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 have tested the Monster Moto Shield (not included) with this chassis. The driver works just fine with the T'Rex when coupled with an Arduino development board.
Weight: 3.7Kg (8 lbs)
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Some of our customers have found a reasonable alternative to the T'Rex Motor Controller with this SaberTooth Motor Driver.
This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will be required to know some basics about motors, basic motor drivers and how simple robotic motion can be accomplished.
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Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Based on 6 ratings:
5 of 5 found this helpful:
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
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I was so excited to get this and took it out of the box. Every ounce as heavy duty as it looks except I can't even use it. The output shaft on the right tank track is bent so far you can't even spin the track manually or under power. Seeing another review below with the same problem looks like T'Rex has horrible quality control. Can't wait to get an email back from spark fun and get this thing working. It's suppose to be an important player in my wedding!
--updated: Sparkfun sent me a new output shaft in like 2 days! YOU GUYS ROCK! I replaced the shaft this week it looked a lot worse once I removed it then I initially thought. it was bent a good 30 degrees. After getting it together the tank now runs but the Right gear box is still messed up. It has a lot more resistance in the gears and still seams binding compared to the Left gear box. I'm going to take the entire gear box apart and measure everything with a caliper and micrometer to see what is out of wack but it's still sad that it's an barely usable product. Once again for such a heavy duty tank having an all plastic gear box is kinda cheezy.
Updated 7/30/15: I can't say enough good things about Tech support and Customer Service at SparkFun! Tim helped me though all the bent gear shafts and got me up and running with replacement parts. I am now happy to say I have a fully functional T'Rex chassis. Sparkfun replaced the entire gear box on the right drive unit and now the T'Rex works flawlessly. Count me in as a customer for many more years! I do have a correction to make that the gears are in fact metal and I was mistaken before.
I will contact you directly to help resolve this matter. For future support with issues with your product, please contact us directly. https://www.sparkfun.com/support
1 of 3 found this helpful:
No Driver board, useless piece of hardware At least you could have sent inside the package recommendations for a driver we could purchase.
One of the bearings wasn't in place and it was hanging in the chassis. One of the motors wasn't mounted properly but SparkFun sent me a replacement and spare parts and all was fixed.
The good: it's a solid chassis that easily holds all the electronics.
The bad: I still haven't been able to get it running. Right out of the gate the right track barely moves. Hooked up to a 3S 8800mah battery and the Trex controller the chassis veers to the right. When tested the right gearbox is under considerable strain it seems. Using my benchtop power supply I ran both motors at the same 11.2V and saw the right track was not only louder but was using a lot more current.
I saw the other reviews that mentioned similar issues but figured those were from years ago they had to have fixed it by now. Sadly no. So now I'm scrambling looking for a replacement gearbox.