collision-filled fight before FireArrow
got the best of Slim Pickens, forcing a
tap-out. The Beetleweight
championship fight featured Ripto and
Mondo Bizarro in a matchup of
aggressive drivers and lethal bots.
After a back and forth struggle for the
upper hand in the beginning, Mondo
Bizarro’s spinning drum landed a clean
strike on Ripto, upending the
ferocious one tooth disc, rendering it
helpless on the arena floor, and
earning a knockout victory for the
The Mantisweight final featured
the relentless and previously
undeafeated spinning drum of
Blackout, who took on Dead Metal.
Blackout landed several early shots —
each of which tossed Dead Metal
across the arena. In an unexpected
turn of events, Blackout was upended,
damaged, and unable to land any
more explosive blows. With Blackout
on its back, Dead Metal took full
advantage, slamming into the injured
bot several times before rendering it
28 SERVO 10.2014
In a day of strange bounces, vicious hits, and skilled
driving, perhaps the most unusual fight of the day came
early in the loser's bracket of the Beetleweight
tournament. Pizza Party, the pizza box bot driven by Mike
Zalatan of Team Cookin With Gas, faced off against Ripto
— a matchup sure to favor the destructive disc of Ripto.
With neither driver backing down when the light struck
green, Ripto tore into the oncoming cardboard box,
flipping it onto its back, and breaking a wheel off, but
simultaneously flipping itself over in the process. With
neither bot able to move, a judge’s decision was handed
down due to the simultaneous knockout. The decisions
were based on aggression, strategy, and damage. The
judges scored the match a tie in both aggression and
strategy, but were forced to give Ripto the win due to
Despite an overall record of 1-2, and given no chance
against any of the bots in the tournament, a robot made
out of a pizza box and a Tupperware container made
waves as a crowd favorite at Bot Blast. The bot was such a
success, it won the Coolest Robot award, as voted on by
Bot Blast competitors.
After winning its first match by knockout due to a
malfunctioning receiver on its competitor, Pizza Party
started to get attention. By the time Pizza Party made its
second appearance in a winner's bracket matchup against
One Fierce Javelin (driven by Gene Burbeck from Ann
Arbor, MI), the crowd had its back. Unfortunately for Pizza
Party, Burbeck's lighting fast robot and reflexes proved to
Javelin moved on after winning a judge’s decision. "The
fact that it went up against One Fierce Javelin and lasted
three minutes, and the only thing that went wrong with it
was losing a wheel is pretty impressive," said Zalatan.
"It's a piece of cardboard."
As with most unique ideas, this one has an
impressive backstory, or at least a story only college
students could make come to fruition. "He (teammate
Alex Horne) wanted me to enter a robot, so we built this,"
said Zalatan. "I came up with the idea of a Tupperware
container because they are surprisingly not breakable and
I needed armor, and we were eating pizza." Although
Horne and Zalatan admitted they didn't have high hopes
for the success of Pizza Party, they were straightforward
about why it was made.
"We did it because it's amusing and because we're
college kids," said Zalatan.
Initially, the two had some other ideas to liven up the
pizza box, but they were unable to use any of the ideas.
"Originally, we were going to have an inflatable cactus,
but the mechanism to inflate the cactus popped it, so that
put an end to that," said Horne. "Then, we were going to
use party poppers, but that was an entanglement device."
Although Pizza Party boasted an unimpressive 1-2
career record before being retired at the end of Bot Blast,
Horne and Zalatan proved that sometimes the best way to
think outside the box is to think inside the box.
Pizza Party, winner of the Coolest Robot award, was nothing more than a robot made of cardboard.
The inner workings of Pizza Party were just a motor protected by a surprisingly sturdy plastic sandwich container.