2020, what a year, eh?
It's been a while since we last made a post. As you probably know, Battlebots was intended to be filmed back in April, and we were hard at work in March getting Shatter! 2020 ready. Then, the world came to a halt. Covid-19 changed everything, Battlebots included. Shatter! was stuck at Adam's office, off limits according to city regulations. Battlebots was indefinitely postponed. New York City was hit hard by the pandemic and it was not a good time for anyone.
But! Battlebots 2020 did get filmed in October, it's premiering this Thursday on Discovery, and we were there with Shatter! 2020 in all its glory, putting on the best Battlebots seasons yet (as safely as we could).
Hit the jump for a Shatter! Battlebots 2020 preview!
Shatter has a lot of improvements this season, and if you'd like an in depth video look at all of them, check out our new youtube channel for our series on our 2020 upgrades!
Our biggest upgrade this season is our new chassis, from our new sponsor Prismier:
That's right, we've gone full billet! With Duck! out for the 2020 season, someone had to pick up the slack and bring a full billet chassis.
Machined from a solid 3.5" thick block of 6061 aluminum, this year's frame is a beast. You may wonder why we switched from an almost entirely titanium frame, to aluminum. At first glance, it seems like a downgrade. But for us, it came down to 3 main factors:
Look at those prongs!
Last season we looked a bit different:
You can see last year's prongs were much smaller, and protruded through a single piece of UHMW.
Our new front is much more modular, and in fact has 5 areas where we can bolt on individual elements. The center, and 2 spots on either side.
We can use our new longer prongs shown in the photo, or shorter wedgelets. We can run with 4 of each, or mix and match, or add small UHMW pieces onto the corners. Or we can remove all of that and stick a single piece of UHMW with a titanium plow behind it for horizontal spinners. Lots of options! This type of modularity is key to being able to take on any type of robot we face.
The last obvious visual change is our armor, which is now shinier than ever. Underneath, it's the same UHMW (and 3d prints on top). But on the outside, it's all new. First off we found a new color, which is an amazing combination of Pink and Blue. And instead of directly vinyl wrapping the UHMW armor, we instead placed the vinyl onto acrylic sheets. These acrylic sheets do two things:
These new, ultra shiny triangles pair nicely with our new all-black UHMW ablative panels to create an insane effect which looks unreal. Like a render come to life.
In addition to all these mechanical elements, we've spent a lot of time tweaking all the electronics. They're all the same, but we finally had some time to sit down and test things out to find the right combination of slip clutch settings and electronics settings to get the hammer firing consistently.
There's one final big change this season, and we'll let you know what it is soon!
Shatter! 2020 has so much in it. It's everything we wanted to make when we first set out building hammer robots 4 years ago. Tune in to Battlebots, Thursdays at 8pm on Discovery Channel this winter, to see if it all lives up to our hopes!
I also wanted to address the fact that that we were down a few team members this season. As many know, Bunny went on to captain her own team, Malice, and we wish her the best! Her bot looks amazing. Matt Bores and Eric Wrigley could not be there this season in person, but are still part of the team. The coronavirus makes travelling a lot harder than normal. This loss was particularly hard felt with the absence of Eric, who usually operates the weapon. Paul Gancitano took over weapon operations this season, having never fired the weapon in a match before this season. Talk about stress! Eric still helped out from afar, maintaining his role as Head Coach and helping us with match strategies throughout the season.
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We'd like to thank our sponsors, without whom this wouldn't be possible: