Halo Plans

This is the first (and often most enjoyable) part of building a BattleBot. Everything is possible at this point, and you can do the work lying on a couch staring at the ceiling. No need to actually get oily in the shop, or spend an evening breathing solder fumes.

Rough Plans

Halo will be a Middleweight. There are a number of reasons for this: I want to build something bigger. Squeezing everything I want into a Lightweight would be tricky. I have my own welder now so building bigger frames is easier now. And lastly, with the success of the Comedy Central show, I'm expecting a lot of new competitors, and I'm expecting most of them to be Lightweights (even at BBSF2000, there were a lot more Lightweights than Middleweights). This is a cheesy way to cut down on the number of matches I need to win in order to get a prize.

Halo will be another dull box, because I don't want to do the trigonometry to make angled sides. Sticking out of the top of Halo will be a vertical rod with cables and weights. The rod will be spun, and the weights will flail around. There's more to it than that, but I'm saving the details for later entries.

I'll be building my own speed controller again, I have some ideas on how to improve the my Rott-bot design.


I've found that there are three critical items in building a BattleBot: weight, money and time. I'm terrible at scheduling time, I work on the robot when I can squeeze it in and when I'm in the mood.

For money, I'm budgeting $2500 for this competition. As usual, the stuff that is at risk of destruction in the ring is only a small part of this: a lot of money is in tools, and some is in spare parts. And some of that money will be for travel expenses.

I've broken the weight budget into two parts, the drive platform and the weapon. I'm aiming for 85 lbs for the drive platform, and 20 lbs for the weapon, which gives me a little bit of wiggle room with the 115 lb Middleweight limit. I find that this is a good way to start, since keeping things within the weight limits is one of the bigger challenges.
Item Description/Quantity Weight Total Weight Cost Total Cost
Drive Platform Frame approx 40 ft of 3/4-inch 0.063-wall square steel tubing 0.7 lbs per linear foot 30 lbs $6.40 per 10-foot length $26
Batteries Two 12V 7Ah sealed lead-acid 6 lbs each 12 lbs $20 each $40
Drive motors Four 12V DeWalt cordless drill motors, with gearboxes 2 lbs each 8 lbs $80 each $320
Wheels Four 10-inch pneumatic tires 4 lbs each 16 lbs $10 each $40
Armor 3/16" polycarbonate, about 18 ft2 1.2 lbs/ft2 22 lbs $5/ft2 $90
Drive Platform Sub-total     88 lbs   $520
Weapon Frame 7 feet of 3/4-inch steel tubing 0.7 lbs per linear foot 5 lbs $6.40 per 10-foot length $7
Drive motor Another drill motor 2 lbs 2 lbs $80 $80
Flail ends Five hammers 1 lb each 5 lbs $5 each $25
Weapon adjuster Linear actuator 8 lbs 8 lbs $80 $80
Weapon Sub-total     20 lbs   $190
Grand Total     108 lbs   $710

Next: Parts and Frame

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