A Robot Inspired by Scottish Folklore
The FightFest competition really started many months before the event had even begun, as places to compete were very limited, and the event organisers wanted to select the most striking robot designs. As a result it is critical that our robot stood out from other competitors with a vibrant design that would be entertaining to spectate.
The team chose a hammer as the robot's weapon as hammers have become quite scarce in the combat robot scene, and tend to put on a good show whilst still being effective. At a standstill, such as in CAD images, they can strike more of an impression than something like a flipping arm or spinner, especially to those unfamiliar with combat robots - a hammer is immediately recognisable as a weapon. We also wanted to play to our origins as a Scottish university team with a theme that linked to Scottish culture.
A truly Scottish machine
We researched Celtic mythology for inspiration and came across tales of the "Dullahan", a fierce headless horseman, who wielded an axe and menaced unfortunate night time wanderers. We think it suited our machine brilliantly, and to match this theme, my team designed Dullahan's axes to resemble a middle-age bladed halberd and scythe.
The Dullahan is often portrayed as a ghostly figure, and so before the event we spray painted the metal components of the robot using varying shades of distinctive, luminous green. The team also designed self-adhesive vinyl stickers, featuring Celtic symbols and ghostly green gradients, which were printed by Printed.com. This gives our robot a very distinctive presence in the arena.
Applications & Sponsorships
All the effort that went into our distinctive design paid off in the end, as the Labman team selected Dullahan to compete at the 2021 FightFest! Gaining acceptance to the competition was a huge accomplishment in itself for Strathclyde Combat Robotics - over 90 teams applied for the competition, but only 16 were chosen to compete! Labman Automation were also impressed enough by our application, that they sponsored us and partially funded the build!
However, this was only part of the application process, as we also had to pitch our design to our university, so that we could compete as a university team, and receive further funding for the project. They were very interested in the renders of our robust CAD model, and we received sponsorship from both our department and the Strathclyde Alumni fund. We were absolutely delighted by the opportunity to represent the University of Strathclyde at the FightFest - now all we had to do was build the robot itself!
I would like to take the opportunity to thank our three sponsors, Labman Automation LTD, The Strathclyde Alumni Fund, and the University Of Strathclyde DMEM, for sponsoring our project. The Dullahan build would not have been possible without their support!