How to lose 6 pounds in 8 hours

While we were on our way to our first competition this year, one of our mentors who had gone early to uncrate the robot decided to call and say that they had gotten the chance to go in and weigh the robot and we were 6 lbs. overweight!:ahh: After about ten minutes, he called back and said that he was just kidding and he just wanted us to come up with drastic weight loss ideas. Anybody have any ideas?
Here’s a few basics:
SWISS CHEESE like crazy
smaller motors

remove any extra plexi glass and decorations that add to the weight.

Or just remove the wheels:D


It all depends on the robot…hopefully you know ahead of time how much it really weighs!

We learned this lesson last year, and the weight budget was an important part of design/ build

Well do you have an arm bot, ramp bot, or both. If you have two ramps, if it comes down to it you can get rid of one.

6 pounds? That’s nothing. Two days before ship in 2005, we found out we were 60 pounds overweight. The quickest way to lose weight was to scrap most of the drivetrain, swiss cheese the thing, mill down all of our monster gears, and then go over the whole thing with dremels and files to cut out as much as possible. I still don’t know how we managed to do it.

I don’t know about the robot since we didn’t have that problem this year. However I did tell my wife I wanted to lose 20lbs of ugly fat quickly. She told me to cut off my head. Go figure.

Yeah. We didn’t have that problem this year. It’s probably the first time we can actually say that.

This is the first year we didn’t have a weight loss problem because we painstakingly did everything in CAD, made sure all the material properties were set, and also designed 10 pounds under.

In 2005 we were about 10 pounds over, we spent the last week filling every square inch of the bot with holes except for the chassis. Our anodized chassis plate was covered in sharpie marks after all the cutting so we doused it in isopropyl alcohol and set it on fire :cool: Not as quick as scrubbing it with solvent, but much more fun.

we were about 10 lbs. over this year. we had designed our arm to have an azimuth turntable, but that had to go:(. we ended up not being able to save enough though so we took off one of our lifters.

Same want for us we were 8 lbs underweight at GSR so we threw the kit compressor on just for the weight.

BTW Great job At the bolermaker reagional.I heard the story and that is too bad about the other robots in the semis. but great job getting as far as you did!!!

Sounds a lot like 868 last year. The Sunday before ship, we weighed our robot and we were something like 30 or 40 pounds overweight. We essentially remade our shooter wheel in the matter of a few hours. Unfortunately, it sorta threw the alignment off - the curve was designed for the larger wheels.

This year I asked our mechanical lead several times during the build season, “If we had to cut weight, what would we take out?”

Our mechanical lead made sure that we weighed the robot at least once a week, and we weighed every part that we made before it went on and kept track of it.

Yes, much much MUCH (:D) more fun!

I remember, though I wasn’t on the team, our 2005 bot was swiss-cheesed like crazy, as was the lexan wall on our '06 bot (5-ft long board of lexan= HEAVY. 5-ft long board of swiss-cheesed lexan: LIGHT). We did better on our '07 bot, but we were still 1-2 lbs. over, so we swiss cheesed our arm stuff and that was that.

This year we weighed in at 119.9 of 120.

Last year (rookie year) we made our electrical panel out of two sheets of 3/8 plexiglass, which was eventually swiss-cheesed beyond recognition. This year we made it out of 1/16 fiber composite (grade GR-10/FR-4 Garolite).

P.S. Garolite is amazing stuff.

similar story only we were 20 pounds over before we shipped it, so we cut it off using many saws and a really long time… funny part of the story is getting to the competition and finding out we were still 20 pounds over :o our scale was way off… and we missed our practice matches that year… and our robot looked like a piece of crap… lol anyways… best of luck for overweight people:D

we are adding weight on thursday. about 15 lbs worth i think.

Two years in a row our team has made the mistake of weighing our robot with the scale on carpet, which makes the weight seem significantly lower than it really is, until it finally occurs to us that our robot looks way heavier than the scales says and discover the problem. By this time it’s usually hours before ship and we’re scrapping major components.

Last season with 1293, we started Palmetto about four pounds overweight. We went to two pounds underweight in one day with a few changes.

Anybody familiar with 1293 is familiar with the team’s love for 1/8" aluminum. The hopper that year used a lot of it, so we initially cut large holes in it and filled those holes with garden mesh riveted in place (and painted, natch). When that didn’t cut it, we took a slugbuster (a hydraulic device for putting round holes in things, in this case with a little hand pump) to it. Ultimately, we had the hopper remade in a Fix-It Window using thin-gauge stainless steel, which we then re-swiss-cheesed. The end result was plenty durable (even for blocking shots–sorry, 1676), but far lighter.

Similarly, we could’ve fabricated a lot of things differently with 1618’s robot this year. Paper is a terribly underrated material–we’re using it for our graphics, with a few extra numbers printed up as spares. On the arm, the numbers are backed by a piece of cardboard. Sure, it might not be particularly heavy-duty–but it’ll hold, and replacements are cheap and plentiful. Similarly, we picked pegboard over metal for our electronics and pneumatics panels–they’re cheap, easy to mount to, and light as beans. If we needed to drop weight (which we don’t–ten pounds under FTW!), we can get it cut with nearly anything.

Oh, and don’t count out the kit wheels either–they’re nice and light, and are roughtopped with relative ease.

And, if worst comes to worst, never be afraid to ask around for advice. Odds are that someone at the event will have some tool or part that will knock a pound or two off.

On the shipping date 10min before the FEDEX guy came we weight our robot and found that we were 10lbs overweight. As it turned out the scale that we used was very shoddy and we were actually 5lbs under. As an example of the shoddiness of the scale, I could change my own weight 25lbs up or down.

We found our team weight to be exactly out team number: 114 pounds. It was entirely accidental, and pretty awesome.

The most important lesson is that every team should buy a scale. They come in handy more than you can imagine. No need to cut 6 pounds at competition, you can weigh everything as it goes on the robot and weigh the robot at different points.

Buy a scale.