Dullahan: An Introduction
The conclusion of 2020 brought the announcement of the Labman Fightfest - a brand new robot combat event for student teams that was scheduled for July 10th, 2021.
As a student at the University of Strathclyde, this was an opportunity I could never pass up. I immediately scrapped all my current plans and started designing a new featherweight that I could pitch to my university. Not a plastic box on wheels with drill gearboxes thrown in - I wanted to really impress my university with a proper combat machine with real engineering considerations and design work. This also seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce robot combat to the wider Strathclyde student community. I established the University of Strathclyde's first combat robotics team, and together with fellow students on my course, designed Dullahan to battle against other university teams from across the UK. The departmental staff were really interested in our idea, and we received sponsorship from The University of Strathclyde, Labman Automation, and The Strathclyde Alumni fund. This sponsorship allowed us to manufacture Dullahan to our full specifications, and to represent our university at the 2021 Labman Fightfest!
Our robot performed brilliantly, scoring 2 out of 3 wins in the group stage - only 1 win away from reaching play-offs for the finals. It was a fantastic experience, and I am very proud of my team, who showed fantastic enthusiasm throughout the process, despite complications from unpredictable COVID-19 restrictions.
The lockdown meant that time for this build was significantly reduced, and access to my university's manufacturing facilities was not possible. This meant I was responsible for most of the manufacture work, and left little opportunity to upload a build diary as the project progressed. Now that Dullahan is complete, I have written a series of blog entries which discuss individual aspects of the design, and how these features were manufactured. Hopefully you find them to be helpful or interesting!