October 2016: Hardox Cutting
At about midday on 27th October, I had the call - Tauron had been accepted for series 9 of Robot Wars! A team would be coming to film the VT in a couple of weeks, and we had five weeks to complete the build.
I made the final tweaks to the CAD, we placed the order with K Cut, and only a few days later it was ready for delivery - excellent service. They even sent us some photos and video of the cutting process.
At this point we hadn't yet ordered the weapon bar, we decided to wait until the bulk of the welding was done, then work out how much weight we had left available, and use it all for the bar.
November 2016: Speed Controller Configuration
We couldn't afford to waste time, so while we were waiting for the Hardox to arrive, I set to work configuring the weapon ESC, connecting it up to the Etek and running it up to speed. This was, of course, without any kind of weapon attached.
There was always plenty to do, and now that we knew we'd have to use a polycarbonate skin, we were able to get that ordered as well. Tim's a very experienced woodworker - besides building a boat in the lounge in his younger days, he's also made several musical instruments, including a bouzouki and a hurdy gurdy (Google those if you don't know what they are!), so is pretty good with a band saw, so we decided to buy that in sheets that we could cut to fit.
November 2016: Welding
It was time to start joining together the Hardox jigsaw. Tim had done some welding before but I was a complete novice, so Ashley from the village garage gave me some lessons. Turns out I'm a complete natural. It wasn't long before Tauron's chassis started to take shape.
We knew the production company would be sending out a team to film some interviews and Tauron in action, so we had to get at the main structure to a state where we could show it off driving for their visit. There was a fair amount of late night welding and angle grinding, luckily none of the neighbours complained.
Once we'd got most of it together we knew how much weight we'd got left to play with. There was 13kg left, so it all went on the weapon bar.
November 2016: Weapon Testing
The team from the production company came to film for the VT segment on 12th November. Of course, that would only ever see the light of day if we were to get through the four-way melee. There'd been a huge push to get Tauron (well, his chassis at least) to a driveable state in time - have a look at the Robot Wars page to see what went on.
By the next weekend, welding was finished on the final pieces of the weapon section and we were ready to fit the weapon bar and attach the weapon section, then see whether it all worked as planned. One screw hole in the Hardox was out of place by a fraction, so Tim had to attempt to drill it a bit larger. Despite ordering some special toughened drill bits he went through three in the attempt! Hardox 500 is pretty tough stuff.
With the weapon in place and hooked up to the Etek, we were able to run the motor up to speed. Success! It worked brilliantly in forward and reverse (essential as Tauron was designed to be fully invertible), and, as an added bonus, TAURON MAKES A DEATH HUM!