We are Team Triforce - a group of amateur roboteers based in Edinburgh. Having met at Heriot-Watt University where we studied Computing & Electronics together, we’ve spent a lot of time tinkering with embedded software, electrical hardware and robotics so have a wide range of skills ideally suited to fighting robots.
In early 2016, with the renewal of Robot Wars (which we have been fans of for decades!) we got together and decided to try our own hand at building a fighting robot. Many ideas were pieced together before reaching our final design - an omni-directional robot with a deadly full-ring spinner. Our big break came near the end of the year when we presented our plan to a group of electronics and robotics lecturers and experts at our university. They very generously offered some extra funding, and construction began in earnest.
Our robot, due to its three-bladed spinner powered by three motors and its very unique three-wheeled omni-directional drive system, would be called Triforce. Being nowhere near finished by October we missed out on the second series of Robot Wars, but progressed steadily and were invited to participate in the third series mid-2017.
Frustratingly, recording was to begin very soon after our final exams, so we had to juggle working on the robot with our studies. Finishing just barely in time, we soon found that the rush and disregard for any thorough testing would come back to bite us. While the ring spinner worked, the complex omni-directional drive system did not and we had no choice but to retire before the start of the competition.
Undeterred, we have continued to improve Triforce and although Robot Wars has been put on hold, we are keen to see it running and are planning to build a second smaller robot to participate in live robotics events.
It's this constant design and development that has brought us to where we are today. The technology involved in fighting robots has progressed rapidly since Robot Wars first aired in 1998 - when competitors resorted to recycling motors from old wheelchairs and windscreen wipers. Today's fighting robots may rival a small car in terms of horsepower, and we witnessed a sort of arms race between competitors pushing their machines to the limits, and the Robot Wars technicians who had to build a safe environment to use them in!
One thing that became apparent very quickly during development is that there were few options for powerful, reliable, and reasonably-priced motor controllers - especially for use with brushless motors. A burned-out ESC was a very common and frustrating problem in the competition.
The solution was obvious, really. If you want something done right, do it yourself! Thus the A200 series was born - lightweight and compact, powerful yet reasonably priced, and designed specifically to deal with the harsh and demanding environment of robot combat.
Currently our products are not certified; they are sold as components for integration into a complete system. We strongly advise testing your full system to conform to relevant standards.