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December 2015

Servo Magazine

There’s A New Chauffeur In Town and his name is Google.

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Features

A Mighty Bridge has Fallen

The world of robotics lost one of its own recently. Lem Fugitt will be remembered as the world’s biggest fan of all robots — big and small.


Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer

TRIGGERS and SENSORS - There is a wide variety of options to choose from when selecting the best trigger mechanisms, but no single solution is best for every situation. Well have no fear, the answers are here!


The Robot You’ve Always Wanted

Part 2 discusses the electronics required to control the motors and communicate with sensors.


RoboGames 2015

Like a Phoenix from a flame, this classic meeting of the robotic minds returned to San Mateo, CA this year.


Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer

Big Red — A Bartender Only a Pirate Could Love! Just in time for Halloween, this build is one of the more complex projects attempted. Plus, it is the perfect example of being flexible when you need to abandon an original design and restart from scratch.


littleBot: A Modern Build on a Classic BEAM Robot

littleBits — an ever-growing library of electronic modules that snap together — is put to the test to recreate a classic robot design.


Automation with Actobotics

Take the mundane task of measuring and cutting battery lead wires and give it to your robot.


Deluxe Servo Tester

Take the Trial and Error Out of Determining Servo Settings


The Robot You’ve Always Wanted

Part 3 explains how to program navigation behaviors, so your robot can make it from Point A to Point B without crashing.


VEX Worlds 2015

Highlights of this STEM inspired event.


Adaptive Lenses — Electronic Wonders

The latest generation of adaptive lenses has revolutionized still and video photography for use with drones and other applications.


Extruders Examined

The extruder is the heart of a 3D printer. This article examines all of its different parts, how to build them correctly, and how to fix one that’s having issues.


Spain’s Robot Museum

If you ever find yourself in Madrid, Spain, you’ll want to be sure this attraction is on your bucket list


Using Desktop Machine Tools to Build Your Next Robot

Historically, mills and lathes have been leviathan in size, making it unrealistic for hobbyists to have them in their workshops. However, desktop machine tools now make it possible to build more elaborate robots at home. Discover what’s available and what you can do with it.


How I Came to Design Extraterrestrial Robot Submarines

When the TiME mission proposal was not chosen, then NASA suspended the ASRG program in 2013, all seemed lost. However, new opportunities presented themselves on the concept of an autonomous sub.


CNC Part Creation Workflow

The process of part design is covered this month.


The Adventures of HitchBOT

Discover the fate of this endearing mechatron as he ventured out into worlds unknown.


MATE’s 2015 Underwater Robotics Competition

See how students were challenged with working in simulated extreme polar conditions.


Rodney Junior: Smarter than the Average Robot

Some basic guidelines are discussed for anyone who would like to investigate artificial intelligence by playing around with a robot.


Unwrapping a daVinci 3D Printer

Robotics is well known for its camaraderie among competitors. Here’s a story of how that friendship led to the acquisition of a 3D printer.


How I Came to Design Extraterrestrial Robot Submarines

Part 1: Probing Saturn’s Moon, Titan. Follow along with this NASA project that makes you think twice about what oceans really are.


The Robot You’ve Always Wanted

Would you prefer a robot with some human-like features and capabilities? Well, this new series will show you how to build the robot you’ve always wanted at a price you can afford. We’ll begin with the physical construction.


M is for the Robot that ARM Made

Meet mBot — a new platform for working with embedded robotics that is affordable, programmable, and downright fun.


Controlling the Beast — Interfacing Analog Controls in a Digital World

Utilizing retired parts from former BattleBots™ competitor, Hexadecimator, get some insight into working with analog-to-digital signals and build a go-cart in the process.


BASIC Bots & PICAXE Processors — Part 4

RoboCar — The Self-Driving Car of the Future!


Beer2D2 — A Robot in a Can

A chronicle of how an old lager was reborn as a loyal friend and show companion.


Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer

A Breath of Fresh Air! The use of pneumatics provides prop builders with a unique set of qualities that are often harder to achieve with other methods of movements.


So, What is a MakerCon?

This annual event “by makers, for makers” can give you the info you need to bring your cool robot build to market.


A Spectrometer for Your Robot Projects

For about $30 and a few hour’s work, you can build an Arduino based spectrometer to perform basic experiments with.


