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[BattleBots] - A New Dawn in the East: King of Bots

Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
edited November 2017 in Debate and/or Discourse
New-BB-Logo.png
It's been almost 13 years since BattleBots was last on the air, but its time in the spotlight has come again. In one week, ABC will begin airing the 6th Season in the 9:00 PM EST timeslot on Sunday for a total of six episodes.

This competition will be a little different from prior years, even ignoring the massive improvement in component quality (13 years of battery development is a hell of a thing) and techniques in each robot's design and construction. For one, only one weight class will be involved: all the robots will be 250 lbs (around the middle of the old Super-Heavyweight class), or in the case of Multibots add up to a maximum of 250 lbs. Second, wedges have been effectively banned from the competition: all competitors were required to have some kind of active weapon on their robot in order to compete. That ensures no rounds will be purely pushing matches between metal bricks, at least not unless they destroy each other's weapons first. That raises the question: what kind of weapons will we be seeing?

Weapons can be broken down into two classes: spinning and non-spinning.

Spinning Weapons
  • Bars - Not unlike a lawnmower blade, these are relatively simple beams of metal spun on an axle. They're relatively inexpensive to make, and have larger striking surfaces than most other spinning weapons. The primary downside of a spinning bar is they have low Moments of Inertia [MOI] compared to ring or disk shapes, so you would have to spin them faster to store an equal amount of kinetic energy as a more optimal shape.
  • Disks - This is your traditional saw-blade shape, but it should be noted that saws have a distinct disadvantage in that they tend to push whatever they cut away from them every single time a tooth hits it. This means conventional saws are usually only found on wedges or robots with some kind of gripping mechanism, and the saw always rotates counter-clockwise to pull the other robot back into the blade. This adds a lot of complexity, so most disks are a basic flat circle with one or two teeth on the exterior, total. These take advantage of the fact that each strike of a tooth will push a target, and are more intended to smash or kick than cut, hence why many of the teeth used for such weapons have a broad, flat striking surface. Conventional disks have two major disadvantages: they have to be aimed more precisely due to their thin cross-section, and they experience more gyroscopic forces that hinder maneuverability.
  • Drums - Drums are a subset of disks, as the cross-section of their weapons are indeed ring-shaped. However, they trade a large external diameter for a much wider weapon, making them much easier to control (less gyroscopic precession issues) and much easier to land solid hits on an opponent.
  • Shell Spinners - The first and most notable instance of a shell spinner was Adam Savage & Jaime Hyneman's Blendo, where they made a robot whose entire dome-shaped exterior armor plating was spun to several thousand RPM and used both as defense and offense. These are highly destructive and durable robots (if built properly), but are notoriously expensive to make up to modern standards.

  • Translational Drift/Full Body Spinners - The pinnacle of horizontally-aligned spinning weapon robots, these use the entirety of their mass as a weapon. Before the common availability of microcontrollers and cheap sensors brought on by the proliferation of smartphones, these were actually surprisingly harmless since they could either only drive or only spin. However, with the clever use of a high rate gyro and some code, it became possible to control the direction these robots drifted as they spun, solving the drive vs spin issue. These robots tend to be surprisingly rare, despite their capacity for destruction and simplicity.

Non-Spinning Weapons
  • Lifters/Flippers - Any set of linkages meant to lift a robot off of its wheels/legs at a range of speeds, possibly culminating in the other robot being launched into the air or flipped upside down. These tend to be pretty successful since a surprising number of robots either drive poorly when inverted or cannot drive at all.
  • Grabbers/Crushers - Any set of linkages meant to grab onto another robot so it can be dragged around the arena, frequently combined with a lifting mechanism. If they're backed with enough power and structural integrity, the are frequently intended to crush down on another robot and pierce its armor, both enabling a better grip and possibly damaging internal components and mechanisms. These are frequently crowd favorites, but are not noted as being easy or inexpensive to design, build, and maintain.

