March? Damn - my son was looking to put together a team at school to enter. Seems pretty short notice, presumably they have been in contact with the robot teams that still tour the UK.
The news this week that the BBC is to reboot its celebrated robo-deathmatch series Robot Wars prompted much comment from our beloved readers, and amid the excitement, Sleepypete posed the provocative question: "Anyone else hoping that SPB turn their talents to making an all conquering, all destroying, punyhuman enslaving …
Yeah they have been touring a Robot Wars-esque show. However I think a lot of the robots from the TV series (Chaos 2, Hypnodisc etc) do the tour, so it will probably be them looking to start this new series.
But March you say? You could build something in 6 weeks. It'd be like Rocky facing Apollo Creed, only this time Rocky wins.
I've just received the rules about the robots, I think it's fairly standard. There doesn't seem to be anything listed on it that is different to the robots seen years ago. The application form has place for "photos of the robot" and a YouTube link. So I don't know whether they only want robots that are already pre-built to attend or robots that are on the drawing board are allowed to enter.
Perhaps they are just using the first series of this new run to raise awareness of it to would-be competitors.
If so, one can expect more competitors and variety in Robot Wars Reboot Series 2.
What do we know? From BBC Media Centre:
- More robots and teams than original series
- Use of new technology - Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, 3D printing, cheap sensors, small cameras etc
- Still includes "crushing, sawing and scorching"
One can assume that the use of new technologies (one can order quickly order custom parts by emailing a CAD file, schools and 'maker groups' have 3D printers) lowers the bar of entry, thus allowing more teams to compete.
Thanks - I already spoke to them, and they said it kicks off in early March. That's why it's too late to get something together from scratch.
That's not an insurmountable problem. El Reg should just call on the services of Captain Cyborg, arm him with a variety of plastic spoons and perhaps a tooth-pick or two if we're feeling generous and drop him into the arena. Possibly from a great height?.
It's a win-win situation.
I've applied, found an old design I did in 15 years ago and rehashed it. Stuck some clever stuff on the design. I don't have a robot built, far from it, and so far I have the outline of a machine I drew in GIMP.
I've added it to the application, although it says "Photos of Robot" and "YouTube link of Robot", so I suspect they are looking for pre-built machines. But, I think with the clever items I've added to the machine I could be given the chance to build it.
Highly doubt it, but at least I'll have time to build it properly for Series 2.
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No point in reinventing the wheel?
Also what are the new rules?
A thorough examination of old matches should give you an idea. Bots with stabby, hammery weapons never did so well. If was always the flipping machines that worked best (hypnodisc being an exeception that that rule).
Maybe if the floor is metal you could build in an electomagnet to nail yourself to the floor to stop your bot being flipped.
That's one of the very few XKCD strips that confuses me... viewing it again in the context of a 'Robot Wars' style competition, it makes a little bit more sense - but I still feel that I'm missing something. Was it drawn in reference to some US TV Robot Soccer event?
So, the robot uses the sprinkler system to disable those things that look like cherry-picker platforms, and then it is pushing two footballs? I can't tell!
Ah, that explains it! 'FIRST Design' is a design for the FIRST Robotics Competition... my brain read it as 'First Design' (as in v.0.1 or whatever) and so I was trying to read it as a commentary about actually making the very first you sketch on the back of a beermat.
Thank you richardcox13 :)
I always found flipping robots to be boring, and once robots gained the ability to turn back over or run upside down a flipper becomes somewhat useless.
I preferred the robots which did serious damage, hypnodisc being probably the best example. Makes for great tv, but obviously becomes expensive for competitors if their robots get completely destroyed.
If against a petrol engined opponent, launches a cloud of air-filter clogging particles.
Against an electrically powered opponent, a web of sticky Kevlar fibres shot into the wheel housings.
Or a stinger-like device that could penetrate the outer shell and fill the interior with expanding builder's foam.
There used to be different weight limits for power sources.
Best of the earlier series from my memory:
Casius (the original flipper IIRC)
Razor (ridiculously damaging claw)
Hypnodisc (Deciding that power wasn't everthing if you can build some energy in a weapon)
Before HD came out I had started to settle on a chinook style hypnodisc-esque weapons system because building energy in a flywheel was always the most obvious way to inflict damage.
I'm unsure whether a directional RF antenna can be realistically made small enough to locate the RF source within something as small as a Robot Wars robot but looking at things like RF Source Seeking drones suggest that with a dish antenna all you have to do is wave them at the source until the signal is strongest and Target Acquired.
