There are plenty of tank robots out there, but how many of them can recognize 3D objects and map their environment? Tanky, the tracked mobile robot, can do all that and more while rolling around on his bicycle chain treads.
Created as a Master's thesis project, Tanky is made almost entirely of parts you can find at your local hardware store. It was built in two "layers" with the motors, electronics, and batteries on bottom and the processing unit, a laptop, on top.
The motors came from cordless drills, and the treads are made of bicycle chains and skateboard wheels. The suspension also looks pretty impressive and allows Tanky to navigate uneven surfaces.
Check out the video below to see it in action.
This robot is also super smart—it can use its camera for 3D object recognition and environment mapping, then use the data it collects to plan its path without hitting any obstacles.
If you're interested in building one, or just want to see what else it can do, you can find tons more information, photos, videos, and schematics over on the project page. Be sure to click through all the tabs on the left side of his site to see all four parts.
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