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Thread: Team Kaizen Build Diary

  1. #171
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    Extreme S.T.E.M - Jibril, The Honey Badger and Ikari
    The S.T.E.M event was interesting. Nice laid back atmosphere but it was getting a bit confusing over which fight was due when. Anyway, the main reason I was there was to compete in the MW championship with Jibril. Thanks to the power of YouTube and Team Ironclads, videos a plenty.

    Before the event started properly, I noted I might refit the forks. I did and fitted a 15mm HDPE front wedge with 1 and 1.5mm thick polycarbonate for floor scraping goodness. I could have done with slightly longer polycarbonate sheets to get a curve on the floor but as it was, the wedge was what it was. At least it didn't get stuck in the floor during the event.

    Qualifying heat - Jibril vs IronStrike vs F7
    F7 (the eventual champion of 2019) was a robot I had been hoping to fight for a long while. It just looks... so good. IronStrike, on the other hand was a robot I wasn't all that keen on fighting but those be the draw. Anyway, video.


    So the fight started with F7 and IronStrike fighting with each other and I tried to get in to line up a shot. However, IronStrike hit me square in the wedge and upside down I went. To make matters worse, the pinion gear in the Scythe failed and I was upside down. Now, the next hit blew a sizeable chunk out of the bottom plate, right by my batteries. Left a big mark in the steel as well. In hindsight, a HDPE panel there might have saved that from happening but there we are.

    I was then drawn to fight in the redemption melee against Sweet but I received a bye from that so was in the quarter finals... against the then 2nd in the UK Crackers.

    Quarter Finals - Jibril vs Crackers
    This was... oh boy... urm... a disaster. Right before the fight started in the loading pen, the pin I was using for the dodgy drive fell out and the robot was on one wheel again. I tried to ask for the fight to be switched around to get me time to fix it but I was told as the fight was a competition fight, that wouldn't happen. So either I went in on one wheel or I get disqualified. Yeah... no. Fight on.


    This went as well as you would expect. This was, however, the fight where finally we have positive proof the Scythe works. According to one of the judges, it made an impact when it hit the arena floor.

    So I was out. There is a bit of vagueness as to where the robots are ranked below 4th but since this was the first fight of the quarter finals, I don't think it'd be too inaccurate to say 8th place is mine, which is down from 6th last year but TBH, I'll take what I can get.

    There was also a funny whiteboard fight between Jibril and Backflip which ended up with the former stranded on top of the latter by the end of the fight. I am calling it a loss for Jibril but that was a funny fight.

    In the other weight classes, The Honey Badger did OK. It won a few fights amazingly but definitely wants a bit more work to be truly competitive. However, Ikari won me my first podium finish ever in a robotics competition, coming 3rd in the Antweight class. I wasn't expecting to do well in the AW class, I just went in for fun. Funny how that works. :P

    Extreme Robots Cheltenham
    With the success of yesterday, I went into EXR Cheltenham quite happy. I was signed up for all weekend and the first MW melee of the weekend was amazing. The Scythe fired repeatedly and did leave some marks on Raphael. Video!


    The tangle between Jibril and Raphael was something I've wanted for a while given the name origins and it was only the battery wire popping out what killed it. However, after the fight, where it was thrown about, the base plate split some more around one of the drive bearings and although I thought I fixed it, it broke in the loading pen again for the next fight and consequently did not enter. Since the robot was broken, I went home early which I felt a tad guilty about but I wouldn't have been able to fix it during Sunday.

    So from this, all the effort I've put in all year in Jibril did pay off, The Honey Badger was moderately successful and Ikari pulled off a surprise. I am, however, calling it with Jibril 1.6. It is done and will be parted out. Jibril 2.0 is in the works and will hopefully debut at EXR Portsmouth next year.

    Next event is, in theory, RoboDojo with Azriel but I've decided to skip that. I am down for another event after that with Azriel but first, I need to (re)build it.
    Last edited by Ocracoke; 11th November 2019 at 02:42.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

  2. #172
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    With the end of the year coming up with only one, perhaps two events left for me, here is a round-up of Team Kaizen's performance for the last year.

    • Jibril has easily been the most active robot this year and it has been an absolute pig all year. Pretty much everything in the robot has failed at least once, from the electrics blowing, the drive gearbox failing, the Scythe gearbox breaking on more than one occasion and a minor fire in the robot to name the ones I can think of. Despite this, it has been getting better over the year and I think has definitely made a name for itself in the MW class. The new 2.0 build is coming along and I am planning to début this next year.
    • Azriel was built solely as a live event robot and its two outings at EXR Bolton and RL Grantham have been relatively successful, if not entirely effective. The rebuild of the machine to brushless has been a bit of a learning curve and is still ongoing.
    • Shu! fought only the once at the BW European championship and suffered badly from a blown ESC at the event. The Honey Badger 4.0 suffered from poor electrics at the Euros but did reasonably decently at the Extreme S.T.E.M event.
    • Amai and Ikari all fought at the various BotFest events and at Ant Freeze, Ramu at BotFest 3, Osu at Ant Freeze and BotFest 2. There has been wins for these robots but all have struggled to be effective.
    • The BotFest events themselves have been doing OK in of themselves, getting well over 20 entries per event this year.


