Monday, May 9, 2016

Rules and Regulations Update!


Based on feedback from Event #1 at Maker Expo we've updated our rules and regulations.

Here's what we've changed.

Updates:
-Arena is now 10ft in diameter
-Banned weapons: Excessive Audio Equipment (Truck horns, buzzers, etc)
                               Anything which might drown out the announcer
-Administration details

Regarding the banned weapons; audio equipment. Excessively noisy robots (ICE or otherwise) will be banned from competition. If the announcer/referee/safety officer cannot speak over the robot without amplification then it presents a safety risk and will thus be barred from competing. If however you want to have a playful car horn or have your robot sing a little tune then thats is fine just keep the volume reasonable please.

Feel free to review the updated rules here.

If you have any questions regarding the rules or competition feel free to contact us using the contact form to the right. 

Don't forget to register for Event #2 on June 18th or prep for Event #3 on September 10th!

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Bot Brawl #2 registration is open!

Hello roboteters!

Sorry to make you wait, I've been working on a new project and have gotten a bit side tracked. An all Canadian team headed by Bot Brawls' own Ravi Baboolal has been busy building a 250lb monster robot for ABC's Battlebots! See the full on combat fights on ABC this summer!

With that over we are proud to announce registration for Bot Brawl event #2 is now OPEN!

The competition will take place on June 18th in Cambridge Ontario at part of the Cambridge Arts Festival.




How do I register? 
Registration will open April 11st 2016 and close June 1st 2016
Spots are limited so register early using our online registration form!

*Registration fee required prior to event (payment through Eventbrite)
You can register now and pay later.

-$25.00CND for 150lb robots
-$15.00CND for 30lb robots
*Eventbrite fees apply
All event fees are folded back into the event, for building the arena, renting equipment, prizes etc.

Due to space restrictions only two competitors per robot are allowed in the pits. Competitors will be given ID badges, required to access the pit area. Additional passes may be offered on a case by case basis.
Email: gcbotbrawl@gmail.com for details and requests.

To register please fill out an event registration form and use Eventbrite to pay registration fees. Using the same email for both will help us organize. Furthermore please print out and bring the Eventbrite ticket with you to the event.

Event Rules
Event Registration *opens April 11st 2016
Event Payment *opens April 11st 2016
*please use the same email as event registration for fee payment.
Event Forums
Our forums are being populated with tips and tricks for building sumo robots.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Maker Expo 2016!

The good ladies and gentlemen of Maker Expo are at it again!

Maker Expo 2016 is a go for September 10th and you better believe Bot Brawl will be there!

With Cambridge Arts Festival on June 18th 2016 and Maker Expo on Sept 18th 2016 thats our two promised events this year!

Wooooo!

Get those bots ready, if your building something new we've populated this very website with lots of tips and tricks to get you from zero to hero.

Registration for Bot Brawl Event #2 at Cambridge Arts Fest opens April 1st!



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Monday, January 11, 2016

Bot Brawl - Event #2 @ Cambridge Arts Fest!


We are proud to announce Bot Brawl Event #2!



Partnering with the excellent Cambridge Arts Festival we will bring robotic carnage
to downtown Cambridge, Ontario on June 18th, 2016!

In 2016 CAF saw over 5000 visitors and brought art and maker culture to Cambridge.
We were there promoting Bot Brawl and Maker Expo, now we are please to bring the carnage!

Prepare your 150lb and 30lb sumo robots for battle!

For information on how to build a killer robot see the number of instructional elsewhere on this page!

Event Details:

Date: Saturday June 18th 2016
Location: Cambridge City Hall - 50 Dickson Street Cambridge ON

How do I register? 
Registration will open April 1st 2016 and close June 1st 2016
Spots are limited so register early using our online registration form!

*Registration fee required prior to event (payment through Eventbrite)
You can register now and pay later.

-$25.00CND for 150lb robots
-$15.00CND for 30lb robots
*Eventbrite fees apply
All event fees are folded back into the event, for building the arena, renting equipment, prizes etc.

