The resurgence of Battlebots in the States and Robot Wars in the UK reignited my love of combat robotics. So I found a local group of bot builders and dived right in.
We fight at the UK ant weight scale (150 gram weight limit) and I quickly realised the traditional way to build a bot involved RC gear: an expensive RC transmitter, a bulky or expensive receiver and ESCs (electronic speed controllers) which are magic boxes that can handle way more current than is necessary for a bot of this size.
Having used Arduino in the past I wanted to try and do things differently and set myself a goal of an Arduino system that can receive a combat legal signal and control two drive motors for around USD$5 (half the cost of a cheap ESC)
To help achieve this goal I remixed this RC car instructable, reducing the weight/cost of the receiver and generating 4 PWM signals to run a cheap h-bridge chip
This instructable will focus on the Arduino control system but I'll add additional information to help new people build their first bot
Even at a small scale combat robot building/fighting can be dangerous, undertake at your own risk
For the control system:
For the rest of a basic wedge bot:
For a basic controller:
*when looking at h-bridge modules, look for a module with all 4 signal inputs next to each other, this will make it easier to attach to the Arduino later
**check out the final step for some tips on picking motor speeds