Smartphone controlled Arduino tank using Annikken Andee

Smartphone controlled Arduino tank

Hi guys, I am Robin, one of the developers of Annikken Andee. Just a few weeks back we were invited to be a part of Arduino Day Singapore 2014. On the day of the event, we showcased a missile-firing lego-crushing smartphone controlled Tank built using our Annikken Andee.


It was a big hit with our audience and many of them has enquired on the making of the Tank. We wanted to share our Tank making knowledge to the Instructables community. So to get you in the seat of a POTENTIAL TANK COMMANDER, I am going to give a step by step guide on creating the Andee Battle Tank, or ABT in short.

Please like our Facebook page and view Video Highlights of ABT and Arduino Day Singapore 2014!Smartphone controlled Arduino tank

Step 1: What do you need?

Our ABT is built using the following parts. You can source from them from Amazon, Pololu, Aliexpress etc.
1 x Arduino Uno
1 x Pololu Zumo Robot
1 x Annikken Andee
1 x WLToys V959-19 Missile Launcher (Amazon) (Aliexpress)
1 x Smartphone (Android 4.0 and above)
(note: if you are using iOS, u will need to the get Annikken Andee for iOS

You might/will also need to the followings to get the job done
2.54mm Row Male Pin header
2.54mm Row Female Pin header
thin insulated wire
Insulated Tape
Double sided Tape / Blu-tack / Something Sticky
Some Soldering and Desoldering work
4 x AA Batteries

Step 2: Assemble the Zumo Chassis

The base of the ABT is built using Pololu Zumo Tank kit. It is designed for Arduino/Leonardo and therefore fits Annikken Andee perfectly well. What I like best is that entire set up (Zumo Shield, Andee and Arduino) can be powered by 4 x AA Battery found below the chassis. This means that i do not need to mount an external battery pack to power the ABT. 

In This Guide I will not be mentioning much about the assembly of the Zumo Chassis as user Qtechknow has already made a comprehensive guide on Zumo Tank Assembly. You can also visit Pololu Official page for the documentation.
Just don’t arm the metal plate that comes with the Zumo Kit, ABT uses speed as its defence, not armor =)

Female header for The Turret
After the Assembly, Solder the 2.54 mm Female Pin Header to the pin 2 and ground hole on the Zumo Shield. We will be using Pin 2 of the Arduino to fire the missile.

Step 3: “Hack” Annikken Andee

Coincidentally, Zumo Shield and Annikken Andee both uses Pin 8 to communicate with Arduino! (Great minds think alike?)
This poses a problem for Arduino as he is unable to differentiate the source of the communication (Andee or Zumo?).
To get around this problem, we are going to do a little hack 

Modify Annikken Andee

Wait, what is Annikken Andee?
Annikken Andee is a bluetooth shield that allow easy communcation between your smart phone and your Arduino. As it comes with Andee Arduino library and free downloadable Andee App for your smart phone, you do not need to develop the App. You can create the UI all via your arduino codes.

What we are doing here is to reroute the communication from pin 8 to 4. You can also try pin 1,2,3,5,6,7 if you want. But because i like pin 4, i am going to use pin 4.

Step 1) Desolder R30
R30 is a 0 Ohm resistor that you can find on the underside of Annikken Andee. Taking it out severs the connection between the leg of pin 8 and Annikken Andee.

Step 2) Connect Annikken Andee to Pin 4.
Using a piece of short wire, short-circuit the copper base which previously house the 0 Ohm resistor of R30 to the leg of pin 4. This way the communication between Andee to Arduino will done via pin 4, and not pin 8. Check out the picture above for reference.

Step 4: Turret (Missile Launcher)

WLToy’s V959-19 missile turret is a rare find indeed. It was meant for their quadcopter to shoot projectiles at unsuspecting target. It can hold up to 6 missile at any time and its missile travel at up to 100 km/h. A direct hit from the missile can instantly decimate a T34 at its strongest point. 

With lacking of online documentation of this fearsome weapon, The follows are my understanding based on trial and error.
The Yellow and White wires is connected to the DC motor behind the turret. As the motor rotates, it will trigger the mechanism to release a missile.The Red and Black wires will short-circuit every time the missile’s release mechanism is triggered. However for simplicity sake, we are not using this 2 wires for the project.

Smartphone controlled Arduino tank

The missile launcher’s wires originally uses 1.25mm pitch header, which obviously doesn’t fit the 2.54mm Pin header Arduino uses. Therefore we need to carefully cut the 1.25mm header connected to Yellow and Whie wires and replace it with 1×2 2.54mm male Pin Header. Just remember to insulate the exposed copper and solder with insulated tape!

What to do with the Red and Black Wires?
Since we are not using the Red and Black wire pair, tuck these 2 wires somewhere below the turret. We might still need them in another project. Who knows? =P

Step 5: Putting Together the Tank (がったい!)

ABT is effectively made up of 4 components. The Zumo tank, Annikken Andee, Arduino Uno/Leonardo and the turret.
With the individual components done, let us put them together!

Step 1) Mount the Annikken Andee directly onto the Zumo Shield.
Step 2) Mount the Arduino Uno/Leonardo on Annikken Andee
Step 3) Stick the Turret on top of Arduino Uno. (Use Doublesided tape/Blu-Tack)
Step 4) Connect the yellow/white pin (turret) to the Zumo Shield (pin 2 and Gnd)

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