Build Guides, recommended parts & rules

Here we've put the UK rules and guides we've made in various forms to help you get building your own combat robot. Use the tabs to switch between the different weightclasses.


Antweight Robots

UK Ants are 150g in weight and sometimes have some size restrictions.

Use the tabs below to check out our build guides, recommended parts and the UK rules for ants.


Slides: Intro to Antweight Robots

Click to view slides

Video of the talk. By Joe aimed at Bristol Uni students.


BBB Ant Kit Guide

An antweight starter kit you can buy here. View full guide here.


Video: How Much Do Fighting Robots Cost?

by Ryan from Spinnerproof. Parts and tools to get started building ants (and beetles!).

Drive Motors

The motors that you connect to wheels or legs to make the robot move

Drive Speed Controllers

These make your drive motors move when you connect them to a reciever

Wheels

Grip your bot to the arena floor

Weapon Motors

The motor that moves your weapon - such as a flipper, lifter, grabber, axe or spinner! We don't recommned spinners for a first robot.

Lipo Batteries

Powers your bot

Chassis & Armour

protects the precious innards of your bot and holds it together

NOTE: we are using affiliate links for some of the shops listed - any money raised goes back into funding our events and equipment! These links may be out of date and we recommend shopping around for the best deals.

Antweight World Series Rules

Click to view rules

(from robotwars101.org)


BBB Antweight Ruleset - April 2023

Antweight World Series robot rules (section 2) apply apart from the four inch cube size limit. Instead the whole robot must start within a 200x200mm square on the arena floor with no overhangs. BBB Competition rules apply, see below.


BBB PLANTS Antweight Ruleset - April 2023

BBB PLANTS (Plastic Ants) are a 2v2 (doubles) Antweight ruleset, legal at BBB pub-based events. The class is designed to encourage newcomers into destructive fights while also allowing more flamboyant designs for seasoned builders. Antweight World Series robot rules (section 2) apply apart from the following modifiers:

Whole robot must start within a 200x200mm square on the arena floor with no overhangs. Cluster bots wider than 200mm must start stacked.

Plastic chassis & weapons materials only. No metals except for fixings, electronics, motors. Check the list below if in doubt:

Yes: PLA, ABS, Nylon, TPU, Polycarbonate, HDPE, rubber etc.

No: Metals, NylonX, Onyx, Carbon-fiber, kevlar, fiberglass etc.

No acetate or similar flexible thin material acting to eradicate ground clearance or slide under opponents.

All entries are at BBBs discretion and these rules are subject to change. Please consult us in advance if you have queries. BBB Competition rules apply, see below.


Other UK Antweight rulesets

- Antweight World Series and Ant Freeze events run the Antweight World Series rules (4" cube size limit).

- Sheffield Roboteers Society run AWS rules but with a 150mm square size limit.

- FRA Build Rules 2022 - Ran at Robodojo and ORCS (no Size Limit) but no power light or cradle required.

- SCAR Ruleset 2023 (no Size Limit)


Competition Rules

- FRA Competition Regulations - ran at most events, check the event's rulesets for any tweaks.

- BBB Competition Rules - ran at BBB events at all weightclasses


Useful Ant Links

- Bristol Bot Builders Facebook Group

- Bristol Bot Builders Forum

- Antweight Combat Robots Facebook Group

- Combat Robotics Facebook Group

- robotwars101.org Antweight forum

- UK Robot Combat Events Calendar

Bodgebots

500g in weight, made of junk!

Use the tabs below to check out our build guide, recommended parts and rules for bodges.


What's a bodgebot?

A bodgebot is an combat robot, however it's thoroughly 'bodged' - often made last minute from bits of scrap, tape and a lot of glue and costs maximum �40. It's an opportunity to try out fun concepts and be daft with your builds.

Some example bodgebots from recent events!

Bodgebots XL?

We're doing bigger bodgebots - 500g of bodge! We want to give people a taste of the larger 1.5kg beetleweight class, but with a comedic barn fighting style - the arena is be a low walled rectangle with lots of dumb hazards, gaps and no polycarb walls (see tip speed rules)

Bodgebots XL arena - crappy hazards, toilet pit and housebot!

The Spirit of Bodgebots

Bodgebots are about building something fun, to produce enjoyable fights for builders and spectators, using unexpected materials and designs. As such, we ask everyone to adhere to the spirit of Bodgebots, so that everyone attending can have the best time possible.

Bodgebots are a class taking inspiration from a similar class in the US. These 'Spirit of Bodgebots' rules are adapted from their own.

- The spirit of the class is low-to-no-cost robots made as much of materials on-hand and recycled/repurposed as possible, built mere days or hours before the event.

- The object of the competition is not to win. If you win the competition, your robot was inherently not bodge, and is therefore subject to disqualification.

How do I make a robot?

A basic robot has these electronics:

- Battery - to provide power for your bot

- Speed controller - drives the motors

- Motor - to drive a wheel or weapon

- Receiver - to get a signal from your controller

Bodgebots XL example build

Taking out the trash - a dustpan grabber bodgebot

- The dustpan was �3 from wilko.

