Fighting robots has been an increasingly popular sport for the last fifteen years. While it is, indeed, a battle of wits rather than brawn, it is not a cerebral pastime limited only to nerds. Jay Leno was so impressed by a demonstration of fighting robots which aired on his show that he became determined to build one of his own. That he did, and his own Chin-Killa battled Mauler 2000 on the Tonight Show, November 9, 2000 in a match of super-heavyweight fighting robots.
While there are computer games involving virtual combat robots, if we are discussing making robots, we are talking about the physical type. Combat robots are made up of two essential ingredients: brains and money. Yes, it is an expensive sport, but aren't they all? There are, however, ways to make it more affordable. If you are clever at recycling spare parts, you may find a lot of what you will need around the house. You can also assemble a team with whom to share expenses. Maybe you could even find a sponsor. The big thrill is when you first see these fighting robots perform their tricks; and if you win there will be plenty of glory to share.
Weight classes for combat robots can vary from 25 to over 400 pounds. Competition weight limits depend on the robot's method of movement. Those which operate on legs are allowed higher weight limits. This can be an advantage, but they are harder to build and are not as fast and maneuverable as the kind with wheels.? Weight also affects the cost of transporting your robot to combat events, which can be held all over the world.
The main components of fighting robots include: a speed controller, radio controls, motors, wheels and tires, or other means of motion, weapons and their control systems and batteries. The first thing you need, however, is a plan. Plan your offence and your defense. Weapons may inflict impacts, cuts, flips, grabs, rams and pummeling. How will your robot defend itself? How will it recover from being knocked down or flipped over? Can it withstand smashing blows? Once you have a design on paper, you can search for parts or shop for parts. You might decide for your first effort to buy a kit with all the materials and instructions you need.
If you haven't done so already, attend or view all the events featuring combat robots you can. Live events give you the opportunity to talk to other enthusiasts, and learn from their experience. Don't forget, the reason so many people are doing this is that it's fun!? So have some fun with fighting robots.