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December 2013

Servo Magazine

Robot Builder’s Buyer’s Guide

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Features

Talking With Light

Using light to provide feedback for your robot can be as simple as a single LED, or more complex using multiple LED colors. In this article, we’ll discuss simple techniques to communicate using light with your Arduino-based robot. The projects are simple to do, with only basic components and wiring needed.


RoboGames Requiem: A Facebook Epic

The announcement that RoboGames was not being continued by Dave Calkins and Simone Davalos started a FaceBook conversation with over 1,000 comments. A spinoff post worthy of recording as part of our “History of Robot Combat” series also ensued.


PR2Lite Grows Up — and So Do Its Makers

Find out the latest evolution in this home brewed version of Willow Garage’s PR2.


RoboGames — From an International Perspective

Robotics truly has worldwide appeal, and that was very apparent with over 17 entrants from international countries competing at this year’s event.


Get Your Robotics On!

One of the goals of the Boise Robotics Group (The BoRG) is to teach folks how to make robots. See what they did and some of the lessons they learned themselves.


Go Mod With Your Mobile

What do you get when you give your robot a GPS module, a microSD card, and a temperature probe? A robot who knows where it's going and can tell you where it's been. Depending on where your robot is or is going, it may be wrapped up in an overcoat or sporting a Hawaiian shirt.


Enter the MATRIX: A Robust New Build System for FTC and Beyond

MATRIX Robotics enters the “kit” competition with a brand new 3D metal construction system that is perfect for use in events like the FIRST Tech Challenge, as well as for hobbyists and educators.


Team Kiss My Snake Tears It Up With a Barbie Jeep

When combat roboticists are in the off-season, they take some of that technology and build race cars. Find out what happened when Team KISS Robotics and Team Plumb Crazy joined forces at a recent event.


The Road to the DARPA Robotics Challenge — Part 3

This time, the team discusses mechanical changes, the biped systems, and using the Gazebo simulator as they continue work on Watson.


Open Source Hardware for Robot Projects

Did you know that there are community-developed hardware robot designs that are freely licensed and downloadable? If not, you need to check out this overview of different platforms that have been developed over the last two decades.


Experimenting With Machine Intelligence

Explore some unconventional ways of creating robots that can learn to solve problems on their own.


Disability in the Modern Age: How Rehabilitation Robotics is Changing Lives Across the World

After being in a severe accident, implementing robotics into the recovery process took on a whole new meaning.


Get the Most From XBee Transceivers

Small, ready-to-use wireless modules let you control things like your robot’s motor speed and actuators. New bot builders can follow the examples given here to get off to a good start using XBee modules.


The Brain Behind Robot Combat League

Get some unique insight into the original series from Syfy from the man who created all the fighting robots.


Mead Gets the AXE

Ross Mead from Team AXE gives his perspective on the groundbreaking competition/TV series that aired recently.


3D Printers Part 6: The Conclusion

Experiences with each type of printer are summarized, and a list of 13 tips to keep in mind when buying a 3D printer are given to wrap up this series.


It’s All in Your Head

More and more, scientists are looking to the anatomy of the human body to maker smarter and faster machines.


Get Your Motors Runnin’

Spinning a couple of motor shafts and positioning a hobby servo has never been easier. The combination of the Digilent motor shield, 32-bit Uno32, and ready-to-roll MPIDE motor shield library takes all of the pain out of robotic motor control.


The Road to the DARPA Robotics Challenge — Part 4

Dealing with the DRC qualifications, having to rebuild yet again, and taking those first steps.


Interface and Communication Techniques to Control the World (or, at least H-bridges)

In the mechatronic world, it’s all about control. See how to gain worldwide dominance using some simple CCS C code, a Wi-Fi module, and a handful of Microchip silicon.


Robot Combat League as Seen Through the Eyes of a Contestant

As a member of the winning Team Crash, Dave weaves a wonderful tale of his and his daughter, Amber’s life-changing experience on the show.


Using Digital Sensors with Vex — Part 1

See how to navigate your robot’s way around by implementing an electronic compass.


