Robot Wars 5 by BEEESFollow article
After our very successful training events that ran throughout the autumn term, we had many teams ready with robots raring to go. As always, there tends to be those robots that are made for fun, and those that are designed purely to win. We’re set up to have the old timers competing against the fresh meat; all in all, it should be interesting to watch.
The set-up of the arena is as follows:
- Two flaps for inserting and removing robots from the arena.
- Two starting areas, one for each robot.
- Two corners with removed sections to act as ‘the pit’.
- One corner capable of flipping up and sending robots into the air.
The aim of the competition, for those of you who don’t already know, is to knock the other robot into one of the pits. The winner progresses to the next match, and the loser goes to the losers’ tournament. We do it this way so that even if a competitor loses their first match, they still have another chance to compete.
Occasionally, it happens that instead of being pushed into the pit, robots are destroyed to the extent that they can no longer function or be controlled properly. These are often the most entertaining matches to watch! The owner of said robot is forced to forfeit the match as they can’t carry on. Luckily, some resources are provided on the side-lines so robots can be repaired between rounds… if they can be repaired at all.
So now let’s talk tactics. The most important thing to consider when designing these robots is making sure they can get another robot into the pit. This tends to split the competitors between the two tried and tested methods: pushing and flipping.
Push robots tend to be heavier, to give them more momentum, so they can inflict a greater force on their opponent. They have a bigger surface area in front so they can act a bit like a bulldozer. This, however, makes them slow to accelerate and hence they are easily caught by lighter robots.
Flip robots are usually smaller as most are in the shape of a triangle. This gives them a pointy nose which allows them to get underneath the opposition – and flip them over. This weakens other robots and reduces their ability to fight back. Being lighter though, means they are pushed around the arena without too much difficulty.
Some competitors adapt a more violent approach and add an extra weapon onto their robot – the aim of this being to incapacitate the opposition. Keeping one of these under the maximum allowed weight and size makes adding blades a challenge, but it can be done…