Today Ali went to the first ever Robodojo, hosted by KB Technologies in their workshop near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire. It was billed as a place for roboteers to meet, socialise and fight bots! Starting at 10 (Ali arrived late due to the Kirkstall Festival in Leeds and housewarming party in York the night before), there were 2 arenas for beetleweights and antweights. 2 featherweights were also in attendance for practice and advice. One of those was none other than Golftank!! While it is still not working yet (luckily team SpaceX’s featherweight did work and gave a neat demonstration of its power), some ideas have been suggested as to how to improve Golftank overall and hopefully it will be up and running at the end of the year. The consensus is that it may last one fight as the wheels are so exposed but the axle may have to be split in two with an identical motor to make steering possible. Servo motors were mooted but this looks very complicated.

There were 4 rounds of beetle and ant fights, followed by a couple of balloon bouts, plus some live streaming of the Bristol Bot beetleweight fights at the University of West England. Generally speaking Robodojo was incredibly relaxed, with relatively few fights but a lot of discussions on future events for northern England and parts being swapped and advice given out generously. There was a family there4 who seemed to learn a lot from today about making antweights and talking about the workshop in general. It should be noted that Robodojo seems to currently be the only real place for robot teams from the north of England to get regular practice and testing for all robots (the beetleweight arena doubles up as a test arena for heavyweights). KB’s location between Leeds and York is very convenient for most teams as it is not far from the A1 or M62. With teams from Liverpool, Sheffield and Hull it definitely had the Lancashire/Yorkshire area reasonably well covered.

Ali personally looks forward to the next Robodojo event in a few months. Many thanks to KB Technologies for hosting this event and making everyone feel at home (and providing lunch)! For more information on this event see this link. Now, if we can get one of those Samuel Smiths shire horses to bring down some Samuel Smiths from the brewery just a few miles north from the workshop then we’d be talking! XR sells beer, why can’t Robodojo?*

 

*Ali would also like to apologise for the cultural appropriation of the following items:

  • Japan
  • That one TMNT episode titled “Enter the Fly”, where Baxter gets turned into a human fly then is zapped one microsecond forward in time in Dick Dastardly-style shenanigans. Don’t ask me how I remember this from my childhood TV but it did kind of form the basis of the title of this blog post.
  • Samuel Smith’s brewery

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