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Topic: IR Battle Tanks (Read 29114 times) previous topic - next topic


That's awesome stuff.  Is there a way for the towers to identify friend-or-foe or do they target any nearby target ?
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse" - retired astronaut Chris Hadfield


That's a good point.  Currently the ultrasonic sensor only detects distance rather than type, a tank could be killed by friendly fire.

IR pulses are unique and could be rejected, if the tank detected a "friendly" IR shot. 

For example HuanQi pulses are different from Forces of Valor pulses which are different from Battle Machine pulses. 

Currently my "hacked" tanks output all the pulses and accept all the pulses as hits. 

I was thinking that I might add RF receiver to the tower to turn them "off" when I wanted to pass.

Alternately I could add an IR receiver to them and use an IR remote to turn them on/off.  This is probably the cheapest method.

What do you think?


I presume these turrets are not going to be immortal in the final design?  If so, another option (not as straightforward perhaps?) is to have your turrets use their iR sensor that's used for recording hits to decode an iR beacon LED on each tank which broadcasts a friend/foe or team iD?
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse" - retired astronaut Chris Hadfield


Apr 09, 2012, 04:20 am Last Edit: Apr 09, 2012, 05:12 am by Paulware Reason: 1

 To add an element of strategy, I used the repair robots to enable/disable the tower.  Previously the repair pulse only fixed vehicles, but now the tower will respond to a repair pulse by stopping its scan and firing.  

 Another possible future option would be for a repair robot to repair a disabled enemy unit and "claim" it for the friendly side.

 Note:  I hacked up this rumble robot pretty bad.  The problem ended up being old AA batteries.  It needed fresh ones. The way their motors are geared, they don't behave well with marginal batteries.
I ended up adding a TIP120 (NPN transistor) to the arm movement because I couldn't find the pin that controlled them.  If anyone knows where this pin is located, please send me a .jpg...thanks.

 Most people place their rumble robot controller in the head, but this requires that the arm motors be removed.  I kind of liked the arm motion, so I had to place my controller on the outside of the robot...Not very pretty, but the arm motion is cute for simulating the repairing of the vehicle.


I think landmines could be made cheaply using: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Force-Sensitive-Resistor-FSR/step5/Notes/ force sensors made from conductive foam + atmega168


Jul 02, 2012, 12:12 am Last Edit: Jul 02, 2012, 12:54 am by Paulware Reason: 1
Update for Huan Qi Tanks.  They now support 4 channels


Hi Paul

Do you find multiple ultrasonic sensors from the towers etc interfere with each other much?  Or how do you avoid that?

"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse" - retired astronaut Chris Hadfield


Jul 04, 2012, 05:05 am Last Edit: Jul 04, 2012, 02:20 pm by Paulware Reason: 1
Hi Geoff,

  Ultrasonic sensors have a range of about 3 feet.  I suppose that there is a potential for the transmission of one to be received as an echo by another, but I'm not sure if internal hardware may discount it (as the value would be higher than a normal echo).  Its a fair question and honestly I haven't created enough sensors to be able to test for this.  

 Which brings up another point that I am just starting to grasp.  An IR battlefield is composed of mobile units and static models and static interactive units.  I have been focused on the mobile units, but truly the larger effort is creating the Battlefield complete with models of cities, farmlands, terrain and static units.  To create a quality battlefield is at least as time/money consuming as creating a quality G-Scale train layout.  This hasn't necessarily discouraged me from continuing but it has given me a better grasp of what I want to create.


, but I'm not sure if internal hardware may discount it (as the value would be higher than a normal echo)

I think you may be overestimating the sophistication of U/S sensors.
I've seen them fooled by the U/S components of the sound of keys being jangled.


I hacked the star wars "Hellfire" tank.  Here is the board pins identified for left/right forward/reverse and fire:

Here is some more info:

I will post a video shortly


Those are really cool! Do you have any pictures of the mechanical workings, motors, tracks etc?


Any particular model that you would like to see gears/motors?  I have a bunch of Heng Long 1/16, no Tamiyas.  The GI  Joe tanks I've actually had trouble with the gears and need some help to refurbish them.

You know what would be cool?...Take a wifi camera that has pan/tilt, and hack the pan/tilt to control the movement of the tank.  I have a wanscam that I am trying to get to work...Anybody read chinese?



Dec 10, 2012, 12:58 am Last Edit: Dec 10, 2012, 01:55 am by Mortis Reason: 1
Hi, Paulware!

Nice work!!! I loved your tanks!!! XD

I have only one Huan Qi Tank, model 516-10 and green color and 40MHz, I could not find the yellow one yet and I'm working on a arduino bot to fight with green.

I made arduino tank using chassis from another tank, it is controlled by bluetooth and I added an IR emitter and receiver. I found on your library the code for barrel shot (huanQiPulses[] = {12500, 600, 2150, 600, 700, 1950, 600, 8500};) and now my arduino tank can fire against green tank with barrel XD. Thank you for it.

Now I want one little favor from you ^^

Can you scan machine gun pulses? Please?

Oh.. and sorry for my bad english, i'm brazilian and my portuguese is bad, imagine other languages lol

I am alert here to see your upcoming projects!!! ;)

Happy development!


Dec 10, 2012, 03:19 am Last Edit: Dec 10, 2012, 03:29 am by Paulware Reason: 1
Machine gun is very similar.  I'm glad you liked it.  I'll have to check my library, or do quick check.  I have a library for hacking an ir pulse.  That may be useful as well.  Can you point me to how you did the Bluetooth control.  I have a Bluetooth shield but I'm not sure if you need a master or a slave.


Hi, Paulware!!

I have used https://github.com/shirriff/Arduino-IRremote and using dump sample I got pulses codes from my green tank (arduino can receive shots now).

My problema was know the pulses that green tank recognizes as barrel and machine-gun (from the yellow tank, that I not have). Thanks to you I have the barrel and I will be very happy if you can hack (dump) machine-gun pulses from your 27MHz yellow tank.

I'm not using an arduino bluetooth shield, I'm using a module, this one http://dx.com/p/jy-mcu-arduino-bluetooth-wireless-serial-port-module-104299.

I use this module to PC connection as a simple serial connection, to control  the tank using keyboard or my ps3 controller connected to PC. I'm on work now, but I use codes similar to this: http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-Control-arduino-by-bluetooth-from-PC-pock/?ALLSTEPS

I'm following the most easy way ;)

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