• Member Since 30th Nov, 2012
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yamgoth


Silence amongst the sinful.

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Aug
8th
2016

Battlebots: How Do You Drone? · 6:28am Aug 8th, 2016

Greeting fellow sufferers!

Since Battlebots started airing on Comedy Central in 2000 and spread the sport of robot combat to the masses, my appetite for destruction has never been the same . Then, after five seasons, Comedy Central ceased airing them and robot combat has been far less mainstream in the past like fifteen years.

I guess it's comparable to a video game irl, except it costs more. Also, friendships, meetups, etc.

Last year, ABC picked up Battlebots, which has had sporadic competitions since then. And, for the most part, I'd say it was just as entertaining. It brought back the drama and dynamic of the builder's stories, showing off their personalities and motivations, making it more than a mere competition. Although, I would've liked certain aesthetic aspects brought back, like background music playing during matches. I mean, some of those tracks really set the mood for the fight, eh? And I guess I miss the sound effects they kept on adding in to make it sound like the bots were hitting harder than they actually were.

This year, they're back with a second season, having no idea if they'll be getting a third. They've also changed the rules a smidgen. Last year, they allowed flame weapons for the first time. This year, they're allowing flying RC drones for the first time. They can't be more than ten pounds, and they can't have any sort of projectile weaponry or entrapment devices, so no nets or dropping liquids or ball bearings or the like. Oh, and no self destructing. Nor EMP. This has led people to use downward facing flamers and dropping solid objects. Dropping objects doesn't do much damage, considering most bots are armoured enough on top to take a few hits from a hammer or axe. That leaves just flame weapons as being anything close to effective.

Ok, this match is hilarious. The drone takes itself out and can't get back up cuz there's no guards on the propellers and there's one jammed against the floor and can't spin again. The second thing is that this is the first time I've seen flame weapons do actual damage. Complete Control is able to clamp down and keep Bombshell still for enough time for the fire to actually do some electronics damage. Guess flames can be effective.

Like, what the hell. If you watch this season, you'll see that the drones don't do much other that provide hilariously explosive cannon fodder and inept distractions. They're flying all over the place, never staying on top of their opponents. Now, I've heard part of the problem is that the Battlebox has drafts inside it, making it incredibly difficult to keep drones stable. Secondly, bots with spinning weapons contribute to those drafts. I guess, though, with certain expensive tech, it's possible to make a drone with stabilizers. But what is the actual purpose of these things? The rules regarding the drones keep them from having weapons that can cause substantial damage. Like, personally, I would like to see one of those with magnetic clamps that could hook onto a bot and saw or drill into that. Not exactly possible with those restrictions. A saw with that power weighs more than ten pounds and it's doubtful you could make something like that fly at all.

I guess you could attach a sheet of paper on it so it obscures line of sight from the other driver to their bot, but that ain't exactly being subtle. At the least, I'm pretty sure that's actually a determinant to your fight getting aired since if the camera can't see the fight most of the time. At most, that's just unsportsmanlike and I'm kinda sure it's covered under the rules somewhere.

Yeah, their purpose is to be a nuisance and a distraction, I guess. So they need to be built with solely that in mind. They can't do any real damage, but they can still block line of sight. So maybe it's not a problem of armaments? The air circulating in the Battlebox is an issue, so until builders can make some sort of stabilizer or somehow learn how to drive their drones, it's going to be an issue. I'm thinking drones require a lot of strategy and teamwork. Like, the flames can eventually cause damage if an opponent stays in one spot for too long, or flames might be a good way to finish off a heavily damaged bot. It can be used to herd an opponent into the corners for entrapment or into box hazards, although this can be hard since most drivers are willing to quickly drive through flames to get to a bot. But, the more damaged a bot gets, the less likely he would do that. Actually, the fire itself could be a good obstruction of vision. Just get in between and opponent and its driver and start shooting flames so he can't see. When a bot is facing away from its driver, it's harder to gauge whether to trigger weapons or not. So to sum it up, I think the drones need systems that make them easier to drive or drivers who are experience at flying them, and can make do with just a flamethrower, they just need to be used as effective, subtle vision obstructions and hit and run harrassers.

