Monday, October 27, 2014

Franklin Cup 2014 Recap

I feel like this should've been posted sooner, but oh well.

The night before the event I couldn't sleep at all. I was so excited about the next day. What would happen? How would I do? As the hours ticked by, I was even more nervous!

I arrived at the event around 7 am, and set up my pit table next to Ian McMahon, who brought two ants and a beetle. Ian's a SWARC (Southwestern Alliance of Robot Combat) veteran, and I had some cool conversations with him about his experiences. My table was on the border between the pit area and the audience area, something I've been doing for the past two Franklin events.

Slim Pickens got through safety easily, but I had a problem. Viciously Circular was overweight by .7 oz. I was running out of time, and I wouldn't have enough time to bring the weight down. So for this event, Viciously Circular was out.

The fight brackets were posted, and I had to wait anxiously for my first match.
The pits. Lots of activity, as always.
Crawled Crawler, a cool looking sportsman from Canada. It managed to get 3rd in its weight class.

 Ian's bots. The bot on the far left, Speed Wedge 3, got first in the beetles.

Beetleweight Weta kit Mondo Bizarro. It didn't do so well this time.
Togr, an angled horizontal spinner built by Kyle Singer. It got second place in the beetles and did a lot of damage
Triggo, a destructive shell spinner built by Zac O'Donnell. It got first place in the featherweights.
The arena after a day of fighting.

Match 1: Slim Pickens vs Physique Black

 Physique Black was one of the scariest bots there. I wasn't sure I'd make it out alive. However, I was able to dodge the drum (which at one point started smoking), and win the judges' decision.

Match 2: Slim Pickens vs Puppy

For this match, I decided to not use the horns for Slim Pickens. After what happened at Bot Blast, I didn't want to take any chances with them slamming me on my back. We traded blows, and it was probably one of the closes fights I'd ever had. Luckily, I won the decision.

Match 3: Slim Pickens vs Brisingr

The actual Brisingr

For the record, Brisingr looked nothing like what it did in its BuildersDB page, so I don't know if Kyle was lazy or messing with us. It had a nasty spinning disc that had done some damage in its previous fights. I was really nervous. Luckily for me, they had weapon motor issues which allowed me to push them around with little to no scratches.

Antweight Final: Slim Pickens vs Puppy (again)

This was it. The ant final. I knew that if I lost this, I would still have another chance (you have to beat the undefeated bot twice in order to win in this event). This fight wasn't as close as the other one was. For the first time, I got first place at an event. Interestingly, this was the fight where Slim Pickens took the most damage. One of the washers for my Snap Hubs fell off and I didn't realize it until after the match. I had to go back into the arena to get it since I can't buy replacements from Kurtis.

Slim Pickens with its first place trophy.

This event was without a doubt a success. Slim Pickens performed flawlessly and left with barely any damage. I got to see some great matches, see cool bots, and hang out with friends. There will also be an article in Servo magazine in the next month or so that will be written by Hugh Savoldelli, so stay tuned for that as well. My next event is Motorama 2014, which leaves me with a lot of things to get done:

  • Order extra snap rings for Slim Pickens
  • Order extra parts for Thunder Child
  • Get Viciously Circular in weight for Motorama
  • Start working on my new beetle

The full results of the event.

A friend of mine, who goes by the alias "The Media Wiz", came to the event and made a little video about it. I think it would do the video justice if I embedded it here:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Franklin Institute Robot Conflict 2014 Predictions (Antweights)

It's that time again! Franklin Institute Robot Conflict is coming up, and it's time for predictions. I am going to devote this post to only antweights, since I will be competing with Viciously Circular and Slim Pickens. That way, I will be able to talk about each bot I could be facing.

You can view the BuildersDatabase page for the event here.


Brisignr is built by Kyle Singer, who has created bots such as Ripto and Fangus. The sawblade doesn't concern me as much as it would with a spinning bar or disc. One thing to note is that Brisingr was (I believe) the basis for Swamp Woman 2, a bot that I fought at my first event and beat. I shouldn't have a problem, but I just need to make sure he doesn't chew up my wheels.

Kate the Rat

This was the first bot I ever beat. I should be able to do it again, but it depends on who is driving it. The team (a family of six), has had alternating drivers on several of their bots. I'll just have to see who's driving this time.

Physique Black/Red

These bots scare me. They both have vicious looking drums, and are probably my greatest threat at this event. At Motorama I beat a bot similar to them thanks to a close judges' decision, but I think it will come down to how well they can drive them.

Magzant is back, and it has a new name. Like Kate the Rat, it depends on who is driving it. It can get under me, so I just need to stay to the sides and shove them around. I'll probably ditch the horns this time.

Sky Rocket

I faced this bot at Bot Blast, and he could have beaten me had I not hit him in the bottom after getting under his wedge. I need to be careful facing him, since Sky Rocket had a pretty good driver, and it will probably be a close match.


One of my best friends, Brandon Nichols, has a new antweight. It looks deadly, especially since it came off a 2nd place win at the MIT Maker Faire. Like Brisingr, I'll make sure he doesn't chop my wheels off.

The Red Shpee

Apparently it has a wedge, but it has no picture or any combat record. I'll just have to wait until the event.

So here are the top 3 most worrying antweights:

1. Spinzilla

2. Brisingr

3. Sky Rocket