View Full Version : My Suggestins for Mech Warfare

12-16-2009, 11:05 PM
I've been doing some reading and considering building a mech for competition. It's certainly to late for me to start for 2010, so I'm looking ahead to 2011. While doing this I had some suggestions based on what I've read.

1. Post clear future rule evolutions for future competitions. (As far out as possible). I don't want to start a design on a 36" 8 kg bot if next year there may be a 24" 5kg restrictions. Or a 7.5 kg class and unlimited class where I ended up designing a bot at the bottom of a class. This is important since it takes so long to develop these advanced bots. This is common in most competitions where advanced planning is required (robocup, and SAE competitions).

That being said, this looks awesome and I hope that I find the time and maintain my drive to do this competition.

One question. About how much are your robots costing? I'm expecting to have to spend at least $2,000 + transportation costs for this. Is that about right?

12-16-2009, 11:22 PM
Since we've just started this competition, and we're only going into year 2, we don't have a clear guideline for rule evolution. However, I don't think our contest will ever evolve to entirely rule out a weight/size class, within the limits of possible arenas. For certain, keep it under 4' tall (height of smaller arenas), and that limits your weight, etc.

Eventually, given sufficient participant density, we'd like to see at least two weight/size classes. The dividing factor would probably be somewhere in the 4kg or 5kg range. So we'd have an <4kg/24", and an > 4kg class, since that's generally around the point where you have to transition from ~$100 hobby-size servos to $300-500 "robot" servos. Once you go over that 4-5kg range, it's just an entirely different class of beast, from all aspects: cost, safety, payload, etc. (EDIT: there may be additional justifications for class, for instance, some of Darkback's bots are really heavy, because they are built on the cheap with scrap metals and carry a PC, but I'm not sure I'd class such a bot with a bot like Giger, which, even with it's weight, should be a more agile platform for it's cost.)

As for cost, depends on what route you go. Giger is a $10k bot, but Issy, the MW2009 winner, is a $750 bot to replicate (for sure, I spent more along the way, but you could replicate it for about $750). I'm expecting that most of the bot's we'll see this upcoming year are probably going to be in the <$1k category. The type of things you're worrying about are pretty far off for being dealt with I think, simply because of this factor. There are very few people willing, and able, to drop $10-15k on a bot that falls in that >5kg category.


12-17-2009, 12:38 AM
Not to completely echo fergs...Charlie was build on the cheap. The original bot was under $100 not including the PC...Squidword was not exactly built on the cheap, but still ended up being under $2000. including some really nice servos and the PC.

As for your concerns, I'm not sure your asking the right questions. The major limitations in this event are building a bot that can carry the payload required to compete successfully. Think batteries, and stronger servos coupled with weight management and well thought out gates. Issy won last year because it was light, fast, and most importantly because it worked for the entire 15 minutes time after time. (can't say the same for my bots.) There is a real do it yourself spirit here because outside of safety and liability issues, we are the ones making the rules. (well...tybes and fergy are.) Heavier bots are not always better for this event, and over time your bot will evolve. Your not going to want to show up with the same thing over and over again, because the bots around you are going to be changing as new materials and equipment become available, and techniques are adopted.

Oh...and your budget sounds about perfect.

Good luck, and see you out there.