Matterhackers March Mayhem

A mere 3 weeks since last the last Smashbotz session, Matterhackers hosted this major event with over 100 robots from 150g to 12lb.

I once again brought my 150g Netsplit and 3lb Failover to this competition. Due to the time crunch between competitions there aren’t a lot of changes this time around.

Failover has a new Scorpion Mini ESC, this time running on 3s instead of 4s, and with a discreet BEC to hopefully reduce load on it and prevent it from burning out. Everything else is the same, despite fighting extremely destructive bots last time around, nothing was really damaged that couldn’t be bent back into shape. I have weight and CAD for a thick aluminum wedge configuration, but I need to figure out how to order it bent from SCS and I’m honestly not even sure it’s needed.

Netsplit has even fewer changes. I expanded the motor mounts to accommodate two zip ties per motor and I’m still gooping it all in place with hot glue to really keep them on without making it so rigid the gearboxes fail all the time. I’m also gonna exclusively run the foam tires since they worked so well in the last fight. I also ordered a complete set of nylon parts but… the service I ordered them from missed their delivery estimate by over a week.

Video coverage of this event was pretty spotty, there were a lot of robots and arenas so the live stream had to prioritize the more interesting fights. I didn’t have my wife to film backup this time either.

First fight was with Netsplit up against Micro Bite

I was pretty optimistic about this fight, the last time I fought one of the Bite bots I disabled its weapon right away, and got the win by bullying it for the rest of the fight. I hoped this one would go pretty similarly but alas.

Netsplit was actually dead there when the stream cut away. Exactly the same issue with the Malenki Nano as what cost me my previous fight. I happen to know this is the same Nano that failed in the previous fight, so maybe I just got a bad one? I seem to have bad luck with these things. Such a disappointing way to lose. I’m pleased with the control authority of the robot on the floor and the weapon is hitting the way I like though, so I go into the losers bracket with no damage.

Next up was with Failover against the horizontal spinner Explosion:

Finally I get a beetleweight win! Failover worked exactly as I wanted it to, absorbing and redirecting impacts from big spinners while being flexible and reliable enough to keep up the aggression. I got a few little lifts and pushes with the forks and sent their weapon into the walls a few times, which I think tipped the balance in the judges decision.

After the fight Failover smelled like burning, I pulled it apart right away to charge the battery and surprise surprise, the Scorpion Mini had gotten hot enough to melt some of the servo wires. It was still functional though, so I let it cool and made sure any important wires were taped out of the way for my next fight.

Next up was Netsplit vs Mini Bite. Rather than showing this fight, the stream had 5 minutes of uninterrupted footage of the empty 12lb arena. Oh well. I think my opponent got video, if I can track it down I’ll update this post and we’ll see how good my memory is.

It was great full 3 minute brawl. I got some decent hits, but lost my weapon bar halfway through the fight. His vert tossed me all around the arena and took huge gouges from my chassis. There were basically no 3d printed parts left intact after this fight, so I gifted him the chassis as a trophy. It was an obvious JD loss for Netsplit which eliminated it from the tournament, no fancy new 3D printer for me.

Next up was Failover against another wedge in WedgiSteel:

Before this fight there had been a fire and, despite having sand buckets and metal grabbers by every arena, someone decided to empty an entire 10lb ABC extinguisher into the arena. Then they picked up up the still-flaming robot and dropped it in the sand bucket after all. So for this whole fight the floor was covered in fine powder making it feel like we were fighting on ice, and the walls were practically opaque. Bummer.

This is kind of my worst nightmare matchup for this bot. They may look like wedgelets, but those rubbery fingers were really designed to jam up weapons more than out-wedge another wedge. The D2 kit is an incredibly reliable platform, and was very well driven, so they got this win and ultimately ended up in 2nd place.

At the end of the fight one of my drive sides wasn’t working very well, and I again smelled burning. Opening it up revealed that once again the Scorpion Mini had burned up one of its channels again despite all my efforts. Since I can get 3 ebay 3S dual escs for the cost of one Mini, so I’m absolutely done with that product.

At this point the event was way behind schedule, so they cut the entire losers bracket, meaning Failover was eliminated by this loss.

Overall a pretty disappointing showing for my bots. I think the next time there’s a major event with a huge number of bots like this I might see if I can volunteer to help run arenas rather than compete. Lack of volunteers was a serious issue, and I prefer competing in the smaller events anyway.