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madoverlord:robots-redmenace [2016/05/14 19:59]
madoverlord
madoverlord:robots-redmenace [2016/10/04 14:42]
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-==== Red Menace - the 2nd Battlebot (Robots) ==== 
- 
- 
-We learned a lot of lessons from our 
-[[madoverlord:​robots-battlebot|first attempt at building a BattleBot]],​ and high on 
-the list was, "​Robert needs to know how to build hardware as well as software"​. 
-Thus it came to be that I spent the summer helping 
-[[http://​www.tsrrobotics.com/​|Team TSR Robotics]] 
-rebuild one of their robots, picking up a basic education in machining along the way. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-However, this caused a problem; I didn't have time to work on a new robot of my own 
-for Battlebots in November, and with my kids threatening "​Daddy,​ either you build us a 
-Battlebot, or we'll get a new daddy who will!",​ it was with a sense of relief that 
-I noticed an eBay auction for a lawnmower-style spinner. ​ I was fortunate enough to 
-win the auction, and thus it was that at the beginning of September, a new robot 
-entered the family. ​ We call it... 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-=== The Red Menace === 
- 
- 
- 
-Formerly owned by a very nice guy who simply didn't have the money to compete 
-any more, this was more an adoption than a purchase. ​ The plan is simple: starting 
-with the original robot, we'll make changes and improvements in an incremental way, 
-and at all times, we'll have a working, ready-to-compete robot. ​ With the help of the 
-TSR guys, I could probably have whipped together a robot in time, but this way, 
-there'​s no risk of missing the tournament. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01064.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01064.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01065.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01065.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01066.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01066.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01067.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01067.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01068.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01068.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01069.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01069.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01070.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01070.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01071.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01071.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01072.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01072.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01073.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01073.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01074.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01074.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC010/​DSC01075.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC010/​DSC01075.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
- 
-The first week 
-was consumed with unpacking the robot, checking it out, 
-and getting it running with the IFI robot controller left 
-over from Evil Twins. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-The weapons motors on Red Menace are controlled by 
-a solenoid switch, which itself is controlled by a Team Delta 
-RC switch. ​ At first, it wouldn'​t work with the IFI robot 
-controller, but eventually it dawned upon me that the Team 
-Delta switch requires power supplied through its RC connector, 
-and the IFI doesn'​t provide this by default. ​ While there is 
-a connector on the IFI you can use to provide +5V for distribution 
-to any connected RC devices, I found an easier way; the robot came 
-with a 5V DC/DC converter with a RC connector (originally used 
-to power the radio), and so I just plugged it into one of the unused 
-PWM connectors on the IFI.  Since it only connects to the +5V and 
-GND lines, it's electrically the same. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-I also ran into the same RF coupling interference problem 
-we had with Evil Twins. ​ Wrapping everything but the antenna of 
-the IFI in aluminium foil provided a quick fix; I'll probably 
-build an aluminium box for the final incarnation. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-Since I hope the kids will be able to drive this robot 
-in combat (assuming I get through the prelims; they'​ll only be attending 
-for the TV rounds), it is essential that they get in lots of driving 
-practice. ​ So I yanked the weapon blade and added a caster so they 
-could mess around with it on the driveway. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-I'm also working on better software for the IFI to help 
-them out.  For example, since I'm using a CH FlightStick,​ which has 
-a twist input, I'm using that as a "fine turn" controller. ​ I also 
-hope to interface a heading-lock gyro. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-Other planned improvements:​ upgrading to BattlePacks and  
-souping up the wiring; changing the weapon drive to vbelts (which 
-can slip for shock absorption) and the weapon to a solid bar (currently, 
-it's a flail); and perhaps even rebuilding the frame. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-=== 09/12/2002 - Gyroscopic Stability === 
- 
- 
- 
-In an attempt to improve the directional stability of the robot, I purchased 
-a helicopter heading lock gyro.  It basically changes the left/right commanding 
-of the robot from "turn left/​right"​ to "turn left/right and maintain heading"​. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-This means that even if a wheel slips, the robot will maintain its 
-heading when being driven. ​ It also makes the turns crisper. ​ A complicating 
-factor is that now the command path is IFI -> Gyro -> Mixer -> Motors; since 
-the gyro only deals with a left/right signal, I have to mix that with the 
-forward/​reverse signal outside of the IFI.  I'm currently using a RobotLogic.com 
-mixer, which is "​smart"​ but it has dead zones that are a bit too big, so I'm 
-thinking of playing with dumber mixers. ​ Even so, with the gyro on, the bot 
-is a lot more controllable. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-The parts for the v-belt drive have arrived, and I'm going to be 
-installing them over the weekend. ​ I've also come up with a cute slip-clutch 
-design for the blade; attached to the weapon drive shaft will be a metal 
-plate (basically a **big** washer), a disc of UHMW plastic, 
-the blade, another UHMW disc, and a bottom plate. ​ A bolt going through 
-the bottom plate into the shaft (up the middle) will compress the sandwich 
-and couple the blade to the shaft by friction, yet give in a major impact. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-No idea if it'll work, of course. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-=== 09/21/2002 - More gyro work === 
- 
- 
- 
-Played around with getting the gyro to talk directly to the IFI, or, more 
-precisely, to talk to a basic stamp that then talks to the IFI; initial 
-results promising, and have [[madoverlord:​robots-pwm|been written up here]]. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-=== 12/04/02 - It's Robot Fightin'​ Time! === 
- 
- 
- 
-Well, a lot of work in the last few months, but all scattered about. ​ Got 
-all the parts I needed, and installed the new batteries and wiring. 
