Whatever happened to BattleBots on TV?

They used to be on Comedy Central in my area, but they have disappeared
completely. The website is not much help.
Randy
Reply to
Randal O'Brian
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The program isn't listed on the Comedy Central website either. I guess they dropped it.
I prefer the Robot Wars show anyway.
Reply to
John Ings
--Big-ass lawsuit; hope it gets settled sometime soon. Details are in a neat book called "Gearheads". Long story short: 2 guys invented the sport; one with money, one without. The one without was too shy to approach the guy with money, so he went to another friend and got dough from a friend of this friend. The poor guy signed a lousy contract without having a lawyer look at it. This friend-of-friend guy turned out to be an utter slimeball, who eventually sued the poor guy out of all his rights to the property. This guy went on to take over Robot Wars, which is still running in the UK. --The other guy who dreamed the thing up, the one with the deep pockets is an interesting guy by the name of Trey Roski; I live nearby and I've chatted with him occasionally. Trey began the series of tournaments known as Battlebots, until Mr. slimeball shut him down with a barrage of lawsuits, demanding that he pay royalties to him for every match that takes place. Kinda like saying 'I invented stock car racing; if you race then you pay me money'. Kinda stinks, don't ya know.. When BB was taken off the air (this happened for other reasons than lawsuits, but it won't be back until there's a settlement) there were something like *300* teams in the world, most being in the USA. It is my sincere wish that they don't give up and become lawyers. Seems to me one bad one is one too many.
Reply to
steamer
BattleBots and Robot Wars are misnomers anyway - call it what it really is (Remote Control Vehicle Destruction-Fest (tm)) and side-step the slimeball. Mind you, I think that actual battling robots (self-controlled, not operated) would be interesting, but those are far more challenging to actually build...which is _why_ they would be interesting.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
I dunno. I came up with a couple of ideas I'd like to try. Take a repeating nailgun, propane powered. Soup up the mechanism a lot, now put a rod on the end that shoots out in place of the nail, but is captive.
Add servos so that the thing can be swiveled round, and a couple of wheels.
Thing comes into the arena, on little pathetic looking wheels, brakes and falls over on its nose. The nailgun goes off, and it's pogo mangling fun. The rest is just software to do the pogo-by-wire.
A similar idea was based around a 'flamethower' that turned out to be a rocket engine on which the bot could hover over oppenents, roasting them to a crisp with a mach 10 3000C blowtorch.
However, I doubted that even 'unlimited' classes would allow this, as if it went wrong, it could end up several tens of kilometers away.
Reply to
Ian Stirling
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also
Robot Wars: The final chapter of almost seven years of litigation involving Profile Records, Marc Thorpe, Robot Wars, and BattleBots is about to start, as the trial in the case of Astor Holdings (formerly Profile Records) v. Roski and BattleBots is scheduled to start on April 13, 2004. Although the court granted "summary judgment" to BattleBots and Trey on most of Profile's case last August, a few remaining issues will be tried. The trial will be held in the United States Courthouse in Manhattan, New York, located at 40 Centre Street. The trial will be in Courtroom 443, and the public is free to attend. The trial is estimated to last for 7-8 days. Stay tuned for further details. Best regards and good building, BattleBots Inc.
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Reply to
John Ings
I'd be a lot more impressed seeing real robats race a maze.
Reply to
Richard Lamb
Didja ever see the Scientific American where they had an autonomous flying vehicles that had to pickup and deliver a 'puck'? What was the engineering school that the mechEs had to build a device from a box of parts to tip a scale. That seemed a bit more challenging than seeing how much one can spend to beat-up the other guy.
Joel. phx
Reply to
Joel. Corwith
Doing fly-by-wire to convert remote commands into motor commands is an interesting and non-trivial part of the problem for devices with more degrees of freedom than wheels. For example, the pogo idea, it would be impossible to control the thing directly, you need onboard sensors, gyros, ... It has to react in milliseconds to changes in footing, or the foot slipping and changing the attitude, and work out a new place to set down that will result in remaining stable, and not falling over.
This is also needed for converting any guidance softwares commands to positions, so it's part of the problem.
Things with legs can be more flexible than things with wheels, but the control is a much harder problem.
Do a google search on DARPA robot race to get some interesting information on a recent race of full-sized vehicles robot driven across the country.
Reply to
Ian Stirling
: BattleBots and Robot Wars are misnomers anyway - call it what it really : is (Remote Control Vehicle Destruction-Fest (tm)) and side-step the : slimeball. Mind you, I think that actual battling robots
--Agreed, but remember that the BB contests were only held for something like 3 years. In that time I saw forced evolution in action and it was truly amazing to watch the *rate* of change. By the time the last BB tourney was held there were already several semi-autonomous entries and I'd guess that, had it continued, by the 7th or 8th iteration it would have become necessary to have some sort of brain in command of a "bot" just to keep up. Remember that the folks who build these things tend to hang with the crowd that does the autonomous "Sumo" events, so there's quite a bit of cross-pollination, so to speak.
Reply to
steamer
Amen to that comment. Watching a couple of souped-up RCs beat up each other is not robotics, and definitely not good entertainment.
The show died a well deserved death (not soon enough).
Harry C.
Reply to
Harry Conover

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