Dan Rupert and Donald Engh, both engineers by degree, break away from the norm to take a different approach with their exoskeleton design by using the KISS strategy to an extreme.Their suit is a purely mechanical system based around an Acme screw drive.There are no hydraulics or pneumatics.Anticipating next year's Tetsujin competition, the team is already hard at work with their next generation suit, which will have more degrees of freedom than the current build. Dan started his career in aerospace before shifting his focus to bring high school students into the fields of math, science, and pre-engineering. Don currently works with a sheet metal company, pioneering laser cutting techniques. Veterans of BattleBots, BotBall, and FIRST mentoring, this team's varied approach makes it worth keeping an eye on!
Chis father and son team of Scott and Jascha Little brings volumes of robotics experience to the competition. Having competed in many robotics events, Jascha looks forward to Tetsujin for the simple reason that the event does not involve another competitor trying to destroy the culmination of his labors. There are no spinners in Tetsujin! In addition, he has the opportunity to compete in the brainchild of Dan Danknick, whom Jascha cites as a key influence in robotics. When he started out in robotics,Jascha found Dan's builds to be a valuable resource; he sought to build robots that would stand up to and defeat Dan's creations. Leaving combat robotics to build an exoskeleton is a long-standing dream of Jascha's;a science fiction fan, he was always intrigued by the concept of augmented strength and motion. Now, he likes to think that,theoretically, his Tetsujin design could be used in a myriad of applications. Mechanicus claims that their suit will likely be the most overbuilt suit at the event — it will be the toughest and strongest suit, designed to complete the maximum lift weight. The team thanks the companies who have helped them in their efforts: White Hydraulics for the motors, Hydraforce for the hydraulic valves, and US Digital for the encoders. In addition, Accumulators, Inc., and Womack, Inc., provided the team with discounts.
As Tetsujin's only high school team, the Widgets acknowledge Tetsujin as a learning experience.They plan on making the competition an annual event to hone their skills. Their exoskeleton is the first major build they will have ever entered in a large competition.The event offered them a prime example of the skills they wished to learn and try out — particularly hydraulics and pneumatics — in addition to the non-technical skill of perseverance.The event itself provides a tall order for this team, as they must jet back to school to resume their demanding International Baccalaureate studies. Citing Mark Tilden's analog robotics as a key influence, along with his engineer parents, team leader Bryan Hood wants the spectators to come to see what a bunch of students can put together when they put their minds to it and try their hardest. He claims beginners' luck will help his team win the title of Tetsujin 2004.
Beam Raptor, led by Chuck Pitzer, is an experienced set of builders with the resources and know-how to push the limits of exoskeleton development. This mechanical marvel's raw hydraulic muscle will max out the weight lifted in short order. High lift weight-to-skeleton weight ratios will be the focus of this design. A smooth operating motion will try to trim down lift times.
SOZBOTS — Sixteen Ounce Robots
Sozbots is teaming up with SERVO Magazine to help make the upcoming Tetsujin event a big hit at this year's RoboNexus in Santa Clara, CA.
Specializing in 16 oz combat robots called Antweights, Sozbots produces tournaments, in addition to designing and distributing robotic products. With their well-engineered portable arena, they have traveled around the West Coast, holding over 20 tournaments in the past three years.
Sozbots is a company formed by four film industry workers who are veterans of robot combat, including BattleBots and Robot Wars. In 2000, the founding members created the first speed controller for the Antweight class and held a small tournament. Interest grew and Sozbots was born.
Always trying to build a better mousetrap, Sozbots has continued to refine and improve the Soz speed controller, as well as produce high quality and innovative products for small robots — such as a universal chassis plate and custom motor mounts. Collecting products from around the globe and designing kits makes Sozbot.com your one stop robot store.
With the introduction of the KHR-1 Biped Walking Robot Kit, Sozbots is venturing into the world of the Robo-One competitions that are currently so popular in Japan. You can find more information about the kit at: www.robo-one-usa.com
If you are interested in kits for individuals, schools, or camps, please contact Sozbots at [email protected] They can help you create a custom kit and curriculum to suit your needs.
To find out more about building your own Sozbot or where and when competitions are being planned, check out: www.sozbots.com
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