Not sure how practical this would be but smashing the radio with a spike is not E-Warfare.
Would an electromagnet count as an electric/electronic disabler? If you can get the opposing robot off it's wheels/tentacles/whatever, you can take your time destroying it.
Alternatively, a built-in plasma torch would be fun.
And is there anything in the rules about having to stay on the ground? Helium/drone assist with some sort of thermite packet dropper would be both incredibly dangerous and thorougly satisfying.
While I'm on evil plans, there is possibly something that could be done with abrasive water jets. You'd have to check the audience shielding very carefully and get the range exactly right; but having their machine sliced in half on the starting line would be dispiriting for an opponent.
Slicing an audience in half and having to pay for a replacement studio would be quite dispiriting for you, however, so careful testing would be in order.
>What about one of those water slug firing shotguns the army have on their bomb disposal robots to disable electronics packages?
It seems the accepted jargon for that is "Projected Water Disruptor"
I always thought lifting the opponent up and holding them there was the best method (and one that at least two of the house robots used). Since there is a weight limit it would be difficult to do this "in front" but why not build a U-shaped robot (you could even hinge it like a giant pincer) to get around a lift up the opponent. Then you can take your time with a drill, and angle grinder, a hydraulic cutter, or whatever you feel like.
The slight flaw in the plan could be that just picking the opponent up could maybe do little to stop them still bashing twelve shades of circuitry out of you whilst up there, if they had suitable weaponry in the right orientation. Indeed it could help them, as whilst they can't move relative to you, the reverse is also true.
As my cat reminded me last night when I tried to get him out of the lounge so i could go to bed, just being able to hold something up doesn't mean your arms (or even the rest of you, if reach is sufficient) suddenly become immune to attack...
Are they sure to have security flaws?
I'd have thought that existing competitive RC leagues ( cars, planes etc) would have ironed out those kind of issues.
The production company is likely to fit Go-Pro cameras to competing robots (to make things more 'immersive' for the viewer at home), and will take a dim view of anyone messing with them.
It should be constructed from the bones of long dead robots.
We don't want to fanny about tripping things up or giving it a shove; no lets go for a meaty weapon and a proper delivery system.
Kamikazee slave bots
Dad's Army sticky bomb
BTW I like the idea of magnetically anchoring to the floor.
Now, now -- they have explained that while TPTB are still debating as to whether they will pull thier collective fingers out and actually do something, there is a certain amount of twiddling of fingers.
If there is a suitable distraction for the team it may prevent them from deciding to go through the entire list of post-pub grub -- which, though it may make them seem more American, is not suitable for the Spanish hills.
This could be a win win situation.
Why not use Robot Wars as a cover for developing an FAA-mangler? You could call it the FwAhAha, or some such. That way LOHAN gets a green (with some unavoidable splashes of dark red) light and the population stays happy coz gogglebox. Are you not entertained?
Reach for the stars!
How about something with two massive arms that can hold a very strong net which gathers the opponent up. Than then, like a bloody massive flail, bashes the netted robot into the ground repeatedly.
Using the other robot to bash itself is better than using a hammer on your own robot.
A wedge design with a powerful jaw that bit chunks out of opposing robots. The bashing, stabbing and cutting ones make an exciting mess but generally did't win.
I await the self aware vulture killer robot tank and the end of civilisation as we know it - and I certainly dont expect agreement on its prime directive...
Mind you, all El reg needsto do is to find a nuclear powered robot tank, loaded with drills and Frikkin lasers, quick trip to Mars could sort it without a tiresome design and 3d printed titanum superstructure...!
I always thought there was scope for some kind of monofilament-type web/net thing that would tangled the opponent, get into all their bits thus immobilising them prior to drag/push into the pit. The tanglebot would need good weight & traction to leverage the advantage.
Don't get me wrong,I prefer massive f*ckoff hammers but there is always a balance between art and practicality that has to be made.
As far as the Vulturetron droid goes, I'd speak to those Razor chaps; their hydraulic beak was hardcore.
Given this is 2016 is there any way DevOps or T-shaped Developers can help?
Here are the weapons restrictions, according to the rules:
The following weapons and materials are forbidden from use: Note: Some of the listed items may be allowed for effects but not as weapons. If you have an application of these items which you feel should be allowed, please include this in your application.
12.1 Active Weapons
All robots must incorporate an active offensive weapon which is designed to damage, immobilise or seriously affect the operation of the opponent’s robot. Weapon specifications must be included on your application form for approval.
