Military Armed Reconaissance Combat (MARC) ROBOT

A lot of you have known for a while that I have been persuing this project for the last few months (or the preperations anyways). Now that I have ordered the parts from,, and Sparkfun (as of Tuesday July 10 2007), as soon as the parts are delivered (Friday July 13 2007) I will be ready to begin building this robot.

a quick overview of what I want to achieve with this project (NOTE: this is my entry to the BASEF Science Fair and CWSF if I win the trip)

The purpose of this project is to determine if a marketable, inexpensive, prototype robot can be designed, built, and tested by myself, capable of reconnaissance, disarming a hostile human, combat in remote, rural, and urban areas, Combat in severe weather conditions, Assist soldiers in combat, withstand mild impacts, accurately shoot at targets, and perform tactical missions for Military, SWAT, and law enforcement.


I think I am capable of designing, building and testing a marketable, inexpensive, prototype robot capable of performing all these tasks, through research, development, trial and error, and my well established knowledge of robotics.

A 2-D computer designed image will be uploaded soon!

P.S. Left ya a message in the comment box of my order Jim! :smiley:

That sounds like a really cool robot, I am thinking of building some thing along those lines too! :smiley:

Good luck!

this image shows the basic design of the robot chassis and its moving components (excluding the gun). The design is likely to change somewhat depending on what changes becuase of the new technology and components I am working with for the first time (wireless ect).

More images to come including pictures of the building in progress (once I get the parts).

UPDATE: Today I began the search for a small portable LCD screen which runs on battery power. Unfortunately I wasnt able to find a 5" screen under $100. This screen is neccessary for the Portable Robot Control Center (PRCC). If anyone has found something before, let me know. I know Jim is using one with his new 4WD robot, but Im guessing that LCD is quite expensive. :cry:


You might look at the following from Parallax:

I know that it is only 2.5 inches, but it is under $80 and will consume less power.

Also, try this LCD display at Computer Geeks:

This one is 5.4 inches and is under $35.

I have one and it takes a composite input just fine. However, I am sure that it consumes more power than the 2.5 inch unit.

Did you try eBay?


Thanks for the reply, both of those look pretty good, Im wondering though if any of those can be connected to a 12v battery to run, since my control center is going to be a small briefcase fitted with LCD, recievers and controllers that need to all run on batteries. I just checked supercircuits and the LCD Jim is using is around 140.00…My Poleroid portable DVD player was cheaper :smiley:

Is it just me, or is this the exact project I was thinking about. I guess you beat me to it! :smiley: :imp:

Marlin P Jones & Associates has a 5-inch LCD monitor with built-in speakers, originally manufactured to snap onto a game system, which runs on 12 volts DC and accepts standard composite video for input. They’re selling for about $60 each. link]

I picked one up a while ago, and found it to be pretty good, depending on your application. It works well as a general-purpose monitor, though it can exhibit a bit of smearing when you have a lot of high-contrast motion on the screen (the LCD isn’t a super-fast response type). It should work well enough for many applications, but might not be the sharpest thing in the world if you’re doing a lot of whip-pans with a pan/tilt head or the like. Still, I’ve found it quite adequate for testing purposes, and use a different small LCD monitor for wireless operations.

Im going to keep searching becuase this monitor will display the camera connected to the Pan/tilt Gun and needs to be clear for best target accuracy, thanks for the link though, good reference incase I need it for something else.

No problem. You asked, I posted. It’s always nice to have a general-purpose monitor sitting around for experimentation if you’re doing stuff with video.

As to something with a faster response time: You may find that your best bet is to go with a portable LCD TV or DVD player in monitor mode, or one of those LCD monitors that they sell to let the kids watch TV in the back seat of the car. Those are intended to display things like movies, where there is usually a lot of action on the screen.

Of course, the same thing applies to video games - that’s probably why the above units are being sold off as surplus. :wink:

I got one from Supercircuits. It’s a 12vdc, 7" display for $150.00. I’m no longer a big fan of Supercircuits, as I had a terrible experience with them getting some customer service. I know it’s more than you wanted to spend, but I wanted to include the specs for you to use as a reference.

Thanks. So far my best bet is the 2.5 inch LCD or the Xbox LCD (depending on if I can make it wireless with some Ni MH’s). Thanks.

If you are planning to use a 2.4ghz wireless video camera then you need to plan to mount the receiver up on a pole, to get decent reception. You will not be happy with the performance with the receiver tucked inside a briefcase. Think about using one of those cheap work light collapsible poles for the receiver to hang on. :wink:

The receivers will be extended outside the briefcase (as well as the RC controllers) when being used to operate the robot. Heres an example of what I mean:

my controls will be much bigger though and not so integrated into one unit// :wink:

ok, got it, but you’re going to need to get the 2.4ghz video receiver up in the air in order to get the same range as the RC radio system you’re using. That’s all I’m saying. :smiley:

After doing some real thinking, I started wondering if it would be as easy as I thought to control this robot wirlessly via the SEQ in real time. How am I to control the bot in live motion? create SEQ for forward, reverse, left and right and other SEQ for moving the gun? Im not so sure this is going to work anymore. If not, I’m going to have a bunch of spare parts to play around with and a whole in my wallet after buying a Laser 6 to control the bot. :blush:

My parts are shceduled to arrive today and I have been impatiently awaiting for them for the past few hours. I cant image what is taking them soo long! pictures and a short documentary of what the package looks like will follow this post after I receive the parcel,


EDIT: I recieved my parts at 2:00 this afternoon and wasnt able to take pictures becuase I cant find my Digital Camera. Yes, now you can virtual slap me :stuck_out_tongue: . Im now busy trying to put the tracks and sprockets together as well as deciding weather or not to buy another track set becuase 1 set seems way to small. theres only about 2.5-3 inches of space (not even) between the two sprockets.

Also, the screws for both the idlers and hub 02 dont seem to fit. Thats my next task! :blush:

EDIT: Jim sent me the wrong hardware for the HUB-02. The hardware does not fit the 4 wholes or the whole the holds the shaft in place. When I went to put one of my smaller 4-40 screws in they fit, and the screws to my older 6mm hubs fit as well (screw that holds the shaft). Also, Im having difficulty right now as how Im going to assembly the sprockets. NOTE: I also have decided not to buy another track set, as these two should be sufficient for my MARC robot. I’ll keep everyone posted as the hours go by.

The HUB-02 has been changed to use 4-40 hardware instead of the 5-40 screws. They were originally made by a company called Bolink and were used for RC dragsters. Since 4-40 is a lot more common than 5-40 we switched. We will be changing all of the other universal hubs to use 4-40 screws as well. Now the set screw not matching, well that was a mistake. :blush: We are sending you the correct parts today and appologize for the inconvenience.