Jeff visited the Innovation Lab at San Diego Public Library in 2016 and met the Uyen, where the two connected and Cardboard Combat Bots were created. It all started with an idea and the desire to build a community; the spirit that makes Maker Faire possible and everything that San Diego Makers Guild believes in.
After all, who wouldn’t like to see students have the opportunity to learn 3D modeling, CAD design, and programming by having them make destructive robots that would destroy each other (robots, not humans). 🙂
We wanted to make the robots very affordable and accessible because we wanted to have as many kids (and kids at heart) to have a chance to participate. After numerous brainstorming sessions and months of prototyping with support from our maker community, San Diego Makers Guild was able to get a grant from Cognizant to make Cardboard Combat Bots a reality. That summer, we worked with volunteer makers to offer free summer camps and workshops to students all over San Diego County to teach them how to make a Cardboard Combat Bot.
Here are some pictures to show the results:
Photo album showing lots of examples of robots built with this system
The current source code, with built in editor, record and playback of animations, and IO, along with build instructions in PlatformIO are here:
If you start with an ESP32, there is a way to program the chip without installing any software using only a USB cable, your browser, and a bit of patience.
And the prior version, which avoids the use of Platform.IO and still provides most features (editor, animations, IO), is here:
The original version is here: