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Borg
06-08-2010, 02:16 PM
Anyone else here interested in getting started in mech's but not interested in taking out a loan?

I'd like to put together a bot for <500 or come up with a challenge for the cheapest mech that still is competitive.

Esp. in the advanced league where losing hundreds of dollars of gear to a flamethrower doesn't appeal to me. ;)

Just curious if anyone's gotten something under way. I'm in the planning stages only and it doesn't look good. :O

darkback2
06-08-2010, 02:20 PM
Ok...First off the point of hardcore is not to disable the other bot...

That said, Charlie originally cost $100 to build using MG 995s. If you use HS 645mgs it goes up a bit, bot not unreasonably so.

There is a tutorial including printable brackets in the tutorials section.

DB

DresnerRobotics
06-08-2010, 02:36 PM
An AX-12 based quadruped (likely the single most competitive platform we've seen yet) certainly doesn't require a loan, and cheaper bots could be built.

Just because I chose to build a flagship (Giger) for the competition for the sake of building a flagship and PR reasons, does not in any way mean that is what's required to be competitive. I got beat this year by a bot that cost a small fraction of what Giger cost.

lnxfergy
06-08-2010, 04:00 PM
Yep, an AX-12 quad is probably the way to go for highly competitive but reasonable cost. You can even go 2DOF per leg to bring down the cost:

9 AX-12 (4 legs x 2, +1 for turret tilt) = $404
Comprehensive Frame Kit = $99
ArbotiX Starter Kit = $189
Trendnet Camera = $70 on sale from Amazon (wait for it, it will happen)
Lipo Battery = $50
5V 1A Switching regulator for Camera = $15
Pair of tank guns, or single defender = $25

Total: $852 + miscellaneous stuff I've forgotten + scoring panels/transponder. Seems like a lot, but the servos, controller, xbees will last you a long time, and can be reused on a lot of projects. It's likely with just about any other solution, you'll end up in the $1k range anyways, as you keep upgrading equipment like crazy.

The original Issy build tutorial is here: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/tutorials/build-articles-130/build-your-own-issydunnyet-3257/ and Upgrayd's new "Gold Rush" robot legs (using PVC pipe rather than the expensive lynxmotion parts) would be a hot setup

EDIT TO ADD: $500 is going to be very hard to do. The reality is, camera + scoring + xbees + a decent lipo battery is already $200-$250, getting servos + controller for only $300 more is going to be near impossible. The payload is quite far up there, the BRATs that were carrying the load were using 5990s, which are quite a bit more expensive than a 645, and they still weren't competitive.

About the only way I can see getting a functional, competitive bot under $500 is going to be using very cheap servos + huge mechanical advantage on a quad. I know I often get accused of saying things are expensive, but, I won the Senior Division of the Trinity Fire Fighting contest last year with a $118 robot -- and I'm almost certain I couldn't build a sub-$500 mech.

-Fergs

Standard Disclaimer I attach to all ArbotiX posts: I'm the creator of the ArbotiX.

Adam
06-08-2010, 06:31 PM
Effectiveness isn't just about the bot... I've not competed in Mech Wars, but I've played enough Mechwarrior to know that pilot skill must be a significant factor.

lnxfergy
06-08-2010, 08:07 PM
Effectiveness isn't just about the bot... I've not competed in Mech Wars, but I've played enough Mechwarrior to know that pilot skill must be a significant factor.

Sure, but if you can't walk well enough to even qualify, it's a moot point.

-Fergs

Upgrayd
06-08-2010, 08:32 PM
Robotics is a hobby. And Hobbies tend to be money sinks.

Just about any way you slice it you are looking at around a $1,000 price point for a typical mech. You also have to think in terms of cost to compete (robot, tools, spares, registration, travel, lodging, food, ect).

lnxfergy
06-08-2010, 08:39 PM
Robotics is a hobby. And Hobbies tend to be money sinks.

Just about any way you slice it you are looking at around a $1,000 price point for a typical mech. You also have to think in terms of cost to compete (robot, tools, spares, registration, travel, lodging, food, ect).

Ah so true. At the end of the day, the amount I spend on flight/lodging almost makes it seem reasonable to build an RX-64 version of Issy, since the servos would be around for quite a long time.... as opposed to a hotel reservation....

-Fergs

Borg
06-09-2010, 09:55 AM
WOw, thanks for the responses! I would tend to agree that robotics isn't the cheapest hobby. (And I'm a cheapskate.)
But I will take a look at a few of these options and will post my results.

Thanks again!