Due to space restrictions only two competitors per robot are allowed. Competitors will be given ID badges, required to access the pit area. Additional passes may be offered on a case by case basis.
Email: gcbotbrawl@gmail.com for details and requests.

To register please fill out an event registration form and use Eventbrite to pay registration fees. Using the same email for both will help us organize. Furthermore please print out and bring the Eventbrite ticket with you to the event.

Event Rules
Event Registration *opens April 1st 2016
Event Payment *opens April 1st 2016
*please use the same email as event registration for fee payment.
Event Forums
Our forums are being populated with tips and tricks for building sumo robots.



Tweet us @GC_BotBrawl
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Meet The Builders #3 - Team Genesis

Antione Trabulsi of Team Genesis spent a bit of time with us last Tuesday at Kwartzlab in Kitchener to talk about his 150lb sumo bot Grand River Express.

Team Genesis - Antione Trabulsi

Antione is a seasoned veteran when it comes to robotic combat and FIRST robotics.

In fact as he outlines in the video a number of parts used in Grand River Express come from FIRST Robotics supplier Vex Robotics.


Vex is a great spot for motors, motor controllers and when it comes to gears and sprockets they are simply unbeatable!

Bonus, the Canadian shop ships out of Mississauga!

Grand River Express uses 6 CIM motors for drive and the Vex 2 speed ball shifter gearbox.
To power those CIM motors Antione uses a mix of Vex Talon SRX and Vex Victor motor controllers.




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Monday, November 2, 2015

Event #1 Videos!


With editing out of the way we are starting to roll out video of the fights for Event #1!

Check out our youtube page and playlist for more videos!

Huge thanks to Kinetic Maker Lab for providing numerous GoPro's and editing!

We'll be uploading almost 6 hrs worth of video to this playlist!

30lb Gigarange VS Lug Tread

30lb Clawed Crawler VS Jaeger

30lb Gigarange VS Dado Demon

150lb DeltaWye VS Grand River Express

We might have a lead on a new venue for Event #2 and Event #3 in 2016 so stay tuned!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How Do I Robot?! Part 2 + Meet The Builders #2

Building on the last instalment today we dive into control systems and motor controllers!
Sorry for the delay, this is the 3rd time I've had to re-write the article.

But first don't forget to checkout http://sparc.tools/
Not only is it full of info for new builders but is a virtual meeting place for a majority of combat robot builders the world over!

Last week we told you about the 4 components needed for any robot.

1: Motors
2: Batteries
3: Control system
4: Motor controllers

With these 4 basic components you can build robot. Without them you will certainly have issues.
We asked Idea Factory Labs a rookie team to take part in our second Meet The Builders Instalment.

Team Idea Factory Labs 11pm Sept 18th
Cameo by ShaunZ of Team Orbital Spin in the back!


Idea Factory Labs is a new team who had plans to build and enter a 30lb sumo robot for Event #1 at Maker Expo. Unfortunately they lacked one of the 4 critical parts and try as we might we could not get them online for Sept 19th. 

Here's their take on the success and failures of their first 30lb robot Revered Rust Bucket. 


As Andrew said, time is always a factor but without the basic parts its difficult to make progress.

So here's what you need to know.

- Control System -

When it comes to sumo bots you have two options
-Tether
-Radio Control

What you decide here may effect what motor controllers you need.

Lets talk about tether control.
What is involved:
1) Control box
The drive uses a control box with a number of analog switches on it
2) Signal wires
Low voltage signal wires run from the control box into the robot. (This means you have a physical connection with the robot)
3) Motor controllers ESC/Relay (more on this later)

Here is a handy intractable on a simple tether controlled robot.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Wired-control-robot-manual-4x4/

Items 1-2 are fairly simple so lets look at Item 3, motor controllers regarding tether control.
Depending on your operating voltage you may be able to use simple switched attached directly to the robots motors like in the above instruct-able. However it is more likely you will need to use relays.

Relays are easy to use electrical switches, by applying a low voltage and current say 5v and 500ma you can turn a relay on (or off). In doing so the relay then allows a higher voltage/amperage to pass through its circuit, say 24v 10amp.

Using a relay allows you to use safer power levels in your control box and keep the high power stuff in the robot.

