Saturday, November 12, 2016

Franklin Institute 2016

Hello people of the world and beyond! It's been such a loooong time since the last post! Admittedly, most of this is due to college work and very little true free time to move around and invest the time to create a proper post on combat robot things. First things first since I can't possibly hope to contain myself on the subject:


This victory was definitely one I was highly excited about and was glad that occurred. Before Franklin Institute, Ferocious Mark IV was left almost completely unchanged. The only change I did to Ferocious was to change the plugs from Deans Ultra to JST plugs. The only reason which I used Deans in the first place was because I previously inadvertently smoked two Lipos by accidentally plugging them in backwards into the JST and became paranoid of them ever since. When I was replacing the lifting servo in Ferocious from the HXT12K to a monstrous Savox 1270SG  (a servo that could still easily deadlift a 3lber) this issue was once again brought to the forefront and I made the call to switch to JST so make the extra weight. Note: the HXT12K had to be replaced as a result of Klazo punching the lifter system hard during the antweight rumble  which subsequently sent enough shock back to the servo to crack the plastic casing and making the gears seize up. As part of my background in r/c cars I had a Savox on hand and decided to put it into Ferocious. As a result, it had plenty of lifting power and the servo had no problems operating. 

For Wedge of Destruction v3, I did a few more modifications to it in order make sure that it has a better chance of surviving against all those nasty spinners such as Weta, Silent Spring, Void, and Mondo Bizarro. These spinners always pose trouble for brick bots and since I didn't have a proper protection method for the wheels I was guaranteed to face trouble.  

So, I ordered some .08" Grade 5 Titanium from TMS Titanium and began the fun on the weekend before Franklin. 

Above we see the sharpie outlines of what would become the outer guard rails of WoD as well as the splattered remains of the cutting disk used to make the first few incisions. 

As the first guard rail is freed, we see the very much annihilated cutting disk dust in its wake. While cutting the guard rails out, a combination of generic cutting disk and highly reinforced cutting disks were used. At this time there were about 5 reinforced disks and 25 regular disks so in an effort to  prolong the amount reinforced disks I alternated so that one reinforced is used and then two regular disks are used after. 

The fruits of the labor: one guard rail down! After using a table grinder to clean up the edges a bit it looks all clean.

"Another One" -  DJ Khaled

The guards are attached to the front UHMW blocks which serve as primarily ablative armor. Unfortunately, there are two main fears:
  1. I don't have the time nor much additional space to make an additional standoff to double support the guard due to so little real estate between the wheels. Ideally, the stiffness of the guards and the thickness of the UHMW to keep it in place
  2. The UHMW guards maybe ripped off as result of repeated impacts from the front. Unlike Ferocious where the front is one giant piece, these blocks are independent are only held in place by 3 #6-32 screws. Essentially, the only thing holding it together in the face of a horizontal attack is the sheer strength of the screws.
Only time will tell, but even if they are ripped off the 5/16" Al frame rails are plenty strong so the electronic goodies may not die. 

Side View

Are you noticing a pattern? 

So now we reach what we have all been waiting for....

NERC Battle on the Parkway at Franklin Institute 2016 

When we arrived at the venue at about 8 in the morning people were already pouring in and NERC officials were frantically getting people into safety. We ended up in the far back corner near the back exit so it was pretty to survey the surroundings.

Here is the pit table! Admittedly, very little tools even needed to be out due to all the prep done on the robots. They were already charged, tested several times, and spares were all contained in the white case near the back. I think with all this prep we're starting to get out of that whole newbie phase :)
In the foreground we have the Tombstone and Witch Doctor toys from Battlebots which people greatly appreciated seeing and encouraged a few to go buy their own later. 

The small green object in the center is FanBot which is the first object created in the Bone Dead Robotics group using 3D printing. FanBot's original purpose was to be a mobile cooling machine during the intense heat of Maryland summer in the dorms at college. When I designed it, I largely based it off a combat robot chassis since that is what I am attuned to designing as well as keeping it around some that someday if it were made with a tougher material like Nylon it could be directly reborn into the antweight divison. Essentially, if this robot was made of stronger material and had a titanium blade instead of a plastic green quadcopter propeller. In fact, all the electronics in FanBot are all spare electronics from previous iterations of Ferocious. 

This robot right here in its super-shnazzy paint work is Kyle Singer's Big Ripto. This robot right here was the single most destructive robot at the tournament. It was soooo destructive that it only had 2 actual fights all day. One where he tosses another robot out of the arena and another where the face is ripped off. As a result of this ungodly power being leveled at the competition and no one like Triggo to oppose it there was essentially a slaughter. So much a danger did this robot pose for its finals against Not Overhaul/Uberclocker4 that it was not fought in the box and the victory was given to Ripto. 

Wedge Industries' Mini Yeti named "True Grit" is a exceptionally cool example of how the larger Battlebots machines are having direct connections to the more local levels. Quick trivia: Builder Alex Horne was also a competitor at Battlebots with the 'Subzero' robot!

