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ACT Beetle Arena
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Thomas AIC



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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Location: Canberra


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ACT Beetle Arena

Could someone direct me to the design specifications of a beetleweight arena? I'm thinking of making it my holiday project this year, got materials from cancelled featherweight arena build anyway.

Post Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:47 am 
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Nick
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There isn't really any official specification; The one in Sydney has 3mm Polycarb sides which is fairly common. The walls are about 1.2M high (I think), which is half a full sheet of plastic. The floor and roof are MDF. Another option for the walls is to make them 1M high and use the extra 200mm off-cut strips as an extra layer around the inside of the walls. This gives extra protection from powerful spinners and is cheaper to replace when it gets too worn to see through.

The main difference between Featherweight arenas and smaller class arenas is that they are usually raised up so the smaller bots can be seen properly, although you could probably use a polycarb roof and keep the arena at floor level. We found that building a raised arena was harder than expected.

We made the Sydney beetle arena too large IMHO; It would have been much easier to transport and assemble if it was smaller and lighter. That's another thing to consider: where you can store the arena and the vehicle you have to transport it dictate the arena size as much as anything else.
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Post Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:24 am 
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Thomas AIC



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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Yep portability is the key concern (after safety). Happen to know what the area of the existing arena's floor is? or any recommendation for a minimum guideline would be good too.

Post Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:31 am 
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Nick
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Its been a while since I saw the arena - I think it is 4.8M square, which is four 1.2 by 1.2M wall panels. Another thing we did was put wooden 50 x 90mm bumpers around the base of the walls. It frequently saved the walls from damage but bots got stuck under the wood and sometimes even embedded in it.

In hindsight, we should probably have used construction more like the QLD walls, with polycarb panels permanently screwed to a metal tube frame. For simplicity, you might look at a small 2.4M square arena, which would allow you to make the walls from a single sheet of plastic with a tube frame. It might be a bit small but having just four panels that bolt together at the corners would be easy to make and assemble. For an arena this small, you could probably make the roof from panels very similar to the walls and keep the arena at floor level, with overhead viewing mostly through the roof. You could even do with out a door and just lift off a roof panel to get into the arena.

You will still need something that can take 2.4M long panels, like a trailer or a delivery van. A 2.4M square arena would store quite compactly - just eight 2.4 by 1.2M panels.
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Post Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:52 am 
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Thomas AIC



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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Location: Canberra


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Thanks Nick, I'll go do some sketching and might make a thread later if it seems feasible.

Post Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:58 am 
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RogueTwoRobots



Joined: 12 Jan 2008
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4.8m square?! That's the width of the Robo Challenge featherweight arena, massive for beetles Razz
Our two in the UK are 2msq and 3msq which are both a good size, though the 3msq arena allows a little more breathing space to spin up discs, or navigating space to avoid said discs Smile
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:06 am 
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Nick
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I could well be wrong about the size; its been a long time since I last saw the arena and I couldn't find a photo. It might only be 3.6M square, which is still larger than needed IMO.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:56 am 
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Valen
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I think its 2.4?
1.2M segments as I recall?
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:05 am 
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Knightrous
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It's 2.4 x 2.4
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:44 am 
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Nick
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I knew it was some multiple of 1.2 Laughing. That's good news for Tom; its much easier to build an arena if the sides are the same as a full sheet of material. What are people's recollections of what is good and bad about the arena?
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:12 am 
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Valen
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do it out of 2.4M lengths.
The joins are a pain in the ass.

2.4M 2x1 RHS is the way to go for everything lol.

The levelling feet for the floor are good.
The sliding door, isn't bad conceptually but doesn't work that well in version 1 if you will.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:54 am 
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Thomas AIC



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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Location: Canberra


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I'm just looking at the 4 panels with aluminium RHS framing at this stage (Valen what do you mean by 2*1 RHS?). Pretty straight forward, sliding door does seem like great idea now that you mention it. Not concerned about raised platform at this stage... that can come later.

If I remember correctly I have 2440*1200 and ~1800*1200 sheets. I'll do a mock up and see whether 1.8m sides seems too small. Will post pictures with killer for scale.

Thanks for the info so far guys. I think beetleweight is a good compromise weight class for more regular events and lower barrier to entry, without losing coolness factor.

Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:03 am 
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marto
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We were discussing this the other day.

1800 x 1800 is much better as its way more portable. You also really only want 4 panels 8 is a pain in the ass.

I think 600 or 900 high would be enough to get started but I think @ 600 you would absolutely need a clear roof so people could look down through it.

1800 x 900 internal MDF floor of maybe 12 - 16mm would do it.

For door I was thinking gas struts on the top (if its 600mm and positioned fairly low) with two 1800 x 900 hinged panes. So you can reach in and pick up robot. Alternatively one or more the sides could just fold down but the robots never seem to end up in those corners.

For attaching polycarb you can just double sided tape it straight to RHS with 3M VHB tape that shit aint moving.

Also needs internal barrier to stop poly getting hit too often.

CAD is the key before moving forwards. Also can you weld Ali? That would make life way easier. And lighter.

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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:14 am 
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Valen
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2 inches x 1 inch

50x25mm

A big thing to have is some way of levelling the edges of your MDF sheets, a 2mm lip in the floor because the MDF has sagged or something over time is a real pain in the ass.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:46 am 
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Thomas AIC



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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Location: Canberra


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An 1800 * 1800 arena composed of 8 panels will fit in my car though (and so should fit most others), which is a key consideration for me. It would greatly increase utility of the arena I think. With the decreased weight and smaller size compared to featherweight arena, surely 2 panels a side is manageable?

I did a quick mockup, but I only have a potato quality camera. https://imgur.com/a/3OxSl Seems large enough but I have no experience there. I agree does seem needlessly tall and clear roof is no extra cost as I already have the polycarb. In fact it saves me buying roofing material. With portability being the key factor I'll go ahead with 600mm height in mind. Can always find a raised platform later.

Decreasing height seems like a good plan. Access through roof seems like best option as well. I'd be out of my element when it comes to your gas strut idea so would need help there. Could just slide one of the roof panels like a fish tank.

Can't weld aluminium, would have to call in a favour for that. Internal barrier could just be a section with double layer of polycarb as we will have offcuts of the right length. (900mm arena height would give us a nice 300mm offcut).

The floor panels do come with their own issues but I think for a smaller arena those would be less prevalent. Will keep those concerns in mind though Valen.

Thanks for your help so far guys, what do you think of this plan?

Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:01 pm 
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