all four bends into the
panel while keeping it
in one piece.
We suspect that
the torch work may
have ended up
changing the heat treat
on areas of the panel,
but it fit on the robot
and was certainly way
better than having no
With the new
panels, new spikes, and
new weapon motor,
needed a few finishing
spinning bar is
controlled using a
solenoid, and in 2016 the shocks imparted by big
spinners unmounted the solenoid from its base and took
our weapon out of commission. We had a different,
more solid solenoid from Ametek in mind.
Once we wired in the new solenoid, we couldn’t get
the motor to activate. According to the LEDs, our old
Team Delta switch appeared to be working, and some
diagnostics with the multimeter reflected that everything
was properly grounded. We were scratching our heads
and watching the clock, because we didn’t have much
time to figure this out.
Ragebridge Against the Machine
Troublemaker was driving again and equipped with
new body panels, new spikes, and a new weapon motor,
but we couldn’t get the weapon motor to activate and
were on our last build day before RoboGames. This
unexpected conundrum threatened to throw us into a
rage, and that’s when inspiration struck.
We had picked up a few spare Ragebridges (no-frills
and robust dual-channel DC motor controllers for robotic
and vehicular drivetrain applications), and thought that
could be the perfect way to power the weapon motor. We
wired up the Rage for single-channel operation, hooked it
up to our receiver, and crossed our fingers as we fired up
the bot. The weapon motor worked like a charm, and it felt
so fancy having throttle control on our second stick.
The final finishing touches for Troublemaker were new
teeth for the weapon bar and new stickers for the body
panels. For the teeth, we cut some long rectangles of steel,
sharpened the edges, and painted them red to match the
team color scheme. The teeth could rotate freely at the end
of the arms to maintain the shock-absorbing theme of the
design. We had no illusions that this setup could do
anything to robots clad in thick plates of aluminum or steel,
but we hoped they could chew up some exposed tires,
which are a frequent feature in the lightweight class.
Our vintage lightweight was once again ready to fight.
We just hoped Troublemaker would have a triumphant
return to action, more like Sylvester Stallone in The
Expendables and less like Sylvester Stallone in Bullet to the
Upon arriving at RoboGames, we were reminded why a
crazy last minute scramble to get Troublemaker all ready
was unquestionably worth it. Teams travel from all over the
world to come to RoboGames, both in the combat classes
and the noncombat classes. For a team that had spent
SERVO 07/08.2018 71
DOUBLE THE RAGE!
THE NEW MOTOR MOUNT.