Building an arena question

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minionhunter
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

Hi

I attempted to start building some ants a few years ago, but life got in the way (had my workload triple due to others leaving then as soon as my work normalized my mom got sick and died) but I'm finally returning now that things seem to be calming down.

I'm in the US and there is no antweight (fairyweight here) near me so I need to build my own bots and an arena. My long-term goal is to have my daughter develop a league for her girlscouts troupe and get the girls to build their own ants (all are highly interested).

I was looking for plans but searching build arena here or Google isn't turning anything useful up for me. Maybe my Googlefu is just weak. I have tried to UTFSE but I've failed.

So in looking around and at the various arenas I like, I found that I really like the arena Chris Malton built
https://www.arc-robotics.org.uk/2017/07 ... tic-ideas/
I saw it in AWS 58 (thank you team panoramic, I can't tell you how much we appreciate the ability to watch these tournaments)

I was wondering if anyone could tell me how to contact him or someone who can help me with some information about that arena. I wanted to ask how he built it and the specs. I like the sliding doors and the stage in the middle. I liked the height. What I don't know how to do is figure out what the aluminum he used is and how it was constructed so that it (I'm assuming) can be broken down and transported in a car or van.

If anyone can help me I would appreciate it.

Thank you very much for your time and help. I'm grateful. I and my family really enjoy watching the AWS tournaments and hope to be fighting our own ants soon. I only wish travel to compete in a real AWS was possible for us.

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LimaHotel
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Re: Building an arena question

Post by LimaHotel »

Chris does use these forums, though iff the top of my head I have no idea what his username is. Hmm.
Okay, just looked it up. cmalton.

For the record though - building an arena is NOT cheap, and Chris' is especially flash. Mostly you want 6mm (minimum) thickness polycarb for the walls, with both an internal arenaside wall and the full box (which ideally wants to be thicker), the floor is typically MDF or some other cheap-ish flat wood, and I really shouldn't be answering this as I've never built an arena! :lol:
If you're building this for a Scout Troop (Is it not Scouting for All in the states? IE. mixed troops?), then do you want to allow Spinners? Spinners are dangerous. It's advised not to attempt them unless you know what you're doing. If you're not allowing Spinners, then you can get away with a less bombproof arena, and save a fair bit of money in the Polycarb.
Besta luck!
Jiggy Sawdust
Jammin' Good with Weird and Flippy
The Pushbot from Mars

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Kyro
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Re: Building an arena question

Post by Kyro »

close, its actually 4mm minimum.

but as stated, if its going to be for kids and as long as there are no high velocity weapons, thinner stuff will suffice.

if you plan on allowing spinners then 4mm polycarbonate is the thinnest you can safely have (i have seen some 150g spinners easily get through 2mm polycarbonate)

Chris's arena is definitely one of the more fancy and large ones, and for a kids league is probably overkill.

the arena me and my friends built (RoboShowdown arena) is a tad shy of 3x3ft and plenty enough to hold an event from.

something that size would be ideal and probably a lot less than half the price of Chris's arena.

its also small enough when packed down to fit in the back of a kia picanto (a shoebox of a car)
keep in mind, you would likely want a pit or 2 if you are going for non destructive otherwise most fights would go for the whole *insert preferred match time here*

another fan favourite is Peter Wallers arena (used at aws60 and antweight open) which is a great base to start with also.
Team Rocket
Esper(4wd flipper)
Mantis (4wd grab 'n' lift)
Dominus (Vert SPINNAAH)
Breakout(modular cluster)
Remembering Rex (antweight cassius)
Fennec (4wd flea) former world champion

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LimaHotel
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Location: Mold / Chester

Re: Building an arena question

Post by LimaHotel »

4mm minimum? I stand corrected. I wonder where I pulled that 6 from?
Jiggy Sawdust
Jammin' Good with Weird and Flippy
The Pushbot from Mars

minionhunter
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Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

Thank you! I really appreciate the suggestions! I think I sew that Chris hasn't posted here since 2017? So I didn't try to send him a PM.

Yeah, I'm not too concerned about the price. Obviously I don't want to go crazy, so I can save money to spend on robot components, but I don't mind making a significant investment, especially when it comes to safety. I've got minimum specs for arenas with league rules.

Yes, no spinners to start, but if this goes well (and I think it will) I don't anticipate stopping at flippers... Hopefully this will become a long term thing and bigger than just scouts. (there are both boys scouts and girl scouts here) I hope this can be a springboard to my kids going into robotics.

Is Peter's arena the curved one that is used in many/most of the AWS in the "50's"?

