LRS member Dr Roger Hill, accompanied by his XYL Kath, who contributed to his presentation with information about the training sessions for schoolkids, talked about "Robot Wars + Rampaging Chariots >£0.25m" at the meeting on 12th February 2020. Peter Bennett, the team leader at Selex, was also present, and appears in a number of videos which were shown. YouTube links and availability of construction kits are provided at the bottom.
Examples of the PCBs for the kids' constructional projects.
The following is the summary which Roger provided in advance:
"The enthusiasm of Air Cadets of 870 (Dreghorn) squadron made them pester their instructor, and pupils of the Engineering Club at Peebles High School their teacher, to let them take part in practical projects.
Peter Bennett, once a test pilot, gathered a team of engineers from Selex (now Leonardo) at Crewe Toll to assist him in building a family of robots to compete in the BBC ‘Robot Wars’ programme. After the cadets won the lightweight and middleweight competitions, Typhoon 2 won the heavyweight competition of the 7th BBC series in 2006. It went on to win a silver medal in RobOlympics in San Francisco.
Peter designed a simpler robot – a wooden box with two electric drills – called the Rampaging Chariot, to compete in the British Robotic Games. Prototyped in conjunction with the P.H.S. Engineering Club, it won 27 of 42 medals at its first outing held in Wigan.
In this talk, I describe the engineering features of these and other microcontroller-based projects.
The Rampaging Chariot has been demonstrated for seven years at the East Fortune Air Show and eleven years at the Edinburgh International Science Festival. The Scottish Robotic Games have been held at Crewe Toll for the last thirteen years using 30 to 50 of more than 1300 Rampaging Chariot kits distributed in the U.K.
The P.H.S. Engineering Club also prototyped three PCBs based on PIC microcontrollers which flashed LEDs. This became the “Lighting Up the Curriculum” project. Kathleen Hill, their physics teacher, has managed the training of more than 300 teachers to solder and the distribution of 30,000 LED kits to primary schools in Scotland.
1300*£170 + 30,000*£3.50 and display/competition expenses of > £152k = > £478k".
Powerpoint Presentation including video clips:
See bottom for list of links to YouTube videos of Robots in action.
See bottom for list of links to YouTube videos shown.
Peter Bennett, who was present at Roger's talk, is 2nd from right in this photo.
The kids were thrilled to meet a real, live astronaut called Derek xxx.
Kits can be ordered from the "Help" - "contact us" page.
These are only given to schools (or St. Andrews University astrophysics department!).
Soldering instructions for each PCB are given on the website.
300 teachers have been taught to solder.
Over 30,000 of these PCB kits have been delivered to Primary Schools in Scotland.
List of YouTube videos, with running times (note some are quite long).
Click on title to play.
Robot kits can be ordered from the "contact us" page. These are only give to ATC squadrons, schools, colleges or genuine engineering clubs.
Over 1300 Rampaging Chariot kits (at >£150 each) have been delivered.
Assembly instruction are given on the 'construction' page. These have to be rewritten every time the drill motors change. The latest drills use Lithium batteries. Unfortunately they were fitted with a 'brake' which made reversing problematic! As this was difficult to remove, the solution was to order a modified batch of 1,000 drills at £20 each from China. Our main sponsor is obviously intent on continuing their involvement in this project!