The fight robotics group spreads throughout your entire world, with main competitions occurring on virtually each continent. Fight robots are divided into totally different weight lessons based mostly on the robotic’s general weight, and inside these lessons a tremendous variety of weapon sorts are potential. On this information we’ll introduce you to all the most essential weight lessons and weapons.
THREE FLAVORS OF COMBAT
Along with weight, three totally different class modifiers are frequent in robotic fight:
• Full Fight or Commonplace class is the
least restricted ruleset, permitting kinetic vitality weapons, wedges, and quite a lot of management bots (lifters, and so forth.). Most occasions run
Full Fight lessons.
• Sportsman lessons add tip-speed limits to spinning weapons, drastically decreasing their potential to do injury. Additionally they require an energetic weapon on every robotic, to cease passive wedges from dominating the competitors. Sportsman lessons are frequent on the 12lb and 30lb weight lessons.
• Plastic lessons, typically solely discovered on the 1lb Antweight scale, require robots to be completely fabricated from plastic components (except for electronics, motors, and fasteners). The Plastic Antweight is quickly rising in recognition as an entry-level class because of the ease of 3D printing and the low injury fee, which make the robots extraordinarily reasonably priced in comparison with different weight lessons. (Construct your individual on web page 44.) You’ll be able to study extra about fight guidelines on-line at sparc.instruments.
ROBOT WEIGHT CLASSES
There have been many weight lessons over
the final 30 years, from 25g to 350lbs, however not all
of them have energetic competitions immediately. Right here’s your information to at the moment energetic fight robotic weight lessons.
FAIRYWEIGHT (U.Okay. ANTWEIGHT) — 150g restrict
A very good class for newbies. Many free designs may be downloaded from Thingiverse and printed on a 3D printer; parts are low-cost, and the shortage of devastating weapon energy makes Fairyweight bots low-cost to restore. Sadly, motors and electronics take up extra of the general weight of a Fairy, as it’s laborious to search out tremendous small parts, making customized designs difficult. Though Fairyweights are often comprised of 3D-printed plastic, probably the most aggressive are full of titanium, metal, and carbon fiber to maximise power and efficiency.
ANTWEIGHT (U.S.) — 1lb restrict
Antweights are the perfect place to begin out. Designs which are primarily 3D printed or fabricated with low-cost supplies may be aggressive. Weight will not be as a lot of a limitation as it’s in Fairies. Frequent robotic building strategies, corresponding to instantly bolting weapons and wheels to motors, can be utilized efficiently with little modification. This class is mostly much less harmful than the Beetleweight class, so your robotic is much less more likely to get utterly destroyed. And since the electronics take up much less of your entire weight, robots which are selfmade with chopping boards and duct tape can simply survive and even win Antweight occasions.
BEETLEWEIGHT — 3lbs (U.S.) / 1.5kg (U.Okay.)
By far probably the most aggressive insect weight class. Brushless motors at this scale present insane power-to-weight ratios, due to the large marketplace for micro drones which has pushed the improved energy density and affordability of small motors. This makes Beetleweight robots extremely highly effective and harmful. Whereas they are often made by hand and with 3D-printed components, probably the most profitable Beetleweights characteristic a mess of customized machined components in unique supplies. Stable engineering and design are
a should for this class, as robots recurrently get ripped in half.
When you would possibly anticipate bots on this class to be largely metallic, a stunning quantity of engineering plastics are used, giving superior influence safety and power whereas minimizing weight and value. Moreover, 3D-printed supplies corresponding to nylon and TPU are closely utilized, making fabrication a lot simpler than with bigger bots.
HOBBYWEIGHT — 12lbs
Hobbyweight bots are the smallest non-insect bot. This weight class permits for extra creativity in robotic design. The bigger footprint supplies area for extra complicated mechanisms, whereas the bigger weight finances permits for extra off-the-shelf parts for use, and the motors and electronics take up a smaller proportion, leaving extra weight for body and weapons. The weapons on these robots retailer unbelievable quantities of vitality, in order that they have to be designed extra robustly than bots in smaller lessons. Plastics are not the go-to for body materials; Hobbyweights begin to use aluminum and metal frames to be able to survive the devastating weapons that they face. Whereas these bots are 4 occasions as heavy as Beetleweights, they’re nowhere close to as energy dense. No micro drone motors right here — Hobbyweight bots work at a bigger scale, with motors which are typically utilized in giant RC automobiles and electrical skateboards.
