Bombus Bombus

In 1998, my teammates and I decided to try our hands again at Robot Wars. We had two goals. My goal was to design my own electronics this time so I dove pretty deeply into learning digital and analog electronics. My teammates were both studying to be product designers so their goal was to make this robot look as cool as possible. We both succeeded to some extent. I suppose that they did better than I did though. The robot looked great. They spent a lot of time on it and it showed. I went through a few revisions of my electronics. I had a lot of success with the digital side of things and the radio link. Those worked nearly flawlessly. I had a lot of difficulty with making my own motor driver. I just didn't understand analog electronics well enough back then though. In the end, I decided to ditch my own motor controllers for some ready-made golf cart controllers. Everything seemed to be working on my test bench but I never had access to the actual robot to put it all inside until the day of the competition. The trouble that I ran into was that the golf cart controllers had a motor torque ramping function that made it impossible to peel out in your golf cart. I didn't see any effects of that on my test bench since the motors were spinning freely in the air. When I finally had everything inside of the robot though, that feature made things nearly impossible to control because there was so much lag in the commands that I was sending to it. We didn't end up competing that year because of that unfortunately. This robot never ended up competing because the competition that we entered was the last one before Battlebots made it to TV. Once television was involved, money really flowed to the winners of the competitions and we, as starving art students were priced right out of the competition.

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