Build Diary June 2001


The past couple of weeks have been pretty frantic to say the least. We have been working hard to get everything ready for Robots@War and we just about made it. Overall BP now is clad in armour and operational, but not entirely finished. For one thing, we have not been able to get the interfaces for the speed controllers in time, so we are still using the old servo-pot setup from Panda Monium. It still works impressively well actually.

The bot is covered in at least two sheets of armour (polycarbonate and aluminium) and the sides have three layers of polycarb. The drive has been giving us no end of problems. It will not stick to the axles properly. We have tried everything and it just isn't working. We knew this would be a problem but we want to see how we got on in the fight anyway. We fought a robot called M2 (see the Robots@War 3 page for more info) and got some good blows in on target. The axe performed well except the blade. As can be seen below, after the first hit it started to bend. M2 had a sheet of 10mm polycarb on the top and it was this we hit.

We did penetrate part of the way through, but there just wasn't enough weight behind the axehead to keep up the inertia. After a few blows we ended up with this nice scrolly effect.

We also found that the regulator in the pneumatics kept freezing up. This was a problem towards the end of the fight (it gradually got worse).

The other problem we had was the drive (as suspected). After a few attacks it started slipping and the mobility gradually got worse and worse. At least we know what the problem is with this and we have some ideas of how to fix it before the Robots@War Arena contest in two weeks time.

Aside from these hiccups, BP did pretty well. It survived to the end of the fight and the axe mechanism was all up to scratch. We had one minor bodywork scratch but this was down to us not fixing one bit on properly rather than a design fault. We also suffered from a bend to the rear chassis member but this is because the wheel guards are not in place yet and so there is nothing attached to it at the moment.

The general driveability of the bot is much better than last year - either my driving is getting better or the lower height has improved stability. Hopefully this will improve even further when we install the new Team Delta interfaces shortly.

We had some additional team members for the day as well. Here you can see Steve's daughter and my baby daughter making use of the extensive leisure facilities BP now has on-board. Shortly we'll be adding a leather drivers chair, a drinks machine and air conditioning...actually its already got that when the ram vents!!

You will notice also the chain. This is our safety restraint (which Derek Foxwell has cleared) and we have the single pull-out switch fitted at the rear, together with the gas vent.