DOGEWEIGHT — 15lbs
Dogeweight robots are basically obese Hobbyweights. Most competitions that host bigger bots host 12lb bots, however this 15lb class has discovered life in an academic setting. Leagues corresponding to NRL and Xtreme BOTS host highschool and faculty degree competitions the place engineering college students can virtually apply what they’re studying to combating robots. As with Hobbyweights, these robots are extremely harmful and might do wonderful quantities of harm.
FEATHERWEIGHT — 30lbs
This weight class may be very fashionable for skilled builders, as a single builder with expertise can design and fabricate a Featherweight. There are a number of competitions for these robots yearly within the U.S. and worldwide. Featherweight robots are typically much less weapon oriented than smaller robots and focus extra on reliability and defensive armor. Good engineering turns into extra essential when combating on the featherweight scale as a result of components must be comparatively lighter than smaller scale robots whereas offering the identical efficiency.
LARGER WEIGHT CLASSES
Competitions for robots above the featherweight class are few and much between. Lightweights and Middleweights are virtually extinct, and Heavyweight occasions have been restricted to well-funded TV exhibits, or small sportsman occasions. The price of constructing these robots grows exponentially between weight lessons, so it takes a well-sponsored workforce with expertise to compete at this scale. The perfect-known fight robotic occasion is BattleBots, which is televised on Discovery and has close to 1 million viewers every episode. Exterior of BattleBots, varied Robotic Wars TV sequence from the U.Okay. are seen world wide, and a number of other heavyweight competitions have been filmed in China together with FMB (Preventing My Bots), Conflict Bots, and KOB (King of Bots).
SPINNING WEAPON TYPES
Right here’s how they work, and their benefits and drawbacks, particularly within the smaller lessons.
These weapons retailer vitality in a spinning mass that rotates in a vertical aircraft, typically protruding the entrance of the robotic. They spin in order that the influence level of the weapon is transferring upward, successfully delivering an “uppercut” to the opponent. Vertical spinners are very efficient fighters, because the response power from the uppercut pushes the bot downward into the ground, protecting them planted.
The important thing to the vertical spinner is the power to get beneath different robots. When an opponent rides up a vertical spinner’s wedge or forks, the spinning blade can influence the underside fringe of the opponent’s chassis, fairly than grinding towards a aspect wall. This leads to considerably higher vitality switch, that means a more durable hit and extra injury.
Vertical spinners typically spin both a bar
or a disk weapon, and generally swap between the 2 relying on the opponent they’re
dealing with. Disks are extra fashionable as a result of they retailer extra vitality for a given mass, however they’re weak to horizontal spinners. Doubling the spinning velocity of a weapon leads to 4 occasions the kinetic vitality, so vertical spinners will usually deploy asymmetrical, single-tooth weapons to be able to maximize their “chunk.” This enables them to save lots of weight whereas rising the vitality saved within the weapon.
One downside vertical spinners can endure from is gyroscopic forces on the robotic because of the excessive momentum of the weapon. Like a motorcycle wheel, the spinning weapon acts as a gyroscope and resists the robotic’s turning movement. Flip too quick, and one finish of the robotic “floats” off the bottom. This impact can be utilized to self-right some robots however it may possibly additionally flip a robotic the other way up. Due to this impact vertical spinners must restrict their turning velocity, or flip in giant arcs. These handicaps can provide different robots a bonus.
These weapons additionally spin vertically however they’re wider, with smaller diameters, and might spin at a lot increased speeds. Drum spinner robots are largely pushed with two-wheel drive and have smaller and extra compact frames than another weapon sort, however their geometry is very liable to float when turning.
As a result of the weapon on a drum spinner protrudes previous the body of the robotic, their floor clearance will not be as essential as different vertical spinners. Most robots get away with a small piece of metallic pointed towards the bottom to cease different robotic’s wedges from getting beneath, however even that’s not completely essential to be aggressive.
