The MegaBOLT Rises

There it is. The rebirth of Spirit MK1. It is essentially a moving DDR platform box on wheels as of now. Our old solid steel frame was way too heavy and extremely overbuilt. It was good welding practice, but that old one piece frame just didn’t like to be modified. We tried to change that with our second frame iteration. This frame was made from 1″ aluminum square bar that we initially planned to braze or weld together.

The only welder we encountered was some random guy standing in line behind us at the metal supply store, and our HTS-2000 (advertised to be “stronger than the surrounding material”) failed miserably to stand up to any impact tests. and thus, the bolting began…

Six bolts per corner, three module boxes (drive left, drive right, and center) totaling hundreds of bolts. After we put it together, it started vibrating apart. Assembly number two included hundreds of tension washers. I would not be surprised if the added weight of the steel bolts has negated any weight/strength benefit from using aluminum, but at least the frame will stay shiny without sealing now. Our goal was simply to make the new config drive, which is what we did.

If you look closely you can see three cast motor mounts. Yes! They were a success. However the last mount took forever to make (too many unsuccessful pours) so we might just buy an official motor mount to compensate. On the bot is instead one of our unsuccessfully poured motor mounts. A permanent solution can wait.

Otherwise the configuration is relatively similar to Spirit MK1. We have divided the robot into functional sections. The drive modules just include the transmission. The center module will house the batteries, motors, and electronics. A separate weapons module will be installed at the front/top, while armor plating will cover the exposed sides.

We spent quite a bit of time attempting to make hubs that would effectively restrain the wheels to their axles. However, most of our attempts have been failing. For this iteration, we attempted to double epoxy two shaft collars (that conveniently are the same diameter as the wheel bore) to transmit the torque. After a successful run and rounds of cheering, the robot attempted a tank steer while beached on a rock (we built this thing with low clearance to avoid wedge attacks). The stall was enough to shear off some of our temporary wheel hubs and left the wheels to freely spin.

It will have to wait until winter break however, I’m going to start school soon.


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