Storm 2 (and Photon Storm, the robot that you’ll be able to see in the US show ‘BattleBots’) are a mixture of the right technology in the right place. Just as you wouldn’t want to run a website on a mainframe, you don’t want expensive, custom, precision CNC machined components of the robot where a piece of steel will do. So Storm 2 and Photon Storm are both built from a simple chassis. A steel chassis is easily repairable, with basic tools, there’s no need for an expensive machine shop. Give the team a grinder, saw and a welder and most things can be repaired.
The complex components are designed using Computer Aided Design, from which technical drawings can be sent to engineering companies for manufacture. It’s these intensive 3D applications that VMware’s GPU Accelerated Horizon Workspace makes such light work of, such as Autodesk Inventor. Team Storm use VMware’s Fusion product for Mac to allow them to run these intensive 3D Windows applications on a Mac. There was little value in buying a machine just to run one critical application – and the rock solid reliability of the VMware Hypervisor meant that Autodesk Inventor was used for almost all of the CAD that goes into the robot.
Storm 2 also makes use of the right materials in the right place, and makes few compromises. The whole of the outside of the robot is armoured in ‘Grade 5’ Titanium that in places is up to 1/2” thick – this is a super-high strength alloy of titanium, with a mixture of aluminium and vanadium. It’s most amazing property is its ability to flex and spring. There are parts on Storm 2 where you can hardly see a mark on the titanium armour, but underneath the steel chassis supporting it is dented by almost an inch – the titanium simply sprung back, leaving the steel underneath dented – oh… and did we mention it’s under half the weight of steel as well? It really is awesome material!
If you want to know more about our EUC products, or VMware Fusion – click here.
Want to find out more about what makes a robot capable of competing with the world’s best? Well we have more blogs on they way, including a detailed view of the weapons and software on board Storm 2. In the meantime, check out what makes Storm 2 so fast and powerful.