"...odds are good that your first robot will -- and there is no nice way to say this -- suck..."
So says someone who's been at this longer than I. Actually I had a pretty decent run for a first-timer.
Win. Opponent was a wooden bot from the GaTech robot club. My spinner tore him to pieces, literally. I took a few chunks out of him early on and then he managed to get stuck in a corner. I turned my spinner on him in the hopes of knocking him loose but ended up dealing a final blow. (Dude, if you're reading this, I'm really sorry! I didn't realize it'd do that much damage -- I guess I turned the juice up a little high.) Swept his shattered remains off stage and that was that.
Lost. This guy had a horizontal spinner and it delivered a beat-down. If I read the video correctly, he knocked out my safety disconnect on the first hit, leaving me without power.
Ours is the first match in this video:
After the aforementioned beat-down I had my doubts I'd have anything left for the rumble, but I tried anyway. The biggest issue was the gearbox. Fortunately, MOST of the pieces were still in my case, so I carefully swept them out and rebuilt the gearbox. What I learned is that a 3-stage planetary gear will work okay (if loudly) if two stages are each missing a spur gear. Wow.
While I had the case open I removed the weapon motor and ESC -- no chance getting the weapon ready for the rumble, so may as well save my $70 motor and $50 ESC for a later 'bot.
I had a random piece of angle aluminum in my toolbox that was the perfect size to build a quick-and-dirty fence on my weapon protrusions. (That sounds dirtier than it really is.) It offered some protection to the remaining electronics and gave the 'bot some added stability.
Kudos to Brandon of Team Shrewsbeckistan for soldering me a new safety disconnect. I was now ready for the Royal Rumble!
Lost. Not much to report here, mostly because it was (predictably) chaos. One 'bot was made entirely of LEGO's, which ended up in pieces all over the arena after about 5 seconds. So most of us ended up stranded on top of LEGO bricks. I maybe had 30 seconds of movement (I'm being generous here!) before my rebuilt gearbox once again disintegrated and my drive motor was left dangling and twitching. In the end, I was still on stage with a couple other immobile bots and one mobile bot who was declared the winner.