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Pants - the story so far
For the first time, RobotWars101.com are featuring one of our own robots as the cover robot. Pants was the first antweight robot built by Team PandaMonium and this year is featured in a special antweight battle as part of the BBC TV series Robot Wars: Extreme.
We first decided to build an antweight after attending our first ever charity event in Wales. Adam Clark and Chris Sherwood were both displaying a new class known as antweight - so called after the ant robots used for experiments by MIT in the US. These little fighting machines were under 150grammes in weight and no larger than a Gameboy in footprint. The idea looked great so we had a go.
Pants was the first attempt. It was originally intended to be a parody of Cassius. It was slick and black and could self-right using the ball-pen body that makes the weapon arm. It was only later that the idea of adding a scalpel blade axe came about. Having built the original out of bits of scrap from around the house, together with some modified HS80 servos, all we needed was some competition. It quickly became apparent that there were other people starting to build ants but nowhere to fight. The idea of the Antweight World Series was quickly formed and the rest is history!
After the initial fights were very successful and Pants quickly became a fixture of the More Panda Monium and Big Pants roadshows. After taking Pants to a few shows, we quickly received lots of offers to buy the little robot and loads of questions from people asking how you made one. As a result of this, we decided to set up the AntShop and started to sell copies of Pants, construction plans and offered a servo modification service. These have proved to be so popular that the money raised has been used to fund the move of RobotWars101.com onto dedicated servers with powerful statistical databases which provide the service you see today.
In mid-2001 Pants was invited to take part in the Robot Wars: Extreme special. RobotWars101.com helped in organising the event and were very pleased when the purpose-built mini arena was unveiled. The fight was great fun and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The results can be seen under the Extreme article, but the cover shot is of the damage Pants sustained in that battle.
So what is the future of Pants? Well, we are certainly not going to retire it. Despite being the 'old git' of the Antweight circuit, Pants still wins the majority of its battles and is still capable of winning the World Series - if only the driver improves a bit :-) There are a few modifications to come on Pants, including a faster weapon and better traction, but you will have to wait and see. Pants has always evolved. Some ideas didn't work (the anti-spinner net kept coming off and the axe-weights were effective but meant Pants lost traction everytime the axe was swung.) but we keep refining rather than rebuilding. In fact Pants has only ever been fully rebuilt once!
For future developments, keep on watching the mini-site right here with RobotWars101.com!