Photo from Robogames.net
The sport of robotic combat has been around in one form or another for more than fifteen years. While there is much debate on exactly who started it and which flavor is the most entertaining, the most popular version in the United States is BattleBots which was created in 1999 by Trey Roski and Greg Munson. Today the robots are stronger and faster, the arena is bigger and tougher, and the exposure is greater than ever.
In its latest incarnation two or three 250 pound mechanical monsters slam into each other in a 2300 square foot arena riddled with hazards. They try to disable the opponent or impress the judges enough in under three minutes to be declared the victor. Weapons range from hammers or saws to heavy spinning bludgeons to launchers that can hurl the opponent out of the arena. This last type is the specialty of team Lucky Canucky.
While BattleBots is the only active robot combat TV show in the US, there are still several live competitions all across the states for weight classes ranging from 150 grams to 220 pounds. These competitions appeared when the sport left the air in the early 2000’s and are still active today. Other than BattleBots, Mark and Robert F have mostly competed at Robogames in California. Zac spent most of his time at the Northeast Robotics Club events in PA, and Rob M even started a competition called MassDestruction in the Boston area.