Building an arena question

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minionhunter
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

Ant Ipodean wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:03 pm Re Antweight arena design ..
I designed and built the Ant arena that we use here.
It has a fighting floor area of 1100mm x 1400mm with pits at each end.
Originally there were low pit walls, with 250mm wide openings/drop offs, but later 150mm high pit walls and sliding pit "gates" were added.
The floor is 0.5mm thick galvanised sheet steel laminated onto MDF. It has held up really well, with no maintenance required.
The battle box is "frameless" 3mm polycarbonate, hinged on one side for access. It provides really good optics. (Credit this concept to Peter Waller)
Easily detached legs mean it is not reliant on available tables.
When I built it in 2017 there was no scene here, so I was guessing how things might pan out.
I tried to incorporate the best aspects of what I saw in the UK arenas.
If I was to design it again, knowing what I know now, I would consider ..
- Making the floor area a bit smaller (My original thoughts anticipated the possibility that 1 lbers may have been a thing here)
- Make the floor from 0.5mm austenitic stainless steel, as magnets have become fairly dominant here and are a bit contentious.
- Make the battle box collapsible for transport, as the bulky nature of the present one limits the transport options.
You can see several shots of the arena in action in the videos here .. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI1ZSy ... VYA/videos
Mike.
I'm finally building my arena which had to be delayed year after year then I posted this and covid hit....

I'm doing one like Peter's to start then one like Chris Malton's and I'll use the smaller one as a test box and backup arena). I was thinking of going with the floor of metal for the reasons you described (low to zero maintenance) AND so one strategy COULD be the use of magnets to get better ground hugging. BUT you seem to indicate that it's a serious issue. Is it that the only way to win is to use magnetic down force? If so maybe I should try stainless steel as you suggest. What is the contentiousness that you describe like?

In the last episode of witch doctor battlebots after show with hypershock (not sure how much you guys watch that) the owner/creator of battlebots was interviewed and he said that now that they have the floor worked out and smooth it seemed like it was a battle of wedgelets. He said they would have to adapt and here is the kicker for me he said

"Marco [Captain of Riobotz and Minotaur] told me that I needed to watch out for wedgelets because they were ruining the scene in Brazil. The competitions come down to who has the best wedgelets and that's what determines the winner."

To me it seems this might be a similar issue as the magnets in your scene/arena. I love the AWS Events because there is no one single design that wins, which not only allows for, but encourages tremendous creativity. I mean I just loved when robox first was in a match, it was so unusual it was amazing. That's why I love the UK antweights, I think that the price to build and the weight (which limits armor and weapons) are optimized for developing new bots. However If an event becomes dominanted by only one strategy then it gets pretty boring for me. UK antweights haven't ever become boring for me since I first saw them in 2014 and that's ages for me who usually gets bored quickly.

Anyway, just wanted to check to see if my concerns what you were experiencing and if it became solved other than stainless steel or particle board.

Having said all that, I would love to see a stand alone event where ants had to fight on ice one time. Like a mini hockey arena for the floor. Maybe the pits a little bit protected by a 5mm lip so that you don't just slide into them because of slipping. Maybe an air hockey table type floor could come close to duplicating that.

Hope everyone is doing well.
Ant Ipodean
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:31 pm
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Building an arena question

Post by Ant Ipodean »

Re magnets on the Antweights becoming contentious here ..

I initially made the floor with galvanised sheet steel as it seemed to be cost effective and likely durable.
But after a while it occurred to me to build a bot with magnets to see if there was much benefit.
Of course, not being able to help myself :oops: , I developed a method for casting silicone tyres with magnets around the circumference.
This turned out to be very effective, and provided enough traction to stall N20s.

Then several builders started mounting magnets under their bots.
Some of them so strong that the bots could barely drive.
As a few builders figured out the right balance of magnets, often to compensate for otherwise uncontrollable spinners, they became fairly dominant, so much so that it looked too intimating for newbies to even build and compete.
Our scene has not been established for very long, and I am keen to encourage as many new participants as possible.

