Nightmare LIVES! Well, sort of... I finished a mock-up of his full strength drivetrain today and was incredibly impressed at the torque and efficiency of these new motors! And, I'm running both on only one 12V 12AH battery, I was able to drive him around the parking lot, pushing things around for 30+ minutes one one charge! He's not the fastest robot (that would be Hercules), but MAN can he push/pull stuff! I started off by pushing around concrete blocks, then moved up to a massive deep-cycle car battery, then TWO batteries, and then THREE! (Then I ran out of heavy stuff for him to push! (What the heck am I doing with three old car batteries sitting around anyway?) This crazy robot was pushing around a concrete block and THREE huge car batteries UPHILL in my parking lot and he still wasn't slowing down! Note also these blocks and batteries were NOT on wheels, like the enemy will be, these are just being dragged around on the asphault leaving grooves behind- Oh, and that ain't no "running start and slam into it and see it move a few inches" kind of thing, this is starting from zero pushing all around the parking lot and back home! THAT, ladies and gentlemen is a satisfying achievement! More construction will be happening every weekend (and probably most weekdays depending on my work schedule) leading up to BattleBots, and I'll update what I can here. (No clues or giveaways on his weapon yet!)
I also have a few new things planned for Junior. He's got a lot of weight to gain now that he can beef up to 110 lbs!
Speaking of BattleBots, check out their website, they've added a contestants page with pics of some of the robots that are coming to the event, and they added an awesome list of resources for transport, lodging, etc. for the BattleBots weekend! Make your plans NOW, there is a lot going on that week down there (Like Siggraph!) so getting a room is probably already pretty difficult. Act now!
I've finally finished my IASCA Competition Car Audio page for my Toyota 4Runner install! If you like that kind of stuff, please check it out when you get a chance!
Oh, and make sure you get your order out for the Sony AIBO Robot Dog. It's only $2500! They will sell only 2500 units in the U.S. starting June 1.
We've postponed the Underground Robot Street Fight that was originally planned for today. Too many people are still in the middle of building and repairing their robots this time around, so stay tuned here for announcements of the next one, should be sometime in late June or early July.
I've updated my Tips page to include a lot more of the FAQ (frequently asked questions) that I get by e-mail through this site, check it out and please let me know if I've made any mistakes or such. I'm sure I will be adding a lot more to it later on, but it's a good start for now.
Probably for the better, the Robot Anonymous Message Board has been kind of quiet lately. I think most of the people who had something to say there have already gotten it out of their systems. Of course it could also be that everyone is just too busy building their robots to get online- this is also apparent by the lack of postings lately on the Battlebots and Robot Wars Forums.
Had a great weekend celebrating- yesterday (Saturday) was my big 30th birthday (boy am I old now!), and to celebrate, George Lucas threw me a big party in San Francisco and invited all the employees of the Lucas Empire to the bash.... Well, actually, it was the ILM wrap party for the films that we've been working on and have been recently finalled: The Mummy, Wild Wild West, and that little-known film- Star Wars Episode One. But it was cool to be able to go to such a great party on my B-day. Now I gotta get back to work on the robots...
Not much new to report. Did a lot of re-wiring in Hercules over the past weekend (new speed control, new switches, motor leads, and fan), getting him ready for this weekend's Underground Robot Street Fight on May 23rd! So far not too many people have signed up for this small get-together, so if you want to bring your robot out and get some practice against REAL targets, please e-mail me for more information! Any size robot is OK, but most of the others will be Heavyweights. Remember also that our concern is "Safety First" when we don't have an actual arena, so plan on being careful. Sorry, no spectators are allowed.
Good news on Nightmare too- although I have already been constructing this beast, I have still been actively searching for sponsorship, and I have found at least one so far, the final deal is pending agreements with other potential sponsors, so I will not mention any names just yet. Hoorah! Looks like Nightmare may be complete in time!
Wow, you guys sure are making a mess of your Robots Anonymous Message Board! From my latest visit there, it looks as if people have begun to seriously abuse the priveleges and purpose of the board (openly sharing information) and have instead begun to attack each other, even focusing unjust anger at me. I guess I need to explain again that I do NOT run that board, nor should my name be associated with anything that gets posted there. It was a gift to the robot community and I have no control over what messages these people send. It just seems like people automatically presume that the administrator will swoop in and fix things, well in this case it is not so.Too bad, I was really hoping that it would help to make a positive difference. If it gets any worse, I'll be removing the link to it from this website and you'll just have to access it from other sites or your own bookmarks. I'll give it a few more days and see if you guys can grow up.
Too Cool! BattleBots has announced that they will be paying for freight, airfare, hotel and entry into the August BattleBots event for 3 different international (ouside the U.S.) robots and their builders! From the looks of it, all the potential candidates need to do is send a video about how cool their robot is! What a great idea and opportunity! So, all you U.K. contestants (you know who you are), get that camera rolling, maybe we shall meet in the arena this August!
Two other robot websites* have added the Robot Anonymous Message Board to their sites! Great job, guys, how about the rest of you?
*(www.sfu.ca/~dbyoung/robotwars and www.eng.buffalo.edu/~polyakov) Make sure to tell the board that you've added the code and I'll list you here too!
For those of you who want to just have a quick button to access the board instead of the whole page, I've created a few buttons for links:
Just right-click (control-click on a Mac) on the one you want, and save it to your drive,
then upload it to your ISP server and put it on your site, linking it to:
That's it! Couldn't be easier...
Yet another Underground Robot Street Fight will be this coming May 23rd, 1999! Just a couple weeks left! If you have a robot (Heavyweights preferred, but any robot can show up), and plan on being in the SF Bay area on that date (or can travel here), please e-mail me for more information! SORRY, no spectators are allowed, this is a 'play at your own risk' event- the number one rule is "Safety First", since there is no arena or other protection- you and your robot get a chance to show what you're made of among other robot builders. The last one was a hit! Let's make this one even better!
The Robot Anonymous board is taking off! If you have a robot website, link up to it! just post this code on your site! Everybody owns it!
Welcome to May! I have once again archived the April updates below to keep this page organized- don't forget that you can always do a search in the field at the top of this page (or on the main page) which will index all the archived pages, if you feel the need to look for specific information from the past...
Not much more to announce at this time, if you're just checking in after a while, make sure to check out the Letters and History pages for the latest legal stuff going on with Robot Wars and Battlebots.
I want to take a quick minute to plug BotBash '99. This is a great opportunity for those of you with smaller robots (Featherweight, Lightweight robots- up to 51lbs) to get together and see who the best may be! This upcoming event is in Phoenix, AZ, which may make it easier for some of you in other parts of the country to check out, on July 10. The event last year was a huge success and they are hoping to be twice as big this year!
I don't think I will be able to make it this year, but I sure would love the chance to show up and watch and meet some other fellow robot creators! Too bad Junior is a bit too big, he would love the opportunity!
Oh, I've been falling behind on my links page lately, especially for the UK competitors, if you have been relying on my links for the latest, don't- check out Dangerous Machines, they have the most current list of links I've seen. If anyone feels like sending me an update of new links to add to my page, I would REALLY appreciate it!