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Showing posts from 2000


28/10/00-Waiting....Still waiting for the motors and gearboxes. Another parcel did arrive today, an Optimate III battery charger, which seems to be putting a bit of life back into my sad old Steatites. I will post how efficiently it worked after I get round to testing. My students are keen to see one of the robots so I may take KC1 in before he's stripped down, his gears and chains are providing some reduction gearing for our swimmer Keeler Carrot.further comment...(26/4/02)
The Optimate has proved a complete boon. It wasn't cheap, about £40, but it works well, if slowly. I believe there is also a version called the Accumate now, that can be switched to cover 6 volt batteries.

antweight world series

28/10/2000 After months of fiddling we finally took our baby for a scrap, at the Antweight World Series at Guilford University. For a full run down check out he comms section on the Dangerous machines website. Suffice to say, I was sick and suffering after a painful Judo injury, and the kids were a bit bored, but we had a successful morning. We had 3 fights and lost them all! But did manage to hurl another robot off the arena. We learnt a lot and new plans for more voltage (6v), smaller wheels with more grip, and a slightly more dangerous weapon are all underway. No photos as the digital camera was on strike and I foolishly left the normal camera behind. Check out the for all antweight details. Offered my services to design a Tee shirt for the event, and there have been many suggestions. Here's the first draft, all comments and alternative designs welcome. I think either Pete Collier or Hairy Steve will be organising the thing.

bits and bobs

16/10/00- bits and bobsCylinder, valves and pipe-work have all arrived, I'm now waiting for some axles and motors from Roger Plant.
Once all the gear is together The steel which is cluttering up the office can be mocked up to find the most effective chassis shape. I'm inclined to use some steel mesh for armour as I've become infatuated with dead Metal, and it's bizarre Mad Max looks, but I will still have some panels for the Carrots "face".
Having trouble with regulators at present, the one I've got only does 2.5 bar which is nowhere near the pressure I'm hoping for, however BOC want £187 for a Co2 regulator.
Today I also took delivery of an air chisel, only £9.99 from Northern Equipment, but reasonably rugged and capable of delivering 5000 blows per minute running at 90 psi, I'll test it in the workshops on Wednesday, but it looks to be a most cheap and effective weapon. Pictures to follow.

antweight first attempts

23/09/2000 Well the SMA axe is proving to be very difficult. In theory the flexinol requires 400mA, and gives a contraction of about 5%, the problem is fixing the ends, soldering de-natures the wires abilities and clamping is a nightmare.  So we're looking at another servo to power a rear flipper/ax/SREMECH, though the liitle guy runs upside down fine. We've got plenty of weight left, as we're only upto 104g so far. The wheels are now sporting rubber bands for improved grip too. Adam and his friend Duncan have been practicing driving the little guy , so hopefully he will be team captain for the Antweight wars in October.  I can smell victory.

History: A 4.8v NiMh PCB mount battery provides the juice and at present were working on a shape memory alloy powered axe, which weighs almost nothing, but we keep frying the wire, so for simplicity we may just bung another servo in there. Chassis is now made from an old Rotring pen case, with packing foam armour
First outing should be the wo…


22/9/00 Decisions...Term has started back at college so I'm snowed under inducting students, however I have had time to sort out the pneumatics order. I've sent off for an SMC LDT100-125 piston with a couple of SMC VS 3135 3 port valves and some AQ3000quick exhausts, all from Graham Leacock, who is an unreasonably helpful chap.
Following Killerhurtz recommendations on the RW forum I phoned up a local fire extinguisher company "Pyrotec" who service our college, and asked if they had any spare extinguishers I could use for the high pressure side. They very generously gave me 2. Then I found out the regulations require the extinguishers to be under 5 years old, so I e-mailed them and they are giving me another 2, all I can say is Thanks.
I'm still chewing over motors, but it looks like I'll be using Roger Plants Litton motors and cut down axles as it seems the least expensive route.
I'd hoped to get some Bosch GPA's but Wheely big cheese did ok with the …

Useful links

The following sites have some really useful robot building or web site construction information on them: This is what we've all been waiting for. Paul Cooper has created a site selling everything you could ever need to build your robot, and it's not overpriced. Cheaper and more convenient than RS Components! Better friendlier service than anywhere else. Paul knows his onions as well, he runs the robot M2, which we first met as Mincer back in the Summer of 2000 at the Uckfield bash. M2 is a terrific evolution with a terrific flipper running at 16bar. : Free hit counter that works, unlike the frontpage ones, (freeserve don't support frontpage extensions)However now I'm a grown up and have cast aside childish things (Frontpage), the counter is still useful, and links to a site that keeps stats on your site. : pages of useful bits, some aren't as cheap as they appear when you add VAT and delivery, Don'…

ant mayhem

16/9/2000 We gave up on the flexinol, it will return in next years ant, (a walker), as we've got about 4 metres of the stuff. So the flipper axe is now a boring servo actuated affair made from an old packing tape dispenser. The servo itself is a Hi tec HS81MG (metal geared), which was slightly more expensive than standard, but should prevent the gear skipping problems we've had with the drive servos: All that remains is to add scapel blades to every available surface up to the weight limit, we've got plenty of leeway as were still only on 126g and because of the 4" cube rule, we've had to truncate the body a little.  It all seems to work though I can't drive it to save my life, same problem I had driving Killer Carrot at Robot Mayhem, over sensitive tank steer. Hopefully we'll be at  Antwars 3, in Guildford on the 22nd and I'll let the kids drive it.

Big Orange and Dangerous

Ancient History Killer carrot 2 is a much more serious bucket of fish than anything else we've so far attempted. At first we thought we'd like an axe, a flipper, a disc cutter....and these sketches show what we came up with: disc cutter and ramming spikes, keeping carrots original big wheels and running upside down configuration Spiked flipper and nose spike (real back of the envelope stuff) Inspiration comes from those robots that achieved success without fancy weaponry, but by sheer brutal ramming power. Watching Tornado smash Gemini against the arena barrier when we were reserves, I became convinced this was the way to go. However being an agricultural fellow we have access to a range of nasty things to ram people with. The whole design of carrot 2 rotates around a large bale spike, focussing all the punch into one point instead of tornado's multiple points. First step was to visit our local kart race track who gave me 4 wheels and tyres, thankyou Crawley indoor racing. Then we…