Robots. After watching many, many robotesque shows like BattleBots, RobotWars, and Robotica i've seen some rather moronic robots. What were these people thinking? In one show, a British one that had contestants use their robots versus a variety of obstacles. There was a large ball, inside this ball there was an RC Car, thats was it. How much time did they put into that idea? The robot broke down rather quickly.

Most succesful robots follow one particular design idea. A maneuverable robot with a lifting arm seems to work the best, ie: BioHazard. I was watching BattleBots last night, and they had 6 robots in the arena. There was a robot called Toro which flipped 5 of his opponents over. They work the best because many arenas have hazards like saws that pop up out of the ground (BattleBots), so a robot has to have armor on the bottom. Lately though, I've seen more robots that are immune to this tactic, usually a flat box structure with oversized wheels. The lifting arm robots can usually flip themselves over, but some succumb to the very weakness they hope to take advantage of. There are some notable exceptions to the lifting arm idea, like this one which I believe used a wok turned upside down and a lawnmower blade (I'm told that robot parts were flung into the audience.).

Bad Ideas:

Sawblades: These never work well, always placed in awkward positions. They only work if you have your opponent up against the wall, and they can only do limited damage as they never extend far from the body of the robot.

Claws/Clamps: These don't work either, as they require your opponent to be smaller than your bot. Although, if implemented well, claws can double as lifting arms.

Useless Decorations: Nice paint jobs are good, but useless parts of the body aren't. One robot had a decorative faux cow head. They would've used it, but it made the robot overweight. The added weight that it took up could've been used for an extra battery or something.

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