April 2007

Sunday 1st April 2007

It had been a long time since I'd done anything substantial with the Hog, but after having chatted with Rob from the Killer Karrot team while at the Brighton modelworld exhibition this year, I decided that I would enter the next Robot Live event. It was going to take place at my local leisure centre in Burgess Hill, so I couldn't pass up the chance of battling in front of local supporters.

I had a quick read through the Fighting Robot Association (FRA) rules because it had been a couple of years since I had last entered a battle and wasn't sure what rules, if any, had changed. I discovered that I needed to change the way I opened and closed my gas bottle tap. I could no longer use a tool to turn the tap on and off, so had to figure out some way of gaining access to the bottle tap from under the covers. With a bit of thought I located a place where I could cut a section out of the front cheek panel and fit a hinge to it.


The new gas tap flap for gaining access to the the CO2 bottle.

I also had to move a strut that was obstucting access to the tap handle, but once done, I was again fully compliant with the rules.

Saturday 14th April 2007

The Robot live event at Burgess Hill was well attended and was a sell out show with 1000 spectators turning up. Once I had unloaded the Hog into the pits, it was nice to have a look around and see who else had turned up. It was also good to catch up on news about many of the roboteers who had been taking part in the competitions run by Roaming Robots over the last couple of years. There was still a good hard core of roboteers who were travelling around the country keeping the sport alive and active.

Whereas I had made very few improvements to the Hog over the last couple of years, many of the other robots had been tweaked and improved. It was noticeable too how many pneumatic weapons had gone full pressure. I felt quite left out only working on 16 bars, but I felt I still had a fighting chance in my first battle which was going to be against Big Nipper (a gripping robot) and Pressure (a full pressure flipping robot). As it turned out I have a good battle with Pressure after he had seen Big Nipper off by ejecting him from the arena. It was quite a tussle with me having to self right several times, and by the end of the battle we were both still moving. Pressure was deemed the winner because he flipped me over more times that I flipped him, which I felt was the right decision.

As the day went on, I contemplated which other battles to take part in. The show was lasting two days but if I became damaged, I might not be able to take part in tomorrow's event. However, I decided to "go for it" and put myself down for the final melee battle with Killer Carrot, Big nipper, Storm 2, Tiberius, Behemoth, and Pressure.

Part way through this battle I threw the left hand chain and could only waddle along in circles. However, I was the only one left moving with Storm 2 by the end of the battle because all the others had also suffered damage in some form or other.

On closer examination in the pits after the event, I noticed that all too familiar smell of burning electronics. What I found was that not only had I thrown a chain, but the speed controller had also burnt a few components. It was going to be touch and go to repair the Hog before the battles on Sunday.

I worked all through Sunday to repair the burnt out MOSFETs, transistor, diodes, and resistors but wasn't able to get it up and running until too late in the afternoon. I sadly had to forgo the chance to take part in the second days events because of this.

However, I was enthused enough after having mixed with the roboteers and taken part in the event to make a concerted effort to build a new robot. After talking to many of the roboteers, and seeing quite a few new robots at the show, I have decided that a feather weight robot was going to be my next project. The next tasks over the coming weeks is therefore to decided what the new robot is going to be, and then start getting hold of the components. Watch this space for more news!

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Last updated 16th May