|This is our first ant-weight robot:
"Robot Of No Name Yet"
The springs in the flipper were not really up to the job, barely lifting another ant, let alone flipping anything! A redesign was called for. After investigating springs and attempting to design some from scratch, it all began to look too difficult so the idea of a spring-powered flipper was dropped (for now...)
Since R.O.N.N.Y's HS-81 drive servos needed new output gears, which required a complete strip-down, the whole design was reconsidered.
A plan evolved which involved turning one of the HS-81's back into a servo to drive the flipper/lifter and turning the Naro HP/BB weapon servo into a drive motor - along with a new Naro HP/BB for the other motor.
After looking at battery spec's it seems that the flat PCB-mount Yuasa cells cannot deliver the current required by the Naro servos, which leads to unpredictable operation. Some much beefier 2/3AAA cells were ordered from Overlander which should provide more than enough "oomph".
We have all the parts we need and the plans are progressing. We have until the end of March (Southern Antweight Challenge) to get R.O.N.N.Y ready...
6 February 2003
|Built a cardboard prototype of R.O.N.N.Y's new bodyshell to check that it all fitted together as intended, before cutting plastic. This is the third incarnation, and now has bulbous sides and a bigger flipper to help with self-righting. Also the tyres will be much wider and softer to give more grip. As the design progressed I realised it was looking more and more like the heavyweight "Firestorm", and now it's finished I realise it also bears a striking similarity to the Ant "Rebel"! However, it was never my intention to rip-off Chris's design, but there are a limited number of variations on the theme of wedge-shaped, self-righting flipper 'bots! Several people thought it looked like Dantomkia...|
R.O.N.N.Y's new base was made from an old printed circuit board salvaged from work. It's nice and strong, but rather heavy. Maybe it will need some holes in... New wheels were made out of balsa wood and cardboard with soft foam tyres and Dycem tread. They are nice and spongey so give lots of contact area and hopefully lots of traction!
Many evenings were spent trying to figure out how to put the linkage together to drive the enormous flipper. There was no doubt that the completed flipper would work as intended with plenty of movement, enough force at the far end and a reasonable speed. However, putting it together was a bit of a puzzle. In the end it went together without too much trouble.
R.O.N.N.Y was ready for SAC with a few days spare for flipper testing and driving practice. The flipper seemed to work well and easily self-rights with a reasonable amount of flair :o)
There are some pictures of the finished "Mk 3" version here.
29 March 2003
The Southern Antweight Challenge. Despite having RampAnt, James would not let me drive R.O.N.N.Y - fearing my driving skills were not up to competition level! (And probably rightly so!) R.O.N.N.Y got as far as the third round before losing to FlourescAnt in a close-fought "battle of the flippers". R.O.N.N.Y's self-righting ability got it out of trouble on more than one occasion.
In the melees towards the end of the event, a nasty grinding noise appeared whenever R.O.N.N.Y tried to flip anything. HS-81 gears again! Not the infamous thin half of the final gear this time - as the servo only operates over less than 180 degrees the thin part of the gear is not used. This time it was the first gear which lost some teeth. Time for something stronger!
A metal gear set has been obtained for the HS-81. It is heavier than the plastic gear set, but should be able to handle the torque better. Time for some holes in the base to compensate for the heavier gears!
26 May 2003
After a gear transplant, some weight reduction and minor tweaks to the bodyshell to ensure self-righting from any position, R.O.N.N.Y. Mk 3 1/2 is now ready for AWS XI. A whole month to practice driving!
28 June 2003
AWS XI Leeds University. R.O.N.N.Y. went out in the first round to PsychoAnt. Fortunately RampAnt fared slightly better, so it was not a wasted journey.
5 July 2003
Mile Oak School summer fair. A 3-hour pay-to-drive which really gave the robots a good workout! R.O.N.N.Y's flipper failed, the servo became dislodged, mainly due to inexpert drivers trying to flip their opponents against the arena walls. Time for a quick rebuild to add some more balsa to wedge the servo in place. Also the foam tyres completely disintegrated since the foam is very soft and the torque of the wheels just seemed to tear it apart. Time to quickly rebuild the wheels too!
12 July 2003
Grand Antweight Tournament, Brighton University. The third event in as many weeks, and this time a successful one for R.O.N.N.Y! The competition consisted of two rounds of Sumo, Assault Course, Circuit Racing and 2-A-Side Football. R.O.N.N.Y. was unbeaten in each event so went on to win the tournament!
27 September 2003
Reading Robot Club. After a two-hour delay on the M25, R.O.N.N.Y. suffered a servo problem and didn't get to fight at all! Prior to the battles R.O.N.N.Y. did manage a respectable second place in the Pinball competition.
One of the Naro HP/BB servos was behaving very strangely. After stripping it down it appeared that the motor had been damaged in some way, causing it to sometimes lock up. A replacement servo caused no end of consternation... It transpired that "new" Naro HP/BB's rotate the opposite way to the "old" ones. This meant that the mixer could not be configured to drive them properly, apparantly mixers only work with pairs of servos! One nasty fiddly mod later and the new servo worked like the old one and we were back in business!
1 November 2003
AWS 12 Aylesbury. First the "European Championship", R.O.N.N.Y. got through to the second round, going out to AlliKat. In the World Series R.O.N.N.Y. was drawn against MilitAnt and War Ant. MilitAnt inflicted some damage to the front end and R.O.N.N.Y. went out in the first round.
29 November 2003
Grand Antweight Tournament, Brighton University. This time R.O.N.N.Y. was not so successful, and it seemed the servo problem was now starting to affect the other wheel.
A second replacement servo was obtained, which in turn meant either modifying the new servo or un-modifying the first replacement one! It was decided to unmodify the first one to switch over completely to the new style for future compatibility. Mile Oak School Christmas fair. R.O.N.N.Y. had been hastily put together with double-sided tape, but this did not stand up to the rigours of pay-to-drive football! R.O.N.N.Y. retired hurt to await a proper rebuild.
Last updated December 2003
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