Rodney Junior: Continuing Education

Learning is random and hap-hazard at first. Ultimately, you gain memories of what to do based on prior experience, then use this info in similar situations. This is basically how we learn ... and how robots can learn too.


BASIC Bots & PICAXE Processors

Ready to try a different microcontroller in your robot builds? Well, this new series will show you how to work with a PICAXE 08M2+.


Apeiros

Read about this new next-generation, fully open source educational robot that makes a great platform for teaching STEM.


CGTrader’s 3D Robot Challenge

Many unique contests are popping up these days with all the AI grumblings in the spotlight and all the new cool tools currently available. Maybe this one can inspire you.


The Basics of Soldering

Knowing how to solder surface-mount components by hand is a valuable skill when working with strict space requirements.


BattleBots is Back, Baby!

The classic fighting robot tournament is back on the air waves, and is bigger and better than ever!


BASIC Bots & PICAXE Processors — Part 2

LEDs, IR Control, and Servos We continue with our tips and techniques for implemeting PICAXE 08M2+ chips in robotic applications.


littleBits and the ActoBitty

Magnets and aluminum combine to create ActoBits.


CNC Part Creation Workflow

This time, see how to use G-code files to create actual parts.


RoboGames Returns!

As the largest robotic event in the world, participants and spectators alike were sorely disappointed when RoboGames did not take place in 2014. This year is gonna be way better with the return of this popular event.


Build Your Own 3D Printer with Actobotics

After a failed experience with a low cost kit, inspiration struck to design and build a custom 3D printer with some rock-solid construction material and some simple hand tools.


CNC Part Creation Workflow

This mini series will break down procedures and approaches to create consistent parts using a CNC machine.


NASA’s 6th Annual Robotic Mining Competition

Teams from all over the country meet up again to compete in another out-of-this-world mining matchup.


Taking a Look at the Jade Robot

So, just how does Jade stand up to some in-depth scrutiny ... read this product review to find out.


The Turing Test: From Inception to Passing

Turing is often hailed as a father of modern computing and he played a pivotal role in breaking Germany's "Enigma" code, an effort that some historians say brought an early end to World War II.


Actobotics’ Nomad

Looking for an off-road robot chassis? Nomad’s four-wheeled frame could be the right platform for your next build.


HelloSpoon — a DIY Robot to Help People with Upper Limb Difficulties

This labor-of-love creation attempts to give folks with disabilities some of their independence back by helping them feed themselves, among other things.


REVIEW: Mantis The Latest Offering from ServoCity

Take to the “off” road with this latest member of the ServoCity robotics platform family.


BattleBots 2015 — That’s a Wrap

Take a closer look at some of the details of how this classic event was run and who ultimately took home the Giant Nut.


Beattys Make Building Robots a Family Affair

This self-made family of roboteers started from scratch and now make rovers for museums.


The Robots of Maker Faire

After 10 years, this annual event continues to showcase some very cool automatons.


The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals 2015

Get a bird’s eye view of this “Super Bowl” of robotics.


Robot Blinky Lights Made Easy

Controllable colorful lights go beyond just making your robot look super neato. They also make excellent indicators.


HBRC Challenge 2015

The HomeBrew Robotics Club TABLEBot Challenge is in full swing. Check out these highlights on what has happened so far.


Perimeter Sensing Options

Understanding the limitations and advantages of various choices of perimeter sensing can help improve the functionality of your robot.


The Basics of Soldering

In this next part of our skill-building series, learn some tried and true through-hole component soldering practices.


Make a MiP Hack Back

In late 2014, WowWee Group Limited came out with another commercial robot success: MiP. So, of course, the first thing we want to do is hack it.


The Robotics Inventors Club

This unique club takes kids (ages 8-12) and turns them into robot-inventing moguls.


The Basics of Soldering

The final installment in this series covers advanced SMT package soldering.


Let’s Talk Bots

Team Wrecks and Team Witch Doctor and Shaman open up about their experiences with the recently televised BattleBots competition.


ADHD Students Benefit from Brainwave Monitoring Programs

The same technology originally designed for NASA pilot training is helping students and adults alike to stay more focused.


RoboCup at 17 ... Robots vs. Renaldo?

The growing popularity of soccer has brought about some bold new goals not only for human players, but in the minds of robotics experts, as well.


Servos the Right Way

Learn how to get the most out of servos in your robotics applications.


