abandon all hope ye robots who enter



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  • Designed & built Fall 1995-Summer 1996
  • Competed in Robot Wars 1996
  • Shown on TLC's Amazing America TV show
  • Status: revamped and renamed Bot Will Eat Itself

STORY: Rampage, my first combat robot, was created for and competed in the 25lb weight class at Robot Wars 1996. Backed with a shoestring budget from our department, I built Rampage and advised a group of 10 UCSB Mechanical Engineering undergraduates with their 2 combat robots. Footage of my robot and interviews with me appeared on a segment of The Learning Channel's Amazing America program. How'd I do? Let's just say that Rampage was a learning experience...

SPECS: Rampage's steel and aluminum body was powered by a hobby R/C car drivetrain. Its weaponry consisted of 2 circular saws mounted on the ends of spring-loaded arms designed to cut the enemy robots. The entire structure was held together with threaded rivets.

TECH DETAILS : Going on a mega-tiny budget, I used my old Tamiya Frog R/C car drivetrain for power & steering. This drivetrain was designed to scoot around a 3lb car, so it wasn't too happy driving around a 17lb robot. I doubled the voltage to get more oomph out of the motor, but it didn't take the abuse all too well--it broke down in combat. The chassis baseplate was some hefty steel, while the shell & arms were aluminum sheet metal, sheared, bent, and welded. The weapon motors were Craftsman 14.4V power drill motors, with small Makita circular saw blades. Putting power from the batteries to the drive motor was a Novak Rooster electronic speed controller, nestled behind that cool-looking air scoop on the side of the body--it got super hot & needed some air cooling.

SPONSORS: Partially funded by UCSB Mechanical & Environmental Engineering.

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