Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coming Along

Alright guys, today I got my B16 gearmotors (still looking for spares however!). More importantly, I got another "round" at the lathe after the Battlebots meeting tonight. Result:

I got the front set of wheels done! I used the new design over the old one because it actually accommodated for the width of the rubber ring. I would have finished the rear set, but a guy from another organization needed the lathe for legitimate work so I'll probably go back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have enough parts to give a general layout. Donald and I had the same expression: That is waaaay small for a beetleweight.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baker's Mistake

Alright guys, I made my first fail part (a few days ago). This was supposed to be one of the wheels I discussed earlier today, but more of a practice than anything. I'm still pretty noobish on the lathe.

First mistake. I started from the wrong side. I started from the side that didn't need to be bored out. As a result I would have to drill through the entire piece instead of just a little bit on the correct side. No big deal right? Well I came to need to redo the entire thing because...

When I was finishing the part, I accidentally moved the wrong axis handle and ate off my pulley flange. Ugg... Fail.

Well, it still looks nice anyway so I keep it on my desk. It also helped me realize that I need to change a few things in the design anyway. The Oring groove needed to be wider for instance so I suppose this was a good mistake.

However, I did decide to use the pre-existing plastic ring. Buffer it a small bit with anti-static tape, and then fill the rest with glue. Perfect fit after dry.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Baking the Cake

So last night/morning (5am) I started machining stuff for the very first time! I cut the tube, square bar, and shafting into smaller chunks using some massive horizontal bandsaw, and then turned the round parts down to the correct length. I grabbed some plastic round from the scraps bin and turned down the plastic ring that supports the flux ring. The most important operation of the night was the mods to the 2820 motor I am using for the drum. I chucked the can in the lathe and turned the endbell off. Then I had to bore the mount for the stator to 3/8" using the semi-shoddy drill press.

So this is what I ended up with for the night. Enough material for 2 drums. Everything turned out perfect except the bore for the ring was about 1mm too large. I may end up re-doing that part, or buffering it with tape and glue.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cake - Beetleweight

First there was Ron, and then there was the semi-par entertaining stand-in named Pacman. Well I let him kick the bucket last competition so it is time to get on with a new beetle and this time I'm serious...

well, kinda :P

Cake is going to be a refined version of Attrition. When I built Attrition, most of my concerns revolved around cost instead of effectiveness. As a result, the bot has a few but significant flaws that I hope to address in a downscale. Lets see if they work.

1) Integrate tabs into the frame
2) more precise drum parts
3) Reliable drive system
4) ball bearings!

With that said, here is cake as it stands. A beautiful pile of parts.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Apparently it has not dawned on many people that I already have a fairyweight. "Are you building a new P150?" they ask. No, I am not. Pookie is not for me; she is for Wazio. And as such, being finally completed last night, she is currently being shipped across the United States to Wazio's place in Nevada. So here we are, final reminisces of the bot's memory. May she kick lots of male bots in the nuts.

Farewell! Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Updates: for lack of better words.

Post Concert more, back to bot building and school packing. Yeah sure I have a month until college actually begins, but for me the terms are slightly different so I'll have to get ready by the end of July. Still, there are priorities to be had like finishing Pookie for Wazio.

Last report showed the basic frame plates cut and assembled with the motors and batteries placed. Well since then, I moved those around and I even wired up THE ENTIRE ROBOT!

That is how it looks right now (picture literally taken 2 seconds ago). Fully packed in, drive motors working, and with bottle cap wheels attached. It feels pretty robust and seeing it spin up, I feel like this is a quality competitor if driven correctly.

The electronics are extremely compact. I had to go thought many painstaking efforts to get everything configured the way I wanted them. I had to remove all the pins from the receiver and solder directly to the board. The PWM leads themselves were cut to about an inch long to reduce the amount of wiring running around. I even practiced board stacking where I soldered one board on top of another so save space.

You can see the "power poles" right here between the two boards.

All these modifications allowed the robot to stay really compact. (I need to take a sizing picture some day) All that is left to do is dremel the blade mounting screws off, and to make a new top cover.

