Antweights are 150g fighting robots that compete within the UK. They fight against other robots in an arena to try and push the other out the arena, immobilise or break the other robot. They are an excellent starter class into the world of fighting robots due to their low cost, ease of running and plenty of events to compete at.
Equipment Needed To Run Your Robot
We focus on supplying you a ready built robot but there are two things you need to be able to use it:
Transmitter (NanoTwo V3 ESC)
In order to run the NanoTwo you need a DSM2 or DSMX compatible transmitter such as a Devo 7e, Turnigy OrangeTX, MLP4DSM ‘blade’ or a Spektrum transmitter (DX6, DX6i, DX5e etc.). Please consult your transmitters manual on how to enter into bind mode to be able to bind and control your robot.
Transmitter (NanoTwo V2 ESC)
In order to run the NanoTwo you need a DSM2 compatible transmitter such as a Devo 7e, Turnigy OrangeTX, MLP4DSM ‘blade’ or Non-DSMX (but DSM2) Spektrum transmitter. Please note while many DSMX transmitter claim to be able to control DSM2 robots this is not always accurate.
Nuts And Bots thoroughly recommends the Devo 7e transmitter as a well priced, DSM2 or DSMX transmitter that can be used with not only 1 robot but up to 30 robots! However there is a catch, the Devo 7e requires a small amount of setup initially. Don’t worry if this sounds bewildering, here is our handy Devo 7e guide to setting up, binding and using your Devo 7e.
LiPo battery charger compatible with small 2s (2 cell) batteries is required. Small LiPo’s like in antweights aren’t demanding batteries for chargers but we have a couple of recommended favourites. The Turnigy 2s/3s Basic Charger is a good budget option that along with a common 12V ~1A Power Supply adaptor (Or even a laptop power supply up to 15v) will provide easy charging for you. A step up is the Hobbyking DC-4S charger, it will also need an adaptor but is a higher quality charger with a digital voltage readout which can be very helpful at events especially with multiple robots. For an even more capable charger Nuts And Bots uses the Accucel 6 charger with a 12v ‘LED Power Supply’ of appropriate power which can be used with batteries from antweight all the way to heavyweight level! Your battery should always be charged in a suitable LiPo safe bag.
Nuts And Bots will provide support in helping you find your components and set up your robot.
Our ants are fully rules complaint and can compete in all UK Antweight Tournaments. Events are announced on the Robotwars101 Forum and will include details on how to sign up. Please ensure you are familiar with the Robotwars101 Ruleset.
When you first receive the robot the battery will be in a low storage charge. Charge the battery before use. LiPo’s, while an excellent power source, are a more volatile type of battery so some extra care must be taken. Always have your LiPo bag available when using your robot and store your robot inside the LiPo bag between uses.
When to charge: Antweights do not carry a voltage cutoff so you must ensure your robot is not run excessively. It should be charged once it has noticeably slowed or whenever you have the opportunity after use. Ants are typically made to run for 3 minutes at a time though up to 10 minutes running is reasonable. If the robot is run too low (such as being unable to move) it is likely the battery has been run too low and needs disposing of.
How to charge: Please consult your chargers manual for instructions on charging your LiPo battery. Your LiPo should always be charged within the provided LiPo Safe bag.
Disposing of a damaged LiPo: If your LiPo does become damaged or appears to swell up, IMMEDIATELY CEASE USING IT. Place the LiPo inside the LiPo bag and locate in a safe place away from anything flammable. It is advised to discharge the LiPo typically by connecting a high value resistor across it and leave in a safe place inside the LiPo bag. After the LiPo has reached 0v it can be disposed of. Placing the LiPo in salt water in a well ventilated area can also be used.
In the event of smoke or flame: This is a rare failure mode in antweight LiPo’s but something you should always be prepared for. If smoke or flame appears immediately (If you are safely able to) place the robot inside the LiPo bag and locate in a safe ventilated place away from anything flammable (preferably outside). Once cooled you can follow the procedure for disposing of the LiPo.
Ensure your robot is turned off. Locate your Bind Plug and insert it into the Bind Socket on the receiver/speed controller unit. The Bind Socket is the plug with 2 pins attached on the edge of the unit.
It is important when you bind to make sure the transmitter sticks are in their normal positions (allow the springs to centre all sticks and have the throttle stick down). Turn your robot on, the receiver unit should have a rapidly flashing orange light. Follow the bind procedure for your transmitter to put it in bind mode (See your manual for details), wait for the light to go solid and exit bind mode on your transmitter.
Check you have control, then turn the robot off and remove the bind plug. Your robot is bound but you likely need to trim your robot.
If you have a Devo 7e refer to the Devo 7e specific guide in the ‘Needed Extras’ section.
Your robot should be controlled but it may not be quite right, the wheels may try and turn on their own or the flipper may not go all the way down. These are fixed with trims, they simply nudge where the middle position of the joystick. Your trim controls are the buttons immediately to the side and below the joysticks. If your robot is trying to steer left or right simply press the trim button in the opposite direction on your steering stick until it doesn’t, the same applies to the forwards and backwards. The easiest way to do this is to position the robot the right way up but with all wheels lifted off the ground, when you push forwards on the stick all wheels should start at the same time. If they do not make a note of which way the robot would be turning and click the trim in the opposite direction. Keep repeating until all the wheels begin turning at the same time. Now use the steering stick to turn the robot, again both wheels should begin turning at the same time. If they do not not if the wheel that is moving first is going forwards or backwards, click the trim for forwards and backwards in the opposite direction. Keep repeating until all the wheels begin turning at the same time.
If your weapon is moving without any input or making a loud buzzing sound with the stick at neutral simply use the trim buttons until you cannot hear any noise from the motors and it stops moving. The Trims can also be used to adjust the height of weapons such as flippers.
For servo based weapons it should not be making any loud buzzing sounds, adjust the trim (normally upwards) to prevent this.
Sometimes trimming upwards may cause anyone using a Devo 7e to produce a warning error about ‘Channel 1 Percentage’ on startup, simply press the ENT key to clear it.
Acetate is thin flexible plastic about the thickness of a piece of paper. In antweights it is used to help get under other robots, which is often the deciding factor in winning a match. Simply cut a bit of Acetate out and using tape (Double sided tape preferred) secure it to the front of the robot as in the picture. It is strongly advised to use this in competitions as most opponents will be using it themselves.
If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.