Team Toad: IceBerg 2.0

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This page describes Iceberg, Team Toad's Super-Heavyweight, in its second tournament at Treasure Island in November 2001.

(12-Feb-2002) After an ignominious beginning as The Judge's first verdict, we had high hopes for IceBerg at TI-2. Our first opponent was Sharp Tooth (photo courtesy of, a two-wheeled super-heavyweight armed with a bowling ball on a chain at one end, and two hole saws on the other.

Although Sharp Tooth whacked IceBerg's front wheels several times, the quarter inch steel of IceBerg's plow blade proves a more than adequate defense, shrugging off the hole saws, too. IceBerg was able to push Sharptooth into the spike strips repeatedly, earning the decision.

Our second opponent was Team Slam's Half Gassed, a 4WD pusher with two electrically powered wheels and two gas-engine powered wheels.

This battle was expected to be a titantic struggle of the overpowered pushers; Lowell and I had been talking trash on the forum for a long time:

Lowell's messages to me:

     From: igoforit 4/13/2001 1:57 pm 
     To: "Fuzzy" Mauldin (LAZYTOAD) (123 of 219) 4312.123 in reply to 4312.112
     I beleive you are trying to hard my best advice is to
     forget Iceburg and throw it in the manure pile and be
     done with it. There are to many Supers entered anyway
     so do your part and help out with this over population
     of Supers.  I also beleive that you will never be able
     to turn that toad Iceburg into a prince. 

     Team S.L.A.M.
     From: igoforit Oct-17 1:11 am 
     To: "Fuzzy" Mauldin (LAZYTOAD) 42 of 172 9244.42 in reply to 9244.35

     I'm tired of hearing about how many zillion horsepower your new weapon has

     I got 16 1/2 horsepower in Half Gassed now and we are
     working on the traction coefficient at the present time. 

And my reply:

     From: "Fuzzy" Mauldin (LAZYTOAD) Oct-17 10:49 am 
     To: igoforit (43 of 172) 9244.43 in reply to 9244.42
     For Half-Gassed and Electric lunch, I just have to hope that
     I can get IceBerg's blade underneath you and use the pneumatic
     lifter to get those high-traction wheels off the ground. What's
     the coefficient of friction of rubber and air?


At the buzzer, we both headed straight for each other. Each of us tried to get to the left of the other, so as we met, we both turned 90 degrees to the right to square up. IceBerg's plow blade was lower, and IceBerg got under Half-Gassed. I hit the lever to raise the pneumatic plow blade, and Half-Gassed was up in the air; IceBerg pushed the Plum-colored robot all the way across the arena and impaled him on the spikes strips. The photo (courtesy of Pteryx) to the right shows three neat holes in HG's rear end. The rightmost hole is directly over the collection of relays that powers HG's motors.

IceBerg wins by knockout at 39 seconds.

Our third opponent was Bucky the BeaverBot, another pushing bot with spikes (photo courtesy of For this fight, Bucky was running without spikes (that made his ground clearance lower, making it harder for IceBerg to get under the Beaver).

As the fight started, I discovered that I had adjusted IceBerg's blade way too low, meaning that it was dragging on the ground preventing it from driving faster than a crawl.

It took me almost a minute to figure out the problem...during that time, Bucky was actually pushing IceBerg around. Once I saw how low the blade was, I tried a new strategy...I'd raise the blade, drive up to Bucky, lower the blade, and then try to push and raise the blade at the same time.

It was difficult, but at least this way IceBerg was driving at full speed. Eventually, I caught Bucky in the corner and held him under the hammers. The referee started the 30 second count for holding; at 25 seconds, I let Bucky go, but then soon pushed him back into the corner for more pulverizing.

In the end, IceBerg won the decision by a comfortable margin.

After the fight, we found that the cast aluminum foot bracket for our 2.5" pneumatic cylinder was broken during the fight. We replaced it with our spare bracket.

Our fourth opponent was a spring-loaded overhead hammer bot named "No Apologies." NA was coming off a heady KO of number one ranked Minion, so we were worried about the power of their hammer spike.


We were so scared of their spike, that we hauled out one of our two "anti-Judge" pieces of 3/8" Lexan. Had we been facing The Judge, we would have dropped from 10 battery packs to 8, and put on two extra layers of Lexan. Here we see a picture of Jacey tightening the additional top.

click to enlarge

Once the introduction was done, both teams pulled off their safety covers, and we discovered that the No Apologies team had pulled a fast one: instead of a spike at the end of their hamemr, they had a long axe blade. I didn't really understand the change...I would have been more afraid of the spike.

