New 1lb Bot: Mesopredator

After the good first showing of Apex Predator in November’s Norwalk event, I started to want to make something similar for the 1lb category as well, since it has now been a few years since I had really made a new 1lb design. Since this is in many ways a smaller version of the 3lb I decided to name it Mesopredator, which is a predator lower on the food chain than an Apex Predator.

As with Apex Predator I wanted to make it a vertical spinner, but I didn’t want to start out by sinking a lot of time and money into making my own weapon from scratch to start. This time around, I chose to go with the KitBots Saifu drum rather than Fingertech’s new 1lb beater bar setup. This choice was largely due to weight, since the Saifu drum setup is the lighter option and would give me more breathing room to fit in the 4wd system that I wanted, but it also has the advantage of eliminating the driving belt as a possible point of failure.

The frame will again be my current favorite construction of CNC cut UHMW and carbon fiber parts, with the wheel guards pulling double duty to also act as supports for the far end of the drive shafts. The weight is tight enough that I only gave it a pair of tiny titanium forks and some questionable mountings to get under opponents, so we’ll have to see how well those hold up and perform.

I went for a belt driven 4wd setup kinda like in Apex Predator, including my custom treaded foam wheels and combined pulley/hub setup. Unfortunately, with the much tighter weight constraints on the 1lb class I had to drive the back wheels directly off of the silver spark motors, which may increase the likelihood of motor related issues. I also found that the bearing blocks were too heavy for this design, and the flat plate bearing mounts were too big for the tiny frame, so I wound up making my own DIY flat plate bearing mount from a CNC cut carbon fiber plate and a printed spacer. Hopefully this all winds up working well and being durable enough.

Mesopredator and Apex Predator, together for scale

The frame is mostly complete now, I just have to cram the electronics into it and replace the printed test fit plates with permanent carbon fiber ones, then it should be ready to go. I would love to debut this bot at Bayside Robotics’ March First State Fights event, but I won’t be able to attend due to scheduling conflicts, so we’ll see when it actually gets to fight. I don’t plan to retire my 1lb undercutter, Someone Else’s Problem, just yet since since it has been doing quite well and won the last event undefeated, so whenever I can get them both into an event next could decide if I keep going with both bots or pick one to try to iterate the designs.

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2 thoughts on “New 1lb Bot: Mesopredator

    1. My intent was to get this ready for the next Bayside event before the next date was announced, but unfortunately now that it has a date I already had other things scheduled for that date. The frame is basically finished, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get it wired for whenever the next one winds up being.

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