When it comes to tank chassis robots, designers have a large variety of models to showcase their skills, prove their experience and explore their ideas. An aluminum tank chassis is hard to build from scratch unless you have a workshop with tools and materials. A tank platform kit is the best alternative. And this is what makes the Cloud Rack Multi-Chassis Tank kit so amazing. It’s a tank platform that combines actuators, sensors, and electronics components to build your custom robot with tracks.
- Our kit comes fully assembled, and in case you don’t have any tools at home, the package includes two hex keys, two spanners, and a screwdriver to disassemble/assemble the kit.
- Independently controlled articulated arms.
- Also, we’re really impressed about how well it is constructed and the attention to details.
- The documentations are so poor that you need either some electronics experience or really good googling search skills to get this working.
- The holes from the top side of the kit were spaced at distances which make hard to fit on them even the DAGU mini motor driver board.
The Cloud Rack Multi-Chassis Tank Kit
We bought the Cloud Rack Multi-Chassis Tank Kit from our city – Bucharest, Romania (Europe). On Amazon, you have to pay around $231.35 + $40.75 shipping for it, which is almost double the price of the kit we bought. But we search more and found the cheapest version of the kit on Sparkfun at $79.95.
Features and Specifications
Out of the box
Pull the Cloud Rack Multi-Chassis Tank out of the box, add a motor controller and a development board like Arduino UNO, and it’s pretty much ready to go. We made the mistake to use the multi-chassis tank with the DAGU’s mini motor driver board and try to control it with a Bluetooth HC-05 module. It wasn’t a good idea.
The DAGU mini motor driver board has its microcontroller compatible with the Arduino IDE. Using the Arduino IDE, you have to select from tools the ‘Arduino NG or older’ board. The Arduino NG is not compatible with the SoftwareSerial library, so we have a lot of errors and a big disappointment that we cannot control the kit with the HC-05 Bluetooth module.
Hardware and Design
The Multi-Chassis Tank (Rescue Version) is a platform for indoor and outdoor applications. If you choose to use it indoor, the robot climb stairs and any obstacle under 15 centimeters. If you want to explore rugged terrains, the metal chassis and its all four rubber tracks are durable enough to run on rugged terrains and withstand shocks.
The aluminum chassis is drilled, so you have mounting points to add sensors and accessories. Even the chassis features infinite of them, for us was pretty hard to fit the DAGU mini motor driver into holes.
The two movable arms make it a ninja in climbing. The arms move synchronously and are actionable by one 13kg servo motor.
Two 48:1 geared motors with metal output shafts operate the four tracks and makes the robot move on different terrains. We’re pretty impressive by the power of these motors counting the considerable weight of the kit.
This tank chassis is compatible with a ton of microcontrollers and driver boards. If you love Arduino, just use it with the proper motor driver. Do you need a platform full of sensors and accessories? Yes, it can. Do you need a robot to go anywhere? Yes, it can also do that for you. Cloud Rack Multi-Chassis Tank it’s like a military weapon with the mission to climb obstacles, stairs and drive on some challenging terrains.
Stay tuned for another article where we will demonstrate the Multi-Chassis Tank’s capabilities indoor and outdoor as well.
Even More Robot Chassis Platforms!
Here are more articles with references to robot chassis platforms we’ve managed to collect so far.
- Best chassis to build an all terrain robot on wheels
- The T100 Smart Tank Chassis
- This Week in DIY Hardware: What’s New From Adafruit, Pololu, and Others
- Devastator Robot Kit For Intel Edison
The Final Point
We are regularly looking for the most valuable robot chassis platforms on the market. If you have plans to release one of them, please contact us at email@example.com — we would like to support you on Into Robotics.