Smackdown in Sactown V

February 24, 2009 at 2:08 am

Over this weekend, Joe and I decided at the last minute to take the carcass of Emsee Frypants and fix it up enough to be able to compete at the Fifth annual Smackdown in Sactown event. We were going to be there anyways since I was running the brackets, and we wanted to bring the Sentry Guns and our 30 pound robot to the event, and figured it’d be fun to take Frypants back for one last spin (no pun intended).

Fry me a River

Fry me a River

I Also decided to throw together an all-new robot, which I decided to name Pretty Fry for a White Guy (which didn’t actually end up competing). It was a series of bad things that happened Saturday night, and I kept Joe up really late to build it (sorry). Primarily, the problem was my machining abilities, or rather, lack thereof. On top of that, I was having receiver issues, brushless motor controller problems, and brushed motor controller issues. I borrowed a new brushless controller at the event, and decided to run it with only one wheel working. However, as soon as it got in the arena the receiver freaked out and the weapon motor got stuck on and it was out of control in the arena. It ended up losing one of the brushless motor screws, and overheating the motor a little bit (I think it’s fine though), so I didn’t end up getting to compete with it. The robot wasn’t very competitive, anyway.

Frypants & Robot

Frypants & Trophie

Joe decided that, since he rebuilt it, he got to drive it. Normally I would disagree, but I figured why not, so he ended up driving it. In an unlucky first round matchup, Frypants ended up facing what I thought was the robot to beat at the event, Rector. After a minute or so, Rector was mostly disabled: the parts of the robot that were supposed to be inside weren’t inside anymore. However, he was still able to move a little bit, and Frypants knocked himself into the edge of the pit on the final hit, and was unable to recover. Joe drove valiantly through the remainder of the losers bracket and ended up winning the event. Driving Frypants isn’t the most difficult thing to do, I mean, point the dangerous bits at the other robot, and drive towards them; however, there are definitely hazards of driving in the Sacramento State arena with a weaponed robot (namely don’t knock yourself into the pit), and he did a good job of driving, so I commend him for that.

You can read Joe’s report of the event at his web site.

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  1. February 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Congrats! That’s bad ass :). Is this your first win in a competition or had you won before? I so wish I knew how to build machines instead of just program on them. I don’t even know how to do that particularly well ;).

  2. February 24, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I can’t remember if it got first or second, but it’s placed really well at a few events. I wasn’t really that worried about winning too much. I’m not trying to be conceited, but I think that it was the best robot at that event, or at least second or third. And the robots aren’t that difficult to make. For the most part it’s all plug and play. The advantage comes when you have a machine shop, and know how to use it (particularly for weaponed robots). Of course, lots of people are successful without them, just proper tools help.

  3. February 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    HOLY CRAP, and update!?!?!?

  4. February 24, 2009 at 11:11 pm


    And why are you hotlinking my pictures?

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