This is about the third version now of our laser tag system for Tech Camp. Every time we've built a batch with kids we've made it simpler. This time we decided that we needed just one main PCB; it now has the batteries, sensors, microcontroller, LED display bank and associate circuitry on it.
Robot Wars - Abu Dhabi Update
It's the last day of the science festival and it's been a busy time. We've had to ration out the UV torches as otherwise we would have run out a couple of days ago. We even had to close this workshop one evening when a mini riot started outside with parents trying to get their kids inside (no, we're not joking!)
The robots have been great. We've had a fleet of eight of them out here for the festival and the kids have been battling in the mini arena that was constructed to our specifications (it's great working for an event where you can pretty much get anything built you want). Our arena is a free-standing structure with the arena floor, walls and roof, along with storage cupboard for the electronics, AV system for the sound effects and even UV lighting for a bit of extra 'bling'.
For a simple design these have really performed well. Other than changing over the 3xAA batteries for a rechargeable lithium cell, these are basically the same design we make with the kids at the events. I was expecting more problems with such high use and was also worried that in this environment (with a lot of sand blowing in) we might have mechanical issues. We did have a couple of wheels get loose, but other than this and a couple of cracks in the chassis, they survived the experience remarkably well.