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Thread: Build Log - Bread Dead Redemption (FW) - First Build.

  1. #1
    Intro

    Starting the build log here after about a year of planning, procrastinating and general scheduling issues.

    So I decided to chase the childhood dream of building a fighting robot at the age of 25. After chatting to a few people at Extreme Robots events, I'm so excited to get going. I'm pretty much an engineering novice, so I'm learning as I go. I figured my first attempt would be terrible, so I decided to base it on a toaster. That way if it goes horribly wrong, it would be more amusing than tragic.

    Now, I know this is a terrible idea. The toaster is too small and very flimsy. The further I plan, the more complicated it seems to be and sometimes I wish I could just build a normal wedge bot. However, many of my friends who know of this project think it's hilarious and are now expecting the toaster to be a thing, so I can't give up on it now!

    Parts

    As a starting point I have 2x 18V drills from the majestic middle isle of the local Aldi, a Flysky FS-T4B transmitter and receiver, Sabertooth dual motor speed controller and all the other general bits listed in the Robot Wars Haynes manual (minus the weapon parts). Also, not to forget the Tesco own-brand four slice toaster, the star of the show.

    Plans/Issues

    As things stand, I'm working on the following issues/objectives:


    • Weapon-wise, I have an industrial metal dustpan that I'm planning on using as a scoop. I also have a scooter motor for an axe (mostly so I can say it is the best thing since sliced bread, I'm doing this for the puns really), but I'm not sure if I should walk before I can run and focus on just building something that runs and pushes for 3 mins. However, adding the bulkheads for an axe mechanism would make more much needed space inside the robot, as I could mount the motors under/through the bulkheads.




    • Battery issues at the moment are that I'm rather nervous around Li-Po batteries as a first time builder. No doubt I will take the leap eventually, but testing with the drill batteries first seems like a good plan.




    • Toaster is too small and obviously not suited to robot combat. Any suggestions to help reinforce/expand this would be appreciated.




    • I cheaped out on the transmitter I bought, not sure if it is suitable. May buy another of the more commonly recommended ones at a later date.



    So that's where I'm at! Building starts today, just trying to get the wiring and motors working on a piece of MDF before I actually attempt to build a working robot. Any feedback/assistance/encouragement would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    Welcome to the forum!

    • Weapon-wise, I have an industrial metal dustpan that I'm planning on using as a scoop. I also have a scooter motor for an axe (mostly so I can say it is the best thing since sliced bread, I'm doing this for the puns really), but I'm not sure if I should walk before I can run and focus on just building something that runs and pushes for 3 mins. However, adding the bulkheads for an axe mechanism would make more much needed space inside the robot, as I could mount the motors under/through the bulkheads.
    Yeah, I would get something moving first and then get a weapon in. Surviving 3 minutes in the arena is an achievement on its own. Yes to planning ahead though, never hurts to do so.

    • Battery issues at the moment are that I'm rather nervous around Li-Po batteries as a first time builder. No doubt I will take the leap eventually, but testing with the drill batteries first seems like a good plan.
    Nothing inherently wrong with drill batteries though it is worth noting if the batteries from the drills are Lithium batteries as well as there are some extra rules surrounding the use of LiPo (note: not LiFePO4 batteries) in fighting robots, it is worth checking the rules for these and build with them in mind (again, forward planning). The only thing I can think might be a problem is the battery capacity but for a relatively simple robot, this is unlikely to be a problem.

    • Toaster is too small and obviously not suited to robot combat. Any suggestions to help reinforce/expand this would be appreciated.
    Well you realised this before going in, better than my first robot with a lampshade as a shell. I would cut slots into the toaster and mount HDPE panels to it (you can get this from directplastics.co.uk) lengthways for a frame and then extra HDPE around the sides for impact absorption.

    • I cheaped out on the transmitter I bought, not sure if it is suitable. May buy another of the more commonly recommended ones at a later date.
    I've used a variant of that transmitter before on a Beetleweight robot, it is OK. You'll find that the Sabretooth will do the channel mixing for you to give you forwards/backwards and turning on both motors but if you wanted to use different, single channel ESCs, you'd need a transmitter with mixing on it, such as the OrangeRX transmitter.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

  3. #3
    Thank you very much Ocracoke, that is great advice! Really helped with some of my concerns.

    Just thought I would give a quick update. After a few hours working on it each afternoon between the usual bank holiday family visits and drinking and all that, I've made some good (but slow) progress!

    Drill motors are modified and wired in to the ESC. I've left the drill chucks on for now, as I can mount the wheels easily with bolts and electrical tape for a test run. I'll be modifying these further to remove the chuck and lock the gearbox, but for testing purposes it should be fine for now.

    Had a slight delay in that my Sabertooth has screw-in connectors, so no servo cable to connect it to the receiver! Servo cables arrived today (thank you Amazon Prime). I'm using the drill battery for a test, but will definitely be replacing it with a LiPo before it goes in to competition. A family friend who is an RC helicopter enthusiast has lent me a balance charger, so I'm sorted on that front for the time being.

    All that is needed now is to break out the soldering iron for a removable link, then link the transmitter to the receiver and it should be good to test! Fingers crossed!

  4. #4
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    Sounds promising, can't wait to see it.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Cheers to you both. I've had the parts sat around for about 12 months, Adam. I think we are both in the same boat!


    So the first blunder of the build has happened, but thankfully not to the actual robot. I decided to order a bandsaw to avoid messing around with hand tools when it comes round to cutting up chassis/armour bits. Found ONE at Aldi online and got it ordered. Happy days, right?

    Spot the issue with the below picture:

    IMG-20190830-WA0002.jpg


    I don't think it's safe to try and dual wield these things, so now I've got to figure out how to return one!

    Anyway, aiming to get it ready for a test run this weekend.

  7. #7
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    Hahhhaa. Oh dear. If Aldi won't take it back, sure someone here will have it.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Manuva27 View Post
    I'm doing this for the puns really!
    Commendable. You'll go far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Manuva27 View Post
    I don't think it's safe to try and dual wield these things, so now I've got to figure out how to return one!
    It's probably not safe, no, but it would look cool so don't necessarily write it off...

    Sounds like a good plan and congrats on the progress so far. If you fancy a deadline to motivate you I highly recommend signing up to a Robodojo event, not too far from you and you can enter the sportsman contest with minimal chance of your new machine getting trashed!

    Good luck and keep up the good work!

  9. #9
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    If you wanted to come along to *a* robotics event, I am running the BotFest event on the 14th which is primarily an Antweight competition but we'll also have a static display of heavier weight robots as well. I'll definitely be bringing at least one Beetleweight, a Featherweight and a Middleweight, I'd be happy to talk you through them, how they were built, what parts were used etc.
    Last edited by Ocracoke; 31st August 2019 at 20:54.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

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

  10. #10
    Those both sound like great ideas! I was looking at the December Robodojo as a potential debut anyway, but I may get my head down and see if I can get something functional for the October one. Didn't know they had a Sportsman event, that would be a good place to start while I'm still working things out.

    Attending BotFest definitely sounds like something I would be interested in! I have to work Saturdays on rotation, so will check the schedule on Monday and see if I can attend. Thanks!

    A few bits on the build front. One of the bandsaws has been successfully returned to Aldi (sorry Sam, no dual wielding) and a 1000x500x20mm sheet of HDPE is arriving at some point this week. Probably overkill, but I will likely make some cutting mistakes and need spares, etc.

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