One of my questions today is how would you go about using a drone in Battlebots? How would you design a better drone? I think there's some angle that I'm not seeing this from. I mean, there should be enough nerds and geeks following me that this blogpost is somewhat interesting, right? Maybe? :twilightoops:

Secondly, what kind of bot would you end up using if you could compete in a Battlebots competition? Personally, I like the designing, driving, and strategic aspects of it. I'm not one for building things. I often adopt a control style of playing when I play games, so I think for Battlebots I would go for maybe a bot with a lot of power in its drive motors to push the opponent around all over the place, like the hazards. Also, durability is a must, since controlling means there's a high likelyhood you'll drag the match to time and you want to make it to the end still moving. I guess one of the most controlling types of weapons are lifters, so I think I would like to drive something like Diesector or Stinger. Comparative simplicity and brute strength.

The animosity is palpable in this fight.

There's other things like flippers and vertical cutting disks

Horizontal cutting disks and spinning drums

A giant knife vs a giant rat trap

Multi bots which weigh less than their opponents yet can overcome them through teamwork

And expensive, highly intricate full bodied spinners capable of one-shotting a bot to pieces with matches that last just seconds.

This is quite possibly the most destructive fight in existence.

There's so many kinds. What kind of combat robot would you design and drive if you could? What fighting style would you adopt? Would you go for insanely destructive or slow and methodical?

Report yamgoth · 480 views · #battlebots #drones
Comments ( 3 )

Firstly, let me note that I am not an engineer. I am laughably incompetent when it comes to building anything out of materials that aren't designed to snap together (e.g. Legos)

In any case, it seems like the only viable strategy for a drone would be something with extendable electromagnets and deliberately overpowered propellers that could physically latch onto an opponent, lift it into the sky, and drop it onto a stage hazard. I have no idea if such a thing could be made under the weight limit, whether that counts as an "entrapment device," nor how hard it would be to control it when it wasn't performing the Eagle Carries Turtle Maneuver. Maybe if the props had different gears...

As for what I would make, again, not an engineer. I'd probably just go for a tanky build, outlast and overpower the adversary.

And remember, Uncle, glistening oil slicks are considered unsportsmanlike. Especially when they make the opposing robot try to eat its designers.

4138423

Firstly, let me note that I am not an engineer. I am laughably incompetent when it comes to building anything out of materials that aren't designed to snap together (e.g. Legos)

Same here, buddy. Well, unless you count Warhammer models which you super glue together. I used to make Lego Battlebots when I was a kid, and I'd surprise myself if I was able to build anything with any sort of structural integrity.

Then there is Jim Smentowski, builder of Nightmare. He never took any sort of formal engineering course, but had been taking apart electronics since he was a kid. His mantra is that anyone can build a fighting robot, and he owns his own online shop, where anyone can buy parts to build their own fighting robot.

Nightmare is like the epitome of glass cannon. His was engineered to do dish out craptons of blunt force damage and has slowly been upgraded to take more and more recoil damage. And there are times where the lack or or perhaps purposeful disregard for things like designing better mobility and armour have led to Nightmare hilariously exploding into pieces. It should be noted that Jim is still smiling at the end.

I guess my point is that sometimes, enthusiasm, tenacity, and courage are enough to compensate for lack of skill. Or, y'know, it could be sheer dumb luck in this case rather than the whole enthusiasm thing or any sort of design improvements.

I have no idea if such a thing could be made under the weight limit, whether that counts as an "entrapment device," nor how hard it would be to control it when it wasn't performing the Eagle Carries Turtle Maneuver

That sounds absolutely hilarious. I don't think we have the tech right now to do that, and I do think that's getting into anti-grav territory, but when it happens, it'll be awesome. Or a more realized form of this would be a drone running an anti drone kit and ending up being a recreation of Bane jacking a plane with his powerful strength to maim which is proportional to his opponent's ability to complain, and prances about in Spain, flaunting his ill gotten gain ("NO! They expect one of us in the wreckage, brother.").

As for what I would make, again, not an engineer. I'd probably just go for a tanky build, outlast and overpower the adversary.

Slow and steady wins the race :B

And remember, Uncle, glistening oil slicks are considered unsportsmanlike. Especially when they make the opposing robot try to eat its designers.

They did invite me to look at their robot while they were doing repairs. And hey, I can't help it if I sweat a lot. It's not like I intended their bot to sprout legs and a maw full of jagged metal teeth. And sure, I might've been masquerading around as the crew of different team who kind of paid me to hang around, but, again, I will put emphasis on that team having invited me to look at their bot. Besides, the legs were an improvement :duck:

Comment posted by yamgoth deleted Aug 8th, 2016
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