Poof! Just like that I am suddenly involved in the FIRST Robot Challenge! Several people from work and other friends have been telling me for a few weeks about a local school that is building their robot to enter the competition to be held in the last week of February, and I finally got around to checking out their work tonight. Well, I walked in, not committed but wanting to check it out, fully expecting to see a half-built robot, since the event is only a month away. Instead, I was greeted by a bunch of friendly people that seemed eager but somewhat confused on the whole thing, surrounded with bins of parts and random electronics. They had sketched up a very rough drawing, but didn't know how the details would actually work. Nothing had actually been constructed yet, and nobody knew where to begin, so, of course I jumped in- feet first. Basically, their jaws dropped when I suggested scrapping their entire plan and starting with a new design. They were releived that I was able to come up with a workable design in a few minutes that was more effective than their first. I told them (from experience, of course) why certain things would and would not work, and got involved in more than an advisory way, and well, since I was the only robot-building veteran there, everything I said was golden. A few hours later we actually had a complete and rolling robot base complete with all wheel assemblies and powertrain attachments! I loved every minute of it! Man, this stuff is addicting!!! We're going to get together again on Saturday to do more work on the drive system and I'll be helping out with the other main mechanical parts including the conveyor system and lifting mechanism. So, THAT was interesting! Heck, I guess if I can't fight with robots, I'll have 'em do some cool stuff for NASA Ames!
I've gone through and completely cleaned up the links page again. Added half a dozen links and removed a few dead ones too. Please make sure to email me if you see anything new or want to add anything there! I also fixed up some dead links and reorganized the publicity page.
Don't forget to send me your suggestions on my 'Virtual Robot Wars' battle! I've been OK'd at work to work on this project in the interest of expanding my 3D animation skills, so let me know who you want to see fight Hercules in a virtual world (and the outcome!)! I'll be posting the movie here when I am done.
Andrew Lindsey from Team Spike has started building robot starter kits! For $200, they include all the parts you may need to start with a small RC robot! Cool job, Andrew!
I've been learning a lot of new modeling and animation software at work, so I created a quick digital model of Hercules!
The model is fully animatable and has moving parts, I'm still putting on some finishing touches too. This went so well that I've started to think how cool it would be to make digital models of other RW robots and hold little "Virtual Robot Wars" games here on this site with small 2-3 minute video battles... hmmm. (I guess I'm letting my new Digital Animator position at work go to my head, but hey, I need the practice!) I'll definitely be doing at least one or two mock battles, so if you have some ideas on which robots you would like to see fighting in a virtual battle, let me knowand I'll see what I can do!
The Dangerous Machines site has started a Robot Wars voting service. Hey, I'm game for that.... So here's your chance to vote for the Team Hercules site!
If you want an event in the next three or four months, I will need the help of at least one person. With my business obligations, I am precluded from being in two places at once. As I said in the past, I am not interested in making any cash off this deal, and if there is a like minded individual out there...get in touch with me! As for the location, It is on an Indian Reservation in Nevada. They have their own "Seperate Nation" status, and the traditional U.S. laws don't apply. So much for the evil empire! There is a Casino on this Reservation who would love to have all you Builders and your extra cash stay on the property. This gives us all the facilities we need, and at a really cheep price. Since the venue area is already up and running, all we have to do is schedule a date, and play. There is minimal cost for the venue area, as the casino hopes to profit from your good natured charity to the "One Armed Bandits". If the arena can be put together, the games can begin. The Casino will provide most of the marketing for local spectators, as it hopes they too will contribute to the table games. This is where I'm at...several months ago, I had some time. Now, I have none. I can make arrangements over the phone, but I can't be there in person to run the event. If you as the builder community want it...it's here.
