The first version of Melanistic Leopard is a very conventional drum spinner design based on the Kinetic kit. The robot's frame is UHMWPE, measuring up to 1/2" (12.7mm) in places, with a 1/8" (3.175mm) Garolite baseplate and a 1/8" (3.175mm) polycarbonate top plate. The weapon is a beater bar made of 7075 aluminum with large carbon steel screws for teeth, and features a pair of feeder wedgelets made of 7075 aluminum. The robot also has an interchangeable feeder wedge made of 7075 aluminum, however this has not been used in combat yet.
The drivetrain is a pair of planetary gearmotors turning a pair of foam wheels. The gearmotors have each had an additional Alloy910 sleeve added to prevent the motors from being knocked off of the gearboxes - a common problem with these motors. The wheels are protected by a pair of heat-formed 1/8" (3.175mm) UHMWPE wheel guards.
The weapon is driven by a relatively large brushless inrunner motor through a 2:1 reduction belt drive. The entire robot is powered by a "graphene-enhanced" 4S 850mAh Lithium Polymer battery pack. It is unknown whether the battery pack actually contains any graphene.
There is a second version of Melanistic Leopard in the works, featuring a redesigned frame and new frontal attachments.
Small Bots of Mass Destruction: Fair Fights 2017Edit
Melanistic Leopard's first match was against the previous champion Trilobiter, a full-body spinner. Both robots immediately spun up, although Melanistic Leopard did not spin to full power. After trading a few hits, Trilobiter landed a powerful hit on Melanistic Leopard, tossing Melanistic Leopard into the corner but flipping Trilobiter upside-down. Trilobiter spun around the arena floor, with Melanistic Leopard chasing it. An unsuccessful attempt to toss Trilobiter into the pit resulted in Trilobiter being flipped back onto its wheels, but it was no longer able to spin. Melanistic Leopard eventually tossed Trilobiter onto the arena wall, where it was counted out. Melanistic Leopard moved up to the next round of the winner's bracket.
Melanistic Leopard's second match was against XK-1, a UHMWPE and polycarbonate brick with an array of sawblades at the front. After a bit of maneuvering and a few traded hits, XK-1 managed to get around Melanistic Leopard and scraped at its wheel guards, doing a noticeable of cosmetic damage. Soon after, Melanistic Leopard eventually scored a solid hit on XK-1's weapon, disabling it and outright destroying the blades. Melanistic Leopard tossed XK-1 around and XK-1 eventually ended up in the pit. Melanistic Leopard moved on to the third round in the winner's bracket.
In its third match, Melanistic Leopard was up against Samhain, a drum spinner. Both bots spun up, and Melanistic Leopard immediately charged Samhain. Melanistic Leopard managed to tear off Samhain's wheel guards in quick succession, but in turn was tossed about a bit. Samhain eventually managed to flip Melanistic Leopard. Afterwards, Melanistic Leopard pinned Samhain in the corner of the arena, tearing off one of Samhain's wheels in the process. Melanistic Leopard proceeded to repeatedly hit Samhain with its drum, though Samhain eventually escaped by gyro-dancing away. Melanistic Leopard gave chase and eventually tore off Samhain's remaining wheel, tossing Samhain across the arena in the process. Samhain tapped out, and Melanistic Leopard moved on to the winner's bracket final.
In the winner's bracket final, Melanistic Leopard faced Milkshake, another drum spinner. After a bit of maneuvering and a few glancing hits, Melanistic Leopard managed to flip Milkshake over. The two bots then met weapon-to-weapon, tossing Milkshake backwards. Melanistic Leopard then proceded to pin Milkshake against the wall, grinding at its wheel guard in the process. However, while attempting to land a hit on Milkshake, Melanistic Leopard missed and got one of its wedgelets stuck under the wall. An unstick was called and the match paused. When the match resumed, Melanistic Leopard immediately charged Milkshake, which seemed to be already disabled. Milkshake was flipped one last time and then tapped out. Melanistic Leopard went on to the grand final.
Melanistic Leopard faced XK-1 again in the grand final. The match began as it did previously, with both bots meeting in the center of the arena and Melanistic Leopard spinning up. XK-1, however, did not have a functional weapon for this match. After both bots drove in a circle for a bit, Melanistic Leopard eventually landed a solid hit on XK-1's non-functional weapon and then pinned XK-1 into the wall. Melanistic Leopard then backed off, and XK-1 pursued. After a bit more circling, XK-1 retreated with Melanistic Leopard pursuing. Melanistic Leopard eventually landed a good hit and proceeded to toss XK-1 towards the pit, with XK-1 attempting to maneuver around Melanistic Leopard between each hit. Eventually, XK-1 ended up right next to the pit and Melanistic Leopard attempted to toss it into the pit, but Melanistic Leopard's weapon failed to bite into the side of XK-1 and XK-1 managed to escape. A few more big hits, and XK-1 ended up on the wall. XK-1 managed to free itself from the wall, and then pushed Melanistic Leopard towards the pit. However, it instead pinned Melanistic Leopard against the wall. XK-1 backed off, and Melanistic Leopard pursued. After a few more hits and some maneuvering, Melanistic Leopard managed to toss XK-1 into the polycarbonate arena wall. This hit also pealed a part of XK-1's top armor off. After some more maneuvering, XK-1 ended up pinned on the wall again before being tossed into the pit. Melanistic Leopard won the 2017 Small Bots of Mass Destruction Fair Fights 2017 Beetleweight championship.
Melanistic Leopard wasn't done yet, as it then challenged dogeweight Toxic BARista to a grudge match. Melanistic Leopard was easily pushed around by its much larger and heavier opponent, but managed to flip Toxic BARista multiple times. Multiple unsticks were called during this grudge match, as Toxic BARista kept getting high-centered on top of Melanistic Leopard and Melanistic Leopard wasn't able to move with a bot five times its weight stuck on top. Eventually, Melanistic Leopard managed to damage the wiring harness of Toxic BARista, who tapped out immediately after.
Battles at Miami Makerfaire 2017Edit
Small Bots of Mass Destruction Beach Brawl 2017Edit
Clash of the Bots 2017Edit
Hickory Bot Battles 2017Edit
Robot Battles 64Edit
Small Bots of Mass Destruction Fair Fights 2018Edit
Florida Polytechnic University Fire Fights 2018Edit
Performance in combatEdit
Melanistic Leopard is the #9 ranked beetleweight on SPARC Botrank as of the most recent page update, boasting a record of 20 wins in 26 matches officially, most by KO or TKO. Unofficially (due to a lack of updates on SPARC Botrank), this record is increased to 28 wins in 34 matches. Of its losses, it has only suffered one KO and one TKO. It has won multiple events, including three Small Bots of Mass Destruction championships and Fire Fights at Florida Polytechnic University. It was also the grand finalist at Miami Makerfaire 2017, losing to champion Herp-A-Derp, and a semifinalist at Robot Battles 64, losing to finalist Silent Spring.
At Clash of the Bots 2017, Melanistic Leopard dropped out of the event due to damage after losing to Weta, God of Ugly Things. At Hickory Bot Battles, the robot went 2-2 due to the previously mentioned issue with the gearmotors, as it did not have the retainer sleeves yet.
- Melanistic Leopard is the only beetleweight to have won a Small Bots of Mass Destruction championship more than once.
- It is also the only robot to have never lost a match at Small Bots of Mass Destruction events.
- This bot has been very successful at every event it's entered except ones in its home state of North Carolina.
- Melanistic Leopard is one of the few beetleweights to win a fight against a robot three weight classes above its own.