Even Pacman got a makeover in time for Atlanta's Dragon Con Robot Battles event. I mounted the motor on top this time to simplify the belting system and added a self-righting hoop to keep the robot on one orientation. Don't worry, running inverted was never a good strategy so it was not like I lost anything. These new makeovers prompted a new color make over so I happily used a different color plastic and some silver to create the illustrations.

One last thin I might do is upgrade the battery for higher voltage and more capacity. After all, I do have 8oz unused.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Have Never Been Acquanted with "Free Time"...

... does he live around here?

I guess not. The past few days have been royally hectic for me. Not to suggest anything bad because they were definitely fun. On Wednesday I went out to karaoke for my friends to sing many great classics and to discover "Drops of Jupiter" by Train was not on the song list. But there were lots of things that have happened and after the dismal last few posts, it is time to recapitulate.

The Offspring concert at Hard Rock Cafe was amazing! Eric, Tina, and I arrived at an early 4:50pm while the show was actually at 8. This gave us a great spot in line. We were about 5th? For a sold out show of some 2000+ people, that is amazing. And was was even more amazing were the seats we ended up with... can you say up front and center floor!? I had a great view of the stage and the performers when they came out. It was simply amazing.

I mean, keeping that spot was another story, as there was lots of pushing and shoving. But a little bit of shifting and "counter-measures" and I was able to retain my great spot all the way until the end of The Offspring's performance. Eric and Tina were not as lucky.

But The Offspring hold a dear spot in my heart because they were the first band I really heard. Deprived of CDs and other media, I was not able to get much. But a gift from my father's friend resulted in a collection of music, where I first heard The Offspring's Conspiracy of One CD. It was an honor to finally get to hear them live and almost catch that guitar pick he threw into the crowd.

Dexter Holland is a holy disciple of punk-rock. I am serious, that is how the picture came out.

There was also the odd coincidence of seeing the sound guy on stage who happened to look like my AP Chemistry teacher from Junior year. Did we just crack open another side of Mr. Reed?

I ended the night with my favorite whopper (the angry whopper) and the purchase of two Offspring shirts. One for me, one for my brother.

The second awesome thing was the arrival of parts. My order from China finally came in, and in it came the necessary parts to finally finish Wazio's fairyweight. I'll call it Pookie in spirit of his old fairyweight.

(uh, picture later)

Really, the only part in that box for him was the motor, but it was very important and is the major part I plan around in my fairyweights. Here is a status picture of how it sits. A .1" thick titanium blade about 1.5oz will be spun by that motor at about 11600rpms on a 7.4v Lithium Battery. Drive motors are speed hacked Airtronics servos and the base materials are all garolite composites. Tomorrow I will be wiring up the electronics (Banebots 3-9 escs and Phoenix 10 esc). In either case, I know it will be underweight (weighing only 5.05oz right now) so I can add wheel guards later on.

Other goodies (11.1v 1750mah Lipoly, 30amp Brushless esc, etc.) in the box are for my new beetleweight, Ice pack, when I get to mill the frame.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bot On! (Suckage)

The last post was far too long. But this is okay, because there is not much to report on this one.

Pacman: 1 win, 2 losses. sucked
Normally I would not be this mad, but the robot did not even perform well. The only robot to have a worse outcome was my old ant Jui Kuen, but I was satisfied with him because he was a good bot. I got a great hit that sent Piranha along the hypotenuse of a 8' square. But Pacman was not one of those cases. First match, the reception was bad and as a result I was pushed out. Every other match I broke a belt after some semi-impressive hits. Even got embarrassed when I was flipped and the set in receiver high centered the robot. I will still upload the video, but something on this robot just HAS to change.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bot On! (The Victors)

Yesterday was the Gulf Coast Robot Sports competition at the Hobby marketplace down in Bradenton, Florida. And as you know, I took my three entries (Pacman, DDT, and P150) there. How did they do? Lets hit the break down.

