February 2017: The Start
The pallette of metal from K Cut had arrived - and it was already apparent that T2 was a lot more complicated than T1! When laid out on the floor, it was certainly a bit of a jigsaw.
This time Tauron was far more compact, which left a weight allowance for more internal struts for strength, and much more solid armour. Of course that meant there were many more pieces to weld.
Tom started welding all those bits together and pretty soon he had Tauron mk2 in skeleton form.
March 2017: Completing the Build
By now, it was time to put the finishing touches on Tauron Mk2 to get him ready for shooting the application video. This time we were determined to apply with a fully working robot. No last minute panics this time!
The final bits of wiring were soldered, much angle grinding was done, and the bot was given its trademark red and black paint job.
Finally, Tauron Mk2 was assembled with the drive and weapon section bolted together. But - it was overweight!
After a quick change in material from poylcarbonate to HDPE for the top and bottom armour (not so shiny but probably a better choice anyway due to its flexibility), we were on the limit... at exactly 110.00kg.
April 2017: Tauron v Tornado
After series 9, Andrew Marchant got in touch and told us that he happened to live in the same village as us (what are the chances!) So, we decided to meet up for a cheeky photo shoot.And of course when Andrew suggested he and Tom should get Tornado up and running again, Tom wasn't about to refuse the chance to work on Tornado.
Tornado wasn't far off being able to run, but needed a bit of work. By using the wiring loom used in Tauron Mk1, along with our spare set of batteries, after a couple of hours work, Tornado was running!
Somehow it was decided that Tauron and Tornado should have a scrap in the lane - what better way to test out how robust Tauron was than to have a wrestling match against one of the all-time greats? And Tom might possibly even have had a go at driving Tornado...
Note that in these photos Tauron has a wooden mock-up weapon bar made for the application video, rather than the final Hardox version.
May 2017: Weapon and Drive test
You'll often hear the roboteers say that they haven't tested their weapons before appearing on the show, and wondered why on earth not. There's a simple reason for this - it's extremely dangerous to spin up one of these weapons outside the arena, and many people just don't have anywhere to do it safely. We're lucky, we have some local friends who own some farmland with a solid stone barn at one side. They also just happened to have a good supply of plywood sheets so once we'd got the weapon bar we were able to build a dance floor for Tauron and carry out some proper weapon and drive testing.
We took an old filing cabinet and washing machine and spent the Bank Holiday weekend destroying them; have a look at the video to see what happened (note we were standing safely a long way away behind a wall, and filming with a GoPro on a tripod). It was pretty clear that Tauron was very destructive indeed, but the gyroscopic effect meant that steering with the weapon at full speed was very hard, so Tim and Tom would need to coordinate the weapon spin-up and steering very carefully.
It was great to be able to add video of this to our application for series 10. With this and the hits Tauron took from Tornado, we could prove that we had a reliable, robust robot with a very effective weapon. So we put together the application video, sent it off and waited...
...And as you know by now, our application was successful - Tauron was accepted for Robot Wars again, this time as a reserve. We set off up to Glasgow with no guarantee that he'd actually get in the arena, but from previous experience we knew what can go wrong at the last minute, so we were pretty hopeful Tauron mk2 would get a chance to show what he could do.