Devastator (Tank Mobile Platform for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc. )

Devastator Tank Platform Review: Top Robot Kit?

It’s not every day you come across a robot platform that feels like it could survive a mission to Mars! We recently had a blast building and testing the DFRobot Devastator, a tank-like robot platform that’s as sturdy as they come. Constructed from high-strength aluminum alloy, this kit is ready to take on your wildest robotic dreams.

Putting together the Devastator was a hands-on endeavor, and while you’ll need a screwdriver and a bit of patience, the process is satisfyingly straightforward. What sets it apart is its versatility; with an array of mounting holes ready for sensors, servos, and microcontrollers, it’s a tinkerer’s paradise. Compatibility with a variety of microcontrollers, including the Romeo All-in-one and Raspberry Pi, adds to the appeal for hobbyists and educators alike.

The metal gear motors are a significant upgrade from plastic, and you can feel the difference the moment this tank starts to move—it’s robust and dependable. With the ability to carry up to 3kg, applications from mobile robotic arms to outdoor roving robots are within reach.

Bottom Line

For those looking to dive into the world of customized robotics, the DFRobot Devastator tank platform is a fantastic starting block. Its durability, adaptability, and ease of assembly make it a top choice for anyone ready to bring their robotic ventures to life.

Eager to start your robotic journey? Click here to grab your own DFRobot Devastator and let the creative fun begin!

DFROBOT Devastator Tank Overview

We were quite impressed by the sturdiness of this robot platform. The high strength aluminum alloy construction gives it a solid and durable feel that had us confident in its ability to handle some rough and tumble. Putting it together was straightforward, thanks to the clear assembly instructions included in the kit. There’s no need to pull out the soldering iron either, as the modular wiring made the process hassle-free.

What’s really exciting is how customizable this tank is. With its multiple mounting holes, we had fun experimenting with various sensors and controllers — it pairs well with many popular microcontrollers like Raspberry Pi and Intel Edison. It’s certainly versatile enough for educational purposes, robot competitions, or even research projects.

On the downside, we did notice that you need your own tools for assembly, and as it’s sold as a kit without a microcontroller, you should be ready to provide your own. However, with the upgraded robust metal gear motors and a boosted load capacity of 3kg, the improvements from the previous version are tangible.

As a kit that requires a bit of initial setup, the Devastator has a rewarding payoff with its robustness and adaptability – we found it to be an excellent foundation for any robotic endeavor.

Durable Aluminum Build

We recently got our hands on the DFROBOT Devastator Tank and we’re impressed by its solid aluminum construction. It’s not every day that you come across a robot platform that feels like it can handle the rough and tumble of enthusiastic play or persistent experimentation. We found that the metal build ensures both stability and longevity, which is a win if you’re investing in a robot for educational purposes or just for the thrill of it.

The aluminum’s quality adds a touch of sleekness to the design and, from our experience, it doesn’t seem to scratch or dent easily. This is crucial if you’re planning on putting this tank through its paces, whether that’s indoors or out in the yard. We noticed that the structure is robust enough to take a few knocks without compromising the functionality, making it a reliable choice for robot enthusiasts.

While no product is without its faults and there could be improvements made to the tank for an even more indestructible feel, our experience tells us that for its price point, the Devastator Tank’s sturdiness stands out in the crowd of educational robot kits. It’s clear to us that DFROBOT has prioritized durability in this design, which might just be this robot platform’s superpower.

Advanced Modular Wiring

Our time with the Devastator Tank was quite enlightening, especially when it came to its modular wiring setup. One of the standout features we appreciated was the fact that no soldering is required at all. This is a huge plus for hobbyists who want to avoid the hassle or don’t have the necessary equipment. We could easily add components without worrying about making a bad solder joint.

The ease of connecting additional sensors and components is impressive. It’s clear that DFROBOT has listened to feedback and improved from their previous models — the inclusion of robust metal gear motors not only adds to the durability but clearly supports a higher load capacity. We could feel the difference, as the Tank now handles up to 3kg, doubling its predecessor’s capability.

