Raspberry Pi Tank (M1A2 Abrams)

RC Tank M1A2 Abrams controlled with raspberry pi

The idea behind this project is to have a tank which can be controlled over the internet by using the gyroscope of a mobile phone or of a tablet. We already gathered some experience on this topic in our 4×4 Truck project. The icing on the cake will be a rudimentary pathfinding.

The tank

I was lucky enough to find a second-hand tank produced by Graupner/Hobby Engine for only 22 EUR on ebay classifieds. After contacting the former owner I went straight to Munich to receive it. The tank is obviously worth it’s money even though the left track must have seen better days. It’s temporally fixed with a piece of gaffe tape. 🙂

Me and my assistant have disassembled everything and cleaned the parts with some washing-up liquid under the flowing shower, as they were full of dog hair, dirt and undefined dust (fortunately we haven’t found out what it was). 🙂

Functions we want to control with the pi

  • Basic movement (forward, backward, left right)
  • Cannon movement (up and down)
  • Turret movement (180° right and left)
  • Bullet shooting
  • Sound
  • Front and backlight
  • rudimentary path finding
  • Live stream to the wi-fi connected device

Electronic Components

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Motor-Driver-Board (like in our 4×4 Truck Project)
  • Powerbank
  • Battery
  • Raspberry Pi Camera
  • WiFi Dongle

First Day

We unscrewed the screws at the bottom of the fuselage. Now we were able to measure the voltage and the amperage of the different motors.


Motor Voltage Amperage
Turret 5V 1A
Cannon up/down 6V 1.2A
Bullet Cannon 5V 1A
Engine 6V 1.2A

Second Day

Today we started to repaint the parts of the Abrams to give it the look of the tanks that were used in the Iraqi Freedom Operation. Unfortunately we ran out of color, but this is what we came up with at the second day.

please visit revell.de for further information about the colours

The colours we use have been produced by a company called Revell, which is model making supplier. The colour we have used is called ochre brown. It’s a real bargain one potty costs less than 2 EUR. We had to use some thinner to prepare the colour for airbrushing.

The airbrush we used for spray painting was connected to an orthodox compressor with a valve in between to lower to pressure (2 bar). They colour was applied to the plastic in very thin layers. We went over it quite a few times, hoping not to get any drops. 🙂



_DSC1109 _DSC1134

_DSC1137 _DSC1141

Software used in this project:

  • raspbian
  • apache2
  • php5
  • jpeg-streamer

Looking for the tutorial?

Click here!


More updates are coming soon. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Tank (M1A2 Abrams)

    1. The important isn’t the tank. 🙂
      If you have a vehicle with chains, it will it easy to rotate on the spot.


    1. Hello tauheed, this weekend I’ll upload the some information and also link to some useful sites. I just have to ask the site owner’s for their permission. 🙂 I hope you understand that. Best regards Markus


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