Mechanical Carnage: Gallery and Video from RoboGames’ Triumphant Return

Fun & Games Robotics
Mechanical Carnage: Gallery and Video from RoboGames’ Triumphant Return
The middleweight classes are  favored for their high action.
The middleweight classes are favored for their high action.

We’re only a couple months in, and 2015 has already been a good year for robot combat. Battle Bots is back, and RoboGames ran a successful competition this past weekend. Make: was on-site at the San Mateo (California) County Event Center to see contributor Zachary Lytle and many others compete in the ant-weight (one-pound) division. Lytle, who wound up taking home the gold, gave us some insight into the competition and what makes it special.

Lytle, also the founder of Bot Bash, which brings small combat robots to birthday parties and other events, has been a regular RoboGames competitor. He’s had enough success over the years that, in the final match of the weekend, his competitor had designed a robot specifically to target Lytle’s bot, The Bomb. Lytle showed that it’s about driver skill as well as bot design, sticking close to his competitor so the bot couldn’t get up to full speed, and winning in about 40 seconds.

RoboGames is about more than just combat, however. There are 54 events, including several based on humanoid robots. “The combat is what draws the crowd,” says David Calkins, RoboGames founder. Attendees, he points out, often wind up competing the next year. But it can be a big investment, especially if you’re building the larger robots. “It takes a lot of commitment to build something that you know is going to get destroyed, and yet you’re doing it for the love of that competitiveness,” says Calkins.

Calkins and RoboGames raised $40,000 last year on Kickstarter for the event, which has video of the matches available to backers, and featured Mythbuster Grant Imahara as host/commentator.

3 thoughts on “Mechanical Carnage: Gallery and Video from RoboGames’ Triumphant Return

  1. David says:

    “RoboGames’ Triumphant Return” That might be one of the finest compliments I’ve ever gotten.

    Thank you Nathan, Hep, and Tyler for such a great article.

  2. Guest says:

    kh . I see what you mean… Clarence `s blurb is terrific, on friday I bought a great new Dodge after having made $4460 this past 4 weeks and-just over, 10k this past month . without a doubt its the most-comfortable work Ive had .

    I started this seven months/ago and almost straight away began to bring home at least $70, per/hr . over at this website HERE’S MORE DETAIL

  3. Mundificant says:

    I think it’s a shame that there is so much focus on demolition and violence. Certainly there is abetter way to get inventors, makers, and kids engaged. The figurative (or literal), sledgehammer isn’t really the most elegant tool after all, is it. Neanderthals had sledgehammers after all!

    We can do better than this!

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Nathan Hurst is an editor at Make. He loves anything having to do with science or bicycling. He tweets as @nathanbhurst.

View more articles by Nathan Hurst

Light cutter, fashion trend hunter, urbex artist, and space enthusiast.

Staff Photographer and Photo Editor at Make.

View more articles by Hep Svadja

Video producer for Make:, also tinkerer, motorcyclist, gamer. Reads the comments. Uses tools, tells stories. Probably a human. Tweets @photoresistor

View more articles by Tyler Winegarner
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).