Robot based on a tank chassis

I am in the very early stages of designing a robot that I would like to use tank treads as a base. Looking through the site I am trying to decide between the RP5 and the Tamiya treads. I like the RP5 but a concern I have the the battery placement. It looks like once expansion plates are added to the RP5 the batteries would be difficult to get to to change. Does this mean building in a charging circuit to allow the to be charged externally? Would it be better to build up a remote battery pack that can be mounted to the top? How are other people using this chassis?


If you use non-rechargeable batteries, it will be difficult to change the batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries, you should be able to feed the battery leads through the expansion plate. Charging the battery would then just be a matter of connecting to these two leads to your battery charger.

If you decide to go with the RP5, I think that using the included battery pack is the best way to go, because it fits so nicely inside the chassis. Any other solution would probably be a lot less elegant.

- Ryan

Ryan, thanks for the reply. Does, this chassis come with a battery pack or did you mean use batteries in the included battery holder? Assuming I am using standard Ni-Mh batteries in the included holder what type of charger do I use? Is it some Pololu sells or even better is is something I can build?


Hi, Ed.

Yes, sorry, I meant battery holder, not battery pack. Unfortunately we don’t sell a battery recharger (yet). They are sold at various hobby stores. We don’t have experience using this charger but it looks nice:

Tower Hobbies AC/DC Digital Peak Charger w/LCD

- Ryan