We went at each other, and the axe proved completely ineffective against the combination of 3/8" Lexan and 3/16" stainless steel protecting the top of IceBerg. Unfortunately, I had the same problem as before, the blade was too low, so it was dragging. I went back to raising the blade to drive. Still, this slowed me down, and made it difficult to get under NA.

After several whacks, No Apologies' axe arm bent in he was forced to switch to using his lifting arms, which were surprisingly effective, as shown in the first fight photo below:

courtesy of Longmire Photography, click to enlarge

In the last 30 seconds of the fight, we had a near disaster; one of the internal brackets had a bolt held at exactly the right height to pierce the brush holder on our left front motor. Towards the end of the fight, a good side hit from No Apologies drove this bolt into the brush holder, shorting out the motor.

Although I felt we were ahead on points, having damaged the enemy and dictated much of the tempo of the fight, we were now rapidly losing power. As the clock ran down, IceBerg was still moving, but was visibly slower.

The decision reflected the closeness of the fight: 23-22 in favor of IceBerg; we had just barely scraped by.

Our fifth fight was the super heavyweight quarter-finals against Little Blue Engine.

We were lucky that we had all night for repairs after our squeaker with No Apologies. We found the spare foot bracket had also broken. Lowell from Team SLAM donated some 2" angle iron that I cut into replacement brackets.

Plus we had to replace the left front motor with the fried brush, and armor the brush holders with small pieces of Lexan to prevent a repeat. Although I worked late into the night, around 2am I finally called it a night and left poor IceBerg in pieces on the floor. After a few hours of sleep, I returned the next morning and completed the repairs.

click to enlarge

All in all, I felt pretty good going into the fight, but I had made one fatal miscalculation... In trying to avoid having the blade too low, I had adjusted the blade so it wouldn't touch the ground.

At the opening buzzer, both robots headed straight for each other, but Little Blue's spikes were lower than the blade on IceBerg, and Little Blue wound up getting under IceBerg and pushing it backwards into the spike strip. Unfortunately, the right rear gear motor shaft had been weakened by the previous four fights, and the right rear wheel popped off.

From that point on, IceBerg fought bravely but unsuccessfully. Little Blue was faster and was able to push IceBerg around at will. IceBerg lasted the whole fight on five wheels, but the decision went to Little Blue, 39-6.


In the end, we'd gone through so many motors that we were unable to get IceBerg back into the rumble. Our conclusion was that the NPC 60522 motor couldn't take the combination of impacts from 340 pounds transmitted through our solid rubber tires.

For our response to this problem, see the IceBerg 3.0 page.

(13-Nov-2001) Here's a shot of IceBerg getting ready to compete (everything charged and ready to put the lid on). To the right, you see one of the problems we found and fixed during the competition. The stock McMaster foot bracket for the 2.500 inch cylinder was made of cast aluminum, and wasn't strong enough to push other supers around. Lowell of team S.L.A.M. donated 7 inches of 2" angle iron that Fuzzy cut into a pair of brackets that worked a lot better.

For more details on the pneumatics, see the IceBerg Pneumatics page.

(16-Oct-2001) The original plan for IceBerg at TI-2 was to make very few changes, but when we had the NPC 65022 gearmotors upgraded to use the new higher-rpm motors, we found them to be over an inch longer, meaning they wouldn't fit into IceBerg's old body. Rather than give up, or have them stick out holes in the top, we redesigned for 6 10" wheels instead of 8 8" wheels.

This change allowed us to do two things. First, with a lower form factor, we could reduce the body height by an inch. Making the body lower and increasing the wheel size allows the new IceBerg to run inverted, obviating the need to try to battle-harden the self-righting arm we built for TI-1.

With only a month to go, there was no time to order a new body from Quality Fabricating (at least, without using up more Brownie Points than we could spare). So we hauled out the angle grinder and the DeWalt jig saw and chopped an inch off the top (sounds like something you'd tell your barber). Then we added 1 inch by 1/8" steel angle to the sides, and 2" by 3/16" angle to the front.

The other thing that the 6 wheeled version allowed is much more weight for the lid. Since we were the first robot to face The Judge (and one of the few he didn't knock out), we decided that upgraded top armor was essential. IceBerg now features a 3/16" 304 stainless steel plate lid, and not one but two optional 3/8" Lexan lids. Of course, with one or both extra lids, IceBerg can't run upside-down, so we'll run without the extra armor against Toro and other flippy-bots. But we're ready for the judge.

Finally, we note that with larger wheels and higher rpm motors, the new IceBerg will be almost twice as fast as the old one. Let's hope the newer version will have more success at TI-2.

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