Misc text

ONLINE BATTLETANK!

or

"webcamerabattletank with paintballgun over the web"

Created: 7th April 2005
Last Updated: 8th April 2005

It all started while I was visiting the PlayNOW! forums, a friendly poster from Sweden posted a thread about a remote control tank which operates over the internet.

Go to the forum link above for the full explanation of his system:

http://www.playnow.com.au/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=011054;p=1#000013

I myself had been looking for something like this the last couple of days, like a light the user can control from your website on and off, but a tank, that moves 360 degrees, has a laser light, shoots paintgun balls and a web camera that moves up and down, left and right , all operating wirelessly?!

JESUS CHRIST!

Let me introduce Magnus Ivarssons, a 41 year old university student based in Lund, Sweden and his prototype battletank.

Images courtesy of Magnus

He has built an amazing invention which is the 2nd prototype of a remote control tank which he has put his "blood, sweat and tears" into. It shows, I can tell you that, and is what I will be discussing below.

When Magnus posted on the forums he was asking for Australian and New Zealanders volunteers to test his battle tank bandwidth over the internet, I was very happy to accept the offer! Magnus notes that I was the first user to try the battletank down under. I was very excited and could not wait to get home to start trying it out.

To control the battletank, its simply through your browser with keyboard and mouse combinations as follows:

"You use:
Mouseclick to fire,
Mouseweel to aim up/down,

Keys:
w/s forward/reverse
a/d left/right
2/3 to turn tower left/right
q/z right drivechain forward/reverse
e/x left drivechain forward/reverse
r to relode laser with 25 new rounds
f to reset lasertarget for 10 hits
c to get 3 times autoblaste"

The browser provides a wireless webcam feed from the camera mounted on the tank and is fullscreen!

For more information check out his website link at the bottom of this page for movies, screenshots and info about this amazing achievement!

 

After many hours I finally got home, here is how it went down:

I have included my own screenshots to document the adventure, which is my view, on the tank.

MSN: (unedited but cut down from the full thing)

BLADEY says:
hello there
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
hello
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
are you ready
BLADEY says:
sure
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
ok, wait
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
http://*snip* use this controllink
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
inlog is now *snip* / *snip*
BLADEY says:
im in

- The Camera only supports Internet Explorer at the moment as it uses an ActiveX control program, so after I switched over from Firefox and it installed we were ready to go!

BLADEY says:
ok im in
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
camview?
BLADEY says:
yes

Hi Magnus! (click for fullsize)

- At this point I finally got the controllable camera view, but...

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
seriously great

- It seems it didn't like a firewall when I tried to control it so I changed my connection and switched it off and BINGO!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i heare you......
BLADEY says:
oh?!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
greate
BLADEY says:
yey
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
YESSSS
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
wait a moment

- Magnus then connected the moving parts to the tank and I was moments away from steering it!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
need to connect soe things
BLADEY says:
ok
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
reload and use *snip* / *snip*
BLADEY says:
logged in
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
mouseclick in screen
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
YEESSSS
BLADEY says:
woah!!!!!!
BLADEY says:
;OOO

I could move it left and right! (click for fullsize)

- You just have to see it to believe it!

BLADEY says:
this is amazing
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i drive to so you dont destroy my inventory
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you can drive now

- So I finally got control and it moved! Please excuse my excitement.

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
what is the delay
BLADEY says:
1 second
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
ho hoooooooo
BLADEY says:
hahahahaha
BLADEY says:
hahahahaa
BLADEY says:
THIS IS
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
hahahahahahahaha
BLADEY says:
AMAZINGF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- A bit, too much excitment...

