Old Teams and New Teams
As mentioned, there will be six episodes of BattleBots.
In order to hold a competition, film it in front of a live
audience, and be ready to broadcast it this Father’s Day,
ABC limited the event to just 24 robots with four alternates.
These were chosen from a few dozen entries submitted by
teams in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Donald Hutson of San Diego, CA leads Team Mutant
Robots, and drives the bot during fights. They are
sponsored by QualComm, Solid Works, Automation Direct,
and CAMWorks. Donald won two past BattleBot
championships with his super heavyweight robot, Diesector,
and in November 2001, won the
BattleBot award for Best Driver.
Donald clearly represents the
veteran champion. He has
competed in all four BattleBot
weight classes, and has even built
a 900 monster called GearCrow.
There will be no super
heavyweights this time at
BattleBots. Motors, batteries, and
builders have all gotten better
since 2002. To contain all the
energy of a robot fight,
BattleBots upped the BattleBox’s
polycarbonate walls to 1.250
inches. However, even with 25%
thicker walls, they decided that
250 pounds was as much robot
as they could safely contain.
Because of the shortened season and limited number
of bots, all robots are limited to that weight. The upshot is
that for the first time on television, every robot can face
every other robot in the competition.
Challenging the veterans for this year’s trophy are
younger, newer teams like Team JACD. JACD is a
collaboration between Cambridge-based robot builders
Adam Bercu, Charles Guan, Dane Kouttron, and Jamison
Go. They are far from newbies, however, having built
dozens of robots for other robot fighting competitions
weighing between one and 120 pounds. They have a dozen
championship trophies in
their collection, as well. Even
with all that experience, they
discovered partway through
that building a 250 pound
robot is more that twice the
work, so they brought in
additional team members.
We can’t show you any
more of this robot right now,
or tell you its name or builder
52 SERVO 07.2015
Donald Hutson and his team
from San Diego, CA ready their
robot for the preliminary round
Lucy Du (L), Jamison Go (C),
and Charles Guan (R) of
Team JACD working on a