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Thread: Barróg - Featherweight Lifter Build Diary

  1. #61
    Shooty's Avatar

    Aw shoot! No idea how I messed up on that Al, sorry bout that! I'd be happy to PM you about the wings once I have a better idea of what the remodeled lifter will look like, cheers!

  2. #62
    Shooty's Avatar

    Work on Barróg has actually been pretty slow since Manchester on account of being busy with a few other things, but now that I've been accepted into Insomnia/KOB UK a fire has really been lit under me. While many improvements are in motion now there has only really been three major jobs done with Barróg:

    1. The ESC with the burnt wires has been salvaged. Fortunately the signal wire survived the unscripted sizzling of the other wires, and with the other ESC acting as the BEC, it still controls the drive like new. The Linac ESC is still a bust, but spare Botbitz ESC's have been purchased, and should do the job just fine.
    2. A great slab of 15mm HDPE has arrived, and one of the new claws has already been made. All angles have been rounded off to reduce stress on critical breaking areas, and having the claws like this gives me far more weight to play around with. They may not survive as well as the 20mm would, but I have enough HDPE now to make 5 claws total, so I can bring along 3 spares in the event of breaking.
    3. A new lifter bracket has been made. the 20mm HDPE block system has been replaced with 3mm welded steel, and together with the actuator being moved forward for a less aggressive angle and the welded tabs at the side to share the load with the lifter spines, my lifter should be far more durable, and less at risk of breaking itself.

    The new 15mm claw next to the original 20mm claw.

    New lifter bracket. Actually weighs almost as much as the old setup.

    My main issue now is that I am writing this build log in a hotel on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, and that combined with work in Dublin, leaves me with 4 full days of actual physical work that can be done on Barróg before going to the UK. Fortunately, almost every job that needs to be done is already set into motion one way or another:

    • Spare claws: HDPE ordered, 1 of 5 already cut.
    • New 12mm HDPE front: bought, already started cutting. Needs to be positioned, and slots to be cut out for the front claws. Spare ordered.
    • Horizontal spinner killer: Drawing made and sent to Kcut (Thanks Jarvis/MicroGravity100), waiting for quote. HDPE front ordered.
    • Spare wheels: already received, need to be tapped.
    • Self-righting wings: last on the list of things to do, but advice received from Alan/Al_. Idea in head of what they will look like.
    • In Case Of Explosion secret weapon: Heat gun ordered.

    New spinner killer wedge design. Weighs about 1.5kg, as much as losing the front claws plus the front two wheels.

    If all of this can be done, then I should have a plan for dealing with all but one of the bots that should be at KOB UK (curse you Straddle 2!). Here's hoping I can get all of my upgrades working in time.

  3. #63
    Shooty's Avatar

    Well, this update post may be *slightly* late, but here is an event report for Barróg from KOB UK/Insomnia 63.

    As stated before, I didn't actually have a lot of time to make all necessary improvements, but fortunately, with the exception of the self-righting wings, everything else was finished. New front claws were cut, chopping boards were prepared giving me two front pieces for the normal configuration and one reserved for the horizontal configuration. Speaking of, the great slab of hardox required for the setup arrived, and fit the machine like a glove. Screws were also added to the front claws to hopefully improve grip. Bracers were also added to the front piece so that the top wouldn't sway side to side at the tip.

    My living room after a days worth of cutting. Try not to work next to carpet if you ever start cutting the stuff.

    One of the new front tops fitted on, with the old one visible in the background.

    Just a photo taken for fun to show the sheer reach Barróg has. Fully extended it reaches 80cm!

    We were at the point where work was still being done on the machine a day before the competition, only this time in Dublin instead of Galway. A lot of these were just dealing with spares and finalizing the electronics setup. The machine actually stopped responding to any radio signals at this point, and I was starting to get nervous (though I would learn later at the competition that I simply had the ESC's plugged into the receiver upside down, oops!). The final thing to note was my new "In Case Of Explosion" secret weapon, three HDPE wedgelets bent and digging into the ground. This way, I could have ground-scraping, weighted, easily replaceable wedgelets for dealing with any flippers and vertical spinners (Explosion being absent from Insomnia this year sorta made the name meaningless, but what can you do).

