Saturday, 17 November 2012

Robot Wars

Not many people know that in 2002 I was in a Robot Wars Team.  We built two robots, RuffStuff, which has a totally ineffective circular saw and TuffStuff which had a flipper.
It was a strategic decision they we would enter the feather weight category for several reasons
  • They are easier to build (my welding was really pants back then)
  • They are cheaper to build
  • 'Er indoors wouldn't let me keep a heavy weight robot at home
  • There was far less competition so a better chance of getting on the TV!


In the first year we built RuffStuff from plywood, aluminum strip and two electric drill motors. It went like stink but didn't have much grunt, however it was large and flat so I never met another feather wight that could flip it, which would not have been a problem because it ran upside down too!
In 2002 I decided to add the circular saw which took it up to Lightweight class, which was handy because only one other person entered that category so we were automatically guaranteed a place on the TV, unfortunately the other guy pulled out as all of his other robots had been trashed the previous day so he decided to go home. Mentorn tried to contact us but we had already left and didn't get the call until we arrived at the studio. The production staff were extremely nice, we were given VIP access to the pits, had a chance to go and meet all the main roboteers and presenters. Even though it was a long day, it was still  a great day out and we were pleased to have been a small part of it.

RuffStuff - Middle right, with go faster stripes. TuffStuff top left.
Your truly in the grand final. Andrew was in that too, so I have no idea who was taking this photo!


The following year we went to enter TuffStuff in Rex's Robot Challenge, a competition that tied up with "Real Robots Magazine. It was really for kids and my son, Andrew,  who was 14 at the time did most of the work, but he only came second in the heat to a robot that was supposedly built by a 10 year old. All I can say that it was damn good welding and soldering for somebody so young, who couldn't tell us what a sped controller was.!
Andrew changing the batteries on TuffSTuff during a practice session.
Andrew taking TuffStuff through the obstacle course at Microbots 2002. It was a clear round.

The House Robots. We never faced them but at our weight we would have been massacred.

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