    A few memorable moments for me this year has been:

    • The fight between Jibril and Earthquake at EXR Portsmouth. I really want a rematch next year.
    • Azriel surviving a few of the melees at RL Grantham and nearly coming out as a winner at EXR Bolton for one of the Featherweight melees.
    • Part of the winning team at EXR Bolton with Jibril.
    • The Scythe on Jibril finally working at EXR Cheltenham.
    • Surprising myself with a 3rd place finish with Ikari at Extreme S.T.E.M.


    This year has been tough, much tougher than I expected it to be, both in and out of the arena. I've been to every Extreme Robots event this year and both the Burgess Hill and Grantham Robots Live events along with running the BotFest events, attending Ant Freeze and the BW European championships, often doing a single day per event. That has led to some frankly maddening mileages. It is approaching 4,500 miles for the year. That is a lot for what has been effectively a single person team all year and this isn't sustainable for me to keep up.

    I will have to put a stop on the single day events where they are over a certain mileage and I am on my own. I am mooting 200 which, for me, rules out Burgess Hill, Maidstone and Colchester from what I can think of (Portsmouth is the exception). The reason why I've been going to these events all year is primarily to get arena time with the Middleweight for the championship which, I think, ultimately did pay off. I don't have a particular education in mechanics and a lot of the mechanical stuff in Jibril has been a massive learning curve for me. The MWs are definitely not FWs. :P

    For 2020, I'll be doing the following:

    • Touching up the team branding a touch. The current one is OK but a bit... bland? I'll be keeping the 2020 branding under wraps until I've finished the year.
    • I've been planning a comeback of Kaizen. I still have the 2x 500W scooter motors that are massive. Pass on when that will be worked on but you'll know when it is (though quite how I am going to fit it into a Smart City-Coupe CDI.. hmmm).
    • New versions of Jibril and Azriel. Azriel is getting the now tried and tested 15.75:1 + 1800W F30-150 arrangement from the current version of Jibril. Jibril is getting a A28-150 and a faster, more reliable Scythe along with a whole bunch of upgrades from the lessons learnt this year. The MW class will continue to be my main focus.
    • Maybe a new BotFest arena along with a new Osu 3.0 and a new Ant courtesy from an idea my Dad had.


    Finally, a massive thank you from me to everyone who has donated their time and advice (and parts :P). I mean this seriously, the robots simply wouldn't be where they are now without them and next year, I can take what I've learned from you all and advance the team on.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

  3. #173
    A minor fire? It’s admirable how you simply take it all in your stride, but that is some immense mileage

    If it helps the workload, you are more than welcome to use my arena for BotFest once it’s finished ( give me another week or so at this rate), might also give me a chance to learn a bit bout how these things are run 0.

    Looking forward to both the new branding, and the new mystery ant, exciting times!
    Team Pushover - Definitely worse at this than you are!
    AW - Pullover (Grabber), Wej (er, wedge), Ridic-U-Loch-Ness Monster (Secret)
    BW- Leopold (On Hold)
    FW- Pushover (well, half of it...)

  4. #174
    That's quite the year you've had. I think it's a good decision to ease off the driving a bit, it can't be much fun spending so much time in the car for a couple of fights.

    Great to see Jibril's weapon working in the previous post too!

    Keep up the good work.

  5. #175
    First off, kudos to you for your perseverance. I don't think anyone's put in as much effort as you getting to events & suffering mishap after mishap, only to keep on instead of quitting. It was great to see all that work starting to pay off somewhat at Cheltenham.

    Speaking of highlights, a highlight for me this year was at Burgess Hill when us featherweights got to fight Jibril & Backflip, even though it wasn't quite what you guys were hoping for. If you ever do get a rematch against Earthquake do remind Will that Explosion managed to defeat Jibril quicker than he did.

    Regarding attending & travelling to events I'm thinking it's a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand getting to more events helps you learn what you need to improve, but the time & money commitment of going to events cuts into the time & money you have to improve bots. To be honest, if you're prioritizing MW's it might be best to ignore Robots Live since they don't seem interested in MW's anyway (except maybe Grantham since it's much closer). I think you're on the right lines with a 200 mile limit (or 4 hour drive each way) since 8 hours driving plus about 8 hours at the venue would still leave about 8 hours rest in a day. There's also the fact that you can't always account for traffic & problems getting back (see Burgess Hill).

