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DresnerRobotics
08-03-2010, 03:16 PM
Alright Ladies & Gentlemen, here is the deal.

Since Mech Warfare started, a large portion of the costs of organizing it and materials for building the arena and/or scoring equipment has come out of Mike and my own pocket. We have had help along the way from Trossen Robotics, Big Blue Saw, Robogames, Che Edoga (our own darkback2), Billy (aka Connor), and sponsors here and there as well. Last year, we were lucky enough to have valuable labor, materials, & expertise donated to us by Fon Davis & his company Fonco Creative (http://foncocreative.net/) and had Robogames cover some of the arena materials cost. The issue is, with each year we're seeing an increase in cost to setup and run the event.

A big cost factor is the arena itself, as it's basically built to be disposable each year since the cost of storage would be roughly the same as the cost of building it.

We have a solution to this however- Fon Davis has offered to help us with our arena design once again and this time it will be built in a permanent, reusable fashion. We're going to have the buildings cast out of a modeling grade urethane and built in such a way that they can be broken down and rebuilt in a matter of minutes- and reusable for years to come. No more repainting or having to build structural components to hold the buildings up. The walls will snap together and we can then drop a rooftop on each building. We also will have the option for sugar-glass panes for windows that actually shatter and are totally replaceable.

The catch? While it will be awesome to have sturdy reusable buildings for the future years of our competition, the cost of materials will be even greater. Fon is kind enough to donate free labor in designing and building the molds, casting the panels, and detailing the exterior- but the cost of materials alone for 4 buildings is going to be close to $1,000 USD, so that's what I'm setting our goal at. This is not including the cost of a dedicated Wifi router setup I will be purchasing for the event, the frame-work, disposable flooring, promotional material etc.

So, I'm going to start asking for donations from the community, as well as pitching it to a few more sponsors. Mech Warfare is not a legal entity (yet) so I can't really write you a donation receipt or anything along those lines, but I can assure you that the money will be put to good use. I'm going to be totally transparent in how much money I've raised for this, but for privacy reasons will not be divulging how much was donated by a particular person. If you would allow it, I will list any persons or companies that have made donations, as well as provide linking/logos on the sponsors page of our mech warfare site.

If we reach $1,000, fantastic! If not, I'll cover any remaining difference (up to the full amount) out of pocket. If we end up getting even more? All of that money will be put into furthering the event and making it even better. For the sake of full transparency, I will be more than happy to provide receipts of all items purchased for the event. Meaning- you will know how the donation money is being spent. I'm not trying to get rich here, none of the money donated will be for personal profit. If you have any question of my integrity, feel free to PM any of the members of this forum that have been around for a bit and ask them what they think of me, I'm sure most will vouch that my intentions are good here. I've ended up spending a very good amount of money over the last 2.5 years and have no business model nor intention with Mech Warfare to turn a profit, it's more or less a labor of love. Even a few dollars can help the cause!

Donations to Mech Warfare can be sent via paypal to: [email protected] or click here (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=XVEW7ZZD26ZSC)


PLEASE clearly mark in the subject line: "Donation for Mech Warfare". I would like to keep clear records of who has donated what, and hope to do something special for those who contribute.


I want to emphasize that Fon Davis & company donated a SERIOUS amount of labor and money out of pocket for last years arena + dressings to look as great as it did. Not only were they onsite for hours building our arena, they put in considerable prep time making molds and pouring cast plaster sides + tons of intricately detailed models.

He's slated to put in even more labor and materials this year, which is why I'm accepting donations to fund the permanent/reusable buildings. I'm going to be drop shipping the raw materials directly to his studio and also flying out sometime this upcoming spring to lend a hand.

SO! If you'd like to also support Fon Davis, check out his pet project MORAV (http://morav.net), and pick up his new Graphic Novel, MORAV: The History of Robotic Warfare on Amazon (http://amzn.com/1608870111)! If you love giant robots, mech-mayhem, and things blowing up, you'll love his Morav project!

Stobs
08-03-2010, 04:05 PM
About how many individuals participated in Mech-Warfare for RG2010?

DresnerRobotics
08-03-2010, 04:06 PM
Individuals? We had 20+ total, not sure on the final count.

Stobs
08-03-2010, 05:12 PM
Ok, thanks. I have to get some funds into paypal but I'll send you a few bucks for the cause as soon as they're available.

DresnerRobotics
08-03-2010, 05:17 PM
I want to emphasize that Fon Davis & company donated a SERIOUS amount of labor and money out of pocket for last years arena + dressings to look as great as it did. Not only were they onsite for hours building our arena, they put in considerable prep time making molds and pouring cast plaster sides + tons of intricately detailed models.

He's slated to put in even more labor and materials this year, which is why I'm accepting donations to fund the permanent/reusable buildings. I'm going to be drop shipping the raw materials directly to his studio and also flying out sometime this upcoming spring to lend a hand.