    A look at what the house in Dublin looked like, the swarf is mostly from far, far too many weight-saving holes.

    The new HDPE wedgelets looking fine, angled 45 degrees at the front.

    KING OF BOTS UK 2018:

    Me and my dad got the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead like with Manchester, and arrived to the competition ready for the opening ceremony, as well as any safety checks and weigh ins. Barróg was gotten functional again thanks to the help of some other roboteers, the new wedges were attached, and the machine was now ready for its first fight.

    Barróg in its standard configuration, weighing approx. 13.45kg.

    Barróg in its horizontal spinner configuration, weighing approx. 13.1kg.


    My first fight was up against Bane, a linac front-hinged lifter, and Utopia, a flipper. The version of Utopia meant to fight unfortunately wasn't finished in time, and so last years version was competing instead which, while very successful at Insomnia 61, was very battered at this point, and as a result didn't have a working flipper. Bane was somewhat of an unknown power going in to the fight as well, and given that I could get stuck upside down certainly posed a threat.

    Barróg ready for its Insomnia debut!

    (Special thanks to Jonathan Leighton-Hoggett, who filmed and uploaded his own version of all the fights this year along with the RobochallengeTV streams)

    Some observations from this fight:

    • Love the "That's gonna get trashed. Not this fight, but it's gonna get thrashed." comment at the beginning there.
    • The wedgelets were actually really good at the start of this fight, even managing to get under Utopia's metal, ground-scraping wedge. After a few whacks though they seemed to lose their effectiveness, so a flaw has definitely emerged with the idea.
    • Somehow I ended up beaching and immobilizing Bane by sheer accident. The slopes on the arena wall definitely proved to be far more lethal than I think anyone thought at first.
    • Gareth's a really good driver, and he definitely had the edge on me in our first few meetups. After a while though I started to figure out ways to get around his driving style, and so started to predict Utopia's movements and could keep my front end in contact with him more often.
    • Near the end of the fight I finally get a bite on Utopia, and try to bring him into the pit. Unfortunately I overcorrect somewhat, and we both end up in the pit, unable to move.


    Damage wise Barróg was fine, with only a bent wedgelet and some batteries to be recharged. The real question on everyones mind was who had won the fight, as the winner would receive 4 points, and the second place 2 points. While Gareth to his credit asked for a rematch, ultimately a new rule added this year would decide the match. Due to flippers continually flipping themselves out of the pit in previous years, the rules were changed so that contact with the bottom of the pit would result in instant elimination, and as Barróg made contact with the bottom first, Utopia was given the win. I respect the decisions of the judges, though I am still a little disappointed that I lost such a good opportunity for a win, especially since I thought that this would be my easiest group. Still though, plenty of opportunities awaited me, and so I prepared myself for the fights the following day.
    Last edited by Shooty; 4th December 2018 at 10:17.

  4. #64
    Shooty's Avatar

    After the first days driving mishaps, I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't kamikaze myself again, so I wanted to practice driving around with a weight on the front. Fortunately, Team ACE from the last match were happy to lend Bane to be used as driving practice, which I was grateful for!


    My second fight had me facing off against Raving Luna-Tic, a linac lifter, and Blunt Force Trauma Remix, a vertical spinner. RLT was pretty nippy with its brushless drive, and the lifter could always be a problem if it got me right. BFT Remix was the scary one here though, doing a ton of damage over last year, as well as nearly beating Explosion and smashing fellow grabby bot Mantis 2 at last years Insomnia. More than any other fight, this one could be determined by whichever bot betrayed the other, as while we could both probably take BFT Remix together, one good hit could send either one of us across the arena.

