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New builder, looking for advice on sportsman robots!

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Joined: 06 May 2016
Posts: 1

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New builder, looking for advice on sportsman robots!

Hello, I have recently developed interest in building robots and I have no previous experience with this!

I would love any advice people could give me about what kind of things they have found that worked for their sportsman robots in the past, because I would like to start building one soon and I don't really know what kind of weapons, builds or weight will work.

Post Wed May 11, 2016 5:36 pm 
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 11802
Location: Sydney, NSW

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Welcome to the forum!

To start with, have a read of the official building rules: http://sparc.tools/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SPARC_Robot_Construction_Specifications_v1.0.pdf and our much easier to digest chat about those rules: http://www.robowars.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1880&start=0

For weapons, CO2 flippers are about the most effective, but are difficult to build so I wouldn't recommend them as a first bot. Electric lifters are much easier to build and nearly as effective. Circular saws look intimidating but don't do much damage unless they have a seriously powerful motor driving them and there are some restrictions on the size & type of blade. Lifting & crushing bots are effective but complicated, probably not a good first bot unless you have a well equipped workshop.

For drive, a pair of hacked cordless drill motors is a good starting point and there are many good YouTube videos on how to use them. For an off the shelf solution, Banebots P60 gearmotors are a compact and durable alternative. Most builders use the Bot Bitz TZ80A ESC to control the motors but they are not available for a few months. There are several tutorials on how to reprogram the TZ85A ESC yourself and its not too hard if you are handy with computers.
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Post Wed May 11, 2016 8:29 pm 
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Joined: 06 Jul 2015
Posts: 139
Location: Newcastle

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I'm also a new builder about 3/4 of the way through building my first sportsman.

I second Nicks points - drill motors are your friends and electric lifty/grabby is the easiest for a first build. You can get $20 cordless 12V drills from kmart that seem to work.

The most important part is a reliable drive system, here's a start out tutorial from a member of the Australian community that will get you driving:


I've easily spent more money on tools in the past 12 months than bot parts, but tools are eternally useful - so if you've got access to a kitted out shed you're already off to a better start than me.

Due to my lack of tools I've been using Aluminum section (hollow square or rectangular tubes) - it's bulky but strong and lightweight. Plus I can screw it together with brackets. Other popular materials are plastic chopping boards (HDPE) - it's real strong, easy to work with and easy to get in nice flat pieces. Of coarse if you've got a welder steel will be the most durable option (other than titanium but it's $$$$).

I reckon I could have halved my materials and tools cost and trips to the hardware store with more detailed planning, but that probably comes with experience.

You may also want to pick the event you're building for to get a date, so check out the 'Upcoming events; section.

In the mean time - lots of reading! The 'builders reports' section is great, you can see what others have done - if you have problems the solution will be buried in that section! Read the rules, especially for sportsman. Look forward to seeing your work!

Post Wed May 11, 2016 9:34 pm 
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