lot of trouble connecting with the Circuit Board from the computer. I had to choose the right board and port from the Tools menu. I referred back to my second milestone to ensure that my PS2 Controller was responding to the Receiver. My modifications will be to install an Ultrasonic sensor that will sense the distance between objects, and make the mounted electronics neater.

Second Milestone

My second milestone for building my Robot Tank is to get my PS2 Controller to respond to my receiver when I pressed random buttons. To do this, I followed a wiring diagram and wired seven different wires to the receiver. I soldered them to the circuit board on the Arduino Motor Shield, which connects to the Analog Inputs on the circuit board through the pins. Then, the PS2 connects to the receiver and the circuit is connected to the computer. When I run the example code, pressing and releasing specific buttons will output a specific message on the output page on my computer. My challenges include finding the right wiring schematic to use for plugging my wires to my receiver. I also had to make them neater because it was hard to solder them with wires everywhere. My final milestone will be to connect the Arduino boards to the motors so that the controller can move the robot. I will also get everything assembled.


First Milestone

The first milestone of working on my main project, the RC Robot Tank, is building the chassis of my tank robot. The entire vehicle chassis is the base of the tank, and it is the main portion of the hardware. I built my chassis with three main sets. The Track and Wheel Set includes the different wheels, the shafts, and the tank treads. The Twin-Motor Gearbox connects the wheels to the motors. Finally, there is the universal plate onto which the gearbox (and future Arduino hardware) is mounted. Some of my struggles include assembling the gearbox. The gearbox included many small parts. I had to put some small parts on to one side and some on the other in order to put it all together at once. After I assembled, the gears and the motors would not turn. The gears would not move because they were stuck against the wall, which forced me to unscrew a part of the gearbox and fix their placement. The motor would not turn because the pinion connected to it was not pushed in all the way, so it would not turn the gears inside. My next steps include wiring the Arduino circuit board and the getting the motors to turn with the PS2 Controller.

Starter Project

For my starter project, I built an Electronic Dice Kit. The parts of the Dice Kit include the resistors, the diode, the IC socket, the battery, and the piezo. Resistors regulate the flow of the electric current. The diode allows current to only flow in only one direction. The diode is an example of a directional part, which means that its polarity, or orientation, matters . Then I placed the IC socket which helps hold the chip, or the PIC. Finally, there is a battery under the dice. The piezo is the part that contains the two wires. The PIC can manipulate it’s pins pins to be either inputs (no effect on the outside world, called Hi-Z), or outputs with a high or low value. When the PIC reads an analog value it returns a 10 bit value which represents a decimal value from 0 to 1023. The Dice Kit uses only the last three bits, which is a decimal value from 0 to 7. These results are shifted, giving a result from 1 to 6, plus possibly a zero. If zero is read the analog value is rejected and reread. Once a good value is found, it is displayed on the LEDs. I also had some struggles. Because the battery holder was mounted on the bottom side, I had to desolder a lot of the wires and snip them down as close as possible to the PCB so that it was close enough to the PCB and could be soldered. I also had problems when I would tap the dice on the table. The piezo would not budge, and it would keep reading 1 and nothing else. I fixed this by moving it and flipping it.

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