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ACT Beetle Arena
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Nick
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What sort of aluminium are you planing to use? I'd be a bit worried about strength and durability unless it has a fairly thick wall. Aluminium has the advantage of low weight but steel is cheaper, stronger and much easier to weld.

If you have a polycarb roof, its probably not necessary to have a raised base, which really adds to the complexity and materials you have to transport.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:08 pm 
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Glen
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Making the entire sides from one piece is a good idea, the joined up panels for ours are a bit crap. Adding the solid top beams helped so much there.

Wouldn't having a polycarb roof make for a shocking glare problem when it's outside? Looking down through the plastic at an angle could be a bit shit too? Plus no one else could see the robots bar one row of people so would have to be a builders only type event arena surely.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:32 pm 
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Valen
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If you have solid sides lifting it off the ground is just 4 legs, and you need a corner post anyway.

The arena size seems cosy, but not too bad. If its transportable easily that's a big deal.

make sure the floor is above the wall, if the wall sits on the floor wedges will get stuck in it. I wonder about biscuiting the floor MDF it'll keep it all aligned, but it could be hard to get together and apart?

If you have Al I'm happy to weld it.
If you are 3M taping the poly to the frame it'll keep it pretty stiff even if its thin.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Thomas AIC



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
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Location: Canberra


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We can always use the other arena for serious fighting, I see this a bit more for demonstrations.



Obviously a first draft. I know we need roof support, access etc. Roof, walls, floor are all 900*900 panels max. I stuck a tape measure in my car and 1.8m is just too long unfortunately so we're left with the above.

But, even if it is as above, compared to the featherweight arena, set up should be a breeze and should be doable for an individual. With care taken during building we can hopefully avoid the alignment issues of the featherweight arena.

With regards to visibility I think that unless either the arena or audience is raised almost any arena has poor visibility. But raising the arena shouldn't be too bad, depends where weight ends up. I'm not good at guessing such things.

Thanks for the offer of welding skills Valen, lets see where we end up and may call on you when the time comes!

I never thought about glare Glen, good point. I'd have no idea on the optical factors. The polycarb I have was intended to be used for covering outdoor signs so hopefully it's designed with these things in mind.

Should I make a separate thread?

Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:04 pm 
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evil_steve



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I think a separate build thread is a good idea. I'm thinking about making an antweight arena and am finding this discussion and your designs really helpful, it'd make it easier for others to find down the track.

Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:35 pm 
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Valen
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adding to the number of panels like that could cause you some packing issues, check out how high they are going to stack.

Having something to key them on so they actually would stack as a single unit would be neat

I think the result of the current beetleweight arena is that sedan transport is not viable for the number and size of components in it. It packs down pretty small too.
yours is a bit smaller though.

Figure a station wagon or a van perhaps, you will want roof racks too, if you can use full sized beams it just makes everything so much easier.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:16 pm 
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Nick
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I remember when we moved the beetle arena from Glen's to your place, it took up most of my van. Granted, our arena is 2.4M square and has all those legs under it, but even though a 1.8 SQM arena has just over half the floor space, its still not fitting in a sedan or hatchback.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:51 pm 
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Thomas AIC



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Thanks for the concern. I will go and have a think and come back with a more polished idea with all the numbers to indicate it should fit a sedan, in a new thread!

Else I will admit defeat.

Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:13 pm 
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Valen
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with good stacking we were able to fit it all into Russells ford escape, except for one roof panel ;->
reducing the wall height will make it much easier to fit, if you have fold flat seats (or close to) it may well be achievable, but yeah, cad it packed up and make sure that fits.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:40 pm 
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marto
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Yes I will separate these posts into another thread.

I think an arena that fits into a sedan is always going to be a bit of a problem. However something that doesn't need an entire trailer or can go on roof racks would be awesome.

I am still a massive advocate for 1.8m long panels I know it means you might need a van to move it but the less panels the better. Glen can tell you of his pain adding bracing everywhere to try and make the current arena rigid enough.

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Post Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:02 pm 
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Philip
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If you are going to carry the arena in the vehicle with you, you will need to think about how to restrain it. The arena could move forward and hurt the driver during a collision. Weight distribution is also important.
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Post Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:11 am 
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Thomas AIC



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Right, uni just finished for the year so time to get going on this.

Marto had the suggestion of angled walls to increase stability, which is a great idea.

The ideal angle is one as small as possible so it doesn't impede the robots too badly, while still providing stability. Though if we do go with a more angled shape it would simplify the roof a lot as well, as it could be one panel with little support required (example below)



I'll do some drawings because Onshape isn't really cutting it for this. (It did work great for the robot, perhaps it's a symptom of my internet connection more than anything else.)

This complicates construction, but it does save a lot of work worrying about reinforcement, so I'm not too concerned about putting in the effort at the beginning to get something that works.

Post Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:20 pm 
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Valen
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I haven't seen another arena with angled walls before, but I like the idea.
Lighting is going to be interesting.
I don't know if you want as much angle as you have there though.
I'd be a bit worried about bots getting wedged into the wall > floor space
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Post Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:51 pm 
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Knightrous
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The USA has an insect arena that has angled sides, think it is Bot Blast or Franklin.
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Post Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:52 pm 
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Nick
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It looks good but construction will be harder as none of the edges will meet at 90 degrees. That rules out using convenient metal angles and you will have to come up with custom parts.

I am not sure about the stability advantage; when I built my ant arena, the individual sides were very flexible but the panels were very solid after they were screwed together at the edges. With a larger taper, how will the arena be opened? Access from above will be harder for bots stuck in corners.
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Post Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:47 pm 
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