Robot Wars

Code-it Robot Wars has been inspired by the the TV program but is not endorsed by it or officially attached in any way.

Code-it Robot Wars is a STEAM project designed for upper KS2 pupils (9-11) to design, build, program and battle their own fighting vehicles. Ours use the cheap Crumble controllers.

Instead of publishing fixed PDF plans I am going to add to this page as we progress through the project. If you have any questions I am @baggiepr on Twitter or leave a comment at the bottom.

Pupils are restricted to normal craft materials such as 10 mm box dowel, 4 mm round dowel, card, wooden wheels, pulleys, elastic bands, motors etc. In addition each group has two crumble control boards, two geared motors and plastic wheel combinations, one servo motor and four push button switches.

Robot Controls
Robots are controlled by fixed wires that come out of the back of the robot and control steering and weapons.

At the end of the design process groups will compete in four challenges.
Timed sprint, quickest bot from A to B wins
Timed obstacle course
Best decorated robot
Knock out tournament where robots will progress through either
destroying the opposition or (in judges opinion) inflicting more damage (hits) than its opponent.

Ideas, draw our rough sketch ideas (1 lesson)
Pick groups and groups choose ideas from first lesson (1 lesson)
Plan drawings (plan & side view) drawn to scale (2 lessons)
Programming prototype steering (1 lesson if easy buggies are available)
Build (2 days)
Robot Wars Competition (1 afternoon)

Basic steering is quite simple with motor 1 moving forward until a button is pressed when the motor reverses. Motor 2 is programmed in the same way except a different button triggers reverse movement. Steering is similar to a tank controls where one motor goes forward and the other is reversed.

You can also achieve the same thing in this way

Pupils can work this out for themselves or work from a template depending on their prior programming experience.

Amount of power
The longer the wires going from the buttons to the crumble the more chance of interference. Reducing the power amount can help. In the fixed wheel vs caster wheel video the power was set to 50%.

Fixed Axle Steering vs Castor Wheel

Fixed axle goes in a straight line better, castor wheel turns better. Which one is best for a battling robot?

The pulveriser (crank) weapon example

Pulveriser programming example

Pounder (servo overhead pick axe type weapon)

Pounder programming example

Example side view plan

Pupils take plans and work them into a detailed to do list to make the most of build time.

Button steering wiring diagram PDF

Maker Cards

This video shows some of the excitement on hosting a Robot wars competition

(This project is under construction)


4 thoughts on “Robot Wars

  1. Ashley

    I would love to complete this project with the Year 6’s. However, budget is an issue. What is the cheapest price that we could build one robot for?

  2. Philip Bagge Post author

    Thanks for your post on code-it.

    Cheapest Robot wars robot

    £10 for 2x geared motors and wheels
    £10 for a single classic Crumble
    £3 for battery pack
    £4 for buttons x2
    Plus standard wire
    Access to a soldering iron
    £1 for a standard motor for a spinning weapon
    Plus wood
    Access to a glue gun

    Approx £30 for 1

    Hope that helps

    Phil Bagge

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