  • Hammers - It might seem like these belong with Grabbers & Crushers, but hammers tends to be defined more by having a quicker, more instantaneous action meant to be fired many times. The major downside with this design is it's trickier to deliver force this way compared to what you see in many spinning weapon designs.
  • Flamethrowers - Compressed gas is the only fuel permitted (napalm would not be good for the polycarbonate walls of the arena), so this is sort of a tack-on 'style' weapon for many robots. In the rare cases that it does cause damage, it's usually because it pushed an already hot motor controller or motor over the edge.

Here's a first look at the competitors and their robots for the upcoming show, plus an overview of the new arena at the end of the third video:
And an extended trailer:

So, you want to make your own BattleBot?
A good place to start is this incredible tutorial created by Riobotz, an exceptional team from Brazil that regularly competes at RoboGames. It goes over just about everything you'll need to get going, though I'm uncertain as to how recently it's been updated (considerations like speed controllers and battery technologies may have changed since the time of its writing). There are also a number of communities online you can refer to, searching for "combat robots" will get you plenty of results, SPARC being one (they also have their own guide).

Emissary42 on
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Posts

  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    The Bracket
    3j4EDQM.png

    Teams - I'm going to split these up into the teams that originated in the original show and those that are new to this season. Some of the teams in the originals group have different names, but the same main team members as those from the original show. I'm in the process of adding further information for each team & robot under their respective spoiler tags. When the show starts, tournament status will be indicated by the color of the team and robot names (0 losses, 1 loss, 2 losses/eliminated).

    The Old Blood:
    Team Razer - Warhead Inertia Labs - Bronco Team Nightmare - Nightmare Jay Leno - Chinkilla (exposition/grudge matches only)
    Team Diablo - Razorback Team Mutant Robotics - Lock Jaw C2 Robotics - Overdrive Team Whyachi - Warrior Clan Team Mohawk - Mohawk Mission Destruction - Complete Control Team Plumb Crazy - Stinger Team Logicom - Captain Shrederator Team Raptor - Ghost Raptor Team RoboChallenge - Beta (Dead due to lost baggage containing critical components)

    The New Kids:
    Hardcore Robotics - Tombstone Team Make Robotics - Radioactive Busted Nuts Robotics - Witch Doctor & Shaman Robot Action League - Plan X Team JACD - Overhaul
    Tested Interview
    The first build-related post for Overhaul from team captain and minor internet celebrity Charles.
    Team WRECKS - Wrecks Shenanigans & Co. - HyperShock The Machine Corps - Chomp
    Tested Interview
    Brief Autodesk Blog post about the use of their products to design and fabricate Chomp. Plus, once Chomp passes 5000 combined Twitter followers and Facebook likes the full model of the robot will be released online as a free download.
    Aptyx Designs - Bite Force Team UI - Icewave Carrolton School - Sweet Revenge

    Pared-Down Episodes: Matches Only

    ABC's Playlist of all the matches, in order.

    Emissary42 on
    Geth
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Love it.

    Watched it back when it was on CC, maybe before? Always liked the wedges, though the saw blades were my favorite for pure destruction.

    Hope they don't cock it up by creating a bunch of false tension between teams or other reality-tv fake drama. Let the robots be the center of attention.

    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
    Elvenshae
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Biohazzard was the epitome of everything i hated about wedges. Boing-ass fights with boring-ass results. Nothing made me happier than Son of Whyachi, which was built specifically to beat it, delivering that first giant hit to it.

    joshofalltrades
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    Cog wrote: »
    Biohazzard was the epitome of everything i hated about wedges. Boing-ass fights with boring-ass results. Nothing made me happier than Son of Whyachi, which was built specifically to beat it, delivering that first giant hit to it.