I think when I was looking in 2016 I found a thread here on it where he provided amazing details on how to make it. His is very nice and the first I saw with outer (thicker and more expensive, and inner walls to protect the outer walls). I think he said in that thread he made it the way he did so he could fit it in his car. That's my fall back. I also think I could come up with a antfreeze style arena by myself. I just like the idea of one like Chris' that the stage can change easily.

If you all have fought in Peter's, how do like those two little perspex walls (about an inch square) that prevent someone from just driving a bot into the wall and pushing it into the pit? To me they seem brilliant and make the fight tougher and a more interesting contest. I really do love that arena concept.

Again thank you very much for your help! I really appreciate it! If I can't get any plans in a week or so I guess I'll have to try some metal shops in my area and see if they can give me some suggestions.

minionhunter
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

Kyro wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:44 am
close, its actually 4mm minimum.

but as stated, if its going to be for kids and as long as there are no high velocity weapons, thinner stuff will suffice.

if you plan on allowing spinners then 4mm polycarbonate is the thinnest you can safely have (i have seen some 150g spinners easily get through 2mm polycarbonate)

Chris's arena is definitely one of the more fancy and large ones, and for a kids league is probably overkill.

the arena me and my friends built (RoboShowdown arena) is a tad shy of 3x3ft and plenty enough to hold an event from.

something that size would be ideal and probably a lot less than half the price of Chris's arena.

its also small enough when packed down to fit in the back of a kia picanto (a shoebox of a car)
keep in mind, you would likely want a pit or 2 if you are going for non destructive otherwise most fights would go for the whole *insert preferred match time here*

another fan favourite is Peter Wallers arena (used at aws60 and antweight open) which is a great base to start with also.
Is your mantis bot the black one that looks like a cross between a spider and praying mantis with spikes? That is a really cool bot? We love that one! The names don't always come clear in the videos so my kids have different names for the bots, but that is a really creative bot!

Definitely will have pits, again assuming that I'm talking about the same arena that's what I want to base my "stage" off of, 4 pits, all curved, two with really low walls, two open with little barriers on each flank so you can't just push the other bot into the pit easily. However I plan to have a metal floor. Seems like I wouldn't have to replace it as quickly and would allow for bots with magnets to help enhance grip on the floor.

But again if I a stage the "inside arena" can be modular and since I don't expect this to be a "one off" I can even have different floors or advanced hazards later if I want. That's why I would like to build a little more roomy outer box and while it may cost a little more at the start, it will be cheaper in the long run. Plus my kids can keep it in the basement and have tests and fights at home (though I bet that's going to cost a ton in batteries, but that's a different topic). I'll post a different set of questions once I've got my purchase plans down for the bots, just to make sure I I'm not missing something. Again, different thread topic.

Thank you again for taking the time to read and help me. I'm grateful. I wish I could just hop over there and pay someone for a couple hours of time to answer a laundry list of questions. Maybe someday I will make it over there and compete, but first thing is first, build an arena and first set of bots...

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peterwaller
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Re: Building an arena question

Post by peterwaller »

The basic concepts for my arena was the best possible all round vision and being transportable complete with virtually no assembly needed except a support for the lid so it can be parked in the up position. Here is a dimensional drawing which might help.
Image
The whole arena is mounted on two wooden bars with wheels at one end and a handle at the other forming a trolly which can just about be seen below.
Image
The wheels not only help moving it about but make sliding it into the car much easier.
Image

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Kyro
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Re: Building an arena question

Post by Kyro »

mantis is a green grab and lift...

https://youtu.be/mJ2P559lrlg

here is a short video of it as its design developed into what it is today.

well sort of... its now on version 7 (version 6 was never used in competition) and will be competing in the upcoming antfreeze.
Team Rocket
Esper(4wd flipper)
Mantis (4wd grab 'n' lift)
Dominus (Vert SPINNAAH)
Breakout(modular cluster)
Remembering Rex (antweight cassius)
Fennec (4wd flea) former world champion

minionhunter
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

That's it Peter! Your arena is awesome! I know I have that thread saved where you detailed your build. I was really impressed with the quality of your work and sinking in the screws and fasteners into the lexan in the sides.

Thank you for posting that!

minionhunter
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Building an arena question

Post by minionhunter »

Kyro wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:26 pm
mantis is a green grab and lift...

https://youtu.be/mJ2P559lrlg

here is a short video of it as its design developed into what it is today.

well sort of... its now on version 7 (version 6 was never used in competition) and will be competing in the upcoming antfreeze.
Yes! I love your bot! Thanks for posting that video.

If I may ask, why did you get away from the three prong suction cup looking design? V4

Did you have to use two servos to both grab and lift?

I apologize if that's asking too much, my worst flaw in life is being curious (followed quickly by honesty and loyalty).

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