Tibbo Trouble

With Tibbo, you can write a few lines of Basic code and exchange data with peers and hosts via the Internet. The Tibbo EM500 is perfect for retrofitting devices with serial ports for use on the Internet. How can you implement it in your next bot build?


The Road to the DARPA Robotics Challenge

In this second installment, Team Walk Like a Man describes the mechanical design of their Track D entry hopeful, Watson.


Build the Kronos Flyer - Part 3

Part 3: Assembly! This time we put our quadcopter together, with plenty of tips and techniques given along the way.


Robotic Sensors

By giving your robot just a rudimentary ability to identify objects, you can increase its ability to cope with more complex situations.


3D Printers Part 1: Introduction

There has been a great deal of hype around 3D printers lately. If you are planning on purchasing one, be sure you read this article series first. What you find out may surprise you.


The Road to the DARPA Robotics Challenge

Read one team’s chronicle of what it will take to compete in track D of this monumental event.


Making Better Arduino Robots with the ArdBot— Part 3

Learn about interfacing switches to the ArdBot II, along with how to use the info these sensors provide to interactively command the robot’s motors.


Santa SERVO Surprises Upstate New York

A storm of SERVO Magazines came down on spectators at a recent holiday parade.


Curiosity and the Self-Driving Car

Preparing for the 2012 Roborama contest course inspired a melding of Mars rovers, self-driving cars, and lane-following technology that gave rise to JRover.


The Fourth Annual Lunabotics Competition

College students descend on the Kennedy Space Center for NASA’s yearly contest to build lunar rovers.


Eye-Ears — My Interactive Looking/Hearing Robot

Sometimes it’s important to just build a robot for fun and entertainment for both ourselves and others.


NASA Engineers Building Lunar Mining Robot

Although RASSOR is far from being space-ready, this autonomous machine will ultimately play a key role in being able to process water and fuel from lunar soil.


LEGO Mindstorm Robots at the 2013 Lunabotics Competition

As part of NASA’s annual event, special workshops were held for school-aged children — all the way down to preschool — to help foster a love for STEM education by learning to use LEGOs to build bots.


The VEX 2013 World Championships

See highlights from this year’s classic event.



Projects

Build the Kronos Flyer- Part 6

Part 6: APM 2.5 Per reader requests, this final installment of our quadcopter build will discuss the APM 2.5 controller in detail.


3D Printers Part 5: Filament

Filament is the life blood of a 3D printer. This month, various types of filament are discussed and how to calibrate the printer for a specific kind.


Making Better Arduino Robots with the ArdBot — Part 1

Originally debuted in 2010, ArdBot is back with a more slim line design, plus lots of added Arduinos for all kinds of new features and capabilities.


Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 1

Now that we’ve wrapped up our series on 3D printers, we’re going to build a fighting robot with them.


Build the Kronos Flyer - Part 5

Read about some add-on items that hopefully will inspire your imagination.


A Look at Holonomic Locomotion

Holonomic robots are omnidirectional and incredibly mobile. Here is a look at these types of robots constructed with two different styles of wheels.


Broadcasting Real Time Video With Your Robot

Learn how to add video to any robot — remotely controlled or not. Plus, also discover how to overlay textual data so you can get feedback, as well.


Robotic Sensors - Part 2

Part 2: Their Use With Robotic Arms. Using the principles of identification discussed last month, we’ll have our mobile robot find and retrieve objects with an arm and gripper.


Creating a MiniBot

Building robots with a great finished look doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. This article will show you how to construct a personable, cost-effective robot out of a trash can.


Making Better Arduino Robots with the ArdBot — Part 2

We’ll move forward with completing the ArdBot II’s electrical subsystems, and give our robot its first taste of adventure with a simple servo test routine.


Turning Your Robot Off Via Software

Here’s a nifty little solid-state switch that lets you power-down your creations to help extend battery life.


Build the Kronos Flyer - Part 4

Part 4: Setup. Program and calibrate the ESCs; set the direction of the motors; see step-by-step how to install the NAZA flight controller; install the props; and get ready to take your Flyer for a spin.


The Neato Robot and ROS

This eighth grader shows us how to hack a vacuum bot to turn it into a TABLEBot for competition.