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
this is fucking greate-........
BLADEY says:
yep!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
hohohohohohhhhhhooooooooo
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
place take a drive in my house

- Magnus was very excited that the bandwidth connection was fast, I was too :)

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
seriously greate
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you can drive out in my kitchen

Pushing the door! (click for fullsize)

- He let me drive around his computer room and his kitchen

BLADEY says:
great!
BLADEY says:
haha
BLADEY says:
i moved the door#@#@!@#

(as you can see above, I pushed the door to get into the kitchen)

- I was actually INTERACTING with the environment! It was just surreal. I WAS INTOXICATED WITH EXCITEMENT! (hi socko)

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
ist ok
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
phon...
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
ok he can call back

- Yes thats right he can freaking call back!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i have radioshadow in some spots in the house

First blackout. (click for fullsize)

- It froze sometimes, due to radio blackouts with the remote controller, but thats to be expected!

BLADEY says:
did i see a red light
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
yes you have a red dot aim

The rot dot aiming guide. (click for fullsize)

- A red laser to help aim! awesome!

BLADEY says:
you look excited!!

- Magnus seemed to jump around alot, I can understand his excitement, this was fantastic!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
I AM YESSSS
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
I have two lasertargets in my livingroom
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
if you aim on them and mouseclick they will lightflash red

Magnus points to the two laser targets. (click for fullsize)

- He had those laser targets like you have in that game kids play with the guns and reflective sensors, which he shows me.

BLADEY says:
i cant believe i am doing this
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
NOT MEW EITHER
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
HAHAHAHA

Magnus waving in excitement#!@~ (camera tilts up) (click for fullsize)

- The shock of controlling something around the world was still amazing at this point :)

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
when you know how to drive it
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i will let you shoot paintball

- Shooting a paintball gun from across the world on a tank wirelessly, jesus :P, I then saw another door...

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you can push the door open
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you can puch up the door to my bedroom but its not big enough for the tank to turn in
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
the tank is big

- I crashed into several random things in his room, so he forced me to BACK OUT!!!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
do you want to try some rubber balls paintball markers
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
and aim on the white bottle

The bottle. (click for fullsize)

- He setup the paintball gun on manual for one shot at a time with a bottle target.

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i have to turn the control off in my room so you dont aim on my stuff and destroy it

- I would too!

BLADEY says:
hehe
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
ok shoot
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you have semiautomatic now
BLADEY says:
WOW!!!

You can see the red dot and the bottle moving being hit. (click for fullsize)

- It actually shot!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
pleace shoot again
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
oush
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you hit mee
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
BLADEY says:
ahhaha
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
it bounced

- Hitting him in the process :PP

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i will now put it outside for you to shoot real paintballbullets with paint
BLADEY says:
oooh!
BLADEY says:
great!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i just wanted to see how it worken inside the house
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i have to channge ammo

Removing the rubber balls and inserting real paintballs. (click for fullsize)

- I get to drive and shoot the tank outside! Just like a real tank!! AWESOME! You can see the paintball gun ammo he is holding and loading into the gun.

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you can drive it out in the kitchen
BLADEY says:
ok!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
ill help
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
dont turn around to much
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
pleace
BLADEY says:
sorry
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
drive ahead and turn a little at a time
BLADEY says:
left or right?
BLADEY says:
woops

I drove it into the kitchen, he opened the door, hopped into his boots and urged me to come outside! (click for fullsize)

- I had to get some assistance when trying to drive the tank, it is very sensitive. I then aimed at his outside bottle.

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
try shoot now
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
bullsie
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you hit the bottle...
BLADEY says:
wowww
BLADEY says:
this is so cool!!!

Aiming... hit! (yellow marker) (click for fullsize)

- You can see the yellow/green marks it made on the bottle and walls!

BLADEY says:
can i move it in?
BLADEY says:
to see the bottle?
BLADEY says:
hehe
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
yes but don turn pleace
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
the grass is to thick
BLADEY says:
oh ok
BLADEY says:
wow

Drove in for a close-up! (click for fullsize)

- See!

