58 SERVO 09.2015
custom electronics and chargers. In spite of valiant efforts
to fashion a work-around the week of the event, the team
was unable to get the robot to function well enough to
compete. Beta was replaced in the tournament by Counter
Revolution, a double vertical spinner.
In my preview article in July’s issue, I showed the guts
of an unnamed robot (page 54). It was HyperShock driven
by Will Bales (Figure 2, top left).
Also shown clockwise from HyperShock are Wrecks and
Plan X; HyperShock being dismantled by Ice Wave during a
grudge match; Warhead flying like a bird; Nightmare and its
team; Tombstone being tested in the pits; Sweet Revenge
spinning against the hammer bot Radioactive; the dual
vertical spinner, Counter Revolution; and Witch Doctor, a
colorful vertical drum spinner.
Clampy Lifters and Lifting
Clampers: On Fire!
Figure 3 shows some of the non-spinners. Clockwise
from top left are: Overhaul and LockJaw; Mohawk with
flames; Bite Force; Ghost Raptor vs. Complete Control;
Razorback; and Chomp vs. Overdrive. Each of these had a
movable appendage that could either lift the opponent off
the ground or clamp onto the opponent.
Bite Force may have been the most versatile robot in
the event, fighting with a removable clamping arm and two
different wedge attachments — one of which was actually
assembled the week of the event.
Tournament Structure, Prelims,
Although it might be fun to think about it, you can’t
just throw two dozen robots into the arena and give the
trophy to the last one moving. (Well, you could, but it
would be hard to film and make a six-episode season.)
The task of organizing the event into a tournament of
one-on-one fights falls to the Tournament Selection
Committee (TSC), which is a small group comprised of
BattleBots founders, former BattleBot contestants, and
executive producers of the show itself. Membership in this
group had to be the hardest job at BattleBots, because
each night after the action was over and the audience left,
the committee members were tasked with evaluating the
robots and deciding what would happen the next day.
After the 24 robots passed safety inspection, each TSC
member and each safety inspector scored each robot in
Aggression: How mean and fast the robot seems
Control: A measure of the skill of the robot’s driver
Weapons: How destructive the weapon appears
Defense: A measure of the robot’s durability
Figure 4 shows the statistics given for the
final match between Tombstone and Bite Force.
The numbers you see on the televised graphics
are averages of the individual scores. The result is
much like the BCS poll numbers you see each
week during college football season (BCS is Bowl
Championship Series). You can argue endlessly
about how accurate the numbers are, but
someone has to sit down and reduce a slew of
information down to a single number you can use
to decide who fights who.
The 2015 tournament was split into two
parts. First, there were 12 preliminary matches to