Having spent yesterday playing with our Hexy Kit, we decided to spend some time on the rest of the fleet for Motorama 2013 today, so we picked up a bunch of parts that arrived while we were out of town earlier this week. Hit Back after viewing an image.
The first parts out of the box are top and bottom plates for our antweight Poor Punctuation 2.0. These 0.032" titanium pieces are to replace the 1/16" polycarbonate that the bolts pulled through last time out. There shouldn't be any way those bolts are pulling out this time!
From the same 0.032" titanium we had top and bottom plates cut for our smallest 'bot, Transcendental Terror 1.0. The intention is to ensure that the 'bot can run inverted this time around, which is why the top and bottom look the same.
Here are some polycarbonate parts for Lauren's antweight Malicious Mule: top and bottom plates cut from 1/8" and some motor mounts cut from 1/4".
Here are some miscellaneous parts for a comical beetleweight design, Lincoln Limboer 0.9. We probably won't take this 'bot to Motorama, but you never know ...
All our spare motor mounts - universal press-on mounts for all the Pololu motors we use on the top, and clamp-style mounts that are also good for the Pololu-type motors, but can also be used for bolting into the front of the motor.
Some heftier half-inch polycarbonate parts for our featherweight redesign, Intrusive Interloper 3.0 - enough parts to make five of the drive pods we're going to build. Guess we should think about ordering some motors, ESCs, and gears, eh?
More parts for the featherweight: top and bottom plates cut from 0.071" titanium. The top plate has a battery access panel cut out of it, to make swapping the battery significantly easier between matches - three bolts beats 46!
Some simple marking to begin with, using the calipers to etch the midline of the polycarbonate parts for the 30lb'er in preparation for drilling and tapping. At least it's unlikely we'll break a tap in plastic ...
Here we've thrown together the parts in hand for Malicious Mule, and realized that we were supposed to slot the front and rear walls for the side rails, so we load those up on Milly and let her at it.
While Milly is doing her thing, we broke out the primer and gave the 0.032" titanium parts a basecoat. Almost time to get a new can of this stuff, but it does seem to help.
While the primer's drying we turn our attention to the featherweight, and having already slotted the front and rear walls, we can put the chassis together and check the top and bottom panels. The walls will need a turn on Milly to cut a 0.071" lip for the top and bottom panels to sit in.
Here's a quick mock-up of the drive pods in the body of the 'bot. Looking forward to seeing these in action with snazzy FingerTech wheels. Hopefully they'll hold up [crosses fingers].
Here's a quick weight check for the fairyweight - it's currently running at 96 grams out of the allowed 150, with all the internals. That leaves 54 grams for the chassis, and the top and bottom plates are 19 grams each, taking us to 34 grams left for the walls and bolts. Shouldn't be a problem.
The primer's dried, so it's on to a covering of Team Radicus Purple. Still haven't figured out why it always photos as more of a blue, but no matter.
Milly's done her thing with the front and rear walls for Malicious Mule, and here's a test fit - looks good. Next to do is drill and tap the walls and motor mounts. Oh, we'd better order some motors too ...
This slightly blurry shot was taken after finally managing to install the weapon onto the base plate of Transcendental Terror 1.0 - those #2 screws and nuts are fiddly, but we got there eventually! The motor leans forward very slightly due to the wires that protrude from the underside - we were originally going to run them under the 'bot, but this will work just fine.
Here we're testing clearance on the top plate - looking good! We will Dremel down the prop-saver bolts a touch more just to be on the safe side, but really the next big thing to do for this 'bot is cut the chassis walls.
The CAD model said everything should fit, but looking at things in real life we have our doubts, but we're going to soldier on anyhow, and make it all fit, by hook or by crook.
Malicious Mule's drive train upgrade involves using proper axles - specifically ones from FingerTech designed for Lite Flite wheels. We've drilled the hubs out to 5/32" and they fit nicely. We're going to cut off that excess on the left hand side, and use a dab of glue to secure the shaft to the hub.