Give Yourself a Weapon!

As a follow-up to the hugely popular Give Yourself a Wedgie project that appeared in the October 2012 issue, this article will show you how to add either a clamp or lifter weapon to your robot.


Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 2

This time, we’ll go over the wheels, gears, and chassis parts for our PBOD.


Making Better Arduino Robots with the ArdBot— Part 4

In this final installment, we’ll take a $2 TV remote and command the ArdBot to do our bidding from a distance.


BarBot 2013 Serves Up Some Intoxicating Entries

Building a beverage-serving bot takes a fair amount of time and money. Learn how some of the entries came up with their creations for this popular annual event.


3D Printers Part 4: Tuning

This time, slicer software that is used to convert 3D models to instructions a printer can actually understand will be covered, plus the MakerGear M2 arrived!


Windows 8 Tablets: The Ultimate Robot Controller — Part 1

Most hobby robots are powered by small microcontrollers with limited capabilities. Could using a tablet instead with all its available features be the best way to rock your robot’s world?


Using Digital Sensors with VEX — Part 2

Finish construction on the DIY VEX electro-mechanical compass, and get the I2C firmware necessary to make it work.


3D Printers Part 2: Assembly Highlights

Follow the assembly process on four different 3D printers, so that next time we’ll be ready to actually print a simple object.


3D Printers Part 3: Software and Configuration

See what it took to get from a ready-for-action printer to a first print.



Columns

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• Definitely a Cool Robot • Printable Bots on the Way • Bot Surgery Lawsuits on the Rise • A Mint for Your Tablet/Smartphone • Robot Roadmap Available

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert, Jenn Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
Don't Forget the Moon, Bot Programming for Bio Labs, It's the Berries, Robotic Circus ... Maybe, UAS Provides Sophistication, and Stealth

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• UAV for Everyone • Flies and a Roll • Monopoly for Bots and Meatbags • The Future of Burgers? • Flipper Headed for Retirement

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• Beast of Burden Aces Field Tests • High Speed Book Scanner • Hovering Snoop Offers Endurance, Security • Fiddler on the Beach

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• Diggin’ It at NASA • Literally for the Birds • A UAV to Track Taliban • And a UAV to Track You • Creepy Times Two.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• Cold Sub, to Go • Bots Built for Showbiz • One for Your Cat

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• Touchy-Feely for Less • Prototype Power Line Inspector • The Future of Clothes Shopping? • Chewing Up the Mint?

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• Robo Suit in Final Trials • Insect Vision for Bots and More • Aerobatic MAV Takes Flight • Bot Flips the Bird • Sniff This!

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits
• Just Think • This is Research? • Kibo Bot Destined for ISS • Bot is Diggin’ It.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (10.2013)
• Robot Flies and Walks • Hexapod Lite Debuts • Vampire Bot Developed • Beer for me, Vodka for the Fish

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits 12.2013
• So Long, Casey Jones • Bye Bye, Berry Pickers • Cheers! • Art for Art’s Sake

GeerHead
by David Geer
HDT Global’s Adroit MK2 Robot Arms
They may not be able to transform into cars, trucks, or aircraft, but there is a lot of stuff these manipulators can do.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Hydroid Deep Sea Marine-Exploring REMUS AUVs
A Q&A with the makers of these cylindrical swimming automatons.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Communicating with Dynamixel servos using MPIDE.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Giant Robot Jellyfish
“Cyro” mimicks its real life counterpart’s ocomotive capabilities to make it useful in both research of thesea itself and ocean-based surveillance.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Modular Cooperating Robot Components
Hip, new robots from Barobo, Inc., build on themselves to form educational and prototyping platforms, as well as enable new hacks for the creative roboticist.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (10.2013)
Selecting servos for a walking robot.

