Team Igor's Beetles: A compendium of bots

Hi all :slight_smile: I thought it was about time I started a thread listing the beetles I’ve built throughout the years, to give me something easy to update when I’m working on them and save me making loads of individual build diaries. Beetles are probably the most popular class in the UK at the moment, as such I’ve made a few since 2019. So, I’ll start at the beginning…

Igor was built as a rush job for 2019 Robonerd, to give me something to take up and fight with. A very simple 4 wheel bot with an HDPE body, 3mm aluminium front panel, and Panic Attack style servo lifting forks (made from an old DVD player steel lid!)

Not the best, but I had a lot of fun with this version at the time, very inexperienced with beetles so lots of reliability issues, mainly with the grub screws coming loose on the drive (a common issue with stock banebots hubs).

After Robonerd, this version had new aluminium forks made and some other minor changes, fighting in Bristol and Chatham in 2020, with mixed results. Probably the best performance was against Pain Per View, a scary undercutter that I managed to remove the receiver out of. Today, this version has been repaired and is waiting to return to Robonerd for old times sake.

Igor 1.5

Version 2 of Igor is a massive change internally, now brushless drive with belts between the wheels. I kept the name as Igor rather than Igor 1.5 or 2, as I didn’t consider the design changes enough to warrant a name change.The whole robot is smaller and more compact, hardox forks and titanium front. This is the version currently in use, its best placing so far is top 16 at Chatham, and winning the content creator rumble at Robonerd.

Igor 2

Igor 2 is currently in cad progress, and will be a significant departure from the Panic Attack design. This version should be able to self-right, unlike previous versions, and lift more effectively. Unsure what kind of mechanism I’ll be using for the lifter yet, I had planned to use a servo like before but seeing the success of Grab Crab, things may change! Stay tuned to this thread for news about this build.


What is there to say about this thing? It’s a Cybot… With an undercutter where the caster should be! Built purely for whiteboards, he’s been destroyed before and rebuilt, always coming back for more. Hopefully he’ll tag along for another event in 2024, as I didn’t get a chance to use him this year.


Fang is the most successful bot I’ve built to date, getting 4th place and the best design award in the champs 2022. It’s an HDPE bat-shaped horizontal that surprised even me when it had its deep tournament run, but since then everything went downhill for it, with lots of gremlins and catastrophic damage being inflicted to it this year and poor performance in Liverpool and Chatham, I was considering retiring it for good, as it’s not an easy robot to maintain or replace parts for (It’s a bat! Lots of complex shapes).

However, due to its popularity both within the team and outside it (shoutout to Amy and Team Bee!) and the fact that I don’t like to be beaten by gremlins, Fang is currently in bits being repaired and upgraded where I can, for another go next year. Stay tuned for progress on that!

Home Improvement
(Cue Tim Allen grunt)

The latest bot in the family is, once again, a novelty shaped bot, this time a vertical spinner in the shape of a hand saw. Why did I do this? I honestly don’t know, but I’m glad that I did, as lots of people loved the design at the champs this year. Top 32 is where we placed, but being the first bot to hit Stratus on the body gives me hope for the future with this machine. The main improvements to be made are to the 3D printed parts, as they failed a few times on me. This will probably be the main bot for the team next year while I work on other projects.

And that’s it for now! I’ll try to keep this updated reasonably frequently, trying to get in the habit of posting online more again. Thanks for reading this far if you did!



such an array of cool bots, awesome showing with Home Improvement at champs! Looking forward to seeing Igor 2, already looking very sleek.

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Cheers Joe, hopefully will have more to share on that soon :slight_smile:

So the first update for this thread will be about Fang :slight_smile:

Fang has suffered a lot of damage and failures in the last few events, partly because of the inherently flawed design (it’s a bat!) and because of my own errors, but mainly because we’ve had really tough matchups. Ice breaker, Saw Loser, 7th Circle, Mini Spinny and Delta V just to name a few! So naturally he’s been a bit beaten up. So the first thing I wanted to do is rebuild the bodywork, using up the spares I had.

