At the center of this spherical 'bot are two small gyroscopes
surrounded by gimbals. They can each be powered by small
batteries located/balanced on the innermost gimbal-frame.
of one gyroscope will be vertical, and the axis of the other will
horizontal. The horizontal axis
will point toward the person
remotely controlling the 'bot. Gyroscopic action should keep
two axes pointing in the specified directions for the duration of
fight (only 3 minutes max). More on this in a bit.
Surrounding the gimbals are the electronics for the 'bot, and
surrounding that is some sort of padding, maybe more than one
type, to shield the delicate stuff from mechanical shock. There
will be a significant number of wires passing through the
between the electronics and the rest of the bot's hardware.
Surrounding that is the main frame of the 'bot's body, to which
the rest of the stuff, like battery packs, is firmly mounted. We
want this framework to be made of solid tungsten metal.
Tungsten is one of the toughest metals, and it has about the
density as gold and uranium.
You might recall that they use "depleted uranium" in certain
munitions; its density gives it tremendous penetrating power.
this case a maximally-massive Battlebot will be on the small
--but when it impacts another 'bot, quite a punch will be
An "icosahedron" is a regular 20-sided solid (see link). The
tungsten shell covering our spherical tungsten framework will
have 20 holes regularly-spaced all over its surface. The
of these holes will depend on a number of factors, likely
some experimentation. For the purpose of this discussion, let's
assume 3 centimeters diameter.
(Note that a "buckyball" has 32 facets, not quite as regularly-
spaced as an icosahedron, but pretty-close to equidistant. As
read the following, you might think that we really need more
20 holes; this paragraph exists to assure you that the possibility
remains open, even while only 20 holes are discussed.)
There will be "nested solenoid shafts" in each hole. The "coils"
parts of the pair of solenoids will be located inside the shell of
'bot, and can be wider than 3 cm. Let's assume the inner
shaft is 1 cm in diameter; the 3-cm-wide outer solenoid shaft is
therefore a tube with a 1-cm-thick wall, and a 1-cm diameter
hole in its middle.
Looking at the tungsten surface of the spherical 'bot, we see 20
ring-shaped patches of automobile tire tread, with a hole in
of their centers. These are flush with the surface. We will also
see a bunch of embedded antennas, to make sure the bot can
receive remote-control signals no matter what the orientation
the shell becomes during combat, relative to its initial
orientation. Let us now imagine manually pushing the spherical
'bot in various directions.
The vertical-axis gyroscope always points up/down, regardless
the orientation of the outer shell. The electronics package will
include a way to observe that gyroscope, and always be able to
determine which way is "down" --and thus know which solenoids
are located in the down-side region of the 'bot.
The horizontal-axis gyroscope always points toward the side of
BattleBox arena where the 'bot's remote controller is located.
observing that horizontal line, the 'bot's electronics can always
determine which directions are left, right, forward, and
A remote-control signal telling the 'bot to
will cause it to trigger one or more of the solenoids near the
ground, off-center from where the sphere actually contacts the
ground. So a rubber tire-tread, maybe two, is extended from
'bot, contacts the ground, and literally pushes the 'bot, making
the sphere begin to roll. It's rolling speed can be increased by
consecutive solenoid-triggerings as it rolls.
We want the onboard electronics to be smart enough to always
figure out the correct solenoids to trigger, and when to trigger
them, as it rolls at whatever speed. The main thing the remote-
controller does, is simply tell the bot to go left or right or
forward or backward, or some combination thereof. The
electronics figures out how to obey, and then does it.
One of the Rules for this sport describes a category of 'bot that
doesn't have wheels. It is presumed to have legs, and is called a
"Stomp 'Bot". It is also allowed to be significantly more massive
than the wheeled 'bots, heh, heh, heh... Since THIS 'bot doesn't
have wheels, and sort-of has legs (extendable), it may qualify!
Now we are ready to talk about combat. FIRST, we want those
solenoids to be quite powerful; if necessary we might consider
replacing them with pneumatics, and have some onboard
pressurized-air cylinders to power them. When ordered to do
next thing by the remote controller, the onboard electronics
figures the optimum moment, and then fires up to 3 solenoids
simultaneously. The whole 'bot jumps into the air!
Imagine another 'bot racing toward a collision with the sphere.
The sphere jumps up, and when it comes down it lands on top of
the other 'bot! --STOMP!-- with the full density-concentrated
weight/mass of Wrecking Ball!
And there's MORE. We want a layer of piezoelectic sensors in-
between the rubber tire-tread and the shaft of each outer
Normally the outputs of those sensors are ignored as the 'bot
along the ground. When told to jump, though, the electronics
now pay attention....
When the 'bot lands on top of another 'bot (STOMP!), the
INNER solenoid. It shoots a sharp tungsten spike into the guts of
the other 'bot. We want as much length as possible of this spike
to be tapered, so that it can be retracted as easily as it
Is the battle over? Well, if not, Wrecking Ball can always roll
toward the other 'bot and jump on top of it again! STOMP!