T 34 is a bimodal middleweight. The frame is made of 1/16" wall, 3/4" and 1/2" square steel tubing. Armor is titanium and thickness varies depending on severity of threat in a particular area. The primary weapon is a CO-2 powered titanium flipping wedge. It's driven by a 2-1/2" dia. pneumatic cylinder, which actuates in 100 milliseconds, with 600lbs of force. Drive motors are a pair of 2hp Lemco L-130s, geared down 3.6 to 1. Motor controllers are a pair of Victors. These have failed me once too often and I'm looking for suitable replacements. Batteries are NiMH. Radio is a 3 channel Futaba.
The process of building a battlebot is one of continual evolution, based on "field testing". Due to time constraints (job, family, that sort of thing...) my bot's testing has all been in the battlebox. Below are photos and description of how T 34 is changing and why...
|Photo # 1: Earlier iteration of drive train, with 4 drive wheels and 2 terribly wimpy (but cheap!) motors. At this stage I had invested slightly over $1,000 in the project; most of it for titanium armor. This version of the bot was driven for the first time something like 15 minutes before its first match; guess what happened?|
|Photo # 2: After that debacle the decision was made to upgrade to LEMCO motors. New motor on the left, older one on the right. If it weren't for sponsors helping out with other items I couldn't have afforded these bad boys; they cost a whopping $1,900.-! The real trick was making the bot light enough to accomodate their added weight and still be called a middleweight.|
|Photo # 3: Version 2: improved drive train with 2 traction tires (to save weight) and 4 Omniwheels. This worked fine until one of my two Victor motor controllers (which I had been assured were up to the task) died seconds after the first match started. My opponent swept beneath the bot and popped out an Omni; i.e. a 4-legged "table" turned into a 3-legged wobbly thing. Result: one traction tire couldn't reach the surface and all the bot could do is turn in circles. By this time, excluding sponsor input, the cost of building T 34 was well over $3,000.-|
|Photo # 4: In order to prevent teetering I've cut back from two to one centrally-located Omniwheel on top and bottom. Height adjustment was also a pain in the earlier version; i.e. if the frame got tweaked, compensating for it was not trivial. This new version is easily adjusted, through small holes in the armor, with a T-handled hex key.|
If I ever get it buttoned up I'll take some more shots; at the moment it's a heap of parts, awaiting arrival of a more robust Vantec controller, before I can connect the dots and take another whack at fighting my first fight...
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