TRACS Robots

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TRACS is a high-performance robotic target system capable of traveling at the speed of a running man over a wide variety of terrain. It is the most flexible target and tactics training tool ever created for police, S.W.A.T, civilian, and the military.

TRACS is remotely operated using an ergonomic hand-held radio controller from as far away as half a mile to over a mile (in ideal line-of-sight conditions). TRACS is maneuverable. It features a four-wheel drive, skid-steering power system that can travel on very rough terrain while being able to make quick turns.

TRACS is under complete control of the instructor which means that its movements can be deliberately unpredictable. Each successive training run may be totally different from the last.

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  • Size: 25” x 27” x 12”
  • Weight: 200 lbs & 250 lbs
  • Armor: NIJ Level IIIa & NIJ Level III
  • Battery: 24-Volt Sealed Lead-Acid. Compartment can hold two to double the running time
  • Battery Charger: Universal-voltage, 5 ampere-hour†
  • Tires: 10-inch or 12-inch black rubber foam-filled.
  • Operating Range: Can exceed 1000 meters.*
  • Top Speed: 7 MPH w/ 10-inch tires; 8.4 MPH w/ 12-inch tires
  • Load Capacity: exceeds 250 pounds. *
  • Max climb angle: Exceeds 30 degrees.*
  • Transmitter Frequency: 2.4 GHz frequency-hopping. 100 mW output in the ISM band.
  • Transmitter batteries: 5 AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable
  • Circuit Breaker: 70 Amp
  • Running time: Approximately 30 minutes to several hours.*
   * Environment, terrain and load conditions will affect performance limits.

Important Safety Instructions


  1. Read and understand this instruction manual before using.
  2. Do not expose the unit to rain or drive the unit through water.
  3. Disconnect battery before repairing or servicing the unit.
  4. Do not touch or short circuit exposed electrical connections.
  5. Do not unplug battery connections by pulling on wires. Only pull connector housings.
  6. Do not operate unit in crowded environments.
  7. Place barriers between people and unit to reduce the risk of injury.
  8. Dispose of batteries in environmentally appropriate manner.
  9. Do not discharge weapons directly at unit.


The armor plating is not rated for rifle impacts perpendicular to the surface. If you plan to use the system for rifle training, you must use frangible training ammunition. Failure to do so will void the warranty.

Maintenance Instructions

All repairs and maintenance other than that recommended in this instruction manual must be performed by Northern Lights Tactical.

All replacement parts and accessories are manufactured to precise Northern Lights Tactical specifications. Any other manufacturer’s parts are NOT produced to these specifications, and may cause damage to your unit. Northern Lights Tactical cannot assume any liability for damage resulting from the use or any other brand of replacement parts.

For prompt and efficient maintenance and repair service, contact Northern Lights Tactical.


The bearings are lubricated at the factory and require no further lubrication


To clean outside of unit, use only mild soap and a damp cloth. Do not use other cleaning agents, turpentine, gasoline, lacquer or paint thinner, or other solvents that may contain chemicals that are harmful to plastics and other insulating materials. Never immerse unit in a liquid or allow a liquid to enter inside the unit or to remain on the control panel. Never wash the unit with a hose or pressure washer.


Periodically check wheel lug bolts for proper tightness.

WARNING: Failure to follow the maintenance instructions will void your warranty.

Operation Instructions

Main Battery Charging

The main battery is a 24-volt Sealed Lead-Acid battery. Running time will vary depending on operating conditions. Terrain and load conditions will affect running time. Frequent accelerations will also affect running time. Typical running time for continuous non-stop operation will be approximately 30-120 minutes. When running training drills, running time will most likely be longer approaching several hours. Charge time for a fully drained battery is approximately 2-4 hours. To charge the main battery, disconnect the battery from the unit by grasping the plastic connector housings and pulling apart.


Be sure that the charger is not plugged in before connecting to the battery. Connect the battery connector to the charger connector. Match the colors of connectors. Push connectors together until they click into place. Plug the charger into a wall outlet. If the charger is equipped with a power switch, turn the power switch on. LED(s) will indicate charging or fault status. A status chart is printed on the charger. The charger will switch to a trickle-charge mode when the battery is fully charged.

If the robot motors make a chattering sound, it is time to recharge the battery. Do not run the robot battery below this point. Be sure to recharge the battery immediately. Batteries should be charged every few weeks if they are not being used to maintain maximum life.

Connecting the Main Battery

Before connecting the main battery, verify that the main power button is in the off position. Connect the main battery by matching the connector colors and inserting the connectors into one another. Make sure that the connectors are completely seated. Antenna To attach the receiver antenna, insert the N-Type connector on the antenna onto the N-Type jack located near the main power button and tighten. Be sure the antennas are tight but do not over-tighten. You may wish to remove the antenna if you are transporting the unit to prevent damage.

Power-on/Power-off procedures

As a precaution, you should turn on the transmitter and verify that trim indicators are centered and then turn the transmitter off. Then, turn on the main power by lifting the guard and flipping the toggle switch. The switch will illuminate. Finally, turn on the transmitter.

This method is different from traditional R/C equipment because the Transmitter is searching for a signal sent by the robot. By powering up the robot first, you ensure that this signal is present when the Transmitter begins its search procedure.

