• Member Since 12th Oct, 2013
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Randomizer77


Gearhead brony young adult. That’s about it.

More Blog Posts35

  • 2 weeks
    Woah.

    I just counted all of the ideas for (unpublished) stories I have…

    14 potential fanfics.

    Apparently, when I’m taking a break from writing, my imagination doesn’t take time off; it might not even be able to process the concept of taking time off.

    I’m split on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. :applejackconfused:

    1 comments · 11 views
  • 3 weeks
    New car!

    I got a new car!

    Read on for details…

    Read More

    0 comments · 17 views
  • 8 weeks
    Going on hiatus

    I know that only one chapter of Twisted Magic has been released, but I’ve flamed out, and the only way to regain the energy to write is to take a break from writing for now.

    This hiatus also extends to Twisted Magic: Black.

    That is all.

    0 comments · 14 views
  • 19 weeks
    Status Update/State of the Author: 5/1/2021

    Exactly what the title says. Read on for details.

    Read More

    0 comments · 20 views
  • 26 weeks
    Recommended Read: Dead by Sunset

    I’ve been meaning to do this for a few days now.

    Like thrilling horror stories? If your answer is “yes,” consider this is one...

    Read More

    0 comments · 17 views
Jun
10th
2020

Fighting Robots · 11:11pm Jun 10th, 2020

While I continue to try and regain my footing in writing, I decided to make a blog post about a previously-unmentioned great interest of mine: robot combat.

What it is: two or more robots fight each other simultaneously, with the goal being to immobilize the other bot(s). There is usually a time limit on the length of each match; if there's no clear winner by the end of that limit (typically because all of the robots are still mobile), the winner of the match gets voted for, either by the crowd or by match-side judges. There are variations, but that's the most basic—and most common—form of it there is.

There are a variety of designs, weapons and materials used (search "robot combat" on Wikipedia for a rundown of some common examples first two) in the sport, and even highly successful robots may receive modifications and updates to keep up with the ever-evolving competition.

What follows are profiles and facts about some of the robots that compete (or have competed) in the UK series Robot Wars (the show that introduced me to robot combat when I was a kid) and the USA series BattleBots (which, for many years, I actually didn't know even existed).


Nightmare
Series: BattleBots
Division: Heavyweight
Win-Loss record: 10-12

Inspired by a bucket wheel excavator, a legend of North American robot combat, a textbook example of a glass cannon robot and arguably the definitive glass cannon of the sport.

This robot, originally built in 1999, is armed with one of the most destructive weapons in BattleBots: a 4-foot disc that spins at 300 miles per hour! To really get perspective of just how large that disc is, refer to this picture of the robot with its builder/driver:

The robot received a sleeker stance from Season 2.0 onward.

Nightmare’s weaknesses were easy to exploit: it was easy to tip over, had so little pushing power that it certainly would lose a shoving match against a human, was slow, couldn’t self-right, and had fully exposed wheels; the last weakness was addressed in 2015’s Reboot Season 1 (ABC Season 1).

For 2016’s Reboot Season 2 (ABC Season 2), Nightmare’s inability to self-right was finally addressed with the long overdue addition of a SRIMECH (self-righting mechanism) that raised and fixed the wheels above the robot and ran the weapon in the opposite direction to allow the robot to drive and fight upside-down; however, it was damaged in battle and failed to work afterward.

Even though it never advanced beyond the quarterfinals of every BattleBots tournament it entered, Nightmare was—and still is—well-regarded, and despite advances in the materials and construction used in robot combat exacerbating the robot’s weaknesses, in the reboot series the old soldier showed that it’s still just as dangerous.

In both the past and the present, one thing holds true: when Nightmare goes into battle, somebody is going to leave in pieces.


Chaos 2
Series: Robot Wars
Division: Heavyweight
Win-Loss record: 25-10

I can't make this post without mentioning Chaos 2, a heavyweight which holds a significant achievement: it's the only competitor to win the (televised) series more than once. That its two series wins are back-to-back shows how far ahead of everyone else it was when it pulled it off that feat.