Hey! Cool new FAST way to get to this website! Just remember robots.allhere.com It will get you to the Team Hercules website fast and easy! Thanks to URL4Life redirection service for this cool new option! (The old way will still work fine too)
1:30pm The court hearing this morning did not happen- as of yet. A handful of people showed up to the courthouse early and were told to come back later in the afternoon, as Marc Thorpe's lawyers and Steve Plotnicki's lawyers are still trying to come up with some kind of agreement. According to my sources, something will be "read into the record" between 2-5pm today. More info later today.
10:00pm Well, I haven't heard anything else of what happened (if anything) at the court today, just the same thing, that the attourneys were debating still. Stay tuned to the Robot Wars Forum as well. I'll update after some news comes in. Sorry.
I reworked most of the graphics on the home page- most of them are half the size they were earlier- this should help you with the loading time on this page! I've also gone around the site and cleaned up old information and changed a couple of looks here and there.
By the way, make sure you check out the Team Delta site, it has been redone (nicely) again! Drop by and grab yourself some COOL robot electronics while you're there!
You'll also want to check out Team Spike website. There is a new section in the archives there outlining the Bot Bash '98 with tons of photos of all the robots and a play-by-play of all the events! Andrew is also considering putting together robot 'kits' that people could buy that would include nearly everything they need to start building a featherweight robot!
I've redone the Team Hercules banner- see below on this page on the 1/5/99 update for more info on putting it on your own page.
Since I've changed so much on this site lately, if any of you are having troubles viewing any pages on this site or with links, java errors, search problems, etc, please let me know.
Just a couple more days until January 13! This of course is yet another in the series of court hearings to decide the fate of the Robot Wars Trademark. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, here is the original notice of sale. Now, I'm not sure if I will be able to be there this week- too many things going on at work with deadlines, so someone else may need to report to me what happens- volunteers please?
Not too much else to mention today unfortunately, updated the links and awards pages. So how do you guys like the search engine (See top of this page and on the homepage)? Pretty cool, huh? I've found it very useful just to see what stuff I have posted here in the past.
Oh, since I've added the banners and resubmitted to search engines, I've seen a LOT more traffic here- so WELCOME! to all you new first-time visitors and random web surfers! Take a look around the site, there is a LOT to be seen and read!
I also now have the ability to see statistics on where people are visiting from (linking sites), when they are visiting, what browser, search engine, etc. So a special thanks to the other robot sites linking here! Once I have a good amount of data collected, I should be able to determine the top robot wars sites linking to here. Maybe I'll have a prize for the top 3.... (wink, wink)
I've added a separate page for the awards that I have been receiving for this site. Wow, I guess I've been doing something right. Thanks for the submissions, votes, and to all the individuals who made these happen!
Also, in order to increase traffic to the Robot Combat community, I've added a Banner Exchange banner here to the homepage, links page and this page. Hopefully this may bring more people into our little fold if other peole see the banner. By the way, here is the newer banner if you want to put it up on your page, link to it from here, so when I redesign it, you will get the updated one on your page. Or you can just put this html code on your page:
<a href="http://home.earthlink.net/~macshack/robotwars/"><img src="http://home.earthlink.net/~macshack/robotwars/images/banner2.gif" border="0"></a>
Also, I went to MacWorld Expo - San Francisco today! Some pretty cool stuff! Its my 4th year going, and I think I saw more cool stuff this year than ever. The new Macs are FAR too sexy- I don't think I will be able to stop myself from upgrading! I spent the better part of the day checking them out. They definitely pass my test!!! See them at apple.com. The other cool news worth mentioning is Connectix announced (and is selling ONLY at the show) their new Virtual Game Station software ($49), whidh lets you actually play your Playstation discs on your Mac! Very cool indeed. (Try THAT on your PC!) I'm going back on Friday, hope they're not sold out by then....
Happy New Year! Not a whole lot of robot combat news since the last update- still waiting for the January 13 court date on the Robot Wars trademark. I did finally add a Search engine to this site to help you navigate around!
This very cool service is provided by !
I've archived the December 1998 updates into their own section, if you didn't get to read them, you may want to check them out!