    You'll be pleased to know then that in 2005, Biohazzard was destroyed:

  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Yeah I watched the video in the OP. My only regret was that I wasn't there to poop on it's steaming husk.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Cog wrote: »
    Biohazzard was the epitome of everything i hated about wedges. Boing-ass fights with boring-ass results. Nothing made me happier than Son of Whyachi, which was built specifically to beat it, delivering that first giant hit to it.

    As far as wedges go, Biohazard was well built and well driven and often the aggressor in its matches. When you watch the Megabyte video, it's not Megabyte that's pursuing or attacking. All of the contact was Biohazard charging trying to flip or break the spinner.

    Far more entertaining to watch then some bot that's 90% weapon trying to waddle it's way into contact while the other bot runs in circles around it and nudges it on occasion.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    Emissary42LanlaornBillyIdleOlivawfacetious
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Ok.

    I watch for carnage, not wedges gently turning each other over.

  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    And technically speaking, Biohazard was not a wedge: it was a pretty damn successful lifter robot. It just so happened that the arms race in robot development hadn't pushed for a more exciting design by that stage.

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    I've always wondered why no one ever used pneumatic bolt guns like they use to kill cattle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captive_bolt_pistol

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    I'd imagine they don't work as well against metal. It'd also need to go deep enough to get at internal components which would also bring up the issue of aiming it.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Maybe a robot that basically just pulled another robot onto its back...

  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    I've always wondered why no one ever used pneumatic bolt guns like they use to kill cattle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captive_bolt_pistol

    battlebots.wikia.com/wiki/Rammstein

    Emissary42
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    ObiFett on
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    Tons of smaller bots would be demolished en mass by most larger bots. I don't care how many micro bots you have, if you come at my super-heavyweight spinner bot, I'm going to mow them down like so much grass and not even notice a significant dip in RPMs.

    joshofalltradesIncenjucarExileKristmas Kthulhu
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    Cog wrote: »
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    I've always wondered why no one ever used pneumatic bolt guns like they use to kill cattle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captive_bolt_pistol

    battlebots.wikia.com/wiki/Rammstein

    A few like Rammstein have, but when you think about it a little more it doesn't make the best choice against a mechanical object, especially ones covered in at least 1/4" of aluminum, steel, or lexan.
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    Multibots have been around for a long time, and technically there's no limit to how small or numerous you could make each individual robot as long as they were all together less than or equal to your weight class' weight limit. The tricky part is by having smaller robots in the arena, you've sacrificed both weapon power and armor on both robots, so the limiting factor on how many robots you can have tends to be how light of a robot can you make that can still take a hit from a full-sized robot without it being a one-hit KO. Most of the Multibots in this tournament that they've shown so far have a primary robot that was originally in the 120 lb weight class that they up-armored (trading aluminum components for steel, for example) and then they built the secondary robot with the remaining weight budget.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?
    Limits to controllers. Only so many people can be controlling bots at a time.

    Possibly also limits to available frequencies at the venue. I mean, you've only got so many RC frequencies available, and if some are in use by people testing their bots, some are in use by your opponent, how many are left for you to control your swarm?

    Size differences. A multibot has the same weight cap as a single bot, so each component (assuming that the weight is evenly distributed) is going to be fighting an enemy 2-3 times it's weight. It's hard to build something that can deliver punishment with such a disparity in mind, even if you've got the teamwork down to a science.

    Fragility/ability to take a hit. A multibot entrant could be counted as KO'd if half or more of it's component bots by weight* are disabled (under the old BB rules, don't know if it's changed here). And since the bots are so much smaller, critical damage can be a lot harder to avoid.

    *IIRC, Originally it was by count, until a multibot entered with 2 microbots that looked about the size of door stoppers with wheels and one main bot that was 95% of the weight class. The main bot got thrashed, and the team argued that since 2 of their bots were still active they weren't out of the running. But that's a vaguely remembered story from years ago, I may be recalling wrong.

