Evolution 1

Evo 1 of Chompalot started life with 4 wheels, 4 x 750w Bosch motors and a hydraulic ram, whilst the jaws have always been a feature they have had several evolutions. As you'll see from the Robot Wars page we were unsuccessful at getting on series 5, getting only as far as the trials, but we learnt some valuable lessons and Chompie evolved.

Evolution 2

I had learnt lessons from Series 5, bonding the magnets in the motors in place with high temperature Araldite. Soldering in the wires to the motor controllers. Another big change was to reduce from 4 to 2 wheel drive, and change the gear chain reduction from the motor to the wheels to give more torque. I added wings for self-righting and the finishing touch was the new Holographic Polycarb Armour to give a stunning appearance, to wow the judges.

After series 5 I knew what it was going to take to make Chompie a better robot but I just couldn't seem to get started. I was stuck in the ideas stage and time was ticking away as Debs kept nagging errmm reminding me. The months rolled by and then finally in mid-June I got out the hacksaw and decided to make the dream a reality, Debs heaved a sigh of relief and the work began.

I set to stripping Chompie down, cutting out the excess and reducing the weight, 4 wheels were nice but heavy and we had no spares. But if we dropped down to two wheels then we'd reduce the weight, which would give us more scope for development, and we'd have spares! Whilst surfing the web searching for ball transfer units, we came across a web site of a company and decided to beg for one and were pleasantly surprised when we got a mail back asking us to phone them and an offer of a free transfer unit was made.

Steve my buddy from work, was upgrading to a humongous new welder and was flogging his old one off, excellent. At this stage Chompie's remake was banished to the garage, Debs didn't like the idea of having sparks flying round the front room. So the changes began and for Series 6, Evo 2 of Chompie dropped down to two wheels and two motors and he was now a third shorter in length than before. The rest of the modifications went like this:-

1) New safety link units, the old safety link had performed adequately but really was a bit pants so a little research in R.S. Components gave us the perfect solution, connectors for electric vehicles!

2) Next Simon mounted the motor controllers in a new location, in series 5 they were far too vulnerable, but he noticed a suitable space in the inner chassis, a bit of Tufnol sheet was bolted across and they were bolted to these.

3) The batteries used in series 5 trials were 12 Amp hours and since lead acid capacities are severely diminished when drained quickly Simon decided to go back to the original specification of 24 amp hours.

4) In series 5 trials we had run out of weight and time, but now we had some going spare and we also needed a self-righting mechanism, and dragons have wings don't you know, so the self-righting wings were added to Chompie.

5) We still had no body shell for Chompie, we couldn't use the old shell, as Debs had screwed her nose up and said it looked tacky. There's no pleasing some people! For series 5 trials Simon had strung together 1/3 CD's in a scale like pattern, at the last minute, these were screwed to some plywood and bolted to the chassis, but we didn't have the weight allowance for this anymore.

So the decision was made to spend a small fortune on 6mm Polycarbonate sheet. Chompie now had a shell but something was still missing. Debs with her usual flair for the details suggested we use holographic sticky back plastic. So she duly went off and bought loads of it in the team colours and came back and covered the panels and wings. Chompie came to life and although he didn't look as Simon had originally envisaged, he did look like a dragon :)

6) A few days to go and Debs suggested that the aluminium eyebrows Chompie had to hang his eyes from were too weak and vulnerable and she persuaded me to change them to 20mm box section steel. She also suggested welding a spike to his rear as he had no weapon and was vulnerable there. So Simon duly implemented both her suggestions and on the day before the trials he decided to weld a stiffener to the upper jaw as he had already had to straighten them a little from the trials in series 5.

Evolution 3

During series 6 Chompie had got pretty battered around, his jaws just weren't strong enough and we discovered as we chomped down they often buckled under the pressure.
We had the weight so decided it was time for the 'holey' jaws to go, in favour of what we at the time considered to be a more robust jaw, the design has often been referred to as a 'BEAK'. Can we say here and now, it is not a beak, Chompie is not a bird :p

We also had a problem with where the wheels were attached to the frame, in Evo 1 and 2 they were attached to the outer frame as you can see in the image above. We had to cut a small hole in the polycarb to attach them. When we took impact blows to the side it caused the drive chain to become dislodged. A major problem that had to be addressed, so in Evo 3 Simon mounted the wheels on the inside of the cassis to the inner frame and adjusted the drive train to match.

Another change in Evo 3 was to replace the thin steel angle that was used to brace the lower jaw, with some thicker steel boxed to make a triangle to the front of Chompie to help strengthen the front and to prevent some of the damage we received prior to this addition when our opponents came at us head on. We also added welded together 2 x 6mm steel plates to the front corners to help protect us from spinners.

Evolution 4

Details coming soon.