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A new class of BattleBot Altoids BattleBot Answered

A new class of BattleBot – Altoids BattleBot After watching BattleBots on youTube I thought there had to be an easy way of enjoying the same mindless destruction but on a scale that I can accommodate in my apartment. It would also have to be simple enough to build and wire up. The Altoids BattleBot Class. Take any Altoids tin and add to it a hard wire link from a controller to the BattleBot. The controller can be another Altoids tin with a couple of switches and the battery pack. Then add weapons to the unit that can comply to a maximum 300 gram weight limit (without hard wire and controller) with a size limit of no more than 30mm from the edge of the tin and an over all maximum height of 50mm. To prevent a fire hazard (I was thinking of adding a zippo lighter), no batteries that either power the unit itself or weapons are to be placed in the BattleBot. Ive got an idea of using a small solenoid to make a flipper of some sort that could turn an opponents Altoids BattleBot turtle. Any other ideas for weapons?


try attaching a soldering iron it might pierce the armour, or better two soldering irons to balance it out. also you could but something like a forklift to simply lift it into the air and it would be defenceless or something to lift yourself into the air and render its attacks futile.


7 years ago

How would you turn it if it can only go forward and backwards? I am a beginner.

This is so awesome! I wonder if there is an instructable for making the controller you were talking about - wires, not RC. If so, could someone point me to it? 1000 Thanks!

I think I would add a saw blade of some sort. There's an instructable on making shurikens out of CDs, so maybe that would work. And what about a net gun? Maybe just a net attached to the front of the 'bot, swung around when the 'bot moves? Just throwing out ideas.


Try this one. Two of these units, one on each side of the bot, would give you forward and backwards and direction.

Im pleased you like the concept and because it is a simple idea it make it easy for someone without electronic skills to build.

Thanks for the direction! I'm currently building it. Rigging it up to the tin is gonna be a hell of a job, though. Not to mention trying to fit in weapons. Maybe I'll rig it on the outside. Gonna need some armor on that...

On another note: Me and some other robotic minded friends are going to have each of us build one and then have a tournament. Should be fun! Maybe someone should post a instructable that details the rules and regulations. Could be me, if I find the time.

The build is going well. The 'bot now moves. Starting to add weapons and build the controller. There are two rocker switches to control the motor and a momentary push-button to activate the sawblade (to avoid the gyroscopic affect, I've rigged it to go sideways). Now I just have to worry about finding a blank CD to slice up.



8 years ago

I did something like this. I used an RC car as the base and add weapons.

Have you got a photo to show us? Most RCs have got the speed to get out out the way and they should have a bit of power left over to carry weaponds.

Nails on ends of metal arms that swing down rapidly and stab anything in its path...

This looks like alot of fun, especially since I'm kind of roboticaly challenged. XD But one thing occurred to me: Flipping would really be the only easy way to win. I mean, Altoids tins provide quite a bit of armour. So it's gonna take VERY LONG to disable an opponent unless they are flipped. So my questions are: Does anyone have any suggestions for weapons that can break that kind of armour? And are there any other ways to eliminate opponents, other than the ways listed here?

You’re right about an Altoids tins being tough. I stood on one in bare feet once. Ouch! Altoids – one, Gnome - zero. I was looking after my nephew recently and we were making “Demolition Robots”, my nephew’s name for robots built from Lego. There wasn’t any motors used just two abstract plastic lumps on wheels and pushed along the floor to collide and fall apart. Great fun. I’d like to try and see what sort of battle bots could be built using Lego’s Mindstorm range. The winner could keep all the pieces that have fallen off.

let's stick with the altoids thing. I'm already too intrigued to let it go now. LOL Any suggestions for non-flipper weapons that would be effective?


High-traction wheels, high-torque motors, shove your opponent out of the arena, sumo style.

Spin the 'bot (if it's RC, so cables won't tangle), or add a spinning flywheel with a small number of teeth.

It is like a Rocky film. The underdog takes a pounding and on and on it goes and still we want a recovery and that point of turn around. And that moment never came for that robot. Great video Kiteman.

