• Venator Robotics

Dullahan gets a makeover for RoboNerd BEVS!

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Several weeks ago I travelled down to RoboNerd in Wolverhampton to compete in the BBB BEVS competition, hosted by my friends from the Bristol Bot Builders! The goal of BEVS (Bristol Featherweights) is to fight the most ridiculous featherweights we can build, all in the name of good fun and entertainment. I wanted to compete with Dullahan, although in it's standard configuration, I figured it was a bit too competitive - too "try hard". Some modifications would be required to make it fully BEV compliant...

And so I introduce to you - Hamish the Highland Coo! Complete with tartan, fur and new bespoke parts including a haggis hammer and "front forks"! I wanted to go all out and turn Dullahan into the BEViest robot I could, and I think I succeeded! In this post I'm going to give an overview of the process behind this very Scottish transformation.

Who doesn't love a bit of bodge?

The BEVS ruleset makes it clear that metal spiked weapons and sharp blades are prohibited, so Dullahan's standard hammers wouldn't cut the mustard here. A flexible HDPE hammer with some mass behind it would be ideal, and I had plenty of the stuff leftover from my last build. So I designed a new hammer arm shaped like a BBQ prong, and a round hammerhead which I planned to turn into a giant haggis replica - I am Scottish after all!

The haggis head started out life as a large, round billet of white HDPE which I carefully filleted with an angle grinder. Two large holes were drilled through it to mount this chunk to the hammer arm, meaning that the BBQ prong really does go through the haggis! The haggis texture is actually an old sock I bought in a charity shop, covered in laminating book film for the same sheen as a real packaged haggis. I tied the ends with tartan strips, and the result was a surprisingly accurate replica of a haggis - except it's about twice as large, and twice as heavy as the one you'd buy from the butcher's! The haggis hammer weighed in at about 900g, which is actually heavier than Dullahan's standard hammers! Meaty!

The knives and forks for the front were delicately cut with my jigsaw and wrapped in leftover kitchen tin foil, along with the BBQ prong. Would these new forks actually be able to win the ground game? Absolutely not! Perfect for the BEVS tournament!

Hamish's front panel is also brand new for BEVS - kind of shaped like a highland cow's head and of course, covered in fur with a loose fur flap over the eyes. I also made a nose ring from HDPE (what else?) which would probably completely negate the angle of the front wedge.

The end result is the most bizarre looking robot I have ever built! And if you think Hamish looks fun, it is even more fun to drive this thing in the arena! Hamish battled numerous terrifying foes, including a toaster, a cactus, and a BOAT, and emerged victorious in fourth place! My best ranking ever! Not bad for a Highland coo bodged together in a few weeks!

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