Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 5, 2012.

Update #9 - For backers only

Rewards Shipping This Week!

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


Update #8

Mech Warfare Arena - Long Due Update

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First and foremost I'd like to apologize for the delay in getting the rewards sent out. I'll explain how and why the delay has happened, but ultimately it is my responsibility and thus my fault it hasn't happened yet. They will indeed be sent out, and soon. I seriously appreciate everyone's patience in this matter.

I have to reiterate that Mech Warfare is a non-profit, crowd-sourced, and community based effort. Kickstarter helped us do something this year which we previously were incapable of doing- raising enough money at once to seriously upgrade our arena and give us a permanent solution there. In this we were highly successful. The issue is that because Mech Warfare has zero income outside of community donation, upkeep costs- which have increased considerably as a result of the success of the Kickstarter, are left to be covered by me entirely. We've had about $200 in donations come in after Kickstarter, which is lower than previous years. 

So here's the lowdown:

We ended up going over our budget by about $1200 above what we raised via Kickstarter. I paid this out of pocket because I want to see this competition grow and prosper. This left us with no additional funds to fulfill the rewards (this is of course my fault for not properly budgeting).
In addition to that, we now have about $150 a month in storage fees to store the arena in a secure, climate controlled environment. This is fine and expected, but as I am only one person I can only invest so much into maintaining the competition. Add in the R&D costs ($600~) of the new batch of scoring system Transponders that we developed for the 2013 competitions, and you can see how this all adds up quickly. I had to make tough decisions on how to spend the limited yearly Mech Warfare budget that I put aside each year, the top priority in making sure the competition itself keeps moving forward. 

Rewards Status:

MORAV & Mech Warfare posters are printed and ready to go. Shipping supplies (sooo many tubes) are sitting in my garage also ready. The last and most expensive part was the signed photo prints (the signed photograph of the Mech Warfare crew). These are getting ordered this week, once everything is in I'll get it packed and out the door. Expect them to show up in January. 

Again, you have my sincere apologies. It's simply a matter of us going over budget, still having upkeep costs, and little-to-no income. 

So with that said, here's some photos and videos of the competition, which was a huge success. Check out the shiny new arena, thanks to you guys!

Mech Warfare 2012 Photo Gallery

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0pv5l-PveM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL7Bb_C5ySU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcTJ9yBaUqE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KF1Prj5ZI


Update #7

Post-RG Update

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I'm just getting back from Robogames and sorting through all the awesome photos/video we had shot. I'll be giving you guys a comprehensive update of the event and how everything went down. There was some bad, a lot of good, and overall everything went REALLY well. Most importantly, the arena was FANTASTIC. We no longer had BB's shooting holes in the tent, and the new arena kept everything contained. Again, I'll be giving a much more detailed update in the next week once I get settled back in and sort through all the content, but I wanted to give you guys a few quick previews:

Botjunkie, aka IEEE Spectrum, did some excellent coverage for us. Here's a quick preview of their write-up, with more to come soon so stay tuned:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/diy/robogames-2012-mech-warfare-postgame-preview 

I had time to throw together a quick video of the final match while waiting in the airport, so here it is, if you're curious to see how a good Mech Warfare match plays out. I'll be adding some annotations soon to explain some of the fight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KF1Prj5ZI 

Cheers! Expect to hear more soon!


Update #6

Countdown to Robogames/Mech Warfare 2012!

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We've got 4 days until Robogames. I'm flying out tomorrow to get an early start on the arena build. I'll be doing my best to document the build process, and when the dust has settled and I've gotten back from Robogames I'll organize all the build data, 3d models, and BOMs so that anyone can check it out.

Some information about the arena:

We went with Ridout Plastics for the lexan/abs panels (eplastics.com) and went to Misumi (http://us.misumi-ec.com) for the extruded aluminum. Both gave us a bit of a discount for being an educational type robotics competition, which ended up saving enough money to upgrade all of our wireless router equipment to some top-notch stuff. The arena parts alone (lexan/abs/aluminum) ended up being around $5000, for those interested. I'll have a BOM with pricing information available when things wrap up.

I went with a custom built Mikrotik RouterBoard RB/800 with 4x Ubiquiti XR2 XtremeRange2 2.4 GHz 600mW miniPCI radios (both from http://roc-noc.com) This + some hefty directional antennas should provide some great coverage for our wifi IP cameras. We're going to see about recording video from the FPV feeds off of the mechs this year as well.

Thanks again for all of your support. Please let me know if any of you have questions about the competition, arena build, or the networking equipment we're using.

Here's the final version of the arena: http://i.imgur.com/oh21U.jpg


Update #5

Preview of the Mech Warfare Poster!

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Hey guys, just wanted to share a preview of the Mech Warfare poster that backers who've donated $25 or more will be receiving.

This piece was done for us by an amazing artist, Søren Bendt. You can check out more of his work at his blog here: http://sonobeno.blogspot.com/

Cheers and thanks again for your support!


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    With your permission, we'd like to list your name/company/website URL under our list of Premium Sponsors on our Sponsors page of the main Mech Warfare website. In addition, your logo/design/phrase can be featured on one of our scale 'advertisements' within the arena. Bus stop benches, street ads, and buildings would be available. Backers will also receive a custom illustrated Mech Warfare 11x17 full color poster, and a signed MORAV 11x17 full color poster, both featuring awesome giant robots! You will also receive a personally signed 8x11" "Thank You" group photo of the Mech Warfare competitors & arena.

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    With your permission, we'd like to list your name/company/website URL under our list of Premium Sponsors on our Sponsors page of the main Mech Warfare website. In addition, your logo/design/phrase can be featured on one of our scale 'advertisements' within the arena. Bus stop benches, street ads, and buildings would be available. We'll also feature any pamphlets or info you would like at our booth at Robogames, which nets 15,000 visitors. Backers will also receive a custom illustrated Mech Warfare 11x17 full color poster, and a signed MORAV 11x17 full color poster, both featuring awesome giant robots! You will also receive a personally signed 8x11" "Thank You" group photo of the Mech Warfare competitors & arena, as well as access to full-resolution photography and raw video from the competition.

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    With your permission, we'd like to list your name/company/website URL under our list of Premium Sponsors on our Sponsors page of the main Mech Warfare website. In addition, your logo/design/phrase can be featured on one of our large scale Billboard 'advertisements' within the arena. There are only two billboard advertisements available, they physically measure approx 10x7" and sit on top of one of the four main buildings within the arena. Backers will also receive a custom illustrated Mech Warfare 11x17 full color poster, and a signed MORAV 11x17 full color poster, both featuring awesome giant robots! You will also receive a personally signed 8x11" "Thank You" group photo of the Mech Warfare competitors & arena, as well as access to full-resolution photography and raw video from the competition.

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    In addition to the previously mentioned perks, I will personally assist you in designing your own robot to compete in this competition, or other related robotics project. Collaboration can take place via Video Skype, Phonecalls, and/or emails. I have 13 years of experience building robots, access to rapid prototyping services and 3d design environments. Details of this arrangement can be discussed beforehand, just message me.

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