Review of Mini Tank Robot for Arduino

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Disclaimer: This review consists of my own opinion. Gearbest sent me the Keyestudio TS – 50 Mini Bluetooth Tank Robot Smart Car Kit for this review, but otherwise I am receiving no compensation for this write-up.

An Arduino compatible robot tank is not hard to build. You can find tons of projects that show you how to build one at home from scratch. But, what if you want just to play with one? And less to cut wires, cut plywood, build tracks and so on. Well, a mini robot tank kit is the perfect solution. You just assemble the components and write the code. Then, just play, that’s all!

This Mini Tank Robot for Arduino is simple and doesn’t require degrees in electronics and programming to work with it. The kit includes sensors, electronics, batteries, the chassis and accessories that put together the components and parts. Currently, the price of the kit is $66 on GearBest (the kit has a discount of 46%).

I like to build autonomous and less remote controlled robots. This kit can handle both modes: autonomous and wireless control. The HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor can detect the obstacles while the tracks change the direction. The Bluetooth module is useful to control the robot with a smartphone or a tablet.

Because I assembled and tested the robot tank, below you can read my own opinion about it. For first, let’s starts with what I like and I don’t like at this mobile platform.

To not forget: I managed to fry the Arduino UNO clone at the second try. I just fried the board as I left the battery connected when installing the USB cable. Luckily, I replace it with an Arduino UNO, and the robot went perfectly.

Pluses

  • easy to assemble (even without instructions)
  • you have alternative for all the electronic parts

Minuses

  • the battery holder is 2×3.7V instead 4AA batteries which are more common in the DIY zone
  • one tank tread was larger than the other (maybe a defect of the kit that was not intended)
  • no tools to mount the kit
  • poor documentation. This is a link to a video that last no more than 2 minutes.

Inside the box

For your $66, you get the Arduino UNO clone, the motor driver, an Arduino UNO compatible sensor shield, the chassis parts, an HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor, two DC motors, battery holder, two 3.7V batteries, two tracks, a Bluetooth module, and other accessories and components.

The complete list is here:

Mini Bluetooth Tank Robot Smart Car Kit Components

Mini Bluetooth Tank Robot Smart Car Kit Components

The chassis

A part of the driving system

A part of the driving system

I like the chassis. The metallic components are durable and feature a lot of holes for additional parts and components.

The controller

I don’t have too much to add here. The controller is an Arduino UNO clone. This is good since you can replace it with a genuine Arduino UNO. But just in case you have problems. Otherwise, the Keyestudio UNO R3 Controller make its job to control the motors and sensors.

Programming

If you already play with an Arduino board, you have all you need to program this robot. You can use the Arduino IDE to upload sketches into the controller.

Building the robot tank

Mini Tank Robot Assembled

Mini Tank Robot Assembled

It was fun to build this mini robot tank. Sometimes, the lack of documentation makes you think as a designer/engineer and less as a hobbyist.

I test the kit and here is a video:

8 comments » Write a comment

  1. Hi, thanks for your review. I am evaluating the features of this robot, which is available also on amazon.it together with his cheaper brother:
    https://www.amazon.it/Keyestudio-Bluetooth-ultrasuoni-telecomando-serbatoio/dp/B01GL1LJVU (65.74 euro)
    https://www.amazon.it/Keyestudio-Bluetooth-Smart-Car-atmega-328p/dp/B01J9W4X4I/ (57.00 euro)
    (which is the best? they are more or less identical, but for the locomotion system).
    I want to use it (the wheeled robot or the tank, I still must decide) for my lessons at school.
    I’d like to know more. For example: the robot does not go straight, in your video. Of course this is a problem which concerns all robots without wheel encoders. Anyway, did you try to improve and correct the movement by driving the right and left wheels with different speed? Is it possible?
    Is the sensor interface totally saturated by the connected sensors, or is there some space to connect even more? I’d like to try with some of Keyestudio sensors, or others, in particular with IR obstacle detection sensors. Is the US obstacle avoiding system based on the HC-SR04 good enough? In all my tests with other robots, this sensor is far from being optimal.
    That is all for now, but I’ll probably have more questions for you 🙂
    Thanks
    Giorgio
    giorgio.denunzio @ unisalento.it

    • Hi,
      I tried only this version of the kit. Honest speaking, I was not impressed by the kit. Y

      Regarding the sensors, yes, you can connect more sensors. It uses an Arduino clone, so you have some I/O pins to interface sensors and actuators.

      • Hi Calin, thanks for your comment. May I ask you why you were not positively impressed? It is very important to me, because I have to rapidly decide if to buy or not to buy. I need the robots for my lessons. I’d be glad if you wrote to my email address, making communication faster. My address is in my former message (with some spaces interleaved, before and after the @). Thanks. Giorgio

        • Hi,

          Minuses

          • the battery holder is 2×3.7V instead 4AA batteries which are more common in the DIY zone
          • one tank tread was larger than the other (maybe a defect of the kit that was not intended)
          • no tools to mount the kit
          • poor documentation. This is a link to a video that last no more than 2 minutes.
          • Thanks for your reply!
            Batteries: ok, I agree it is somewhat unusual, but I already use 18650 batteries for my flashlight., I know them. It is a way to reduce the occupied space. Documentation: there is also a pdf file on their site, and by writing to Keyestudio I got a .doc which I think is clearer and perhaps more detailed. But of course I have not tried assembling yet, so I don’t know how difficult it will be. What seems a problem is the second one you point out. Anyway, from the point of view of sensors, operation, solidity, noise, precision…. you have no major criticisms, I think, am I right? Thanks.

          • Hi,

            “Anyway, from the point of view of sensors, operation, solidity, noise, precision…. you have no major criticisms, I think, am I right?”
            Yes, I don’t have major criticisms.

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