Category Archives: Featured

MatchBox 220

Matchbox 220

Starting on a new project,a 220lb, heavyweight class combat robot. It will be constructed with a 4130 tube steel chassis, of various sizes depending on the location, and floating 0.19″ 4130 steel armor. The invert-able tank style drive powered by two long mags (Amp-Flow A283400 motors) triple reduction totaling 15:1 on 3/4″ drive shaft with stamped steel bearings. The drive will be controlled by four Victor 883′s and two 22.2v 5000mah 40-50C Turnigy Lipos. The weapon, a drum, will be powered by four EV Warrior motors. It will be approximately 8.5″ tall, 34″ long, and 47″ wide (Including wheels and wheel shield, 34″ long without those components).

MAG-S28-400_lg Bosch_EV_Warrior victor883 Turnigy5000

While I’m waiting for the parts I ordered to trickle in, I did have the Victor 883’s I’ll be using for Matchbox’s drive. So, I stuck them in an electric box and wired them up.


Pictured above, is half of the esc’s used for drive. I will be using one of these boxes per motor. (**I’ve decided to use one large box, rather than individual drive boxes, this configuration will just be for testing purposes.)

Before I go too much further, I want to take a side track and explain that Matchbox 220 will be using XT-90 connectors for all it’s li-poly batteries. (Pictured below.) The XT-90 consists of gold plated spring plugs nestled in an extremely tight fitting nylon shroud. It requires a lot of force to pull these apart, and that’s always good in combat robotics.

IMG_7893 XT-90

Back to the drive. So, here is one of the mags getting it’s round headed electrical terminal connectors crimped on! (Ignore the pink shrink wrap, I’m waiting for my red to come in.)


photo (3) photo (4)

I had someone ask why I needed shrink wrap at all, if I had the yellow housing. As you can see pictured below, the long mags I got from the Robot Market Place come with about an inch and a half stripped off the top of the mag wire, so I would have to cut off about an inch of the wire, or just stick some shrink wrap on it to keep it from shorting if it comes in contact with something conductive.


Below you can see one side of the drive wired up for testing. I’m using a Team Whyachi Power Switch, the 22.2 V 5000mah 40c-50c Turnigy li-poly, the two Victor 883’s, an “Orange Receiver” from hobbyking (which I will later switch to the specktrum ar6115e I have sitting in my box of goodies) with a 7.4v ni-mh battery, all hooked happily to the long mag.


Most of the pieces, add two batteries, a few more bearings, etc. Starting to look like a robot though!

photo (5)

If you’ve noticed, I’ve been avoid the weapon design until I absolutely had to face that obstacle, as spinners and I have had a rocky past. With only 46 days left until RoboGames 2013, I finally finished collecting the parts for my main drive train, and was stuck with nothing to do except face the weapon problem.

Luckily, I had an epiphany!


What you’re looking at above, is four pieces of 2″x2″ square tube steel welded together to make a structure I can spin using the 4 ev warriors, as long as I can mount it.

This is what I’ve come up with to mount those four pieces of 2″x2″ square tube steel, the plate portion of the weapon will be mounted by bolts that will go down the entire length of the four 2″x2″square tube steel. Of course, the v-belt pulley will go onto the shafts there (which will be keyed)


The finished result will look something like this only with four bots to hold it all together.


complete weapon

Here’s the old vs new mock-up of Matchbox.


One of the wonderful things about being a builder? Outside consultation when you post stuff like that weapon design above. My favorite outside consultant, Chris Williamson, came back with a design that made mine look like a kindergartner’s finger paint next to the Mona Lisa… in other words, we’re going with his design.

weapon design

Which also brings us to the new body design:


My cad skills are not up to Chris’ standards so I can’t make the individual bars on Matchbox’s weapon, but it is adjusted to size, and placed with the shaft going through the entire length of the weapon.

