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BattleBots Going Mainstream

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the world-of-smashing-and-crushing dept.

Toys 129

quamper was the first of zillions to submit to us this msnbc story about the ever expanding world of BattleBots. I'm officially addicted to the show (thank god Tivo will save this weeks battle for me while I'm at the Atlanta Linux Showcase).

cancel ×

129 comments (1)

tamyrlin (51) | more than 13 years ago | (#707353)

You just have to be really _REALLY_ sure you can turn the damn thing off after it has won...

Re:They're Fighting (1)

jafac (1449) | more than 13 years ago | (#707354)

No, it's the GOLDEN nut, you moron. Not the shriveled nut.

I still like roboCup better (1)

Visigothe (3176) | more than 13 years ago | (#707356)

While I dig the battlebots, I still like robocup a lot better. I think it's the "team" concept that I like...

It all just reminds me of my MIT years... thank gods that's over with

Re:Rednecks vs. Geeks (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#707357)

Great. There's my nightmare for tonight. Thanks.

Disappointed (1)

mattkime (8466) | more than 13 years ago | (#707358)

Personally, i'm disappointed with the kind of coverage that BattleBots has gotten. ITS NOT SPORTS! Its pure geek! I want engineers commentating, not half assed comedians. However, the large breasted women are fine, although they'd get my attention a hell of a lot more if they knew what they were talking about!


Re:Tivo + Battlebots (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 13 years ago | (#707359)

OK, I'll grant you that second point. :-)

Robot Wars? (1)

wesmills (18791) | more than 13 years ago | (#707360)

Is BattleBots roughly similar to, or the same as, Robot Wars, made by BBC and hosted by the guy who plays Lister on Red Dwarf (Craig Charles)? Good to see the Americans are finally getting the benefit of British television. :)


Am I the ONLY PERSON ???? (1)

No-op (19111) | more than 13 years ago | (#707362)

I swear I can't be the only one who loves Lister... that guy absolutely rules. ... I know he really isn't Lister and is his own person but damn Lister is cool. VOTE LISTER 2000!

Canada (1)

jrs (27486) | more than 13 years ago | (#707363)

Does anyone know anything about BattleBots being shown in canada?

Re:TiVo and BB (1)

StenD (34260) | more than 13 years ago | (#707364)

Nice thing about BB instead of Robot Wars, is they don't have "House Robots".
Tastes vary. I enjoy the house robots, especially when the competitor's robot takes them down.

Re:Who needs Tivo? (1)

cowboy junkie (35926) | more than 13 years ago | (#707365)

Yeah, but at least MST3K was more than just a half-hour of smashing things... long as you ignore the rules (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 13 years ago | (#707367)

Check out the rules [] . No EMP.

In fact, not much of anything weaponwise. Kinetic energy only, no projectiles. Looking over the various entrants, it seems to me that the best way to store enough KE to kill is in rotating objects: see Mauler, Blendo or Backlash for good examples.


Re:What sucks about Robot Wars (1)

stickyc (38756) | more than 13 years ago | (#707368)

My friends and I had the chance to attend Robot Wars several years back with a round for autonomous bots - it just wasn't that fun. The bots were slow, didn't have any original attacks, and were generally less violent. I dont think amateur teams can afford the time or development resources to spend on making truely brutal autonomous bots. Maybe if some colleges sponsered the event....

Re:Robot Wars? (1)

HerrNewton (39310) | more than 13 years ago | (#707369)

And this brings up something I've wondered about: What is it with former Red Dwarf actors and hosting "build shit" shows? Lister on Robot Wars, Kyten on that junkyard series.


Re:So... what's the point of the article again? (1)

jburroug (45317) | more than 13 years ago | (#707371)

I agree with you whole heartedly about the lameness of that particular article. The ridiculus overblown machismo of the article is only eclisped by that of the announcers on the show (the fact that there weak sports-like commentary seems to be universally reviled here on /. should be at least midly encouraging)

If it makes a difference such stereotypes (mental inferiority, lack of tech ability) DO NOT exist in my particular group of geeks freinds/co-workers. That's not to say that stereotypes don't exist but it's not universal and female freindly IT shops do exist, including the one I work at. As a matter of fact I happen to prefer having at least as many female techs around as males, the whole department is more productive when we have that balance.

Anyway just wanted to comment that not all (or even most IMO) male-geeks have their head in the sand about perserving the old "boys club" mindset.

