new bots did well. Project Darkness
and Project Excelsior both were
effective until finally being knocked out
by Grande Tambor. The horizontal
spinners did great damage; the blade
of In the Margins was particularly
effective. It simply sliced off the parts
of any UHMW chassis it encountered,
wrecking several of the Weta kits and
then Grande Tambor (Figure 20).
Meanwhile in the winner’s bracket,
wedges Trilobite and Speed Wedge 3
quietly just kept on winning. They
finally met in the winners’ semi-final
with Trilobite winning after the drive on
one side of Speed Wedge 3 failed.
In the loser’s bracket semi-finals,
Speed Wedge 3 quickly showed what
type of wedge is required to beat In
the Margins, then went on to beat
Trilobite twice in the finals to take first
Ten Hobbyweights competed —
twice the number of 2104. It quickly
became obvious that there were five
that were the most competitive. The
full body spinner, Sonic the Hedgehog
(Figure 21) spun up impressively, but
had issues with directional control and
reliability which meant the arena took
more damage than its opponents. A
multi-bot, Chop Block made up of a
vertical spinner, Chop (Figure 22) and
a wedge, Block (Figure 23) did well
early on before running into the much
more dangerous blade of Ripto
Ultimate (Figure 24).
Ripto had problems spinning up
and some drive reliability issues that
allowed it to be easily beaten the first
time it met last year’s Champion,
Isotelus Rex (center in Figure 8), and
lost again to the same bot in the
loser’s semi-final after a rather dubious
The clear champion this year was
Attrition (Figure 25). Rebuilt after
coming second last year, its new drum
plus a much more reliable drivetrain
and excellent driving made it the clear
winner in all its fights.
A new class of bots competed this
year. Known as Ratbots, they are a
salute to the bots of the early years of
robot combat, and to the habit of
some builders putting together a bot
without much thought and at the last
Two stood out in particular. Harbor
Freight Bot (Figure 26) was built — as
the name suggests — completely out of
parts bought at Harbor Freight, and
End Result of a Series of Bad Decisions
(Figure 27). This latter bot consisted of
a large blade attached to a Porter
Cable 18V cordless grinder and a single
driven wheel all decorated with plaid
SERVO 05.2015 37
Figure 17. Beetleweight -
Speed Wedge 3.
Figure 19. Beetleweight - Smitti.
Figure 20. Beetleweight - Grande
Tambor after fighting In the Margins.
Figure 21. Hobbyweight -
Sonic the Headhog.
Figure 22. Hobbyweight - Chop;
half of Chop Block.
Figure 23. Hobbyweight - Block;
the other half of Chop Block.