Monday, 12 January 2015

Robotic tank

This is where I decided the direction I wanted to take. My first robotic project for systems engineering in year 12. I set out to produce a remote controlled tank based upon the Abrams tank. The features I wanted it to have were:

Remote control 
The ability to move up, back, left and right.
Speed control.
A rotating and firing gun turret.

I managed the first three features through a lot of trial and error, as I had never come across any sort of programming before within my school life. I built a h-bridge out of relays and Darlington transistors, from that I managed programmed control of two individual motors and speed control using the PIC's pwm function. I then started out trying to read the output form a 2.4ghz receiver using an oscilloscope in my naivety and quickly found that I could not determine the values that I needed to make the program work (I find out why this doesn't work later on down the track). I abandoned this pursuit and instead looked to a TV remote for my solution. I built an infrared receiver and wired it to the PIC and from that I was able to achieve remote control, proper movement and speed control.

Unfortunately as the deadline for the project neared there had to be sacrifices for the sake of functionality and folio work. So the turret was never completed. There were plans for a solenoid to be delivering short air bursts from a canister so that the gun would work much like a paintball gun, and a planetary gear for the rotation of the turret, but unfortunately it never came to be.

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