TIPS FROM THE PITS: Getting Connected
The “magic smoke” from burned out motors and electronic speed controllers (ESCs) is inevitable in combat robotics, and getting those parts replaced quickly can make the difference between working your way through the brackets to the finals and an ignominious forfeit and early exit.
BUILD REPORT BaneBots P60 Repair and a Brushless Upgrade
My 12 lb Hobbyweight, Isotelus Rex lost to Attrition in the finals at this year’s Motorama.
Parts is Parts: More Musings on the Hobbyking CAR-45A and HK-SENS-35A Brushless Reversible Speed Con
In last month’s SERVO, I modified a HobbyKing CAR-45A and tested it to see if it was suitable for use as a weapon ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) for 3 lb Beetleweights.
Parts is Parts: HobbyKing CAR-45A Brushless Reversible Speed Controller
I have been using HobbyKing (http://www.hobbyking.com) brushless speed controllers in my combat robots since 2007, when I used one in Surgical Strike to take first place in the 12 lb weight class at RoboGames.
Quality Versus Quantity — Or, Why One Axle is Sometimes Better Than Two
The drums on my Saifu kits have worked pretty well, but when they lose it’s usually been the same problem: bent axles.
EVENT REPORT: Motorama 2015 — Ice, Snow, and Beetles ... Lots of Beetles
Winter was doing its best again to make life tougher on the East coast, but fortunately it did not have the same effect at Motorama (organized by NERC; http://www.nerc.us) as it had last year when only two-thirds of the competitors made it.
PRODUCT REVIEW: Chaos Hubs
The 1.5" and 2" wide Colson wheels have been popular in the 30 lb+ weight classes in combat robotics for many years, but builders often had to make their own hubs to mate the large bore of the Colsons with the standard 1/2" keyed shafts that come on drive gearmotors like Banebots P60s.
BUILD REPORT: Isotelus Rex — Part 4: The Sprint to the Finish Line
In Part 3 of this series, I had received most of the parts and started work on the chassis. Is this part, I will put together the drive motors, complete the rest of the parts, and assemble the bot. I was on a tight deadline as there was only four weeks to go before the bot’s first event ...
Is This the Future of Combat Robotics?
There have been whisperings and rumors of a revolutionary new drive system for over a year now, but details have been hard to come by until our photographer got a picture at a recent late night test session in a barn in rural Pennsylvania. Our contact (who wished to remain anonymous) could give us only a few details of what she called “hoverbots.”
PARTS IS PARTS: Product Review: OrangeRx T-SIX 2.4 GHz Transmitter
The OrangeRx range of 2.4 GHz spread spectrum DSM2 receivers (available from HobbyKing) has proved to be very useful in combat robotics over the last couple of years as they provide a cheaper alternative to the Spektrum receivers required by the popular DX6e and DX6i transmitters.
Building a Large Scrolling Display
Ioften attend shows where I’m either demonstrating combat robots and bot hockey, or as a sponsor providing prizes of Kitbots products. In order to inform the public about the event or the products, I have several banners to hang up on the walls, plus I also hand out business cards and information sheets when I have the time. It would be useful, however, to have a more eye-catching and informative way of passing on the information.
EVENT REPORT: Happy 10th Birthday for Motorama – Motorama 2012
This February 17th–19th, the Northeast Robotics Club (http://www.nerc.us) hosted the 10th annual combat event at the Motorama Motorsports Extravaganza and Custom Car Show in Harrisburg, PA.
EVENT REPORT: “Beware the Hobby that Eats” (Benjamin Franklin): Franklin Institute 2011
The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA (www2.fi.edu) was host to the Northeast Robotics Club’s (http://www.nerc.us) 5th Autumn Event last year on October 15th.
DRILL BABY, DRILL. OR, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
For about a decade or more, it has been possible to get cheap cordless drills from Harbor Freight (http://www.harborfreight.com).
PARTS IS PARTS: Fine-Tuning a Brushless Electronic Speed Controller
My 12 lb Hobbyweight bar spinner Surgical Strike had a problem at the last couple of events...
BUILD REPORT: Trilobite — a Tough Beetleweight Brick/Wedge
Ihave long held the opinion that a good wedge/brick is the best type of bot for most beginners in the sport.
BUILD REPORT: Building a Better Beatle Beater Bar — Part 2
This month, I will show how to create the axle, drive pulley, and flanges.
BUILD REPORT: Building a Better Beatle Beater Bar – Part 1
A higher rotational speed gives a bigger hit but it also reduces the bite.
EVENT REPORT: Franklin Institute 2010 – Rise of the Melty Brains!
The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia and NERC (http://www.nerc.us) presented their fourth annual robot event on Saturday, October 9, ‘10.
EVENT REPORT: Clash of the Bots — Schiele Museum 2010
Walk in the front door of the Schiele Museum (http://www.schielemuseum.org) in Gastonia, NC and the first thing you see is a full size replica of the skeleton of a T-Rex!
PARTS IS PARTS: Data Points: Fine-Tune Your Bot’s Performance
Knowing exactly how well your bot performs in a particular configuration would be very useful ... like, exactly how fast is the blade turning? What current is the weapon motor drawing at start-up and at cruise? How much does the battery voltage sag at full power?
How to Prepare For - and Maybe Even Win - a Robot Competition
Get some insights and helpful tips from a veteran of robot combat.
Pattern Routing of Plastic Parts
The easy way to do these parts is to have them watercut by a company like Team Whyachi (http://www.teamwhyachi.com), but if you need parts quickly and your time is cheap, then with a little careful design you can route the same parts using just a router and a pattern.
The Appliance of Science | The First Annual Franklin Institue Event
The Northeast Robotics Club (http://www.nerc.us) has held a very successful event every February in Harrisburg, PA and this year, they partnered with the Franklin Institute Science Museum (www2.fi.edu) to add a second major event. The Institute is a modern, hands-on type of museum situated in the center of Philadelphia. It houses many large exhibits in a bright modern building which also includes an IMAX cinema. It is, in many ways, an ideal venue for a robotic combat event with a regular audience ...
I have competed in many robotic combat events and taught classes about the basics of that part of the hobby, but I have never judged any sort of competition. It was with a little trepidation then that I accepted a request to be a judge at a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional Championship held at the NC A & T State University in Greensboro, NC...