Speaking of my lack of an engineering degree; Ryan Archer offered his services to stress test my weapon design and the results were just wonderful! ” 500lbs force directly to the middle of one of the bars still has a factor of safety of 16.4″ ; In otherwords, it’s going to take a beating and keep going. I couldn’t be happier. Plus, he made it a cool color….


I’m taking a break from the weapon, as I haven’t ordered the material I need yet. I’m circling back to the drive train. My project is to figure out a way to attach the sprocket to the wheel, as both the axle and the bearing on the wheel are live (meaning they will both spin). I’ve decided to make a 5 bolt pattern drilled out of both the wheel hub and the sprockets that will be bolted together!

photo (7)photo (8)  photo (13)photo (6) photo (14)photo (16)photo (17)

I got my framing and armor material in!

 photo (21) photo (20)

Time to start laying it out and making cuts!

It would seem I have a “helper” as well.

photo (19) photo (18)

I want to show you my perfect example of “Do NOT try this at home, because FIREHAZARD”


Luckily, there was no fire, and it works awesome. Now to hook up four more batteries and try it again! (**Side note, To the people asking what happened to the heat-shrink: My cats knocked the battery off the counter and I was terrified it was going to explode the next time I charged it, so I took most of the heat shrink off so I could watch the individual cells and make sure they weren’t getting swollen.)

Tonight I’ve decided to construct the entire robot from wooden dowels, since I want to be sure how long to cut my framing.

IMG_2924 IMG_5048

Arc Reactor v2

Arc Reactor Version Two

Version one of my arc reactor was a huge success, but it had a few flaws that I wanted to correct. Version two addresses these and makes the whole system more efficient. It will feature on board batteries, rather than a separate pack. I also ordered a pre-designed PCB board from a website, and was able to solder flat led’s on. It looks great, but I need a different  bonding agent than white electric tape!! XD





Gallery partially down

Update – 02/10/2013 All Fixed! Please check out our galleries here!



Hi Guys! I’m not sure how many of you are still looking for such old pictures, (They weren’t that great anyway, I was 12&13, give me a break…) but for some reason, the galleries for Las Vegas Street Fight IV and Las Vegas Street Fight V aren’t showing up. I’m working on it, and may have to go with a new gallery theme. We’ll see. For now, use the links above if you’re looking for the photos. Thanks! -Bunny

Arc Reactor Build

First attempt at making an Arc Reactor!

Disclaimer: *** Don’t try this at home, I’m a professional*** WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES AT ALL TIMES! You’re soldering very close to your face, and it only takes one second, one dog or cat pounce, or one unexpected sneeze to do irreparable damage.

Getting the required parts!

Tools Required:

Soldering Iron Station – I cannot stress enough the importance of a good quality working soldering iron, not just for this project but for every day life.
Dremel – This also is handy every day, in all facets of life, invest in a good one, and you’ll have it forever.
Hot Glue Gun – I just got a cheap one from Target.
Wire Cutters
Wire Stripper
Exacto Knife

Pieces Required:

Blue LED’s – I used cheap 3mm ones I got off of eBay, make sure they’re rated for 6v when you order them!
Velcro Strips – To attach to whatever clothing you choose
Cardboard – For placing the LEDs and Velcro
Lexan – To cut a ring out for the top
Copper Wire – To wrap around the lexan
The “Press” Part of a coffee Press – (I got a cheap one at Ross, but you could probably pick one up at Goodwill or something.)
An old hard drive.
Black electrical or gorilla tape
6v Battery Pack from Radio Shack
Positive and Negative color coded wire


To get the piece you need from the harddrive:

Step one:
Take unwanted, or unused harddrive – open it up, unscrew the piece directly on the skimmer.

Step 2: SUCCESS!

Now to start on the arc reactor itself.

Take a piece of cardboard and cut out TWO circles, (I used the “plunger” from the coffee press, and just traced it with the exact o knife, then broke it off, and cleaned it up with scissors)

Set one aside for later, and take your Dremel, and cut out some holes for your leds to slide through!

