As an intermediate forcing function, I’ve been preparing Super Mega Microbot to enter the Mech Warfare event at Maker Faire Bay Area May 17-19 in San Mateo, CA! The Mech Warfare event is a competition where scale size “mechs” or robots compete with airsoft cannons in a scaled down cityscape. Teleoperation is allowed, but the human operators are only allowed to see “what the mech sees”, which means driving from a video screen.
My goal for some time has been to try and improve the dynamic motion of my quadruped robot. Entering into Mech Warfare isn’t directly in support of that, but it is a fine and fun diversion. That isn’t to say that the current quadruped iteration is necessarily a great fit. I’ve only recently gotten it walking on new actuators at all, and only have enough gearboxes for just the lateral joints. The current iteration is a little, ahem — shall we say large — compared to other entrants. Also, there are a lot of “non-core” technologies that have to operate for the robot to effectively compete in a Mech Warfare event. Things like the airsoft cannon, remote video display, armor, unattended robust operation, etc. On the balance though, it is probably only a couple of weeks total diversion and is a good forcing function to make something that actually works end to end.
At this point, I’m clearly in “make it work at any cost on a short time frame” mode … err… “demo” mode. Coming up are some posts describing all the pieces necessary for the event, followed by hopefully an event debrief!
So, if you’re in the area, come on down to Maker Faire in San Mateo May 17-19 2019 and check it out!