All four axles/hubs/wheels are ready to be attached to the drive motors next weekend. We want that part of the build to go smoothly, and have everything ready for when the motors come in ...
... So we'd better get on and drill and tap the motor mounts. Actually, as we had everything lined it, it was time to break for dinner, so we'll pick this up [hopefully] tomorrow evening - Same 'Bot Time, Same 'Bot Channel!
Tags: antweight, fairyweight, featherweight, mm, ii3, tt1, pp2, build
The last two days we were on the road ... it was a relatively dull drive, which is a good thing: no speeding tickets and decent time, despite the near-constant rain through Arkansas and Tennessee we made good time to the hotel the first night and the Competition Hotel Thursday night. A gin and tonic or two the night before, and we were up and ready for Robot fights this morning. Hit Back after viewing an image.
Our hotel room this time has a stand-alone hearth, which is actually pretty neat, but still: we mustn't dwell - this is the first day of competition and we have 'bots to fight!
We made it to the arena about 8am after a quick diversion for coffee, and took a pair of tables near the main arena area after hopping a ride in with a quad-ride which was much easier this year due to the investment in the additional container for all our small parts. At arena-side there wasn't much happening yet, as the small arena was still being constructed, so we went back to work on our Sportsman.
We were pitted next to Mike and Julie of Near Chaos Robotics, and Mike was good enough to lend us an extension cable for the drill press - Thanks Mike! It's quite a nice feeling to roll into the pits and not be franticly wiring something at the last minute. We had eight 'bots ready to fight, and the Sportsman was really a distraction - we were going to put some effort into getting it ready, but not worry too much if it doesn't get done in time.
For the first couple of hours it was just Sportsman-building and battery-charging, but the small arena had been assembled, and safety inspections for the fairies and ants started. Transcendental Terror 1.0, Poor Punctuation 2.0, and Malicious Mule all passed without a hitch, so all that was left to do was to wait for the brackets to be generated, and the fights to start!
As it turned out, Lauren was going to be thrown into the pool at the deep end - not only as one of the very first matches, but against a nasty-looking beater called OverClock. Here we go, then, the first match for a first-time participant:
YAY! A win! It should be confessed that Toni was more than a little jealous, having had to go through about five competitions before ever winning a match, but we suppose the experience helped, and Malicious Mule collected a winner's pog! Hurrah! Lauren did a pretty good job driving, and after the match we checked out the 'bot, but there didn't seem to be any damage at all, so the battery was put on the charger (not that it really needed it) and we lined up for our next match: Poor Punctuation 2.0 versus Mateo:
Well, darn it - the judges gave the win to Mateo, and we were left scratching our heads as to why the weapon hadn't spun up - it had worked just fine back at the Build Space, so something must have gotten out of alignment, so we headed back to the pits to take the top off and take a look. There didn't seem to be anything specific - the weapon motor gears and the idlers all looked to be engaged with the weapon ring gear ... hopefully we'll see signs of life from the weapon in Poor Punctuation 2.0's next match, but right now we're headed back to the arena for Malicious Mule's next fight, against Ferocious:
It looked from the outset that Ferocious had one side of the drive train out, and once again Lauren did a good job driving Malicious Mule, but the judges gave this match to Ferocious, presumably because it appeared to be engaging us more than the other way around. Again, though, no damage so the 'bot went back on the charger, and we had a little time to take a breather. Lauren's cousin and her husband had come out to visit, and they enjoyed themselves watching the matches, and generally catching up.