Hey! what about a magnet in front? Get the opponent stuck, then use the weapon. Close range PWNAGE! Alright. It's time to start planning. Thanks guys!

Or rather - get stuck to your opponent, so he can use his weapon on *you*. Don't assume your opponent will just sit there and take it. Based on maneuverability and choice of weapons, your opponent may or may not do better at close range than you. If so, you'd be hosed. Electromagnet is a possibility, but gets rather bulky. At least you wouldn't need to store the battery inside the altoids tin.

"Magnet in front", as in retractable projectile magnet. Don't know exactly how to do that just yet, but i'd figure it out. This gives me the option of reeling him in, or keeping him a good distance away until i choose to strike.

You could make the magnet turnable so you can push you opponent away if you want.

I got to see this match at Robogames last year. This is what happen when two heavyweight spinners meet head-to-head....

After this match, the safety crew had to tour the arena to verify the 1 inch lexan windows were still safe enough - a small piece of metal actually made it all the way through. That's one inch of lexan! There were also pieces of metal stuck in the ceiling...


robot wars was a great show, spin doctor seemed to be invicible, even the paintwork was unscathed through most of it.

Yeah, some of the most spectacular battle bots in the 150g "fly weight" class at RoboGames used a spinning weapon - or a spinning bot.

The idea is that you can build up an awful lot of momentum if you can take a few seconds to get up to speed, and then release it in one good thwack when you connect with your opponent. Some of these little guys created enough impact that both bots would fling up against the side and even roof of the arena, several feet up into the air.

A lil spring loaded fang/spike on an arm. only one shot but with a powerful loaded spring behind it you should be able to penetrate an altoids tin

Hey this isn't really about an Altoids-sized bot but it's related. For my engineering class there are two teams making battlebots out of commercially available RC cars. I'm working on making a flamethrower out of a can of WD40 and a grill lighter. Any ideas on how to make this work? (the problem being that we only can use cars that run on 27 or 49 MHz, so basically 1 team gets one frequency, and the other team gets the other.) Any idea/suggestions for that or other weapons that might be useful? (FYI both teams are allowed to use sheetmetal as armor, so they will be very tough.) Thanks!

Hmm, what about a pneumatic lance? Power it with pressurized air, let it pop out and try to impale the other 'bot.

Or maybe try to build a taser and short out their circuitry. Sounds dangerous, but it might work! Or, y'know, explode.


I like the size and weight restriction idea, to keep the cost down let's adopt the spot rule from cheap auto racing. The idea is that everyone agrees before the race that any car can be purchased at the end of the race for a set price. It puts a ceiling on the cost of cars ( in this case 'bots) to keep the field open to more people. My first weapon idea would be some sort of capacitor discharge EMP weapon, but the second idea I'm keeping to myself until after I finish this tin....

Haha, I need an altoids tin, I reckon my plan is good so far, my name is dick dastardly...

A stabby poker from a solenoid... Umm I could probably rig up a baby flamethrower... A solenoid operated pair of scissors, cut the enemie's cable A spinning weapon A crushing weapon would be good...

Its good to see interest in this. Still got a couple details to workout on the class formula Patrik came up with the idea about a class formula. Height+Length+Width < X. I think the airline luggage dimension formula is the way to go. We need an agreement about the total size for the Altoids BattleBot class. Lets say a total Height + Length + Width dimension of 200mm. The control wire can be up to 3 meters from the BattleBot (and no Kevlar protection). This will give enough room to move around a 2 meter diameter arena. All batteries for the motors and weapons are to be kept in the control unit. I think we’d better limit the number of batteries to a maximum of three 9volt batteries. I dont wanna sound like a killjoy but hooking up a car battery through a coil might provide more than a few sparks. Then as long as there is an Altoids tin, with lid, incorporated in to the build, then a build is free to use their imagination. What do people think the tin can be cut and drilled? This might give people free range to strip the tin down to nothing. Lets say at least 90% of the tin still has to be on the Bot. The whole thing has got to be something that is simple enough for an absolute beginner to electronics to wire up. The controller can be couple of rocker switches and a switch for the weapon(s). Now my weapon of choice. I think something like a mouse trap. A strong spring with a solenoid release. It might be a one shot deal but it might push an opponent outta the ring, Sumo style. (I love Sumo. I saw Kotooshu, the Bulgarian ozeki class rikishi (wrestler) in Tokyo Station once. HUGE is the word I would use and he isn’t considered a large wrestler). Then there is contact glue. Something that can be injected into the opponents works. Any other things that need to be considered before confirming the class formula?

