Counter Revolution

Introduction

Counter Revolution started out as a 220 lb robot designed for the 2009 Battlebots comeback show that never made it to television.

Counter Revolution - Battlebots 2009

Counter Revolution – Battlebots 2009

Curt Meyers created the original concept of Counter Revolution after watching many other robots with vertical spinning weapons fail. The design concept behind Counter Revolution is to use two counter rotating weapons to make the robot easier to drive. The symmetrical design with equal spinning mass allows the robot to rotate about it’s center easily. There is still a great deal of torque created from turning each spinning weapon but they cancel out in the center of the bot.

In addition to completely modeling the robot using Solidworks, several pieces where subjected to FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to verify their design would meet estimated targets. Building a complete model of the robot is important because it helps eliminate costly mistakes once construction begins.

Nearly 100% of the custom parts in Counter Revolution where machined in Curt’s home machine shop. An old CNC mill was upgraded with new computer controls to make them compatible with state of the art CAM software. Curt can be closer to his family and spend a few hours every night after the kids go to bed when the equipment is in his garage.

Battlebots 2015 – Counter Revolution vs Tombstone Synopsis

We got word that Beta was out of the competition and we had the opportunity to replace them. This was great news for us since we had been waiting standby all week ready to go while other robots where being built and finished in the pits. The unfortunate thing is that we had to go against Tombstone. We accepted the challenge and had about 2 minutes to prepare. We have gone against a few robots with smaller spinning weapons and fared well so we where eager to find out what would happen.

The design off Counter Revolution is more about offense and less about defense. However the corner blocks are designed with horizontal spinners in mind along with a lot of air gap around the perimeter.

The two weapons are about equal in strength but the rear weapon belt rides on top of the front weapon belt. Because of this I decided to go into the arena with our back weapon facing Tombstone. The theory is that CR could loose the rear weapon and still fight with the front. The problem is that I have to drive backwards.

The fight starts and I take off aiming for Tombstone’s left side wheel. This is important because I want to hit the side where the weapon is spinning towards our weapon. This worked at RoboGames where CR broke several other robot’s weapons and I knew this would be our best shot.

I move straight for Tombstone. I don’t know why but I turned to the right as Tomstone turned away from us. I think this was a mistake I made because I was driving backwards. He moved towards us missing our weapon knocking our right rear corner clean out. The corners are designed to be hit inward, not outward. When this happened the corner of the robot was dragging the ground. With very little ground clearance you can see that we are in trouble.

It is basically over for CR after that mistake. I encouraged Tombstone to hit us again at the end because we want to put on a good show regardless of who wins. This is a show about destruction and you have to be ready to accept it if you are going to be dishing it out.

Counter Revolution lost to Tombstone, the number one ranked bot at this competition. So what does this mean for Counter Revolution? I feel that the design is solid, it has done damage in past events, but getting KO’d in the first round does suck. You see there are many “soft” robots in the show that Counter Revolution could have knocked out. Given another chance I feel CR could even take Tombstone.

Will Counter Revolution be back? Yes of course. Because Counter Revolution was an alternate for this event I did not build the robot I had designed. The planned next version of Counter Revolution will have improved drive motors, better armor to defend against horizontal spinners and other subtle improvements. The drive motors that where ripped from CR are over 14 years old and designed to move a middle weight robot. CR will be back and way better.

Update for 2015

In 2015 the design was modified for the new 250 lb weight class for the ABC series.

The additional weight was used to add an arm in the center of the robot so that it can right itself it turned over or pinned against the side walls.

Additionally new weapons where cut from a single piece of steel to increase their strength and durability and covers where fitted over the chassis. These covers are not just for looks they are also functional. The new series allows robots to use fire and although fire will not damage any of the metal there are some electronics that could be effected. The new covers are coated with special fire protecting paint called intumescent paint. The intumescent coating will expand and form a thermal barrier when subjected to high temperatures, more information can be found here: Intumescent

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