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The Tank is Operational

March 03, 2007 21:14

At long last, I've got the tank working. For those who are scratching their heads wondering what I'm talking about, the tank is the replacement for the old rc car, which you can drive around over the Internet and watch where you're going while you do it. I've surpassed the point that the old RC Car was at for purposes of reliability, although the current revision is not without its problems, and I'm already working on plans for the next version.

The tank is a toy 1/16 German Tiger Tank which was remote controlled just like any other RC toy. I took it apart and basically stripped out everything except the lower chassis and the the mechanical part of the drive system. I built my own interface for the motors, controlled by a TS-7200 ARM embedded computer running linux. I use a usb 802.11g adapter for wireless comunication and an IPcam camera for the visual feedback.

Since I have quite a bit of power on board, I'm going to add some sensors, not only to help secure the safety of the tank from large inflexible objects such as walls, but also to add in the option of autonavigation. For now, I'm only allowing people with a profile to drive the tank. If there is a problem with abuse, I will change it to only those who have a profile one week old or older. I will also get the waitqueue working again so a single person can use the tank at a time for a 5 minute session.