Monday, November 14, 2016

Machines Behaving Badly - 2016 Edition

And so another Machines Behaving Badly tournament is in the books.  It was a good one.  It may have been our best one ever.  It started on time, flowed smoothly, ended on time and saw a wide array of 3 pound student built robots get clobbered in interesting and entertaining ways. The key to it going well was lots of help, not only on tournament day but in the build session classes that led up to it.  Many, many thanks to the FIRST robotics high schoolers, in addition to the regular "Minion" tournament a few recent draftees...

A few robots before combat started:

An ambitious drum spinner fashioned out of an old paint can.

Two saw spinning robots.  These are usually more menacing in appearance than effective but "Saw Shark" actually did win quite a few matches.

"Dead End" was a simple but well protected wedge robot.  The decorative touch of a roadway paint job and Dead End sign was very nice.

This creepy little thing has been around for years.  We use it as a bracket filler so that nobody ever has to take a bye when we have uneven numbers of competitors.  Everyone wants to destroy this dead eyed horror.  They never manage to do so.

Robots in action

In one corner of the arena is a multiple fire "drop hazard".  Things fall from above.  A Teletubby figurine went first.  The pitchfork came down next missing the target and skewering little Tinky Winky.  If you look closely the robot in mid picture has a plush duck on it.  The duck is full of five pounds of lead.  Note the shredded styrofoam everywhere.  That saw actually worked.

Here we have a whole bunch of robots. As the competitors get eliminated we have kids keep them active.  Its fun to toss in 8 or so all at once for a chaotic melee.

Aftermath.  The "Chains of Doom" really put the dents and scuffs into this all metal robot. But the armor held.

Many thanks to the competitors, families and especially to my helpers.  Some are young, some are old, none are really "grown up".

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