    Some observations from this fight:

    • I was ready to play this fight a bit more carefully, and so was very mindful about when I would strike. Fortunately my driving seemed to do the job, and BFT was more focused on RLT for the first half of the fight at least.
    • Interesting to see the difference in materials at work in this fight. RLT's wedge was bent considerably after a frontal hit from the vert, but a similar hit on Barróg only took out a small chunk of the front plastic as well as a wedgelet.
    • BFT Remix had installed arms to the side of the bot so that machines could be guided into the spinner. As it turns out, these were more of a liability than an asset, as they gave me the prefect path to get under the bot somewhat consistently.
    • Near the end of the fight, I make my worst driving error yet. I try to pit RLT, but unfortunately I miss and end up driving into the pit myself, thereby securing third place for me. Dammit!


    So the end of the fight certainly was dramatic. Roughly three seconds after I had gone in the pit, BFT Remix finally landed a massive hit on RLT and sent it rolling right of the arena. What's more, I would later find out that after that hit, BFT Remix was dead, and wasn't able to move at all. If I could have just stayed out of the pit for 5 more seconds, I would have gotten the full 4 points, but instead I was two fights in with only 3 points total. Really disappointing, but I still had one more fight left, and a small chance remained of me getting out of the qualifiers, my main goal for this year.

    The front plate after Blunt Force Trauma Remix. pretty chewed up, but still fully functional.


    My final qualifier was the reason why I was so concerned about having the horizontal setup on Barróg. My oppenents were Vega, a shell spinner, and Apex FW, an overhead bar spinner, with both bots having the heaviest and second heaviest weapons in the competition respectively. Fortunately for me but unfortunately for them, both bots were having problems throughout the event. Pit buddies Vega had yet to get their weapon spinning, a problem made worse by their shell getting bent after a nasty hit from vertical spinner DB12, and Apex FW was rife with electrical issues, to the point of having to drop out of their second fight. In the end, despite being terrified of both bots going into the tournament, Apex FW had to pull out, and there was still a big question mark over whether Vega would spin or not. Nonetheless, I swapped out the front plates, and within the hour Barróg was back in the arena for its final match.

    Some observations from this fight:

    • I had never actually driven the bot in this configuration, but from what little driving I did it seemed to do what I needed it to do. No complaints there.
    • Upon the first lift I realised that my wheels wouldn't make contact with the floor if the bots center of gravity leaned forward, so I couldn't capitalize on the lift completely.
    • Once I picked Vega up, I realised that I finally was doing what the original pitch of Barróg was before the front claws were added. I intended to go over to the pit, but I misjudged the balance on my bot and ended up on my back instead. Looking back at the footage, I really should have tried to "letterbox" Vega out of the arena instead, that would have been far more memorable!
    • It was at this point that I realised a key flaw with the horizontal configuration. Normally, the machine would be able to rock back to normal, but due to the weight distribution with the horizontal setup, that was no longer possible. A bit embarassing to self-inflict a double KO, but what can you do!


    I knew I had won the fight, but my main concern after the fight was how many points I would get for the win. Normally, a win by judges decision after three minutes awards 3 points, whereas a knockout first place grants 4. I would stand a chance to make it to the top 20 with 7 points, but not 6. Fortunately, the win was treated as a knockout, and I was awarded the full 4 points! All that was left to do now was to wait and see if 7 points would be the threshold, or if 8 points would.

    Come the next day and the remaining qualifiers are played out. After some debate over certain matches, it was determined that nineteen machines had scored 8 points or higher, and eight machines had scored 7 points total. Thus, it was determined that the remaining eight machines would fight for the final spot in the top 20, giving me one more chance to get back into the tournament (later it would turn out that a few top 20 machines would have to drop out due to damage, so several machines from the eight way rumble would get back into the competition)!


    My opponents in the melee were Calabash Bros, a Chinese vert, Blunt Force Trauma Remix, the vert from earlier, Naughty Snake, another Chinese vert, Neon, an undercutter, Cobalt, a hydraulic crusher, Utopia, the flipper from earlier, and Orpheus, a clamper turned zombie less than an hour before the fight from an encounter with vertical spinner Shrapnel. Given the variety of opponents all I could hope for was to run the standard configuration this fight using my spare front piece, pray that Neon doesn't come towards me, slap another sacrificial piece of plastic on the front, and hope for the best.

    For this fight, I've decided to show two different camera angles, as it's hard to see all that happened from just one.

