Ian Glen


A robotic tank designed to carry heavy objects across a wide variety of terrain, both indoor and outdoor. May eventually become autonomous.

This project has been through three major revisions since its inception in 2018. It can carry a payload of up to 200 lbs and now features dual 1kW brushless motors, custom 3D printed tracks, Spektrum DSMX remote control, a large capacity 12S LiPo battery pack, CANBus, LED lights, wireless telemetry via Bluetooth, and a removable lid with accessory rails.

CANBus LED Controller

Adding headlights and RGB strips to the tank, with another CANBus module to control it all.


Controller powered up

Lights test

Night test

CANBus and Custom PCBs

Autotank V3 gets a major electronics upgrade with custom-designed modules and a CANBus network, and finally an E-stop system. Added power supply module, E-stop module, main controller module, and touchscreen display.


Controller and Power Supply Module

E-Stop Module


Upgraded tank

Upgraded tank

Tank in its natural habitat

Tank Closeup

Adding Suspension

Mechanical redesign to add torsion beam suspension.

Drilling jig

Drilling jig

Arm bushings

Side plates

Suspension arms

Suspension beams

Assembled suspension

Assembled tank


Improvements with Autotank V2

Autotank V2 is back with some major improvements over the initial design. Switched to beefier brushless electric skateboard motors, eliminated motor gearbox, improved track tensioner design, upgraded plywood top, added strap tie down points, and switched to spot welded battery.

New brushless motor

New brushless motor 2

Tensioner CAD

Tensioner parts

Larger new brushless motor

Assembled tensioner

DIY battery spot welder

Battery spot weld

Assembling battery packs

Assembling tank

Assembled V2

Building the Autotank

From concept design to assembled tank in about a month. All components hand made with basic power tools. Final assembly took place during Flite Fest 2018.

Initial concept

CAD Design

DIY bending brake

Bent bottom sheet metal

Making shaft spacers

Assembled side plates and road wheels

Fitting of Aluminum Square Tubing Frame

Motor Gearbox CAD

Gearbox Plates

Assembling the Gearbox

Assembled Gearbox

Plywood top installed

3D Printed Battery Brackets

Battery Cells

Assembled Battery Packs

Finished Product


This project is open source hardware. The complete mechanical design files and CAD drawings are available on GitHub.