Instructables

30lb Fighting Robot-Nyx

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I recently built a new 30lb fighting robot for the NERC Sportsman class and Dragon*Con Robot Battles events. This instructable will follow the build process and will include links to parts suppliers, machining resources and .dxf drawings of the custom components used to make the robot.

If you are serious about building your own version of this robot, contact me and I'll be happy to help where I can.
 
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Step 1: A pile of parts and the first day of the build

Picture of A pile of parts and the first day of the build
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The pile of flat stock was waterjet cut by Westar Mfg. out of 6061 aluminum and 4130 steel.

Drawings for this collection of parts along with materials, thicknesses and quantities can be found here.

The top armor and two supplimental weapons were not included in that collection to allow modifications to be made for weight purposes. Those files are located here.

These drawings were done with the intent that most would be made on a waterjet, and as such did not require dimensioning. Each of the drawings that was meant for waterjet cutting has a 1" reference square on the sheet.

With the great deal of interlocking components, the order of assembly is important. The first components to be assembled are the weapon hub, support hubs and weapon sprocket. Doing this first also showed the first issue in the build. The sprocket model on McMaster.com did not have the correct hole spacing which meant only 3 of the 6 planned bolts would fit. These holes are all meant for a #10 bolt, and without a clearance hole bit on hand, one had to be ordered.

The other main piece of the day was countersinking the holes on the inner rails to ensure there would be no contact between the moving roller chain and the bolt heads. The front threaded spacers also needed to be added and loctited as the bolt heads will be covered by the D shaped bearing blocks during assembly. A product called Nutstrip is used to connect the panels together, allowing for quick assembly.
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MikeNCR (author) 2 years ago
I've added a torque limiter to the weapon drive. This seems to have eliminated the shaft snapping issue. Video of the test can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9MLRGWG5nE
MikeNCR (author) 2 years ago
Motorama is this weekend, look for video early next week.
N.fletch2 months ago

Great Instructable, I really like the level of quality and professionalism that went into the design. What CAD SW did you use when developing, or which would you recommend?

MikeNCR (author)  N.fletch2 months ago

I prefer Solidworks, though this sort of design could just as easily be done in Inventor or ProE. It's mainly down to which package you're familiar with.

ggrock10 months ago
Plz Give me full over view of make this Robot>>>>>>>>>
TINY 103041 year ago
Can I get some blueprints pleaseee
Nice :D Im trying to make a battlebot too.. but i must wait to get the receiver & transmitter...
Can you give me instructions on how to do this robot with a hammer and a saw?
MikeNCR (author) 1 year ago
Nyx went 6-1 at Dragon*Con Robot Battles and won the 30lb championship. Video is on my youtube channel.

Playlists:
1 and 3lb:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL381AC5277547FC6B&feature=view_all

12 and 30lb:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD9E62E0B9714FE3E&feature=view_all

Near Chaos Robotics:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCE1BDB41F8F284AE&feature=view_all
MikeNCR (author) 2 years ago
Nyx finished with a 2-2 record at Motorama. The video can be found at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL17C4710E05408188

One loss was due to the motor wires unsoldering themselves. Trims on the radio were turned down to 75% and that functioned as a temporary fix to the issue. The other loss was due to Nyx ending up in a position it couldn't get out of which resulted in a loss by countout.

I'm very happy with performance and I think the addition of a torque limiter to the weapon system will be the final touch the robot needs to start winning tournaments.
Really well done combat bot!
I've seen the videos and i must admit, your robot massive as hell!

Have Nyx suffered serius injuries from the confrontation with Enforcer?
MikeNCR (author)  DoKToR20062 years ago
Nothing serious, the only damage was cosmetic. It stopped driving because the drive motors got hot enough to unsolder the wires connecting them to the speed controller. I turned the trims down to 75% power and it seems to have fixed the issue for the moment.
rocketman72 years ago
Great Robot! My friend builds fighting robots too! He is in the Combot competition... He says that you have to hit it with a sledgehammer and drop it off a high building. If it breaks, then it will certainly break in the competition.
graydog1112 years ago

What happened to "Battlebots" on TV? That was one of my favorite shows.
MikeNCR (author)  graydog1112 years ago
They had some issues with advertisers that led to the show being cancelled. They've put on a few non televised events since then, but the main events are now no longer affiliated with Battlebots.

On the west coast, the big group is Combots ( http://combots.net/ )

On the east coast, NERC puts on some of the biggest open events ( http://nerc.us ) and has an event coming up at Motorama in Harrisburg PA in a few weeks.

Robot Battles ( http://www.robotbattles.com/ ) puts on some good events as well in the southeast. Their biggest event is each year at Dragon*Con.

Most events around the US use http://www.buildersdb.com/index.asp to manage registration.
Thanks Mike. I'd love to see them back on the air every week. It would sure beat basketball.
I always wondered who had control of the episode rights. That's one series that I would gladly buy on DVD in a heartbeat. I always enjoyed watching them.
MikeNCR (author)  dustinnewton2 years ago
I'm guessing some combination of Comedy Central and Battlebots, which means it probably won't happen any time soon.
Kelpbot2 years ago
It seems like a very solid robot! Very nice job. Im not sure about what you want from this robot, but it seems that it has almost more speed than it needs. I would consider using a 1:3 or more gear ratio for the drive system. Although some speed would be sacrificed, the control over turning would increase, and there would be less stress on the motors (although they are very durable). I personally would prefer this to lowering the motor power to slow it down.
MikeNCR (author)  Kelpbot2 years ago
With most modern radio systems you can adjust steering sensitivity to make it easier to drive. The high speed allows me to out maneuver the opponent and control the match, or at least that's the idea.
A better idea is to keep the speed and install a tail-rotor gyro between the receiver and the v-tail mixer. Even the cheapest gyro will let you power-slide around the arena like a god. (works great on ice too :D ) The Holmes Hobbies controllers look like they do synchronous rectification so they're better than the Victor 883's my first bots used, but a gyro is the best.

