34 SERVO 11.2015
Olin: What was it like
walking through the tunnel into
the arena for the first time?
Billings: Even though
we’ve done this sort of thing
before, it was a little imposing.
For us though, our first match
was supposed to be against
Beta. That team was having
troubles, as some of their
custom electronics were lost by
the airline on the trip there, and
they were scrambling to get it
So, we loaded and
unloaded into and back out of
the arena several times while
they tried to get it working.
Eventually, they just had to give
up and we moved on to one of
the alternates; in this case,
Counter Revolution. We had
done it so often I just wanted to get
in the arena and actually have a fight!
In the preliminary round of
BattleBots 2015, Ray and Tombstone
faced RoboGames veteran, Counter
Revolution. Tombstone's first hit
crippled Counter Revolution's drive;
the second hit disabled Counter
Revolution's weapons; and the third
hit splattered Counter Revolution
across the arena. Counter Revolution
Ray's next opponent (victim) was
British import, Radioactive. Ray and
Tombstone toyed with their
prey before crushing him,
then while Radioactive was
being counted out Tombstone
batted the loose pieces of
Radioactive around the arena
with ballistic force.
Next, Tombstone faced
Witch Doctor (see the August
2015 issue's interview with
Andrea Suarez). Witch Doctor
took several hard hits and
dealt a few of her own before
the climatic hit that sent
both bots tumbling. Witch
Doctor ended up inverted
and immobile, but in the process
broke Tombstone's blade. Witch
Doctor was counted out for a TKO.
Olin: What can you tell us about
the damage you took during the
Witch Doctor battle?
Billings: The blade that broke
was made from S7 tool steel. This
particular one was 1.5 inches thick,
and I picked it in particular as the
least likely to break. It broke through
one of the lightening holes, and
probably had some stress fractures
prior to this match. It has seen
much stronger hits in the past
and survived. I didn't think it
would break — part of why I
chose it in the first place. But
that particular weapon bar had a
lot of fights on it, and they do
Olin: How did this affect
your strategy for the rest of the
Billings: It didn't affect
anything really. The bar I chose
for the last two matches is the
one I would have chosen even if
this bar had not broken.
Next, in the semi-finals, Ray
and Tombstone faced Inertia
The two bots collided weapon
against weapon, sending both flying.
Bronco attempted a second flip but
missed. Tombstone counter-attacked,
scoring several big hits.
The last hit crippled Bronco’s drive
and sent Tombstone tumbling,
causing its top cover to come
off and its batteries to spill
out. Bronco was counted out
and Tombstone moved on to
Olin: How did Bronco’s
special extra-long flipper affect
your opening strategy?
Billings: Bronco's flipper
shape was pretty much exactly
what I was expecting. The only
part of that fight that didn't
go the way I wanted was I
assumed they were going to
Tombstone's battery packs after meltdown
during fight with Biteforce.
Ray Billings (L) holding the "Most Destructive Robot"
award, with Ian lewis and Simon Scott from Team Warhead
holding the "Best Designer" award.