This season’s iteration of HyperShock is just that: an iteration. For the first time, we returned with essentially the same robot. The Season 6 robot used the same motors and controllers as the Season 5 build, but that’s about the extent of what we carried over.
So what did change?
Batteries: we weren’t able to source the same batteries in time for re:MARS so we swapped to ThunderPower. We’ve used their batteries before and have had only good experiences. They didn’t come in the same size or capacity, so we took the closest option. They’re just a little bigger, so we reworked the battery box accordingly. This year’s battery containment solution was printed out of Ultem 9085 by Xometry. We finished integrating the balance connectors with the battery box so charging is a one-step process. The whole box just drops onto a matching set of connectors (pictured below) and then charging can begin.
Invertibility Horns: We experimented with some fun shapes before and at re:MARS, but hooking them forward like bull’s horns meant they snapped off when we crash into the shelf or screws. We ended up with longer, slightly forward-tilted horns. They’re still at a fun angle, but we added shock mounts. They can flex a little, but since the material has also been thickened we’re much less worried about them taking a permanent bend.
Single Disk: The new single disk configuration is just two inches of S7, hardened to the same 57 Rockwell C as our other disks. After Tombstone blasted the ham sandwich to bits, we gave up on that construction method. The new hub sides are also magnesium, like the center drum on the double disk weapons. Will changed up the design from ice cream scoops to squared-off cut-outs. It’s just weight reduction, but it looks less ridiculous.
Thinner Double Disk Option: We ran these against SawBlaze. They’re one inch thick instead of an inch and a quarter like the double disks we had last year. We still have a bunch of the thicker ones, but we wanted a slightly lighter option, both for weight and to reduce gyro marginally. After the SawBlaze match, we decided giving up that bit of MOI wasn’t a good compromise. We’ll only run that weapon again if we get desperate for weight.
Fork Options: Entirely as a way to claw back a few ounces, we added a ⅜” thick fork option. All the other hardware is the same, including the new spacer block replacing the standoffs. We also made some short forks, but we’re not sure why. Honestly, we don’t know who we’d use them against. They’re just cute and stubby.
Wiring: The wiring loops are the same, but Alex wrapped everything in abrasion-resistant sheathes so we wouldn’t have a repeat of our sparky adventures at re:MARS. It also looks awesome. The exact connectors we’re using for the battery rail have changed, but they work about the same. We once again had to print custom housings for them.
What didn’t change?
Everything else. The end! I’m only going to focus on the things that we get asked about.
No Self-Righter: We don’t have the weight. The robot would either have to get bigger to accommodate it, or we’d need to scale down the motors we’re using. In both cases, the rest of the robot gets substantially worse. The lightest we could get the self-righter was just over 15 lbs. It also cost nearly four thousand dollars since the whole thing was a nightmarish stack up of concentricity and required ultra-low profile, large diameter bearings. It’s just not worth it. We’d rather keep suffering upside down than allocate that much weight and dollar budget to a srimech that might save us sometimes, but will bite us other times. We’re quite vulnerable while inverted, so slowing down long enough for the srimech to tilt us over is potentially more dangerous than running around until we somehow get back over. During each of the off-seasons, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out a better srimech.
Side roll: It requires twice as much srimech or a linkage the width of the robot. Both are terrible options for us. We’re not settling for a srimech that only works to one side.
Front roll: The forks are too long, and the wedge is too big.
Back roll: We’ve done this, it creates a long moment of vulnerability, potentially bringing the belly of the robot down on an opponent’s spinner. HyperShock is very long. It takes a lot of leverage to flip it end over end.
Pneumatic/Combustion cylinder: too complicated, only good for a couple of uses, generally dangerous. It’s the least internal space-efficient option, making the whole robot even bigger than the other options.
I’d rather copy LockJaw’s pivoting weapon assembly than figure out a srimech. We’re not going to copy LockJaw though. That’s their thing and comes with other compromises we’re not comfortable with. We’ve tried to Tetris the guts to make the robot shorter, which would make a back roll srimech better, but it ends up comically wide.
Exposed Wheels: The wheels are nearly ablative. We’ve shown again and again that we can lose half and still out-drive most opponents, especially a front wheel. HyperShock with covered wheels just isn’t HyperShock. We’d have to go to much skinnier wheels to do it. The wheels are our whole aesthetic, they’re iconic. We put the tires on our damn T-shirts this year. We’re not covering them.