Introducing a new 12lb bot: Antisocial Distancing!

The time has come for me to step outside my comfort zone and push my boundaries again. Allow me to introduce my first hobbyweight robot (in progress) – Antisocial Distancing, now registered to debut at the November Norwalk Havoc event!

Antisocial Distancing (left, smaller weight class bots for scale)

This design is basically going to be a scaling up to take my undercutter design from Portable Apocalypse from 3lbs up to the 12lb class. I’m starting out by taking the same basic overall shape and making the frame out of 1/8″ 6061 aluminum plates sandwiching UHMW walls, with pressed in inserts to make bolting it all together simple. The drive will be the bog standard 3536 brushless/BaneBots gearbox combo. I’m hoping that the compliant wheels will give me a similar shock absorbing effect to protect the gearboxes like I get from the Fingertech foam wheels in the lower weight classes, because I expect this bot will wind up every bit as acrobatic as it’s predecessors.

I’m trying out simply scaling up the weapon drive by hanging the motor from the top plate and mounting the pulley onto the end of the can again, but I’m going to try supporting the motor with a bearing around the can to help it survive the larger impacts. It has worked for me at the 3lb class, so I’m more confident in making that work than trying to drive a pulley with just a set screw. I’m also trying out another first by having the disk pulley properly machined out of aluminum rather than printing it.

There are so many question marks and unknowns in my mind with this build, since I have never built anything on this scale before (or even given the 12lb class nearly as much attention as the smaller classes). I need to learn to solder pinions, grease gearboxes, epoxy motors, bend both aluminum and UHMW parts, and do more manual fabrication than I have grown accustomed to recently (fully CNC part construction techniques have spoiled me). I have almost 8 weeks from when I ordered most of the parts until the event, some of the parts may take at least half of that time just to get into my hands, and I still need to take measurements from the off-the-shelf parts after they arrive before I can order the final laser cut parts. It will be a bit of a race to finish and get there, but I think it is doable.

Wish me luck!

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