A few years ago I had an idea to make Lego battle robots from RC cars. The Mindstorm sets were way to expensive for me at the time and I just wanted to crash something that would break up and have fun and mass mayhem. So we bought some gear boxes from Tamiya and built some quick and dirty little battle bots glued some Legos on it and off we went. A couple of years later I read about just gluing the plates on R/C cars and going at it in Ken Denmead's Geek Dad Red Book (A must have bible of Geek Dad Projects).
This year our Makers Club Kids at my son's school are doing just that. I have bought close to $1000 dollars in Legos (including that Mindstorm I couldn't afford when I was younger) Kreoes, and other brick sets. We bought 12 RC cars and glued some plates on them. The kids had 20 minutes to design and build an offensive and defensive system to protect their Mini-fig.
I had to explain that the weight on the hood could remove traction from the rear wheels and cause the car to spin. This happened several times in the beginning as the kids wanted to build massive walls around their Mini-fig causing the rear wheels to be light on the ground. The next iteration of the cars had the Mini-Fig on the back of the car with no walls but a large ram on the top braced on the hood. One car placed his Mini-fig on the side in a chair with a lance from a knight and a sword mounted in the side.
Other Ideas had no blocks at all just the mini-fig.
My favorite one tried to hook the mini-fig on a tall wedge that would put it above the other cars unfortunately this fell victim to inertia. The car hit a wall and came to sudden stop. The mini-fig did not. It looked real cool but I don't think that design will be used again.
Another one took wings from a Lego plane and build large knives to slice his opponents mini-fig off . This proved moderately effective but his opponent drove into a table leg and knocked all his armor off so we didn't get to see it in a full combat.
One of the most effective was a pivot mounted on the front of a car that would swing from side to side as the car turned. He would slam into the side of a car and the weight on the front would swing around and knock the car next to him on is side. Since he had all the weight on the front his car would spin in circle all the time. I don't know if he intended to that or of it was just luck either way it was very effective.
I cant wait for the next meeting to see what they thing up next. Every time someone find a new idea the rest either copy it or make something to counter it.
Photo Note: The pics are so bad because I dropped and broke my Iphone Its hard to take pictures on the fly when you can't see the image on the screen. I also cut the heads off on purpose to protect the guilty. The child you can see is my geekling so I have permission from the Geek Goddess to show his face.
Book Note: I bought the book no money or anything exchanged hands for this story. Well I did get my name mentioned on the podcast last week but I was going to write this anyway.
Makers Club Note. If you would like to learn more about our Makers Club check out the website at http://olphmakersclub.blogspot.com/