Builder Rob Farrow's checklist: Four wheels, four motors, an electric lifting arm, big tires, and a scary gorilla mask designed to "induce nightmares and paralysis in opposing drivers." It bounces. It hops. It tips over and tips back upright. Can anything stop it?
Kevin Evans built a very practical robot with large wheels and plenty of speed and power. It's a little wide and long to slip thru the Robotica trials, but if the driver stays cool the bot has potential.
Edward Robinson of Team Tsunami is an interesting fella. He swollows swords, eats fire, and he built this 'bot that for all the world looks and moves like a shark. Weighing in at 218 lbs., the shovel-head is a pneumatic flipper. It has thrashed and bashed its way into the hearts of many fans.
Mike Konshak paid careful attention to the demands put on a 'bot by the Robotica challenges and built a laterally articulated invertible robot with a lot of ground clearance. All-wheel drive, six horsepower, and a lifting arm added to its versatility. For the 'Fight to the Finish" the two halves lock together and low-profile tires are mounted to compliment an effective front wedge. How can he lose?
Jason Giddings' entry has a vacuum impeller to increase traction by creating a low-pressure area under the machine. The bot also has a compressed nitrogen powered piston powered capable of exerting more than 1000 poinds of force. If it can make it to the platform fight it will be tough to push off!
Eric Koss' bot wins the 'best paint' award for Season 2, hands down. Twin Magmotors provide huge 4-wheel drive speed, but is the driver disciplined enough to use it in moderation? Twin overhead pneumatic spike weapons will help - if the team can nurse it to the Fight to the Finish...
A low combat 'bot sitting on top of a special high-rise dolly unit to give it additional clearance for the obstacles. Clever! Builder Dan Fetterly understands that controll is important for the Robotica challenges.
Team Whyachi seem to believe that there is no problem that cannot be solved by power. If the problem is Robotica, the solution must be a whole lot of power! Twenty-four horsepower in a titanium chassis with a electric actuator plow-lift all combine in a compact package. Can it be controlled?
Greg Ferree decided that tank treads were the solution to getting thru the Gauntlet and the Labyrinth, and that's a viable approach. It's weapon is very small, which may hurt its chances if 1-on-1 combat breaks out.
Jeff Vasquez has reflexes like a cat and he uses them to keep up with Deb Bot. Lightning fast, nimble, and presenting a small frontal area -- Deb Bot shows what speed and compact design can accomplish. Unusual but powerful Astroflight 90 model aircraft motors provided plenty of power for the bite-sized 'bot, and the lifting arm could prove very useful.
It looks like Ken Benner built the Ill Tempered Mutt to slip thru the rubble in The Gauntlet fast and smooth. If the Mutt can handle The Labyrinth, it could work out very well. They have an impressive drum spinner weapon to mount if they can make it to the 'Fight to the Finish'.
John Adipietro gave up on electronic motor controllers and went old school with simple on/off relay contactors. The lack of fine motor control worries me, as does the amount of armor overhanging the wheels. Plenty of room for debris to jam in there.
Fully suspended tracks like a military tank give Botzilla a smooth ride and great traction. The electric actuated arm adds versatility. Tank treads are complex and tend to create problems, but maybe builder Lawrence Feir understands the challenge...
Northern Fury is a good example of thrifty robot construction. Motors and electronics couldn't be skimped on, but Charles Halliburton found everything else either cheap, borrowed, or recycled. The frame was created from garage door opener support brackets, the armor is scrap 1/4" aluminum, and the batteries are from surplus uninterruptible power supplies.
David Roy is the youngest competitor at Robotica. He had an unpleasant surprise at weigh-in: Thor was 50 pounds overweight! David worked thru the night to shave off the excess pounds. The robust, 4-wheel drive 'bot should do very well in The Labyrinth.
"Most of the technical details concerning the Robotica Rats are classified but I can tell you there is an experienced Hollywood SFX team in control of them. Pay close attention to their behavior - not only do they impede and attack the competitors at times but they can also give them a hand in the Labyrinth!"