Bot Will Eat Itself (BWEI) was designed for and competed in the
25lb weight class at Robot
Wars 1997. Like the previous year, I had a teeny budget
and advised undergrad Mechanical
Engineers at the University
of California Santa Barbara with their 2 robot entries.
BWEI performed a little better than Rampage.
BWEI used Rampage's shell and weapons, but the drivetrain was
all new and beefier. This time, it featured skid steering with
much more powerful drive motors. The drive systems were mounted
entirely on hinged plates, giving BWEI a true independent suspension.
Wedges and scooping robots were popular and successful at Robot
Wars 96, so I designed BWEI to have traction and mobility even
if it were being lifted. I also experimented with some diamond
grit abrasive blades for weapons, but I returned to the standard
toothed wood blades after testing. I ended up with one win under
my belt this time around.
Will Eat Itself was based only partially on Rampage (though it
looked nearly identical on the outside). Gone were the weenie
R/C car motor, gearbox, and steering system, replaced by a pair
of fat motors & an independent suspension. Large surplus motors
& H Sales were hooked directly to some custom plastic
wheels wrapped in grippy vacuum cleaner belts. The drivetrain
consisted of a pair of hinged plates that each held a motor, wheel,
battery pack, and speed controller. When the robot was lifted,
these hinged drivetrain parts swiveled down to keep the wheels
in contact with the ground. On all 4 corners were ball casters
keeping the shell rolling smoothly (until the casters became marred
from rolling over rough surfaces). Piano hinges all around the
sides acted as scoop deterrents.
Partially funded by UCSB
Mechanical & Environmental Engineering.