Chapter 1 - A New Hope
This was the second meeting we had had for MPM. This time we were back in the garage and decided that before stripping Panda down prior to upgrade, we would carry out some of the tests which we wanted to do before we took part in RWUK98.

The first thing we did was power up the Panda and, without the bodyshell on, we stood on the robot and drove it around the garage. It was too easy for it to carry us, which made us suspicious. Why, if the Panda is so powerful, was it that we struggled to knock skittles over? We quickly found the answer. Under absolute stall, the motors were still able to turn the wheels, inside the tyres! So, we were producing the power, but not getting it down on the ground.

The next thing was to remove the wheels to see what state the axles were in. We both believed that the axles had fractured, so we hadn't removed them since before the show. In fact, we were again surprised that this wasn't the case, inspite of the fact that the wheel mounting holes were far to close to the edge on one side. We have been looking at ways of reducing the C5 motors beyond the 7:1 ratio we have now, to give us more power. We will still do so, but these tests have meant that the 21:1 ratio I'd been looking at is really not necessary. We have also agreed to buy 24V relays for the 4QD speed controllers, so we should get better performance all round.
One of the intentions on the original Panda was to have cutting discs on the rear. We ran out of time the first time, but now we will put the weapons on. As a step towards this, we also ran one of our Bull motors at 24V. They are much happier at this speed and produced plenty of smooth torque. We discussed ways of fixing the system in place. More to come soon.