BattleBots: Team Toad Combat Robotics

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June 7, 2019:

After nearly eight years of relying on FaceBook to document Team Toad's work, I'm updating our team web page.

Today's big news is, of course, the premiere of season 4 of BattleBots on the Discovery Channel.

You won't see our robot Texas Twister tonight, but we will tell you as soon as we are allowed just when we'll be on the show.

October 30, 2011:

At Combots Cup yesterday Blizzard went 1-2, winning its first match against Son of Ziggy before losing to Original Sin and Mosquito. More details on the Blizzard page.

October 28, 2011:

Team Toad is at Combots Cup with a brand new heavyweight robot Blizzard. With a 40 pound steel disc spinning at 4,000 rpm, this four-wheeled robot hopes to storm through its opponents, leaving a light coating of finely-ground parts behind.

September 19, 2011:

We've updated our Heavyweight Avalanche page. Avalanche 2 went 2-2 at Robogames 2011, so we're building Avalanche 3 from scratch to attempt a better result at Combots Cup in October 2011.

December 23rd, 2009:

We have a web page for our newest Heavyweight Avalanche, which didn't fare so well at its debut event Combots IV.

February 12th, 2009:

It took a week out of my life, but I bought the SPORE game and after 70 hours of play I "beat" it. Read Team Toad's review of SPORE.

June 30th, 2008:

Ice Cube had 2 wins and 2 losses at RoboGames 2008, not as good as our last event, but at least Ice Cube was still fighting.

Read all about it in our RoboGames 2008 trip report.

August 12, 2006:

We're proud to announce that Ice Cube went 2-0 to become the 2006 RFL MW Champion!

Read all about it in our RFL 2006 Nationals Event Report.

You can also go directly to our RoboGames 2006 photo gallery.

June 20, 2006:

In our best showing outside of our local Pittsburgh area, Ice Cube took second place at RoboGames 2006, with a record of 6 wins, 2 losses, and 2 knockouts. Read all about it in our RoboGames 2006 Report.

You can also go directly to our RoboGames 2006 photo gallery.

April 12, 2006:

We're back from Battle Beach with a 2nd and 3rd place in the Middleweights. We have the start of our BB4 trip report and our BB4 photo gallery.

March 29, 2006:

After a two and a half year hiatus from robot combat, we've decided to jump back into the sport this Spring at Battle Beach.

Since this event coincides with Dan's custody with us, we jumped at the chance to put him back behind the controls of Lionheart, his champion middleweight.

Lionheart took eighth place in the 2003 RFL Nationals with Fuzzy driving (Dan couldn't get away from school for the event). Dan's loss to Hoarf was a heartbreaker, since Lionheart lost by getting stuck under the arena walls. Lionheart had two chunks of steel on its nose to prevent getting stuck, but Hoarf managed to knock those off.

Here we see Dan sharpening Lionheart's nose and you can see that we added two more chunks of steel to prevent getting stuck. In order to avoid having these knocked off, we use round chunks of steel hoping to deflect any spinning weapons.

lh-guts    lh-sharpen    lh-side    lh-spring

There is a four robot limit to make an event a qualifier for the RFL nationals, so when a couple of middleweights dropped out, we decided to resurrect our other middleweight, Ice Cube.

Ice Cube last fought at the Robot Club, when it took third place and a thorough drubbing from Lionheart. Still, Ice Cube is our pluckiest robot with that oddly aggressive bouncing action caused by the spring steel hoop.

Ice Cube relies on 36 volt Battlepacks for power, so we had to load test our four year old batteries to make sure they're in fighting shape. That array of lights is not designed to attract UFO''s our current sink to drain batteries. With nine 50 watt bulbs, it draws 450 watts or about 12 amps at 36 volts.

Our tests indicate that our 3.6 Ahr packs are still putting out 3.1 Ahr's even after four years. Not bad!

ic-apart    ic-batteries    ic-charging

October 28, 2005:

Team Toad is proud to welcome our newest honorary member, SGT Andy Vinh, who is currently serving in Iraq. He wanted to know if he could enter his Humvee in the really really heavy weight class. I didn't have the heart to tell him about the "no projectile" rule in the Tech Regs.


Andy, our hats are off and our hearts go out to you...we're proud to have you on the team.

April 7, 2004:

The new "Team Toad Secret Lab" building is complete, but progress is slow in moving the various tools, robots, furniture and fixtures out of the storage trailer and into the shop. The unrelenting snow and ice last winter, and the continued delay of actual spring weather has prevented us from getting back into the robot building business.

As a result, Team Toad will be taking a year off from competitive robotics.

Instead, we'll be focusing our creative and constructive efforts on our plan to attend Burning Man over Labor Day Weekend.

We do note with pride that both the NERC and the RSA have held successful robot fighting competitions using arenas donated by the Robot Club.

September 16, 2003:

We completed construction and testing of our newest lightweight, HalfPipe, and started packing the truck. We leave for Minnesota Thursday morning.

September 9, 2003:

Team Toad is headed to the Nationals in Minnesota.

Our middleweight Lionheart and our newest robot, our lightweight HalfPipe are both entered.

HalfPipe is a new robot built to replace SnowFlake, which is a licensed BattleBot.

December 22, 2002:

After two wins in Season 5.0, IceBerg fell apart in the quarterfinals of the SHW division. Frantic repairs after the Phrizbee Ultimate fight were not up to the task, and Maximus out-bullied Iceberg for the victory.

We fared better at the Grand Opening of the Robot Club & Grille, as Danny's middleweight Lionheart won 4 out ot 5 fights to become the middleweight champion in our December 7th tournament.

