Gilroy bot gauntlet

May 27, 2004 at 11:38 pm

I recently got back from the Gilroy Bot Gauntlet (held last Saturday) and did surprisingly well. I went 5-2 much to my delight, even though I thought I would quickly go 0-2 and then sent packing like I did at Robolympics. Fortunately this bot fixed much of the problems with my first one, even though I couldn’t get the weapon finished on time and underweight. Instead of having the hammer, I found an insanely powerful magnet at HSC Electronics (a local surplus electronic store in Sacramento). I think it’s Neogeominium or something like that. The magnet went inside the robot and had enough force to keep the robot to the ground, but not so much that I couldn’t move. Unfortunately it didn’t quite keep me on the ground and prevent me from getting flipped against, but that’s besides the point. I also put on my carbon fiber flaps again and tested them out some, except they would simply lift my entire bot up so I drilled a couple holes and put some spacers to keep them from doing that. The flaps went on the front and the back so it was pretty effective at pushing around. This thing also has a lot more power than frybot 1.0 because it has 4 copal 30:1 motors instead of the dual tamiya gearbox I had before, and a lot more traction because there is no way for any weight to be anywhere besides the wheels. Finally it seems the interference problems were fixed by having a larger area to wrap up the antenna in.

Before the antweight event started, Steve (from the CSUS robotics team) with his robot Fusable Link sparred with my robot and mine seemed to fare pretty well. The magnet held me down and he couldn’t really get good purchase on me. His was a good deal faster than mine and had a slight advantage over mine, but I was getting the hang of driving the robot against another one, so I felt good for if we fought again. Anyways, on to the main event.

First up, I went against Tenscilla Penbox (penbot?) of Team Thinktank, which has a very deadly horizontal sawblade on the front. Roy counted us off and let us go at it. I charged over to him hoping to get him before his blade spins up, but he gets a good hit on me and I go on top of the blade a little and it sends sparks all over the arena. I back off and hit him again, but his blade is still spinning pretty fast. One more hit and we both get bumped around some more. He’s now towards the center of the arena more and I drive past him and back into him and push him across the arena and try to slow his blade by having it cut into the wall. I finally edge him into it and a lot of sparks fly and then I hear him tap out. Then I hear someone say something about the blade shattering. Wow, it looks like I don’t have that bad of a robot after all.

My robot got pretty torn up by the blade of Tenscilla Penbox, losing pieces of my bottom and terring my wheel up massively. I didn’t think to buy extra tires at Airbourne Hobby since I didn’t think I’d win matches or take damage on my wheels like that. I go searching around for another wheel and William Sauro (?) of Team Fatcats gave me one from his big box of stuff. Thanks a lot for that since it let me continue fighting. It wasn’t the exact same wheel, but it worked good. I had to delay the fight for a few rounds unfortunately though to get everything put back together.

My luck changed as I went against Corrosive, a VDD clone. I try a similar approach against this robot as against the penbox to hit early and often, but his sawblade is just too powerful and ends up knocking my flap off, doing a bit of damage to my duct tape, and eventually flipping me over. Oh well, even winning one fight made me happy so if I lose my next fight too I’ll still have done better than I expected. He did a bit of damage to my robot so I had to replace all the duct tape and remove the burntpopcorn logos I had on the flaps since they were pretty mangled from both blades I’ve faced so far. See the video of frybot 2.0 vs Corrosive

After this, I go against roboslayer, a tiny wedge robot. I simply outpower him with 4 wheels, the magnet and size. I push him against the arena a bit, then finally go for the kill and push him out of the arena. After the fight, the driver of the robot congratulates me (thanks!) and asks who I would rather fight against in my next fight, shazbot or a vertical spinner (I don’t remember which, sorry). I say shazbot since I think it’d be easier on my robot since I think I have a lot more power and size on him, even though shazbot could potentially flip me over with his bulldozer thing.

As luck would have it, the vertical spinner flips himself out of the arena and I end up facing Shazbot. I start off and end up pushing him against the wall and after a couple repeated hits I get under him and drive him out of the arena. The driver congratulates me and then the driver of roboslayer says I was right about shazbot being easier for my robot to beat. Shazbot is still a good robot, but I think that it has a weakness against robots like mine, although it did get kind of messed up by the vertical spinner and torched by the flames of mean burrito.

I look at the brackets for future fights and notice that I’ll have to win 5 more fights to win the event. I look and see that I might make it to the end. For the first time I’m optimistic about winning, if only I can beat my next opponent, the mean burrito. I’ve always feared this robot because of the flames, but I realize after seeing his fights that my robot will probably not have many problems facing him this time since my insides are pretty well protected, and the flame can’t really hurt my carbon fibre or foam wheels. Roy counts down and then announces us to start fighting and we go at each other. He gets under my flap, but not my robot and turns on his massive flames. I still have a little bit of purchase so I back off and run into him again. Eventually he ends up chasing me and I back into the side of him and push him out of the arena to my surprise. I may actually win this thing!

My next opponent is Steve with Fusable Link. I know that he has speed on me but I think I can drive him around by getting under his sides. I turn my robot to have the sides face his wedge and get out of the way for him to get past me and then back into his side and push him around. He pushes me around, then I push him around.. and out of the arena. Both of us are shocked and I look at the brackets to see what I would need to do to win. I would need to win against my next opponent, Kato (a wedge), then against the loser of Micro Nightmare and Hazardous Waste, and then against the winner of the match twice to win.

So I go against Kato, which is a Jimmy Crack Corn clone. They look almost identical, and the commentator had problems commentating the match when Pneu-Jimmy faced Kato. Kato ended up winning because Pneu-Jimmy’s flipper didn’t work, but the resemblance is very striking. We start and we face off in the center. He gets under my flap, but my body is still able to push him around a little bit. This repeats a few times and he gets under my sides and then I start noticing that my robot is getting slower and slower.. Oops, I guess I needed to charge the batteries up more before the fight. He ends up winning on the judges decision. I think I might’ve had a better chance if I had’ve recharged my batteries. Oh well, next time I’ll remember to do it between every fight if I can. If I had’ve won that fight, I would’ve placed at least third and qualified for nationals with my robot. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to make it to nationals though, especially if it’s outside of California.

Overall the event was great, even though it was quite a long drive to Gilroy from Sacramento. It was ran smoothly and very enjoyable. The venue was large enough to accomodate everything (unlike the small area for ants at Robolympics) and there was plenty of pit space for everyone. Everyone there was great sports so it was fun even though I didn’t win. Congratulations to Jim Smentowski (sp?) for sweeping both ants and beetles on his birthday.

A few videos of the event will be up soon, as soon as they are finished being transfered.

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One comment

  1. Ross Hironaka
    May 31, 2004 at 1:12 pm

    Nice summary, Kevin! Congrats on doing so well!


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