- the motors cost �8

- the wheels cost �4

- the dual speed controller cost �10

- the receiver was around �9

- the lipo was 76p (came in pack of 5)

- the servo was �5

Total spend around �36.

Drive Motors

The motors that you connect to wheels or legs to make the robot move

Drive Speed Controllers

These make your drive motors move when you connect them to a reciever

Weapon Motors

The motor that moves your weapon - such as a flipper, lifter, grabber, axe etc.

Batteries

Powers your bot

Transmitters & Recievers

The controller to drive your robot and the receiver to receive that wireless signal

NOTE: we are using affiliate links for some of the shops listed - any money raised goes back into funding our events and equipment! These links may be out of date and we recommend shopping around for the best deals.

Max weight: visually 500grams (750g for walker/shuffle bot)

No size limit / cube rule

Max Tip Speed: 14mph (no more than 6m/sec) Tip speed calculator here.

Max cost: �40

Parts that DO count to the cost:

- All major electronics (motors, receivers, speed controllers etc)

- Purchased materials (wheels, polycarb, metal etc)

Parts that DON'T count to the cost:

- Decorative parts (googly eyes, paint etc)

- 3D printed small parts (not the entire chassis!)

- Recycled materials

- Tools, Wire and shrink wrap etc

- Transmitter

General rules:

- There must be an easily accessible way to turn your robot off with one hand. (link / switch / visible battery connector)

- Liquids may not be used in combat situations.

- Your robot must be safe for combat without polycarb screens - BBB have the right to reject your robot from competing if deemed unsafe

- If winner of fight unclear, judging voted by mob rule (audience cheering)

Beetleweight Robots

UK Beetles are 1.5kg in weight.

Use the tabs below to check out our build guides, recommended parts and the UK rules for beetles.


Slides: Building a UK Beetleweight Robot

BBB official guide by Craig & Joe

Click to view slides


Sir Lance-a-Frog - Beetleweight Lifter Teardown

Made by Team DSC. Thanks Nick! Click to enlarge.


Video: Building a Beetleweight Crab Robot

Joe's first Beetle in 2018, to give you a taste of newbie building.


Video: BBB: The History of Snappy

Craig's beetle build from 2014-2020, showing what's involved in beetles.

Drive Motors

The motors that you connect to wheels or legs to make the robot move

Drive Speed Controllers

These make your drive motors move when you connect them to a reciever

Wheels
Weapon Motors

The motor that moves your weapon - such as a flipper, lifter, grabber, axe or spinner! We don't recommned spinners for a first robot, ask on the facebook group or - forum if you want to know more.

Lipo Batteries

Powers your bot

Chassis & Armour

protects the precious innards of your bot and holds it together

Connectors

for removable links (required on beetle and up) as well as modularising parts so you can quickly switch them out

Safety

Beetles and up are required a removable link and a light when powered

NOTE: we are using affiliate links for some of the shops listed - any money raised goes back into funding our events and equipment! These links may be out of date and we recommend shopping around for the best deals.

Fighting Robot Association Rules

- FRA Build Rules 2022 - you must build your robot to the FRA safety requirements. But also check out beetle specific rules below for slight modifiers.

- FRA Events Tech Check Sheet - your robot will be tech checked at the beginning of every event - you'll need things like a cradle, sharp edge protection, locking bar, removable link, fuse, power-on light & failsafing.

- BBB beetle home checklist - all the safety requirements needed in a beetleweight for you to check through at home before heading to the event!


UK Beetleweight Rules - July 2022

Ran by all current UK Beetle Event Organisers. FRA beetle build rules & tech checks apply.

Weight limit is 1500g with no weight tolerance - provided event organiser has calibrated scales

250mph theoretical tip speed limit on all spinning weapons. Tip speed calculator here.

Cluster bots require 67% elimination by weight. Judges/Refs must know weights of each segment pre-fight.

Gyro walkers and shuffler robots receive a 33% weight bonus. This will result in them being allowed to weigh up to 2000g. Walkers (each leg with 2 degrees of freedom) can weigh 3000g.

Cluster bots with both a shuffling and wheeled robots: the weight bonus to the shuffler will be applied to the remaining left over weight after deducting the wheeled robots combined weight.

Spring Loaded weapons can be locked in either an open or closed position.


Competition Rules

- FRA Competition Regulations - ran at most events, check the event's rulesets for any tweaks.

- BBB Competition Rules - ran at BBB events at all weightclasses


Useful links:

- Bristol Bot Builders Facebook Group

- Bristol Bot Builders Forum

- Beetleweight Robot Combat Facebook Group

- Combat Robotics Facebook Group

- FRA Beetle forum

- UK Robot Combat Events Calendar

Featherweight Robots

13.6kg (30lb) in weight.

Use the tabs below to check out our build guides, recommended parts and the UK rules for feathers.


Video: Building a Featherweight robot in a week

Joe's first Feather in 2018, to give you a taste of newbie building.


BBB Feather Drive Kit Guide

An feather starter kit you can buy here. View full guide here.


