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Thread: Wanted: Featherweight bot

  1. #1
    Ooh, new series of robot wars is out.

    And I still can't get the thoughts of how much fun getting involved might be.

    So it's time to get stuck in.

    And the sensible part of my brain says that I should start with a featherweight to get a better idea of what is involved and because it's likely to be a much quicker and easier way to get to the stage of competing and 'learn by doing'.

    In the spirit of 'stop talking and do it already' it occurs to me than an excellent starting point would be a robot that is already mostly complete. In a perfect world something that is ready to fight out of the box would be great, but mostly i'm interested in something I can cannibalize the control hardware and drive train from.

    All of which takes us to the question of the moment:
    Does anyone have an old feather (in mostly running order) in their shed that they arn't using any more and would like to turn into cold, hard cash to fund other robot projects?


  2. #2
    typhoon_driver's Avatar

    Gary Cairns
    Hornet 2 - retired Boner - retired Smidsy - Sold 540 - Sold PP3D - Active
    Drive train - a couple of cordless drills stripped down
    Control hardware - an off the shelf speed controller such as the modified Tz85 or ragebridge

    You'll learn a whole lot more building yourself.

  3. #3
    1) Building a robot yourself is the best experience.²
    2) Buying a decent feather isn't cheap.³

    ² but with help from experienced roboteers you can avoid a lot of pitfalls and moneysinks.(and having the basic tools available helps too)
    ³ even the cheapest featherweight ready to run will cost you £200, and then you have a wooden or cutting board armored box. A full balls out weapons blazing titanium monster can easely go £2000+

  4. #4

    Spur 4 (FW), Titus (HW) , Team Nuts
    message Shakey on the forum
    He is thinking of selling a couple

  5. #5
    Yes. I can build it myself, and I intend to significantly rework whatever I get.

    There are plenty of guides for making entry level bots, and none of the stuff in there worries me much. I'm confident I can cut up a few cordless drills and wire in an off the shelf controller. In part I was curious if I could pick up a second hand bot for less than I could build one for. I'm not after top end, just the cast offs from someone else who has been here and gone through this process before.

    But it's also I simply don't know what is involved - and therefore what I want from the robot - until I've done it.

    So the plan is something along the lines of:

    Get an 'out of the box' solution that I know works.
    Enter a match, see what happens.
    Then take it apart and rework it to my own design.
    Enter some more matches, and test it thoroughly.
    Then sit down and get stuck into building the heavy to compete in robot wars and get my ass handed to me.
    ...then sit down and get stuck into reworking that...etc, etc, etc.

    But in the same way as it seems sensible not to skip straight to the 'build a heavy' stage, I think before I try and compete with my robot I want to start with something I know works and learn what is involved in the competition.

    I hope that makes some sense...

  6. #6
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    AW: Amai, Ikari, Osu, Ramu / BW: Azriel, Shu! / FW: The Honey Badger / MW: Jibril
    Somewhere on the Wirral
    I can see the sense in doing what you are planning but to make a basic rambot in the FW class is reasonably cheap to do. A verrrryyyy basic design, like a wedge rambot like The Honey Badger 2.0 would probably involve the following costs (and this is assuming all new stuff):

    - Transmitter: £40
    - 2x speed controllers: £80 for the pair (using the TZ85A example - cheaper if you can find someone to do the reprogramming for you but not by much)
    - Geared motors - £40
    - Batteries + Charger - £60
    - Assorted small bits (mixer, wiring, connectors etc) - £30
    - Amour/chassis stuff (assuming HDPE as the main constituent here) - £70
    = £320 (estimated)

    Of course, it is the experience in building it that is priceless. The Honey Badger 2.0 cost me roughly £400 odd to build (and that includes bits from the original Badger) but I've learnt a lot about how to build a effective robot from that which will go into other robots I plan to make next year.

    If you buy another person's robot, you inherit the builders methodology for building it, which includes things like wiring and so on and that can be risky if you don't get why they did what they did in that robot.
    Last edited by Ocracoke; 2nd November 2017 at 15:40.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

    AW: Amai, Ikari, Osu, Ramu
    BW: Azriel, Shu!
    FW: The Honey Badger
    MW: Jibril

  7. #7
    Deathly Hallows's Avatar

    Simon Hallows
    Beetleweight Evil K'Weevil Featherweight Alligrator concept
    Blog Entries
    I can recommend the Haynes - Robot Wars book if you want a place to start. There is a pictorial instruction for a featherweight and heavy weight. That's what made me decide I would take the plunge. ISBN 978 1 78521 186 7
    They explain how to re-purpose drill motors etc.
    Last edited by Deathly Hallows; 2nd November 2017 at 22:35.

  8. #8

    Wanna Choppa (Axe FW) Short Circuit (HW RWs6) Locking Wheel Nuts (AW) DELLapidated bANTtery (AW) Lo
    Eastleigh, Hampshire
    Lostdreamer, where are you located?

  9. #9
    I'm midlands based, but not against a bit of exploring.

  10. #10
    Theo's Avatar

    Oberon - FW, ICEBT - AW, Voodoo - MW, Discord - MW, Cunning Pan - FW (under construction)
    I partially agree with the others. I knew the electeonics side and it seemed pretty straight forward but didn't have the equipment or expertise to make a chassis/shell and Harry just so happened to have an excellent one for sale. My advice would be to ask around for a shell (2WD wedge ideally, learn the basics) and work from there. A drill and Dremel will go a long way if you're just working with HDPE. The electronics are much simpler than you may think and just require basic knowledge and soldering skills. When you have a physical design to work with, knowing the ins and outs of it can help you a lot with upgrades. In short, buy a pre-made shell and do the electronics yourself.

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