The base panel needed some persuasion with heat and a mallet, but I’m confident I’ll get a few more fights out of it. The top panel is now back to the original one from 2022, as it was less beaten up from Fang’s last fight with Saw Loser.

Some of the failures came from my 22mm gearbox conversions having too much axial play on the shaft, which resulted in the pinion being disengaged when it suffered a large hit, or sometimes just spinning up too fast. Hopefully that is sorted on the drive now with a few more spacer washers fitted. I will also drill and tap the grub screws yet another size bigger, to match Home Improvement’s.

Another issue was the bolts holding on the spinner snapping, or in the case of the worst failure that happened, pulling out the helicoils completely from the aluminium pulley. This is because I didn’t put enough bolts into the design when I first made it, and will correct this on future versions, but for now I’ve upgraded the bolts from M4 to M5 in the hopes that this will sort it. Drilling the discs out another size is a pain!

And that’s pretty much it for now, I’ve got to make some more spares for it and 3D print a new configuration I have in mind, and potentially strengthen the disc mounting points, but that will probably be as far as I can go with Fang until I build a whole new version. So stay tuned for that, and more updates on Home Improvement that will be coming soon.



Update time! Very excited to announce that I was lucky enough to get in to both Beetle Brawl and Scouse Showdown 3, with Home Improvement and Fang respectively. As such, I needed to perform some upgrades on them both, and my 3D printing equipment.

Home Improvement required a lot of maintenance after the Champs, the main issues with it were mainly caused by the 3D prints not being able to take the strain of the huge impacts it received. To combat this, I decided to upgrade my 5 year old printer (affectionately named Bob) with an enclosure and ventilation system, and print with nylon.

The previous prints were made from PLA+ and did a decent job, but the nylon seems to be far superior in terms of durability. Also the motor pulley for the spinner actually melted from the stress of running the full 2 minutes, hence why I’ve also changed to fingertech toothed belts to prevent slippage.

The right wheel and rear also took a bit of a whack in a whiteboard fight, but I’ve straightened it out for now and will cut some new panels before the event. Luckily the fingertech drive motors were unscathed, and have been extremely reliable.

Fang’s drive has been more problematic, but that’s unfortunately my fault. Whew I first combined the BBB brushed motor gearboxes with some 1806 brushless motors, I should have made longer axles and put a locking bush on the inside to prevent the can from pulling out. However, I’ve got some bushes on order and will fit them soon.

I would use fingertech ones instead, but as you can see, space is tight in Fang! The custom ones are the only ones that I’ve found to fit, except perhaps repeat drive max ones.

The biggest improvements on Fang however are new discs! I’ve taken the KV of the weapon lower for better bite and I’m increasing the weight by changing to a steel weapon pulley. The discs are an improved single impactor and double “Night Fury” style one too.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the events, it should be a lot of fun :slight_smile:



I’ve had good experiences using brass tube as locking bushes on my 1806 conversions - have a post about it in my The Chilli Daddy thread. Even retrofitting without pressing the shafts back out. Plus it’s relatively cheap, 4-5 quid will get you a 30cm length that will do endless amounts of motors - but you do really want some 2mm rod to put in the tube during cutting etc to support it as you fabricate.

I do it on all my brushless conversions now - but have only really experienced issues with it on TCD, suspect it’s all the big lateral forces a horizontal spinner deals with.

Bots are looking great tho - look forward to seeing them in action again soon :grin:

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Hi Jack, thanks for the advice :slight_smile: I had aluminium tubing in the first ones, then moved to a stack of washers. The aluminium was too weak, so I think the brass would be a good idea if the collars I’m waiting for don’t work.

You’re definitely right about the lateral forces, the problems I’ve had with the motors have only happened in Fang, Igor has had no problems in that way. Something to keep in mind ^^


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Can’t wait to see Home Improvement improve a few bots this weekend IRL! love the concept and design of it

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Beetle Brawl event report! :slight_smile:
I entered Home Improvement into Beetle Brawl this year, testing out the upgrades from after the champs.