DDT: 3 wins, 1 loss. The champ!
DDT was amazingly well behaved compared to previous outings. I kept the throttle about midway for most fights, and it kept the damage high, yet the recoil low. I might have to keep that tactic for later on. But I had only four fights because I had a first round bye and then an opponent who did not show up. So all in all, i fought against two other competitors: Piranha and Sporkinok.

V. Piranha: Piranha sported a mean vertical Ti blade directly powered by a 2212 sized brushless motor. I knew this would not be pretty, since Mike is a good driver and his bots are pretty tough. I knew wheel shots could kill me, so I decided to not allow him the chance. I lined up out blades every time and went for the "safe" impact since my blade was larger, thicker, and faster than his. He climbed DDT's front cover a few times, and flipped from some sparky hits, but soon his brushless motor had come apart and his blade bent, he decided to tap out giving me the win.

V. Sporkinok: The spork returns, but even more ridiculous than before! Now he is a 22.2v thwacker with a foot long boom of Al rod. He was fast, and almost uncontrollable, but as we fought, it didn't seem to matter... my blade was too low! It would go right under neath him, and the only thing i could hurt was the spork or the wheels. But he was so wide that it was tough, and i thought i might lose this to a judges decision. But after chasing him down, he ended up on my snout high centered, and I was able to put him out through the pit. But this was only the first of three encounters. After he beat Little Scoop in the Semi-finals, we met in the finals match 1. This time, he held a wedge attachment to try and keep me at bay. It worked in an odd way. It was enough hinderance to give a really good catch when we collided and we both flew around, with me hitting the pit. Finals match #2 started out poorly for Spork. A gyro and a change, and he was down one wheel. He tapped out giving DDT the victory.

P150: 2 wins, 1 loss. The champ!
In this I am not counting the forfeit by Nano Nightmare because I believe a fight could have occurred. No idea why he gave in though... But regardless, P150 was my second victor this competition. We ran double round robin fights in this because we only had three fairyweights.

v. Doodle Bug: I fought Doodle Bug, a Ti plated pusher, first. I spun up and he collided with me with sparks flying about. I was having control problems the whole time; the robot would go into FBS mode all too often, not like it usually does. So I suppose I got lucky, and one impact blew one of his tires out. He tapped giving DDT the win.

v. Micro Nightmare: Basically the miniature version of the miniature version of the large heavyweight, Nightmare. It sported a very similar weapon system to my own, but a slower drivetrain. I suppose I could have eaten his wheels easily, but with my control problems, he hit mine first, dropping the blade to the floor after he ripped it away. Sure I could still drive, but I was set in constant forward with the blade on the ground. At the same time, his weapon fell off, so all I had to do was stay alive! I got some light pokes at him, but an unlucky steer sent me into the pit. Time for the second string.

v Doodle Bug 2: Fighting with only one wheel was interesting. I replaced that sagging side with two nuts stacked on top of each other to give the proper blade clearance. So driving for me, was basically doing the crab walk, or using inertia to do a spin attack if he came close. There were some sparks, and some close calls when he managed to get behind me, but one lucky shot punted both robots away from the wall, where he went out of the arena, and I stayed in.

Nano Nightmare was unable to fight for the second bout so he awarded me the victory. It was a shame, I was actually looking forward to this bout.

The two victorious robots allowed me to pick up two prizes awarded at the event, totalling to $90 in gift certificates to the Robot Marketplace. Thanks to Jim, Seth, and the whole gang! I had a blast!

But now onto the big oaf...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Where'd ya go Jamo?

I've been busy. That is no secret. Many of you have no idea, because I seem just as (un)responsive as usual, but truth is, I have been quite busy.

Last post, I detailed some of the tasks I had to hit for the upcoming Gulf Coast Robot Sports competition at the Hobby Marketplace. Between then and now, I got all three robots completed! Woohoo! Okay, technically Pacman is charging, but who gives...

So to knock off the easy ones first, P150 and DDT are complete. Last post I outlined the new motor mounting scheme for DDT. The motors dried in, and I slapped some tape over the back. Looks brand new and ready for combat! P150 required a little more work, but nothing strenuous. I took apart my last spare GWS PicoBB servo, and replaced the topmost portion of the casing. Then I glued the motors in to complete the robots. Some quick test drives, and charges, they appear to be ready to kick some butt!

