A metal warrior, a robot ravisher, a... remote control car with armor and a weapon :) A Battlebot is not a robot in the typical view of the word - most people consider a robot to be something mechanical that runs autonomously. However, the Battle part is quite true - With a variety of destructive devices, ranging from as simple as a spike or a wedge all the way up to spinning monsters and hydraulic crushers, bots participate in a variety of robot-destroying events. The most popular robot fighting event in the USA is Battlebots; The most popular in England (and much of Europe) is Robot Wars. Other events, while not as popular, include Robotica, which focuses more on robot maneuverability and speed, and Botbash, which focuses on smaller, lighter bots.
Bots come in all shapes and sizes, but are well divided as far as weight. In a standard Battlebots competition (this differs in the other competitions), there are 4 weight classes, as follows:
Lightweight: 25-58 lbs (wheeled) 25-87 lbs(nonwheeled)
Middleweight: 59-115 lbs (wheeled) 88-173 lbs(nonwheeled)
Heavyweight: 116- 210 lbs (wheeled) 174-315 lbs(nonwheeled)
Superheavyweight: 211-325 lbs (wheeled) 316-488 lbs(nonwheeled)
Notice the weight differential for walking robots. Walking bots are cool, but the walking mechanism is typically heavier then a wheeled mechanism, and is typically slower. As a result, SORC, the Society of Robot Combat, put that walking robots got a 50% weight advantage to offset the disadvantages and try to get builders to make the very cool machines.
Bot weapons encompass a variety of categories, to many to define all of them. There are a few base sets though:
Wedges: The absolute most basic weapon possible. The focus of a wedge is to get underneath another robot and shove it around. Since a wedge doesn't need weight for an active weapon, it can put more power into its drive motors, allowing it to push harder and run faster then many of its counterparts. Related to wedges are rammers - Robots that either have a flat front or spikes, with the intent to hit the other robot hard enough to knock something loose. Punjar is a good example of a basic-as-dirt wedge
Lifters/Flippers: These robots are, like wedges, designed to get robots off their wheels, but they do it in a somewhat more elegant way. By using something like an actuated arm, they are capable of getting more control over their opponent then a simple wedge can. Also, wedges often find it difficult to get the other bot all the way over; Lifters tend to be more effective at totally flipping the other robot. Two-time champions Biohazard and Vlad the Impaler, and two-time runner up Voltronic are good examples of lifters/flippers.
Pneumatic Launchers: Using a pneumatic setup to be able to unleash an incredible amount of energy in one quick stroke, Pneumatic launcher bots try to send their opponent flying, some of the more powerful ones capable of launching and opponent 5 or 6 feet in the air and onto their back. Toro and T-Minus are good examples of this
Pneumatic Ram/Spike: Using the same principle as Pneumatic Launchers, these bots are somewhat more damage focused. Using pneumatics to drive a forward ram through side armor or a pneumatic hammer spike through top armor, these bots try to pierce the other robot's armor and damage important equipment inside. Rammstein and Rhino are good examples of pneumatic rams; Killerhurtz and the Judge are good examples of overhead hammer spikes.
Spinners: Often considered the most powerful robots, spinners build up energy over a period of time in a rotating mass, so that they can release it in a huge hit when they collide with another robot. There are many variations - Ones with domes that cover the whole top of the robot, like Ziggo or Mauler; Ones with vertical blades, like Nightmare or Backlash; ones with horizontal blades, such as the helicopter-like Hazard; and ones with spinning drums, like El Diablo and Little Drummer Boy.
Biohazard: A Heavyweight Battlebot built by Carlo Bertocchini. It is one of the most successful heavyweight Battlebots to be built, having won the heavyweight title twice, as well as winning the rumble title several times. It is one of the shortest heavweights, being only 6 inches tall, and is armored with titanium plates, as well as ceramic tiles on the bottom which have proven to be effective at preventing the Battlebox floor hazards from damaging its internals. Its weapons are floating skirts on all four sides that prevent other robots from getting underneath it, as well as a lifting arm which is designed to flip other robots onto their backs.
Diesector: A Superheavyweight Battlebot, Diesector is a highly multifunction robot - Most bots have one or two weapons; Diesector has four! In front, Diesector has a set of high-power clamping and lifting jaws; On its back, it has a wedge tail; And on both side, it has hammers capable fo full 360 degree rotation. All this, and it has a highly stable 4 wheel drivetrain too.
Diesector won the Battlebots Season 2 Superheavyweight One-on-One Championship
El Diablo: Spanish for The Devil. Also, the name of a Middleweight Battlebot with some serious attitude. Sporting a spinning drum, 3 spikes, and a paint job from hell itself, this bot managed to take second place in the Middleweight division in Season 2. It was retired and upgraded to the Heavyweight El Diablo Grande for Season 3.
El Diablo Grande: A Heavyweight Battlebot similar to El Diablo, El Diablo Grande is an upgraded version of its smaller brother. It is similar in construction and function, with the noticeable change of El Diablo's three spikes being upgraded to an actuated lifting pitchfork. It currently has a losing record, having been defeated in a 23-22 split decision in its first fight of Season 3, against Mechavore.
Hazard: A Middleweight Battlebot built by Team Delta. Hazard is a lexan box with four wheels, a wedge in front, and a 40 inch tool steel blade that it spins helicopter-style at 1500rpm. It has absolutely trashed several good robots, and was the Middleweight One-on-One Champion of Season 1. It took a break for Season 2, but is making a spectacular return in Season 3.