Re:Battlebots... (1)

phutureboy (70690) | more than 13 years ago | (#707372)

That shit'll make you go blind, boy...


Behold The Grandmaster of Vicious Robots! (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 13 years ago | (#707374)

This mans life is dedicated to machines cruelty to machine in a bleak world where life imitates art. He gave his thumb as picasso gave an ear.Let your gaze fall to the floor and tremble when the warehouse reverberates the name;Mark Pauline of SURVIVAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES []

Re:Rednecks vs. Geeks (1)

jerdenn (86993) | more than 13 years ago | (#707376)

so, what hapens if there is a redneck female geek?

Nope. You end up with Monster OprahBots


Survival Research Labs (1)

Diskore (92523) | more than 13 years ago | (#707377)

Anyone interested in big mechanical mayhem should check out SRL [] . If you don't already know about them, that is.

Experimental Interaction Unit (1)

Diskore (92523) | more than 13 years ago | (#707378)

oh yeah, and there's also EIU [] . Check them out too, they made their own EMP bomb!

Re:Rednecks vs. Geeks (1)

Wiggin (97119) | more than 13 years ago | (#707379)

so, what hapens if there is a redneck female geek? do they have to watch shows like "GI Jane"?

Re:Rednecks vs. Geeks (1)

fishie (100172) | more than 13 years ago | (#707380)

I'd rather be a woman who's a geek :)

I was disappointed... (1)

HobophobE (101209) | more than 13 years ago | (#707381)

...I mean with all the hype it gets on comedy central you'd expect that the battlebots would actually do something, but with only 3 fights per episode and all the extra commentary, it is really depressing when the bots hardly even dent each other I'll admit I've only seen the show 3 times, but as far as television goes, if 3 shows isn't enough to see something cool, you can bet I won't watch it unless it's a last resort.


Modern Hackers (1)

Zalgon 26 McGee (101431) | more than 13 years ago | (#707382)

Isn't this the essence of being a hacker: take a random collection of (parts or code), roll your own (machine or robot), and show off your kick-ass results?

Geeks with testosterone. Who woulda thought ? ;)

Re: Survival Research Labs (1)

jihad23 (101840) | more than 13 years ago | (#707383)

<aol>Yes, SRL fucking rocks.</aol>

I have yet to actually make it to one of their performances, but I've been interested in them for years. Imagine battlebots, only with real projectile and weapons and flamethrowers and all the danger that comes with it. Great stuff :)

There's a good review of their shows here. []
Turn on, log in, burn out...

Calculon vs Bender (1)

Cheshire Cat (105171) | more than 13 years ago | (#707384)

Now this is the fight I would like to see! Calculon vs Bender. I bet Bender would win.

Re:Battlebots... (1)

irksome (106742) | more than 13 years ago | (#707385)

No, no slashbot. DOS the other robots. Make sure they've got a website, then put a link to them on the front page of /. Instant victory :)

Erg...not that cool. (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 13 years ago | (#707387)

What it really needs are some damn robots that work. I think I've seen 2 fights where one of the robots hasn't just fallen apart on the floor.

That lame-ass "Pressure Drop" robot keeps getting mauled by its opponent early in the match, and then the other robot breaks down. I've never seen it hit with that big weapon until the other robot has stopped moving.

The dsigners should have just made a big block of metal that inches forward at this rate.

Re:Rednecks vs. Geeks (1)

Calamari Indigo (116437) | more than 13 years ago | (#707388)

Just one more reason why I'd rather be a woman than a geek.

Re:Sucks (1)

Calamari Indigo (116437) | more than 13 years ago | (#707389)

That's amazing. We did the same thing in my day.

Wait a minute, I'm replying to my own post.


Sure fire winning...... (1)

NullStream (121401) | more than 13 years ago | (#707390)

Never seen the show (too busy for tv) but one thing stands out..... EMP and a sledgehammer like mousetrap...... Mauler is just junk after that....

TiVo and BB (1)

snmcbride (121479) | more than 13 years ago | (#707391)

Thank god for TiVo. I use it to pick up robot wars on my local PBS channel. Nice thing about BB instead of Robot Wars, is they don't have "House Robots".

Re:Disappointed (1)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#707392)

Hey, robots can have steroids too. Hmm. How...ah ha! Antiaerobic Duracell steroids. Supplies an extra 9v of energy each day you use them.