He also took 3rd place in the hobbyweight division (12lbs) with Mini-Mauler, who went 2-2 with 1 knockout.

Previously, Kelsey's antweight Ice Chip took first place at the NERC's fall event at the Robot Club on October 19-20.

October 25, 2002:

Well, IceBerg proved that it's the whole three minutes that count, as it wins a costly victory against Brian Nave's "Phrizbee Ultimate". Will Team Toad and a volunteer pit crew from Team Carnage, Team UFO, NPC and Robotic Power Solutions be able to repair the badly hurt robot in time for the quarter-finals? Find out in December.

In other news, Kelsey and Ice Chip took first place in the Antweights at the Robot Club & Grille last weekend, beating her dad who took third place with TadPole.

September 28, 2002:

Watch Comedy Central on Saturday, October 12th at 8pm EDT to see whether Phrizbee Ultimate can melt the IceBerg!

September 12, 2002:

We've added Ice Cube to our fight reports from Season 5.0, and also put some action shots from Daniel Longmire Photography to the reports.

And at the Robot Club & Grille, we've chosen a date for our first event...October 19th and 20th. Registration is open to NERC members, and opens to all builders very soon.

August 11, 2002:

We've started putting up fight reports from the prelims for Season 5.0. First up, SnowCone vs. BullDog.

We also have video of SnowCone vs Ink Jet Printer (3.9 mb RealMedia) on our video page.

August 1, 2002:

Danny has been designing all Summer, and we finally are far enough along on his new middleweight for a build report.

Lionheart is a 2 wheeled wedge/rammer/thwackbot, and we hope to have the initial drive tests very soon.

July 16, 2002:

We've had zoning board delays with the Robot Club & Grille, but we expect approval on August 6th. We're disappointed with the delay, but at least we had our first major deliveries: arena parts and 7 pallets of Lexan.

June 2, 2002:

Well, we're back from Treasure Island, and we'd love to tell you all about it. Of course, for those who aren't aware, we've just finished filming the fights for Season 5.0, but the shows won't be cut, assembled, and broadcast until July and August. So for the next three months, we're in NDA season (non-disclosure agreement). So there's very little we can say about how well we did. We're sure that at least one of our fights will be televised, and we'll post the date as soon as we know.

We've finished reorganizing the photo subdirectories on our site, and have put up a couple of photos from Treasure Island in our Team Toad Season 5.0 event report. We'll add a few more soon, and the rest will wait until the TV broadcast catches up.

We're spending June working on zoning and building permits for the Robot Club & Grille. With some luck, we'll be able to open this summer and have our first competition in August. Check the web page for updates as we progress.

May 16, 2002:

Okay, we shipped all our bots out Monday afternoon, in spite of a 30 hour long power failure that threatened to keep us from working through the night before packing. Then the next day, we found that FrostBite 4.0 and IceBerg 3.0 are both seeded #14, and SnowFlake is the 24th seeded lightweight, giving us our most seeded robots ever.

We leave Saturday night, and will be in line bright and early Sunday morning. See you all on the island.

May 11, 2002:

Just 40 hours to go, and we have IceBerg 3.0 ready. That makes 4 out of 5. Only FrostBite 4.0 is left...we got the drive train and radio failsafes done; all that's left is to reassembled the threshers with a roller chain sprocket instead of a V-Belt pulley.

May 6, 2002:

Just six days to go, and we have the three smaller bots ready to go (we finished Ice Cube today). We also have quick updates to FrostBite 4.0 and IceBerg 3.0.

May 4, 2002:

We have updates to both FrostBite 4.0 and IceBerg 3.0. FrostBite gets a new drive train thanks to our newest sponsor, Thomson Micron, and IceBerg gets a brand new plow blade and a coat of paint.

Apr 29, 2002:

One of our biggest groans at TI-2 was the Ice Cube versus Turtle Road Kill fight. Ice Cube not once but twice did a faceplant onto the arena floor and just stood there immobilized. Our solution is a new self-righting arm.

Apr 23, 2002:

We have an update to SnowFlake's web page, showing Jacey and Fuzzy welding the blade onto the front so Ziggo can't rip it off again.

Also, check out our Low tech Battery Discharger made with lightbulbs, a resistor, a pushbutton switch, and a relay that was sitting around unused.

Apr 21, 2002:

SnowCone LW is ready for the competition, having made weight at exactly 60.0 pounds, and having all the components shock-mounted.

Debbie still has to get some practice driving the bigger, faster version of SnowCone, and of course she wants to hit something with the blade to see it go "poof!"

Apr 16, 2002:

Did the first weapon test of SnowCone LW today. The good news is that the blade is well balanced and the torque limiter mount seems to work great. The bad news is that at full speed calculated to be 4,500 rpm, the dang thing is so scary that Fuzzy refuses to go near it with the tachometer. We may never know how fast it really spins.

Apr 15, 2002:

Not too many updates...we're really busy getting ready for the next event in May 2002. But we did make a lot of progress on SnowCone LW over the weekend. We got the frame built, the motors mounted, the electronics wired, and started drive testing the base.

All that's left is cutting the weapon blade and painting the body.

Mar 25, 2002:

We're back from HSRC, and we've started on our HSRC'02 event report. Not much there, yet, but there are two really cool photos of SnowCone's two victories.

Mar 18, 2002:

We updated Mini-Mauler to match Mauler's new paintscheme for Season 4.0.

Mar 17, 2002:

Today was the first drive test for IceBerg 3.0, and the results were great. No video, yet, since rain cut the driving test short.

Mar 15, 2002:

We updated our IceBerg 3.0 build report, showing our finished frame, battery mounts, and wheels.

Next weekend we're off to HSRC'02 with all the Tiny Toad fleet.

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