26 SERVO 04.2017
an event, it did show us how many
corners we had cut unnecessarily.
By this point, we were so sleep
deprived that we no longer cared
whether we won a fight; it only
mattered that we enjoyed what came
next. This, in my opinion, is the
defining realization for all of robot
The sport exists for
entertainment and memories such as
this one, and I could not think of a
more perfect way for a bunch of
friends to spend their last days
together before moving off to
It was also fortunate that we
gave up all cares about winning
before we got to the event because
our first fight lasted all of about four
seconds. The first impact of our
weapon with an opponent — while
spectacular — also blew apart most
of the robot.
The shaft inside the brushless
Outrunner — which was the sole
structure for the weapon — bent
enough to allow the bar to hit our
own armor and break the epoxy
bonds holding the frame together.
Robot guts were spilled and it was
Most builders, I am sure, have
experience with rebuilding a
destroyed bot during an event with
nothing but duct tape and hot glue.
After our first match, we proudly
took our place among these builders.
We scrapped the weapon
completely for fear of destroying
even more of our bot and instead put
all of the pieces together and
wrapped them in camo duct tape,
with some additions strapped on to
make back some weight (and
hopefully get somewhere close to
actually being 3 lbs).
We then noticed that this body
looked like a tank, so the WWII
enthusiasts in us decided to stick a
barrel on the front and rename the
bot Ghost Division. The
transformation was remarkable!
While we never did win a fight,
we did manage to last through all
five minutes of the rumble and go
home with smiles on our faces.
So, all-in-all, we walked away
with some pretty neat things which
we didn’t have when we arrived that
morning. We went home with about
a dozen examples of how not to
design a robot, as well as some really
cool examples from the event of
We showed up with a spinner
and went home with a tank, and
came home with some of the best
summer memories any of us had. We
also took with us a ton of lessons
which we’re now using to design
new bots for the future.
Finally, while we didn’t come
home with any prizes, we did leave
Bot Brawl with one more thing: an
addiction to robot combat. SV
Phantom fully assembled for the first time. It did not look
like this for very long.
Phantom — rechristened as Ghost Division —moments
before entering the arena for the rumble.
Concept for the design of Phantom II, which will hopefully avenge its
namesake and fuel our robot building addiction for many summers