Weapons of mass distraction.

While I’ve had the last few months to freak out about having no motors and therefore essentially no bot, I’ve had plenty of time to try and distract myself and design and build a range of add ons to cope with some fairly stiff challenges in this year’s competition.

I built a 4-way sensor rig from standard ultrasonic sensors. The wiring is pretty um… intense, but it does work and reads distance in all directions. I’ll be using this for the straight line speed test and the maze.

The wiring maze begins…..


All wired up….


I’ve also got a mount for the line sensors sorted and the code working nicely for that (fingers crossed this works on the day!). I’ve also got a simple holder for the golf challenge, although I suspect there may be far sneakier / trickier hazards than this will cope with! :/ The one on the left is the clamp for Pi Noon… Looking forward to that one.


Skittles was great fun last year, and my ‘ball cannon’ worked well enough, sadly my driving let me down and I knocked the ball away from the bot and fluffed a shot. The ‘collect the ball’ component of the challenge has forced me to come up with something to avoid this completely this time round.


The simple arm / servo arrangement should prevent the ball rolling away, and the spring in the tube has enough kick to give the ball a good whack!

Armed and (slightly) dangerous…


I’ve got the bot driving properly and the mecanum wheels are performing really well – such a relief at this point. I’m now (slowly) working on the autonomous challenges and rapidly running out of time. Going to be a frantic dash to the finish line. I reckon I’ll get there :-)

I’ve got a bot that can compete and even with all the difficulties I faced, I’ve learnt so much again through the the build and it’s been really fantastic to be involved in Pi Wars again. I love the social camaraderie, particularly on Twitter. Very much looking forward to seeing old faces and new next weekend.

I’ll be there for both days, do come and say hello. I’ll be the one with the panicked look cos his bot just * shot out the door / took out a small child / knee-capped Eben Upton (*delete as applicable)

See you all next weekend!

Until then…

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