Then there was talk about rules to restrict the use of magnets.
For me, making and obeying rules should be a minimalist activity.
I far prefer creating an environment to encourage the results you want, rather than offering temptation but telling people its not allowed.

So I fitted the stainless floor.
Surprisingly, the stainless sheet didn't cost a lot more than the galvanised mild steel.
The only problem so far has been that I used polished stainless (mirror finish, came with a plastic protective film), thinking it would look pretty flash for a while, but the light refection was so bad that it impeded the video recordings.
I have now fixed this by scuffing it all over with fine sandpaper.

On the question of wedges/wedglets, I would have thought they are as basic to most combat bots as carrying a gun is for a soldier, and should be accepted as a natural component.
So, to the most effective wedge developer should go the spoils.

Mike.
minionhunter
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

Thanks Mike!

Ant Ipodean wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:01 am Re magnets on the Antweights becoming contentious here ..

I initially made the floor with galvanised sheet steel as it seemed to be cost effective and likely durable.
But after a while it occurred to me to build a bot with magnets to see if there was much benefit.
Of course, not being able to help myself :oops: , I developed a method for casting silicone tyres with magnets around the circumference.
This turned out to be very effective, and provided enough traction to stall N20s.

Then several builders started mounting magnets under their bots.
Some of them so strong that the bots could barely drive.
As a few builders figured out the right balance of magnets, often to compensate for otherwise uncontrollable spinners, they became fairly dominant, so much so that it looked too intimating for newbies to even build and compete.
Our scene has not been established for very long, and I am keen to encourage as many new participants as possible.

Then there was talk about rules to restrict the use of magnets.
For me, making and obeying rules should be a minimalist activity.
I far prefer creating an environment to encourage the results you want, rather than offering temptation but telling people its not allowed.

So I fitted the stainless floor.
Surprisingly, the stainless sheet didn't cost a lot more than the galvanised mild steel.
The only problem so far has been that I used polished stainless (mirror finish, came with a plastic protective film), thinking it would look pretty flash for a while, but the light refection was so bad that it impeded the video recordings.
I have now fixed this by scuffing it all over with fine sandpaper.

On the question of wedges/wedglets, I would have thought they are as basic to most combat bots as carrying a gun is for a soldier, and should be accepted as a natural component.
So, to the most effective wedge developer should go the spoils.

Mike.
minionhunter
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

One more question for the group.

Assuming the base design Peter Waller's antweight arena (which I take as the gold standard) with 4 pits (two surrounded by low walls, two open with edge protectors)

Would you change the surface area of the arena at all (if so how)?
That's it, that's the main question. Thank you for any thoughts you may have.
MySolderIsOlder
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:22 pm
Location: Kent
Contact:

Re: Building an arena question

Post by MySolderIsOlder »

Probably worth mentioning that wedgelets ain't that big a thing in the UK antweight world. Here, getting under another pusher tends to be down to acetate.
In terms of arena design, Peter's is certainly my favourite and it's what I based my own practice arena on. FWIW I think it's a design that ensures the best balance between the different types of bot and helps ensure that no single design type comes to dominate. At each AWS, it's anyone's guess whether a spinner, a flipper or a pushbot cluster will win. And as you say - that's a big part of the attraction.
Stuart (Anthony's dad)
minionhunter
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

MySolderIsOlder wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:42 am Probably worth mentioning that wedgelets ain't that big a thing in the UK antweight world. Here, getting under another pusher tends to be down to acetate.
In terms of arena design, Peter's is certainly my favourite and it's what I based my own practice arena on. FWIW I think it's a design that ensures the best balance between the different types of bot and helps ensure that no single design type comes to dominate. At each AWS, it's anyone's guess whether a spinner, a flipper or a pushbot cluster will win. And as you say - that's a big part of the attraction.
Thanks! Best not to mess with success.

The wedgelets were for the 250 pound heavyweights in battlebots type bots, but I was analogizing to magnets when there is a ferrous arena floor. I wouldn't want to see something like that happen where you had to incorporate them if you wanted to win. I just want to see a wide variety of designs.

Thanks again!!!
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