    As an example, The Swarm, a three part multibot. Each weighed in at or near the middleweight limits, but they were fighting super heavies.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • GONG-00GONG-00 Registered User regular

    Future Employee of Planetary Acquisitions, Inc.
    Pax Arcadia(PC) Division Agent
    xu257gunns6e.png

    Emissary42
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Man

    I'd make a bunch of smaller bots who's only function is to attach onto the larger bot and then they all have drills that slowly drill into the larger bot.

    Maybe the main bot would catapult them onto the opponent's bot. The smaller bots would then have electromagnets that would be activated and attach them onto the opponent. Let the drilling commence!
    Of course that probably wouldn't work but it would be awesome.
    Cog wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    Tons of smaller bots would be demolished en mass by most larger bots. I don't care how many micro bots you have, if you come at my super-heavyweight spinner bot, I'm going to mow them down like so much grass and not even notice a significant dip in RPMs.

    hm, yeah full spinner bots would definitely be an issue.

    What is the counter to full spinner bots?

    ObiFett on
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    see317 wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?
    Limits to controllers. Only so many people can be controlling bots at a time.

    Possibly also limits to available frequencies at the venue. I mean, you've only got so many RC frequencies available, and if some are in use by people testing their bots, some are in use by your opponent, how many are left for you to control your swarm?

    Size differences. A multibot has the same weight cap as a single bot, so each component (assuming that the weight is evenly distributed) is going to be fighting an enemy 2-3 times it's weight. It's hard to build something that can deliver punishment with such a disparity in mind, even if you've got the teamwork down to a science.

    Fragility/ability to take a hit. A multibot entrant could be counted as KO'd if half or more of it's component bots by weight* are disabled (under the old BB rules, don't know if it's changed here). And since the bots are so much smaller, critical damage can be a lot harder to avoid.

    *IIRC, Originally it was by count, until a multibot entered with 2 microbots that looked about the size of door stoppers with wheels and one main bot that was 95% of the weight class. The main bot got thrashed, and the team argued that since 2 of their bots were still active they weren't out of the running. But that's a vaguely remembered story from years ago, I may be recalling wrong.

    This is largely a nonissue since around '07, that was the time when pretty much everyone switched over to digital radios. If you're familiar with the concept around how cell phones technically all use the same frequency (yet you don't hear anyone else's conversation), apply that to hobby radio systems and that's pretty much what everyone uses now. A paired radio and transmitter will never accidentally transmit instructions to another robot, so it's much safer to have large numbers of robots operating at once.
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Man

    I'd make a bunch of smaller bots who's only function is to attach onto the larger bot and then they all have drills that slowly drill into the larger bot.

    Maybe the main bot would catapult them onto the opponent's bot. The smaller bots would then have electromagnets that would be activated and attach them onto the opponent. Let the drilling commence!
    Of course that probably wouldn't work but it would be awesome.
    Cog wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    Tons of smaller bots would be demolished en mass by most larger bots. I don't care how many micro bots you have, if you come at my super-heavyweight spinner bot, I'm going to mow them down like so much grass and not even notice a significant dip in RPMs.

    hm, yeah full spinner bots would definitely be an issue.

    What is the counter to full spinner bots?

    Really what you might do in such a case is have a large number of very small, very durable robots, studded with very hard materials (read: abrasive). The problem is, you probably wouldn't be able to abrade the opponent fast enough to do any kind of really decisive damage.

    edit: the counter to spinner robots is anything more durable than it is, be it another spinner or an armored section of your own robot. The second robot in Tested's video interviews, Bite Force, mentioned specifically having armor they could swap into place to combat robots with very destructive spinning weapons. This phenomenon was also the basis of the Brick vs Spinning Weapon arms race for a few years.

    Emissary42 on
    Kristmas Kthulhu
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    double post

    Emissary42 on
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Man

    I'd make a bunch of smaller bots who's only function is to attach onto the larger bot and then they all have drills that slowly drill into the larger bot.