SO! If you'd like to also support Fon Davis, check out his pet project MORAV (http://morav.net), and pick up his new Graphic Novel, MORAV: The History of Robotic Warfare MORAV: The History of Robotic Warfare (http://amzn.com/1608870111)! If you love giant robots, mech-mayhem, and things blowing up, you'll love his Morav project!

parallax
08-04-2010, 08:06 PM
I take it any size donation is acceptable? Goodness knows I don't have much (and subsequently probably won't make it out to Robogames this year unless they decide to host it in New England), but I believe in the spirit of the event and will happily cut a portion of this weeks paycheck to help out... :)

DresnerRobotics
08-09-2010, 12:10 PM
Even a dollar helps!

Thanks everyone for your contributions so far! We're up to just shy of $300 already!

DresnerRobotics
08-11-2010, 10:49 AM
Updated the paypal address to: [email protected]

Thanks for the donations everyone! They keep rolling in! At the $400 mark now!

parallax
10-02-2010, 11:37 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I'm curious: did we ever hit the 1000 dollar goal? Or did we stall out around 400?

If we haven't met the goal yet are you still accepting donations for this?

DresnerRobotics
10-03-2010, 10:07 AM
Were currently at $552.65 (paypal takes a cut on credit card donations). We're still accepting donations, however I have an idea or two that might boost them. Fon is tied up with a project so we still have about 2 months or so before he can start work on this. If we fall short of 1k I'll just cover the remaining balance, so we'll get it done regardless. :)

darkback2
10-16-2010, 04:41 PM
I got my copy of MORAV in yesterday's mail. Planned on reading it during a trip today, but finished it last night cause I couldn't put it down. Really fun read. The story is rich and the character development is strong. I payed $17 for it, and you can get it for 12 on Amazon. Well worth it in my opinion. I especially found it inspiring for anyone participating in mech warfare. I would love to see some MORAV styled mechs walking around the cityscape. If only I had the money I would be all over it.

In anycase, check it out:
MORAV

And be sure to donate to Mech Warfare!

DB

elaughlin
10-30-2010, 08:56 AM
Same thing for me DB. I just got my copy of MORAV last night from Amazon. Just wouldn't put it down until I finished it.

And now I want to build my own! I think that will be my project next year. I am going to plan on making the X1 with the lynxmotion J5 tracked base. But then put guns on it! Thats my plan at least.

Fon Davis did a great job with this. I want more chapters!

DresnerRobotics
11-30-2010, 01:02 PM
Just wanted to give an update on this, we're up to about $650 in donations so far! Total cost on the new arena will likely be around $1200, but as I said I'll cover the difference. I'm actually going to fly out to California and give Fon a hand in getting these buildings finished after the holidays.

Thanks SO much to everyone who has donated!

DresnerRobotics
01-06-2011, 02:10 PM
Update:

We ended up netting around $850 total in donations, I covered the rest of the cost and recently purchased 10 gallons of modeling grade polyurethane. I'm going to be flying out to the Bay area for a weekend in Febuary to work with Fon Davis on getting the permanent building facades poured and painted. If there is anyone in the area that would like to come help, any and all help would be appreciated! There's a LOT of labor involved, and you'd get a chance to see the very cool studio of a professional hollywood SFX/Model maker. Our goal has been met though! Thanks again to all that donated.

I'll be covering the cost of a permanent router/scoring server solution out of pocket, no need to generate finances for that.

This leads us to the next objective:

My plan is to create an arena frame that uses 80/20 aluminum framing (http://www.8020.net/). Using this method of construction will allow us to modularize the arena and be able to break it down to a compact 'storage ready' size, and ultimately provide us with the ability to install plexiglass siding and get an 'armored' arena should we move to using heavier weapons in the hardcore league. This is going to be quite an undertaking in cost, roughly $2000 total, so I'm going to try a few avenues to generate some additional income for our competition. More information soon.

master_of_robots
01-06-2011, 03:43 PM
...so I'm going to try a few avenues to generate some additional income for our competition...

Heh...just don't start working those street corners. ;)

Stobs
01-07-2011, 08:05 PM
I should be up in the area from mid-January to mid-March, or there abouts; just post more details when you get them please.

Paul

elaughlin
01-14-2011, 09:25 PM
I wish I could be there to help, with all that you guys have done for me.

Stobs
02-05-2011, 01:16 PM
I'm finally back up in Monterey, but I may be only staying for three weeks at a time - driving back down to near LA for a week or two in between, so hopefully I'll be up here when you're ready to go out to S.F.

Paul

DresnerRobotics
03-08-2012, 05:05 PM
Okay guys, here's the deal. The current plan is to completely revamp our arena into a modular, lexan and aluminum frame arena. We're going to be using 80/20 aluminum to keep things sturdy, and most importantly modular and easily built/broken down. The problem is that this is a very expensive route to go, but it will mean we will have a permanent arena frame for use in the next 5 years. It also will enable us to host Hardcore ruleset games within the same arena- no more cramping into the tiny ant-weight arena.