Re:Disappointed (1)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#707393)

What's wrong with a geek sport?

Sports requires:
engineering to make better equipment to make your team better (like walkie talkies in football)
strategy to defeat the opponet
strategy requires intelligence
physical ability

That last one is the tricky one, after all pool and shufflepuck aren't too physical. But, when you have to lift a 300lb robot, that requires some strength.

Re:Forget BattleBots, we need NanoBots (1)

Hillman (137883) | more than 13 years ago | (#707395)

Actually, fighting NanoBots would be even cooler.

Bob! We've gained control of the arm, it's now stabbing the knee where the opponent base is! Ok who want to be the battlefield?

Sorry, my english is crapy.

Red Dwarf cast... (1)

rjnerd (143758) | more than 13 years ago | (#707396)

They don't all get build stuff shows - One of them is a host of YA reality tv show. Its called "Jailbreak". Some number of people, in a replica medium security prison. Guards even. First one to escape gets GBP 100,000 (divided if its an escape committie). Later escapes get less money. I can just see it now: if the ratings sag, they issue the guards live ammo. Oh yea, Robert (aka Kryten) only does the british version (Scrapheap) The american version (Junkyard) used a comic by the name of George Gray. On the scrapheap alumni list, someone suggested giving "Kryten" a sledgehammer, and entering him in the middleweight division.

Re:Tivo + Battlebots (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#707399)

I love Battlebots, I hate the crappy announcers who seem to think that this is some sort of WWF episode.

SILENCE! Bil Dwyer is a God who walks among mortal men. When Bil Dwyer conquers all of mankind (as he is destined to do), only those of us who recognize the genius of spelling your name with one "L" will be allowed to sit at the Great Council Hall!

The best part is when they go to their "sideline reporter" Donna D'Erico. Watching those M-Tech geeks stare at her tits while she asks them, "So, what do you feel the turning point of the match was?" is just pure funny.

Re:Hmm. (1)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | more than 13 years ago | (#707400)

"Instead of 50 channels for 40 bucks a month, how about just Comedy Central for 5?"

Nope, didn't work. :(

I watch the sea.
I saw it on TV.

Note to female readers (1)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 13 years ago | (#707401)

Check this out: Here's the intro to the MSNBC article

Note to female readers: Stop right here. Forget about it. You're not gonna get this one. No way, no how. This is the Three Stooges of journalism, the ultimate gender litmus test: Guys will love this story, women will just think it's stupid. Trust us. I personally think the intro is funny, but does anybody else see this as a bit hypocritical from "MSNBC"? Lets face it... MSNBC is one of the most liberal news sources on this planet, usually involved in pushing so called "Gender Equality". If I was a feminist, I'd be pissed off.

... know what? Go cry somewhere else. HAAAA!!!

I've got an idea CmdrTacoRobMaldaSlashWhore: Why not have some sort of contest here @ /. where the winner gets some funding and sponsorship to build a "/. battlebot"?? Huh? Wadd'ya think?

Pass it around... its a G R E A T idea.


Re:What sucks about Robot Wars (1)

Medgur (172679) | more than 13 years ago | (#707403)

I agree, but there's one problem, what would it be named? Battlebots and Robot Wars are taken, so... Autobots?

I think I'll call mine Roadblock.


Hell with Battle bots... (1)

HeavensTrash (175514) | more than 13 years ago | (#707405)

Bah battle bots are a toned down, jocked up version of Survival Research Laboratories, who started in I believe the early eighties However, from what I understand they have a bit of trouble putting on evrnts in the United States because of all the injuries in the audience.

here's an excerpt from their web page on one of the newer robots:

Track Robot

The Track Robot, similar to the devices used by police and military to defuse explosives, and the Button Panel machine with flailing arms, were constructed for the Japan event at the ICC. Using a tetherless control and video transmission system the Track Robot can be operated remotely through a standard internet browser window. The Button Panel device can relay control signals through a serIal port to other machines.

along with:

Flame Whistle

The Boeing Jet was modified for the Austin event by the addition of a large police whistle. Fuel injectors were added along with an ignition system, therby creating the loudest flamethrower in history.

Re:Here in Seattle (1)

Johnny Thunder (187638) | more than 13 years ago | (#707408)

They outbid Sci Fi, simple as that.

