cannon in the December 2016 article, then experimented
with it in the April 2017 article.
Even with all that groundwork, we still had a lot of
designing to do when we found out Double Jeopardy was
going to BattleBots. We needed to figure out how to
actuate a large diameter ball valve at high pressures. We
needed to refine our trigger mechanism. We needed to
figure out how to finish the robot within the
250 lb weight limit.
With getting selected to participate in
BattleBots and Troublemaker being dormant for
2017, we knew it was time to get back into
competition. We had registered for RoboGames
2018 long before the new season of BattleBots
was announced. We had actually just decided
to switch gears from working on Double
Jeopardy to finally fixing up Troublemaker the
weekend before the return of BattleBots was
announced. We didn’t get very far.
We had removed some of the beaten up
body panels that needed replacement, and
were in the middle of swapping out one of our
Maxon drive motors for a fresh one. Once we
found out we were accepted in February, it was
a mad dash to get Double Jeopardy finished to
compete in April. You’ll have to tune into the
Discovery Channel to see if we were successful!
All the BattleBots craziness lasted until mid-April, giving us all of one full weekend before
RoboGames to finish up Troublemaker. Our plan
was to fix everything that was broken from
RoboGames 2016 and to add a few
incremental improvements. It was the end of
the build season as we knew it, and we felt fine
— because we had a plan.
Teaching an Old Bot New
Unlike the completely new and pioneering
design of Double Jeopardy, Troublemaker’s
design was largely crystallized in 2001. We had
four direct drive Maxon motors, spikes in the
front, a spinning bar perched atop a carbon
fiber plenum top, and a large hexagonal
footprint. Even in 2018, much of the robot was
comprised of parts we originally made in 2001.
The bot was equipped with the original
bearing blocks, floor, and top panel. Even after
17 years, however, there were a few
incremental improvements that could be made
— after we fixed everything that was busted, of
RoboGames 2016 did more damage to
Troublemaker than all the competitions in the
early aughts combined. Even though during the BotBash
days Troublemaker tangled with the likes of Rambyte from
the Robotic Death Company and Pro-Pain from Mutant
Robots, Troublemaker had never lost a spike or needed a
body panel replaced. After going toe-to-toe with Touro
Light and Big Papa at RoboGames in 2016, there was a lot
of work to do.
68 SERVO 07/08.2018
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ARTISANAL HANDCRAFTED SPIKES.
HEAT TREATING THE NEW SPIKES.