New Arena

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atomclub
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New Arena

Post by atomclub » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:53 pm

Hey everyone

We're sitting down this week to design and order parts for our new Antweight arena. There's a lot more experienced people on here than us, so I was hoping for some feedback...

Size: We're planning on making the PC box around 1.2m x 1m, with a small trench between the arena and walls - does that sound about right? We don't want it too big and drag out battles, but I can't stand a small arena!

Roof height: Any suggestions? We'd originally drawn 680mm high due to cheap polycarbonate sheets being offered to us.

Hazards: We like the design of the arena at Bristol with the corner drop-offs and corner floor flipper, so are keen to reproduce that. So two opposite corners are drop-offs, low walls on all over edges. One corner has a floor flipper (operated by a judge) and the opposite has a button activated pit. I wasn't too sure about the dropping pit, but everyone at a recent bit of 'market research' was very excited at the prospect.

Other features: I hate glare in footage, so there will be camera flaps in the box. We plan on having a couple of live displays at the championship to improve spectator viewing. A macro camera embedded into the arena walls itself to provide some unique footage (just cos it's cool!).

Access: The idea is that there'd be 2 openings on the roof and one large one at the back.

House robot - Has anyone tried having an antweight house robot? I can't really see any real point, but I'll take feedback. It was suggested we have something well armoured, ant size, but 400g perhaps..?

As always - any feedback is appreciated.
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BeligerAnt
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Re: New Arena

Post by BeligerAnt » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:52 am

atomclub wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:53 pm
Size: We're planning on making the PC box around 1.2m x 1m, with a small trench between the arena and walls - does that sound about right? We don't want it too big and drag out battles, but I can't stand a small arena!
A 1.2x1m box sounds about right, but what size fighting area does this give you? You mention a "small trench" between the arena and the walls, but if this is to be a useful pit it needs to be about 150mm wide to ensure that robots reliably fall into it.
Roof height: Any suggestions? We'd originally drawn 680mm high due to cheap polycarbonate sheets being offered to us.
680mm should be high enough for the roof.
Hazards: We like the design of the arena at Bristol with the corner drop-offs and corner floor flipper, so are keen to reproduce that. So two opposite corners are drop-offs, low walls on all over edges. One corner has a floor flipper (operated by a judge) and the opposite has a button activated pit. I wasn't too sure about the dropping pit, but everyone at a recent bit of 'market research' was very excited at the prospect.
A corner pit sounds much better than one in the middle of the arena. Not sure about a judge-operated flipper, but others may like it. Make sure the corner drop-offs are big enough to give a push-bot a reasonable chance of pushing an opponent out of the arena. Peter Waller's arena seems to have this about right.
Other features: I hate glare in footage, so there will be camera flaps in the box. We plan on having a couple of live displays at the championship to improve spectator viewing. A macro camera embedded into the arena walls itself to provide some unique footage (just cos it's cool!).
Does anyone want to poke an expensive camera lense inside the battle box??? Also, to cover the whole arena you need to be a lot further back than the edge of the battle box. Trying to follow the robots around the arena is a hopeless task as they move too quickly and unpredictably.
Access: The idea is that there'd be 2 openings on the roof and one large one at the back.
Top openings are pretty much useless, you really need 2 big side openings so that you can easily reach to the furthest corner of the arena without having to crawl inside!
House robot - Has anyone tried having an antweight house robot? I can't really see any real point, but I'll take feedback. It was suggested we have something well armoured, ant size, but 400g perhaps..?
The consensus seems to be that house robots are only for "entertainment" and don't really have any place in a straightforward competition. Also if the arena is not to be "too big" the house robot could end up just getting in the way. We had this problem when we tried having a "Refbot" some time ago.

HTH
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

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atomclub
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Re: New Arena

Post by atomclub » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:12 am

Thanks Gary - really appreciate it

I think you're right and we should expand the size of the box to allow for bigger trenches. Our original sizing was driven by some cheap sheets I was offered, but we can still utilise them for the side panels and doors.

We're using the Peter's arena as the basis - seems to work well.

Thanks for the feedback on the top openings - we'll go back to the drawing board on that. We'll be doing a 3D model and sharing for further feedback, but getting this stuff out the way first is beneficial.

To clarify - the camera flaps and enclosures would be for our cameras only. Recording and live monitors. We've yet to do the geometry to see if we could get a wide enough angle anyway and I expect that would rule it out. It might be possible and safer for the camera if it was a top-down, but the side walls would need to be so tall to achieve this that the cost would rule it out. I'm at the centre tomorrow, so will do the maths.

Completely agree, I don't see any value in the house robot at this stage. I'd much rather spend the budget on a beetleweight!