Analog Servos for Robotics

In some ways, analog servos are the “unsophisticated brutes” of the robotics world.Thoroughly understanding their strengths and limitations can help you identify which things are better handled in hardware vs. software.


BASIC Bots & PICAXE Processors — Part 3

Analog Sensors, ADCs, and a Walking Robot! Take a look at some simple sensors to give our breadboard the ability to measure distance, light, and temperature, then turn that breadboard into a simple robot.


Getting Started with Pascal on a PIC

Want to try advanced algorithms on your PIC-based robot? Pascal for the PIC provides a highly structured tool for your next robotics experiment.



Projects

Little Arduino Robot Hand

Although this da Vinci inspired wooden hand looks simple, it demonstrates some fundamentals of servo control, Arduino programming, and mechatronics for under $300.


Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — It’s All In Your Head!

Make your robotic characters more life-like by giving them a voice and some head movement with these simple-to-learn techniques.


The Robot You’ve Always Wanted - Part 4

In this final installment, see how Arlo’s arms and turret can be controlled through a second instance of RobotBASIC running in the background to truly make this the robot of your dreams.


Microcerebrum — Build a Better Bot Brain

Here’s a proposal for an inexpensive complete robot controller alternative that can deliver equivalent functionality of programmed control without the coding chore overhead.


Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer

In this second installment, we’ll get back to the basics of animatronics discussing things like vocabulary, tools and materials, resources, and the physical construction process.


BooBits: Three Ghoulish littleBits Projects

It’s time to add some tricks to those treats with these three fun projects to do with kids (of all ages!) that will also teach some basic electronics.


Parkerbot — Animatronic Spider

Run Away! It’s ParkerBot! Spiderman’s got nothin’ on this robotic arachnid that will add a whole new dimension to this year’s Halloween displays.



Columns

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Robot Problems Solved Here (08.2015)
Adding vision to your automaton.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert, Jenn Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (09.2015)
• Drones Receive Section 333 Exemption • Automatic Solar Duster • Want $150,000? • Robo Roach Sets Speed Record • Give a Bird the Bird(bot)

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert, Jenn Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (11.2015)
• Sucking Up Flies • LOCUST Swarm Coming • Origami Bot Folds Itself • Stay at the Weird • USA vs. the Rising Sun?

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (01.2015)
• It Really is Brain Surgery • No Tartar Sauce Needed • Get Your Groove On • Bot Gets Personal

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (02.2015)
See how to design and use a Workshop 4 integrated development environment layout for the 4D Systems’ PICadillo 35T.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (04.2015)
Delving into robot vision with a 4D Systems’ uCAM-II serial camera.

Robytes
by Jenn Eckert, Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (05.2015)
Drag-Racing Octobot • Robotic Valet Saves Time, Space • And Your Little Dog, Too • You Say Tomato, I say “WTF?”

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (06.2015)
Wrapping up the 4D Systems’ uCAM-II serial camera project.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert, Jenn Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (07.2015)
Germbot Senses Humidity • Brickbot: Fast but Pricey • Thumbs Up! • Slip-On Robotic Feet

GeerHead
by David Geer
ClearPath’s Kingfisher, Husky, and Jackal Utility Robots
Meet three land and water robots that make light(er) work of research, recon, and exploration.

GeerHead
by David Geer
RoboSimian: Disaster Recovery Robot or Vaudeville Contortionist?
With four arm/legs that walk, grasp, and bend every which way, with seven joints per limb, the RoboSimian — like its close cousin, Surrogate — takes a decidedly unconventional approach to considering its next move and taking action.

GeerHead
by David Geer
The TigerBot Evolution Continues
See where the design, testing, and construction of RIT’s TigerBot V have evolved to now.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Six Widely Varied Robot Finalists in Innorobo Call for Startups
Companies vie for opportunities with investors and market exposure in this unique competition.

GeerHead
by David Geer
ALAN, the Android Kit
This modular kit to make your own personalized android head uses off-the-shelf components, and can be shared with a wide field of builders, academics, and robot enthusiasts.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (01.2015)
Report on a “merger” between three innovative gadgets: the Digilent chipKIT board series, the 4D Systems’ PICadillo, and UECIDE.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (05.2015)
Dealing with “blooming” on a 4D Systems’ uCAM-II serial camera.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (09.2015)
Recap of the annual SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition.

