|Lock Jaw (2 lb Denver Critter Crunch Combat Robot)|
Lock Jaw started out as a re design of Black Dog but quickly grew into a beast of its own. This critter takes on a more traditional "tank" styled drive train, using two separate motor w/gearbox and RC hobby wheels for superior maneuverability and traction. It is armed with a one shot weapon consisting of two titanium swing arms and two high tension springs capable of crushing just about anything caught between its pincers.
Lock jaws platform is fairly simple in design, a square aluminum base plate with tier notches cut out in the back and with aluminum stand offs and gearboxes attached. Attached to the top of the stand offs is the body made out of slightly thinner aluminum. two "flaps" hang down from the top deck to create a free hanging wedge. this particular feature is integral to the weapon design. In addition the free swinging wedge flaps made some flipper designs useless, unless they could get more than 2 inches under me.
Lifting the wedge flaps you can see the spring loaded swing arms. When the weapon is "armed" these arms are pulled back under the flaps and held in place by the two red latches. These latches are controlled by the mini servo in the middle. The way the weapon works gives me two options, one is the obvious smash maneuver, simply line up another critter at about the right location directly in front and "wham" you get a single powerful thwack from both sides. however there is also a second way to use this weapon, If i have another critter just right on top of my wedge, I can deploy the weapon and the force of the swing arms pushes the wedge flaps out and up, creating a catapult effect for anything on top, testing showed that in optimum conditions, this maneuver could fling a 2 lb mass about 3-4 feet. After the weapon was deployed it worked fairly well for ramming and "spin" whacking other bots.
The Critters drive train consists of 2 stock high speed Tamiya gear boxs. Unfortunately the night before the 2002 Critter Crunch I burnt out both motors in testing. I had to replace both with cheep radio shack motors that where similar, but even lower quality then the original motors, further more the shafts where not quite right and the original plastic pinion gear cracked on one side. The next days battle was a sad affair for me, this bot had a lot of potential, but it all fell apart right before its one chance at glory. The bot was slow on one side from the cracked slipping pinion gear, and by my second fight the motor on the other side had burnt out again,.. at that point I threw in the towel.
later on I did some light modifications to the drive train, and at a practice session a few weeks later I was tearing up the battle floor. most agreed that if I had performed as well on game day, things may have turned out very different, effective weapon or not it turned out to be an effective and fast wedge pusher as well.
My brain is currently
stirring with ideas based off of this bot for Seattle's 3 lb beetle weight class, but most of those thoughts are just day dreams at the moment, and any re design would have a different drive train, and not include the
original spring weapon.