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 So, we qualified for filming after a viscious battle against three robots, one of which was King B3. King B did us a lot of damage in that it punctured through the wheel protection and broke the wheel supports. We turned up for filming on the Monday only to find out we weren't doing anything until the Tuesday - annoying when I'd spent all weekend trying to repair the damage on the floor of my sisters garage.

When the time for battle finally came, it was all a disaster. There we were, all ready; gassed, powered, kitted in ridiculous clothes. The robots were moved into the arena one by one. We were last...

As I drove thUnderpant forward there was a lurch and then nothing!! I could hear nothing either. They opened the gates and hauled her back. Both drive belts had come off!!!

This had never happened before. On later analysis we realised that the damage to the wheel supports from King B3 had twisted the wheels so they were no longer straight. Under load the belts went! Derek gave us a few minutes to try to get them back on but to no avail. We were out in the worst possible style! They even filmed an "oh my god, what happened?" interview with Jayne Middlemiss - but in the editing they obviously just couldn't be bothered even to show that. Shame, but sh*t happens!

 The chassis was interesting to build as well. The whole frame is steel and basically a U shape. This means its vunerable to attack from the front, except that the hammer axle goes right the way across the width of the body. The rear is reinforced by having a second cage that is used to hold the gas bottle and power switches.

 The other main difference to Hot Pants was the move to a sledgehammer instead of the axe. The axe never really did the damage I would like - not through lack of power; just because once through armour you need to be lucky to hit something. Also an axe would have to be very small to fit inside the body of the robot.

We came up with a mechanism for the direction reverse which basically caught the axe shaft after each firing. This proved a costly mistake - the auxillary ram wasn't big enough to cope and the Y shape metal shattered from the force of the axe.

The hammer was certainly powerful. Because of the banana linkage, the ram is accelerating before it hits the linkage. This increases the force with which the hammer is kicked away. The result was a mechanism that was actually twisting the metal of the cross-member that the hammer was mounted on!!

 We stripped out Hot PAnts and started work as soon as possible. Using only the base of Hot Pants as a template, we did some mock-ups and built the prototype axe. The principle was that the axe must swing through almost 360 degrees through the body. Whichever way the robot was around, the axe must fire upwards.

To achieve this, we used the banana shaped linkage that you can see in the third picture here. This allows the ram to operate either upwards or downwards depending on the orientation of the ram.

 The idea for thUnderpants came about December 2002. In between fighting Hot Pants at Worthing, Steve and I started discussing possible future replacements for it. Little did we know that the choice was about to be made for us.

During a subsequent fight with Terrorhurtz AND 13Black, Hot Pants got destroyed - literally! So the choice was either re-build it or just build a new one.

The concept for the new one was simple: lets build an axe-bot that can run bothways up so we don't need to waste time self-righting. The original drawings can be seen here.