Animatronics For The Do-It-Yourselfer
by Steve Koci
Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer
This new series of articles will explore the many methods, materials, and innovative new ideas to bring your robotic creations to life.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Deck the Halls with Robots
Sometimes the greatest gift a roboticist can give themselves is to revisit a project and find ways to optimize it.

Mind / Iron
by Bryan Bergeron
BioGears — It’s Alive!
Getting to this stage of evolution involves a lot more than internal sensors of joint position.

Mind / Iron
by Bryan Bergeron
Robotic Engineers vs. Experimentalists
The innovators who are responsible for propelling robotics to the next level fall into one of two camps: robotic engineers or robotic experimentalists.

Mind / Iron
by Bryan Bergeron
Workshop Air Quality Sensors
Volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) expelled into the air can be dangerous to your health.

Mind / Iron
by Bryan Bergeron
Not Your Grandmother’s Singer
The current poster child of the DIY community is the 3D printer. However, from both a technological and market share perspective, the modern inexpensive sewing machine is the creative DIY tool of the masses.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robotics Lead the Way to Self-Driving Cars
Will we have totally autonomous cars by 2035? If Google, Uber, Apple, Robot Taxi, and others have their say in the matter — then yes!

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Robots Have Got Your Back
With all this crazy weather we’ve been having lately, some help filling sandbags would really come in handy.

Twin Tweaks
by Evan Woolley, Bryce Woolley
Rise of the Simple Machines
Adding mechanical advantage to Protobot.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
The Force Servo Arm Awakens
Not only is the force strong with this device, it can handle fragile cargo as well.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
The Adventures of Bogie and Sprout
Do some base “jumping” with Runt Rovers — Actobotics newest line of platforms.

Twin Tweaks
by Evan Woolley, Bryce Woolley
Afternoon of the Robotic Punkin Chunker
With the fall season comes Jack-o-Lanterns, spice lattes, and, of course, the annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition — the inspiration for this month’s project.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
What We’ve Learned from the DARPA Robotics Challenge
In reality, the DRC was a huge success, despite some set-backs and falls.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Why are Robots so Hard to Develop?
Between limitations in technology and a misperceived concept by the public at large about what robots should be able to do is the core frustration of almost every robot builder.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Should There be a Robot in Every Home?
When it comes down to it, what exactly is a realistic vision for how robots will interact with us in our homes?

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
The Challenge of Agricultural Robots
Take a look at the growth of robot usage in the agriculture industry.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
What’s New in Robotics
Catch up on some of the latest advances in robotic products.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Grippers, Claws, Hands, and Arms
Get a leg up on adding “appendages” to your next robot, and what is currently being used.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Prototyping and Building a Robot
Read about how robot experimenters can develop and/or refine their robot’s mechanical design by utilizing existing robot platforms and products to build upon.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
The Robot Hut
When it comes to robot collec tions, this unique museum is absolutely out of this world.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Police and Security Robots
With the unrest in today’s society and the dangerous kinds of scenarios that are playing out, using robots to protect human life is becoming more and more prevalent. However, you need the right type of robot for the particular job.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
AI and Robots Take Over Mankind!
Maybe artificial intelligence isn’t the best idea after all ...




Combat Zone

BUILD REPORT: Building High Inertia Weapons with Novel Materials

in The Combat Zone

My 12 lb Hobbyweight, Isotelus Rex lost to Attrition in the finals at this year’s Motorama.


The Influence of Combat Robot Kits

in The Combat Zone

If you go to any robot combat event, you are bound to see at least one robot that comes from a kit.


Back to Do Battle

in The Combat Zone

If you’re reading this magazine, you’ve probably spent hours watching BattleBots episodes full of mayhem and destruction.


BUILD REPORT Alternate Building Material: Wooden Robots

in The Combat Zone

Wood you like to know how I built my newest hockey bot? STICK around and I’ll explain the whole thing to you.


Dear Santa: All I Want for Christmas is a Heavy Weight Bot

in The Combat Zone

Ho, ho, hold on a minute, there. People don’t just GET a combat bot. You have to BUILD it, if you want to have any respect among builders.


The eBay Antweight Motor

in The Combat Zone

Gear motors from eBay are often appealing because of their price point, but lack a lot of detailed specifications.


Building Better Bots: The Weak Link

in The Combat Zone

In building any robotic system, every part of the system must be tuned to provide the maximum possible reliability and performance.