After a surprise drive motor change in the hotel the night before, (don’t ask!) our first battle was against Slot machine and AOB. This fight went very well, HI firstly ripping off the side of AOB, preventing it from self-righting. Slot machine was more of a challenge, I just couldn’t get a purchase on the TPU armour. Eventually I got a good shot in and got the knockout win, but that was after a fork had been ripped off and lots of sparks off of the titanium.

The next fight was against Kult. This was one of the scariest bots at the event, and I thought HI was done for. However, things quickly turned around, as a shot to the side of Kult totally destabilised it and the chassis flew apart. The battery and electronics everywhere! Definitely the best hit of my career so far, and getting us one step further than the champs :slight_smile:


This is how Kult looked after the fight, and the damage that HI took. Bent titanium, and a very unhealthy wheel, but through to the next round.

Our final fight was against Attitude Adjuster, and what a back and forth fight that was. Trading blows the whole way, until one knock too many popped the link out and ended our run in the top 16.

Although disappointing to go out to a link failure, I’m very happy with the bot, as the new nylon 3D prints were much more reliable than previous versions, and self-righting worked a treat. After a few repairs to the front and a new top panel, Home Improvement will be ready for its next event!

I also must give a big thank you to Anthony for stepping in for my sister as my teammate this time around, and for filming all the footage for me.

Our next event for the team is Scouse showdown with Fang, possibly the last event in its current form before a rebuild. Unfortunately, due to business and forgetfulness, I forgot to enter robot rebellion this year, only getting a very late reserve slot for Igor. A real shame as it’s our (relatively) local event, but there’s plenty of other options coming up :slight_smile:

Looking forward to seeing some of you at Liverpool :smiley:



Looking forward to seeing the new Fang :bat:
Amy’s still very proud to have his disk :slight_smile:

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She’s very welcome, I’m glad she likes it :slight_smile:

I won’t give too much away about the new Fang yet, but suffice to say he’ll have the same goofy, toothy face he always had, just with a larger weapon… :wink:

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A quick update to talk about the recent Birmingham event, and what’s next for the team.

Home improvement attended Robo Showdown on May 5th, and was quite the mixed bag of success and failure. Our first fight against The Chilli Daddy was the most intense and caused the most damage to HI, most notable being the titanium at the front. HI was on top for a while, but then gremlins resurfaced that I haven’t seen since Igor a couple of years ago. The receiver, after a knock from Chilli Daddy, decided to freeze on me and leave the bot spinning and driving backwards! Eventually it stopped and was dead, and a knockout count.

After replacing the receiver, we then had a quick fight again Qry about it, after a good box rush from HI our opponent bounced oota, giving us a 1-1 record.

Our third fight was against Atlas, and was one of the best matches I’d had. I was glad of the new switch that was fitted to HI as I’m sure the link would have popped out after spinning around so many times. Eventually when spinning around the box, HI landed on top of Atlas and cut a drive belt. The reduced mobility of Atlas eventually resulted in it getting beached on a floor seam, thus ending our record at 2-1.

I was reasonably confident that I’d secured a top 16 position (I never actually worked it out properly but 2-1 was good odds) but unfortunately the championship was cut to just top 8. So instead we entered a whiteboard… Which was cancelled too. Everyone else seemed to jump at the chance of the gladiator rumble at the end of the event instead, but with a fully functional bot ready to go in a competition fight another day, I decided not to risk unnecessary damage.

So that ended our run at 2-1. Rather disappointed with how the event panned out, but at least the upgrades to the bot worked well.

As for future events, Igor managed to get a competition slot for Rapture on the 15/16th of June. This might be the last event for this version, with a new design planned for the lifter and drive. Upgrades have happened to this one though before the event, including a total rewire and new receiver, xt30’s instead of 60’s, and a BBB servo extender to give more range to the forks.

That’s it for now, I hope to see some of you soon.