Team Kaizen

Extreme Robots Maidstone November 2017

Maidstone marks the end of the live circuit scene for 2017 (as far as I know) and I made a point of going to the weekend of this. Gloucester hadn't been that bruising to The Honey Badger but at that point, the win/loss ratio was a 100% failure rate. Every single match all the variations of the The Honey Badger had failed to last a three minute match.

Was is the operative word here. The Honey Badger win/loss ratio is officially not 100% failure any more. It is now 87.5% failure.

Melee I

Apologies for the odd video footage, we hadn't quite worked out a good method to film the fights with yet. This first fight The Honey Badger was sporting the full armoury of the sharpened chisels, hinged front wedge plate and the rear steel tail. If anything, this fight taught me that unsupported aluminium door plates are a bad idea as it got bent badly out of shape. However, with some deft driving, it managed to make it all the way to the 10 second countdown before being flipped upside down. Since the robot was immobilised for 10ish seconds or less, I count this as a win.

There is also this video which is much more clearer:

Melee II

This melee was the first of the dun dun duunnnnn.... spinner FW fights of the weekend. Let's remind ourselves that The Honey Badger is made out of 10mm HDPE and 40mm wood. With that in mind, there was only 1 spinner involved called Get Shreked. Arguably, The Honey Badger got off lightly though a massive rip on the front wedge appeared and the hinged wedge plate is now a distant memory with it torn completely in half and the side bars/chisels that were meant to help with keeping the robot on the ground were torn off.

Melee III

This was a chase-me-down fight where again, both Explosion and Avalanche chased me down again. The Honey Badger must be worthy of their attention for some reason (probably down to the lack of a Srimech...). It went over when Explosion rammed it from the rear quarter, which is a bit of a weak point as the height is to ensure the tyres are touching the floor. However, it managed to get back up when Satanix rammed into it and it went back onto the wheels.

This lasted for about 40 seconds and then Satanix hit it again and boom, it went over again and again, after Satanix and the house robot ("Arnie") rammed/pushed it, bang, the Badger was back in the fight. For this fight, I refitted the side bars and chisels to be a spinner defence, making at most 12mm thick steel to go through and it acted very briefly as a scoop as Hurricane (the silver 4WD parallelogram wedge) got caught on the top of it but it managed to wiggle off.

The Honey Badger survived this one still moving and even managed to do a victory jig. :) Oh, and I avoided driving in the pit, so boom, my driving is getting better. :P

Melee IV

Following on from the last FW spinner fight, this one had just 3 (!!!) competitors in there, one of which being Get Shreked running at half power. I made a mistake in not switching over the batteries for The Honey Badger from the last fight. I can claim that I didn't know how long they would last for but it seems that two fights is the limit for them as it visibly got slower during the fight (the battery charger confirmed they were at 5ish volts after the fight, the floor for LiFePO4 batteries). Not that this mattered too much, the steel tail was torn off, my spinner defence was smashed and the front right corner was torn to shreds along with sheared screws and what have you.

Melee V

The Honey Badger, as you might imagine, did not have a good evening after Melee IV. The robot underwent some surgery to fix the hideous damage including my oh so favourite tool, the Dremel, to get off the damaged HDPE. The removable link was also dislodged and when trying to get the back panel on the robot on again, the power light managed to break. Major thanks to the Hurricane for supplying a couple of blue 12v LEDs so we could go back in. I also had said, before the fight, that whilst I can't build a robot, I can wire the thing. To make the LEDs more prominent, I popped off the googly eyes and pushed the LEDs in so they were the eyes and damned scary too.

Karma heard me about the wiring comment. Karma decided to ruin my fight. Fight started, got well into the fight and then got pronged by Oddbot. The Badger rides up on top and then is promptly turned over. OK, no worries, Oddbot then rams me onto the back of my robot. Still no worries, Avalanche then pushes me to the arena wall, the robot catches on the pit edge and lands back on the wheels. I attempted to get it moving annnnddddd nope. Nothing, nada. The lights had gone off from the eyes. No control, nothing.

What happened is that the damage from the last fight and this fight had rather weakened the connection that the link had so it would lose power when wiggled. Doh.

Melee VI

Another spinner fight with Get Shreked at full power. This time, we had 4 competitors in the fight, with The Honey Badger's link lodged in with some masking tape. You'd imagine that this is going to be a slaughter.

Well... kind of. Satanix is a nasty robot to go head to head with, the Badger bounces off of the robot and bang, on the back yet again. You'd think, at this point, Get Shreked would go in the for the kill. As it turns out, they were trying to but the other two kept on blocking. Then, out of no where, Satanix does a massive shove on Get Shreked and it gets flipped and the disc, at full power, whack into both Satanix and the arena wall. The disc suddenly dies and Satanix spins wildly for a moment. Get Shreked was dead and with Satanix unable to move properly, Team Panoramic's robot (I don't know what the name is), the one that got chewed up earlier on in the fight, manages to get Get Shreked in the pit. Meanwhile, the house robot managed to right the Badger, got going again and in my haste to get the other teams in the pit for a clean victory, slid into the pit myself. Booo!

Melee VII

The last melee of the day for The Honey Badger and with a switch of batteries to a charged set and checking the wheels, all was well and ready to go. However, one of the other robots called The Westminster Warrior was utterly broken. They had cut up some Aluminium checker plate to remake the side panels but were struggling with the drill. I helped out by showing them my method for making a pilot hole involving a screwdriver and a whopping great big hammer. I then helped out more by doing a quick spot of soldering to make up a XT90 removable link and then their robot ground out on one side. Dremel to the rescue! After a frantic bit of cutting and grinding courtesy of me, their robot was moving, albeit with one wheel not turning properly.

At least they made it into the arena this time - the last time they entered the arena, one of the wheels fell off before they entered the arena.

As for The Honey Badger, it got stuck in, hit Satanix and you know what happened next - killed itself.

That was it for Maidstone and indeed for the 2017 circuit. The Honey Badger came out of that still moving but utterly ruined so it is going to need to be rebuilt. The electrics are relatively OK but the shell is smashed so I am going to build a new shell for next year and then add in active weapons before transplanting the drive system from the current 2.1.1 version to the 2.2 version so if I am overrunning with this as I am building Shu! and Kaizen, at least I still have the old 2.1.1 version to enter.