    Some observations from this fight:

    • From the start, my strategy was to hug the corner of the arena where the pit was and just pray I could outlast the carnage. Despite Neon coming a little close for comfort, this strategy seemed to work fairly well for 30 seconds, until Calabash Bros comes in and beaches me.
    • At this point, I know I'm done if left alone, so I'm just screaming for someone, anyone, to hit me. Fortunately, Orpheus seems to hear me, and decides to charge me, get stuck under me, and bring me to the pit area.
    • It is at this point that a miracle occurs, one where you could run this situation a thousand times over and not get the same result. I'm pushed into the pit at an awkward angle, but thanks to Naughty Snake being in there first, I don't touch the bottom (not getting caught by that again). At this point, I'm positioned just right so that when I close the lifter I rock down, and my wheels come in contact with the floor just enough so that I'm able to drive out. I was never unlucky in the previous fights, I was just saving all of my luck for that one moment apparently.
    • At this point, all of the spinners are not working, and Orpheus and Calabash are stuck together, giving me plenty of time to just go to town on other bots and wedge like I've never wedged before. I got to have another go at Utopia which goes well, and its at this point that I realise just how effective the drive on Barróg can be. Take my advice, four 12V argos motors on 5S can get stuff done.
    • Slightly concerningly, I seem to start to have radio issues in the latter half of the fight, where the bot seems to stop moving completely. It wears off, and would only return once in a later fight, but man, talk about terrifying!


    Certainly a good showing from Barróg there, and a shoutout to Connor McBride and Orpheus for that performance (Orpheus would go on to place in the top 12, never underestimate solid internals, good driving, and duct tape). All four bots mobile at the end and BFT Remix would end up back in the competition due to dropouts, but Barróg ended up winning the play-off overall mainly due to how strong it looked at the end, and I was pretty chuffed at that. I had fulfilled my main goal, and now all I had left to do was to see how far I could go!
    Last edited by Shooty; 9th January 2019 at 11:38.

  5. #65
    Shooty's Avatar

    FIGHT 5: TOP 20

    My opponent for this round was DB12, a compact vertical spinner that had landed some pretty nasty hits earlier in the competition. This would be my first proper 1v1 against a spinner, and I was excited to see how it would go.

    Some observations from this fight:

    • The plastic wedges were certainly effective at the start, but as time wore on they could only really get underneath DB12's rear. Still though, I do prefer them over the previous metal wedge, as with these pieces you would need multiple well placed hits to render them all ineffective.
    • The other thing I start to notice is that while I'm taking a lot of hits to the front and side, I'm not actually flying with them or losing too many parts. I have some theories about this, but I'll save them for later in the post.
    • It's at this point that I realize I'm suffering from a problem concerning my driving; I'm over-steering a lot, and this causes me to lose a lot of good oppurtunities throughout the fight.
    • Several times throughout the fight I ended up getting stuck on top of DB12. An unusual situation, but at least I'm not taking any more hits than necessary, and am able to run down the clock all the more.
    • After roughly a minute DB12 seems to lose drive. It's still able to use its weapon, but from here on out I'm able to remain the aggressor.
    • My favourite moment of the fight comes two minutes in, when I'm able to shove DB12 against the wall and put a pretty sizeable dent in the bars. I apologized for it though at the time, so it should be all right.
    • Eventually I seem to get DB12's one working side of drive beached, and with seconds left in the fight I seem to be awarded the knockout. It probably should've gone to the judges, but with the way the fight was going it doesn't seem like it would have made any large difference.


    Safe to say this was an upset win for Barróg, and I was pretty happy to have gotten my first major 1v1 win! I was guaranteed a top 12 finish, and even though I would only have a short turnaround, the damage taken that fight wasn't that severe. All that was needed was to straighten the remaining wedgelets I had into something useable, replace the side bars to prevent beaching, and recharge the batteries.

    A shot of Barróg after the fight. Notice how the front only seemed to get nibbled instead of ripped off, or the machine being sent flying.

