Adventures in Science: Combat Bots

In honor of the wonderful world of robotics, and the upcoming SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition in October, we’re taking a look at a few tips and tricks for building a combat bot, especially one made of plastic.

Defense System Types

 

 

Defensive systems used on a combat bot can be both practical and intimidating. In our first video, we’re taking a look at various options for defense and offense found on most combat bots, as well as some examples from a Plastic Bot collection. We even dive into some tips for designing defense systems with a 3D printer.

Using an RC Hobby Controller With Arduino

 

 

Building the base of a combat bot is relatively simple. Assembling a 2-channel controller, an Arduino, some motors and a battery will result in a ready-to-compete combat bot. This video takes you through the basics of setting up an RC hobby controller and reading commands using Arduino.

Mixing RC Controller Inputs for Arcade Drive

 

 

Take a look at how to steer a simple robot using an RC hobby motor by mixing two channels. A past AVC competitor also reveals his tips for competing with combat bots and how he made a robot out of a cardboard box.

Designing a Combat Bot Chassis

 

 

Sit down with Jamie Leben of IT-Works to discuss how to create a wedge bot and take a look at some pointers for 3D printing a combat-ready chassis for your bot. Jamie also shares a downloadable file for student contestants to use and modify as they desire when creating a plastic ant bot.

Building a bot with your students? Coming to or competing in this year's AVC at Maker Faire® Denver? We want to hear from you in the comments below!