Pacman was not as easy. After a trek to Skycraft surplus store, I bought some replacement o-rings to use as drive belts. However they were too tight! How terrible! I tried to remelt some old belts but it turned out like junk. Apparently the material doesn't take too kind to fire, and instead of melting, just bursts into flames (sorry, no pictures).

I went to Home Depot to try and get the rings I needed: no dice, they were just too small. The largest they had was about 1.25" dia, when i needed 1.5" or something around that. I was about to leave, when my mom had the brilliant idea of using bathtub washers. Sure they start out very wide, but some quick work of the sheers, and suddenly they are custom made rings!

Some additional upgrades include a nicely polished output shaft, some added flats to help aid torque, upping the size of the weapon hub set screw, and maximizing the output pulley diameter for quicker spinup times. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

To Bot or not to Bot...

... that is the question.

Today is Tuesday and this Saturday is the Gulf Coast Robotic Sports competition hosted by the Hobby Marketplace. I am still trying to decide if I will compete or not. I love to fight robots, but somewhere between losing $30 (in entry fees) and my parents wanting to take me to my driver's test, it makes me second guess. Either way, I am still preparing the robots for Dragon Con in August.

First up, is my Antweight, DDT. At BARF, he did a good amount of damage, but after 5-6 competitions hte parts are wearing down. The motor mounting blocks actually fractured and broke completely on one side; into 5 pieces to be exact. I could not let this happen again.

Here are the UHMW motor mounts I created. Same overall dimensions, but the different material should make it more shock resistant. And yet, I didn't use them.

Here is what I actually did. I bought some standoffs to hold hte top armor, and then simply glued hte motors down like in some realier robots. It looks cheesy, but has actually been the best method in my opinion. No motors broken, and never has a motor come lose. It is just a pain to fix if a gear explodes.

Pacman got a weapon system change. When I got my wisdom teeth removed, I swung by the surplus store and bought some tighter O-rings so the weapon couldnt spin up faster. A lack of friction was costing Pacman some good seconds. But the O-rings were too tight. They transfered all the friction and the darn Wattage Cobalt actually sucked all of the current from the batteries. Ugg, I need another solution.

Easy solution. I changed the ratio of hte belts. The old setup was somewhere around 3:1. Decent, but for more torque, I made the blade pulley larger. Now it has something around a 7:1 ratio. This will mean lower top speed, but really, I never even GOT to top speed at BARF. Recent tests show that this configuration is a solid idea anyway.

Last, is P150. I have never introduced P150 here before, but simply it is hte smallest robot of the fleet. A 1/3 scale of DDT in a sense, definately one of hte most dangerous Fariweights in the nation.

It is in pieces... See the pretty pile of parts? Last GCRS, I foolishly put it in the Antweight rumble, where it made lots of pretty sparks, but it smashed both of its drive motors and its weapon motors. I already fixed one drive motor, but the bearing retainers on the weapon and the casing on the second drive motor are poo.

More updates to come later. And oh, the videos from the last event are uploaded on my Youtube. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

They Make "Fun-sized" Robots as well...

Hey you! You haven't posted since Saturday night! Right I haven't and for good reason. First, I have my mind wrapped around a new Beetleweight class robot. For those joining us now, a beetleweight weighs 3 pounds and competes in combat competitions such as Battlebots (see BARF tags). I have spent most of my free time (and there has been much of that) CADing a new robot which is yet to be named.

Behold! The micro version of my larger 12-pound robot Attrition. The robot has a nearly 1 pound spinning drum as "x" many RPMs. Banebot 25mm, 20:1 gearboxes for drive and lots of recycled parts. Attrition was an extremely innovative and successful robot so I am hoping that this robot will also share its design success. The bad part is that I may not get started on construction because I need some larger machines available at Tech. So it it may be a few months until I can actually get started. Either way, it proves to be a fun project!