Next it was the turn of our smallest 'bot, Transcendental Terror 1.0 to head into the ring, up against a hacked R/C car called Rosie the Littler:
Unfortunately the blade on our fairyweight kept getting stuck in the thin aluminium on the front of the opponent, rather than really doing any major damage, so we spent a fair bit of time locked together during this match, but the Pololu motors on Transcendental Terror 1.0 were more than up to the job of running both locked 'bots around the arena, until eventually Rosie the Littler tapped out. A debut win for the fairyweight - yay! The next match rolled around quickly: Malicious Mule versus the spinning bar of Odahviing:
As with the match against OverClock, Lauren was able to drive Malicious Mule straight into the weapon of Odahviing, disabling it! From there it became a game of "Chase Me" as Odahviing kept running for space to be able to try and spin it's blade up again, while Malicious Mule kept after its opponent. Lauren had more pushing power, and with the weapon out of action, by the time the match went to the judges, it was fairly clear that Malicious Mule had prevailed! Yay! Again, the 'bot was put on the charger, and we lined up the next match, which was Poor Punctuation 2.0 versus Gyroscopic:
Grr! Again, the weapon wouldn't spin up, and without it we were ravaged by Gyroscopic, who put some good hits on Poor Punctuation 2.0, although in re-watching the video, we also caused Gyroscopic to take a few flips too! All in all, a fun match, but the last hit from our opponent split our antweight open, and we tapped out, as we didn't want to lose any of the internal components to another hit. We didn't have much time to mourn the antweight crashing out of the competition zero and two, because the fairyweight was up next!
An early hit on lolcat appeared to have knocked out one side of its drive, but we weren't in a position to capitalize on that fact, as we were upside down, and unable to right ourselves. Unfortunately the wheels on Trancendental Terror 1.0 weren't quite big enough for the 'bot to be able to drive inverted - oops! So although we were able to get a little motion, we had to hope a hit from lolcat would right us, but with one side of its drive out, lolcat had issues getting to us for that hit, until eventually we burned out the speed controller for the weapon motor, which was also powering our receiver, and the 'bot was dead.
Back at the pit table we had some time before the next match, so we pulled a speed controller from Poor Punctuation 2.0, scrounged some solder from Mike (thanks again Mike!), and replaced the controller in Transcendental Terror 1.0, getting it working again - phew! After that repair, we had a few more minutes free, then it was time to line up for another match with the star rookie: Malicious Mule versus KnightLight.
A tough match for Malicious Mule - a faster opponent with a veteran driver, but early on it appeared that one side of KnightLight's drive gave out, and Lauren was able to pin KnightLight repeatedly, winning the judges' vote at the end of the match! Three wins! Hurrah! There was a bit of breathing room, so the 'bot went back on the charger, and we waited for the next match to come up on screen. As it turned out it was Malicious Mule again, and against another fast, experienced wedge again, although this time it was our pit neighbour Mike, with Kobalos:
Phew! A very tough opponent and with its years-old Copal motors Malicious Mule was outclassed by Kobalos, leaving us with a second loss, and Malicious Mule was done for the day, but with a very respectable 3-2 record! Well done Lauren! We still have one 'bot running, and it's time for another match: Transcendental Terror 1.0 against Kongol:
Something was up with our 'bot - one side of the drive wasn't running, but the first hit was a good one, flipping both us and Kongol, although only one of us was able to self-right, and it wasn't us! With the next hit we took the saw blade off Kongol and cut his weapon motor wires, but unfortunately we were stuck on our back unable to show any movement, so Transcendental Terror 1.0 was counted out for lack of movement, a Technical Knock Out for Kongol.
For the rest of the afternoon we watched some matches, tinkered with the Sportsman, and chatted with Lauren's cousin and husband. At the end of the day, we packed away the 'bots, and headed back to the hotel for some pizza, a shower, and a good night's sleep!
Tags: motorama, competition, fairyweight, antweight, mm, pp2, tt1
Having dashed out at lunchtime to Grainger to swipe some #2-56 x 3/8" screws we were hoping to get the smallest 'bot in the fleet for Motorama 2012 finished up tonight. There's not much to do,so we buckled down and set to it. Hit Back after viewing an image.
It didn't take very long to get the new bolts broken out and installed for the weapon motor. Although there are only two screws they seem very secure, so out excessive milling doesn't seem to have caused too many issues.
There's still - unfortunately - a bit of soldering to be done, but it's relatively straight-foward as we're connecting the weapon motor to the weapon ESC.
We left the leads as they were to have plenty of manoueverability taking the 'bot apart, wrapping the soldered connections in electrical tape to insulate them.
