Older blog entries for robotdojo (starting at number 8)

2 Sep 2004 (updated 15 Mar 2010 at 22:06 UTC) »

All my robots have left the dojo and found new homes, but after being off-line for 6 years the website as it was back in 2004 is now back and can be seen at Robotdojo website at telerover.com.

Two of my largest robots, Flexy-Flyer and Pro-AM (Kumite) have been donated to the University of Colorado, Boulder, for the use of their Computer Science and Engineering Students. Flexy became a robotics platform for an autonomous senior project called "Smart Roverat CU's 2003 Capston Expo. It currently resides at the University of Michigan. Pro-Am is being outfitted for similar functions. My robotic platforms save the students time, so they can concentrate on electronic, software and artificial intelligence issues rather than deal with the mechanical aspects of robotics.

Both bots are expecting honorary degrees. ;o)

A side note, I've been collecting slide rules for a while and you can view my collection and on-line museum at International Slide Rule Museum. It is now one of the world's largest on-line collections.

8 Aug 2003 (updated 15 Mar 2010 at 22:05 UTC) »

As of 2004, I sold off all my robotic combat bots and parts. In the process, the local newspaper, The Boulder (Colorado) Daily Camera did an article on me, dated August 6, 2003, which talks about my retirement in this field.

If you get a chance stop by my archived Robotdojo website at telerover.com. Thanks!

28 Oct 2002 (updated 15 Mar 2010 at 22:09 UTC) »

Critter Crunch was held in Denver Colorado on Oct 20, 2002. We submitted 4 entries in the 2 pound critter class and one entry in the 20 pound critter class. The event was run sumo style where bots needed to push the opponent of the 8 foot square platform. Me-Me-Me won second in the 20 lb class, here's a picture of one of the matches. The 1 pound little guys on the floor are the other 2/3's of Me-Me-Me which helped bring it up to 20 Lbs.

Tandem won 2nd overall in the 2 lb'ders. Our multibot critter combo of Blizzard and Tinbender, both weighing 1 pound each, pulled out a third in the 2 pound class, losing to Tandem. The matchup.

For an event report and lots of pictures, go to Critter Crunch 2002 at the Robotdojo

16 Oct 2002 (updated 15 Mar 2010 at 22:10 UTC) »

We're back from competing in MechWars 5 in St. Paul, Minnissota, where Full Frontal Fulcrum won the Middle weight Championship and Kumite finished 3rd in the Heavy Weight division. You can see pictures of the event on my website at RobotDojo.

7 Oct 2002 (updated 15 Mar 2010 at 22:13 UTC) »

This weekend I built two 1 pound [454 gram) r/c bots intended for competition at MURC or a Sozbots event. Note: as of 2010 these competitions do not exist.

These little guys use a highly modified Battlebot toy as a platform, which are actually very easy to work with to make something unique, but inexpensive.

Plane-Jane has a carbon fibre plane on the front and has been rewired to disable certain features that are part of the toy and the dry cells have been replaced with Ni-Cads. I had to add a steel bar under the plane to get the weight up , but it is still underweight at .9 lb [411 gm]

Blizzard has a 4130 chromolly steel 'snow' plow on the front. The plow itself is 3/8 of the overall weight of the bot. You don't want to catch this when it falls of the dinner table as the plow blade is really sharp. The holes in the 3.2mm thick plow are to help bring the bot into weight compliance. The front was originally the rear of the toy, but the motor controller was rewired to get the forward direction and steering modified to reverse the direction. It has also has been rewired to disable certain features that are part of the toy and the dry cells have been replaced with Ni-Cads. The front extension aand battery compartment was cut off and the new Nicad batteries were mounted over the wheels. The toy's wheels were replaced with wheels from the on- linline Sozbots store.

3 Oct 2002 (updated 6 Nov 2002 at 16:51 UTC) »
I had some bad links here, sorry. They've been fixed now

I ordered the parts for my Autonomous ro-Bot Experimental Lab , ABEL. I wonder what the bot-mom Becky is going to think when she's see's a large plastic toy show up on the porch.

Last night at 2:am in the morning I finished wiring my latest Bot, Me-Me and did a test run around the dojo. This bot is scheduled to compete at Critter Crunch in the 20 lb class. I had asked a couple of kids that hang around what would be a good name for it, but wanting a female gender bot this time. One kid asked if the bot could be named after a person. I said" who do you have in mind?". The kid said "Me!", and another kid next to him then said "Me!". So I named it after both of them.

18 Sep 2002 (updated 15 Mar 2010 at 22:18 UTC) »

We're back from BotBash 2002 and TinBender pulled out an 8th out of 22 16-OZ bots, Wedgeward-HO won 2nd in the 30 pound MERC (MEchanized Robotic Combat) class and Full Frontal Fulcrum won the 120 pound MERC championship. For pictures and trip report, visit Robotdojo at telerover.com. The two on two team format was great for getting to know your opponents, who became your friends. Wedgward-Ho had its lifting wedge chain ripped out twice and had three out of 5 drill motors destroyed by Helios. Here's the trophies.

10 Sep 2002 (updated 11 Sep 2002 at 20:09 UTC) »

I had a problem with using a Hitec dual conversion FM receiver (modified for 75MHZ surface frequency) on Wedgeward-HO. Everytime the bot would lose the transmitter link, or when first powered up, the IFI Victor 883 ESC's would detect a signal from the receiver and would momentarily send motion signals to the motors. This was especially damaging to the lifting wedge weapon motor, as the wedge would go to end-of-travel (no limit switches) and cause the motor(taken from a battery powered drill) to stall. Enough of those and the motor(s) went bad. It also would cause a safety violation at the competition. I replaced the Hitec FM with a Futaba 75 Mhz PCM receiver last night and the problem went away. I was warned by a fellow engineer who builds helicopters that the cheaper Hitec's were noisy, but thought I could get away with it. Nope.

4 Sep 2002 (updated 15 Mar 2010 at 22:20 UTC) »

The next competition that I'll be heading toward is Botbash in Tempe, AZ, where I'll be competing with three bots that were built in the last four weeks. A 1 pound Antweight, called Tin bender (competed at MURC), a 30lb entry called Wedgeward-HO, and a 120 lb middleweight called Full Frontal Fulcrum. These are all basic wedges or in the case of Wedgeward-HO, a lifting wedge. These bots, with the aid of an adrenaline/testesterone jucied-up human must move a ball, capture a cone and fight against another bot with the aid of a randomly chosen partner-bot. It should be great fun.


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