Re:Battle Bots vs. Voltron (1)

nekid_singularity (196486) | more than 13 years ago | (#707411)

WOW That is an utterly frightening amount of thought put to such utterly pointless conversation. You ser are a true geek. I am not worthy.

Hmm. (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 13 years ago | (#707412)

It's times like these that make me wanna get cable.

That and The Simspons. =)

Someone's got to say it (1)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 13 years ago | (#707413)

ObSayings begin

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these killer robots!

Do they run Linux?

ObSayings end

Re:No they don't ... (1)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 13 years ago | (#707414)

I'm aware of this - it's just that we have to get the "Beowulf Cluster" and "Does X run Linux" posts out of the way.

That way normal, sane discussion can resume.

Re:A few points (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 13 years ago | (#707416)

Cambridge University entered a robot in the UK Robot Wars series twice.. it was wicked.. cevlar/titanium all over the place iir.. and nice meaty tank treads... i think it cost £15k or something....

Problem is each robot entered lost like it's first battle by falling down 'the hole' or something equally lame..

Anyone wanna sponser a student?

Cool show, but... (1)

Limecron (206141) | more than 13 years ago | (#707417)

Cool show, it needs way less commentary
and more action...

Or it needs more technical commentary and less drivel.

Re:What sucks about Robot Wars (1)

fenix down (206580) | more than 13 years ago | (#707418)

This is how that would go:
-Bot #1 goes straight forward and spends the next 3 hours trying to get out of the corner.
-Bot #2 spins in a circle because it can't find Bot #1.
Wait, that's what they do now...

Re:Battlebots... (1)

Vuarnet (207505) | more than 13 years ago | (#707419)

Oh God...the JonKatzinator!

"Hasta Altavista, baby!".

Re:When will we get _completely_ automated robots. (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 13 years ago | (#707420)

There was once a AI robot battle on discovery channel's Next Step but it was just on one episode and i dont think it was something they put on TV i think its more something people get together to do.

BattleBots (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#707421)

While BattleBots definately has more interesting battles, I'm getting kind of sick of all the commentary and drivel between matches. Is it *really* necessary to tell us the entire life stories of the robot drivers?

When will we get _completely_ automated robots. (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#707422)

I'm still waiting for someone to write a good AI program for one of these so we can finally have a _completely_ automated robot fight. Then we can have proof Linux beats the crap outta Windows.

A few links for ya: (1)

Nanookanano (213568) | more than 13 years ago | (#707423)

Mechadon [] is so hot she gives me a w00dy. These pictures [] are worth a look. And I think the Sick Puppy award should go to Son of Smashy []

Mauler the best? (1)

trypp (234605) | more than 13 years ago | (#707428)

after reading some posts, i'm wondering:
does anyone think that mauler isn't going to win?

BattleBots, the true linguists (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707430)

We've gained control of the arm, it's now stabbing the knee where the opponent base is! Ok who want to be the battlefield?

Sorry, my english is crapy.

That's alright, you're Canadian. Here, I'll translate:
Yank: Actually, fighting NanoBots would be even cooler.
Canuck: I've heard that hockey-playing NanoBots would be real keen, especially in colour, eh?
Quebecker: Supehr keen, NanoBots avec les batons de microtuer, non?
Brit: I say, good show. Pity they don't do anything, whot?

Nope, totally different (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707431)

Is BattleBots roughly similar to, or the same as, Robot Wars, made by BBC and hosted by the guy who plays Lister on Red Dwarf (Craig Charles)?

Nope, totally different. We have cool music and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Funny story, met Bill Nye at breakfast Wednesday morning. Man, he is ultra-geek in person.

Oh, and another difference (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707432)

We have better lighting for the cameras.

So, in short, nothing like Robot Wars ...

Space Corps Directive 1001001: First, run away. Then, blame Rimmer, the smeghead.

A tad bit disappointed (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707433)

However, the large breasted women are fine, although they'd get my attention a hell of a lot more if they knew what they were talking about!

I think they're stars in some kind of wrestling thing that non-geeks watch.

Re:Forget BattleBots, we need NanoBots (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707434)

You had *rusted cars*???

We would have killed for that.

We did. That's how they got rusted, all the blood from the savage owners of the cars spilled all over.

We also used their hair to tie down the magnetic cores to the planar boards, which we hand painted with resin that we scraped from the trees with our toenails and stained green with plant juices from local flora.

Then we wired it up to windmills we fashioned from old blender parts - and we liked it!

No they don't ... (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707435)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these killer robots!

