FIGURE 3. The finished wheel is shown on the right next
to another wheel from the same batch.
FIGURE 4. A set of four wheels made recently
showing near-perfect uniform diameters.
while the wheel is still
spinning on the lathe to give
it a smooth, rounded edge.
If you don’t have access
to a lathe and want results
like this, you’ll need to get
creative. Similar results could
be achieved with a drill
press, a steady hand (or a
vise), and a sharp file. It may
also be possible to build or
buy something that
functions like an RC car tire
truer which uses a sanding
wheel on a parallel shaft to sand
down the tread to a decent finish at
whatever diameter you desire.
With the proper setup, you can
easily create a large supply of uniform
wheels to use on your small scale
surface and cleaning the
edges results in wheels
that have little to no
bounce and the largest
contact patches possible
for their width.
FIGURE 5. All three wheels started as 1.75" Lite Flites of
supposedly the same width and have been turned to 1.125"
diameter. The exact cause of the width discrepancy is unknown,
but it is likely a manufacturing defect.
robots in a short amount of time.
The main point of doing this to
your wheels is to attain the best
drivability possible with a particular
drive system arrangement. Cutting
the wheels down to a concentric
The History of Robot
Combat: Life After
After the cancellation of Comedy Central’s BattleBots in late 2002,
many in the building world felt lost.
BattleBots had grown the sport of
robot combat from an obscure
niche activity to a national television
event. Robot combat and BattleBots
had become household terms.
● by Morgan Berry
Suddenly, the backbone of the
sport was gone, and that left many
with questions as to the future of
the sport. Would robot combat
continue to survive without the
support of those national television
The builders did not wait long
to mourn the ending of BattleBots.
In fall 2002, Ken Gentry began
planning a competition in Orlando,
FL. Many hoped that this event —
Robocide — would be the next “big
thing” in the wake of the ending of
the BattleBots television program.
This first major event since
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