Also, the side plates holding your wheels look fairly weak. A spinner hit to the corner of the bot and the long spacer bolts will bend right off.

P.S. My most successful bot is Micro Vice http://www.buildersdb.com/botdetails.asp?botid=6135 uses a steering gyro and is a blast to drive.
MikeNCR (author)  lawsonuw2 years ago
A gyro would likely make the bot easier to drive, but I'm pretty happy with the handling as it is.

This bot was built for the NERC sportsman class and Dragon*Con robot battles. Neither event allows high energy spinning weapons, so they're not a major concern for this build.

MV looks pretty good, same with Vice and Insomnia. Planning to take any of them to events again?
Ah, a no spinner class. In that case you're armor's too heavy :P

No plans to compete right now. While Insomnia had a wicked weapon, it was lightly armored, so it got "retired" in it's last battle. (certainly still competitive with enough spare parts) I botched up the execution of Vice, so it's mostly a sculpture now. Micro Vice was born as a test-bed for a rebuild of Vice, but is FAR more effective than I expected.  I was slowly iterating the design when I got a good idea how to make an AWD motorcycle.  The motorcycle has since chewed up all my time.

P.S. the GWS P-03 was my gyro of choice.  Cheap, fairly symmetrical CW to CCW, and a minimal dead zone. 
Kelpbot MikeNCR2 years ago
Valid point. Just an idea. Good luck with your battles!
nice! check out my contest for this. Battle bots Contest. Please Enter
That's awesome.

How much did this cost?

I saw your other robot, what lessons did you learn from the other robot that you applied to the design of this one?

Do the "nano-tech" batteries really make a difference over traditional Li-poly?
MikeNCR (author)  frank260801152 years ago
A good portion of the parts were recycled from old projects, but to build this new with all new parts the cost would be around $2000.

I'm trying the nano-tech batteries on this robot and won't know what differences there are besides cost for a bit, as the first event it will attend is in a few weeks.
As to batteries. I'm not too familiar with the voltages required for your robots, but for weight savings, you might look into these Shorai Lithium/Iron batteries.

Yes. I said Iron. :)

They have a carbon fiber case, and the one I bought for my Sportster weighed less than 1 lb. and was half the size of my stock battery. The neatest thing about them is, the hotter they get, the more efficient they are, so in an enclosed space with hot motors running right next to it/them, voltage losses should not be an issue.

Good luck with your competition!

http://www.shoraipower.com/c-1-batteries.aspx

MikeNCR (author)  Giesterfarher2 years ago
They don't seem to carry anything in the right size/capacity/voltage combination I'd be looking for.

The current pack is 2.65Ah and provides a nominal 22.2v
Hmm, your battery is most likely Lithium Iron Phosphate, also referred to as LiFePO4 and LiPO4. I tried to find more information on the website about the battery type, but couldn't. I am actually very skeptical of battery resellers who don't include more information about their product.


That said, LiPO4 can offer a lot of energy/kg. It's not particularly volumetrically dense, though, and can take as much as 1.5 or 2x the space of bare LiPo packs. Overall, nanotech beats LiPO4 in almost all measures except 1) safety and 2) lifespan.

Anyway. I also wanted to comment in case someone pops up and says "no, you're wrong. Lithium/Fe is _____ type of battery." Because i'd love to hear about something new.
MikeNCR (author)  Kinnishian2 years ago
I actually use LiFe batteries in my two other large robots Apollyon and Moros. They're using 5s and 6s A123 systems packs.

As far as I can tell these are just relatively new LiPo's that seem to have decent performance.
You are correct about them being LiFePO. There is a FAQ section on the site, and there used to be a technical section there as well that was way over my head, but I can't find it now. It's possible it gave away too much and they took it down to protect proprietary secrets?

I'm not familiar with nanotech batteries, but if there is a safety issue, or for that matter a cost issue, then maybe the LFX batteries ARE worth a look. It wouldn't do to have the robot explode when a titanium spike pierces it resulting in mass destruction and death of the audience, would it? ;)

Here's the FAQ section, in case you didn't see it before.

http://www.shoraipower.com/t-faq.aspx
lewisb422 years ago
Regarding cost, I'd particularly like to know how much the waterjetting was, in case it might just accidentally fit my budget. :)

Also, I like the way you offset the wheels in order to fit the drive chain and sprockets in. That's an great potential solution to a problem I've been mulling over for my next 3-lb robot. (Though I'd be doing it with timing belts, not chain.)
MikeNCR (author)  lewisb422 years ago
The waterjetting ran $374 + materials and shipping.
dausmus MikeNCR2 years ago
How does that waterjetting cost compare with laser cutting the same parts?
MikeNCR (author)  dausmus2 years ago
I haven't done any laser parts. I'm a fan of waterjet because you don't get any heat affect zone issues and it can handle a much wider range of materials.
VinceJDJ2 years ago
I logged in just to favorite this. Nice work dude!
WYE_Lance2 years ago
Wow, way to set the bar high! Good luck in the Make it Real challenge
ad8952 years ago
very cool i like the design. i too build battle bots, but mine is though my school. we have a weight limit of 15 lbs our designs look alot like yours but with a different weapon ours is like a 3-5 pound beater bar
MikeNCR (author)  ad8952 years ago
Nice. I'm a big fan of the BotsIQ/NRL programs. My 12lb bot Apollyon ran in the 15lb college class as Interstellar Overdrive when they did the big event with Battlebots in CA a few years ago. Ended up placing 4th and winning best engineered.
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