Parts is Parts: More Musings on the Hobbyking CAR-45A and HK-SENS-35A Brushless Reversible Speed Con

in The Combat Zone

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.


Skill Building — Drive Better

in The Combat Zone

Robot combat is a sport with extreme design diversity. You’ll see spinners, flippers, axes, crushers, pushers, and a range of other things constantly pushing the limits of what’s safe and what’s legal to run at an event.


PARTS IS PARTS: Screws - Keeping It Together

in The Combat Zone

Picking the right screw or bolt can be an important decision you make early in your build. There are several elements to consider when selecting your hardware for a robot.


PARTS IS PARTS: Today’s Beetle

in The Combat Zone

Every few years, the Combat Zone surveys the builder community to help keep current with the state-of-the-art in destructive bot technology.


BattleBots is Back. Now What Do I Do?

in The Combat Zone

This article is meant to help ease you into the sport with some tips, clues, and warnings.


BUILD REPORT: The Build of Ash and Its First Event

in The Combat Zone

Ash was intended initially to be an improved version of the UK Beetleweight, RPM, although somewhere through the design process, my friend (the infinitely better than myself, Harry Hills) suggested I go for a four wheel drive vertical spinner.


German Robots Speak A Universal Language: “Love Of Destruction”

in The Combat Zone

Robot combat doesn’t just happen in central California where the two most well known events — RoboGames and BattleBots™ — deal out mega doses of mechanical destruction.


EVENT REPORT: My First Event: A Personal Narrative

in The Combat Zone

Whenever I go to events, I love to chat with the other builders about their experiences.


Quality Versus Quantity — Or, Why One Axle is Sometimes Better Than Two

in The Combat Zone

The drums on my Saifu kits have worked pretty well, but when they lose it’s usually been the same problem: bent axles.


A Veteran Builder Experiments with Brushless Drives

in The Combat Zone

Hal Rucker has lots of experience building combat bots using brushed motors. Over his 13 years in the sport, he’s built two super heavyweights, two heavyweights, and two lightweights.


SPARC: Reigniting Robot Combat?

in The Combat Zone

In April 2003, I was eight years old when I attended my first robot combat event as a driver.


BUILD REPORT BaneBots P60 Repair and a Brushless Upgrade

in The Combat Zone

My 12 lb Hobbyweight, Isotelus Rex lost to Attrition in the finals at this year’s Motorama.


Building Better Bots: The Power of the Watt Meter

in The Combat Zone

So, you’ve mastered the calipers (even if you can’t quite seem to keep it turned off), figured out how to use the voltage and continuity dials on the digital multimeter, and are pretty sure you have the scale figured out (except for that awkward triple beam balance thing).


EVENT REPORT: Freeside Robot Street Fight 2015

in The Combat Zone

Afew years ago, the original Insect arena used for DragonCon Robot Micro Battles was retired and a new arena was built.


EVENT REPORT: Bot Bash Recap

in The Combat Zone

The eighth annual Bot Blast at the Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg, PA was the largest event in the Blast's history, as robot combat enthusiasts from across the nation converged on the small rural Pennsylvania town for a day of friendly competition, camaraderie, and fun.


EVENT REPORT: The Evolution of Slim Pickens

in The Combat Zone

In the February issue of SERVO Magazine, I talked about my first event and the creation of my first robot, Slim Pickens. This article will talk about how Slim Pickens has changed over the years, and what I’ve learned along the way.


EVENT REPORT: masSACre Dethrones 15 Pound Powerhouse, OverLoad

in The Combat Zone

The NTMA Training Centers Robotics League (TCRL) kicked off 2015 with a bang.


Small Bot Masters — Dale Heatherington

in The Combat Zone

The pits at a DragonCon Robot Battles are full up with builder’s cruft and last-minute assembly frenzy.


Small Bot Masters

in The Combat Zone

The places I fight bots have four weight classes: 30, 12, 3, and 1 pound. I am especially fond of the 1 lb.


PARTS IS PARTS: Product Beta Test: RageBridge 2 from Equals Zero Designs

in The Combat Zone

After a very successful first generation, the RageBridge ESC (electronic speed controller) was redesigned to take advantage of some of the knowledge that stemmed from the first generation, in addition to the integration of some very useful features.