A Superheavyweight Battlebot, Judge is the king of overhead hammer spikes. Looking like little more then a fabric covered box, this brown-black Kevlar-armored titan is more then meets the eye. It sports a spike at the end of an arm that strikes with a force of several tons, ripping holes in other bots and causing damage to the Battlebox with every swing, all the while enjoying the audience's rythmic chant of "Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!".
Due to the awesome power of its weapon, Judge had an interesting few rounds during Season 3. In its first fight, it had a sharp tip on its hammer. It swung several times, and missed part of those... And every time it missed, it punched a 20mm hole in the steel armor floor of the Battlebox! The people who had to weld the holes in the box shut after that fight weren't happy, and forced the team to change to a blunt hammer so that it wouldn't punch any more holes in the floor. It didn't help. Instead of punching holes, the hammer warped entire steel plates and frames, causing damage that was much, much harder to repair. Needless to say, it caried the sharp spike into the rest of its fights, and the arena repairmen were more then happy to weld up a few holes :)
Killerhurtz: A Heavyweight Battlebot which also competes in Robot Wars UK, Killerhurtz is a British bot built by John Reid with a pneumatic overhead hammer. It is built out of transparent Lexan, allowing its internal componants to be easily seen. Unlike most robots, which use a skid-steer system, Khz steers more like a car, with rotating front wheels.
Little Drummer Boy: A Middleweight Battlebot, Little Drummer Boy had a deadly spinning drum in front that trashed many a robot. Composed of a steel box with white UHMW armor, a steel pipe section with two bars welded to it in front, and 3 spikes in the back, it proved itself to be a very potent design.
Minion: A Superheavyweight Battlebot, Minion is composed of a wedge in front, and a set of saw blades in back, driven with a 6-wheel drive system. It is driven and built by Christian Carlburg.
Minion won the Season 1 Superheavyweight One-on-One Championship despite having its saw permenantly disabled in its first fight, as well as a One-on-One championship prior to Comedy Central picking up the show and airing season one.
Mouser Catbot: A Retired Lightweight Battlebot, Mouser Catbot is the first in a series of robots. It was upgraded to Mouser Mecha Catbot, which was upgraded to Mouser Super Mecha Catbot. it is composed of a pink vacum-formed cat painted dome, and is armed with a pair of circular saws. It took a nasty gash in its defeat versus Executioner, and had to have a new piece molded to cover the damage. The new piece was painted with a cybernetic pattern, hence the upgrade to Mouser Mecha Catbot.
Mouser Mecha Catbot: A Retired Lightweight Battlebot, Mouser Mecha Catbot is the second version in a series. It was derived from Mouser Catbot, and went on to become Mouser Super Mecha Catbot. It is made of a pink cat painted vacum-formed Lexan dome with a cybernetic paint job in a section where it took damage in its last form. It is armed with a pair of circular saws and a flipper arm.
Mouser Super Mecha Catbot: A Lightweight Battlebot, Mouser Super Mecha Catbot is an upgrade from Mouser Mecha Catbot, which was an upgrade from Mouser Catbot. MSMC's body is a pink vacum-formed Lexan cat painted dome with one side covered with a cybernetic paint job. It weapons are a pair of small circular saws, a flipper arm, and a pneumatic cat tail.
Nightmare: Nightmare is a heavyweight Battlebot that has been competing for several years. It is built by Jim Smentowski, who also runs one of the most popular robot combat websites, www.robotcombat.com. Nightmare is composed of a small black frame, which is really just there to hold up its weapon, a 50 pound disk with two teeth, which spins at nearly 300 miles per hour. Nightmare, while it has never won a Battlebots tournament, has won awards for being Most Aggressive (after almost being banned from the first tournament because the arena had no roof and it was launching parts into the crowd), and presently has a winningrecord, the majority of its wins (and losses) being composed of spectacular knockouts.
Punjar: A Heavyweight Battlebot that has been competing since Battlebots began. It is the most simple form of robot, a wedge. Punjar is composed of a drivetrain made of electric vehicle parts, a diamond-plate aluminum shell, and a shock-mount system to attatch the two.
Rhino: A Superheavyweight Battlebot built by Inertia Labs (who also built T-Minus and Toro), Rhino is basically a box with two wheels and a pnematic ram on the front. One thing of note about its pneumatic ram is that it has a laser distance sensor, to help with aiming and firing the weapon. Rhino has been retired since Season 1.
Spaz: A Middleweight Battlebot. Spaz is composed of a box section with two wheels which contains all the motors and electronics, and a boom sticking out one side with spikes on it. Spaz can attack in two ways - By spinning in a circle allowing the spikes on the boom to get moving at a[high speed, or by charging forward then slamming into reverse, causing the boom arm to swing over the bot and hit the top of the opposing bot.
Spaz was the Season Two Middleweight One-on-One Champion. It was retired for Season 3.
T-Minus: A Middleweight Battlebot created by Inertia Labs (creators of Rhino and T-Minus' big brother Toro), T-Minus is a pneumatic launcher bot capable of launching other 115 pound middleweights over 5 feet in the air, and doing a flip and a half to put itself on its wheels if its ever knocked onto its back. It competed in the most recent Battlebots season, Season 3.
Toro: A Superheavyweight Battlebot built by Inertia Labs (who also made Rhino and Toro's little brother T-Minus), Toro is the ultimate pneumatic launcher bot. Capable of launching a 50lb chunk of steel over 13 feet in the air and flipping its 325lb opponent end-over-end, this robot dominated the robot rumble in its first season, and looked primed to take the whole thing until it fell victim to a wire coming loose.