Look everyone its a REAL BATTLEBOT. THAT'S RIGHT. STRAIGHT OUTTA THE BATTLEBOX. This particular robot is Sub-Zero and builder Jerry Clarkin brought it to the Franklin Institute to capitalize off of that Battlebots hype mentality. My brother Justin and I actually talked to Mr. Clarkin about his machine and were extremely impressed by the sheer level of force being thrown around in Battlebots. #WeWantSeason3

In one memorable moment of Ferocious Mk. IV's run there was an all-3D printed wedge named Toxic Envy that it faced. In the match Ferocious used its lifter to flip Toxic Envy over then shoved it towards the wall. By sheer luck, the force and angle of entry allowed Toxic Envy to actually be stuck in the wall by its wedge where all four wheels were off the ground! Video and complete playlist can be found here.

Now we get to the grit of the competition! By about 8:30 this was the scene at the event. Nearly everyone had left except for the NERC crew, a few other builders, and anyone who still robots left in the Beetle/ Ant brackets. 

This is a clean picture of Ferocious Mk. IV before it started taking heavy damage. The first three fights Ferocious had were all against plain wedges so it had an innate advantage by having an active weapon. However, it got really difficult after it faced Revy and DDT...

Yea definitely a not as clean though not impossibly damaged. 

In its fight against Revy, there wasn't much extensive damage taken except for it being punted around the box. Due to the front guard on Ferocious being made of 1/2" UHMW, the sharp teeth on Revy's drum was very easily able to dig in and throw Ferocious around on impacts. Inversely, the use of that UHMW as ablative armor (meaning that it absorbs most of the energy and deforms as it does so) also meant that very little shock was transferred back into the robot aiding in its survival. The fight went the distance and ultimately was given to Revy sending Ferocious to the Loser's Bracket. 

Ironically, Revy later lost and was set to fight Ferocious as a rematch. Winner moves on Loser goes home. In this re-match however, there was a bit of a shift as Ferocious was able to avoid a few more attacks and got a few more lifts which displayed good aggression. This fight also went to the judges but was very slightly given to Ferocious! Moving on to face......oh lord.....DDT. I actually wanted to fight DDT at Motorama 2016 with Ferocious because I considered the best horizontal spinner in its class. However,  I faced Vile Ant in his place and I would NEVER suggest undervaluing that robot since it has won multiple ant titles. 

Anyways, I had a mixture of terror and relief when I heard about fighting DDT. At this point, I was guaranteed 3rd place so I was going to home with a trophy, but I was fearful because I also knew that DDT had the potential to inflict a tremendous amount of damage and crippled it. Only one way to find out if it works! 

When the fight first began Ferocious charged in head first and started taking shots from DDT but it kept on rolling. In one impact DDT ripped off one of the side guards and in another impact it bent the tooth that supported the robot during flips. As a result, flipping was almost an impossibility. Despite both of these points of damage, in one miraculous shot Ferocious was able to flip DDT on its head. Due to it being hug up on a portion of its chassis and the blade on it stopped spinning, DDT was stuck in place and couldn't move leading to a count out for Ferocious! Now to the finals against Physique Black who was also a Saifu kit from like Revy. Unlike Revy though, far worse a fate awaited Ferocious....


Also Ouch

Very Ouch

Much Ouch

Such Ouch

Quite Ouch

Excessive Ouch

So at this point in the competition, Ferocious was definitely showing some wear from all the beatings; the front lip of the lifter was being knurled away, the side armor was getting bent and the UHMW that held them in place was getting stripped as a result of the screws getting ripped out. All of these compacted against Ferocious as Physique Black attacked. In the first few impacts, Ferocious was doing well and at one point ALMOST gets Physique Black stuck on its back, If it got stuck there, then Ferocious may have won without much damage....but life isn't perfect ;_;. Physique Black didn't get stuck and Ferocious got wrekt. Everything imaginable got ripped and bent but it never stopped working! It fought boldly and proudly  just like Blacksmith against Minotaur

This very proud display netted Ferocious Mk. IV 2nd place in the antweight division! This is the best showing I have had at a competition yet. Additionally, Ferocious marks a new phase in Bone Dead Robotics' development as the last robot that competed for the team to be very successful was Play'n Krazy who was based off the "Weta- God of Ugly Things" design so it never felt completely genuine. Inversely, Ferocious' design was completely genuine and had even greater success. 

Now, Ferocious Mk. IV wasn't the only robot brought to compete, Wedge of Destruction v3 was there too! Unfortunately, it was unable to work the whole day. Even with the help of Kyle Singer it was unable to function and had to forfeit two fights. It won its first fight fortunately, but it was only a consolation in the end. Upon further inspection, it turned out that the trouble was that the lifting servo drew more power than the drive ESCs could produce which would brown out the receiver and make it reset. Ironically, when I converted WoD to brushless I removed the BEC while wiring and forgot to put it back in before finishing wiring. 

So WoD works now and is ready to go, but unfortunately Motorama will not be the next event for it...because Motarama was over 150 robots within the first DAY of registration time....Tune in next time to see the preparations of Bone Dead Robotics and a new venture into the 12lb division!