degree weather combined with the
104°F water, or perhaps it was the
adrenaline and the physical
exhaustion of our day of hiking and
skiing, combined with the notion
that we had a chance to be part of
something spectacular. The robot
design kept evolving exponentially
until we knew we had our answer.
Once we got back home, we
designed many iterations — steel
tube frames, welded aluminum
frames, different weapon systems —
before settling on the final design.
Ultimately, it came down to ease of
manufacturing. Our team is split up
among three states, and we had no
personal CNC access. We designed the robot to fit the skills
of our two sponsors: Kalamazoo Waterjet and Revolutionary
Machine & Design. Kalamazoo Waterjet made our solid S7
Tool Steel weapon and many waterjet components, while
Revolutionary Machine & Design did the CNC work on
Witch Doctor's frame. We did all the work we could
separately, and then our team flew down to meet in Miami
to crank out all the finish machining, welding, assembly,
wiring, and testing — in just two weekends! It was the most
exhausting, intense, and rewarding
build I have ever taken part in.
SERVO: Multi-bots are not
common in most combat events.
What led you to choose this
Suarez: We chose a multi-bot
design because we were pushing
ourselves to try something different.
We wanted Shaman to be much
more than just a nuisance bot. We
wanted it to drive into
clamping/lifting robots so they
couldn't catch Witch Doctor. We
wanted it to create a huge ball of
flame around the opponent so Witch
Doctor could come in and get its hit.
Shaman is all about distraction,
manipulation, and fire.
SERVO: What did you learn from your BattleBots
Suarez: We were initially a bit concerned that the
prizes and television crews would affect the behavior of the
builders at the competition. It was immediately obvious that
the level of support and encouragement between the teams
was only heightened by this experience. As always, the
BattleBots community is incredible. I can't wait to see what
BattleBots does next! SV
SERVO 09.2015 65
Witch Doctor entering the arena (L to R:
Paul Grata, just off frame; Andrea
Suarez; Mike Gellatly; Jennifer Villa).
In the arena (L to R: Jennifer Villa, Paul
Grata, Andrea Suarez, Mike Gellatly).