To turn off the unit, first turn off the main power by closing the guard. The toggle switch will automatically turn off. Then, turn off the transmitter. Following this procedure will prevent stray signals or noise from causing erratic movement.

Basic Driving

Before using the unit in training scenarios, we recommend that you spend some time driving the unit. Study the movement characteristics on different types of terrain. Learn not to overcontrol the unit.

To make the unit move forward, squeeze the trigger. To make the unit go in reverse, push the trigger away from you. Steering is accomplished by turning the wheel. All transmitter movements are proportional. If you press the trigger slightly, forward speed will be slow. If you turn the wheel slightly, turning rate will be slow.

The unit is design to turn even while it is not traveling forward or reverse.

It is important to learn not to over-control the unit. Quick steering movements can result in a loss of traction and undesirable movement. Quick accelerations or decelerations can tip over a heavy target.

Driving on pavement or concrete will be more responsive than driving on gravel or dirt.

In general, a light touch on the controls is preferable.

Use caution when driving around people or property. The unit weighs over 200 pounds and can cause personal injury or property damage. The unit should be treated as any other kind of heavy equipment.

Use of Special Function Buttons

The transmitter’s function keys have been pre-programmed with several maximum-speed/sensitivity settings (See dual-rate below). The unit ships from the factory at 40% of top-speed for learning purposes.

Pressing the T4 button will switch the steering dual-rate between 40% and 100%. Pressing the T3 button will switch the throttle dual-rate between 40% and 100%. Pressing the T2 button will change the steering dual-rate value up or down by 10% for each press. The Grip Wheel changes the throttle dual-rate value up or down in 5% increments.

When driving the robot in crowded areas, using the lower dual-rate settings is advisable.

The Grip Button activates the primary accessory devices such as the remote paintball marker or payload delivery arm. The T1 button is programmed to activate the secondary accessory devices.

Typical Training Scenarios

There are several basic scenarios that you’ll want to become familiar with so that you can train students most effectively. The key is to remember that this system is designed to present unexpected movements to the student. Pneumatic turners, wire or track systems are all predictable after the first attempt. The intent is for the instructor to change the movement on each run and even between each student thereby discouraging complacency and encouraging improvisation and adaptation.

As always, proper range safety procedures must be followed particularly being aware of what the target and what is beyond it. Since this is a moving target, the bullet impact direction will change. In addition, we recommend placing tires, railroad ties, or other barriers between the unit and the student to help prevent injury.

Basic Charging

The charging-assailant is the classic application and the basis for the unit’s design. The simulation is a confrontation with an unknown who may be carrying a deadly weapon. The unknown may or may not choose to attack the student. Place the unit at the end of range with the student on the 20-30 yard line. The student’s weapon should be holstered. Charge the student at full throttle. The student should draw and fire and continue to fire as long as the threat remains.

As student become familiar with the concept, additional elements to the drill can be added. The student should be encouraged to step off the line of attack. The student should never back away from the target. The student should also be encouraged to wait to step off the line of attack until the target is very close otherwise the target will turn to follow the student. The instructor can choose to have the target maneuver slowly down range to simulate a person’s unpredictable movements and when the student least expects it, suddenly charge the student.

Walking Drills

There are two types of walking drill that can be performed. The unit is position down range and to one side of the range. The student is positioned parallel to the unit and 20-30 yards away. Have the student begin walking across the range while the instructor parallels the student’s movements with the unit. At some point, turn the unit to charge the student as above.

The other walking drill is similar to the first except that the student and the unit are on opposite sides of the range and they walk in opposite directions. You can choose to have the unit not charge the student and just keep walking in order to let the student realize that not everything is a threat.

Traffic Stop Simulations

A car or other large object intended to simulate a car is placed on the range. The unit is placed at the front pretending to have engine trouble. The student is an officer on a routine roadside assistance stop. Have the unit turn and charge the student as above. For motorcycle officers, have the student pull up on the range as if performing a routine traffic stop. Charge the student whether or not the student has dismounted or shut off the engine.

Indoor Simulators

The unit is small enough to fit through most doorways. You can place the unit inside an indoor simulator at the end of a hallway or similar area. Operation of the target is easier in simulators with observation catwalks above the training area.

Shoot/No-shoot Scenarios

The unit can also be used in conjunction with several stationary targets serving as innocent bystander or hostage no-shoot targets. By weaving the robot in and around the no-shoot targets, you can emphasize the need for clear lanes of fire as well as the need to incorporate movement necessary to achieve the clear lanes of fire. Remotely operated suicide vest simulators can make these scenarios even more intense.

Precision Rifle Training

The unit has an operating range in excess of half a mile. Terrain and environmental conditions will affect maximum operating range. On level ground with no structures or overhead wires, operating range exceeds 500+ yards. With the transmitter elevated above the operating area, operating range can be much greater. In an urban environment with high levels of electrical noise, operating range is reduced. Nevertheless, engaging a moving target at these ranges is very challenging. At shorter ranges of about 100 yards, the unit is driven back and forth possibly moving between barricades. Rifle shooters are encouraged to track the target and engage it or to wait for the target to appear in a shooting zone.

WARNING The armor plating is not rated for rifle impacts perpendicular to the surface. If you plan to use the system for rifle training, you must use frangible training ammunition. Failure to do so will void the warranty. We also advise running the unit behind a berm or railroad ties when used in rifle training.