Roto-Reutter
(pronounced: roto-rooter)

Well, it was just a matter of time before I was going to do this :)  A friend and I are building... or make that trying to build a remote-controlled vehicle for Battlebots. The idea first popped up during a late-night discussion with my GF at the Atari Classic Gaming Expo in 2001. We brain-stormed about different designs, thought up something with a rotating drum (the next logical step from the vertical spinners like Nightmare) and were delighted when we saw Little Drummerboy on TV. It's always nice to have 'crazy' ideas validated by other people being just as 'crazy' :)  We also thought up an upside-down-lawnmower-type robot, aka Hazard. Originally envisioned with 2 crossed blades we figured it would be just as effective with one blade and we would save some weight and seeing Hazard tear up the competition validated that nicely. Finally we dreamed up some really crazy robot but the basic components of that beast would have run close to $10K - yikes! Should I ever win the lottery I'll think about that one again and since I'm not playing the lottery...

So for now it's going to be YAHC (yet another Hazard clone), well at least I can honestly say we had the idea independently from the Hazard guys but just like in real-world evolution there are some really smart basic designs when it comes to Battlebots and the up-side-down-lawnmower is one of them (and a simple = good one too!). Anyway, it's totally exciting to see 'robot evolution' in action!

12/17/2002: Doing a little prototype showed that the ground clearance was not enough... also the old motors just didn't work that well :(


For increased ground clearance I decided to go with 5" wheels although they will add 1/2" to the overall height of the robot. There just wasn't enough space for the baseplate.

These are the new motors, much easier to mount than the old ones. Nice stuff from the nice folks at NPC, not cheap but probably worth it. Looks like I can make them a bit lighter too...
 

06/28/2002: So here are the first pictures of the progress, not much more than a few boxes of parts at this point :(


Welding shop at Lake WA VocTech (great place to learn welding!).

Last day at welding class, too bad it didn't last longer. The instructor Shawn rocks!

Various chunks of 6061 Al from Boeing Surplus, Pacific Iron and some place in Everett.

Prototype of a drill-motor-mount, before I decided to go with some NPC motors :)

Early TIG weld, not too bad...

Later TIG weld, this one looks decent...

Various stuff from McMaster-Carr. I love the keyless bushings...

A box full of expensive goodies from IFI :)  The idea was to get a system that will grow with future bots.

Stuff from NPC and Vetco, block of 7075 Al and I don't recall the name of the place where I bought the CCW EVs.