Venator V3 gets some TLC!
With the hot spring-time weather kicking in, Venator V3 finally got a well-deserved repair job this weekend. I completely took apart the machine down to the individual nuts and bolts to see what the deal was. Oh dear!
The damage caused at the championships last year was worse than I thought, and it's really highlighted the weaknesses of this design. Granted the lightweight construction does allow Venator to be fast and nippy but it has three serious disadvantages:
1. The whole robot will get badly messed up by spinners
2. There is not enough weight in the machine to effectively or quickly push a 13kg opponent.
3. The drive motors are very difficult to remove from the chassis for maintenance.
The next featherweight will require a serious design overhaul to be competitive, but I think that is a long way off.
So in the meantime, Venator V3 needs some repair work! I don't expect this machine to ever be a top-performer, but it's definitely going to be chucked into the arena for a few more years!
The repairs involved some new wheels, a new lid, and some remoulding of the HDPE. The chunks that were taken out of the front hardox wedge have been ground down to give the clean, ground scraping edge as initially intended. A new battery mount is also in the works, as the 3-D printed one was too fragile, and honestly caused more problems than it solved.
Interestingly it wasn't actually an ESC issue that caused the drive problems at the championships. Instead I think it was the receiver, as the drive is working absolutely great now. It's brilliant to finally drive the robot at full power, and just get used to how it handles. Now it can spin on the spot like a tornado - definitely want to keep my distance when it does that!
Here's a sweet video of V3 all cleaned up and strutting its stuff on my garden patio. I feel like a proud parent over here!
All the best and stay tuned for all things Venator Robotics! There's some new projects on the horizon!