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Combat Robot: "Chili Fixins"

Weight: 1-lb (antweight)

Weapon: probably none, or maybe a bulldozer-type blade (if that can really be called a weapon...)  I'm counting on the 4WD to be its main advantage.

Invertible: Yes.

Overview: 4-wheel-drive bot, made largely from left-overs from the many re-designs of upChukk.  I make chili in a similar fashion, i.e., out of whatever chili-related consumables I have on hand, hence the name. 

Dragon*Con 2011 Microbattles

posted Sep 6, 2011, 5:28 PM by Lewis Baumstark

First Round: vs. Gilbert

Lost.  Opponent's bot was very low-profile.  In a bit of surprise, Chili Fixins ran right over him.  Every time.  Big 'ol tires do that, apparently.  I was completely incapable of pushing him, however, so my only strategy was to lure him to the edge and hope he'd drive off it.  He's an aggressive driver, as it turns out, and it actually worked the first time!  The announcer, however, suggested -- in the spirit of good sportsmanship -- that we have a rematch, to which I agreed.  The second time, we both ran off stage simultaneously.  The third time, my strategy backfired and *I* ran off stage, losing the match.

Damage Report: none.

Royal Rumble

Lost.  Somebody with an active weapon knocked a wheel off, which wasn't that big of a deal -- Chili Fixins is 4-wheel drive and can limp along fairly well on three (or two, if they're the right ones!).  Eventually get pushed out, about halfway through the fight.

Damage Report: minor.  A dab of superglue and that wheel will be fine.

It pays to RTFM

posted Jul 25, 2011, 5:26 PM by Lewis Baumstark

I finally got around to installing a dedicated Rx in Chili Fixins'.  Since the Tx and Rx have a "linking procedure" that encodes one to the other and gets them talking on their own channel, I assumed I'd have to re-do the linking procedure every time I switched the Tx to a new bot.  Annoying, but it would save me from buying a separate Tx for each bot.

Turns out, the linking procedure stores the Tx's ID number in the Rx, not vice-versa, meaning I *don't* have to re-link every time.  Sweet!  Just power one bot down before powering the other up and it works.

The next thing I learned from the manual is that my Tx can be configured to mix channels 1 and 2 -- meaning Chili Fixins' can have mix (single-stick) steering!  It's built with independent ESCs for each drive motor, meaning no on-ESC mixing (unlike the Scorpion XL ESC used in upChukk, which is a single ESC that controls two motors).  I really don't like "tank" steering where you control each drive motor with a different stick, so this is awesome.

Weight check

posted Jun 16, 2011, 5:21 PM by Lewis Baumstark

1.000 pounds, according to the scale at work.  Perfect!

Chili's Ready

posted Jun 16, 2011, 5:40 AM by Lewis Baumstark

(or very nearly)


All that's left is to buy a second receiver so it doesn't have to share with upChukk and to superglue the wheels to the hubs.

In Working Order

posted May 24, 2011, 6:08 PM by Lewis Baumstark

Chili Fixins' is coming along nicely.  I re-built its armor in Lexan and re-positioned the axles to take a little tension off the drive belts.  What's more, the electronics are hooked up and it now runs using "tank steering".  I prefex mix steering but that may not be possible since each drive motor has its own ESC.  Further research needed.

Still some finish work to do (like, say, taking the wrapping off the Lexan), but I'm pleased with the state of things.  Currently just slightly north of 1 pound, so I'll have to trim some weight, too.


Layout, First Pass

posted May 16, 2011, 7:50 AM by Lewis Baumstark


Sorry for the low-contrast background.  I'm too lazy to redo it.  :)

Red lines are front and back armor, probably just pieces of polyethylene.

White bulkheads are 3/16 UHMW polyethylene (3/8 pieces sliced on the bandsaw) that form both the drivetrain supports and side armor.

Light blue background area is where plexiglass will be added on top and bottom to protect the electronics.

No clue yet how I'll fasten it all together.  :(

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