You could also drop large magnets on the field (considering that the field is metal). The opponent could roll over it by accident and end up stuck to the field, where he would be attacked by your own machine.

And how do you propose to d"drop" that large magnet, without getting stuck to it yourself? "Mining" the field only works when you are immune to your own mines.

I know. I have a system in place already. It's a bit complicated, but it has worked before in other projects. Involves plastic and springs. But it works WAY better if the field is metal. The key is not to drop the magnet from underneath. ;)

A good weapon would be a saw blade. I remember taking the disk holder out of a cdrom and an electric motor out of a toothbrush to spin the disk holder with a saw blade on it. (IT WAS DANGEROUS but in that case this is what you are looking for right ? Im ure I could design all the components to fit inside an altoids tin. but I think the saw blade would probably cut the cable. and for a project like this cut up cat5 or cat6 works good

Yeah, cutting the control cable would probably one of the winning strategies with these guys.

The "professionals" would probably spring for some fancy Kevlar braided sleeving to provide some protection.

To allow fire weapons, it might be sest to keep the battery in the controler, at the other end of the wire to that of the BattleBot, Of course weapons are on the battlebot. It wouldn't work otherwise.

is this an offical thing or just build something, show it off? I understand that the battery can't be in the case, but the weapon can't be in the case? I don't get it

to avoid the wire cut off tactic, your bot could have an antenna/rod to hold up the wires vertically, then when at a specific height, leash out.

Yeah, Thats getting close to a workable situation, Patrik This leaves a lot of scope for building. An Altoids tin could be placed any which way. And I think this would also keep the tin itself as the center of the BattleBot concept. The reason I thought of having a wire connection is to make it simple for kids and non techies to build by removing the need for remote control circuits. Protecting the wires from being cut will add to the challenge.


10 years ago

I would guess that a rotating blade to cut off the opponent's control wires is going to be a popular strategy. Should we specify what type of wires are legal? Anyone know a supplier of Kevlar coated electrical wire? ;-)


10 years ago

Great idea, but we should probably work on those specs a bit more.

- 300 grams is a LOT if you don't need to put the batteries in the 'bot itself. The smallest weight category in RoboGames is only 150 grams, batteries and remote receiver included, and those babies pack quite a punch!

- If you allow 3 cm on each side, and a height of 5 cm, it's conceivable you might get some bots where you can't even see the altoids tin. :-D If we want some size limitations (it looks like RoboGames only relies on a tight weight limit, no size limit), we might want to do something like Height+Length+Width < X, kinda like how airline luggage limits are determined. H+L+W = 11cm or so for a regular Altoids box. Your proposed maximum dimensions would add up to 27 cm or so. Around 20 cm would be decent, I think.

A dremel would be great. Ive been looking at one in tool shop for an age, my wife drags me away sort of in the same way my mum pulled me away from the Spitfire model when I kid that was on show in a toy shop. I found an instructable for a tazer! Hook up a couple of large charged up Capacitors and ZAP!

This seems really fun.

I could see using a cut off bit for a dremel as a weapon, or if you have the right gears, a nail for a hammer. I like the saw idea most =]

some sort of slow burning wick could be put on the front, with two wires attached to a piezo on the controller...click the piezo and light the wick.

neodymium magnets on one side of the bot, with nais, and other weapon on the same side. It'll be impaled when it's attracted to you. (big magnet)