    When you say new arena for Botfest, would that be a new design or just a new version of the old one? Also if that new ant is the one you mentioned at the last Botfest I for one am really looking forward to it, as well as what else Team Kaizen has in store in the future.

    PS I struggle just to get Parasite into my 107, it's a miracle how you get a MW, FW & equipment into a smart car.
    James
    Team Phyte

  6. #176
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    Many thanks to everyone!

    A minor fire? It’s admirable how you simply take it all in your stride, but that is some immense mileage

    If it helps the workload, you are more than welcome to use my arena for BotFest once it’s finished ( give me another week or so at this rate), might also give me a chance to learn a bit bout how these things are run 0.

    Looking forward to both the new branding, and the new mystery ant, exciting times!
    Very much so. The fire was a result of pulling too much current through the radio wires when the main power disconnected. I've still got the crispy wires somewhere from that. Yeah, the mileage has been sky high. I'll hold you to that offer of the arena though :P

    That's quite the year you've had. I think it's a good decision to ease off the driving a bit, it can't be much fun spending so much time in the car for a couple of fights.
    Yeah, for one or two fights, it isn't worth it, especially lugging around the MW on my own though to be fair, the number of folks who have help lift the thing with me is incredible.

    Speaking of highlights, a highlight for me this year was at Burgess Hill when us featherweights got to fight Jibril & Backflip, even though it wasn't quite what you guys were hoping for. If you ever do get a rematch against Earthquake do remind Will that Explosion managed to defeat Jibril quicker than he did.
    Hahahahaha, yes, very true. Just wait until it can self right though. :P

    To be honest, if you're prioritizing MW's it might be best to ignore Robots Live since they don't seem interested in MW's anyway (except maybe Grantham since it's much closer).
    The line we've had from Robots Live is that they want at least three or four before they'll give them their own slot I think, which makes sense. Part of the trouble is that we are in a bit of a odd situation because the reason why we can't fight FP flippers is the weight difference and the roof yet MWs can very easily get to the same power as a HW can. I have been told in the past that I can go in with non flipper HWs if I wanted but this is tricky because a considerable number, in my experience, of HWs that go are rear hinge flippers.

    I am not ruling Robots Live out as a place to go with a MW, it is simply a numbers problem. I'll still go with a FW to them.

    When you say new arena for Botfest, would that be a new design or just a new version of the old one? Also if that new ant is the one you mentioned at the last Botfest I for one am really looking forward to it, as well as what else Team Kaizen has in store in the future.
    The new arena I am thinking of it is a new build for bigger floor space with a better layout. I know people have criticized the small gap on one edge of the arena and I do see their point. I also know the height off of the floor to the arena floor isn't high enough really. I could address these in the current arena but you'll probably end up with even less arena space.

    I seem to recall the Bristol Bot Builders arena being longer than BotFests but narrower from what I recall at S.T.E.M. Does anyone have the dimensions of that?

    PS I struggle just to get Parasite into my 107, it's a miracle how you get a MW, FW & equipment into a smart car.
    Hahahaha, mine is a four door Smart at the moment but I am going back to the two door. I think it all fits vertically, I am pretty good at tetris when it comes to doing this sort of thing. 2HDF is transported in bits so it'll probably come down to doing that.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

  7. #177
    Quote Originally Posted by Ocracoke View Post
    Very much so. The fire was a result of pulling too much current through the radio wires when the main power disconnected. I've still got the crispy wires somewhere from that. Yeah, the mileage has been sky high. I'll hold you to that offer of the arena though :P
    That’s... wow... sounds like damage was minimal at least, good trophy though! And you’re more than welcome to use it, with any luck I’ll be happy enough with it to post a pic or 2 at weekend...


    Quote Originally Posted by Ocracoke View Post
    Hahahaha, mine is a four door Smart at the moment but I am going back to the two door. I think it all fits vertically, I am pretty good at tetris when it comes to doing this sort of thing. 2HDF is transported in bits so it'll probably come down to doing that.
    Tgis is actually the reason I’ll be buying a car again come the New Year, well that and the new arena, I’ve got as far as actually designing a custom rack for the bike... but a small van is looking much more practical, for a multitude of reasons. A 2dr smart car is a proper challenge, I don’t envy you there, and having sold our 107 this summer, there’s no envy there either.
    Team Pushover - Definitely worse at this than you are!
    AW - Pullover (Grabber), Wej (er, wedge), Ridic-U-Loch-Ness Monster (Secret)
    BW- Leopold (On Hold)
    FW- Pushover (well, half of it...)

  8. #178
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    A minor update, I've ordered a new set of drive motors for Azriel and gonna see if I can extract and repair the 15.75:1 gearbox from Jibril to put in Azriel tonight. I might yet make a FW event with a FW this year.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

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