Piwars 3.0 Initial Preparation

17th Jan 2017

Well, after having our entrance accepted maybe we should actually get on and build something.

The Piwars challenges have evolved since the last competition. Some are similar and need only tweaks to the our previous design where as other challenges are new but kind of build on previous years challenges. We’ve been thinking about this for some time (my excuse for not actually doing any work until now) but now is the time to put some parts together and build a drive-able bot.

First things first, planning. Do we dismantle Tito, our old bot, or building from scratch?

Tito Robot

Previous Piwars robot called TTOS aka Tito.

Overwhelming emotions seem to be stopping us destroying our previous creations plus we intend to make our new bot smaller lighter and based on a pi zero so other than wheels and motors (which have been hammered in testing and competing) not much else is transferable.





Laser cut frame

Laser cut prototype frame/chassis.

Mark Mellors kindly designed and laser cut a frame onto which we can to attach our motors and ESCs so that we could start putting stuff together. I put together the basics of a wiring loom. Its modular (detachable connectors in key positions) so motors and/or ESCs can be swapped out in case the magical blue smoke is accidentally released 🙂

We suffered last year from at least one damaged gear box so this year I’d love to have an easily replaceable drive system should the worst happen.



Prototype wiring loom

Prototype wiring loom

Experience from last year showed that building a robot and being able to drive it competitively are two separate things. We were a little close to the deadline last time as we were still writing….erm I mean tweaking… code on the morning of and in between challenges. So this year we are all very keen to get a drive-able prototype together everyone can practice driving and have confidence that we could actually complete a challenge or two.

Prototype progress so far:

  • Frame laser cut.
  • Motor clamps 3D printed.
  • Motors bolted to frame.
  • Motors wired with detachable connectors to ESC’s and battery.
Prototype part assembled

Prototype part assembled.