For those of you that follow us on Facebook, you’d know that we were are the Extreme Robots Portsmouth event this weekend just gone.  Being just two weeks between Manchester and Portsmouth did not give us much time to do repairs, or indeed make any improvements.

We therefore had to skip the first show on Saturday in order to finish the repair work from Manchester.  This was no mean feat and involved stripping the robot to bare basics (I think the only thing that didn’t come out was the electronics!), then moving all the gearbox assemblies across onto new aluminium panels, and putting it all back together again.  In amongst all this I (Chris) realised that we had left one of our toolboxes back at my flat….. Cue a trip back to Southampton to go and get it.

Catch Me If You Can ready for its first battle in Portsmouth.

With the robot in one piece, we were ready for the start of show 2 on Saturday.  Probably just as well when you have a whole bunch of friends in the audience…..

It didn’t go quite to plan.  We survived about 30-40 seconds before we lost drive in one side of the robot.  Getting it back on the bench revealed exactly what was wrong.  The grub screws had basically leaped out of the gears and were now somewhere spread across the arena (or maybe we forgot to put them in, I don’t know!).  Putting the grub screws back in place everything seemed happy again.

Alas, it was not to be as we suffered a loss of drive on the other side in the next battle.  Further investigation revealed that the grub screws had, once again, escaped.

With Saturday’s shows now firmly behind it, it was a case of trying to fix everything before the Sunday shows and make sure it stayed fixed.

Sunday we actually fared better in terms of continuing to run, but took some fairly significant damage from Oddbot (photo below) – who are rapidly earning the title of “most dangerous featherweight that doesn’t look it”.

Oddbot’s damage to one of our side panels. We replaced it.

Of course, having suffered that at the end of show 3, we replaced the side panel for show 4 and carried on.  There are a nice collection of Oddbot shaped holes and dents in the side of our machine now (Thank you James…..) but we kept running for most of the first battle in the fourth show.

Our final battle of the weekend turned out to be a bit more problematic losing drive on one side very early on.  We got the robot back on the bench after the last battle, opened it up…. and well, the picture below speaks for itself.  That belt is dead!

Hmm…. I’m sure something isn’t quite right here.

Thank you to John and Trev and the entire Extreme Robots team for making everything tick and running a fantastic show.  Thank you to the audiences for being so noisy we had to shout at each other in the pits (and don ear defenders for most of the show).  We now have a little under five weeks to make some tweaks and changes ready for Guildford (and there will be some!).  We’ll see you there.

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