Team Kaizen

Extreme Robots Gloucester October 2017

I must confess, I wasn't immediately planning to go to Gloucester as it is too close to an important date which I couldn't afford to miss. Then I managed to get dispensation to go for the Saturday and so, I did. :P With The Honey Badger rebuilt following the events at Stevenage (just barely mind you, the weapons didn't go on until the Friday), I was looking forwards to seeing how well it preformed in the arena with other robots. Like Robots Live!, Extreme Robots have a whiteboard system and all the Featherweights go into a exhibition melee or two for the show. With the two shows scheduled for the Saturday, the Featherweight's has 4 melees.

Stevenage had told me a lot about The Honey Badger 2.0, the biggest thing was the motor mounts were s*^t. So the 1mm thick steel was replaced with 4mm steel and the motor was dropped closer to the base plate, which has the effect of jacking the robot's rear up a little so the tyres can reach the arena floor. The other thing was that softwoods, like pine, were rubbish so I went to Oak crossmembers instead. I know I had originally said Nylon crossmembers but they are going to be saved for something else.

Melee I

Unfortunately I don't have a video of the first melee fight since the Extreme Robots arena was very awkward to film (we were side on to the arena so the angles were terrible). However, the fight for The Honey Badger basically went like this:

For a whole brief moment, The Honey Badger appears to work brilliantly but it KO'ed itself so this fight really told me very little apart from install a Srimech. In this fight, the flail part of the "flail tail" came off somewhere and the acrylic cover that protects the link came off. The rest of the fights were done without the cover and flail. I really wish that hadn't happened. However, that charge at Mutiny left a mark...

Update: I found a video of the fight recorded by a member of the audience (isn't modern technology wonderful... and ubiquitous). You can see the action that The Honey Badger got up to in the first fight.

Melee II

Melee II was a lot better for The Honey Badger. Again, it ended up in the pit but this was because of the squishy meaty thing at the controls being oh-so-excited after being flipped back onto the wheels. However, it does zip around the arena like nobody's business, doesn't it? What I quickly found out was that one side was a little more active than the other side and that the controls respond best to continious movements rather than a move > neutral > move movement, which makes controlling the robot somewhat difficult.

After this fight (I think, I am not sure), the rigid part of the flail tail got bent so the extruding part became flat straight, which won't have helped with flipping.

Melee III

This was a bit of a odd one. I had both Heatwave (Aftershock) and Explosion (Eruption) flipping The Honey Badger into the pit on four attempts. After the second melee, I was hoping just to survive a melee, least to make the win/loss/survived/defeated ratio a little better but hey, I am going to take it as a positive thing that two of the more famous teams from Robot Wars are heading in my direction. Nothing major out of this fight. Before the fight, I raised the castor ball into the robot, which has the effect of dropping the front of the robot down by a few millimetres to try and prevent the robot from being flipped at the front.

Melee IV

The last featherweight match of the day was the best for The Honey Badger where this one it survived the longest before the squishy meaty thing once again drove into the pit. This fight involved a lot of ramming into and pushing (including Explosion at one point) but then I got all giddy and went into the pit. Pants. Kudos to the team behind Bruiser to getting another Microwave in the arena, this time with a wooden spoon! In this fight, I was having transmitter issues where I think the batteries in it were running low, lasted a long time to be fair. You'll see the Badger pause every so often, it is me trying to get the transmitter working again.

This fight ended with one of the chisels bent, I must have hit something (or something hit me) so hard. They are 4mm steel (same as the drive shaft mounts). I also found a unintended side effect of the 2.1 build in that the flange screws that hold the motors in to the mounts are accessible without dismantling the side panels but are covered by the wheels so they only need removing and the motors can be re-secured a lot easier.

The day was quite fun overall, got to meet robots like BattleAxe, Venator, Mutiny and Luna-Tic and, of course, the fights. The 2.1 variant of The Honey Badger will remain as is for Maidstone (with repairs) and then I'll start work on 2.2 in the new year. However, 2.1 is definitely an improvement over 2.0, it came out of the 4 fights relatively intact and still mobile at the end for 3 of them (in the first fight, a wheel came off). Many thanks to the team behind Mutiny for the Aluminium check plate, I am considering using the pieces for the armour at the front and rebuilding the front cover plate in 2.2.