What really struck us was the harmony between the strong build quality and the flexibility provided by the wiring. Hooking up a microcontroller was a breeze, and we can see this being a great fit for educational purposes or even robot competitions where fast and reliable assembly is paramount.

High-Performance Metal Gear Motors

When we got our hands on the Devastator Tank, the robust metal gear motors immediately caught our attention. Upgraded from previous versions, these high-quality motors provide the strength necessary to handle a load capacity of up to 3kg. The difference is noticeable—the tank moves with a sense of purpose and reliability, thanks in part to the 45:1 gear reduction ratio that offers a balanced blend of torque and speed.

Quick to assemble with no soldering required, the connectors snap together, easing the initial setup. While testing, the motors operated smoothly, with a commendable no-load speed, and we admired how effortlessly it adapted to various attachments and controllers. Our experience was slightly marred by some manual inaccuracies and adjustments needed for the caterpillar sections, but it didn’t deter from the overall performance.

This platform screams durability and is ideal for anyone passionate about robotics, be it in education or competition. Just keep in mind you’ll need to source a separate microcontroller, as it’s not included in the kit.

Enhanced Load Capacity

We just gave the DFROBOT Devastator Tank a thorough test, and we’re genuinely impressed by its robust load-bearing abilities. On paper, it might seem unassuming, but in practice, this robot platform has proven itself a little workhorse. The sturdy metal construction and the powerful metal DC gear motors come together to offer a stable base that handily supports the projects we’ve undertaken.

In use, our Devastator easily handled add-ons and customizations without a hitch. Whether we were piling on sensors or rigging up a small arm, the platform remained unfazed. The sense of confidence this gives us in the platform’s reliability can’t be overstated—there’s real peace of mind in knowing that it’s strong enough to bear the literal load of our creativity.

Yet, it’s not just about strength; the platform’s design seems thoroughly thought out to provide stability too. There’s no denying that when we commandeer it across various surfaces, the loads stay put—no wobbling around. While some platforms might show strain under weight or start to lag, the Devastator powers through, its motors unbothered by the extra grams.

Balancing this, of course, it’s important to remember that it’s not built to carry your groceries! There’s a practical limit that, if exceeded, might impact performance or stability. But within its design scope, the Devastator excels, offering us a reliable foundational tool for building and exploring robotics.

Pros and Cons

Having recently had our hands on the DFROBOT Devastator Tank, we’re genuinely thrilled to share our insights on its strengths and areas that might need a bit of tweaking.


  • Easy Assembly: We found putting this robotic platform together a breeze. The new body design is smartly crafted to simplify construction, which is fantastic if you’re like us and prefer to jump straight into the fun part without fiddling around too much.
  • No Need for Soldering: This is a huge plus! Modular wiring means you can give the soldering iron a rest and snap things together. This feature is genuinely a time-saver and it’s kind to beginners.
  • Sturdier Motors: They’ve given the plastic motors from the V1 an impressive upgrade to metal gear motors. This means more robustness and better performance all around – we certainly felt the difference.
  • Increased Load: Doubling the load capacity from 1.5kg to 3kg is no small feat. We loaded our robot with various modules and it handled the weight without a hitch.


  • Documentation Could Be Better: While the majority of the setup was straightforward, we stumbled a bit with the instructions. Some trial and error were involved, but we managed to work it out.
  • Additional Hardware Needed: Remember, this is a platform, so to get it running, you need to supply your own Raspberry Pi and electronics. Make sure you have these ready.
  • Fit and Finish: A couple of us noticed that certain parts, like the caterpillar tracks, required some extra effort to fit perfectly. It’s a minor quibble, but something to keep in mind if you’re aiming for a flawless build.

It’s clear to us that the DFROBOT Devastator Tank is designed with both hobbyists and education in mind. With its solid build and thoughtful features, you could do much worse for a base to create a genuinely fun and educational robot experience. Sure, it’s not perfect – what is? – but its pros definitely tilt the scales in its favor.

Insights from Customer Reviews

We’ve been getting hands-on with the DFROBOT Devastator Tank and combing through the shared experiences of other users. On the upside, enthusiasts are thrilled about its ease of assembly, especially when pairing with a RaspberryPi and adding custom components like neopixel lights. It’s a consensus that the platform is very well crafted and provides a sturdy foundation for anyone wanting to dive into robotics.

