Battle of the Techbots (PREVIEW Pt. 1 of 4): Penetrator vs. Magic Smoke

Techbots sign

A battle for Techbot supremacy is coming soon to the classrooms of Moraine Park. Here’s a preview of one of the first-round match-ups.  Check out the bios and watch the videos below, and let us know who you think will win in the comments section! 


Moraine Park’s Integrated Manufacturing Classes are required of students in the Mechanical Design, Process Engineering Technology, and Mechatronics programs.  Students in these programs take the course together and work in cross-functional teams to complete a project.  This year’s project was a Techbot competition.  Four teams in the evening class and four teams in the day class are building remote-controlled robots that will compete against each other by battling in an 8ft x 12ft cage.  Each team designed and built their Techbot from scratch.  Limitations included a $250 budget and a 15-pound weight limit.

Preliminary rounds will take place on Wednesday, May 4 for the evening class, and Friday, May 6 for the morning class. The finals will take place on Wednesday, May 11.

If you want to get in on the fun and see what career opportunities await you, visit for all the details!


Knights Team Picturex

TEAM MEMBERS: Aaron Jacoby, Alex TenHaken, Scott Hawley and Brad Zook.

TEAM NAME: Knights

CLASS: Evening


  • The robot is most distinguished by its hard armor, and spikes projecting form both sides.
  • Overly powerful motors and robust drive make it incredibly fast for a bot of its weight.
  • Functioning while upside down was a large part of this design, and the reason the teeth are reversed from one side to the other. When flipped over, it has the exact same weaponry.
  • Overall it is a powerful, simple design capable of robot destruction.


  • We started the design with the hard shell as we knew we needed to be able to take impact.
  • Through testing, we sourced components that were capable moving the robot with the speed and agility that were needed in the ring.
  • We designed the failsafe of upside down operation by making the bot symmetrical top and bottom.
  • The most interesting part of the design is the symmetrical two piece cross members that allow installation inside the frame, while maintaining a rigid, durable structure.
  • By modeling all of our components in the correct densities in CAD, we were able to control the weight to within a couple ounces, fighting probably the largest obstacle we were worried about.


    • We all used our various skill sets from design, drafting, welding, machining, assembly, electronics, and our personal lives in creating the winning robot you see today.






TEAM MEMBERS: Jason Prince, Steve Spenner, Jim Barbeau and Scott Daniels


CLASS: Evening


  • Smoke screens
  • Vertical shaft spinning blade centered
  • Wedge shaped bot


  • We chose a lightweight aluminum exoskeleton with room for mechanicals inside.
  • The Blade goes around entire perimeter for 360 degree attack and defense.
  • The weapon blades are CRS for strength.
  • Motor mounts, pulleys, & battery.


    • Bending the flat patterns up into their formed shapes was a challenge we had to work together to solve.
    • Some of the most challenging parts was finding compatible and functional electronic components like motor controllers, etc.
    • Each team member stepped up with their unique skills as different problems were encountered.


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