    FIGHT 6: TOP 12

    So with the way the bracket works, I was due to fight the winner of the second top 20 losers melee, and of the five bots, DB12 would come out on top, and so we were due our rematch. Despite the previous win DB12 was still seen as the favourite, and I knew that I couldn't rely on the drive failing on them again.

    Some observations from this fight:
    • I was wary of DB12's weapon this time round, so I decided to go for the pit ASAP. I knew I had the better drive when push came to shove, and I wanted to use that wherever possible.
    • DB12 was definitely keeping closer to me this time round, and this made it a hell of a lot harder to get any openings. The wedgelets in particular were looking quite a bit flimsier this time round as well.
    • At roughly 40 seconds in I get my first great shove in on DB12, and have him right where I want him, but unfortunately some oversteering on my part loses him on me. Definitely an issue to address.
    • Ar around 1:10 DB12 gets his biggest hit on me yet, ripping off a considerable piece of the front wedge. I believe that this was due to him getting some speed with his attack, a fact I think Ed definitely noticed. Also at this point I seem to lose all signal for two seconds; not what you want happening to you after taking your largest hit yet.
    • It is at this point that another miracle happens. Through sheer magic, I get into a position where I can push DB12 from the rear, and I'm able to capitalize on this just enough to get him near the pit and somehow remain out of it myself. Still amazed how I did this, but hey, sometimes you gotta know how to play with the hand you're dealt!


    So after another great upset win I was ecstatic. This was my first proper FW competition, and I had managed to reach top 8 in one of the strongest featherweight scenes in the world! This fight was not without its cost though. The front wedge had to be written off and replaced with the original one from the BFT Remix fight, and many more improvements would be done on the final day before my top 8 match. Before that though, I'd like to discuss a part of my bots design.

    Barróg after the fight. That front has seen better days.

    A shot of the side walls at this point. These have been the same walls from day one, so this is all accumulated damage.

    So at this point in the competition Barróg has taken a lot of hits, front, back, and sides. Yet despite all of the vertical mayhem, the machine has remained surprisingly functional and in one piece, where other machines have been disemboweled or ejected out of the arena by such beasts. I have a few theories as to how the machine has survived up until this point:

    1. Barrel nut construction. These things have been incredibly sturdy, and while threaded inserts have came out of a few bots throughout the competition, I have not lost a single bolt, nut, or connection with these. Highly recommended.
    2. Front wedge is brittle plastic. The HDPE chopping boards I've been using for the front of the bot seem not to be as flexible as the stuff from Direct Plastics, but that seems to have had the knock-on effect of simply chipping away instead of carrying the entire bot with it when in contact with a spinner. The only way it seems to take off more is to get some speed in before your charge, but this just means that I can never let a vertical get too far away from me, which is a touch better of a situation than the usual technique of "never let them touch you or you're dead".
    3. Tall sides. This seems to be the key reason why I could just keep getting hit on the sides and just shrug it off. Most verticals are designed to be optimized against wedges, and use their oponents wedges against them to get the largest bites possible. With the tall boxy design however, I was always connecting with the vert at the point furthest away from the bot, and so I would only ever get a small gouge taken out of the side, and would be pushed lightly away, out of harms way and in a position to strike again.

    Again, all of these are just theories, but if any of it holds any ground, then the design that was built out of necessity for my weapon seems to have been my greatest asset rather than my greatest liability, as while it isn't perfect, it certainly seems to give vertical spinners more trouble then they're used to, and given that they are a huge part of the robot combat meta right now, that makes me excited.

    My highly technical drawing explaining my theory that I definitely didn't do in 5 minutes. Avert your eyes all those without engineering degrees.
    Last edited by Shooty; 4th December 2018 at 10:17.

  6. #66
    Shooty's Avatar

    So going into the final day, I had a feeling that Barróg could be better, and so much of the Monday morning was spent prepping the machine. One of my wheels was cracked so we tried to replace it, but it was stuck on so tight we had to destroy it to take it off, so it probably would have survived either way! 6 new plastic wedgelets were cut and bent (special thanks to Dominic Cartlidge for helping with that), and the top was swapped back with the original one. Finally, I needed a solution to the oversteering, so I adjusted the trims on my Devo 7E so that turning would only run the motors at half power. I felt safe to say that despite being in its 7th fight here and its 13th fight overall, Barróg was in the best shape it had ever been in.