-Machined the weapons blade and mounts; it now uses two plates and two pins, 
-with a small bolt and washer that locks the assembly together. ​ On the 
-head of the bolt a delrin furniture slide is expoxied to make a bearing 
-surface that can slip around the floor of the arena. ​ Also changed to 
-a v-belt drive, as this acts as a slip clutch; this was a major pain in 
-the butt as it required boring out pulleys to metric dimensions. 
- 
- 
- 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC012/​DSC01266.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC012/​DSC01266.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC012/​DSC01267.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC012/​DSC01267.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC012/​DSC01268.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC012/​DSC01268.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC012/​DSC01269.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC012/​DSC01269.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
- 
-Here are 
-some shots of the robot and its first opponent, 
-"​Sacrificial Lamb." ​ Needless to say, the lamb got slaughtered! ​ We estimate the blade is 
-wizzing around at well over 1000 rpm, and we can probably get it going faster if 
-we do a little tuning of the blade shape. ​ The only problem we ran into was that 
-the blade rotation direction is such that if the bolt isn't locktite'​d,​ 
-it eventually loosens. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-This weekend we head off to the North Carolina Robot Street Fight to 
-test it out.  No sacrificial lambs there, alas, as you can see by reading 
-[[ncrsf1202.t.html|our report on how well (ahem!) we did]]. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-=== 12/22/02 - Revisions and Revisions === 
- 
- 
- 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01387.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01387.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01388.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01388.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01389.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01389.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01390.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01390.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01391.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01391.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01392.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01392.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01393.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01393.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC013/​DSC01394.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC013/​DSC01394.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
- 
-You can learn a lot from getting defeated, and we certainly learned a lot 
-at the Street Fight. ​ So as soon as we got back to Wilmington, we got hard 
-at work on revisions to Red Menace. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-The electrical system was ripped out and the control electronics now 
-have their own dedicated 12V/5V power supply (non-rechargable lithium-ion batteries 
-to save weight). ​ Internal components were shock-mounted and the radio was relocated. 
-The battery mounts were reconfigured to save weight and absorb some impact, using 
-styrofoam offsets. ​ The weapon blade was bevelled using a CAD/CAM mill; each long 
-edge of the 4041 steel blade took 6 passes with the cutter (and about an hour) 
-to complete. ​ A new weapon shaft (and a spare) was made, and ball casters were added 
-to top and bottom to make the robot fully invertible. ​ The shaft is actually a little 
-longer than it should be, but we didn't have time to shorten it. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-All in all, we are ready for Robocide in a couple of weeks! 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-=== 01/12/02 - Robo-Suicide === 
- 
- 
- 
-Back from Robocide, where again I went 0-2.  Had a lot of fun, but every time the robot 
-took a hard hit, it would die.  After much debugging, I found out that when the radio 
-battery (the new one I added!) got hit just right, it went intermittent. ​ Both fights 
-were lost due to that.  I also had some steering problems. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-Because of the above, I've decided to KISS the problem, and change from the IFI 
-to a simple R/C control system. ​ That ought to reduce the complexity and increase the 
-reliability. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-I also suffered a couple more bent weapon shafts. ​ To deal with this, I'm going 
-to try and get tougher shaft material, and I'm going to mount the bottom bearing on the 
-outside of the robot so that it, and it's shaft collar, can nestle right up against the 
-blade mounting plate for extra reinforcement (that'​s where it was bending). ​ I'm also 
-changing from the pins to basic bolts to hold on the blade, as the current system is 
-too fragile; the ball casters get broken too easily. ​ Back to carriage bolts for me! 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-=== 04/04/02 - Retired === 
- 
- 
-<​html><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC015/​DSC01546.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC015/​DSC01546.jpg"></​a><​a href="​http://​media.madoverlord.com/​Lg/​DSC015/​DSC01549.JPG"​ target="​_blank"><​img src="​http:/​wiki.animeigo.com/​MO/​Sm/​DSC015/​DSC01549.jpg"></​a></​html>​ 
- 
-Went 0-2 again 
-at Battle at the Beach, and have decided to retire the robot. ​ The big problem was 
-the weapon shaft, which no matter what I did would bend.  In one fight I also bent 
-the weapon blade and had to use a fork lift to unbend it.  In the final fight the 
-lexan cover got shattered and the batteries got rearranged, but apart from minor 
-tire damage, the internal components came through OK, so I'll be able to use them 
-again. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-My other robot, [[madoverlord:​robots-ANOREXIA|Anorexia]],​ did better. 
- 
- 
- 
-