12.2 Invisible Damage
Weapons designed to cause invisible damage to the other robot. This includes but is not limited to:
Electricity as a weapon such as Tesla coils, Van-der-Graaf generators, stun guns, or cattle prods.
12.2.2 Radio Frequency
Radio Frequency jamming equipment or similar devices.
12.2.3 Radio Frequency Noise
Radio Frequency noise generated by an IC engine. Use shielding around sparking components.
12.2.4 Electromagnetic Fields
Electromagnetic fields from permanent or electromagnets, which affect another robots electronics.
12.3 Stopping Combat
Weapons or defences, which tend to stop combat completely, of both (or more) robots. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
Entanglement devices such as nets, fishing line, cables, string, glues or tapes and any similar devices.
12.4 Rotating Weapons
The speed of any rotating weapons - e.g. circular saws, carbon or steel cutting discs - must not exceed the manufacturer's specification. The manufacturer's specification must be available for inspection.
12.5 Hardened Blades
Commercially manufactured, hardened steel blades that may shatter are not allowed.
12.6 Untethered Projectiles
Projectiles must have a tether capable of stopping the projectile at full speed and be no longer than 2.5m.
12.7 Heat and Fire
Heat and fire are forbidden as weapons. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
Heat specifically generated to damage an opponent
Flammable liquids or gases
Explosives or flammable solids such as DOT Class C devices, Gunpowder, Cartridge Primers or Military
12.8 Smoke and Light
Smoke and light based weapons, which impair the viewing of robots by an Entrant, Judge, Official or Viewer. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
12.8.1 Smoke or Dust
Large quantities of smoke or dust. Limited smoke effects may be allowed.
Lights such as external lasers and bright strobe lights, which may blind the opponent.
12.9 Hazardous Materials
Hazardous or dangerous materials are forbidden from use anywhere on a robot where they may contact humans, or by way of the robot being damaged (within reason) contact humans. If unsure please contact Robot Wars.
12.10 Weapon Restraints
All high speed weapons (eg. all pneumatic and rotational weapons) must incorporate a secure restraint that locks the weapon in a safe position. The restraint may incorporate locking pins and bars but must be secured in such a way that it cannot be removed inadvertently. The design should ensure that the weapon cannot be fired during the activation process.
12.11 Interchangeable Weapons
Robots with interchangeable weapons are permitted under the following conditions.
12.11.1 Weapon Type
All interchangeable weapons must comply with rule 12.1
12.11.2 Weapon Application
All interchangeable weapons must be submitted on the Robot Wars application and are subject to approval.
They didn't mention vibrations... (could be visible)
Grab hold a robot and proceed to blast it with a variable range of vibration frequencies until you find the one that causes it the most problems. Then lock onto that one and turn up the power...
OK, there's the possibly downside that you come across a really well built robot or you shake your own robot to pieces, but, whatever!
e.g. for a flipping bot don't attempt to waste power or time flipping the opponent unless its sure to succeed (by confirming the flipper is actually under the opponent) etc.
Or having a camera to check distances and have our bot always stay just out of range of their weapon until the right time to strike
is it possible to get a link to the rules & regs for design specs.
Im guessing there will strict limits on weight / power / capapabilities.
If weight wasn't an issue if was thinking something on tank style tracks (like some of the house robots) but I love the idea of having the option of magnetizing them life me now etc...
Sloped armour to deflect incoming weapon attacks etc (I read mesh interior is supposed to be banned.
Then weapon, hmm needs thought need to know the rules but we want maximum power with in the regs and for it to be quick to reuse/rearm. Maybe kind of flywheel to build up massive momentum force to then drive that force into some offence (so not talking a hypno disc). Maybe driving a harpoon like spike thats also backed by hydrolic/phenmatic presure to build up crazy force and smash interior components etc.
Id love to see something that could take on the house robots :)
IIRC - tracked robots were routinely disabled as the tracks are a weak point, frequently becoming broken or pulled off the wheels.
Qualities for robot design choices:-
Wedge or dome shapes most stable with wedge shapes more able to lift opponent drive away from floor.
Low ground clearance/high weight to reduce risk of lifting off drive or tipping
hidden or recessed wheels more survivable than tracks and easier to retain some traction with damage
needs nice paintjob that can be burned, impaled, immolated, torn spectacularly but without causing significant operational issues
needs to be fast with low or zero turning circle to avoid firepits or house robots (did they meet all the rules too, i was never sure...)
Qualities for weapon design choices:-
Still thinking a strong hydraulic spike or claw e.g. razor is most likely to penetrate defences.
