Useful links

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Here are some links that I have found useful on my many trips scouring the Internet for information. They are listed in no particular order, so the last one may be equally as useful as the first!

The Robot was web site had now been taken over by Channel Five. One of their more useful pages is their links page.

Tthe Fighting Robot Association (FRA) was Established in 2003 to represent the interests of roboteers, and provide a central resource of information for robotic events and robot building. The rules set out by the FRA are being adopted by most event organisers. They are a good source of links to other robot websites.

Roaming Robots are an independant group who, since 2001, have been working hard to promote the entertaining and exciting sport of robot fighting. Live robot events are extremely popular with audiences of all ages and Roaming Robots travel all over the Uk and abroad for families and enthusiasts to see live robot battles up close in our unique portable arena. Throughout the year they usually run two events each month at either open air venues or indoor seated halls and at each one we provide many opportunities for the audience to get fully involved in the "robot culture".

Robodome run robot events throughout the year, in their own purpose build arena.

The Extreme Fighting Machine website is the official FRA website for the World championships 2004.

The FeatherWeights website is the Home of Featherweight Combat Robots. are here to Educate and help promote the Featherweight weight class.

The Ant Weight website is the home of the Ant weight combat robots.

The Robot Rumble website.

This is the official FRA website for Middle Weights which are the ignored weight class in robot combat. This website and the FRA are trying to make sure Middle Weights will be a regular sight at all live events.

Rc Wars has Expanded massively after seeing the arrival of the new Rc Wars arena. The new arena has a 29mm thick plywood floor and is full Polycarbonate so the arena can contain almost any featherweight robot! Rc Wars events are happening all the time and are growing bigger and bigger each time!

Dangerous machines is a more technical oriented Robot Wars site, and has a comprehensive coverage of links to other roboteer site, together with useful information from around the world.

Robot combat list many other robot sites, and has lots of useful information about building robots.

If you want to find out about motor controllers, 4QD is a good reference site and can supply you with tried and tested units. It is also a good site if you want to build your own controller since it explains a lot of the principles involved in motor control. (Phd not required)

Vantec is the Rolls Royce of electronic speed controllers, but at a price. They provide tank type control using one joystick as well as simple motor control. They also have info about measuring the characteristics of motors so that you can choose the right controller.

Southern Pneumatics of Slough have a comprehensive range of pneumatic and automation components, and can supply just about every thing you would need for your robot. They are also experienced, friendly and can offer advice and guidance if necessary.

If you want some very technical explanations about radio gear, motor controllers, antenna characteristics, spinning weapons, embedded micro-controllers, armour, EMC, batteries, and more, then try Paul Hill's Technical guide to building fighting robots . But be warned, it goes into a lot of details, and is not for the faint hearted. However, it does provide a nice mix of practical advice too.

The Killerhurtz site has a very nice introduction into pneumatics , with lots of useful hints and tips.

The Steel Avenger site has a lot of useful information and tips. As well as this, the Steel Avenger won the "best engineered robot" award for series IV so he knows what he's talking about!

Agent orange has an excellent few pages in their “Know how” section that talks about blagging people into giving you bits and pieces for nothing.

The 101 site has a very comprehensive specification section on various types of motors you can use in robots, together with advice for building a robot.

Rex Garrods is an experienced veteran in the robot building world who has contributed to a number of quality build robots, Cassius and Chaos 2 to name but two. He can also supply a video about how he built Cassius 2.

Chaos 2 is a nicely build robot that no one can deny it a force to be reckoned with. The site has a number of useful links, and nice close up photos, as well as good advice.

The Big cheese web site can supply electric buggy motors and gearboxes and reasonable prices.

RS Components. A well established supplier of all sorts of mechanical, electrical, and pneumatic components.

Farnell . Like RS, they are a supplier of all sorts of mechanical and electrical components.

Ellis components can supply various motors including Bosch and Iskra.

Impulse are the suppliers of various PC and micro controller cards. They supplied me the Rabbit 2000 micro controller made by Z world that I have used as the main "brain" of the Hassocks Hog.

Festo are suppliers of a huge range of pneumatics parts, and offer a free software package that can help you design your pneumatic system .

This link shows loads of Go kart component suppliers.

Suicidal tendencies . If you want to build a tracked robot, look at this site. It also has reviews of exhibitions and shows.