PARTS IS PARTS: Product Review: AndyMark 7075 Aluminum Sprockets

in The Combat Zone

AndyMark ([url=http://www.andymark.com]http://www.andymark.com[/url]) primarily focuses on providing components for the US FIRST Robotics Competition.


Small Bot Masters — Mike Jeffries

in The Combat Zone

Imet Mike Jeffries in 2011. This new guy shows up at DragonCon with some serious hardware: a sweet 1 lb and a 12 lb that looked like it could stop a bullet.


BUILD REPORT: Nyx v2 Part 3: Weapons

in The Combat Zone

With the base of the machine done and working as desired, it was time to start on the weapon modules.


BUILD REPORT: A New Weapon for Spanky

in The Combat Zone

There are risks inherent in designing a robot to accommodate a modular weapon setup.


Big Power, Little Package: Brushless Motor Drive

in The Combat Zone

Brushless motors are quickly becoming the standard motor for weapon drive in combat robotics.


Testing a Theory ...

in The Combat Zone

It was just after Motorama 2014 that I bought a weapon disc that had been designed for use on the lethal 30 lb vertical spinner, Shaka.


A Brave New World

in The Combat Zone

This particular article chronicles my first leap into an all-custom competitive Beetleweight robot: El Destructo.


BUILD REPORT Renewing Old Iron

in The Combat Zone

Ibuilt my first robot back in 2001. It was an Antweight (one pound) robot called 3-letter-word. After I finished the Ant, I decided to start on a simpler project and built my heavyweight (220 pound) robot named 4-letter-word.


PROFILE: He Caught It, and I Don’t Want to Cure It: Robot Fever

in The Combat Zone

The most recent season of BattleBots™ has been a real inspiration to many. My son, Dylan, is one of those.


Opinion: Why Combat Robots?

in The Combat Zone

For a third of my life, I've been a competitor and champion in the world of combat robotics.


Parts is Parts: HobbyKing CAR-45A Brushless Reversible Speed Controller

in The Combat Zone

I have been using HobbyKing ([url=http://www.hobbyking.com]http://www.hobbyking.com[/url]) 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.


BattleBots™ Gets Tombstoned

in The Combat Zone

When entering the BattleBox, if you see the steely eyed gaze and confident smile of Ray Billings staring back at you, you know you're in trouble.


PRODUCT REVIEW: FingerTech Robotics’ Viper Kit with Lifter Add-on

in The Combat Zone

FingerTech Robotics has offered a "Viper" robot kit for quite a few years, but for a long time it was not really a great starter combat bot if you wanted something that would be competitive. It worked well enough, but without some extensive modifications it was difficult to turn it into a competitive combat robot.


EVENT REPORT: Franklin Institute 2014

in The Combat Zone

Coverage of the Franklin Institute 2014 event.


BUILD REPORT: Viper Fighter Mark-2a

in The Combat Zone

After back to back crushing defeats by Pretzel Robotics' Vile Ant and Low Blow, it became clear I needed a better Antweight robot.


BUILD REPORT Battle Hardening the Inside of Your Bot

in The Combat Zone

With robot combat, often the first things you’ll think about are the big parts — typically, the armor, weapon, and drive system.


EVENT REPORT: Motorama 2015 — Ice, Snow, and Beetles ... Lots of Beetles

in The Combat Zone

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; [url=http://www.nerc.us]http://www.nerc.us[/url]) as it had last year when only two-thirds of the competitors made it.


Tips from the Pros

in The Combat Zone

We asked some of the BattleBots' top builders what advice and tips they would give to aspiring bot builders. Here are their answers.


BUILD REPORT: Slade

in The Combat Zone

Slade - A 3D printed SL-anted bl-ADE robot.


BUILD REPORT: Splatter: The Evolution of a Combat Robot

in The Combat Zone

For nearly my whole life, I have been involved in the world of combat robots.


EVENT REPORT: Clash of the Bots 2015

in The Combat Zone

Carolina Combat Robots ([url=http://www.carolinacombat.com]http://www.carolinacombat.com[/url]) and the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC ([url=http://www.schiele]http://www.schiele[/url] museum.org) held their sixth Clash of the Bots event on June 6, 2015.


Analog Servos for Robotics

In some ways, analog servos are the “unsophisticated brutes” of the robotics world.Thoroughly understanding their strengths and limitations can help you identify which things are better handled in hardware vs. software.