    Maybe the main bot would catapult them onto the opponent's bot. The smaller bots would then have electromagnets that would be activated and attach them onto the opponent. Let the drilling commence!
    Of course that probably wouldn't work but it would be awesome.
    Cog wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    Tons of smaller bots would be demolished en mass by most larger bots. I don't care how many micro bots you have, if you come at my super-heavyweight spinner bot, I'm going to mow them down like so much grass and not even notice a significant dip in RPMs.

    hm, yeah full spinner bots would definitely be an issue.

    What is the counter to full spinner bots?

    In general? You have to be able to take their first full strength shot and recover fast enough to get back up against them before they can spin back up.

    Kristmas Kthulhu
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?
    Limits to controllers. Only so many people can be controlling bots at a time.

    Possibly also limits to available frequencies at the venue. I mean, you've only got so many RC frequencies available, and if some are in use by people testing their bots, some are in use by your opponent, how many are left for you to control your swarm?

    Size differences. A multibot has the same weight cap as a single bot, so each component (assuming that the weight is evenly distributed) is going to be fighting an enemy 2-3 times it's weight. It's hard to build something that can deliver punishment with such a disparity in mind, even if you've got the teamwork down to a science.

    Fragility/ability to take a hit. A multibot entrant could be counted as KO'd if half or more of it's component bots by weight* are disabled (under the old BB rules, don't know if it's changed here). And since the bots are so much smaller, critical damage can be a lot harder to avoid.

    *IIRC, Originally it was by count, until a multibot entered with 2 microbots that looked about the size of door stoppers with wheels and one main bot that was 95% of the weight class. The main bot got thrashed, and the team argued that since 2 of their bots were still active they weren't out of the running. But that's a vaguely remembered story from years ago, I may be recalling wrong.

    This is largely a nonissue since around '07, that was the time when pretty much everyone switched over to digital radios. If you're familiar with the concept around how cell phones technically all use the same frequency (yet you don't hear anyone else's conversation), apply that to hobby radio systems and that's pretty much what everyone uses now. A paired radio and transmitter will never accidentally transmit instructions to another robot, so it's much safer to have large numbers of robots operating at once.
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Man

    I'd make a bunch of smaller bots who's only function is to attach onto the larger bot and then they all have drills that slowly drill into the larger bot.

    Maybe the main bot would catapult them onto the opponent's bot. The smaller bots would then have electromagnets that would be activated and attach them onto the opponent. Let the drilling commence!
    Of course that probably wouldn't work but it would be awesome.
    Cog wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    Tons of smaller bots would be demolished en mass by most larger bots. I don't care how many micro bots you have, if you come at my super-heavyweight spinner bot, I'm going to mow them down like so much grass and not even notice a significant dip in RPMs.

    hm, yeah full spinner bots would definitely be an issue.

    What is the counter to full spinner bots?

    Really what you might do in such a case is have a large number of very small, very durable robots, studded with very hard materials (read: abrasive). The problem is, you probably wouldn't be able to abrade the opponent fast enough to do any kind of really decisive damage.

    edit: the counter to spinner robots is anything more durable than it is, be it another spinner or an armored section of your own robot. The second robot in Tested's video interviews, Bite Force, mentioned specifically having armor they could swap into place to combat robots with very destructive spinning weapons. This phenomenon was also the basis of the Brick vs Spinning Weapon arms race for a few years.

    My general prediction is that with bricks and wedges being vastly depreciated, spinners will pretty much take over.

    GethEmissary42
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Cog wrote: »
    Emissary42 wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?
    Limits to controllers. Only so many people can be controlling bots at a time.

    Possibly also limits to available frequencies at the venue. I mean, you've only got so many RC frequencies available, and if some are in use by people testing their bots, some are in use by your opponent, how many are left for you to control your swarm?

    Size differences. A multibot has the same weight cap as a single bot, so each component (assuming that the weight is evenly distributed) is going to be fighting an enemy 2-3 times it's weight. It's hard to build something that can deliver punishment with such a disparity in mind, even if you've got the teamwork down to a science.