Slides: Adding a weapon to your BEVs Featherweight

How to use linacs, drills and scooties as weapons & some example bots to give you some ideas!

Click to view slides


Doc: How to build a combat robot (feather focussed)

A guide to support teachers looking to run a combat robotics club - (feather focussed) by Dan Grant

Drive Motors

The motors that you connect to wheels or legs to make the robot move

Drive Speed Controllers

These make your drive motors move when you connect them to a reciever

Wheels

Grip your bot to the arena floor

Weapon Motors

The motor that moves your weapon - such as a lifter, grabber, axe. We've written a guide for more info on how to add a weapon to your 'BEV' featherweight.

Lipo Batteries

Powers your bot

Chassis & Armour

protects the precious innards of your bot and holds it together

Connectors

for removable links (required on beetle and up) as well as modularising parts so you can quickly switch them out

Safety

Feathers are required a removable link and a light when powered

NOTE: we are using affiliate links for some of the shops listed - any money raised goes back into funding our events and equipment! These links may be out of date and we recommend shopping around for the best deals.

Fighting Robot Association Rules

- FRA Build Rules 2022 - you must build your robot to the FRA safety requirements. But also check out rulesets below for modifiers depending on which event you attend.

- FRA Events Tech Check Sheet - your robot will be tech checked at the beginning of every event - you'll need things like a cradle, sharp edge protection, locking bar, removable link, fuse, power-on light & failsafing.


BBB Bevs Ruleset - April 2023

BEVs (Bristol Fevs (Feathers)) are basically non spinner featherweights, inspired by American sportsman rules. The spirit of BEVs is a good time with non destructive feathers. Creative flare, theming and showmanship encouraged!

FRA feather build rules & tech checks apply: 13.6kg, link, fuse, sharp edge protection, cradle, locking bar, failsafing.

Active weapon required (eg - lifter, hammer, grabber, flipper). Torque reaction (overhead) thwackbots are permitted. Sit & spin / flail bots are not considered active weapons.

No metal forks & no sharp wedges/axes - to protect our wooden floor. We recommend plastic hammers & forks. No unsticks if you're stuck on an arena wall!

Max Tip Speed: 20mph or 9m/s for non-drive continuous rotation elements. Tip speed calculator here.

Pneumatic Pressure Limit: 10Bar (145psi)

Shuffler robots receive a 33% weight bonus (up to 18.1kg).

Open Arena: Your robot must be safe for combat in an open top arena. Any weapon systems that may be capable of tearing off pieces of the opponent (flippers, axes, etc�) must be cleared with BBB prior to competing.

All entries are at BBBs discretion and these rules are subject to change. We may tape up wedges or even ask you to remove forks if they are likely to damage the arena.


Other UK featherweight rulesets

- Robodojo Sportsman Rules & Regulations 2023

- Robodojo Full Combat run FRA Build Rules.

- Robots Live run FRA Build Rules but with no spinners.

- Labman Fightfest 2023 Event Rules

- Full Combat feathers have a 250mph theoretical tip speed limit on spinning weapons. Tip speed calculator here.


Competition Rules

- FRA Competition Regulations - ran at most events, check the event's rulesets for any tweaks.

- BBB Competition Rules - ran at BBB events at all weightclasses


Useful links:

- Bristol Bot Builders Facebook Group

- Bristol Bot Builders Forum

- Featherweight Robot Combat Facebook Group

- Combat Robotics Facebook Group

- FRA Feather forum

- UK Robot Combat Events Calendar

General

Use the tabs below to check out our general guides, recommended parts and general UK rules


BBB Combat Robot Basics

View here

Receiver Binding, Failsafing and Drive Mixing Guide

View Full Guides: Receiver Binding, Transmitter Mixing.


BBB Event Tools

- Referee Training - all the things you need to know to referee an event.

- Judging Tools - A few tools for judging - sliders & matrices, as well as a cheat sheet of judging definitions.

- Arena Timers - Clock and sounds for a 2 & 3 minute fight if you need the sounds for your event.

- Tip Speed Calculator - most full combat events run a 250mph tip speed on spinning weapons, most sportsman run a 20mph tip speed.

tools

Tools worth investing in to get building your bots

transmitters

The controller to drive your robot

recievers

Recieves the signal from your transmitter. These are good for all weight classes of robot.

lipo chargers

To charge the battery of your robot

NOTE: we are using affiliate links for some of the shops listed - any money raised goes back into funding our events and equipment! These links may be out of date and we recommend shopping around for the best deals.

Competition Rules

- FRA Competition Regulations - ran at most events, check the event's rulesets for any tweaks (on most weightclass tabs)

- BBB Competition Rules - ran at BBB events at all weightclasses


Fighting Robot Association Tech Checks

These tech checks will occur at the beginning of every beetle and feather event in the UK.

- FRA Events Tech Check Sheet

You'll need things like a cradle, sharp edge protection, locking bar, removable link, fuse, power-on light & failsafing.


Code of Conduct

- FRA Code of Conduct

- BBB Code of Conduct & Incident Report Form - applies at every BBB event

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