Arena Construction
Team Toad Bots
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(04-Aug-2002) The Lexan and steel walls are going up, and it's starting to look like a robot fight facility at last.

Here we see how the bumpers lift out of the way of the doors. The closeup on the left shows the two sliding steel bars that lock the two sides together.

They'll finish the walls this week, and start on the roofs. The aluminum trusses are on the floor in the top photo.


You can't fight robots without an arena, and the Lazy Toad Robot Club will have three of them.

(03-May-2002) On Friday, we got to witness the first fit test of the walls on our arena construction in Madison, PA. They are being built by Westmoreland Steel, Inc, a local steel fabrication company. To the left Debbie, Bob and Doug pose in front of a test fitting of 4 floor modules and 3 walls.


To the right we see a worker welding a floor module together, and a stack of completed floors. The modules are 4' wide and 8' long, and 2' tall, allowing 25% fewer seams than a 4'x4' module.


The walls have channels for 1" of Lexan below 4', and 1/2" of Lexan above 4'. The floors have 1/8" steel welded to 1.5" steel tubing.


We plan to have a 24'x24' main arena for lightweights and middleweights, and for testing and demonstrations of heavy and superheavyweights. A second 16'x16' arena will hold 12 and 30 pounders, and a 12'x12' arena will be kept in the pit area for testing and demonstrating safety. This last box will be made with 4'x4' modules to allow it to be moved to local shopping malls or fairs for demonstrations.

There will be a smaller box for fighting antweights, but we'll build that in house.

(01-Jun-2002) Arena construction is well underway; the floors are all built, and most are painted and stacked under cover outdoors. The walls are being welded now, and should be done soon. The aluminum angle for the roof trusses has been delivered, as have the 8 gallons of "real BattleBox paint".

To the left you see the complete floor modules. To the right you see Fuzzy testing the "bullet proofness" of the 9034 Clear Lexan by firing bullets at it. Now remember that NERC, SORC, and BattleBots rules prohibit projectile weapons, so this test is just for amusement value.


Our findings are:

  1. 1 pane of 0.500" inch Lexan will stop a 38 caliber and a 9mm
  2. 2 panes will stop a .357 magnum
  3. it takes 3 panes to stop a .454 magnum

(18-Jun-2002) Today we got to see the 16'x16' arena frame completely assembled for the first time. To the left we see Bob (president of Westmoreland Steel) verifying that the 1/8" steel floor doesn't bounce.

To the right you see the initial version of the 8'x7' double doors, along with Debbie (LTRC president) and Doug Shaeffer (engineer for Westmoreland Steel). Behind Debbie and Doug is a stack of completed wall units.



We have decided to use the 16'x16' arena as both a safety test area, and a backup arena for smaller robots when we get really busy. The main arena will have the same construction, but will be 24'x24', and will be the centerpiece of the facility.

The box will have a roof of 1/2" Lexan bolted to truss joists made of 4 pieces of 1/4" by 2" aluminum angle welded into a 1' tall by 4 1/2" wide units. The first sample joist is shown to the left.

The walls and floor are held together with steel brackets, shown to the right.


Here we see the empty store that will soon undergo a startling trans-
formation into a gladiatorial complex for remote control robot battles.

(5-Jul-2002) Here we see the details of the steel bumpers around the edges of the arena to keep robots from driving directly into the Lexan. The bumpers are about 8" tall and sit 8" away from the walls. The bumpers lean in about 10 degrees, to reduce the chance that robots will ride up on top of the bumper. They are made of 1/4" mild steel. To prevent bots from getting stuck behind the bumpers, the tops are covered in 1/8" steel.

Our philosophy is that bots fight bots, not hazards, so there are no saws, hammers, flame throwers, or spikes on the walls or the floor.

To the right you can see how the bumpers are hinged to flip upward out of the way of the double doors. The left bumper has to be down first, because they meet at an angle.


Note that the bumpers are bent from plate steel, so the bottom edge is curved. That means that just like the BattleBots (tm) arena, a low wedge can get stuck under the edge. So make sure to have an "anti-stick" device on your will come in handy in the big leagues, too.


Here are some details from the double doors. To the left are the handles. On the 16'x16' box, the door handles are 3' off the floor. For the 24'x24' box, there is an 8'x8' loading platform at arena height (2' off the floor), so the handles are 5' off the floor.

You can also see the two 1/2" steel pins that secure the bottom of the doors. The second photo shows the pull-chain door latches that hold the top of the doors closed. We are also adding a "bar-latch" to the middle of the doors.

To the right, you can see the pile of aluminum trusses to hold the roofs. We have three different sizes and lengths: 12', 16', and 24'.

We expect the arena delivery to start next week. Since this will be the first assembly for the 24'x24' and the 12'x12' boxes, we expect the assembly will take the better part of two weeks.

(15-Jul-2002) Having at least negotiated storage rights for the storeroom (pending zoning approval), we started moving the arena parts into the space last week. Most of the floors, walls, and roof trusses have already been moved into the building.

The orange pieces are the side bumpers that keep the bots from hitting the Lexan.

The silver pieces are the aluminum roof trusses.

We will start assembling these into the three arenas this week.

Today the Lexan was delivered, on 7 pallets. This photo shows a couple of them. Instead of using two 1/2" sheets on the bottom of each wall, we've gone for a three-sheet solution: 3/8" on the outside, 1/2" in the middle, and 1/8" on the inside. It's still a total of 1" of Lexan below the 4' mark, but this way we can replace the inner sheets more often as they get scratched up.

The technical challenge was to move the 4'x8' pallets through a 6' wide door. Westmoreland Steel's solution was a set of fork extensions for their front loader, allowing the load to be moved from the end instead of the middle.


The best meal you've ever had behind bullet-proof glass!

Last updated 24-Oct-2002 by, from Robot Club & Grille
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