Motorama 2013 Event Pre-port

As I did before Bot Blast, I am going to provide you with a quick summary of what’s new at Motorama and what you should expect once the results are in next Sunday.

The fleet I'm bringing to Motorama 2013.

The fleet I’m bringing to Motorama 2013.

First, a quick note: my dad will not be going to Motorama this year. He has been ill. Instead, my uncle, Mike Filion, will accompany me. He will take over as my interim pit crew, engineering assistant, and copilot. He is an engineer with the Navy–I’m sure he will be an invaluable resource as I compete against almost 100 other robots. Actually, the competition is against Murphy.



  • Cannon is now complete. 
  • It was not complete before.
  • It can fight.
  • It could not fight before.

Cannon was awesome in testing. I am concerned about the ball bearings digging into the UHMW side rails on big hits, but other than that and the exposed wheels, Cannon doesn’t seem to have any problems. I expect at least three wins against a very strong antweight field. A lucky draw of fights will yield far more wins than that. Let’s just hope Cannon avoids the undercutters.



  • Upgraded motors from 50:1 Sanyos to 30:1 MP Polulu gearmotors. This provides more speed.
  • Software changes to increase drive speed.
  • Battery recharged from Bot Blast.

Lolcat seems like it could do well, as it always runs the risk of doing. However, just about every fairyweight that is registered for Motorama is a horizontal spinner, and historically, lolcat has had heinously bad reception at Moto. If the radio works alright, lolcat ought to get a few wins and may even place. Without radio reception, the kitty won’t be getting its cheezburger anytime soon.



  • New, 11oz-ish, hardened S7 tool steel blade. This blade won’t bend, is lighter, and has a very high MOI.
  • Changed weapon gear reduction from 3:2 to 2:1. The blade spins up faster and running the weapon does not make the weapon motor as hot as it used to.
  • New, higher KV weapon motor. This motor spins faster and harder than the old one. It is rated at about 400W peak, as opposed to the old, 200W peak motor.
  • The weapon should now spin at about 6,000RPM, which is slightly faster than the theoretical maximum speed at Bot Blast. However, this blade gets up to speed much faster and seems to hit very hard.
  • 1/8″, custom-bent UHMW wheel guards that won’t shatter have replaced the old wheel guards. The first set, which shattered, was made of ABS. The second, smaller set, which shattered, was made of Lexan. These are thicker and tougher.

The beetles at Motorama look awesome. I don’t mean that lightly. I am very scared of what Coercion will be up against. That said, Coercion has a ton of reach and will hit extremely hard–at least on the first few hits. I would be upset if Coercion gets less than two wins at Motorama. As always, a top-three finish is possible, but highly unlikely.

As the saying goes, months to build, minutes to break. I hope the breaking is at a minimum this year. I will post nightly updates while I am in Harrisburg.

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