I've started a Kickstarter here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/979852762/help-us-build-a-mech-warfare-robot-arena

(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/979852762/help-us-build-a-mech-warfare-robot-arena)If you are able to contribute, it'd be much appreciated. A big push of funding at the beginning will go a long way, and help get us featured on the front page. Also, if you know of any local companies or anyone interested in helping out, please spread the word.

Successfully funding this will solidify our 'infrastructure' considerably, making future years competitions much easier and allows us to focus on growing the competition in other ways.

Rolling Robots
03-09-2012, 06:48 AM
Good luck with the Kickstarter. We just posted our pledge.
Looking forward to robogames we are building a mech and bringing our team of students to compete. Our team page is here:
http://rollingrobots.com/summer-camp-and-after-school-programs-rolling-robots/robotics-competition

DresnerRobotics
03-09-2012, 11:55 AM
Good luck with the Kickstarter. We just posted our pledge.
Looking forward to robogames we are building a mech and bringing our team of students to compete. Our team page is here:
http://rollingrobots.com/summer-camp-and-after-school-programs-rolling-robots/robotics-competition

Thanks much! We look forward to seeing you this year.

Xevel
03-09-2012, 01:22 PM
I'm sure it will be awesome :D Good luck!

Nice new avatar BTW Tyberius, you can't go wrong with cat, sweater, mullet and laser background ;)

DresnerRobotics
03-09-2012, 04:27 PM
Thanks everyone for your donations so far, almost at 1k not even 24 hours into it launching.

FYI- if you do not want to sign up for Amazon/Kickstarter, you can still send money to [email protected] ([email protected]) and I will make sure it gets routed into it through proxy.

DresnerRobotics
03-26-2012, 09:48 PM
Hey guys!

We did it! We're at 102% funding as of today.

With that said, please keep contributing if we can. I'd like to thoroughly upgrade our networking equipment as well as get some projectors to show the mech cam feeds for the spectators. Ideally 7k will cover absolutely everything needed for our gear for many years to come.

DresnerRobotics
04-10-2012, 06:35 PM
We ended up with funding at $7,000 roughly, which means we bring in about $6200 after Kickstarter/Amazon fees.

Still a bit short for everything we wanted to pick up, but we'll make it work.

Thanks so much to everyone!

DresnerRobotics
08-06-2012, 08:07 PM
Hate to rattle the change can, but I wanted to give an update on our funding, etc.

All in all we did really well funding the arena with the Kickstarter funds. When all was said and done we were still a bit short, and it left us dry in terms of fulfilling the Kickstarter rewards (shipping 100+ packages costs a couple hundred) but I have that covered now from the trickle of paypal donations that came in over the last 4 months.

The issue now is that we have a monthly upkeep for storage and insurance of about $120 a month.

Obviously with no income source outside of community donations this isn't viable, so we're working out a higher entry fee next year with additional proceeds going to Mech Warfare funding. So long story short, after next year at Robogames we should be totally self sufficient, but in the time being we're stuck paying $120 a month for arena storage/insurance.

I've been paying this out of pocket, but I would gladly accept any donations to help cover the costs.

Easiest way to donate is to just click the donate button on the bottom of the http://Mech-warfare.com page. Thanks guys!

jwatte
08-07-2012, 03:12 AM
Have you considered donations in kind? Is there someone who lives close to you that can store the arena in their basement or attic?
Also, donations are not a great long-term revenue stream -- I imagine the sport is not yet big enough to get Nike to buy ad space in the arena, but it probably doesn't hurt to ask ;-)

DresnerRobotics
08-07-2012, 10:41 AM
Have you considered donations in kind? Is there someone who lives close to you that can store the arena in their basement or attic?
Also, donations are not a great long-term revenue stream -- I imagine the sport is not yet big enough to get Nike to buy ad space in the arena, but it probably doesn't hurt to ask ;-)

Arena has to stay nearby the event, as it's a massive PITA to haul anywhere. I don't know of anyone nearby, and the closest people I do know don't have 5x10 worth of available storage (it takes a decent amount).

As I said, we're actually okay after next year's event as we will be self-sufficient. It's just that covering until next year comes out of pocket without community donation.

Stobs
04-26-2013, 12:22 PM
Ty,

Have you considered looking into the possibility of selling M-W embossed/printed/silk-screened clothing and accessories? A variety of designs and styles revolving around M-W in general and some possibly specifically integrating the Chicago-based event(s) may be viable. Copyrighted items like t-shirts, ball caps, pins and even phone/ipad covers, etc. available through Trossen, the M-W website and at events would provide year-round revenues, if a reasonably priced supplier could be sourced. Patches available for purchase by non-participants could be differentiated from those for purchase or provided to participants - part of the champions' accolades could be packages of various items.


PS: Possibly not so obvious is the fact that such items also help to advertise M-W and that those who desire to obtain them would also likely be favorable ambassadors for M-W should they be asked about it.