With all the information needed to construct a combat bot, let's actually build one!
Over the past few episodes of "Adventures in Science," we've designed an Arduino-based RC channel mixer and talked with Jamie Leben about design tips for a combat bot chassis. Now, it's finally time to put all that knowledge to use and make our own combat bot!
If you'd like to take a look back in time and watch the episodes that led up to the finished bot, here they are:
I'm ready for AVC! While I don't plan on competing (referee/judge duties call to me), I'm hoping to bring my bot for people to see and play with. Because there is no active weapon, it's (mostly) safe to drive around and run into things.
After playing with both the wheel/trigger and thumbstick types of controllers, I decided I'm a huge fan of the wheel/trigger type for combat bots (despite my dislike for them as a youth). I had a much easier time positioning and lining up my bot for shots (i.e. ramming) than with a thumbstick. I recommend the FS-GT3B for a wheel/trigger transmitter. If you'd like to try the airplane/quadcopter-thumbstick style of transmitter, I used an FS-CT6B in the videos.
I learned a lot making this bot. A few tips for those planning to make their own:
Now it's your turn! Using the designs provided by Jamie and me, you can build a combat-ready bot in about a day (longer if you want to modify the designs). If you're ready to compete, AVC is less than two weeks away, and you can still register for the Plastic Ant (K-12) or Antweight (anyone) combat bot divisions.
For those of you that have competed in some kind of combat bots event before, can you offer any other tips for designing and building?
And for everyone, I need a name for my bot (even if it's not going to compete). So please give me your best bot names! The cornier the better.