Friday, October 16, 2015

Combat Robot Class 2015 - Second Report

The middle school class for three pound combat robots is moving along.  My attention for it has been a bit less this year as there is the concurrent task of getting a serious, non combat robotics program together at the high school level.  I don't know if this distraction is "contagious" but my middle school students this year also seem a bit unfocused.  Oh well, everyone gets something running by the time of the mid November tournament.  Here are some works in progress.

Several kids utilizing cardboard this year.  No particular reason I suppose, just that the class room we are working in has a lot of it lying around.  I have mentioned to them that the arena hazards as well as some of the opposing robots have the ability to make shreds out of this material.  They thought this would be fun to watch.  Actually, with a little reinforcement at key points they might do OK.

A sheet metal pushing ramp.  The cartoon colored zip ties will be trimmed off.  This arrangement allows function if/when the robot gets flipped over.  As these machines are more or less running at turtle speeds they should at least not have a turtle's main design flaw.

We always have a few robots with vicious looking weaponry.  It generally does not work out well for these "apex predators" as the kinetic energy involved can be as damaging to themselves as to their opponents.  But we keep on trying.  The large hole in the front of the robot was kind of "my bad".  I was working that day without my usually Igor/assistant.  Dashing from place to place trying to help kids or at least keep them from harm I told this student where to place the wheels.  Opps, the round cut out was where the weapon motor was supposed to be.  But this looks cool and we trimmed off an ounce or two.  Three pounds happens sooner than you might think.  I always tell the kids that the true enemy is the scale.

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