Do they run Linux?

Nope, most of them use ... wait for it ... BSD.

(for i: i cInfinity: i++; cout"grin "; end)

Re:Forget BattleBots, we need NanoBots (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707436)

No hair, eh? NanoBots could fix that ...

WTF is this "Experience Mucus" monstrosity? It looks like an alien spacecraft that has crash landed next to the Space Needle and like it's morphing into something really UGLY... strike that... UGLIER would be more correct.

Well, when you're as rich as Paul Allen, you can take the money you saved by having the State tax Seattle citizens for your sports stadium and use it to pay for the EMP. Basically, it's the Blob on steroids, and noone wants to tell the MSFT Emporer he has no clothes.

Re:BattleBots, the true linguists (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707437)

Gads you are a dolt. Not everyone in Canada is French-Canadian, i.e. in Quebec.

That's why I translated into Canadian English and Quebecois.

Parce que j'ai quatre langues, et tu n'as rien a dire a moi.

I think you meant to say Albertans wish they were Yanks, well Texans, but we won't let them.

Forget BattleBots, we need NanoBots (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707438)

Actually, fighting NanoBots would be even cooler.

in my day, we hand wound our magnetic cores, and we liked it!

Re:Forget BattleBots, we need NanoBots (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#707439)

In my day we didn't even have hands. We used rocks.

Hell, we didn't even have wire.

Did I mention we hand smelted the wire in forges we built from rusted out cars, spun it out by rotating the smelting pot at high velocity, and caught the cooling wire in our bare hands?

And we didn't have capacitors, we spit lightning into potentiometers between our teeth, after polishing the wire with our teeth.

Who needs Tivo? (1)

Anne Marie (239347) | more than 13 years ago | (#707440)

As with everything they do, Comedy Central reruns Battlebots practically every night. Those of you who remember MST3K know the treatment.

OOwwwccchhhh!! My Brain Hurtz..... (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 13 years ago | (#707441)

I just had a horrible revelation.

What if...down the road...they merged BattleBots and the WWF?

High tech mayhem for Jerry Springer class morons?

Oh man, I'm moving to the moon.

"A microprocessor... is a terrible thing to waste." --

yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (1)

ResQuad (243184) | more than 13 years ago | (#707442)

Battle bots. 100% pure distruction, mix it with the fact that it is scientific and constructive. What could be better???

So... what's the point of the article again? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#707448)

What feature of the Washington Post article merited its being posted on slashdot? It seems that its main point is to prove how tough and manly Battlebots is ("What? You haven't seen `BattleBots' yet? What kind of a man are you?"). At the end of the article, the author asks "Could it be that BattleBots are ultimately ... feminine?"

Once again gender stereotypes rear their ugly head. Slashdot moderators, when will you realize that women are not mentally inferior? that women CAN like Battlebots? (I like Battlebots and I'm female.) that women are entering the IS (i.e. `geek') industry in droves?

You will have to deal with these questions eventually. Stop sticking your head in the sand.

Re:Tivo + Battlebots (2)

drsoran (979) | more than 13 years ago | (#707450)

Hmm.. why can't you do that with a conventional VCR? Sorry.. I'm not about to shell out that kind of money for a system that locks you into a proprietary format. Tell me when the encoding format is cracked and I can start backing up programs that I record on it to permanent media like I do with my VHS tapes and I will think about getting one. That and getting rid of that requirement to subscribe to their monthly service. Ugh. Just what I need.. yet another company invading my privacy by tracking what I watch.

Re:Cool show, but... (2)

jafac (1449) | more than 13 years ago | (#707451)

what else it needs?

BattleBots versus inanimate objects. Like cars, soda machines, lawn mowers, watermelons, perhaps even a small, furry, endangered animal or something.

That would enormously increase the entertainment value.

Re:Disappointed (2)

jafac (1449) | more than 13 years ago | (#707452)

Dont forget steroids, cybernetics, and DNA alteration!

Re:BattleBots (2)

jafac (1449) | more than 13 years ago | (#707453)

They did have one "free for all" a couple of weeks back, a bunch of lightweights. Turned out pretty lame, but the concept got me exited.

We need to get back to the flame-throwers and projectile weapons though. I mean, if this is going to be radio-controlled, what's the challenge? (beyond finding a driver who can fight his way out of a paper bag) just escalation in weaponry, right? Maybe make that lexan a bit thicker. . . (2)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 13 years ago | (#707454)

I think the idea of Battlebots is great.. SME has a yearly robotics contest and we entered the Sumo competiton several times.