Powerful rotating saw also effective, particulary when paired with claw
Hammering and projectile weapons were fun to watch but slow to reset and not very effective.
I am sure others will take a view too, but that was my experience...
Most of the s
I was hoping to get a team together for this, but it looks like it'll have to wait for the next season. The rules are extremely restrictive though, from reading them that means 1)No high powered lasers or masers
2)No jamming combined with either optical control or just autonomous robots
3)No coil guns
4)No hijacking by cloning commands and then rebroadcasting more strongly on the same frequency.
5)No oil slicks you later ignite
Basically they're not allowing anything new, just spinners, flippers and Razer.
All my ideas are for naught.
Don't just mull, go hell for leather straight in.
Something either flipper or massive spike damage. Really low to the ground to prevent also being flipped with shed loads of armour. Hydraulic wheels so can either raise up a bit if it gets stuck on a ramp or drop it to provide better anchorage. Needs a decent motor in it as well to keep it quite quick. Double shielding (outer skin, extra around vulnerable components).
I'm excited already, and I for one welcome our new El Reg overlord :)
No explosives, but as regular reg readers know really high mussle velocity is achieved with rail guns.
Balance the strength of the cord with the mussle velocity from the rail gun so it doesn't fire over 2.5m. Requires getting in close should be fun to watch. Perhaps a retractable javelin.
Not sure how happy the FAA will be to find out el reg is developing rail guns and space rocket tech at the same time.
A captive (penetrating?) bolt gun would be powered by compressed gas, similarly to many flipper type robot mechanisms. I'm sure the basic design could be adapted to have more reach and much more punch.
In my head, the design would put it on the end of some sort of scorpion like tail which would be used in combination with pincers or some kind of big claw at the front. It would also shout things like 'GET OVER HERE' and 'FINISH HIM'...
Not that I've spent much time thinking about it or anything...
[edited to say: just read the post that lists what is banned - never mind, maybe in another less restrictive future series!]
Intrigued to know what is allowed in terms of weapons, but one thought I've had in the back of my mind for "when I go on Robot Wars" is to puncture a hole in the opposing robot using a large hollow needle, and fill it with wire wool, forced down the needle in a similar manner to that used to install cavity wall insulation. Before the needle is retracted, the wool would be ignited to give a lovely smouldering mess on the inside, hopefully cooking a few critical systems in the process.
I suspect that incendiary devices might not be allowed though, as I don't recall anyone other than the house robots ever using a flamethrower.
We had a team started when I was back at Uni (the original series with philippa forrester).. those were the days when the best battery you could get was sealed lead acid or Ni-Cad.
The rules were pretty tight at that point as well.. its tricky to get anything that has the run time, damage, weight, control and robustness and still meets all the rules. We never did crack it, we just didn't get the time to do it properly and graduated before finishing it. Oh well!
Would love to have another crack at it though.. there's a lot of new tech on the market now which would be interesting to use, particularly with batteries and motors and motor drives etc. Lester, get in touch if you need a sparky/embedded SW engineer on the job ;-)
Flicking through the upper echelons of TV channels the other day with my 10 year old boy and came across a re-run. He was instantly hooked and when I said it was coming back he asked if we could go. A quick Google revealed the on-going tour (I had no idea that was a thing!) would be visiting somewhere not too far away from us in the summer. 2 minutes later and tickets were booked.
I want it to be a true, autonomous robot. Not some glorified remote control experiment.
Have the remote control ready and a cutoff in place to be able to take charge if needed, but I'd really like to see it making its own choices and reacting on its own.
A truly, magnificently, barbed, bladed, and bad-ass autonomous death machine.
C5 messed the competition up by removing the "We will not total your robot" gentlemens agreement.
All the expensive and long build robots were retired as the losers did not fancy getting theirs written off.
Look how many times Razer broke down, when it worked it was unbeatable, but when it broke down.....
If it had been C5 it would have been wrecked in series 2 (I think).
I would love to see old favourites with upgrades, we never did get to see how powerful Wheely Big Cheese got as they were aiming to flip a house robot out of the ring.
All the expensive and long build robots were retired as the losers did not fancy getting theirs written off.
Indeed. In this day and age, teams could their robots built by the production company to their own (CAD) design, so that each team selected for competition has a couple of spare robots. Something like that.
Sadly, the show's due to start shooting in March, so there's no way we can design and build a plausible Vulturebot by then.
Says whom, for what?
