Data Breach Beetleweight Build

Been a little quiet for the past month with DB finished it was mostly a waiting game for the draw to finalise what spares to prioritise. But I have been doing odd jobs. The Hardox parts were given an overnight vinegar bath to clean off the rust before removing the burrs from the laser cutting with a sanding wheel.

I printed off a spare chassis and a pair of wedges. Thankfully printed much quicker now I found the optimal speed settings in the print slicer.

Apart from any draw-related extras DB is as ready as can be. I took the opportunity to try and test to fit everything into a single toolbox and success everything now fits into a single toolbox. 2022 was 3 toolboxes, 2023 was 2 and 2024 is now 1.

It’s Rapture week! With the draws unveiled Data Breach will be fighting in Heat L breaking the trend of being in the early heats (heats B, A and C the last 3 years.) I’m quietly confident with this heat even with the 2nd seed Attitude Adjuster present. Not that I think Aggro Wobba and Cormoran will be easy.

Knowing who I’m fighting in my heat and those fighting in heats I need to keep an eye on should I (by some fluke) make into the 2nd place rumble or the top 16. The last few bits were made, an overhead armour package that’s compatible with the lifter which only weighs 1.35kg. I had to reprint the top armour as I goofed and forgot the holes for the locking bar to pass through.

I also fished out my anti-big wheel bot setup and revised it to fit the new wedge bolt pattern. I need to make an HDPE top for that setup then I’m all set for the journey up on Friday and the action across the weekend.

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Data Breach took part in the Robot Rebellion this past weekend. Sadly our 4th run at Robot Rebellion was plagued with issues that robbed Data Breach of a good performance. Here’s the event report.

After passing Tech Check, DB was set up with the lifter to take on Attitude Adjuster. Scott wasn’t available this year, so Jack from Kitchen Grill drove in his place. It was going to be interesting to see if I could beat Attitude Adjuster with Jack’s limited time with the bot being a factor in my favour.

Sadly after a good back and forth DB suffered drive issues out of nowhere. One side stopped working then both stopped. Jack tried to help revive DB but the ablative TPU armour was too damaged to offer any more protection and I tapped out.

After returning to the pits to inspect the bot I was puzzled. No loose connections, no loose grub screws, the battery had plenty of power left and nothing had burnt out. I powered up the bot to do a bench test and the drive started working again. Whatever caused the cut-out was still a mystery. I had to simply hope that if it happened again a quick power cycle of the transmitter would fix it. Talking with Ellis, the strongest theory was that the Repeat Robotics AM32 ESCs might be cutting out due to some kind of electrical feedback from the drive during impacts. Sadly I didn’t have the capacitors that come with ESCs on hand to attempt to hopefully counter this by soldering them to the powerlines as Ellis suggested.

With that looming worry I reconfigured DB to run the standard Axe setup for Aggro Wobba which sadly brought its issues. The TPU chassis and side panels squish and flex a lot and annoyingly had started to squish into the wheels meaning the wheels were dealing with extra friction that hampered what should have been a good axe bot fight. DB lost by the judge’s decision. The inside of the sides had clear friction grooves from the wheels And my top had some nice marks from Aggro Wobba’s axe (no idea if I left any on Aggro Wobba’s top.)

With two losses I was standing at 3 points on the board. I was now fighting for the 2nd place spot in the heat to have any hope of maybe progressing past the heats. I needed a win and Cormoran was in my way. I removed the sides and fitted the polycarb panels from my anti-big wheel setup which proved effective and I must say this was the most fun fight. With almost an oota and pitting to boot. Cormoran couldn’t reach DB with their saw but my axe had the reach which was handy for attacks.
As I attempted to ram Cormoran into oota zone we became entangled and we had the be freed. On the restart, I once again went on the attack and narrowly recovered from a drive cut out. But sadly both bots got entangled again when I attempted to pit Cormoran. This triggered a judge’s decision which DB won but at a heartbreaking price. DB needed a K.O. win to have enough points to earn 2nd place in the heat and a place in a 2nd place rumble for the remaining top 16 places. Missing out by 1 point.

The polycarb was scratched a bit by the saw but more shockingly I had stripped the teeth on the weapon gears which I quickly replaced (improved serviceability for the win.)

The next day I took part in the “This Is Fighting Robots” theme side event and sadly the axe decided to jam when it was turned over resulting in being counted out. Which was a shame as DB tanked some direct hits to the wheels and kept going. The TPU hubs were damaged and some chunks were taken out of the tyres but it kept going.

After removing the damaged wheels I had a look at the really bad rubbing on the chassis. During the discussion about my drive cutting out, Ellis suggested I angle the dead shafts outward by 1-2 degrees to counter the inward flexing the wheels were suffering to improve the drive and belt tension.

A shame DB failed to deliver. The weapons worked amazing even with the odd issue. The drive and chassis however are a letdown. I have thought through what needs to be done and have started to put it into the CAD for DB MK3.

Data Breach MK3! What have I got cooking up?

Well during May I had already gotten a list of things I wanted to fix from building MK2 the biggest issue was WEIGHT!!! MK2 was 100g heavier than MK1 and this meant some compromises.

So I started working on an MK3 CAD mostly focusing on saving weight.
Some of the early changes I looked at were:

  1. Reducing the amount of nuts and bolts used.
  2. Swap to nylon bushes over Olite ones. (Roughly 24-30g saved already)
  3. Thin out some of the HDPE parts (Stop going overkill on material thicknesses!)
  4. Attempt to make parts uniform (no right-side or left-side specific parts)

So with that, I quickly removed some excess bolts and nuts and modified the wheels to run on nylon bushings from RangleBox (the same day the nylon bushings were announced on the site) and the early versions of the wedges, sides, etc. They were made uniform. However post-event I now had more changes required.

  1. No side panels. The TPU wheels can handle the hits if I fail to keep my front-facing spinners.
  2. Make the chassis uniform with no indents for the top and base plates (will make printing it easier.)
  3. Reduce the wheelbase size ( having big air gaps between the wheels for non-existent side panel supports is wasted weight in the chassis.)

So far I’ve blocked out the main two setups. The chassis is now a chunkier U-shaped arrangement (the weight saved by making the bot shorter in length means the chassis can be thicker and still have enough weight to increase the number of walls.) The wheels have for now lost the fancy tread so the spares can go on either side when needed. The front of the bot will have interchangeable TPU fronts for different wedge and fork mounting arrangements.
So far the current refinements are looking to save around 100g in weight so we are closer to MK1 weight.

(Note the Polycarb tops are just for the benefit of the renders.)

In the last few days, I’ve been trying to diagnose the drive cut-out issue. While I failed to trigger a cut-out by bashing the chassis against stuff I did find that my Spektrum DX6i was able to trigger a cut-out if I pushed the stick into the corners. I swapped to my Flysky transmitter and receiver that I bought a while back for my antweights. The Flysky worked out better, no more cutouts by stick placement as for the impact-related ones well I’ll just have to hope soldering on the capacitors can fix that.