GeerHead
by David Geer
The Famous Robots of Derek Scherer
This is why robotics is so cool ... you can go from working on top secret Army bots to making animatronics for blockbuster movies.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here 12.2013
Critter Crunch.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Basic Subsumption Architecture.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Putting the RoboBuilder Creative kit in motion.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
• Can cheap ESCs do the trick? • Working with a Digilent chipKIT MX3cK

GeerHead
by David Geer
Modular Mobots Make STEM Education Fun
UC Davis — a 100+ year old institution of higher education — is encouraging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educational enhancements through the use of Mobots: a robot module platform created by Engineering Professor Harry H. Cheng and his master's student Graham Ryland. The plastic Mobots with their user-friendly programming and software are already in use in many area schools.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
The saga on getting control over your FrankenRoomba continues ...

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Getting Your Raspberry Pi’s Proper MBs.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Working out interfacing issues with servos other than the Robotis Dynamixel AX12s.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Creating autonomous behavior with Action Builder from the RoboBuilder Creative kit.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here 11.2013
A closer look at LEGO’s new EV3 robot.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Our resident expert on all things robotic is merely an email away. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Robots in 4D
4D Systems is offering some new smart OLED and LCD display modules that will play well with your robots.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Nice STEMs!
One of the things we love about robots is that they are such perfect teaching tools.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
To Infinity and Beyond
Few things capture the imagination like robotics ... except maybe space elevators.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Second Breakfast
Exploring the full potential of 4D Systems smart display modules, with an “Eye” towards coordinating expressions with sensor input.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Material Bot
You can build a robot out of pretty much anything, but if you find yourself debating between general categories like wood or plastic or metal, this is the article for you.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Tinker, Printer, Solder, Die
These “printer wars” show how even newbies can get started into the fascinating and terrifying world of robotics with junk.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robots Evolve into Today’s Bipedal Humanoids
Just as man's ancestors began to walk on two legs, robot experimenters decided over a decade ago that a bipedal humanoid robot was the holy grail of robotics. Science fiction movies always showed robots as two-legged walking creations.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Telepresence and Personal Assistants
I would like to begin our discussion of robots working around people with a look at some of the latest telepresence robots.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Controlling Robots in the Air and on the Ground
Multi-rotor flyers are proving to be the next level of robotics.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Get That Robot Built the Easy Way
Parts to build great robots are all around us. Just use your imagination the next time you’re shopping at the local hobby, hardware, marine, RV, or toy store.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Parallax, Inc.
Learn about the beginnings of this ground-breaking company and some of the products they’re famous for.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
The LEGO MINDSTORMS Evolution — RCX to EV3
Take a historical look at how LEGO got started and where they are today.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Bases and Structure for Mobile Robots
Tips, techniques, and types to consider when selecting the foundation for your bot.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
ServoCity
There once was a time when robot builders had only a few sources for project parts. That is no longer the case.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robots to Serve Man
Robots can serve humankind in many positive ways.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Human Augmentation
The concept of exoskeletons is not new. Read about where we’ve been and where we’re going with devices that enhance human performance.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robots and the Law
What will the legal implications be if robots violate human rights?

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits 11.2013
• VTOL Anything • Lots of Pickin’, No Grinnin’ • ETF Indexes Automation Industry • Razing a Stink




Combat Zone

TIPS FROM THE PITS: Getting Connected

in The Combat Zone

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.


SPECIAL REPORT: Bot Builder’s Buyer’s Guide

in The Combat Zone

Just in time for Christmas shopping, regular contributor Mike Jeffries has assembled a buyer's guide of three vital components for small sized bots.


BUILDER’S TIPS: You Can’t Take It With You: What Tools To Bring

in The Combat Zone

I won't be talking about tools that are particularly specialized. If your machine needs any specific equipment for basic maintenance and repairs, those take priority. The following sections will cover tools that are almost universally useful in the pits during an event.


BUILD REPORT: The Quest for a Dif ferent Kind of Flipper: Building the Beast

in The Combat Zone

In a recent issue of SERVO, I wrote about scaling up my successful six pound Mantisweight class flipper Threecoil into a 30 pound Sportsman class robot.


BUILD REPORT: Mini Bot Hockey Bots — Part 3

in The Combat Zone

In Part 2 of this series, I discussed how I made the chassis and drive train. In this part, I will show you how I wired the bots and set up the transmitter and receiver.


