Pictures from SMIDSY's 2001 buildfests

Building a credible Robot Wars robot is not something that can be achieved without putting in a large number of man hours in the workshop. Most small teams achieve this by spending a lot of time at weekends and in the evenings over the winter preceding their campaign, but the team behind SMIDSY have evolved a different approach.

Because we draw our membership from a large Internet motorcycle mailing list, we are fortunate in that we have a relatively large number of people available to put their resources into the robot. We have a large range of specialist skills that we can call upon and we can spread the cost of building over a number of bank balances, but most importantly we have the ability to assemble a large number of people in one place ready to build a robot.

We call these gatherings Buildfests, they usually consist of a long weekend with about 10 people attending, and the 2001 SMIDSY has so far taken 5 of them to be built.

What follows is a random selection of pictures from the 2001 buildfests.

The new SMIDSY chassis

Our first step in building the 2001 SMIDSY was to make a new chassis from folded steel sheet. Here you see it with the Sturmey Archer gearboxes, wheels and jaw motors fitted for the picture.

Some of SMIDSY's electronics

Meanwhile the work goes on preparing SMIDSY's electronics and control gear. In this picture you can see the control electronics box in the foreground with, at the back from left to right, a Bosch motor, the motor controller box, our Multiplex transmitter, and part of the motor cooling duct.

SMIDSY's disk

Weapons are an important part of any robot and SMIDSY is no exception. In addition to a beefed-up reworking of its earlier jaws, the 2001 SMIDSY has this fearsome set of laser cut disks rotating at 200mph. Here they are seen assembled before fitting to the robot.

SMIDSY nearly assembled

Eventually the robot as we will see it in battle begins to take shape as the individual sub assemblies are fitted to the chassis. Here we see SMIDSY with its interior nearly complete, with the polypropylene and titanium side armour in place.

Close-up of SMIDSY's interior

What goes into a Robot Wars robot? As you can see, SMIDSY is quite full and this photo was taken before all the components were fitted!

On the left we have, from top to bottom, the control electronics, the jaw motors and the motor controller.

In the middle we have the two Bosch motors joined by their cooling duct. The black flexible pipe in the centre of the duct carries cooling air from the centrifugal fan on the right.

On the right we have the disks, connected to the Iskra motor by the red Fenner PowerTwist V belt.

Top and bottom of course we have the wheel wells, and in the space between the wheels live the Cyclon batteries.

View from the buildfest

Of course no mention of SMIDSY buildfests would be complete without mentioning their location. We are deeply indebted to the parents of Andy Pugh, the designer of SMIDSY, for letting us use their workshop, behind their house high up on the edge of the Yorkshire Pennines.