If you have any name suggestions, let me know (and you know how).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

BARF in the Bay Area

Bay Area Robot Fights (BARF) was today as you may remember from a previous post. In a field of 21 fellow robots, here is how my two bots did:

DDT: 3 wins - 2 losses
The crowd pleaser that never fails to please... okay I will take that back. The first match against "Babe the Blue Bot" was less than ideal because my belt for the weapon derailed like so many times past (I thought I had that fixed!). But the other 4 matches, the bot never failed to bring a smile to the crowd, bouncing off walls and making sparks and parts fly off opponents. "Cause for Concern" was one such opponent who had his 1/2" lexan frame cracked and his bolts sheered. This bouncing was the demise however when a prime hit on "Verbal Irony 4" sent DDT flying into the pit. It was only a matter of time before it happened anyway.

Pacman: 5 wins - 2 losses
We ran round robin for the beetleweights since there were no as many. Surprisingly, this robot had actually captured the crowd's heart although not being a very good spinner (belt problems, hot motors, slipping blades). The crowd, on hearing Pacman's name announced, would chant "Wakka wakka wakka!" because that's the sound Pacman makes, ha ha. I was even surprised to see that people wanted pictures of me and the robot. I will never forget this one young woman (I'm guessing early 20's) came up to me in the pits after a match and excitedly asked for a picture with me and the robot. I said yes because it would make her happy and because I was honored to know someone wanted a picture with me (plus she was, in my opinion, decently attractive XD).

But anyway! Pacman went through opponents by total win or total loss. He ate through some good aluminum pieces of opponents, a few sparks, relatively stable robot. But some really good pushers put him in the pit. Okay, one of those losses probably should not have happened, but it did. When fighting "Push it to the Limit", an impact shook off one of my wheels. But the same impact left him high centered. We freed him but i couldn't move because the loss of one wheel made the robot sit at an odd position so Pacman got pit'd shortly after. Oh well, we had fun anyway.

Overall it was a heck of a fun event. I always feel a bit strange walking into Anime conventions because the people are way too nice and energetic (and costume-y). But I really enjoy this crowd to be honest. They are overly enthusiastic which makes me feel better about the entertainment that I help provide. They really appreciate it unlike some other events.

Now I know I am not too big an anime nut, but I did see some nice costumes that I did not take pictures of. Fran from Final Fantasy (with her bow), a ton of Naruto characters ranging from Naruto himself to Sakura to Atasuki, Wong Tao Yen from Portal, and many more. I really liked the guy who dressed as the Scout from Team Fortress 2. Bonk! XD

Videos to come! I still haven't uploaded them yet. Check my Youtube page for more! And additional pictures here!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Wakka wakka wakka...

Coming to an event... tomorrow?

More pictures on my photobucket and when my mom's camera finishes charging.


Frickin' awesome!

Excuse Me, is that YOUR Bot?

Up until now, I've been having people think that the giant timing pulley robot was my entry for the Beetleweight class this BARF. Well, surprise! I'm taking off the covers, the bot is nothing like expected!

Welcome to the new version of Late Night Leftovers (I might change the name to Shark Attack)!

It sports a 9" edger blade, weighing about 9 oz (I think). Total RPMs should come out around 8000-9000 which should really put a punch on the tips!

Other upgrades include more robust drive motors from my old robot "Ron". Essentially, it is Ron. All the parts came from that robot, but it is just packaged differently. Either way, it should prove pretty interesting and I'm curious to see what it can do to others, say a cake pan ;)

But you ask, what happened to the vertical disk version? I'll tell you, it practically broke it self. When the gigantic disk hit something, it made impacts tangent to the axis at a low angle. So basically, it pushed horizontally against the direction of forward motion. The friction coefficient of the tires are fairly high. So if froward forces are high, but reverse forces are also high and on the same plane, where does the force go? Into the drive motors, because it's the weakest part. Yeah, the 50:1 copals decided to burst: rather just the bushings. Either way, once they blow, I can't fix them easily. Redesign.

Here's to a good but short lived bot.

You were interesting and adorable. Farewell.

One more day till BARF. Better keep building.