BUILD REPORT: The Quest for a Different Kind of Flipper: Inspiration and Early Attempts

in The Combat Zone

I have been building fighting robots for several years, and starting in 2009 I managed to build a 12 pound robot named Scurrie that won several competitions in a row. After some time, I was also successful with a 30 pound shell spinner named Tetanus.


SPECIAL REPORT: Judge Dave’s Guide to Winning

in The Combat Zone

Judge Dave (Calkins) is one of the original BattleBots judges, founding RFL member, founder of RoboGames, and co-founder of ComBots. These are his words of wisdom. Ignore them at your peril.


RoboGames Requiem: A Facebook Epic

The announcement that RoboGames was not being continued by Dave Calkins and Simone Davalos started a FaceBook conversation with over 1,000 comments. A spinoff post worthy of recording as part of our “History of Robot Combat” series also ensued.


National Robotics League Begins Their 6th Year of Combat Competition

in The Combat Zone

The National Robotics League (NRL) 2013 Championships held in Indianapolis this last May, featured 48 robots built by nearly 200 students from 25 schools across the US.


BUILD REPORT: Tanto

in The Combat Zone

For the last 16 years, I have been building and competing in robot combat. You name it, I’ve probably built it — from walkers to brick bots to full power flippers to hydraulic crushers in almost all weight divisions.


Is This the Future of Combat Robotics?

in The Combat Zone

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.”


EVENT REPORT: Robots Battle at the County Fair

in The Combat Zone

The Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo brings thrilling rides and mouth-watering food to South Florida each year.


EVENT REPORT: Robot HORDs Return to The Gate

in The Combat Zone

Eleven teams brought a total of five 150 gram Fleaweights, 11 one pound Antweights, and six three pound Beetleweights to compete in three brutal double elimination tournaments.


EVENT REPORT: Seattle Bot Brawl

in The Combat Zone

October in Seattle brought cool temperatures, wind, and rain outside. However, inside the Seattle Center Armory, the competition was heating up at the 2012 Seattle Bot Brawl.


BUILD REPORT: Keres: 150 g Fighting Robot

in The Combat Zone

Keres was built to test some prototype Mini-Spark gearboxes from FingerTech Robotics.


PARTS IS PARTS: Product Review: FingerTech Robotics Power Switch

in The Combat Zone

For as long as I can remember, there hasn’t been a power switch designed for the 150 g to 3 lb combat robot classes that is readily available.


Then and Now — A Decade Later With Christian Carlberg

in The Combat Zone

Last year, the Combat Zone published a series of articles covering the history of the sport by recovering the undocumented, nearly lost information about each of our sport’s major events — past and present. Now, 10 years after the demise of major television coverage, we tracked down some of the most famous names from that era to gain their perspective on what some see as “the glory days” of the sport. Our first victim is competitor and host of “The Builder’s Corner” from the BattleBots™ series.


BUILD REPORT: The Quest for a Different Kind of Flipper

in The Combat Zone

Improving the Trigger.


BUILD REPORT: The Quest for a Dif ferent Kind of Flipper: Making the Machine

in The Combat Zone

This month, I will discuss the fabrication of some of the parts that made up the flipper assembly in Threecoil.


EVENT REPORT: DragonCon Robot Battles 2013

in The Combat Zone

Robot Battles 47 took place over Labor Day weekend during DragonCon in Atlanta, GA. At DragonCon, Robot Battles consists of two independent events.


THEN and NOW: A Decade Later With Richard Stuplich

in The Combat Zone

Richard Stuplich first came to the public’s attention in the final two seasons of BattleBots. His super heavyweight, New Cruelty, was eight wheels and 220 pounds of rock solid battering ram.


Building Builders

in The Combat Zone

This article is a mini build report from my perspective of getting the bots and boys ready for their first event with their own "real" combots at Battle at Maker Faire, which took place on October 5th at the Orlando Mini Maker Faire.


EVENT REPORT: GCRS 11 — Robots, Birthday Cake, and Off-Road Trucks!

in The Combat Zone

GCRS 11 continues its series of events hosted by Jim Smentowski, owner of The Robot Marketplace. The events give Florida Insectweight robot builders a chance to get together for a day of robot battles with some new competitors, as well as to continue some long-fought rivalries!