BLADEY says:
i can see all the green marks!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you have yello markers now

The 3 targets, shooting 3 shots then hitting them! BAM! (click for fullsize)

- Then he setup small targets for me to shoot down!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you can turn in very small steps and scroll to hit the targets
BLADEY says:
this is so great1!!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
YES ISNT IT
BLADEY says:
BAM!!!

Magnus says: "you scared the shit out of me" (click for fullsize)

- While putting a board under the tank for smoother movements, I accidentally hit the fire key, almost hitting him!!! hahahahaha

BLADEY says:
i nearly shot you!
BLADEY says:
sory!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you scared the shit out of me

- I think I was too hyped though to care :P (below)

BLADEY says:
hahahaha
BLADEY says:
it was amazing!!!!

Looking around... ooh a car! Magnus says: "pleace dont shoot my car" (click for fullsize)

- He then let me turn 360 degrees around to see outside, I aimed at his car.

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
pleace dont shoot my car
BLADEY says:
hahaahahah
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
hahahaaa

- HA HA GOOD FUN YES!

BLADEY says:
THIS IS SO GREAT!!!!!
BLADEY says:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
thanks

- Then he changed it to automatic fire!!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
do you want to try automatik fire
BLADEY says:
yes!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
ok wait
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you now have auto
BLADEY says:
can i fire?
BLADEY says:
ok!!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
yes
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you now shoot bursts with 3-6 shots per klick
BLADEY says:
WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
you shot aboute 10 rounds

Automatic fire: Aiming (click for fullsize)

Automatic fire: FIRING!! (click for fullsize)

Automatic fire: 10 shots! (sorry about the wall?) (click for fullsize)

- 10 Shots in one burst!!

BLADEY says:
wow!
BLADEY says:
it looked like it
BLADEY says:
it jerked and went blurry!

- As you can see in the screenshot...

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i probably have to load it soon

Aiming bottle... bam bam! (see the smokey stuff coming out?) (click for fullsize)

- I then shot the outside bottle with auto again!

Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
can you shoot the bottle at left
BLADEY says:
yes!!
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
in the string
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
try now
Magnus {RemoteWar} says:
i raised it some
BLADEY says:
wow!!

Bang. (click for fullsize)

- Magnus then took it inside and I played around with bit a it more with the laser and we chatted about it...

Back we go! (click for fullsize)

Links:

http://www.gamereality.se/ - Battletank website.

http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/nyheter/story/0,2789,604573,00.html - A newspaper article about Magnus and his tank.

http://www.roaringsnake.com/misc/tankmovie.wmv - 10mb movie. Download this to see how it actually moves and shoots! (Windows Media Player format, compressed down from Magnus' original 41mb version).

http://www.gamereality.se/tank1medium.htm - Take a look from the tanks point of view (no control allowed) Login: tank1test / pass IE ONLY

Summary:

As Magnus describes on his website, this has incredible potential, just think about it. Having multiple tanks at once battling each other outside in the woods?

It must be an amazing feeling of achievement for Magnus to have someone from the other side of the world traveling around your house and shooting paintballs, knowing that a real person is on the other side of that camera, and it being something you built yourself.

If you haven't guessed it yet, no, I haven't got over it yet.

At a cost of around $2,700 Australian Dollar's, I don't think I will be attempting this myself!

Magnus says his next project will be an airplane with paintguns attached! Is he crazy or what?

If anyone wants to try the battletank for themselves, especially anyone in Australia or New Zealand, Magnus says he is happy to let you try it for yourself, just go to his website and follow the links.

This was a very awesome experience, and would like to thank Magnus for letting me try out his prototype and to be the first Aussie to do so!

Thankyou! (click for fullsize)

Forum Discussions:

http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=56849

http://212.227.253.81/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB69&Number=231011&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=74918&hl=gamereality

http://www.playnow.com.au/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=011054

http://www.womengamers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11660

http://www.neoseeker.com/forums/index.php?fn=view_thread&t=498137

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=74918&hl=gamereality

 

- Tom Walker