Crazy Horse Salons Patronage would beg to differ and choose QuITe ANother Orbit
QuITANON for Safe Haven Passage of Immaculate Dreams.
amanfromMars 1 pinging Buckingham Palace Participation with Primes Anticipating Right Royal Reply.
Sweet Cryptic is OtherWorldly Blended and Hopelessly Attractive in Mesmerising Times, El Regers
Jump in and across, for deep waters are fine and of the sweetest candy.
There's a heck of a lot of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT going on out there, and in here for everywhere. Vulture Central Territory, surely? ? No matter, IT easily is, is.
Ciao for Now. Catch Y'All Later Better Beta Prepared and Virtually Armoured:-)
Hydraulics are ok right? How about something based on the jaws of life, ideally an 'X' arrangement of jaws that could close in all four directions. A high friction coating on the inside to prevent victims escaping. It would be pleasingly cruel to watch the other team's faces, as their baby is slowly crushed in to oblivion in front of their eyes. It would be banned immediately of course.
Just my two pennies' worth
If you'll be competing against other companies, colleges and universities, sure, definitely enter Robot Wars !
If you'll be competing against 7 year-old kids, meh, no.
That was the thing with the original Robot Wars, you'd get teams of engineers against a father and his 7 year-old daughter. It was too embarrassing even to just watch.
They should have a separate league table for the different classes of competitor.
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Robots must have some sort of clearance underneath them?
A balloon sandwiched between two thin aluminum slabs, slipped underneath the offending robot, and then air is pumped into the balloon, thus lifting said robot off from the floor for leisurely demolition/wrecking/inspection/disablement, and as soon as that is done, the air is let out from the balloon, the robot is let down on the floor in a disabled state, and the process is repeated on the next robot.
Not sure about that pussycat robot though... it have a high floor clearance though, if tipped the wrong way...
The various flipping and axe designs were quite common, but the most entertaining to watch because of the immense destruction it inflicted was Hypnodisc. I think a "robot" with that kind of weapon would work really well, with a few tweaks. First of all, I'd put the disc in a vertical position, so when it makes contact, it flips opponents UP and/or away. You loose the gyroscope effect that made Hypnodisc so difficult to flip, but in return, when contact is made, destruction should be increased, as our robot would have the floor to push against, and avoid being flung sideways. Secondly, the slow spin-up of the disc would be improved by adding a bottle of CO2 and a pneumatic turbine. Very easy and lightweight. Electric motor would be for maintaining idle-speed only, so would save weight and battery-capacity. The disc could be easily made from a lorry brake-disc. Direct-drive electric motor, and the turbine on automatic clutch sourced from a motorbike. It also was apparent that the robots that did well, were the ones that were the easiest to drive/control accurately. So a lot of work should go in to that area. Power without control normally came to a sticky end quite unaided.
Well, you would loose half of it. And the gyroscope would work against the steering, so the design isn't without compromises. Also, the point of gravity would be a bit higher. To outweigh those disadvantages, I'd get a "driver" with a background in RC racing. Those guys have reactions and neural pathways that would give a considerable edge.
I had a similar idea to this, additional benefit is you could run the wheel either direction one way to throw the opponent away (suggest some of of small flat appendages to put the force into throwing) and the other way to drive and cut/smash into the ground (a cut edge on the opposite side of the flat hammer thowers might work well here)
I'm impressed by metal shredders. A large funnel into which you chuck metal scrap and at the bottom there are two slowly contra-rotating cylinders with sparse teeth. Just about anything goes in (old cars etc.) and metal shreds come out.
How about a wedge-shaped open-mouthed robot that did nothing but get close to any type of opponent and try to suck it into the mincer.
So who on the SPB team gets to be wrapped in tinfoil, given electric carving knives and hack away at lesser competition?
(I'll volunteer, but I need to practice my lines first. It will take me a few days to get "beep, bop, boop", "crush!, kill!!, destroy!!!" and "Kill all humans!" down)
you should all tell them to shove it up their arses.
That was the problem with the previous RW series. Things were expensive. Companies would have paid for advertising but the beeb was having none of it. Most galling of all, £3000 (all those years ago, so say £5000 now) worth of kit could be chewed up by the (overpowered) house robots just because the episode was a bit boring that week, and the beeb wouldn't pay you anything.
pay contestants or allow sponsorship, otherwise it is just pure exploitation for cheap tv. and fucking hypocritical considering all the sport stuff they pay millions for with sponsorship all over the place.
(yes i was looking into making a robot years ago, but even though contracting at the time and the money would have been small beer, it was a lot of time to invest in something that could be screwed up for fun and just felt exploitative)