For those who love movies like Transformers and Pacific Rim, their dream of seeing robots battling one another can be a reality by getting into a hobby known as robot combat. Although the machines are only miniature versions and not gigantic ones like in the movies, it is still possible to have a fun and enjoyable time.
The first robot combat contest was held in 1987 in Denver at the annual sci-fi convention called MileHiCon. The competition was named “Critter Crunch,” and it was organized by the Denver Mad Scientists Club. Since then, more robot combat events have been held, including the “Robot Battles” in 1991 at the DragonCon in Atlanta and the robot combat event at the 2004 ROBOlympics in San Francisco.
Just like boxing, robot combat categorizes competitors into different weight divisions. The general weight classifications are nanoweight (25 grams), fleaweight (75 grams), antweight (150 grams), poundweight (one pound or 454 grams), kilobot (one kilogram), beetleweight (1.36 kilograms), mantisweight (2.72 kilograms), hobbyweight (5.44 kilograms), featherweight (13.6 kilograms), lightweight (27 kilograms), middleweight (54 kilograms), heavyweight (100 kilograms), and super heavyweight (154 kilograms).
To have a higher chance of winning, combat robots are designed with weapons that allow them to effectively destroy their opponents. Some of the most common weaponry used for attacks are the rammer, wedge, spinner, saw blades, full body spinner, lifter, stabber, torque reaction, thwackbot, crusher, overhead axe, clamper, dustpan, and flipper.
Of course, there are certain types of weapons that are prohibited as they are deemed to be not very safe. Examples of these are lasers with more than one milliwatt capacity, untethered projectiles, radio jammers, entanglement devices, liquids, visual obstructers, open combustion devices, and halon.
Hall of Fame
In 2003, robot builders established the Combat Robot Hall of Fame to honor the best combat robots in history. They based their selection on the following criteria: how dominant the robots were in their combats, how appealing they were to fans, how advanced and sophisticated their designs were, and how strong and lasting the impact they made.
After 2003, more robots were inducted to the hall of fame every two years. Some of those that made it were Son of Whyachi, Hypno-Disc, Original Sin, and Rust in Peace. Some of the honorable mentions included T-Minus, Anticide, Kronic, Tombstone, Firestorm, Beauty 2, Vladiator, and Road block.
If you live far from the places where robot combats are usually held, you can keep your Luggage on Tour reviewed suitcase in your closet and not have to think for an excellent argument on why you need to spend a lot of money just to attend a convention, as you can watch robot combats on TV via the American show “BattleBots,” which airs on ABC, and Britain’s “Robot Wars,” which airs on BBC Two.