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Description: You better call Dr. Grant because we’ve got a T'Rex! If you thought our previous robot chassis were beefy and rugged then you haven’t seen this. The T'Rex Tank Chassis is a full metal all-terrain robot platform designed to handle the most extreme driving conditions possible! This chassis offers the best of two worlds: It takes almost no time to go from un-boxing to rolling chassis, but it’s also ready to be expanded on and makes great base stock for a serious ‘bot.

The T'Rex Tank Chassis is equipped with two independently driven 12V gearmotors with a typical current rating of 4A (No Load at 1.3A & Stall Current at 11A with a 5000mAh LiPo Battery). Each motor drives one tank tread that offers three lower wheels that help to improve traction and reduce shock to the main body and controller. On that note: the gears, tracks, suspension struts, and wheels are all made of die cast zinc which offers a fair amount of corrosion resistance reducing the constant need of maintenance and upkeep.

Inside the T'Rex Chassis' aluminum body you will find plenty of space for your motor controller, batteries, sensors, and anything else you could possibly need space for. Two top panels can be easily removed via four spring catches mounted in between the wheels. Additionally, the front hinged cover plate can be removed to affix any large sensor(s) to your T'Rex, you can even attach a custom plate to fit your preference (we’re waiting to see someone 3D Print a T-Rex head and attach it to one of these guys)! Since the chassis does have a full aluminum body it will block any electrical noise and radio signals so you will need to attach any receiver or transmitter to the outside of the T'Rex.

We highly recommend using the T'Rex Motor Controller (not included) with this chassis, you can find it listed in the related items below.

Dimensions: 355 x 175 x 130mm (14" x 6.8" x 5")

Weight: 3.7Kg (8 lbs)

Features:

  • All-Terrain
  • Anodized Aluminum Body
  • Anodized Zinc Tracks, Struts, and Wheels
  • 2x 12V DC motors with all metal gearboxes
  • Motor Specifications:
    • Typical Voltage: 12V
    • No Load Current: 1.3A
    • Typical Current: 4A
    • Stall Current: 11A (Measured using a 3S 5000mAh LiPo battery)
  • 70mm (2.75") Clearance with Low Center of Gravity
  • Removable Front and Top Panels with Quick Spring Release

Documents:

Customers Also Purchased

Customer Comments

  • Any way to attach encoders to the motors? Doesn’t look like the motors have tail shafts.

    • The gearbox is easily disassembled and it is fairly easy to add either optical or magnetic encoders to the gears.

  • Now to add this… And I’ll have sentry bots for my villain lair!

  • The top doesn’t appear to be, but how water resistant is this? At least if the bottom half is submerged in water?

    • The body is not water proof. To begin with there are holes for the drive shafts to poke through so you should mount your electronics in a sealed plastic bag or waterproof housing if you want it to go in water.

      The chassis is all aluminium, zinc or brass so it has high corrosion resistance. Only things like screws and springs are steel but they are nickle plated. As long as you waterproof your electronics then you can just use a hose to wash it and then add some dry lubricant once it’s dry.

      You can see the prototype videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyzs-LxoyzQ

  • I could use some clarification on the zinc wheels. On boats we use zinc to prevent corrosion because the zinc corrodes more easily than the other metals. What is it about the zinc that makes it good for corrsion resistance?

    • Zinc, by itself, is very corrosion resistant. When you put a zinc plate on a boat, it acts as a battery, and induces current flow through the water that prevents oxygen ions from bonding with the hull, forcing them to bond with the zinc plate instead. The remaining hydrogen ions don’t damage the iron hull of the boat.

  • Much as I hate to ask this of such a perfect product: is there some soft plastic treads I could buy for this to make it less loud and not damage the floors? Some of us have wives… :)

    • The tracks, idler wheels, and toothed sprocket are all from Tamiya’s 1/16th scale German Tiger 1 RC/model tank. So yes, you can buy plastic tracks for it. Try www.tankzone.co.uk.

  • Is there a replacement for the top cover available separately?

  • I would love to see a comparison between the T'Rex and the Wild Thumper in different terrain and conditions. For example, I have seen in the product video for the Wild Thumper, it can fairly easily climb up curbs and small steps if approached at an angle. However, I can’t seem to find anything on the intarwebs demonstrating such capability for the T'Rex – and given the substantially different suspension between the two, I am also interested in seeing how these two platforms compare in dealing with rough terrain and obstacles. Any info or videos would be appreciated.

  • Could this climb stairs? Working on a rover-type project.

  • Anyone know of a source for replacing just the brass bushings in the gearboxes, or a suitable replacement bearing? Mine have completely worn out in just a few hours of running after upgrading to the steel gears bought off Ebay (“HENG LONG tank gearbox” on ebay).

