Team principal: Grahame Collins
About the team: Me (Grahame), Daughters Verity and Carmen, and their cousins Ewan & James. Whilst I could be called the brains, both Verity & Carmen are involved with the design aspects, in terms of testing (e.g. measuring 3 point turns, colour sequences) but also programming of the control panel. Both would test drive the robot. Ewan and James were also involved in the naming, testing and managing things like power charging the batteries, etc. on the day.
The 2015 journey: The hardest part would be the chassis – as we opted for a self made slab of alu metal, and mount brackets on the plate etc. With no workshop, much of this was guess work, as the design evolved! We also went for DC and stepper motors, but in the end ditched the steppers for many tasks. They worked, but were just too slow and power hungry.
The highlight: Winning the flashing lights award for the most dangerous robot – in terms of the spark/arc gap generator, and moving up the overall ranking from 2014.
Advice for competitors: Keep it simple, fast and with a good control and drive feedback system!
Next year: We’re applying for next year’s competition. We have purchased a chassis – with tracks…which is different to the last 2 years. We hope with some weight on-board, to get some traction on smooth floors. Else it will be tracks with rubber bands!