EVENT REPORT: Motorama 2013

in The Combat Zone

Just this February, the Northeast Robotics Club ([url=http://www.nerc.us]http://www.nerc.us[/url]) hosted the 11th annual combat event at the 2013 Motorama motorsports extravaganza and custom car show ([url=http://www.motorama]http://www.motorama[/url] events.com) in Harrisburg, PA.


PRODUCT REVIEW: Snap Hubs

in The Combat Zone

Kitbots and FingerTech Robotics have joined forces to develop a new range of hubs for smaller bots.


Robot Combat Gets Savage at HORD 2013

in The Combat Zone

Young up and comer, 12 year old Chad Savage from Edinburg Twp., OH took third place in the Ant class at the 2013 HORD (House of Robotic Destruction) tournament held in Brunswick, OH.


Mecha-Mayhem Moves to Cleveland

in The Combat Zone

The fall of 2012 posed a challenge for the members and supporters of the Chicago Robotic Combat Association (CRCA).


BUILD REPORT: Mini Bot Hockey Bots — Part 1

in The Combat Zone

Playing bot hockey is great fun, and it’s a big hit with the crowds at events. I have my own full team of 15 lb class bots.


Then and Now: A Decade Later With Jim Smentowski

in The Combat Zone

Jim Smentowski is the builder of one of the legendary bots in our sport: Nightmare.


Orangutan Drives Fleaweight

in The Combat Zone

One of the challenges when designing a Fleaweight (150 g) robot is finding lightweight components that allow you to squeeze the most out of the limited weight allowance.


EVENT REPORT: DragonCon Robot Micro Battles 2013

in The Combat Zone

Here’s how the smaller bots fared at Robot Battles this year. Thirteen Antweights and 15 Beetleweights competed in the Micro Battles event. Both classes had a diverse selection of machines competing for the win.


EVENT REPORT: FIRST Orlando Regionals

in The Combat Zone

A New Set of Heroes Emerges


PRODUCT REVIEW: Botbitz 30A ESCs

in The Combat Zone

The Banebots BB-12-45 was for many years the most commonly used speed controller in the 12 lb Hobbyweight class of combat robot.


EVENT REPORT: RoboGames 2013

in The Combat Zone

RoboGames — the largest robotic event in the world (according to Guinness World Records!) — returned to the San Mateo, CA Exposition Center April 19th through 21st.


EVENT REPORT: PennBots — The Second Annual Battle at Yellow Breeches

in The Combat Zone

PennBots — the Robot Club of Pennsylvania — hosted their Second Annual Fall Fling on November 17, 2012 at the Yellow Breeches Middle School in Boiling Springs, PA.


THEN AND NOW: Carlo Bertocchini

in The Combat Zone

When it comes to the glory days of televised robot combat, few competitors can beat Carlo Bertocchini's record.


TIPS FROM THE PITS: Speeding Up a Motor Change

in The Combat Zone

Half the battle in combat robotics is having your bot repaired completely in time for the next fight. This is the first of a series of short articles detailing some ways to make that just a little bit easier.


PARTS IS PARTS: Product Beta Test: RageBridge from Equals Zero Designs

in The Combat Zone

Iwas lucky enough to get a chance recently to test the new RageBridge dual channel brushed DC motor controller from Equals Zero Designs (e0designs.com).


PRODUCT REVIEW: HobbyKing HK4B6 Charger

in The Combat Zone

It is convenient to have all four batteries on one charger, and it takes up less space in the pits. It’s also a little cheaper than having four separate chargers, but it could also mean that if it fails you may lose all four at once.


RESOURCE REVIEW: MFG.com

in The Combat Zone

What MFG.com does is provide a location for users to post quote requests for custom fabrication. Once you've posted a quote request, shops from your specified search region (US, North America, Global, or specific national and international locations) will then be able to see your quote request and bid on it.


PARTS IS PARTS: Prototype Testing: FingerTech Robotics Mini-Spark

in The Combat Zone

In the 150 g weight class, there are only a few options for drive systems.


Building a Large Scrolling Display

in The Combat Zone

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.