This armored, mini-tank weighs 45 pounds, has a 360 degree gun turret and has range-finding sonars for target detection. But wait, are those bookshelves in the background and is it running on a hardwood floor? Yes. This tank is home-made, built by a family of robotic hobbyists.
Some families play cards together, others go on hikes, but the Beatty family builds robots. And, as already seen by Megatron, not just the cutesy kind either, although they have done these more traditional versions.
The Beatty Robotics team has built a robot that looks and walks like a spider, a flying drone robot, a replica of the Mars rover and a mobile-teleconferencing robot, among others.
According to the Beatty Robotics blog, the family team, which consists of 11-year-old "Lunamoth", 9-year-old "Julajay" and Dad (Robert). Dad describes Lunamoth and Julajay as "great solderers, electrical technicians, software programmers, and workshop machinists." The family got started with the usual child asking father if they could build a robot; from there, it seems to have snowballed." Although, as Robert writes, however simple or complex the project is, their two goals remain consistent: "learn everything we can and to have as much fun as possible."
Here are just a few of Beatty Robotics' projects:
Flying Drone Robot -- When the Beatty girls suggested they build a flying robot, Robert said "Yikes. That's going to be really hard..." Watch what they came up with:
Mars Rover Spirit II -- A tribute to the original Mars Rover Spirit, the Beattys studied the original design and reverse engineered their own.
Crawler -- Each leg on this robot has three Degrees of Freedom, giving it a "very creepy and biological" effect. Watch:
Take a final look at Megatron close up. Get a load of Megatron's wheels. Rollers slanted at 45 degree angles on the wheels are what allow Megatron can move side-to-side with ease.