    Fragility/ability to take a hit. A multibot entrant could be counted as KO'd if half or more of it's component bots by weight* are disabled (under the old BB rules, don't know if it's changed here). And since the bots are so much smaller, critical damage can be a lot harder to avoid.

    *IIRC, Originally it was by count, until a multibot entered with 2 microbots that looked about the size of door stoppers with wheels and one main bot that was 95% of the weight class. The main bot got thrashed, and the team argued that since 2 of their bots were still active they weren't out of the running. But that's a vaguely remembered story from years ago, I may be recalling wrong.

    This is largely a nonissue since around '07, that was the time when pretty much everyone switched over to digital radios. If you're familiar with the concept around how cell phones technically all use the same frequency (yet you don't hear anyone else's conversation), apply that to hobby radio systems and that's pretty much what everyone uses now. A paired radio and transmitter will never accidentally transmit instructions to another robot, so it's much safer to have large numbers of robots operating at once.
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Man

    I'd make a bunch of smaller bots who's only function is to attach onto the larger bot and then they all have drills that slowly drill into the larger bot.

    Maybe the main bot would catapult them onto the opponent's bot. The smaller bots would then have electromagnets that would be activated and attach them onto the opponent. Let the drilling commence!
    Of course that probably wouldn't work but it would be awesome.
    Cog wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    All those bots for the new show look pretty awesome.

    I am surprised that one team is allowed to use essentially two different bots in the arena at the same time. What's to prevent a team from just using a ton of smaller bots and swarming?

    Tons of smaller bots would be demolished en mass by most larger bots. I don't care how many micro bots you have, if you come at my super-heavyweight spinner bot, I'm going to mow them down like so much grass and not even notice a significant dip in RPMs.

    hm, yeah full spinner bots would definitely be an issue.

    What is the counter to full spinner bots?

    Really what you might do in such a case is have a large number of very small, very durable robots, studded with very hard materials (read: abrasive). The problem is, you probably wouldn't be able to abrade the opponent fast enough to do any kind of really decisive damage.

    edit: the counter to spinner robots is anything more durable than it is, be it another spinner or an armored section of your own robot. The second robot in Tested's video interviews, Bite Force, mentioned specifically having armor they could swap into place to combat robots with very destructive spinning weapons. This phenomenon was also the basis of the Brick vs Spinning Weapon arms race for a few years.

    My general prediction is that with bricks and wedges being vastly depreciated, spinners will pretty much take over.

    For the most part, that's the case. Plus, it seems the televised competitions will maintain their ban if this season is successful. That's not to say it's a bad engineering choice though...

    The following video (with extremely annoying music) is from a competition in '09, with a shell spinner (I think the champion from the prior year) vs a robot that basically epitomizes the concept of a brick on wheels: the whole robot is about 3" tall, with a 1/2" thick 7075 aluminum chassis, ringed by an outer hardened steel armor shell that's 1" thick on the front and 3/4" thick everywhere else, driven by eight individual brushless motors for its drive system, and possessing about 800 lbs of downforce by way of a vacuum system underneath the robot. It gave no fucks.
    The only reason the brick ended up loosing was because they had specced the wheels wrong and the whole thing lost all traction by the end of the match. I saw the brick after the tournament was done, and all that anyone had been able to do to its external armor shell was put a single 1/8" scratch on an edge.

    edit: one thing to look for around the first half of that match is how much the brick moves vs how much the spinner moves each time they make contact. Early on, most of the head-on hits end up throwing the spinner around more than the brick.

    Emissary42 on
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Moving parts are points of failure. Solid blocks of steel tend not to fail.

    Emissary42PLA
  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    Cog wrote: »
    Moving parts are points of failure. Solid blocks of steel tend not to fail.