    A shot of Barróg before going into its Top 8 fight.

    FIGHT 7: TOP 8

    So for the top 8, all the fights were randomly drawn. I was expecting to fight Shrapnel originally, but I ended up getting paired with the winner of the second losers melee, which just so happened to be... DB12... again. Pretty crazy coincidence, but I had my strategies for them, so after testing the new drive settings in the arena I was ready to fight.

    Some observations from this fight:

    • I intended to get out of DB12's charge, but unfortunately the machine wasn't as fast as I'd hoped, and DB12 called by charge angle.
    • It's at this point that I go flying well into the corner. I do find it interesting that I didn't seem to get much vertical height, my theory on this is that all the weight is at the back of the machine, so most big hits on the front can only roll me and send me into a tumble.
    • After one big hit I'm in a position where I can't self-right, and my batteries are hanging out. It doesn't take a genius to know that I've lost this before it even started.


    A shot of all the damage from the hit. Note the crack running all along the top piece.

    Well that fight was certainly a bit of an anti-climax, but nonetheless I was satisfied with my performance at KOB UK. Damage wise the hit bent one of the wedgelets, and a crack was formed all along the front piece of the machine, arcing back as far as at the top. Annoying damage, but not irreparable, and so being out of the competition now, I set my sights on one more fight.


    Barróg loaded up into the arena.

    So the gladiator was one of the fights I absolutely wanted to be a part of when coming to KOB UK, and thanks to my early finish I had enough time to repair and prepare. A support piece was installed underneath the front piece to keep the whole thing together, and wedgelets and batteries were replaced. I had hoped to be a part of a tag-team whiteboard with Orpheus, but unfortunately there were horizontals in the arena, and I wouldn't have time to switch between my setups quickly enough. I loaded into the arena and prepared for the mayhem.

    Some observations from this fight:

    • The first part of the fight was me trying to stay by the sides, which seems to have been an effective strategy. Neon was my biggest fear early on, but unfortunately for Ellis Neon didn't seem to be spinning that fight.
    • I finally manage to get a solid lift on DB12, sort of a last hurrah for our rivalry if I do say so myself. I can't quite get them into the pit, but the bot seems to die shortly after. In its defence, this was its 11th fight, and 4th fight that day alone, so a bit of wear is to be expected.
    • For the second part of the fight, I seem to want to fight Binky instead of, y'know, anyone else who couldn't kill me. In my efforts to get around Binky, I ended up feeding them into Impact and Bane, disabling both, so you can't say that there's no strategy involved.
    • For whatever reason Binky is really able to do quite significant damage to Barróg like none of the other verts I've faced so far. First it removes one of my claws in Manchester, and here it knocks out two of my wedgelets, corresponding green pieces included, and for the first time so far Barróg takes a direct hit to its base. Fortunately, the curved nature of the design and the weight distribution allows me to roll right back onto my wheels. Nice to have that part of my design vindicated, if only once!
    • I'm definitely driving a lot better in this match overall, with oversteering being kept to a minimum from now on. Using my newfound control, I'm able to stay out of much of the danger until there's only three machines left: me, Aegis, and Binky.
    • At this point the fight is half me and Aegis trying to work together to disable Binky, and both of us cheekily trying to feed the other into Binky's weapon. This goes on for a few minutes, but eventually Binky starts running out of power, and a well placed lift by Aegis sends it over and out of the running.
    • Aegis, last years gladiator winner, was the largest souce of inspiration for Barróg's design, so it seems that this style of bot is pretty darn resistant. We were both too awkwardly shaped for each other to really use out weapons, so what resulted was a pushing match for the ages. Barróg's general wedge shape was more suited to getting under Aegis, but only where the remaining wedge was, so pushing matches were still pretty even.
    • Near the end of the fight, Aegis wedges me onto the side wall. Thanks to the plastic nature of the bot, I'm just about able to bounce out of there, and I gotta say, it was pretty nice to hear the crowd cheer at that point, even if it was only for another 30 seconds or so.
    • Finally, after over 9 gruelling minutes, Barróg loses drive on one side. This is to my knowledge my first and only electrical failing in the entire tournament, but I am willing to let it slide since the machine has gone above and beyond what would be reasonable asked for it.


