Doomforge Flame Test!

Doomforge’s flamethrower is now working!

In the first shot, you can see how to can move around. I’m driving with hand, so normally it’s smoother than that. Once I get closer to turn on the gas, you can see the servo that opens the valve. I use L2 and R2 on my controller to open/close it.

Then I switched to a different angle so I could be at a safer distance when it ignited. Pressing R1 on the controller ignites it. The blue flame is hard to see in bright lighting, but it still looks pretty cool!

Outside, I had a 3d-printed chassis of Gimli set up as a test victim. If anyone has any 3d-printed ABS or PLA parts at Robogames, watch out 😉

Doomforge Progress


Doomforge is now drivable! I had an issue where the bot would drive just fine, but then suddenly burst into full throttle on all motors for no reason. The Arduino was powered by a 9v battery, but switching to a UBEC that regulated the 12v battery to 5v (which I planned on doing anyway and only used the 9v while I waited) works perfectly! So the bot can now strafe in any direction using the left joystick, and can rotate left and right using the right joystick!

The picture also shows the internal layout. Some things still need to be anchored down like the butane canister and the ESC’s. The corner walls still need to be built, and I need a way to attach the servo horn to the red valve on the torch. I’m thinking a combination of a 3D-printed part and epoxy. The tube leading into the torch doesn’t have an airtight seal either. The high voltage generator I had planned to use for ignition is also too heavy, so I’m looking for an alternative method.

Starting a 150 Gram Bot!


After getting a little impatient with Doomforge’s delays (waiting for waterjet/laser companies to email me back and provide quotes, waiting for parts to arrive, etc.) I made a spur of the moment decision to start a 150g robot. Now I have 3 bots that need to be built before Robogames at the end of April.

The bots (possibly) temporary name is “Gimli”, everyone’s favorite Dwarf! Get it?…Cause the robot is small….and Gimli… ha.

This is obviously a work in progress. Things don’t line up quite right, there’s no weapon motor, etc etc etc.

To broaden my horizons, I’m going to attempt to make a 3d printed chassis. Plastic is very viable in the 150g class, especially with a metal skin. I’ll probably keep all of the armor plastic except for a metal addition to the front.

Also, I finally caved and this will be my first bot with a spinner for a weapon. I’m currently opting for an asymmetrical single-tooth vertical spinner.

Torsion Is Almost Done!


I’ve added some wedges to the front of the bot to stop it from tipping over as it lifts. They work great so far! I’m not sure if they’ll survive hits from spinners, but we’ll see. The top panels have also been painted green, and I plan on adding some stickers with the bot’s name on them.

You can also see the hole drilled in the back for access to the power switch. I’m using a Fingertech Hex Key switch, so I just have to insert the hex key into the hole and turn it to switch the robot on and off.


Transmitter Upgrade and Telemetry Mod


So I may have killed my 424 receiver… but it also doesn’t satisfy the failsafe requirements for Robogames.

4.4.1.… Radio systems that stop all motion in the robot (drive and weapons), when the transmitter loses power or signal, are required for all robots with active weapons.

My receiver will only shut down the weapon, so if my robot is driving forward and I shut off the remote, it will keep driving. Now since my cheapo transmitter can only work with Tactic RC receivers, my options were to either get a different receiver that supports this type of failsafe for $25, OR upgrade my whole tx/rx system.

I chose the latter and picked up Fly-Sky FS-i6 as pictured. I got mine on Amazon for $50. It has a lot more features than the 424 including a programmable failsafe, channel mixing, 6 channels instead of 4 (Can be modified to support 10), battery monitors, and can hold up to 20 different models. The receiver is also smaller and lighter than my old one! Quite the upgrade.

I found this Mod that lets you monitor your bot’s battery from the transmitter. The receiver transmits its voltage back to the radio, which is cool, but useless since the 5v power is regulated from the 11.1v battery. I want to monitor the 11.1v. This was done by isolating the + lead on the 1st pin. This allowed me to plug in my battery and monitor it from the radio. Cool stuff!


Starting to Learn Fusion 360


I’ve been using Blender up until now to design my robots. Obviously this is not preferred since Blender is used for making 3d models specifically for animation, instead of precise models and drawings for physical creation.

Autodesk Fusion360 is great for my use because it is free for hobbyists! I still have a ways to go in learning the tool. But after a few hours I had an early render of Doomforge’s baseplate, armor, and motor brackets! (missing the bolts still but I’ll get there)

It’s Coming Together!

So I fried my 9v regulator and I should have a new one coming in soon. But my garolite came in, so I made the pieces for the top armor.

I made the scoop by bending some extra aluminum I had. Hopefully it’s tough enough.

It still feels flimsy in the middle, so I’ll have to add that extra middle piece of UHMW with holes in it so the battery and ESC can fit.