What I don't like about BB is that they are remote controlled... that's on where near as fun as watching to autonomous bots go after each other...otherwise its just remote controlled power tools, you know?


Re:What sucks about Robot Wars (2)

bughunter (10093) | more than 13 years ago | (#707455)


Nobody would watch it if it were called "Waldo Wars."

Re:A few points (2)

RayChuang (10181) | more than 13 years ago | (#707456)

Actually, for BattleBots this is definitely NOT for the programming crowd. I mean, they can program but can they build lots of small, fast-moving parts needed for a BattleBot?

This is actually more suited for automotive and aerospace engineers, people who are used to working with lots of small, moving parts. Can you imagine what kind of BattleBot a bunch of engineers at Lockheed-Martin's "Skunk Works" on their spare time can come up with using aerospace materials? (boggle)

Re:Battle Bots vs. Voltron (2)

tap (18562) | more than 13 years ago | (#707457)

Voltron would lose. Voltron always fights first as the lions and gets their asses kicked, before they decide to form voltron. They wouldn't have time in battle bots because the rounds are 3 minutes long, and the stock voltron forming footage, "Form legs and arms! Form feet and hands! Form...", takes like 5 minutes.

Re:Tivo + Battlebots (2)

tap (18562) | more than 13 years ago | (#707458)

If you don't want to drop the cash on a TiVo, you can do the same thing with an $80 DC10+ capture card and this Linux driver [] .

An epsisode of battle bots is 30 minutes long, and contains 3 battles. Each battle lasts at most 3 minutes, and usually one battle will be over in 1 minute or less. So you've got about 7 minutes of robot fighting and 23 minutes of commercials and, well, mindless drivel.

If they actually talked to the designers about the bots, how they are built, what kind of batteries they use, running time, what they use for armor, cost, etc. it would be interesting. But instead they say things like, "the one bot, like, hit the other one, huhuhuhuh, bang!, huhuhuh. Ram, ram, ram!! yeah! ram him with the rod! huhuhuh! The bot with the rod is totally mondo super cool, dude!"

If you pay attention you can spot clever things they designers have done, like little hooks on the side of the bot to stop wedges from getting under, or fenders that flip up to prevent the bot from getting tipped. It would be more intesting the the drivel the have now if they let the designers give a "tour" of the bot and point these things out.

Robot Wars (2)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#707459)

Robot Wars with Lister is SUCH a better show. IT isn't so ESPNlike with BattleBots. Also, it's an hour long with various competitions, not just 1 on 1. Mind you the house robots are nearly impossible to beat, but it makes the show much more enjoyable. The tug of war and king of the hill competitions are fun.

Re:Battlebots... (2)

szcx (81006) | more than 13 years ago | (#707461)

i can see it now, it'd be shaped like jon katz, have a world war 2 bomber-style natalie portman motif, and spin around in circles spewing hot grits.

attack? just point at the opponent and thousands of tiny slashbots swarm to it...

Strategies & types of weapons (2)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 13 years ago | (#707462)

Does each team only get to field one robot?

I would imagine that you could have different types of robots with different sorts of weapons (for instance, I could imagine trying to entangle the Mauler with some kind of Kevlar net).

Oh God, I just realized - this reminds me of POKEMON! *AAAAIEEEEEEE*

Misparsed (2)

Sum Yung Gi (89158) | more than 13 years ago | (#707463)

I read that as "thank (god Tivo)" instead of "(thank god) Tivo". Time for my 3rd bottle of Jolt...

Riddle Me This.... (2)

Bill Daras (102772) | more than 13 years ago | (#707464)

BattleBots is a cool concept and from what I gather a great show (I haven't gotten around to actually watching it yet :-) )

However one thing puzzles me...*why* is it on Comedy Central of all networks? It's sort of like showing Babylon 5 on TNN!

Re:Tivo + Battlebots (2)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | more than 13 years ago | (#707465)

  1. Why does Battlebots have sports-like coverage?
  2. Without any commentary or setup, each Battlebots ep. would be ~10 minutes.
  3. It's Comedy Central. It's a joke. It's dry and overdone and often badly delivered, but it is a joke.
  4. Battlebots is... a sport.

