Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tomorrow the Machines will Behave Badly

End of another season of my middle school robotics class.  It has been a good bunch of kids.  Four girls out of 25, a new record.  Only two or three who seem to think their main job in life is to annoy all around them; this is less than average.

The robots are ready, most of them have been operational long enough for a good bit of practice driving.

Some strange ones this year.  Two with tank tread designs, one of which runs on 18 volts instead of our usual 6.  Hey, you give kids free reign (the rules: No Flamethrowers, No Hand grenades, No Live Animals) and some of the craftier ones will find all sorts of loop holes.

Combat starts at 11:30 am tomorrow.  The last pieces should stop bouncing around 4.

A photo gallery of the Impending Robot Uprising:

Intention here is to flip the opponent over....we will see.

Non functional sword.  Mean little polycarbonate spinner.

We need a few sacrificial bots for "bracket fillers"  Audience members get to drive Hapless Victimbots.

Driving practice.  Yes, the smiling cardboard box is a functional robot.
With a little extra time this student built a custom garage for "Fury Jr."

A well protected tank tread design.  Should do well...on paper.

Each competition has a few "apex predators".  This spinner should hit pretty hard.

It of course comes with a bright pink top also.

License plates.  Really an underutilized construction media.

Fear the Kitty

This last one is my personal favorite.  It is one of those projects that fought us every inch of the way. The other students were filing out from our last session when we finally got to fire up this "helicopter spinner".  Scary.  It will go into battle still covered with plastic shavings.

I will try to get a few pictures of the action for next week, but frankly I spend most of the competition running from place to place keeping the wheels from coming off.  Often literally.

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