Thanks again
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Re: New Arena

Post by peterwaller » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:41 am

Here are the dimensions of my arena which may help.
Image

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Re: New Arena

Post by atomclub » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:41 pm

Thanks Peter that's very helpful
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Re: New Arena

Post by Shakey » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:38 pm

I just want to put this out there now, stuff like camera flaps gives me a small amount of worry. I'd be insistent on there being no uninterrupted path between the inside and outside of the arena when it comes to concerning spinners. My overhead spinner is easily capable of spraying shrapnel and with a tip speed in excess of 300mph could pose significant risk if it was not fully enclosed... And actually a small amount of risk even when it is (Sorry again pete)!

Other than that Beligerant covered the likely community thoughts very thoroughly.
Nuts And Bots - For all your components and ready built antweights!

Alex Shakespeare - Team Shakey / Nuts And Bots / Team Nuts:
AWS 44, 45, 49, 51 & 55 Winner - Far too many robots!

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atomclub
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Re: New Arena

Post by atomclub » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:05 am

Thanks Alex

To clarify, there would still be full enclosure as the shrapnel would have to travel through the camera enclosure too, which would be made from the same thickness.

Based on the feedback I think we have what we need to draw the plans so will come back shortly
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AntRoboteer
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Re: New Arena

Post by AntRoboteer » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:52 am

There would have to be multiple joins around the camera flap which I believe is what is worrying people.

The best way to protect against the shrapnel is to have a single peice of polycarbonate of adequate thickness with as few possible points of weakness (joins, bends etc). This is what Pete's arena does with its single piece polycarbonate roof.

By introducing camera flaps, you are increasing the number of joins and bends thus increasing the probability that some shrapnel will find its way into them.

These machines may be small, but they can be absolutely lethal and hence everything must be done to ensure the arena is capable of supporting them. :D

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Re: New Arena

Post by Rocketeer13 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:50 pm

atomclub wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:53 pm
House robot - Has anyone tried having an antweight house robot? I can't really see any real point, but I'll take feedback. It was suggested we have something well armoured, ant size, but 400g perhaps..?
To be honest, I'd be quite interested in a house robot - though I might be in a minority! Probably with a lifter/flipper/grabber. That way it would be a hazard, not a game-changer, preventing it from completely swinging the fight one way or the other. Plus it would present a completely unique threat since they are not widely used! But presumably, an arena would need to be designed with the house bot in mind, and the cost of construction might be better spent on a competitor for the builder, so I can understand the reservations.
Still, I'd be interested to see one!
Robots:
Kosmos - Front hinged flipper (Temporarily Shelved)
Tough Justice - Four Bar Lifter (Under Construction)

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Re: New Arena

Post by atomclub » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:42 pm

Thanks again for all your feedback everyone.

We're still finalising the design as we keep getting tips that improve the design.

To summarise where we're at:
The arena itself is modular having two piece that can be bolted together. Our standard size and mobile set-up will be will be 1200 x 1000mm. While we'll have a larger arena possible that is 1200 x 2000mm. There are going to be walls, but there's a drop-off on two corners and in the centre of the two longest edges. If budget permits this would also mean we could have 2 arenas at our events.

There is a 150mm trench all around the arena with wood raising the arena itself and the polycarbonate up (80mm from memory) to hopefully reduce scratching on the poly and provide even more re-enforcement.

The safety box is therefore a bit bigger than initially planned with a wood frame. While that does obstruct the view from some angles, the corner posts are far enough out that in our scaled down test it didn't effect it much at all. One end is removable (via bolts), although a bit of a pain, to allow the other battle box to attach to it for the larger size.

I'm still undecided on having a house robot, we're planning to have regular evenings here from March, so if I find myself with some spare cash and time then I may test the concept at a smaller gathering, see what people think. I was thinking of a rough shunt replica, but without the axe, just a well armoured pusher that can clear a wild robot and bring dead ones closer to the arena doors!

As per the feedback received here, we've moved the doors to the two ends and ditched the large door at the back. We've toyed with several hinge/latch methods - some caused too much obstruction to the view, some we weren't happy with from a safety perspective and some were just a pain to open. We think we now have the perfect method, but will do a prototype with cheap acrylic I have lying around first. More on this shortly.

Camera box - to clarify again this would be an enclosure. There is absolutely no point where there is less armouring than there would be on a solid sheet, everywhere on the box that has a join or edge, is overlapped, sealed and bolted. Even the doors have an overlap all the way round when locked. I've heard people saying to only use 2mm poly on the roof and we're using 4mm, overlapped to 8mm at the joins. Anyway, let's not worry about that yet as that's very much version 2. I have a spare HD webcam that I wouldn't cry over if it got damaged in the meantime.

We're meeting tonight to review plans, so should be able to start sharing progress, mock-ups and photos soon...
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