As soon as we found out we
were selected to compete in the new
ABC BattleBots series, our thoughts
turned to these BattleBots veterans.
Do you think Warhead will be there?
How about Phrizbee? Suddenly, we
had to build a machine that would be
competitive against the legends of the
sport, and we only had a few short
weeks to do it.
What made this build even more
daunting was that we had no idea
what any of our competitors were
building. We were all legally bound to
keep our designs a secret. We could
only imagine what these builders
would conjure up!
As we first arrived at the venue,
my attention was instantly drawn to
the large crates with spray-painted
wording. Lockjaw, Captain
Shrederator, Stinger, Bronco! This is it
— this is the real BattleBots!
Before the fighting even started, I
walked around with our robot’s top
plate and got it signed by every team
I could find. Everyone was so eager to
get to know each other, it took hours
to make my way through the pits.
We were all about to face-off in
the most intense competition in the
history of robot combat. It was
exhilarating and it was terrifying. It
made us question every design
Our robot, Witch Doctor, was
introduced as the “newbie” time and
time again. Of course, we felt we
were far from newbies. We had been
competing at the middleweight (120
lb) level for over 10 years and we had
won several national events. We knew
the names of almost every team
there, but almost no one knew us.
We realized this gave us a few
advantages. While many veteran
teams were coming off of a 10 year
hiatus for this event, our team spent
the last decade honing our skills at
over 30 events across the country. In
that time, new technology has
allowed for stronger, more powerful
Lithium polymer batteries have
significantly increased the current
delivery a robot can exploit. Brushless
motors can deliver much more power
than brushed motors, often in less
than a third of the weight.
This new level of technology takes
experience to master, and we were
hoping our veteran competitors were
still using the components they
trusted in the original series.
The now late Buzz Dawson and
Team Da Vinci are known for their
unforgettable entrances into the arena
with Moebius. The team would dress
up as monks and raise Moebius out of
their full-sized coffin filled with green
fog. While we couldn’t rival this
performance, we knew we wanted
our team to stand out.
We set out to complete our look
SERVO 08.2015 17
Shaman competed with all these team autographs.
Buzz Dawson lifts Moebius
from the dead!
Photo by Michael "Fuzzy" Mauldin.
Go Witch Doctor! Photo by Daniel Longmire.