I lost my very first fight, the reason for this was an extremly powerful and well built robot Named The Village Idiot, sure I made a hell of a lot of mistakes and I’ll share them with you, but when it comes down to it, Bang’s design couldn’t take The Idiot.
Mistake #1 The Weapon
My first mistake was of course Bang’s design, the basic shape and especially the weapon were flawed. This doesn’t mean that the pick axe can’t one day make a good weapon….just not the way I did it.
To make the Pick axe work it has to spin fast and hard enough to knock the other robot around and physically move it. My motors were not strong or speedy enough to move the axe with that type of force, all I could do was put some small holes in Lexan. To win in competition, you need to inflict and withstand major damage, the successful bots are scary, so much so that their builders are physically afraid of them. If you’re scared to approach your Robot, you’ve got a good weapon… can you imagine standing in front of The Judge? How about Nightmare when his blade is spinning?
Mistake #2 The Motors
Look through the build reports of The Village Idiot, or any other successful bot, and you’ll see a video, or 2 or 3, of a giddy builder riding his bot around the workshop. This is of course just something really fun to do, but it also shows just how much power is needed….if you can’t ride your bot around without breaking it, your not going to get too far in competition. That goes for any weight class, even lightweights should be able to move your tubby ass around at least slowly My motors couldn’t do this, and if I tried they would have been fried long before competition. Since my drive motors powered my weapon (A huge mistake in it’s self), I had no offensive or defensive capacity. Which brings me to my next point.
Mistake #3 The Armor
I used 1/2 Aluminum plating, this was overkill for my weight class. 1/4 inch would have been fine with some heavier plating by my sensitive electronics, this would have reduced my weight into the lightweight class where I may have survived just a tiny bit longer. Their’s lots more to come but I can only feel stupid for so long before I get bored I’ll up date this more later.
I also used metal angles and bolts (without lock-tite) to secure my panels into a clumsy block shape….this was my biggest mistake. When The Village Idiot rammed me, the bolts went loose, and the angles bent, my clumsy box shaped body turned into a rombus and everything fell apart, another ramming and my wheels could barely touch the ground.
A good frame securely fastened is worth it’s weight in gold, or titanium. You should be able to throw your frame off buildings, hit it with hammers, cars, heavy inlaws, and all manor of things, and it should not fall apart or dent enough to effect your robots ability to function.
I’m an Idiot. I saw the problem with loose bolts far in advance, I knew it was a problem…I figured I’d double up on the nuts and tighten everything between fights..(The idea of making it to 2 fights…how naive was I?).
A well planned out, and decently machined body frame with armor is just as necessary as a good weapon. If you see a problem, fix it properly….don’t be like me.
All the pictures here: