Saturday, March 13, 2010

LV Tanker Takes 5th Place Medal

LV Tanker Takes the 5th Place Medal

In the NY Science Olympiad Regional Finals at Webber Middle School, the LV Tanker plowed its way to 5th place of 43 contestants.

The LV Tanker pushed its way through the semi finals and – with is blinking LEDs and front mounted laser the Tanker was a real crowd favorite - being the only contender to be controlled by a custom 2.4 GHz remote with Wii Nunchuck, and the only sumo bot entry with its own on-board programmable (Arduino) microcontroller. But in the end, the Tanker got blindsided from the side - its only weak spot, and was pushed out.

Thank you all for your support and ideas.

Saturday, January 9, 2010



Sumo Bot Entry for 7th Grade NYS Science Olympiad by JP

This Sumo Bot runs on low voltage batteries and uses a programmable Arduino microcontroller for all controls. A second Arduino communicating via 2.4 GHz XBee is used for remote control. The remote talks I2C to a Wii nunchuck joystick with accelerometer. The Tankers high-torque motors and locking transmissions, plus double sided operation with automatic attitude detection make it a tough challenger. It was designed to meet the NYS Science Olympiad Class "B" specifications.
The LV Tanker Top-side View

Tanker bottom-side view with major features
Bottom-side view showing lightening holes, homemade remote control, and initial design in Blender

Starting with a design in Blender nearly 11 months ago the LV Tanker took estimated 250 hours to build, 3 prototypes, 4 motor shield designs, and many hours of programming.

  • 2 high torque low voltage motors with orbital gear transmissions in a tank-style configuration
  • On-board ATMEL ATmega328 microprocessor in Arduino Duemilanove configuration with 32Kb memory and 16Mhz clock speed
  • 2.4 Gigahertz wireless mesh network communications based on the XBee
  • Laser assisted guidance
  • Multiple programmable modes
  • Automatic attitude detection for seamless two sided operation (it can be flipped over and still drive and nunchuck automatically reverses)
  • Rugged aluminum, steel, & plastic construction
  • 9 individually controlled LED status indicators
  • Piezoelectric "speaker" for audio signals
  • Symmetrically balanced motors with locked stopped position by Black & Decker
  • Direct driveshaft for main axels, light-weight Nylon chain driven secondary axels for tank-like operation
  • Transistors with electrically isolated left and right channel motor relays
  • Operation with Wii nunchuck joystick and accelerometer control or old-school 2.4 GHz wireless Arduino based joystick

Special thanks to:

  • Arduino -
  • Adafruit - for their parts and tutorials
  • Tod Kurt - for his instruction and inspiration
  • Gold Coast Hobby for motivation
  • Dr. Wolf, Mr. Lee and Mr. Maier for their sponsorship  

Feel free to contact us for more information, code etc.

  • Locust Valley Tanker
  • L: 30cm, W: 29.5 cm, H: 7.5 cm
  • 1.982kg (U.S. PO Weight)
  • (4) 1.5V "AA" and (4) 1.5V "C"
  • By JP
Parts, software and help from Arduino, Mouser, Black & Decker, ThingM, Adafruit, Digi, ATMEL, TI Sparkfun, Fun Gizmos, Radio Shack, Duracell, ST, Seeed Studio and others.