Motorama 2007 Event Report

While I'm sure you'd love to hear me ramble on about how everything went, it's much easier for both of us if I just show you instead. Fortunately, I actually brought a camera to this competition so I'll just give brief summaries of the fights and any extra background that you can't see very well from the videos.

Tripolar's fights

Fight #1 vs The Big Red Box

The Big Red Box was a first-time bot from a couple of young builders. They got a pretty bad draw for a first-timer because even if my bot wasn't very good it still stored a lot of energy. Sorry about the pathetic video quality and lack of editing.

Fight #2 vs Whammo

I finally got Tripolar reliable enough that I could go three minutes with a brick and still spin the whole time. This had been a struggle since the beginning. Whammo made extensive use of UHMW framing and was having a lot of ground clearance issues as things got bent during the fight. This gave me quite a few free shots which I mostly wasted. My dad was trying to tell me to stop hitting him but I was so excited that I just wanted to keep going. After the fight I found out that my battery strap had failed and the shell had actually trimmed the shrinkwrap off of the top of the battery. Good thing the fight ended when it did!

Fight #3 vs Knid

Knid, as in "Vermiscious Knid" from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was an all-lexan wedgebot made by the builder of "The Jouster". I met him in Pittsburgh at my first ever in-person competition and was impressed then by his efforts toward showmanship even when his bot was getting broken. I have since worked with him at a couple of competitions in Meadville, PA. Knid used two Astroflight Cobalt 60 motors at 36v for drive, so it had a ton of power. Unfortunately, he had been struggling to find working batteries for the bot until the fight with me. Once he did, he got a little overly excited and gunned it off the starting line. The bot's power and weight distribution caused it to flip over backwards and he crashed into my shell upside down. The hit broke one of the drive motors off of its mount in Knid. I spent about thirty seconds trying to figure out where the front of my bot was, then hit him again to break the remaining drive motor off of its mount.

Fight #4 vs Billy Bob

Brian, of, is one of the core members of NERC. At this point I had only met him once before while assembling this same arena in a driveway in Nashua, NH. I didn't realize this fight was going to be the beginning of a great rivalry that we have carried on through at least Motorama 2011. Billy Bob was designed to be a heavily armored brick with a single-tooth weapon on the front. I was 3-0 going into this fight and didn't think the knid fight had caused any damage. I was wrong, one of the weapon motors had come loose. After we fought for a little while that motor bound up and smoked. Billy Bob continued to have his way with me.

Fight #5 vs Sloth

Dalton, the builder of Sloth, was the first real friend I had in the sport. He was the one who helped me figure out how to even get to my first motorama and what I needed to do. This was the first time I'd ever faced him during a competition, despite this being the fourth motorama that we both competed in. This was Dalton's first attempt at a vertical spinner. The weapon motors in my bot were struggling a little, but I decided I should spin forward against Sloth so I could kill him quickly. Unfortunately, I think they were timed to spin the other way so they didn't last long in "forward mode". Dalton smacked me pretty hard and you can see the hole at the end of the video. On the up side I did manage to break one of his teeth off...

Well, I had a blast and did some damage. This was the first competition where the shell worked somewhat like it was supposed to, despite burning up two more motors. I had set a new personal best of a 3-2 record. Day two was a poor-ish showing but there's always next year!

Scurrie's Fights

Fight #1 vs UFO of Doom

This was the first fight for my brand new robot Scurrie. Scurrie was an undercutter with a friction-driven blade. The blade weighs 3.5 pounds and in this iteration I had an HTI motor powering the weapon and some leftover batteries that I wasn't using in my 30 pounder anymore. UFO of Doom was also a brand-new bot built by a school team. The conical shell was made of .125" aluminum and they made many first-time builder mistakes, much like I did on my first bot. The one that cost them big time in this match was that the motor mounts were all blocks of wood, which split on the first solid hit. At the beginning of the fight I let Sarah drive because this robot was a joint venture between us. After about a minute of her trying to get across the arena, she gave up and handed me the controller. I hit the opponent, but then drove into the wall by accident. Fortunately UFO of Doom was dead and I won by tap-out.

Fight #2 vs Shake Appeal

We had a small technical difficulty with the camera that prevented us from getting this fight on tape. Suffice it to say that Scurrie worked better than expected and beat Shake Appeal by breaking one of the drive sides. I was really excited after this match but I can hardly remember what really happened.

Fight #3 vs Shove It

This fight was a little less exciting because the weapon motor finally gave up the magic smoke. Shove it, uh... shoved "it" around the arena and we lost by judges decision.

Fight #4 vs Solaris

Solaris was the 12 pound champ pretty much forever. I wasn't able to get the weapon working in time for this match so I pretty much resigned myself to getting my butt kicked. That's just about what happened. What better bot to lose to though?

Well a new design, a new build, and a 2-2 record isn't bad. I really only wanted to be even and entertaining, and I think I was (although most of the entertainment didn't get caught on film...) We had a great time with the 12 and already had plans for big changes.

That's All Folks!

Coming into Motorama we were ready for a change so we built an extra bot. Running both machines was an eye-opening experience and we decided that we didn't want to try to handle 2 not-very-working machines at the same competition again. The next competition we decided would be for only a seriously updated version of Tripolar.