  • Does the T'Rex beat the Wild Thumper 6WD in traversing obstacles?

    • It depends on the terrain and the payload. The T'REX tank, like all tracked vehicles can throw a track under some circumstances but has better traction in sand, snow and mud.

      The T'REX depends on the spring tension of the suspension to keep the tracks tight but excessive payloads will cause the springs to compress. It was originally designed to have a 3S LiPo, The T'REX controller and a Raspberry Pi inside with a pan/tilt and camera up top.

      The Wild Thumper can carry bigger / heavier payloads and never throw a track but it is more likely to get bogged in sand, snow or mud.

    • they’re different. I' d take the thumper for various terrains, but I’d take the t'rex for ruggedness. it’s more sealed up. each has their purposes.

  • What is the gauge of the wires coming from the two motors?

  • What happened to the estimate of July 19th?

  • Why does it cost almost the double on dagu website?

  • What kind of payload will this handle?

    • As the kit comes, maybe half a kilo. Adding additional springs to the suspension will allow heavier payloads.

  • It’s shown in the user manual, but it should probably be noted in the product description as well, that the 175mm dimension is for the width of the body, not including the tracks. With the tracks included, the overall width of the chassis is 265mm (10.4").

  • What are some recommended batteries (Sparkfun or otherwise) to use with this chassis and the latest T'Rex controller? Also, any suggestions for a simple RC receiver board to use with said configuration just to get some basic functionality up and running?

    • With the prototype I used a 5000mAh 3S Lipo. It all depends on what kind of run time you want between charges.

    • http://www.amazon.com/Venom-10000mAh-Battery-Universal-2-Pack/dp/B00FE0RVR6/ref=sr_1_148?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1401132524&sr=1-148

  • Actually anodize is usually found in aluminum. You will find the tracks are cast zinc, lower melting point for casting and not as problem prone as aluminum.

    • Yes the tracks are cast zinc but an anodizing process is used to color the tracks and give them a shiny finish.

  • I’m not clear on what exactly “anodized zinc” is. Usually when one sees “anodized”, it means it’s mainly steel with a zinc plating applied by a process known as anodization. Is that what this is, or is it zinc with some other metal anodized onto it?

    • Galvanized steel has the zinc coating you’re thinking of, where the zinc is either electroplated, or the steel is dipped in molten zinc. Anodizing is a process usually done to aluminum which creates a corrosion resistant hard smooth oxide layer. Besides aluminum, it can be done to several other metals, including zinc.

    • Actually anodize is usually found in aluminum. You will find the tracks are cast zinc, lower melting point for casting and not as problem prone as aluminum.

    • Actually anodize is usually found in aluminum. You will find the tracks are cast zinc, lower melting point for casting and not as problem prone as aluminum.Enter a reply…

  • Is it at all possible to purchase the motor/gearbox combo separately? Or does anyone know what motors this tank uses?

  • Best demo ever!

  • Any chance of offering just the tracks?

  • $2499.50 later: “They’re moving in herds … they do move in herds…” Spared no expense ! :)

  • okay, I will say it. This is wicked!

Customer Reviews

3 out of 5

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+5 as a robotics platform, -several million for the junk gearboxes

As a robotics platform, it’s everything you could need. Room enough for two 5000 3S LiPos, the T-Rex driver board, and maybe a Raspberry Pi. On top of all that, you can strap radios, cameras and the like to the top plate, so payload space is ample. The spring-loaded catches on the sides make accessibility a breeze, and because the access panels are split into two sections, you can just hinge open the front to change the batteries. Build quality feels good on the tracks and wheels, the suspension is a little floppy for my taste but that’s not a big issue, and the main chassis is made of solid, thick steel. However. And thats a big however. After you receive this, get rid of the worthless included gearboxes. (I’m currently waiting on the steel version of the same gearbox, see comments for details) When I got mine, I set all the electronics up and threw a half charged 2200mAh battery in it. By the time I had driven up and down the sidewalk twice, about 5 minutes of drive time, there was a wretched grinding sound coming from one of the gearboxes. By the time it limped back to base, 6 minutes after first power-on, the left tread was completely disabled - the bushings in the gearbox had worn down enough to bring the gears out of alignment and make movement impossible. This happened without a heavy payload or intense load on the treads - I was running the bare minimum weight needed to move the thing, and rolling down a smooth, flat sidewalk.

Long story short - it’s a great platform, especially for the price, but is crippled by a junk powertrain that will need replacing in the hour of operation, if you’re lucky.

I’m really sorry to hear you had issues with your gears. We have seen some other units with a similar issue. Please contact us for assistance. We’d like to help you out with this issue. https://www.sparkfun.com/returns