There are a number of fashionable methods to make the drum weapon. The primary is to manufacture a single-piece drum out of a hardened metal. That is tough with out extremely specialised instruments. A neater approach is to mount hardened metal “enamel” to a drum utilizing bolts, however these weapons must be manually balanced which takes appreciable time. The best approach is by layering hardened metal disks with spacers comprised of a softer materials, corresponding to aluminum. This simulates the massive influence face of a unibody drum whereas additionally storing a considerable amount of vitality within the rotating mass of the weapon.
BEATER BAR SPINNERS
Beater bars are a weapon sort that sits between verticals and drums. They span a lot of the width of the bot, like a drum, however they will retailer extra vitality with a bigger diameter, like a vertical spinner. The overall concept behind a beater bar is to maximise the second of inertia (MOI) of the weapon whereas protecting the burden low. That is achieved by eradicating a lot of the materials on the within of the weapon, and protecting the outermost materials, as mass farther from the axis of rotation has extra of an impact on MOI.
The simplest beater bars are stable metal, customized machined utilizing CNC or wire EDM processes, however there are good low-cost options. These finances weapons are reduce out of a flat piece of aluminum in an overview of a rectangle, with a hole inside; bolts are mounted to the highest and backside edges to behave as an inexpensive hardened impacting floor. These may be reduce with just a few operations and are practically as efficient as costlier weapons at a fraction of the value.
These weapons spin within the horizontal aircraft and are typically a lot bigger in diameter than vertical spinners, however they spin at slower speeds. Most horizontal spinners may be break up up into one in every of three classes:
Horizontal bar spinners or midcutters have their weapon mounted off the bottom, between the underside and prime of their chassis. Horizontal spinners typically have bar weapons, as they’re weak to vertical spinners. Utilizing a disk weapon this excessive off the bottom will give vertical spinners nice engagement into the weapon, making bending extra possible. With a bar, there’s much less floor for a vertical to hit, and the weapon may be made stronger, because it doesn’t must span as a lot space. Horizontal bar spinners are weak to wedges, as their weapons battle to get good chunk on hardened surfaces and get deflected upward. These robots are additionally very liable to self-inflicted injury, as their weapon may be pressured right into a flooring or wall, inflicting the robotic to ricochet across the area.
Undercutter weapons are mounted beneath the chassis, as near the bottom as potential. Undercutter robots assault low on their opponents with the objective of bypassing armor and instantly hitting essential parts corresponding to wheels. As a result of they spin so low to the bottom, different robots have hassle getting beneath them with out taking important injury, and so they’re much less weak to vertical spinners. Undercutters can use both disks or bars for weapons, however disks are extra extensively used as they retailer vitality extra effectively.
Overhead bar spinners can spin weapons with a lot bigger diameters than undercutters or midcutters, as a result of they spin excessive of your entire robotic chassis. These robots are very enjoyable to design and construct and may be unbelievably harmful as a result of their excessive vitality storage, however they’ve a number of inherent flaws. They’ll’t drive whereas inverted, because the weapon lies between the wheels and the bottom. As a result of they retailer extra vitality, they take the best pressure on the chassis and weapon system each time they land successful. They’re additionally extraordinarily weak to vertical spinners as their weapons are mounted so excessive and can’t be supported on each prime and backside.
FULL BODY SPINNERS
Full physique spinners have a spinning weapon that protrudes exterior the robotic’s drive chassis and surrounds your entire robotic. They perform as each weapon and armor, and often weigh greater than another weapon sort. Full physique spinners are break up up into three sorts:
Ring spinners spin a hoop weapon across the robotic’s body. These rings are supported on the exterior of the robotic and don’t cowl the highest. Subsequently the robotic can use wheels which are taller than the body and stick out the highest, which permits them to drive whereas inverted. Whereas being invertible is a big benefit, this weapon system is inherently fragile. As a result of it spins across the physique of the robotic (with a number of contact factors to the body) the weapon will fail with any deformation. This makes ring spinners one of the crucial complicated weapon sorts to design efficiently.
Shell spinners have a weapon that covers
their prime and sides, defending your entire robotic. They’ll’t drive when inverted however have a a lot less complicated weapon assist in comparison with ring spinners. Shells typically have a protrusion on prime that makes them unstable when inverted, permitting them to proper themselves. These weapons are far more sturdy to break, as they often spin a few shaft within the middle of the robotic and deformation of the outer shell doesn’t essentially imply it is going to be disabled.