Everything looks good, and a test on the scale says 148 grams out of the 150 allowed, so we should be good to go with this 'bot! It's nice to have another one done, and the night is still young, so we can now turn our attention to another member of the fleet ...
Bonus! We have a box that fits this 'bot - the box our first featherweight's weapon motor came in, but it houses our smallest 'bot just fine ...
Tags: build, done, fairyweight, tt1
This time in two weeks we'll be on the road to Nashville, on the way to Motorama 2012! Which is exciting, but we still have work to do - the plan is to finish the fairyweight and a beetleweight by the weekend, and then spend the weekend working on the two biggest
'bots. In order to manage that we need to fabricate some parts, and put a call in to Chris over at Speedster Hobbies to see whether we could get some shop time, and Chris graciously agreed. We jumped in the BotMobile with some materials and headed his way. Hit Back after viewing an image.
Chris reminded us of how the bandsaw worked, and we started out by chopping up some aluminium and steel. Boy, we wish we had one of these in the Build Space! Nifty!
Here's what we cut up - DeWalt drive axles, a weapon transmission shaft, two pairs of blade shafts (steel and aluminium), wheel hubs, and trimmed down the blade shaft and retainer for the 30lb'er.
After a spell on the lathe, we had the aluminium round turned down to fit the Colson wheels. Not perfect to the thousandth of an inch, but well within typical Team Radicus tolerances :-)
Chris has a new lathe, and it was working just fine! In fact, he hadn't had time himself to use it yet, so we were the first to fire it up, and it was fun!
After hitting the hubs with a countersink (to start the hole), and a couple of drill bits, we had the hubs ready for the shafts. We hope we have a 1/8" broach back at the Build Space ...
The last lathe operation for the day is to bore the bevel gear for the 30lb'er to half an inch - it's metric, and has a 10mm bore at the moment. We didn't realize this was going to be a tough job, but the presence of a keyway messed things up, and we wound up snapping a bit trying to bore this out. We'll have to do a bit of research into a way to accomplish this ...
With profuse thanks to Chris, we jumped back into the BotMobile and headed back to the Build Space, noting along the way that the temperature was over 80°F - eighty degrees in February?! Crazy.
Turning our attention to the smallest 'bot in the fleet, we milled a hole for the weapon motor wires, and drilled mounting holes for the weapon motor in the front of the chassis.
We've also modded the mounting plate a little, and a couple of #2-56 screws and nuts have started the process of mounting the motor to the plate, but we need 3/8" long ones to mount this to the chassis, and we don't have any. Looks like a trip to Grainger is on the cards tomorrow ...
In this photo the motor is actually slightly lower than it will sit on the chassis, but close enough to see that it clears the ground, which is a plus :-)
There's a lot of wiring to be dealt with, so we decided to mill out a bit more of the top part of the chassis - messes up the CamBam+ finish, but at least it we ought to be able to cram everything in now.
We were originally steeling ourselves to have to cut and solder the receiver wires on the speed controllers, but thankfully Kurtis over at FingerTech uses very flexible wire on his TinyESCs, and we were able to stuff the excess into a couple of crannies in the 'bot, and move on.
Next up is mounting the weapon speed controller. We decided to risk the weight and used a small piece of double-sided foam tape to stick it down to the motors at the back of the 'bot, and again we stuffed the receiver lead into space around the battery.
Which brings us to power cables. Because all the wires are quite fine gauge, we decide to just try and solder them all together, and with some electrical tape a zip tie, got them all close enough to hit with the soldering iron in one go. Not pretty, but seems to hold fine.
So we did the same thing with the positive power leads, and did actually remove the zip tie before putting some heatshrink on the end of the leads.
Time for a sanity check. The chassis, plus it's nuts, and a couple of bolts to approximate the missing motor mount nuts and bolts, and we're at 149 grams - looks good to us, but we need to hope that NERC's official scale is close to our's. There is a difference in latitude between Austin, TX, and Harrisburg, PA, but hopefully not enough to cause a couple of grams difference ...
