On September 7th, 2019, after a time of almost 4 hours with only a slight lunch break somewhere in-between, the bot known throughout the halls of Rolla’s Student Design Center as Ankle Grinder was first conceived. Through a brainstorming process with the entire team, people were divided up and made to throw out ideas left and right until something finally stuck. From incorporating claws, blades, and various assorted weaponry, it was eventually decided to utilize a simpler tool for the job: a vertical spinner.

Using momentum on its spinner, the bot would simply need to ram into its opponents to inflict devastating blows. Keeping the bot low to the ground and covered was a must as well to achieve this, allowing our bot to stay protected and hard to hit while trying to do the same to its opponents.

The name of Ankle Grinder was initially proposed as more of a joke than anything, called such for the design’s small (albeit fierce) stature causing it to, at best, grind someone’s ankles. And yet, the team came to fall in love with the name, so much so that it beat out every other name in a 16-man bracket! Construction began in November, with never an easy day in the shop for the team, as many trials and tribulations awaited Ankle Grinder’s completion. From problems ordering parts to struggles to meet self-made deadlines, Ankle Grinder proved to be a challenge for the team to complete. Finally, as the Spring competition in 2020 drew ever closer, in spite of every hardship the team had gone through to construct Ankle Grinder, the bot was ready… and yet, no one was ready for what would come next. On March 10th, it was announced that, due to the spread of COVID-19, in-person classes would be cancelled for the foreseeable future, and all robot combat competitions we had planned to compete in slowly joined in cancellation until none remained. Having just barely made it to the starting line before the race was called off, the team’s morale was devastated. Ankle Grinder would not get to compete, the spirit of innovation would end before it could go on, and our future sat in a limbo of uncertainty. And yet, we persevered regardless, trying in earnest vanity to find another competition, to build a new bot for a smaller weight class, or even start our own, and although these ideas were yet to bear any fruit for months, we held true to them regardless. Ankle Grinder was promised Ankles to Grind, and Grind Ankles it would.

Now, a year later, as competitions slowly began to crop back up across the country, Ankle Grinder was dusted off and fixed up in preparation for the coming storm. Reconfigured, a lighter-weight Ankle Grinder sits ready for its first competition, hungering for its first match. For those interested, you can watch as Ankle Grinder grinds up its competition on its maiden voyage at the Norwalk Havoc Competition in Connecticut on March 20th.

Choose Design Team
  • Student Design Teams
  • Missouri S&T Racing
  • Miner Aviation
  • Baja SAE
  • Missouri S&T Concrete Canoe
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • Formula SAE Electric
  • Human Powered Vehicle Team
  • Missouri S&T iGEM
  • Missouri S&T Underwater Robotics
  • Missouri S&T Solar Car Team
  • Missouri S&T Solar House Design Team
  • Steel Bridge Design Team
  • Mars Rover Design Team
  • multirotor-old
  • Missouri S&T Chem E Car
  • Missouri S&T Rocket Design Team
  • Miner Motorcycle Design Team
  • Combat Robotics
  • Nuclear Science Design Team
  • Space Week
  • Solar House Dev