Super Heavyweight flipping robot and
I think the first to really violently flip
the opponent. Few to none of the
Super Heavies had a way to self-right
or work upside down.
We lost, however, in an early
round because of a loose radio
battery, but came back in the melee
to flip all the other robots in quick
succession for the win.
This was our first real victory,
with the entire crowd going nuts
chanting "TORO, TORO." I will
certainly never forget that. (Editor:
The loss was to Atomic Wedgie.)
Combat Zone: How would you
describe the participants during those
mega TV sessions, versus the
atmosphere we are all used to at the
more builder-run events?
Rose: BattleBots was builder-run
from the get-go. Trey (Roski) and
Greg (Munson) were very builder-centric and tried as best they could to
keep a level playing field that anyone
could join. However, when we hit
500 entries or so, this made the early
elimination rounds really brutal. These
were not filmed for TV. In order to
get to the TV rounds, you had to
fight a lot of fights against unknown
bots. This changed the competition to
being a lot more about how fast you
could repair your robot and get it
back into fighting shape than any of
the events before.
Towards the end when we were
running four bots, we made our
whole shop portable and put it in
wheeled cabinets. This way, we could
run our own pits out of a large rental
truck in the parking lot where we had
everything close at hand including
things like TIG welding.
Combat Zone: Most memorable
win? Biggest loss?
Rose: Our most memorable win
for me was T-Minus vs. Hazard which
was not only the middleweight
champ, but it had never even lost a
bout. Hazard's helicopter-like rotary
blade weapon had absolutely
destroyed every robot it came across.
We had to go against Hazard in
the quarters or semis of the last
season of BattleBots and we were
pretty nervous. T-Minus had a
powerful flipping arm, but we did not
want Hazard to get close enough to
hit us while we tried to flip it over.
So, we went over to see it in the pits
and while I chatted with Tony
(Buchignani), Reason got a
measurement of exactly how much
reach his blade weapon had.
We then welded a small titanium
tab onto our flipping arm that would
stop Hazard from getting too close by
jamming up against its bodywork.
This turned out to work perfectly and
as Hazard drove right into us, the
weapon was just out of reach. We
then flipped his own bodywork up
into his weapon, causing catastrophic
failure. We went on to get the
middleweight championship title.
My most memorable loss was
certainly the first year we brought our
Heavyweight robot Matador. It had
the most powerful flipping arm we
had ever built, at 21,000 pounds of
force. We were really confident in it
and had a good amount of testing
time on it. Unfortunately, however, it
had exposed wheels and when we
went up against a spinning weapon
robot it had each of its wheels
mowed off one by one for a pretty
humiliating loss. (Editor: This was
against M.O.E. at BattleBots 4.0.)
Combat Zone: Any advice for
newbies wanting to get into the
Rose: My advice for any sport —
especially one that is technology
driven — is to go in with a long term
plan. Make the first entry just about
getting there and competing. Just
going to your first event, you will
learn a lot about the whole sport.
Then, aim to make the second entry
at least competitive. By your third,
you should be aiming to win. The last
bit of advice is to get done early
enough for lots of driving practice.
Way too many bouts are lost due to
poor driving because the event was
one of the first times they drove it.
Combat Zone: What have you
been up to since the end of the
televised fighting era? Anything you'd
like our readers to know about?
Rose: I’ve been working on
building a monument scale 10,000
year clock with The Long Now
Foundation ( http://longnow.org/)
and Reason has started a new
company called Universal Sonar
Mount which makes a patented sonar
mount for survey vessels (http://
still make some small robot kits that
are sold through Robot Marketplace,
as well as periodically do fun robotics
projects like BarBot.
Our latest creation there was a
robot that makes Manhattans, and
another giant Tiki robot that makes
Mai Tais. SV
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