This was a shot after a quick test drive of the 'bot. It is pretty zippy, but fairly easy to control - without the weapon, of course! We'll see tomorrow how it drives with the weapon spinning on the front.
Last shot of the night, and we've milled a small hole on the top of the 'bot to be able to get to the battery connector, so we can disconnect the battery after a match. As long as we can get those #2-56 x 3/8" screws tomorrow this 'bot will be finished tomorrow night!
Tags: build, fairyweight, featherweight, ff2, lathe, pal30, sportsman, tt1
We started off today by paying a visit to Custom Sheet Metal and met Ron, who took our DXF and titanium, and led us back to their waterjet machine, and we got to watch the Waterjet in action. It never occurred to us that there would be white sparks as the titanium was being cut, but then we've only seen polycarbonate being cut before. With a pair of fairyweight-sized blades in hand, we headed back to the Build Space to see how much of a 'bot we could put together today. Hit Back after viewing an image.
You can see one of the blades there on the scale, along with all the other parts we anticipate using, and the news is bad currently - 161 grams - time to put the chassis on a diet! We hogged out a bit more material on Milly, and weight started to drop.
After drilling a few more holes in the bottom chassis section, and hunting down some 1.6mm metric screws we were able to install the drive motors to make sure they fit in the holes we cut for them.
Here's a bit more of the internal layout - the TinyESCs have been calibrated, so we snipped the jumper pins down, and tucked them into their slots, happy they fit. Of course, nothing's soldered yet ...
Now it's time to think about attaching the two halves of the chassis together. These are 1" long #0-80 screws, and we're going to have nuts sunk into the bottom of the chassis. We were going to use six bolts, but screwed up one of the bolt holes, so hopefully four will suffice.
Here we've successfully pressed a titanium blade onto the can of one of our favourite 2204-14T outrunner motors - it's a very snug fit, but we got it on without buckling the can, and added a round of Loctite to help keep it in place.
Here's the underside of the chassis with the #0-80 nuts fitted in 3/16" recesses. You can see at the front of the 'bot that we went a little ... overboard ... hogging out material, and this could cause some issues when it comes to mounting the weapon motor. We've also drilled and tapped the wheel hubs for installation.
The weapon ESC is a little bigger than we had originally thought, so we had to mill out a bit more of the top section to be able to fit it in, but it does fit, which is good!
It's about time to break out the soldering iron, so we need to determine at this point which way to plug the drive ESCs in so that forwards will be forwards. After marking the connections, we heat up the soldering iron and stick the leads to the tabs.
This was taken after a short test drive to verify that we have the wheels installed tightly and the motor connections hooked up right.
Our plan to get over the fact we milled a touch too much off the front of the chassis is to mount a polycarbonate plate to the remnant of the front slope, and mount the weapon motor to that. Unfortunately a 1/4"-thick piece is eight grams - which pushes a bit over the limit.
So we made a 1/8"-thick one, and that puts us just under 150 grams. Given that we'll be shortening wires, etc., we'll come out nicely within the weight limit. Tomorrow night we'll finish the wiring, and the 'bot will be done!
Tags: build, fairyweight, tt1
At this point in time (three weeks til Motorama) we have a finished antweight, a finished beetleweight, and two finished hobyweights. Still in progress are a fairyweight, an antweight, two beetleweights, a featherweight, and a sportsman. We changed our mind on the fairyweight design a couple of weeks ago, and we're not feeling entirely confident that the featherweight will survive it's first hit, but nonetheless we're pressing on! Hit Back after viewing an image.
First order of business is breaking out the table saw and cutting chassis parts for the fairyweight and sportsman. We've cut some UHMW frame rails, and polycarb rails and plates - made quite a mess but they're done.
We also have some UHMW blocks for the two halves of the fairyweight chassis, which we'll set Milly on in just a little bit.
We've slotted the chassis parts for the sportsman, and are testing the fit - looks fine so far. We will need to do a fair bit of drilling though ...
... But not so much tapping - Pete Smith gifted us some Nutstrip at the last Motorama, so we've cut some lengths with a jigsaw, and we're planning on using it to assemble the outer chassis of the sportsman, as UHMW doesn't hold a thread well.
