With any luck, we’ll be competing in Robot Wars this year! Merry everything, happy etc.

Now – onto the update. We spent the weekend of Jan 7/8 putting some more bits on Big Dave and breaking a few more. Whilst we didn’t make the progress that we thought we were going to make, we made a lot of progress on the electronics side of things.

The original plan was to get the drum all mounted and at least rolling. That…. didn’t happen. The material for the drum didn’t arrive when Rob thought it would, and one of the plates that he ordered suffered from a little bit of a software fault, resulting in a huge 15mm plate of aluminium that is now essentially useless. We might turn it into a wedge or something if we’ve got the time/weight allowance. But, with all that being said – we now have our mounting plates for the drum attached, and had some fun with wheel alignments. More on that later down the page.

Meet our drum mounting plates – 15mm 6061 – on which our weapon stub axles and drum will sit.

Ali works on one of our mid plates, making sure that our axles run true.

As you can see, there are tabs on the top and bottom of each plate that the top & bottom plates slide into, bringing the height of the plate up to 254mm. That’s 10 inches, for the American readers – the same size as our Go Kart tyres, meaning that it doesn’t really matter if we get flipped, as Ali will be able to drive inverted.  It does mean that the outer most edge of our drum is 2mm from the ground. 2 millimeters! In order to run around the workshop, and if we find that 2mm is perhaps a bit too low for the Robot Wars arena, we’ve also put a set of holes in each side of the plate that allows us to attach running blocks to the front plates, meaning that we hopefully don’t run around and tear up the floor!

Rob says that 2mm is more than enough ground clearance, but both Chris and Ali remain skeptical. With stored energy hopefully breaking the 90KiloJoule mark, we’re all pretty confident that, given so much as a sharp edge, something is going flying and much noise will be made.

We’ve still got our secret ingredient sauce to add, and Chris has been active over on Twitter (cont. below):

Over on the electronics side of things, we’ve moved from the mess of hopeful wiring to something a bit more ordered. Chris has done a hell of a job fitting everything into the area that Rob assigned (who, honestly, forgot that wires don’t really bend readily) – we’ve got some pretty tight tolerances! We’ve also now hard wired the in-robot section of our removable link, meaning that they shouldn’t go flying anytime soon! Another thing that Chris has done is printed our battery boxes – alongside some shock mountings, we have 12mm of open cell foam protecting our batteries, while also allowing them to swell a tiny bit when in use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the hardware side of things, Ali has been at things with files and a paintbrush, filing down the threads on our axles so they work properly, and bringing some finesse to marking out the holes for our drum plates. As our driver, Ali is our go-to for general knowledge on the bot, and is quickly picking up everything from how it drives inverted to battery charging sequences. He’s also nearly ready for his first Robot Wars Podcast, which will be airing soon.

 

 

Ali doesn’t endorse Citadel/Games Workshop paint – he says it’s rubbish! It’s worth nothing that no tabletop models have been painted during Big Dave’s build

Next time in the workshop:
Mounting the Drum, Weapon Motor Mount, Weapon ESC, Top Plates, more Battery boxes (2 more to go) and testing the drum!

Also, more sausage rolls…

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