Tank Tracks for Robots
Posted 25 Apr 2005 at 16:12 UTC by steve
I've been looking for a good source for tank-like tracks that would
work on a small robot. I've found a few but was hoping robots.net
readers might know of others. Everyone is familiar with the inexpensive
track kit. Bots and Bytes offers an 11.8" track
kit made of aircraft grade aluminium for about $300. Pololu offers
an interesting plastic track kit
made of injection molded ABS in a
variety of sizes at an affordable price. I'm aware of the LiteFoot ATV tracks too, but
they're a bit too large for hobby robots. So what else is out there for
small robots - any ideas?
Tank trax, posted 25 Apr 2005 at 18:02 UTC by cschur »
I bought one of those Stuart M5 tanks at walmart, and it makes a great
base. its decent quality, and man it really goes over some nasty
Stuart M5, posted 25 Apr 2005 at 18:49 UTC by steve »
Yep, several DPRG folks bought those when a Walmart in our area briefly
marked a few down to $50. They're pretty neat but a little bigger than I
want right now. There are also a lot of R/C tanks available on eBay that
might work as bases but I was hoping to find a set of tracks actually
intended for robot builders.
Johnny 5 tracks, posted 25 Apr 2005 at 21:11 UTC by robodave »
Try McMaster Carr and search for
"table chain". It looks like they start at about $78 for a 10 foot
length that is 3.25" wide and has drive/idler sprockets on the same page
($30 each x at least 4) Expensive but pretty cool looking and looks easy
to put together.
That aluminium track sounds pretty good but at $300 i think its a
little too expensive. Personally I've always built my own caterpillar
tracks out of rubber car mats. if you get the tread pattern right the
robot will have loads of traction. This way you can make the tracks as
wide and as long as you like. I reckon the best bonding technique is
just to staple the ends together. I've never once had a track breakage
and if you get the tension right they won't throw either.
Nelnick.com, posted 26 Apr 2005 at 18:45 UTC by egoo76 »
I see someone has already put http://www.nelnick.com/nelniech.html in a
reply. The only thing I can add is that I have ordered parts from them
in the past and have had great results. I have not ordered the tracks
www.omnitrac.com has an "IP310 Miniature Track Platform" that has 2"
wide tracks, a 10.5" wheelbase, 12 or 24v motors, and a 60 lb. capacity.
You can get to the page by entering "miscellaneous" and "electric
powered" into the search windows.
I bet it has a high price, too. I couldn't find one.
"Me too", posted 30 Apr 2005 at 06:26 UTC by tim.holt »
I've been looking for treads lately too - but I'm looking for something
heavier than most of what I'm seeing. Or maybe just cheaper. I'd like
something more "battle bot" scaled and capable of carrying a load of say
100-200 lbs. Basically I want to put a wheelbarrow or small garden cart
on a set of tracks so it's got to be able to support that kind of
The McMaster Carr conveyor chain looks great - but it's a bit spendy.
But I'm guessing that about anything you want that's got some capacity
is going to have to be good in order to work.
Another reference for tracks, and making your own, check out
http://www.rctankcombat.com/ - specifically the How To articles (there's
one on treads).
Also, check out http://www.robotcombat.com/marketplace_machinelab.html
for some prebuilt setups.