Chaos 2's weapon is a CO2-powered rear-hinged flipper that's capable of throwing other robots over the walls of the Arena (an automatic win for who's on the giving end, an automatic loss for who's on the receiving end); it is the first ever robot in the series to do just that.

Although competing in Series 3-6, both Extremes, and the First and Second World Championships, Chaos 2 became outdated near the end of its career, mainly in that it weighed 84 kg (the weight limit for heavyweights was increased from 79.4 kg to 100 kg from Extreme 1 onward) and used thin polycarbonate and aluminum armor. The relatively few differences between the original and final iterations of the robot were because the team captain couldn't financially afford to make significant upgrades yearly.


BioHazard
Series: BattleBots
Division: Heavyweight
Win-Loss record: 27-3

Another legend of North American robot combat, and BattleBots' most successful competitor, the heavyweight BioHazard is the inverse of Nightmare, having high defense and low offense. BioHazard's weapon is a simple lifting arm; definitely not a destructive weapon, but combined with the robot's short height (just 4 inches tall), an incredibly effective weapon for overturning other robots. The robot's general strategy is to use its speed and lifting arm to pin opponents against the walls of the BattleBox and leave them stranded there, while relying on its low profile to protect it from damage (not that it was invincible). It retired in 2005 after sustaining severe damage during a live event.

Fun fact: BioHazard's builder had a cat who was badly injured in an accident; he built a custom motorized platform and trained the cat to use it to move around!


Razer
Series: Robot Wars
Division: Heavyweight
Win-Loss record: 39-6

An icon of robot combat as a whole, and the most successful competitor of Robot Wars. Much like Nightmare, Razer possesses one of the most destructive weapons on the show it competes in: a hydraulic-powered vertical crusher that exerts up to nine metric tons of pressure, and able to pierce through other robots' armor and cause severe damage their internal components. Razer had reliability issues early on, but once that problem was solved, the only robots that it really struggled against were those with large, difficult-to-grab shapes, the most notable being Pussycat.

Razer managed to win the Series 5 Championship and is a two-time Robot Wars World Champion, but controversially lost the Series 6 Championship to rival Tornado. Razer also entered Series 8; although it had become greatly outdated by then, the team fitted it with as many upgrades as they could and entered for one last hurrah.


Hazard
Series: BattleBots
Division: Middleweight
Win-Loss record: 17-1

This simple-but-effective bot is a lot more destructive than it may appear. That large spinning bar provided 360-degree defense in addition to incredible offense (particularly for its weight division).

Hazard viciously demolished opponent after opponent to win multiple Middleweight Championships in its career, acquiring a 17-win undefeated streak that was only broken in the Season 5.0 Middleweight Finals by T-Minus.


Deadblow and Blendo
Series: BattleBots
Division: Middleweight (Deadblow), Heavyweight (Blendo)
Win-Loss record (Deadblow): 10-7
Win-Loss record (Blendo): 0-4


What makes these two bots worth mentioning? They were built by some of the MythBusters before MythBusters came into existence.

Deadblow was built by Grant Imahara, armed with a pneumatically-powered axe or hammer, and was the Season 1.0 Middleweight Runner-Up. It was less successful in later seasons, as its design grew dated. It would much later see some use in MythBusters, albeit with the weapon system removed.

Blendo was built by Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, and was one of the rare robots with an internal combustion engine; in this case, a 5-horsepower lawnmower engine. The body was made from a wok and spun at 500 rpm. The robot debuted in the 1995 US Robot Wars event, where it was given a joint finish in exchange for withdrawing, as its weapon was powerful enough to send shrapnel over the walls and into the audience.

By the time of BattleBots, Blendo had become obsolete, having received zero upgrades (it was still started by a power drill being inserted into the top, was slow, and was hard to control). It never won any battles in Season 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 before retiring.

Comments ( 6 )

How did you forget Tombstone, Icewave, Son of Wyachi, etc?

5282081
I didn't forget them, but I may make more posts like this that also cover them and others.

Comment posted by Randomizer77 deleted Jul 6th, 2020

5282087
Never realized you were also a fan of robot combat

5302263
Yeah, I love Battlebots!

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