Re:Battlebots... (2)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 13 years ago | (#707466)

No'd just get 10,000 anonymous requests for the robot to pour hot grits down the other robot's pants.

That and the robot would just sit around waiting for the fight to start, tap the other robot and yell:


Then it would make fun of the other robot because it doesn't use Linux, play illegal MP3s, then run away and call Jon Katz gay.

Re:So... what's the point of the article again? (2)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 13 years ago | (#707467)

And what if he was...would it bother you? And why?

Why is "difference" such a BAD thing?

What I really don't get about all these "name of group"-ist movements is that they get all pissed off when people try and acknowledge that there is a difference between their group and the rest of humanity, but they get really pissed off at the idea of just blending in with the rest of society.

Let me give you an example. I'm Chinese. I'm playing Counter-Strike, and I run into a group of people playing with their country in their name.

Now nothing to me is sadder than having to "represent" for your country in a video game. Exactly how much honor and glory do you think you're doing for you country by playing Counter-Strike? People won't remember who won in the Olympics, much less who won a piddling game of CS on a random server...I point this out and the response I get from people is:

"Because I gotta represent 24-7!"

So I reply, "Don't you realize that that makes you no more than your nationalism?"

The response: "And what are you then, you're nothing!"

I respond: "I'm an individual, I'm #1, and my country is #2 in my life." To which they respond: "Ok, you wannabee white boy." (I've corrected their spelling, btw.)

So, what this long winded example was supposed to show is that, while those same people would be utterly pissed if I was to claim that their race had differences that seperated it from the rest of society. (not negative or positive differences, mind you, just differences. Not everything in life has a - or + attached to it...there are neutrons, and hence, there are equally neutral thoughts, ideas, and actions.)

You can't have it both ways. But you can accept both, because that's the way it is. Women are different from men. Get used to it, or you're going to have a hard time trying to conceive children. (This goes out to both sexes, btw.)

At the same time, they're just like all the men in society, because all humanity has the same basic needs and wants.

However, this doesn't mean that they're all going to attack a problem the same way. Using the example of all my "geek" friends, every single girl I know who is a gamer wants to enter the game industry in some sort of artistic position, because they have artistic ability.

By contrast, and the male gamers I know want to be coders or designers, and couldn't draw a stick man if you gave them a ruler and a compass.

If I gathered them all together and we made a game, it would be through our differences that we achieve a balance and get all parts of the job accomplished. Nobody would do less work than the other, and this is not to say that the artistic abilities that the women would be the only thing the women provided.

Why is this such a BAD thing? Why is this sexism? And furthermore, why do I have to write something this long to explain that it isn't sexism because people stopped taking things at face value? Just jump on someone for making a comment a comment like that makes you at LEAST as sexist for jumping on what you assume their intentions to be.

Re:Sucks (2)

Calamari Indigo (116437) | more than 13 years ago | (#707468)

Botsters started selling out the moment they bought their parts from major corporate entities.

In my day we built our own CPUs from hand.

Kids today, scheeze.

Low "action" density. (2)

rjnerd (143758) | more than 13 years ago | (#707469)

Remember, they are trying to get half a season of 1/2 hour shows out of a one day event.

They were able to go back and interview a couple of the particpants, it is too bad that they don't ask about the details. But they sent the sportscasters, not Nye. They must have only had him for the competition day. (not that they give him noticiable air time)

In fact, the thing I most dislike about the spin they put on the tech stuff is the "You aren't expected to understand this" attitude.

As another poster noted, there isn't computation involved. Its mostly beefed up radio control gear. Some of them might have something pneumatic to operate a weapon, nothing particularly exotic...

Personally, I think they are missing a bet with all the exotic stuff. If I were going to build something, I would give real consideration to cast iron (likely one of the annealed forms for the extra ductility) And an IC engine for motive power, its hard to beat one for energy density. (anything that can chemically store significant electrical energy makes a good anchor) I would spend my weight budget on armor and weaponry. Brute Force and Ignorance can be hard to beat...

(I won't be building, I expect to do another season of Scrapheap/Junkyard. Given a choice between Las Vegas, and London, I will take London every time. I also like the variety, and surprise of the show format. Suiting up not knowing what Robert is going to ask you to build is a lot of fun.)

Re:So... what's the point of the article again? (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#707470)

Once again gender stereotypes rear their ugly head. Slashdot moderators, when will you realize that women are not mentally inferior?

