In a curious exploration of unconventional design, James Bruton was posed with the question of utilizing a Möbius strip as a tank tread. Although initially unsure of its practicality, he decided to construct one and assess its functionality. Surprisingly, the Möbius strip design proved effective, with grey plates providing tension to the tracks. To facilitate fine-tuning without reprinting structural components, James ingeniously designed these tensioning elements as separate pieces.
The primary challenge lay in creating a tread system that allowed the necessary rotation. James addressed this by enabling each link to rotate approximately 18 degrees, ensuring ample open space on the upper side of the drive train for a full 180-degree twist. The final result, while visually unconventional, demonstrated performance comparable to a regular tread system. Notably, James showcased a strategic approach to large assembly construction by designing smaller, separate interface pieces. This minimizes rework in case adjustments are required, such as motor placement or tension modifications, saving both time and material.
The Möbius tank’s internal components include an Arduino Mega, two 24 V gearmotors for independent tread movement, an RC radio receiver, and robust BTS7960 DC motor drivers. James Bruton’s innovative approach not only produced a functional and intriguing tank tread but also highlighted efficient strategies for constructing and modifying large assemblies.
Read more: Behold the Track-Twisting Möbius Tank