After Franklin Institute Hercules was pretty banged up. With a record of 1-2 and that win coming from a forfeit I was less than happy with how it had performed. The biggest problem that it had was the body, being printed out of PLA, was way too brittle for combat applications. To fix this I printed the new body in ABS, which I had originally planned to do but simply ran out of time.
The new body is basically the same as the old one, a few tweaks of dimensions here and there. I moved the mounting holes for the lid away from the corners to help relieve some of the stress from big hits on the front arms.
Transferring the electronics from the old Hercules was pretty straight forward. I forgot to print new motor cover plates, but the old ones were unbroken and I liked the blue anyway.
One of the major weaknesses of Hercules, especially with the last iteration, has always been wheel protection. As you can see Saifu got a pretty serious hit right on the exposed shaft of one of the motors after the wheel guards had been shattered, bending it out of shape. To combat this, I took advice from "the kids from MIT" and wrapped the wheel guards in a layer of .02" spring steel. This should help absorb big impacts and prevent the wheel guards from breaking as easily.
After adding the new lifting plate all I had left was the arm guards, but after weighing it I discovered that Hercules had about 1.75oz to spare. The old aluminum wheel guards weighed only about .5oz so I figured I would use the extra weight to upgrade to steel.
Well, I may have gone overboard a little with the steel. It's definitely way thicker than it needs to be. But after some careful trimming Hercules is now exactly 16oz (according to my scale at least). If I'm overweight on Motorama's scale I can remove some screws and drill some holes in the steel and I should be fine. With both of my bots done, all that is left is a cool new paint job.
My name is Michael Connerton. I am currently a mechanical engineering masters student at Case Western Reserve University. This website is a blog of my exploits into the world of combat robotics.