    That's part of why a lot of us who have competed in the past or who compete now are so fascinated by Translational Drift robots. They take the best of both worlds: a solid block of steel with a total of two moving parts, that whirls its entire mass around at a few thousand RPM.

    PLA
  • Disco11Disco11 Registered User regular
    Between this and Dota, I have all the nerd sports I need now. Great time to be alive!

    PSN: Canadian_llama
  • TexiKenTexiKen Steeeve Perry Steeeeeeve PerryRegistered User regular
    Spinners do seem like they'll be the next thing.

    Someone needs to figure out how to make a shotgun robot work. It's probably illegal, but I don't care.

    HAB3pqF.png
  • SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    I still think they need to drop the live audience, who, by the reports, are basically only there for the network's reality tv benefit, not to get a good show, and have the fights in some sturdy bunker somewhere. Then eliminate all weapon restrictions.

    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
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  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    I still think they need to drop the live audience, who, by the reports, are basically only there for the network's reality tv benefit, not to get a good show, and have the fights in some sturdy bunker somewhere. Then eliminate all weapon restrictions.

    Well, there was a show like that a few years back that only lasted about one season, because as it turns out the total reliance on a TV budget severely limits the scope and diversity in this kind of show even if machine guns and rockets are involved. BattleBots and Robot Wars have done so well when they were on air because they're just sponsoring and televising tournaments in an already well-established competition. I mean, this has been going on in some form or other for more than 20 years with and without televised events, and the audience is something that's always been there.

    Emissary42 on
  • a nu starta nu start Registered User regular
    I still think they need to drop the live audience, who, by the reports, are basically only there for the network's reality tv benefit, not to get a good show, and have the fights in some sturdy bunker somewhere. Then eliminate all weapon restrictions.

    Robot Jox had an audience and that didn't stop them from using rockets.

    Number One Tricky
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  • SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    a nu start wrote: »
    I still think they need to drop the live audience, who, by the reports, are basically only there for the network's reality tv benefit, not to get a good show, and have the fights in some sturdy bunker somewhere. Then eliminate all weapon restrictions.

    Robot Jox had an audience and that didn't stop them from using rockets.

    Didn't work out to well for the audience as I recall.

    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    huh

    i thought this was a pretty big failure.

    it really disappointed me when it came out the first time. but it looks like there's been a hardcore fanbase. huh

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Cog wrote: »
    Moving parts Humans are points of failure. Solid blocks of steel tend not to fail.

    MichaelLC on
    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
    Andy JoeElvenshaePLA
  • Andy JoeAndy Joe The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    My favorite was El Toro. Is El Toro back?

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  • CogCog Registered User regular
    T-Minus was another bot by the same builders who was actually much more powerful by weight at flipping.

  • Emissary42Emissary42 Registered User regular
    Andy Joe wrote: »
    My favorite was El Toro. Is El Toro back?
    Cog wrote: »
    T-Minus was another bot by the same builders who was actually much more powerful by weight at flipping.

    Based on what I've seen, Inertia Labs (the team behind both of those) does have a robot in this tournament but it's a new one.

    Elvenshae
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    huh

    i thought this was a pretty big failure.

    it really disappointed me when it came out the first time. but it looks like there's been a hardcore fanbase. huh
    Honestly the show wasn't that good, but occasionally there would be a fight where another robot would be dismantled in a spectacular fashion and it made it all worthwhile. Which is why I think the wedge ban is such a big deal, people will tune in to see robots violently disassembled rather than watch them gently nudge each other for 10 minutes.

    CogQuidOlivaw
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    Spinners will probably rule.

    I'm fine with that.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Cog wrote: »
    Spinners will probably rule.

    I'm fine with that.
    But what kind of spinner?

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    I remember watching Robot Wars and being turned off by the fact that effective destruction machines are dull destruction machines.

    If the rules are routinely updated to avoid any one model being the ideal I'd be happy with this.

    DasUberEdward
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