Here comes the hard part -Trim down leads on LEDs, and solder each LED to the one next to it., postitive to positive, negative to negative. (You can test what is negative, and what is positive with your battery pack.) I recommend testing EVERY TIME you solder an LED, this will create less work for you in the future.

Once all the LEDs are soldered…. PHEW! The hard part is done!! TEST THE LEDs to make sure everything is working correctly!!! If not, go back and check your work!

Once it’s all working, HOT GLUE EVERYTHING! 😀 😀 😀

Test that everything is working once more, then take the second piece of cardboard, and hot glue it to the bottom!

Test again!

Set this aside for now, and pull out the lexan sheet!
I suggest safety googles & gloves for dremeling Lexan, it gets pretty hot.
Put cutting tip on Lexan, cut out a circle! I recommend, again, using the “plunger” part of the coffee press, and tracing it, then cutting around the trace.

Put the sanding tip on your dremel, sand the edges to make it smooth, then take the protective paper off, and sand the front and back to help disperse the light from the LEDs

Take the copper wire, and wrap it in equal measured places around the ring.

Now, hot glue all the remaining pieces!
Start with the strainer from the Coffee Press
then the circular plunger part
then the piece from the hard drive
and end with the lexan with the copper round around it!!

Finish it off with wrapping a couple pieces of the black tape around the edges, to cover all the stuff!

Finally Solder on the 6v battery pack with the length of wire you require, and Viola!

I’ve decided to also make the blasters for my hands, as I had left over LED’s & Lexan.
Same idea as the Arc reactor, cut out holes for LEDS in cardboard, then put lexan over it.

Launched the new gallery for the site!

We are happy to announce the new gallery for our website! Go check it out!




Tobor will be a 120lber, middleweight class pneumatic flipper constructed with 4140 tube steel with 0.25″ aluminum armor. The weapon will a pneumatic flipper which will be testing a new way of actuating (Designed by Chris Williamson) a 6″ by 4″ ram, which will allow Tobor to be self righting. The drive consists of two NPC T-64’s, controlled with a Vantec 36e, and two 22.2V Turnigy 5000mah 40-50c lipo batteries.

motor_64038 Turnigy5000 vantecbrasstankram

Got my chargers from the Robot Market Place!

Gallery Updates!

I’m working on making the gallery page for this website a lot better! Please forgive the lack of Photos while I’m transferring everything to the new service! Thank you!

Combots is coming up!

This October, ComBots returns for ComBots Cup VII – the biggest cash prize purse in robot combat! At last year’s two-day championship event, Original Sin managed a three-peat by beating the best 220-pound robots from around the world for dominance, cash, and the glory that is the ComBots Cup – 100 pounds of trophy-shaped awesome! You can view the contestants here and a PDF of the fight ladders here.Whether you’re a sports fan or techno geek, ComBots puts on the best events in San Francisco, getting on two of the world’s best Top Ten lists:

CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, ESPN, The New York TimesWired,USA Today, and many more news agencies have covered our events. Check out how we’ve been described around the world!Want to Compete?
ComBots allows just about anyone to compete. Where to begin? Start by reading the rules and the Guide to Winning. Once you’ve got a robot plan in mind, you should definately go through the RioBotz Combot Tutorial (PDF – 28.7MB). There’s also a very brief video on the components of a simple ComBot. When you’ve finished a robot, here’s the information for registering and competing.

Private/Corp Events
Want to throw a really exciting party? Host a ComBots event! Soccer-playing androids, flame-throwing mini-robots driven by your staff, or our full 100,000 pound, 1600 sq ft combat arena with 220 lb killer robots. Host your own heavy metal event!



© 2005-2012, ComBots, LLC.   “ComBots”, “ComBot” and the ComBots wordmark are ™ of ComBots, LLC. “RoboGames” is ™ of The Robotics Society of America, Inc.


Kitty & Robots don’t mix.

Baby Bunny FINALLY HOME!!!

The triumphant return of my Baby from RoboGames 2012!!!