When I first saw PP3D, I had a feeling they could well have been one of the robots to watch. PP3D falls into the category of what I call ‘Experimental Kit’, a category which also includes the likes of Carbide and Pulsar. Because PP3D was very much that- experimental kit, containing several 3D printed components (We have a 3D printer in our 3rd year Physics lab, it’s awesome). Still,, housing a 31Kg spinning disc is a show of intent if ever I saw one and, having already seeing what damage Carbide was able to ship out in week 1, was almost fearful of what PP3D could do to the opposition. The positioning of the weapon was also interesting; It was almost like a reverse Bombshell, but with the same aim- go for the tyres.
Unfortunately things didn’t quite go as well for PP3D as their potential suggested. But that’s not to say they didn’t have an interesting journey along the way…
PP3D’s initial melee saw them face Kan-Opener, Apollo and Sweeney Todd. Sweeney Todd especially looked a good target to attack, but all there had components exposed that could make them a viable target, namely their wheels.
PP3D started by knocking back an attack from Kan-Opener, before narrowly missing a clash with the floor flipper. A frantic if average opening, PP3D finally got to show what their robot was capable of when Apollo launched an attack on Kan-Opener; With the flipper bot occupied, PP3D got in underneath with the disc, shredding one of Apollo’s wheels completely.
PP3D then went after Kan-Opener, who actually had more exposed tyres than Apollo did, but they proved to be a bit of a slippery customer. Infact, it was Kan-Opener that actually got hold of PP3D and began to cart them around the arena. With one wheel on the ground, however, PP3D managed to counter some of Kan-Opener’s push, and instead turned the capture into a weird little dance. Neither robot really able to grasp hold of control. This continued even when the coupling found its way onto the floor flipper, and were turned over, before finding their way onto Apollo… And were then turned over again. The problem now for PP3D is that it is the wrong way up, and the disc is now on top. To remedy this, PP3D drove themselves onto the floor flipper, but the robot wasn’t turned back over. Infact, if anything, all that happened as a consequence was that PP3D had what I can only describe as the robot equivalent of an epileptic fit.
Proceeding with its new found lack of balance, PP3D then finally took aim at Sweeney Todd- a robot you could be forgiven for forgetting actually existed- and tore one of the angle grinders off in its first hit. They then narrowly missed Apollo’s attack on Kan-Opener- at which point the robot had another fit- and then took another shot at Sweeney Todd… Except Sweeney Todd was already dead at this point. I suppose it was worth it just to show off your disc’s power
So, Head to Head time. PP3D first found themselves up against their fellow melee competitors Apollo, who themselves were out looking for revenge. And both robots went head on, straight for it straight away, causing PP3D to bounce off Apollo and back onto the floor. But it was a show of intent. PP3D hit Apollo another couple of times, but the damage was minimal. If anything, PP3D just bounced off every time it hit Apollo’s armour. Eventually this led to PP3D being painted into a corner by Apollo, and when PP3D bounced up after another attack, they landed on their enemy’s flipper, and the resulting attack took PP3D’s tyre clean off!
Now with just one wheel connected to the floor, PP3D began moving around in circles. Didn’t stop them from attacking Apollo, just made it rather difficult. Apollo likely realised this, and kept their distance, until finally they struck the fatal blow, flipping PP3D into the floor so hard that the removable link… er… removed itself. Ouch.
So PP3D next came up against Eruption, knowing that they needed at least a victory of some sort to keep them in the competition.
When the battle started, although Eruption came out firing, PP3D managed to land a swift number of blows. One, two, three and Eruption was flying across the arena. Eruption certainly never gave up, but their smaller size meant that they were far more affected by PP3D’s hits than Apollo were.
Eruption seemed to be holding up well against the attacks, but PP3D’s war of attrition was slowly starting to get through. Hit after hit, they were wearing down Eruption, who had now resorted to activating the pit release mechanism. As it turned out, the next hit proved critical. Infact, the hit was so powerful that it shredded one of Eruption’s protective armour panels, and completely ruined one of their wheels too. That would be great, except it also manage to seize up one of PP3D’s wheels as well, meaning the remainder of the fight constituted the two robots awkwardly attempting to make their way to each other. They failed.
PP3D, however, did win the judges’ decision. So that’s something.
That left one final match against Storm 2. The winner of this fight would be going through to face Apollo in the heat finale. The loser would be going home. Simple, right?
And so both teams, much like the previous battle, went straight for it. Storm 2 manage to bounce PP3D off them before the latter hit the former with their disc, showering the arena in sparks, if nothing else. Each hit on Storm 2 was very similar, with Storm’s shape meaning PP3D bounced up into the air with each contact. Eventually this allowed Storm 2 to navigate PP3D towards Shunt, where they collided.
Still, with each hit PP3D was doing damage to Storm 2, especially on the side panelling. But Storm 2 was a resilient robot, and would not stop coming back after them. And, in the end, PP3D’s endurance would run out. All throughout the match there had been a horrific sound coming from PP3D’s weapon, which was actually from the Hardox warping and therefore colliding with the chassis every time it spun up. That wasn’t what ended them though. What ended them was a wheel seizing up, AGAIN. And, as it seized up over the pit, it was a simple task for Storm 2 to activate the pit release and watch PP3D fall. And that, as it happened, was the end of the line for PP3D.
So, how did PP3D do? Well they started off well enough in their opening heat, dealing damage to Apollo’s wheel- although the random break dancing that happened in the latter half of the fight due to their robot being upside down was maybe not their finest hour. The rematch with Apollo didn’t go their way either, with the disc having minimal impact and their link flying out by the end. They did cause great damage to Eruption, but in the process also damaged themselves. And it was that damage that came back to haunt them against Storm 2 in the match that finally eliminated them. A robot with potential, but too many failing parts to realise it. If they fix the reliability, PP3D could become a fierce competitor in the future.
Robot Rating (PP3D): 6.5/10
I’m quite proud of the fact I got through this without once mentioning Typhoon 2 or the 7th wars grand final.