However, it’s important to address some critical feedback too. We’ve noticed a couple of concerns from the community, specifically regarding the instructions. For users abroad, the lack of localized language options in the manual has been a hiccup, and some found errors in the guide. Physical assembly posed challenges for a few, as there were instances of misaligned screw holes leading to frustration and even returns. The caterpillar section needed a bit of hand tweaking for a perfect fit according to one user.

Overall, weighing the good with the few points of critique, we understand that while the platform isn’t without its flaws, it serves as a solid and exciting entry point into custom robotics projects for DIY enthusiasts.


We’ve spent some quality time with the Devastator and it’s a solid platform for robotics enthusiasts. The ease of assembly is a highlight – it’s a breeze to put together, and pairing it with a RaspberryPi turns it into a powerhouse. The ability to customize it with neat add-ons like neopixel lights and digital servos makes it incredibly versatile for our creative projects.

It’s not without its challenges; some of us encountered a few hiccups with manual errors or had to finesse the track fit. But once those minor hurdles are jumped, it’s all smooth sailing. We’ve appreciated the robust construction that promises many fun filled coding sessions.

With a 3.9-star rating, the Devastator isn’t flawless, yet it’s definitely a go-to for DIY robot builders looking for a reliable start. Sure, you’ll need to supply the tech like a raspberry Pi, but that’s part of the charm – it’s a canvas waiting for our innovation. If you’re ready to dive into the world of robotics, this platform could be the launchpad for your creativity!

Frequently Asked Questions

After having hands-on experience with the Devastator, we’ve compiled some FAQs for those interested in diving into robotics or expanding their current arsenal of tech gadgets.

What are the standout features of the DFRobot Devastator tank platform?

The Devastator has really upped the game by upgrading to robust metal gear motors which are a significant improvement over the previous plastic ones. We’ve noticed the load capacity is generous, increased to 3kg, allowing for a variety of add-ons. The modular wiring is a godsend, making it a breeze to assemble without needing a soldering iron. Plus, its new body shape is not only eye-catching but quite functional, providing ample space for additional modules.

How does the Devastator tank platform integrate with a Raspberry Pi for robotics projects?

Integration with a Raspberry Pi is seamless. Given this platform’s compatibility with a range of microcontrollers, including the Pi Model B+, we had no trouble connecting it. Of course, you’ll need your own Raspberry Pi and a suitable motor hat to make it run, but once set up, the possibilities for robotics projects are just exhilarating!

What kind of terrain can the Devastator tank handle, and how well does it perform on uneven surfaces?

The construction of the Devastator is solid. It can navigate over a variety of terrains with ease. For an educational or hobbyist project, you’ll be impressed by its ability to tackle obstacles and uneven surfaces. We’ve taken it over carpet, tile, and even some outdoor conditions, and the performance remained consistent and reliable.

Can the Devastator tank be considered a good starting point for DIY robotics enthusiasts?

Absolutely! If you’re stepping into the DIY robotics realm, the Devastator is an ideal starting kit. Assembly is straightforward with the detailed instructions, and its compatibility with multiple microcontrollers makes it a versatile choice for various levels of programming and mechanical skills. We found it to be an excellent educational tool that strikes a balance between simplicity for beginners and potential for complexity for advanced users.

What are the customization options available for the Devastator tank platform?

This tank platform does not hold back on customization. With its numerous mounting holes and compatibility with different sensors, servos, and controllers, we were able to add neopixel lights and digital servos to ours. It’s quite adaptable, so your imagination is the limit when it comes to customizing the Devastator.

How does the mobility and durability of the Devastator tank compare to other mobile robot kits on the market?

When juxtaposing the Devastator with other robot kits, its mobility and durability stand out. With its metal construction and updated gear motors, it’s built to last. We’ve had ours bump into furniture and walls with no issues or damage. The mobility across distinct terrains is commendable and certainly holds its ground against competitors. The dependable construction and ease of movement make it a worthy investment for any robot enthusiast.


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