Display Electronics sell loads of second hand bits and bobs like motors, relays, batteries, etc., but beware, not all of them have a long life left in them. (see team Tornado’s warning)

Bull can supply various electrical items including motors, relays, instruments, to name but a few.

Steatite supply cheap Gel type batteries of various sizes. Delivery may be a problem because they may have to import them from the USA, but they are good value for money.

Team Tornado 's web site has a very useful spreadsheet to assess your motor characteristics, as well as a whole host of pictures, press releases, reports on other events, technical info, etc., etc.. It's a site well worth visiting, and their diary also makes interesting reading.

National Association for Robotic competitors . They have some information, but the site is still under construction and is a bit light in some sections. (Jan 2001)

If you are interested in building your own motor control circuit, On Semi have a number of useful documents that will help you avoid some of the pitfalls I didn't manage to avoid. The ones I found particularly useful were " Design considerations for H bridge motor drive circuits ", and " Interfacing power MOSFETS to logic circuits ", but there are numerous others in their document section that are worthy of reading.

Staying on the same subject of designing and building your own motor controller, this site explains some of the mysteries behind the various parts of a motor controller, and has some nice diagrams to illustrate what wave forms are present where. This site together with the On Semi and 4QD sites mentioned above, will give you a good grounding in motor control design. Other sections of the web site are equally useful for tricks and tips on general robot building.

If you want to build your own motor controller cheaper than you can buy from 4QD or Vantec , then have a look at the Open Source Motor Controller. Several designers have contributed their ideas, and have come up with a controller that can handle 100amp per motor. They give you a circuit diagram, a list of materials, data sheets, a circuit board layout, etc, etc.. It's a site well worth having a look at.

If you are looking for a fun site, put together by an accomplished artist who has done the graphics for some of the Robot Wars merchandise, try the Killer Carrot site. You can also mail Rob if you want any sketches done to order.

A well attended and popular event is the Wilson's day battle held just inside the M25 near Croydon. The Robots at war event had nothing to do with the BBC or Mentorn, but has a load of the best robots attend. It's well worth going to see if you can make it.

If you are considering building your own chassis and need a welder, some power tools, a compressor, tool boxes, saws, garden tools, or any other type of tool, try Tools On Line . The range is good, the prices are very competitive, and delivery is free in the UK mainland. The prices shown includes VAT, so the price you see is the price you pay.

For those of you that want to build your own web site, and want to register your own name, try first. For under a tenner you can register a name for two years. will either point the name to a parking page, or will redirect it to your existing site.

For a good range of radio gear and accessories, as well as loads of model kits, try Sussex Model Centre . The will dispatch goods by post as well, so you don't need to live close by.

In an attempt to bring some interesting real world engineering and electronics projects to the Lenox Memorial High School in Western Massachusetts, Brian Tolan has started the Lenox Bot Club web site . They have an extensive 10 page builders tips and links section that most beginners would find useful.

If you are looking for compact gas bottles and regulators, try Belsales. They manufacture paint ball guns and accessories, many of which can be used in robot pneumatics. You can also try Powerball and Arrow precision who likewise sell paint ball accessories.

For information about the physics of CO2 handling, try this site. CO2 has some strange properties that you should be aware of if you intend to use it in your robot.

If you want to know how strong, how heavy, etc a metal is, try this site. It has a ready reckoner for working out the weight of materials if you provide it with dimensions. Very useful if you are getting close to the weight limit!

If you want to find out more about driving go-karts, try Shark Motor Sports. Their mission is "... to focus on introducing new competitors to the exciting world of Motor Racing, assisting and guiding them through the various levels, helping them become competent and aware drivers." They are also one of my very generous sponsors!

Firetrace provide a very clever fire extinguisher system. It is an automatic self seeking fire extinguisher, which puts out fires where they start by means of a flexible fire detection and delivery tube. Firetrace does not rely on detecting the fire at a single point, but anywhere along the tubes length. This is a very useful gadget to have in a robot if you want to prevent getting roasted over the flame pit.

Technobots are a very good source of components for building robots. They have items such as the 100psi high pressure relief valve that you now need to have if you use CO2 powered devices. The prices are good and the service speedy.

Life support services are one of the companies recomended by Robot Wars whom will test your gas bottles and provide a certificate of compliance. The two guys there, Jim and Dave, are very obliging and seem to bend over backwards to help you. (well they did for me anyway!)

Last updated 24th April 2013

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