    Barróg, essentially in the condition it's still currently in.

    So I was pretty happy with just how long Barróg seemed to last, and congratulations again to Rory Charlesworth and Aegis for two back-to-back gladiator wins! I took a look inside the machine to check my batteries and see what had caused the left side drive to fail. My batteries were hovering around 14V, and as it turns out, it was the fuse protecting the left side ESC that had failed. Once I replaced the fuse the machine was still perfectly functional, which was a pleasant surprise! Maybe a disappointing way to go out for some, but I was just happy to keep my BotBitz 30A working, and second place in a gladiator is a pretty significant achievement for me, certainly my favourite fight of the event.

    The 30A fuse that blew, can't fault it for doing its job.

  7. #67
    Shooty's Avatar


    • All things said and done I was pretty happy with how well Barróg held up, doing far better than I ever thought it would. The machine really seemed to finally be in a polished state, and as far as I'm concerned this is as far as the machine in this state will ever be able to go.
    • Mercifully, with the exception of the fuse blowing near the end and a few radio glitches, Barróg went through the entire event without any mechanical or electrical failures, which may be the happiest result from the tournament. Putting loctite on the reverse threaded screws holding the wheels in seems to have solved my wheel problem, and my 4 inch wheels were light, sturdy, and had plenty of grip. I never flew up high and landed up on the wheels, so shocks from that may break them, but for now I'm sticking to this technique. No ESC's blew as well, and my batteries kept pumping the whole event.
    • Barróg's greatest asset was its shape. thanks to the plastic construction, geometry, and weight distribution, it was able to counter many things vertical spinners could throw at. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.
    • I'm still surprised that I was able to finish Barróg in the time I did, especially since I was working on a beetleweight simultaneously. I seem to be able to work pretty quickly with plastic now, and I'm excited to push my construction methods even further in the future.
    • Barróg's two greatest weakness was its self-righting capability and its weaponry. There were still positions where I wouldn't be able to self-right, and despite getting a few grabs in, my claws and lifter weren't really all that effective. I have ideas to improve the latter in the short term, but self-righting capabilities would take a complete redesign, probably in the same style as a roll-cage like I currently have at the back.
    • A second Barróg would definitely require a complete weaponry redesign that would be faster, more effective at controlling other bots, and be able to self-right from any angle. I have some ideas for this, but I'll save them for a seperate post later on once I've finalised my CAD's.

    All in all KOB UK 2018/Insomnia 63 was a great time for me, and I look forward to returning next year with an improved bot. Originally my next intended event was Robots of Destruction 2019 in Dublin, but unfortunately that event has been cancelled, so now I'm looking to enter the Robodojo full combat event in January. I'm entering full combat instead of sportsman since A) sportsman is full of lifters, and since I have self-righting issues, that may be a liability for me, and B) I want to keep testing the current chassis against as many spinners as possible, to confirm my theories. It would also be great to fight a working horizontal to test that configuration. As well as Robodojo, I'm attempting to organise a Bodgebot antweight event at my university in Dublin with the Elecsoc there, so we'll see how that goes as well.

    Thanks again to everyone who made KOB UK possible, as well as all of the roboteers who competed. I had the time of my life at the event, and it's been great to get so many people messaging me about the bot, particularly from people from Ireland who've been showing interest in starting out. Here's hoping 2019 is just as good for me and robot combat in general!

    Me and my dad in the car waiting to board the ferry back home. We decided to use this opportunity to catch up with Battlebots 2018!

  8. #68
    Hey Eoin. Just wanna say Barrog did phenomenally well, especially for a relative newcomer & was definitely one of the bots I was rooting for. It was a shame that the one fight that DB12 beat you was the one that was straight elimination.
    Team Phyte

  9. #69
    Shooty's Avatar

    So thanks to the Christmas season, I finally have enough time to CAD up my next FW and the second model of Barróg, one I'm dubbing "Barróg Doom" (name pun from "Dearg Doom" by The Horslips). I was debating creating a new build diary for this, but given how the description "Featherweight Lifter" still applies and how I'm quite proud of this build diary itself I'll stick to this one for now.

