Battlebots, Gladiators of the 21st century

Robots can do a lot of things, so why not put them to fight against each other?

This idea, born in 1994 with the “Robot Wars” competition that was held in August, at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California. The idea is to put robots into different competitions, like playing football, the tug of war, and obstacle races, and of course to fight each other.

  • Lightweight 27 kg
  • Middleweight 54 kg
  • Heavyweight 100 kg
  • Superheavyweight 154 kg

And in the latest editions new classes where introduced:

  • Fairyweight 150 grams
  • Antweight 450 grams
  • Beetleweight 1,3 kg
  • Hobbyweight 5,4 kg
  • Featherweight 13,6 kg

The house robots are massive pieces and they are not subject to the same limitations as the competing robots, the biggest one, “Mr. Psycho” totaling 750kg of metal gears. That can explain the introduction of much smaller categories into the competitions.

Mr Phyco, in the arena

Combat rules:

Each combat will last 3 minutes.
During that time each robot will try to put the opponent out of combat (unable to operate).

The first robot that is unable to move for 30 seconds, because it’s damaged or blocked it is declared KO.
To protect the robots from being heavily damaged the driver can call a “tap-out” to forfeit the match. Once the driver has made the call, a 10 seconds count down is started until the match it stopped. Note that during this period the opponent can still do more damage.

If both robots ended the match, a jury composed of 3 people will distribute a total of 45 points among 3 categories, Strategy, Aggression and Damage. The robot with the higher score wins.
The winner moves on; the loser is eliminated from the tournament.

The Combat Arena

The arena is a steel square of 13m x13m with steel-framed walls and roof protected with thick, bullet proof polycarbonate plastic, designed to protect the drivers, officials, and audience from flying shrapnel and charging robots.
The robots make their entry trough doorways, which are locked until the end of the combat.
The drivers control their machines from outside the sealed arena.

Arena Dangers (partial list)

  • Spinners: Disks in the floor that send a light
    robot flying across the arena. This only affects the lower weight
  • Spike Strips: These 30cm long spikes mounted on the
    walls of the arena can cause serious damage if a robot is pushed against
  • Kill Saws: They are activated by red slots on the
    arena. If a robot drives over one of these slots, a diamond-tipped saw
    blade rises out of the floor, and can tear into the robot wheels and chassis.
  • Ramrods: Six sharp steel spikes that come out of
    the floor. The can damage a robot if the bottom is not protected.
  • Pistons: Pistons, like the Ramrods raise and
    lower from the floor without warning. They are not sharp or fast, they
    don’t do much damage to robots.
  • Hell Raisers: up until season 5, the center of the
    arena was equipped with an hydraulic lift will move sections of the floor
    to a 15-degree tilt.

The arena hazards make fights unpredictable, and tend to reward drivers who avoid the hazards while forcing their opponents to fall into them.

Although this type of competition can be really fun, spending month of time and money to see your creation destroyed in the arena is not for everybody.There are a number of Robotic competitions around where you can take your creations without risking any damage to your creation.

Juan Pablo.

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