Android powered tank

If flinging birds at pigs is starting to get a little repetitive, London web developer Tamlyn has lain the basic premise for your very own army of Android powered robot tanks.  Using an existing RC powered tank, everything but the drive assembly and power supply was removed and replaced with an Android phone and an inexpensive IOIO (pronounced yo-yo) board to control the circuitry remotely -- yes, you drive this tank via the Internet. 

Using any web browser, you can send steering commands to an Android phone running Tamlyn's home-brew application.  The signals are then sent out via the phone's USB port, interpreted by the IOIO board circuitry, and power is applied to drive the tank in the direction you told it to go.  He has the response time cut down to 30 milliseconds on Wifi, but feels that he may see issues with network latency when he tests on a 3G connection.

What I find most interesting, is Tamlyn's statement about how easy he found it to write Android apps.  This just so happens to be his first Android application, and he has this to say:

This is my first Android project but thankfully the Android SDK and documentation are outstanding. With the help of a few tutorials I went from Hello World to a simple app that accepted HTTP connections in just a few hours.

That's a far cry from some of the horror stories we hear about Android being to hard to program for, and while this application is just a simple webserver, that fact that an Android programming novice found it so easy to make says a lot.

While I don't think anyone would be able to storm the gates of evil Castle Cupertino with these tanks, it sure looks like a fun way to play with the dog.  Check the video after the break, and read the rest at the source link.

Source: Tamlyn Via: BoingBoing


Youtube link for mobile viewing

There are 12 comments

Why in the world was I thinking of a real-sized tank?

joshua.worth says:

Don't worry so was I.

DarknesSx says:

So did i :/

dco50321 says:


hasiticninja says:

Now if you could program an android to bring you a beer. That would be a publicity campaign on itself lol.

lol i co-sign wit hasiticninja

Getting ready for a riot he is

docking mini fridge for beer. like roomba but beerba.

candroid90 says:

The world has taken the first step toward Android world domination.

Oh well. ;-) Now where did I put my HTC Hero?!?

JD MBA says:

Now build a million of them and have them go toward Cupertino.

All this needs is to have the option to activate the camera, and if it works over the internet, this could have all sorts of uses in the real world from surveillance to military uses.
I have an old RC tank lying about, and a lg android phone I dont use so with the instructions and app, I would love to have ago at this.

benzert says:

I love to Learn! plez how can I get start or what should i need too.