The Hurting with armour fitted below the overhead blade, at AWS 38
Weight: 150g (Antweight)
Dimensions: 145 x 98 x 25 mm
Power: 2S 120mah Hyperion lithium polymer battery pack
Electronics: Peter Waller Option D drive speed controller, Futaba Dragon 10A weapon speed controller (later a Peter Waller RX31D speed controller/reciever module and XP-7A weapon speed controller)
Drive: 2 x Pololu 50:1 HP gearmotors driving 20mm Scalextric wheels
Chassis: 1.5mm polycarbonate, 1mm polypropylene
Armour: 0.5mm aluminium sheet (later 1mm aluminium & carbon fibre composite)
Weapons: 145mm wearplate steel overhead spinning blade powered by AXI 2203 brushless motor, wedge shape
Cost: £300

The Hurting was, like many Team Picus robots (as you will see if you are reading these in order), born of a desire to use a single part rather than any overarching design concept.

In early 2011, I had been talking to Andrew Hibberd (the most successful antweight roboteer ever to have lived, of Anticide fame) and in the course of the conversation, it came up that he no longer had a use for a six inch long Hardox wearplate steel spinning weapon he had machined, which had adorned many of his more experimental robots but seen battle only once, because of the difficulty inherent in designing a machine to take full advantage of the weapon's size. Despite lacking the necessary design skill, my inner idiot overruled my self-preservation instincts and a deal was done, and in the time it took for Andy to kindly machine a custom mount for an AXI 2203 brushless motor, I set about designing a chassis to deliver the blade to its targets. The Hurting under construction with no armour, on a wooden table

Drawing inspiration both from mercurial American middleweight "Hazard" and from my desire to make the robot as simple as was reasonably possible, the resulting robot was of a box wedge design - more box than wedge, with a very low, 1.5mm thick polycarbonate chassis to which everything was mounted. The weapon, spinning horizontally overhead, only struck about two centimetres above the floor, with the front wedge serving to guide opponents into it. The weapon motor and Futaba Dragon brushless controller aside, most of the parts were recycled; the 50:1 HP drive motors and Scalextric wheels were meant for Razor Wind, an axe robot that never came to be, while they were controlled by a Peter Waller Option D bought from Harry Hills (and then kindly fixed by Mr. Waller himself after a soldering cockup!).

However good the weapon looked, and however solid the chassis looked, it all gave way to the slightly queasy feeling of having an armourless robot weighing in excess of 140g with the event fast approaching, and - with no easy way to gain enough grams without losing structural stability - the proposed titanium top and front had to give way to 0.5mm thick aluminium. I reasoned that with such a wide-reaching weapon the armour only needed to prevent the weapon hitting its own components and after only having one day to work on the robot (due to university exams; despite such a short timespan, I still managed to do considerable damage to myself trying to cut a hole for the weapon motor in the armour!), it looked surprisingly complete and even, somehow, dangerous.

Continuing my trend of naming robots after obscure 1980s song titles, The Hurting arrived in Brighton and immediately faced another, vertical spinner, Sidewinder from Euan Wood and family. I was genuinely very worried about the fight as I thought the weapon would self-destruct at the first opportunity, but in the event it was a quick, painless fight - the only damage was to one of the (non-countersunk) bolts holding the armour on, as the first impact jolted The Hurting out of the arena. The Hurting fighting Creepy Crawly at AWS 38With no other problems and in full working order, it then proceeded to make many other robots hurt - most notably Egg Eater, which was de-tracked, and Jim Blunden's amazing Creepy Crawly which had its armour ripped off and the front titanium plough torn away from its weapon, later to be gifted to me as a souvenir! This was much, much to my surprise, the weapon outperforming my expectations so much and spinning so stably that I had no clue how to control its power in the arena, and it was that driving inexperience that ultimately let me down against Dave Weston's Bulletproof.

The Hurting returned intact from AWS 38 and in theory, could have fought again with no alterations; however, the bodyshell damage needed repairing for cosmetic reasons if nothing else. Initially, I made up a composite bodyshell using some more 0.5mm aluminium sheet, carbon fibre, and a lot of epoxy; however, weight issues resulted in this being replaced with thin polycarbonate for my next World Series, 42, where the robot didn't perform anywhere near as well due to a combination of an unlucky draw, speed controller issues, and poor driving (caused by a year spent in Canada unable to practice!). Over the following winter, the heavy Futaba Dragon speed controller was replaced with a smaller, lighter 7A model, which freed up enough weight to use the composite armour, and a late change of speed controller (after an accident in testing) to one of Peter Waller's DT reciever modules left the robot a good ten grams underweight going into AWS 43 in Reading.

Unfortunately, the beautiful, vast, earth-shattering, indestructible blade proved to be the robot's downfall; during its first fight in Reading, against Ant2D2 Ewok Defence Unit, the spun up weapon snagged on the robot's power cables and came to a very sudden stop, breaking its mounts. The Hurting on a hotel bed, with carbon fibre armourAlthough, miraculously, no event-ending damage was done to the robot, the motor shaft and mounting points had been warped out of shape by the impact, and the weapon became unstable above half throttle. The Hurting was able to fight on and cause more damage, eventually meeting its end at the hands of Ant2D2 again, but the die had been cast and I had concluded that the blade was just too powerful to be contained with my rudimentary design and engineering skills. It continued to fight without success - largely through a lack of driving practice - and was eventually retired after a winless AWS 44 campaign, with the lessons learned being incorporated into future designs.