Wreck the Halls in NC 12/18

J5 (antweight) getting in the holiday spirit at Wreck the Halls.
Todd getting ready for his next fight with J5 at Wreck the Halls in December 2018.
J5 (antweight) after taking some face damage in the arena! Don’t worry, some glue and patience will get him back up to speed.

What are common materials used to build Antweight or Beetlweight armor?

From my own experience and seeing multiple builds in competition, below is a list of common materials used.

  • Aluminum bars or plates
  • Lexan sheet (plastic, also used for the arena walls)
  • Titanium bars or plates
  • Steel bars or plates (less common, as it is heavy)
  • UHMW (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) (tough plastic similar to a kitchen cutting board)
  • 3D printed materials (PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, Carbon Fiber)

How to choose? Every bot I have seen usually uses a combination of materials for armor, depending on your design and placement. (Protecting the wheels, top/bottom plates for the internal electronics and motors, etc.) As with most materials, each have their own pro’s and con’s. Some are heavier but stronger, some are more flexible but can tear or bend. Choose your materials based on your design, test it, and change as needed.

Note: 3D printing has become extremely popular in recent years. Before you get into 3D printing a bot, make sure understand how it works and the limitations of the materials themselves (filament type). Choosing the wrong filament can mean the difference between a tough bot and one that shatters like glass on impact!

What is a good RF transceiver to use when you first start competing?

There are a LOT of preferences from builders and, as such, there is no single right/wrong answer to this question. Below is a list of wireless communication methods you could start with, along with a brief description:
Flysky FS-i6X 10CH 2.4GHz AFHDS RC Transmitter w/ FS-iA6B Receiver: ($50 US) This is a good “starter” package which is affordable and relatively simple to use. It was recommended to me by several seasoned competitors at an event in 2019 for Antweight and Beetlweight bots.