Vex Hexbug 25mm Ballistic Tank

My latest project is a mashup of a few Hexbug kits to create this tank that fires 25mm balls.

Parts list:
. Hexbug Slap Shot (Gun)
. Hexbug Scarab Robot Bug (cosmetics)
. Hexbug Robotic Arm (modified motors / turret rotation)
. Vex Tank Tread Kit
. Raspberry Pi 3
. Adafruit DC Motor Controller Hat
. L298N Motor Controller board (I need another Adafruit hat)
. Logitech Wireless Controller
. Pocket Juice Charging Packs (5v 2.4a)

I built the tank’s lower end and track system from scratch, even made the road wheels float with terrain changes. Made sure to leave room in the cavity for the Pi and supporting electronics.

The upper half, scored the Hexbug Slap Shot kit and totally hacked it up to hold more balls (10-12), used a motor to shoot, and added gears for positioning the turret. Several challenges getting everything to work right and keep its narrow form. Wrapped it all up in Hexbug Scarab parts for cosmetics and make it close to proper tank colors.

Used the Raspberry Pi 3, Python and the Logitech controller to manage all of the motors… more less replaced the Vex Brain System. I’m working on hacking the Hexbug sensors to work with the Pi, they seem very simple and could make this tank an autonomous robot destroyer.

To-Do’s – get a longer cable for the Pi-Cam to add first person view allowing full tank management from the computer screen.

Videos:
. Take 1 – https://youtu.be/Yt4tV_sgMDQ
. Take 2 – https://youtu.be/VOKlOsNl7l4

a63069d5cce9c4ab8170b7b4e37eac32.jpg

3d55832ef95205d029d91a3e8fbe1015.jpg

a8b25670aac9302f1f9ed011d9b3d4fe.jpg

34b4d91f03844a27ecb8a8d588861e0f.jpg

65393499953099689e702d721e35567f.jpg

Awesome! Great work.

Nice merging of tech! The snap shot looks great atop the tank base, too.
Do you have any images or video of the the tank going over uneven terrain? Kind of interested in the floating wheels you mentioned.

Cool… appreciate the feedback. The one item I really wanted to include was a first person camera. I have one for the RPi, just didn’t have a long enough ribbon cable. Going to order one once we get into our new home and the family spending freeze is over.

As for the tank track… keeping it simple and playing within the bounds of what Vex tracks can do, the road wheels are configured to float/pivot when the terrain changes. Since the track has restrictions on flexibility, the road wheels work better for climbing when the tank is leaning forward or backward vs going over smaller items where the track should flex over what ever it comes across… but doesn’t in this case.

They were a lot of fun to build and of course, getting them to do what I intended them to do was a WIN in my book. :slight_smile:

75e087ffcab34eeed6f510eed1bd1273.jpg

2a2da81a2c8f4a15d641a57b3c0716e8.jpg

a8d4003e7a09d01d0d8ed0d0ff053865.jpg

011c95f7ccde0f766fbbc3b3b08bdb7c.jpg

I liked your realization of the fastenings of tank tracks. :cool:

Thanks for the new photos. I wasn’t sure if all the white pins were used for fastening, but now I can see that some are, in fact, used to limit the motion of the floating wheels. Great job!