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
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.

Cybotron

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

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!

Cheers,
Jon

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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.

Cheers!
Jon

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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:

Cheers,
Jon

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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 ^^

Cheers,
Jon

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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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