SparkleCon Smash VI Trip Report - PART's Combat Bot "Scott" takes 2nd place in NRL Division, Washing Machine is the Rumble King of the Ring!

PART returned to Southern California for the SparkleCon Smash VI combat bot tournament on Feb 2nd! Huge thanks for Professor Martin Mason and Bad Kitty Robots for hosting such an awesome event. Historic rains pushed the venue from Fullerton to the Mountie Makerspace at Mt San Antonio College. PART had the best view of the arena from our pits!

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The team brought three robots to its 2nd combat competition, with the new bots coming down to the wire, completed just two nights before the competition.

  • Scott” - PART’s 2nd NRL 15 bot - a horizontal spinner

  • Washing Machine - returning with a new look and some upgrades for it’s 2nd NRL competition after winning the October Obliteration NRL title last fall

  • The Dryer - the club’s first 3 lb beetle weight bot!

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Scott” had a great run , making it to the finals against Toe Biter without suffering a loss, defeating Fist Bump, and Wiggles along the way despite challenges with the horizontal weapon and tensioning system. Team Scott constantly rallied throughout the day working through mechanical issues, even upsetting Toe Biter in their first face-off. But Scott’s run came to an end in the finals as Toe Biter was up and fully running. Driver Matt Vasquez quickly took aPART Scott in successive matches, destroying Scott’s weapon system and wheels. Congrats to SparkleCon Smash VI NRL champions Toe Biter , and to Team Scott for working so hard in the weeks before and the day of event to earn 2nd place in the NRL Division!

Washing Machine came in with high expectations, but had a rough tournament. The bracket paired Washing Machine in the match #1 against Harmadillo from the host team. Harmadillo was looking for Obliteration revenge, and came out with new armor, weapon system and an amazing paint job! Harmadillo took it to Washing Machine as they hit head on, taking some good chunks out of Washing Machine’s chassis and dominating the driving. After one too many hits, Washing Machine’s new power switch wiring came loose from the shock and Harmadillo claimed a decisive victory. After quick repairs and 2nd match victory, Washing Machine faced Harmadillo once again, this time in the losers bracket with Harmadillo’s weapon inoperable. Unfortunately for Washing Machine disaster struck - Washing Machine powered up fine, but just as the match started the bot lost connection without any contact and was counted out 15 seconds into the match.

Washing Machine rallied to win the King of the Ring Title, taking out their frustrations in the end of tournament rumble — destroying Toe Biter (NRL champ), knocking out Quicksilver (12 lb champ) and generally causing destruction through the ring! More importantly, the team learned some valuable lessons on where to improve the bot heading into Nationals in May.

Last up, our smallest bot, The Dryer, the team’s first 3 lb beetleweight bot designed, built and driven by Evan! Finished literally the morning of the event due to some motor/gearbox issues, The Dryer faced off against 2 strong, veteran beetleweights and proved to have a solid weapon system and chassis. The drive pairing of gearmotors and wheels was a weak link however, and The Dryer was knocked out by Gobble Gobble in an exciting match. We really appreciate the builders at SparkleCon Smash VI who supported and gave Evan feedback on his first build — the biggest thanks to Bradley Warren Hanstad for providing replacement motors at the tournament, and giving Evan great feedback/ideas and some equipment to tinker for version 2.0 of the drive.

Check out more pictures of the event on the PART Facebook page, and match videos on the PART youtube channel!