Er, exactly where does "mentally inferior" enter into anything?

You do realize that men and women are different, right? Not inferior or superior, just different. And, of course, that doesn't mean that every man has no interest in sewing, or that every woman has no interest in battlebots. But on the average, it's true.

It's like saying that men are physically superior to women. They're not; men are far stronger physically than women on the average, but women can bear children. Which is superior? It depends on what measurement you use.

It's just bizarre to me that this has to be said.


Re:BattleBots (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#707471)

But it wouldn't be a sporting event without those cloying human-interest stories! "How the Mauler team overcame satanic child abuse while growing up homeless in the South Bronx to finally stand up and defeat the overwhelming favorite," played in slow-motion to the Chariots of Fire soundtrack, and so on...

Tivo + Battlebots (2)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#707472)

A Match made in heaven. A whole episode can be watched in 10 minutes.

Minnesota next week (3)

ry4an (1568) | more than 13 years ago | (#707473)

If you're in Minnesota, and more specifically the Twin Cities, then you should check out [] . It's coming on the 21st and should be pretty good.

Re:Tivo + Battlebots (3)

Jerf (17166) | more than 13 years ago | (#707474)

Those of you who do not have a TiVo may think the above is a joke. It is not. I love Battlebots, I hate the crappy announcers who seem to think that this is some sort of WWF episode.

Re:A few points (3)

YoJ (20860) | more than 13 years ago | (#707475)

I was seriously offended by the chauvinist attitude of the article. And I'm a guy. Why should robotics or engineering have anything to do with your gender? Ok, maybe guys are more likely to be interested in those subjects. So what. If you're interested, you're interested, whether you're a boy or a girl.

Comments like, "women leave now", "Comedy Central says that 26% of the viewers are female, but we think they missed a decimal in there" (paraphrased) are not acceptable journalism. I know it's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. But this stuff matters. Maybe articles like this are why more women aren't interested in robotics.

Battle Bots vs. Voltron (3)

jlovette69 (83465) | more than 13 years ago | (#707476)

We need some Voltron action on Battlebots. Voltron would kick the shit out of mauler.

What sucks about Robot Wars (4)

sien (35268) | more than 13 years ago | (#707477)

It should be called remote controlled wars...
It would be soooo much cooler if the machines were autonomous.

Battlebots... (4)

smoondog (85133) | more than 13 years ago | (#707478)

Slashdot should compile a team of people to build a robot. I bet there are a lot of people who would want to participate! Open source robot....


Rednecks vs. Geeks (4)

Seinfeld (243496) | more than 13 years ago | (#707479)

Rednecks -> Monster Truck Rallies
Geeks -> BattleBots
Women -> Oprah

Re:Disappointed (4)

WindowsTroll (243509) | more than 13 years ago | (#707480)

BattleBots is marketed like pro-wrestling - over hyped "competition", loud music, large breasted women and cliched interviews and commentary. You are giving Joe-six-pack three things that he wants : violence, sex and rock-n-roll. If BattleBots had engineers commentating the matches, Joe-six-pack at home would sit in front of the tube, say "duh, I don't get what they are saying", and switch the channel. If you want the show to remain on television, you have to deal with the fact that it must be dumbed down and marketed to the masses. If you marketed to geeks, it wouldn't last on television - why do you think PBS has such a hard time keeping shows on television?

A few points (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#707481)

I competed in this BattleBots, and will compete in the next comp. in Nov., which will be held in Vegas. A few points: 1) Battlebots is not about men, manliness, or any of the other chauvinistic crap in that article. It's about who builds the best bot. We have several female competitors, including Lisa Winter and Amy Sun, and I can only guess how offensive they find that article. 2) If you think autonomous bots would be cooler, feel free to build one. There was an autonomous class in the old US Robot Wars in 95' or 96'. There were only two entrants, and that was the last year anyone did it, for lack of interest. You can talk a lot of smack about how it would be better to have autonomous combat bots, but the reason we don't is NO ONE IS BUILDING THEM. Including you. Plus, if you think the battles are boring now, imagine the bots are wandering around looking for each other most of the time. . . 3) This "open source" stuff is crap. The actual electronics of a combat robot is limited to a PCM radio reciever, a high-amperage PWM speed controller and perhaps some pic chips controlling relays for weapons and such. Fantasies about proving the superiority of Linux over Windows in a combat bot are ridiculous. Both are inappropriate.
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