One downside that plagues each ring and shell spinners: as a result of their weapons have giant MOIs (because of the giant radius and weight), they’re liable to dropping drive traction when the weapon first begins spinning, which begins the chassis rotating in the other way. This causes the motive force to utterly lose management of the bot.
Meltybrain spinners are a particular sort of robotic that makes use of its whole physique as a weapon and its drivetrain to energy it. Meltybrain robots have very high-speed drivetrains that basically spin them in place. They’ll then use sensors to modulate the velocity of the motors to attain translational motion. As a result of the total robotic weight is within the weapon, these bots hit extraordinarily laborious. Their whole chassis should stand up to hundreds of RPMs, so they’re typically very powerful. Whereas meltybrains are extraordinarily damaging, they’re very technically complicated and require extra computing than another robotic sort.
Robots which have a mechanism that doesn’t retailer vitality and is used to elevate up and flip over different robots are referred to as lifters. These weapons transfer slower than flippers (see under), and may be moved to any level alongside their journey.
Most insect-weight lifters use a high-power servomotor or gearmotor to energy their lifting arms by way of a easy mechanism corresponding to a lever or a four-bar linkage. Lifters are the most secure bots which have energetic weapons, as they don’t retailer any vitality of their weapon system. (You’ll be able to construct one on web page 44.) Some lifter robots even have built-in grabbing mechanisms that may maintain their opponent as they elevate them off the bottom. Lifter robots may be very aggressive in arenas that characteristic some kind of pit or “area out” characteristic, as they will corral their opponent into the out-of-bounds space, profitable the match. Lifters are robust towards robots that aren’t invertible, as a single flip will render their opponent motionless, however they often battle to trigger sufficient injury to attain knockouts.
Not like lifter robots, flipper robots have a weapon that makes use of saved kinetic vitality to elevate or flip their opponents. Flippers characteristic complicated mechanical methods that make reliability a problem: springs or pneumatics for insect-weight flippers, spinning flywheels or hydraulics for the heavier lessons. Some occasions ban pneumatic weapons as a result of security considerations, which makes flipper robots even more durable to efficiently compete with. Flipper robots work finest in an area with an “area out” characteristic however may be highly effective sufficient to break robots and obtain knockout victories in a normal area.
OVERHEAD SAW ROBOTS
These robots have a spinning weapon on the finish of an arm that may be independently articulated. Most have an precise noticed blade that they use to chop by way of different robots, benefiting from the shortage of prime armor. (Others have a weapon referred to as a hammer noticed that’s no totally different from a daily spinning weapon because it imparts kinetic vitality by way of an influence.) Overhead noticed bots often have a really open entrance finish with prongs protruding, as they should management different robots and maintain them nonetheless for the noticed blade to be efficient. These robots require a sturdy design and in addition a proficient driver, because the articulated weapon is extra demanding to function and so they often must pin their opponent in place to do significant injury.
Hammer robots and their cousins, axe robots, have a weapon that swings a mass excessive
of the robotic in a restricted arc to impart kinetic vitality into their opponent. On the insect weight lessons, these robots may be powered with both a high-speed servo or a motor. Like overhead saws, these robots benefit from the sunshine prime armor on their opponents. There are two foremost issues with insect-weight hammer bots. First, their weapon have to be triggered barely earlier than the opponent is in entrance of them as a result of the hammer takes time to finish its swing. Insect bots transfer quick relative to their bigger counterparts, which exacerbates this downside. Second, they battle to retailer comparable vitality to spinners as their weapon solely has as much as 180 levels of movement to speed up earlier than influence.
Crusher robots have an overhead arm that pierces by way of the highest of their opponents, damaging the internals . At insect weight lessons, crushers are designed to transform quick rotational motion from a motor into sluggish, highly effective linear motion on the tip of their claw. The deadly flaw of crushers is that their actuators both are too sluggish to simply seize their opponents, or lack the power wanted to pierce armor. Crusher robots are mechanically complicated and require extraordinarily exact driving.
Passive wedge bots don’t have an energetic weapon however they’re very sturdy, as they depend on pushing their opponent round till they break. These robots are the only of all — and really aggressive!