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Thread: Mech Warfare at the NorCal Robotics Expo

  1. Mech Warfare at the NorCal Robotics Expo

    I'm part of the Sierra College Robotics Club and we put on an event, the NorCal Robotics Expo. We wanted there to be Mech Warfare and we were hoping to get your input. We were throwing around some ideas either we need someone else who willing to let us rent the arena or we could collaborate with someone to help build an arena.

    I need help any suggestions or ideas will be welcome, I really want this to become a thing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Re: Mech Warfare at the NorCal Robotics Expo

    I'd be interested (I'm in San Jose). The best bet for an arena is if the guys from Tucson want to make the trip to Rocklin with their arena. Otherwise, the work needed to get a working arena and score system setup is probably far more than you're anticipating.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Princeton University
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    Re: Mech Warfare at the NorCal Robotics Expo

    Put me down as interested in attending but unable to assist from all the way on the east coast.

    Best of luck!

  4. Re: Mech Warfare at the NorCal Robotics Expo

    I (as well as the rest of the Cal Poly Mech Warfare Team) would definitely be interested in joining this competition if we're able to make the trip.

    We've also been trying to figure out how to build an arena and target target plate setup on a budget. So far we thought about buying a folding portable canopy ($100-150), and covering the sides with netting. You would use the standard foam mats from Home Depot or Harbor Freight, and cardboard boxes for buildings. Definitely not as nice as R-Team's arena, but cheap in terms of materials and labor. I'll send additional details if we actually try this out.

    The FPV receivers and display screens for the audience are another substantial expense, but are not strictly necessary. Maybe run this year without them, and get them next year if the event gains enough interest?

    As far as the target plates and scoring system, there are a few options.
    The ideal solution is to build the target plates as per R-Team's designs (see here), but this presents a substantial amount of labor and manufacturing. I would contact them and ask if they have any extra PCBs you could buy from them.
    The Cal Poly team has been working on some low budget target systems to use for practice matches. The piezo targets are connected to an arduino that counts hit points internally, and has a light/sound indication of a robot's "death". This unfortunately does not transmit hit point data, but it can be added using an Xbee or a cheap single channel tx/rx module. It also doesn't include the IR LED, which some competitors use for automatic target tracking. I'll send updates as progress ensues.

  5. #5

    Re: Mech Warfare at the NorCal Robotics Expo

    I'd like to attend if possible, too!

    Also, I'd like to help a bit, perhaps with scoring plates or somesuch. Maybe we can make an order to Macrofab for the manufacture?
    I may have one or two spare FPV receivers, but they may not be diversity, so not the highest signal quality.
    They should plug straight into most monitors, so it probably would be possible to lug a large format display so the audience can see it.
    Might be able to borrow some from the college IT department? (As long as they have composite in.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Tucson, AZ
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    Re: Mech Warfare at the NorCal Robotics Expo

    R-Team (Tucson) hasn't decided what we plan to do for the main Spring event yet. Maker Faires have begun popping up again, but nothing significant in driving distance from Tucson. We've also been looking into Phoenix Fan Fusion (Comicon). Its pretty large but not sure its an ideal event for Mech Warfare (but it is close to home). The NorCal Robotics Event looks interesting but its an awfully far drive from Tucson with the arena for a single day mini-event. If others committed to attending, we might consider it though. I'll ask the other club members.

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