Ta-daa! Kudos to Pete for a handy product - assembling this chassis took about an hour, including the cutting and drilling. Much better than having to tap 36 holes!
Meanwhile Milly is off and running on the fairyweight chassis blocks, using the G-code we got from CamBam+ a while back. Should be interesting to see how it comes out ...
... Quite nicely actually! We need to clean up a little bit with a craft knife, but it's pretty much just as we imagined.
Unlike these frame rails for the sportsman! Geez ... out of six holes, one is in the right spot - the rest ended up all over the place! Not good ... for some reason we had problems seeing the punch marks on the drill press. We're going to have to try that again.
On the other hand, Milly is doing fine cutting the fairyweight chassis down to size. A quick clean-up, flip, and she can do the other side too.
To give us this! They currently weigh 70 grams, but are still half an inch too long, and have another bit of pocketing to go, but they do look how we envisioned the chassis to come together.
Lauren's getting in on the action too, working on her antweight Malicious Mule. She's working on the drive train at the moment, and Toni's letting her do 95% of the work, to get the full building experience :-)
The 'bot is coming together quite nicely, although perhaps not as quickly as Lauren would like, but it'll be up and running, and sparring with Poor Punctuation 2.0 by next weekend.
The final shot of the evening is a close-up of the fairyweight internals - there's an awful lot of wire that's going to need to be trimmed down, but otherwise things are looking good. Next step with this 'bot will be mounting the drive motors and wheels, and drilling holes to bolt the chassis halves together. But for now it's time to go grill some steaks!
Tags: antweight, sportsman, build, mill, fairyweight, pal30, tt1, mm
We spent some time sizing up the fairyweight (150g) opponents for Motorama 2012, and decided that a simple lifter wasn't going to cut it, so we needed something more offensive.Hit Back after viewing an image.
We decided to go with a weaponed 'bot, using as many components as we already had available, so drive motors and TinyESCs, a battery, receiver, and 1.5" tires, and we're already at 81 grams out of 150g allowed in this weight class.
One of the nice things about both fairyweights and antweights is that you can usually sketch a design at 1:1 size. Here we're planning a layout for the components.
Plus said components overlaid on the design. It's a bit messy, but you get the general idea. The wires will all need trimming, etc., and we need to hit the CAD program to find out how much a chassis will weigh to accomodate all these parts.
To try and make things both neater and easier, we taped together the 350mAh 2S LiPo battery and the receiver. Together they make a ni 2" by 1.25" block.
This was our first attempt at a chassis design, but unfortunately came out too heavy, even using UHMW rather than polycarbonate, so we had to rething the layout a bit.
Rather than put the motors outside the battery, how about if we put them behind the battery? There's space on top of the motors for the weapon ESC, and space in front of the motors for the drive ESCs.
This is the top half of the chassis, with pockets for the internal components, and a slope on the front where the weapon motor will be mounted.
And here's the bottom half of the chassis - the hole in the front is simply to save weight. The two halves of the chassis will be bolted together with 1"-long #0-80 screws and nuts.
The weapon motor is a 2204-14T brushless outrunner, the same as we're using in Poor Punctuation 2.0, and the 0.071"-thick titanium blade will be super-glued/expoxied to the outside of the can, again just like we've done in the antweight. The red brick is the 10 gram ESC for the motor.
With the 'bot all assembled, it hopefully will be a fairly tough competitor! Although it has a touch of Little Rat about it - we hope the wheels stay on ...
And of course, some team colours. Although we may end up reversing this, as the two chassis pieces will be milled from black UHMW, so we may just paint the blade and be done with it.
According to the Tentacle Torque Calculator it should be a zippy little thing:
Although weight is cutting it a bit close! There aren't many places we're going to be able to shave off weight, but we'll see what we can do ...
Oh - and I guess we need to come up with a name for this thing too ...
Tags: fairyweight, design, tt1
This site contains records of our trials and tribulations in building combat robots. So much to learn, and so little time!