Why can't I just run 24v and 20amps to my control box with switches?
Because its against the rules!

Automotive relays can be had for under $5 each and operate on 12v.

Standard relay: Will drive a motor in 1 direction
For forward and backward control you will require 2 relays.

Reversing relay: Will drive a motor in 2 directions
For forward and backward control only 1 of these is required.

Here is a quick list of single and double through relays.
-12v Reversing Relay
-24v Reversing Relay
-12v Standard auto relay

Here is a little diagram showing how relays work!


Imagine the light bulbs as motors and you can see how this might work in a robot.
Its worth mentioning however you would have to remove one of the light circuits. You will notice with this circuit one light is always on. This means if you replace the lights with motors then 1 motor will always be running.

Now lets tackle Radio Control

What is involved:
1) Radio transmitter
2) Radio receiver
3) Motor controllers ESC/RC Relay (more on this later)


RC transmitter and receiver

For purposes of this discussion we are going to assume we are using off the shelf components and not custom built radio systems.

First thing is you need a radio system. Stick to the following frequencies:
-FM 75mhz
-PCM 75mhz
-2.4ghz

Other frequencies such as AM or FM 72mhz are not suitable for ground based robots or unsafe due to  interference issues. Also avoid simple RC toy controllers.

A complete starter radio system can be had for less then $50
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__43854__Turnigy_5X_5Ch_Mini_Transmitter_and_Receiver_Mode_2_.html

Your transmitter sends out a radio frequency which is then picked up by the receiver. The receiver then turns that signal into an electrical pulse (RC PWM). An electronic speed controller, ESC can then use that RC PWM signal to control a motor.

Here is a little setup picture of a basic RC setup.


- Motor Controllers -

Now its the big and more confusing topic. How do I drive my motors off an RC rig?!

Use an electronic speed controller (ESC) or an RC Relay

An ESC is a little circuit which interprets the RC PWM from the receiver and uses it to drive a motor.
An ESC allows you to run a motor from 0% to 100% and everywhere in between for proportional control.

When choosing an ESC consider the following;
-Motor Voltage
-Motor amperage

Lets assume we're using this motor:
http://www.robotmarketplace.com/products/AME-206-1004.html

According to the specification sheet this is a 12v motor with a stall current of 23amps.

The stall current is theoretically the most current this motor can draw, so our ESC should be able to handle a minimum of 23amps (lower and we risk damaging the ESC).

Here is a list of popular 30lb combat robot ESC's which would work in this instance
-BotBitz 30amp
-Talon SRX
-Ragebridge
-Roboclaw 2x30
-Marine Controller
-Scorpion XXL

A single channel ESC like the Talon SRX or BotBitz 30amp will drive 1 motor forward and backward.
A 2 channel ESC like the Ragebridge or Roboclaw 2x30 will drive 2 motors forward or backward independently.

For instance I use a Roboteq AX1500 2 channel ESC in my 120lb robot. This allows me to use 1 circuit board (AX1500) and run each set of drive motors of my robot independently.
Being able to run motors independently is important for a robot with tank style steering.

What is tank style steering?
The robot below has 2 wheels and 2 motors, one on each side of the robot. By altering the direction of these wheels the robot can drive forward/backward or turn.




What is an RC Relay?

An RC relay is kind of like a dumb ESC, it has a small circuit onboard which can read the RC PWM signal from the RC. When the signal from a transmitter is given the circuit in the RC Relay will open or close said relay.

Here is an example of a motor control circuit with an RC Relay.


Just remember, when relays are turned on they give the motor 100% power. This might make it difficult to drive.

The circuit above will allow you to remotely drive a motor in a single direction. You will need another RC relay wired slightly differently (with diodes) to drive the motor in the opposite direction.

Here is a list of RC Relays:
-Battle Switch
-Double Battle Switch (useful for running forward/backward)
-TD Relay (useful for running forward/backward)
-Pololu Relay

This should be more then enough to get to get you moving!

If you have more questions feel free to email, tweet or join our Facebook Group!

Until next time!

-Ravi B
All Black Robotics

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