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“You’ll also need a series of tools, such as basic hand tools, including:

a soldering iron like this:

Like the other items on my list, you can find cheaper ones.  My team used versions of these in the factory I ran, where we were soldering all day long.  I know that they last.



hex wrenches like these:


and a Dremel or Flexible Shaft:

I grew up with these. They are pricey. I still have mine from 1986 and it’s still going strong, so I can vouch for the brand. There are models that are 1/3 as much, I just don’t have any experience with them.




Robot Power vs Scorpion Nano DESC

Electronic Speed Controllers are critical for combat robotics.

We compare the Endbots DESC, the Scorpion Nano DESC, and the Fingertech tinyESC v2.

Drive motors and weapon motors must be controlled.  Builders do this with an Electronic Speed Controller (ESC).  Many speed controllers, like the Fingertech tinyESC, control only a single device.  A Dual speed controller controls two devices at the same time.  With a dual speed controller, you can often save cost and weight.


Comparison Table



Fingertech tinyESC v2

The Fingertech tinyESC is the gold standard for combat robotics’ brushed motor ESC.   However, there is a price to pay (literally) in both cost, complexity, and weight.  Fingertech’s tinyESC has only a single bidirectional channel, and therefore requires two ESC’s with the attendant wiring complexity.

Fingertech is the best-known supplier of combat robot parts, and they dominate the Antweight class.  Also, they also have a series of parts that work well on beetleweights, particularly their eggbeater weapon and electronics.  Fingertech is the designer and/or integrator of a number of classic parts for the industry, and their Viper antweight kit is well known as the most common starter kit.

Fingertech has had some supply challenges for the last year, and supplies of ESC’s, kits, and mechanicals have had issues from weeks to months.  However, in general, they are a very reliable supplier, and the best in the combat robotics industry.

Endbots DESC

The Endbots Dual ESC is a well known Dual ESC and, when you consider you only need one unit not two, you gain both a cost advantage and a weight advantage.  The Endbots DESC was a project designed and built by a combat robot builder.  You can see a snippet about the project here.

Another interesting difference is the Endbots’ option of an onboard Lemon receiver, which neither of the other devices possesses.  This can further simplify weight, wiring, and cost.  Endbots’ DESC has a good name in the sport, but it can be hard to get.

Endbots is generally seen as a niche supplier.  They do offer some custom-designed parts, including the Endbots DESC and a micro switch, but much of the inventory on their website is Fingertech or other manufacturers’.  Much of it also shows as sold out.

Endbots’ Founder, Jeffrey Olijar, started his design work with the DESC project.  You can find it here on

Scorpion Nano DESC

The Robot Power Scorpion Nano is not as well recognized.  However, it is at a significantly superior price point.  It operates at a lower minimum voltage (3.3v vs. 6.5v).  Additionally, the max voltage is similar to the Endbots’ (16v for the Nano vs. 16.8v for the Endbots’).  Neither is anywhere near the max of the Fingertech at 36v.  The price point is significantly better than the Fingertech, given the fact that one only needs one and not two.

Other Robot Power products are better known.  The Scorpion Mini is well known as the Beetleweight “go-to” ESC for ruggedness and reliability.  If the Scorpion Nano is as reliable as the Mini, it can be a formidable contender in the DESC market.

Robot Power specializes almost exclusively in robotics power and control boards.  While they had at least one point supply problem, in general, they maintain stock and can ship quickly.  They are US-based.


All three products are great products, each with its strengths.  Currently, COVID has caused the world’s supply to be difficult, which leaves openings for less-known contenders like the Scorpion Nano to make a name for themselves.

The Scorpion Nano

The Fingertech tinyESC v2

The Scorpion Mini




Robot Riot May 2021May 22, 2021
Robot Battles – Dragoncon – 2021September 5, 2021
Utah Bot Brawl 2021 Spring FlingMay 8, 2021
Norwalk Havoc Robot League May 2021May 15, 2021
CROK: Creek County MeleeMay 15, 2021
Michigan Mashup 2021June 26, 2021
Houston Mayhem 2021May 22, 2021
Wisconsin Robotic Combat 2021May 22, 2021
Maryland Meltdown 2021June 5, 2021
Battle in the Backwoods 2021June 12, 2021
First State FightsJuly 17, 2021
Norwalk Havoc Robot League July 2021July 24, 2021
Rocket Republic Taproom Tap OutJuly 17, 2021
Oregon State Post-COVID BattleJune 19, 2021
Minnesota Combat Robotics ClubJuly 19, 2021
Robot Resurrection Fight NightJuly 2, 2021
Battle in the Backwoods 10.9.21October 9, 2021
Twin Cities TerrorAugust 14, 2021
Minnesota Combat Robotics Club Aug 14August 14, 2021
CROK at Maker Faire Tulsa 08-28-21August 28, 2021
August Annihilation 08-28-21August 28, 2021
Ohio House Of Robotic Destruction 09.17.21September 17, 2021
Utah Bot Brawl 09.18.21September 18, 2021
Norwalk Havoc Robot League 11.13.21November 13, 2021
Norwalk Havoc Robot League 9.18.21September 18, 2021
Hickory Bot Battles 09.24.21September 24, 2021
CROK at Tinkerfest 09-25-21September 25, 2021
Wisconsin Robotic Combat 09.26.21September 26, 2021
MORF Showdown at the EXPO 10.2.21October 2, 2021
Maker Battle 10.2.21October 2, 2021
Smashbotz 10.16.21October 16, 2021
First State Fights Two! 10.23.21October 23, 2021
CANCELLED: Rocket Republic Taproom Tap Out #7 10.23.21October 23, 2021
WAR Hobby Expo 10.31.21October 30, 2021
Nightmare on Bot Street 10.30.21October 30, 2021
Houston Halloween 10.31.21October 31, 2021
Michigan Mashup 11.06.21November 6, 2021
OSCR Winter Wars 01.08.22January 8, 2022
Robot Battles – Dragoncon – 09.04.22September 4, 2022
Smashbotz Sessions: Monthly MAGlab Melee Massacre 01.08.22January 8, 2022
Wisconsin Robotic Combat 01.15.22January 15, 2022
Mechanical Mayhem Winter 01.15.22January 15, 2022
MACROBots Test and Tune 01.15.22January 15, 2022
Robotica 2022 at ComicPalooza 07.15.22July 16, 2022
Hickory Bot Battles 09.23.22September 23, 2022
Maximum Mayhem 09.10.22September 10, 2022


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