People of B ts
Did Jim Smentowski Pass the Torch?
BattleBots legend Jim Smentowski attended the South Florida (SFL)
Robot Riot in Miami Beach the last
weekend in April as both a competitor
and an event sponsor.
The SFL Robot Riot is an open
Insect class fighting robot event
conducted in conjunction with the
STEM Tech Olympiad 2012 at the Miami
Convention Center. Jim supports many
fighting robot events by donating gift
certificates from his store (the Robot
Marketplace) and still competes in
fighting robot events.
He had two bots entered in the SFL
Robot Riot competition: a 150 gram
Flea (a.k.a. Fairy) and a one pound Ant.
Accompanying his dad was Jim’s son
Ian (Figure 1). We thought we were
seeing the passing of the torch from
father to son at the event.
The torch actually turned out to be
the candle on five year old Ian’s
birthday cake. The action was paused as
those in attendance took time to sing
Happy Birthday to him. I was expecting
to see a cake decorated with the likes of
Backlash or Nightmare, and quite
frankly was disappointed to see
Spiderman took top cake honors
It didn’t happen this time but I’m
sure it won’t be long until we see a
second generation Smentowski at the
controls of a fighting robot. And why
not — he’ll have the best pit man in the
● by Dave Graham
FIGURE 1. Jim Smentowski with five year old son Ian.
FIGURE 2. Five year old Ian Smentowski with his Spiderman birthday cake.
38 SERVO 08.2012