As part of our maker series, we will be bringing you some of the best builds from around the country. From Cosplay to Props to just plain cool we are going to be talking to makers about their latest projects to inspire you to take on that ambitious build of your own.

Just about anyone who has ever watched a Transformers cartoon has dreamt of battling robots. With the rise of easier access to maker materials and tools, combat robots have taken off in the last few years as an underground sport for metal on metal combat.

We love battling bots, so this build log we talk to Harley from Creative Instigation competing in the Australian RoboWars Nationals this weekend about one of his other bots on the road to the Nationals.

So tell us a little more about your build, what is it? Why did you decide to build it?

Enter Justice BOT! this is 13.6 kg of revenge. Built to compete in the 2018 sportsman division of Robowars. Topped with a 3d printed head of everyone’s favourite vigilante “Batman”. So Justice bot is a combat robot, a wonderful sport where we spend every spare bit of money and time to create something that we throw inside a bulletproof arena to watch it kill or be killed. I have built many combat robots over the years but this was my first “themed” build, I wanted it to stand out and give something for the crowd to cheer about.

What is it made of?

The armour and frame are made out of 3.2mm checker plate mild steel. The weapon is an axe made out of ballistic Bizalloy plate (thank you work scrap bin) the drive is powered with brushless drives running though planetary gearboxes to turn the rubber onto the arena floor, the axe is powered by an ATV starter motor with limit switches controlled by a custom ESC.

How long did it take you to build? Can you tell us a little more about the build?

The build time was about 2 months from when I had the idea to finished project

Was this your first build?

Not my first build

How much did this build set you back?
Banebots Planetary gearboxes x2 $90, Brushless ESCS (electric speed controller) x2 $45, Brushless motors x2 $30, ATV starter motor chain and sprockets $50, steel checker plate and Bisalloy free in the work scrap bin, lipo battery $20 other bits and bobs $50. total $450, this seems steep but I have used the planetary gearboxes in other builds same with the ESCs and batteries. you can use hacked cordless drill motors from Kmart ($20 each) instead of brushless bane bots.

Any protips you can share after making this or maybe stuff you learnt that you intend to use on another build?

  1. Build a basic wedge or brick before attempting a spinner or other weaponized robots just to figure out how it all works (many bricks or wedges have won nationals in Australia)
  2. Count every gram if you do not you will pay in kilos! the maximum weight for this class is 13.6kgs no ifs or butts.
  3. Draw it all out, buy your parts and weigh it all before you start building.
  4. Read watch and learn everything about combat robots, info is available everywhere on the web (my youtube channel, for example, 😛 or Robowars forum)
  5. Have fun with this! combat robo-people are the best, they will do their best to destroy your robot in the arena but that attitude stays in the arena, if they destroy your bot they are usually the first people to offer help and parts to get your bot running again before the next match!

If someone wants to find out more about your build or how to make their own where can they find out more?

My builds are on the Robowars Forum which has an absolute boatload of information and many builders logs on it, or alternatively, visit my Youtube and Facebook (or website) for information on past and upcoming robot builds and tutorials.


Don’t forget the RoboWars Nationals are happening this weekend, October 29th and 30th, in Brisbane. Standard and some VIP tickets are still available for the half-day sessions if you want to go to one or all the fights before being inspired to go build your own. There will be multiple fight weight classes over the weekend starting at the smaller Ant Weight.

If you are interested in finding out more or maybe building your own ‘Bot don’t forget to check the full build on the Robowars Forum and for more from Harley, maker of Justice Bot, on his website or see his new Bot Incitement at the Nationals this weekend.

Have your own build you want to get featured? Maybe you want to even be our maker correspondent? Drop us a mail via [email protected]