    The cracking song I'm taking the name of the new machine from.

    Barróg surprised me in a lot of ways, and after a year's worth of events I had gotten a lot about it tuned in. I had a sturdy, reliable drive, and a body design that seemed to absorb and deflect damage in all the right ways and areas. The one consistent issue with the design however was the weapon; it was slow, bulky, and never really grabbed anyone. This new design is essentially the same as the first iteration, but reworked to allow a Snake KOB-style grab-and-lift mechanism.

    The new design, minus the inevitable weight-saving holes.

    Design-wise almost everything will be the same. The base and walls are still 10mm HDPE and will still be mounted with barrel nuts. The drive will still be powered by four 12V motors with tapped 100mm plastic wheels, running on a 5S battery. The machine is still shares the same length and width as before, and the overall geometry will remain the same. I'll even be able to re-use the existing anti-horizontal wedge with minimal modifications. To figure out where to place the new height, I just looked at where the gouges from previous verts stopped, then went a cm or two higher, a very scientific method. Weight-wise, it should be looking far healthier than Barróg once the gears and sprockets bought from are machined, the machine doesn't gain too much extra weight with the new setup compared to the linear actuator, and losing some of the material on the top goes even further with this. The smaller size and weight allows me to also run with rollcages on the sides, so the machine should now finally be able to self-right from any angle.

    A look at the insides.

    The lifter operates similarly to the FW lifters used by Snake (CHN) and Mantis (UK). Upon power, the lifter gear on the clamping arm comes down. Once it catches, the teeth engage with the main lifter gear, and both the clamping arm and the lifting forks raise up. This allows for Complete Control-style lifts while only requiring one source of locomotion. I'm planning to use some hollowed out 25mm steel pipes for the main axis of lift, and have already reached out to Giles Ruscoe (builder of Mantis) about his methods.

    My mockup of what the sprocket mount should look like. Needs to be tight, as given threads are holding it on to the drill motors, any gaps will cause unscrewing and a loss of essentially half the power.

    The power for the lifter will be provided by two Argos 14.4V motors opposite to each other on a sprocket, similar to the system of transmission on the FW bot Nessie. They will be held tight in together by a system of tapped hubs and reverse threaded screws. Using the Argos drills gives me a system that's affordable, easily replaceable with the parts ready to buy almost anywhere in the UK and Ireland, and come with a built in torque limiter, which should protect my parts from destroying themselves at the peaks of their output. It goes from a 12T sprocket to 29T, then from a 16T spur gear to a 48T, a reduction of 206.19:1 per drill motor which should provide in theory a total lift of 22.185kgf/m, plenty to lift a standard FW, and a lot quicker than the previous method to boot.

    A better look at the systems of sprockets and gears.

    I still intend to run the original Barróg from time to time, and will bring it with me to Robodojo later in January (hopefully I can fix the linear actuator in it before then). I am hoping to get this new build finished before Extreme Robots Bolton this July, with the intention of getting any kinks sorted out before Insomnia 65. If anyone has any thoughts on the design then that would be appreciated, I'm keeping most of the complex stuff in the weapon this time round, so the rest of the build should be easy in comparison. Some methods of securing the main lifter gear to the axle pipe would also be very useful. I'm also looking for a way to mount the green HDPE wedge that maintains some of the springiness from the linac version, as I believe that was key in letting it survive the blows the way it did. Suggestions for that are welcome as well.
    Last edited by Shooty; 30th December 2018 at 13:42.

  10. #70
    qbnut's Avatar

    Barróg was exceptional for a first featherweight bot! With this new iteration, it seems you are building on what already worked and improving what didn't, whilst keeping the character and distinction of the first build. To me, this has all the hallmarks of potentially another great bot.

    Let this be a lesson for other new builders: this is how you do incremental improvement well

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