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BattleBots & ESPN Strike TV Deal 120

Posted by Zonk
from the hope-the-hosts-are-good dept.
NMajik writes "Although BattleBots has been largely removed from the public eye since episodes stopped airing years ago, a new deal has recently been struck with ESPN to return combat robots to the living room. Episodes will be broadcast as a series on ESPNU and ESPN2 after filmed at the competition in June 2008. This is the first notable progress towards televised combat robotics in years."
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BattleBots & ESPN Strike TV Deal

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  • pretty sure (Score:5, Funny)

    by deathtopaulw (1032050) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:33AM (#22712980) Homepage
    we're way past stirke three with the editors inability to edit
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DotNetFreak (1018190)
      One does wonder: How many stirkes is allowed per edirot. :D
    • Stirke me clown, and fry will become more prayerful than you can portably imagine!
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      we're way past stirke three with the editors [sic] inability to edit
      You should send in your résumé.
    • by STrinity (723872)

      we're way past stirke three with the editors inability to edit
      No initial capitalization, no punctuation, no apostrophe in "editors", and "strike" is misspelled -- but I'll just pretend you were being ironic.
  • I'm sorry, my interest in this story was completely overshadowed by the lack of comprehensible English in the posting... "Stirke" or "Episodes will be broadcast as a series on ESPNU and ESPN2 after filmed at the competition..." What? Me talk good english too... -Taylor
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      I hear the same robots that post Slashdot articles are competing in BattleBots!

    • "Episodes will be broadcast as a series on ESPNU..."

      Look at the "U" on the keyboard.

      What's the closest key? "8"

      That's right - "The Ocho" is just over the horizon!

      (Now, if only all the commentators were cute blonds in dominatrix gear...)
      • by Thalagyrt (851883)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESPNU [wikipedia.org]

        However, he really is talking about ESPNU. If you even bothered to look stuff up before assuming you know everything about everything you wouldn't have made that post.
      • by mcmonkey (96054)
        The parent comment has an 'off topic' mod, yet on reading the headline, my thoughts turned immediately to The Ocho. BattleBots fits right in with poker, Nascar, women's basketball, and the other stuff ESPN airs which aren't real sports.

        However ESPN is the 'Entertainment and Sports Programming Network' and if fighting robots isn't a sport, it certainly is entertainment.

        (Now if only all the commentators were Bob Costas in dominatrix gear...)
        • by R2.0 (532027)
          "(Now if only all the commentators were Bob Costas in dominatrix gear...)"

          I just threw up in my mouth a little...
  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:39AM (#22713012) Journal
    o Is liquid nitrogen legal? o What about high voltage? o Blue-tack? o What's the maximum weight of demolition hammer allowed? o Are battle-bots allowed to be equipped with smooth bore cannon? o Are capacitor-fed tack welders permitted? o Cowboy Neal?
    • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:12AM (#22713156)
      o Why o Why is my text not formatted correctly?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by blackwing0013 (680833)
      How about equiping a robot with EMP?
      • One word: Pacemaker.

        You'll probably want to stick to EM attacks that won't knock out members of the audience.
        • by Duhavid (677874)
          Think of it as evolution in action!
          • Well, I'm fine with that. It's a bit heartless, but getting people with health problems out of the gene pool is one way to better the human race.

            The only problem is the manslaughter charge and the wrongful death suit.
      • by Rei (128717)
        I remember, looking at the rules a while back, that they highly restrict things like that. No free-flying projectiles, no heat weapons, no electric weapons, no sticky traps, and so on. Combat must be physical.

        It was an interesting show, although I hated how they tried to "WWF" it, and it did get a bit repetitive after a while. I think one interesting change they could do would be to ban wheels. That'd add a lot of creativity to the robot designs. A lot more snakes, walkers, perhaps even some "rollers"
    • by RuBLed (995686)
      A robot that plays the all time hits of Britney Spears when hit/attacked. Further attacks would continously increase the volume of the loudspeakers.

      Win by default?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PhireN (916388)
      FTA:

      New Experimental Class
      For both competitions, BattleBots would like to open the door to a new "anything goes," experimental class. There are NO rules and NO weights for this class.
      So the answer is yes, as long as you enter into the experimental class, otherwise check the rules.
      • by Torvaun (1040898) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:32AM (#22715066)
        This guy [news.com] is going to kick ass in the experimental class.

        The rules are here [battlebots.com], if you don't mind pdfs.

        Weapon types that aren't allowed in the normal class include electricity and electromagnetic weapons (no EMP or Tesla coils), weapons that require significant cleanup (sand, oil, liquids, ball bearings), weapons intended to obscure vision (smoke, strobe lights), thermal weapons (no explosives or cutting torches, although you can use explosives to, say, drive a piston), mechanism fouling weapons (nets, tarps, caltrops), and no mutually destructive mechanisms.

        There are also restricted weapons. Projectiles are allowed, but must be on a tether of no more than 8' in length. Covering weapons are allowed, but must be rigid and controllable. Airbags are allowed, but must conform to the rules for pneumatics, and can't be used as mechanism fouling weapons when deflated. Flywheels need to be installed properly, so that they don't fly off or apart while spinning. Large springs (20 lbs of force to extend or compress) need to be armed by the bot, not manually, and need to be able to be released manually without causing damage to the person doing the releasing.
      • by geekoid (135745)
        That's sweet, but I also would like to see wight competition. I can create an RC ATV with a machine gun. Big whoop. Even a tank, or an aircraft.
        Pack it tight, do much with some restriction forcing a development avenue.
    • by Merk (25521) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:08AM (#22716656) Homepage

      I think more important than what's allowed on the robots is what kind of surface will they be playing on. When they're played on very smooth, very flat surfaces, it becomes all about wedges and flippers. Every robot has a skirt with less than 1cm clearance on all sides, and the winners are the ones that can slip under that skirt.

      If they changed it so that the games were played on uneven, non smooth surfaces, maybe even some dirt/grass, water, etc. you'd have to have exposed wheels / tracks. Wedges / flippers would no longer have a massive advantage.

      Survival of the fittest in robot fighting competitions is, like all other survival of the fittest contests, based on the environment. If the environment is varied enough that one niche player can't dominate everything, you'll get much more interesting fights, and much more variety in design.

      • I think more important than what's allowed on the robots is what kind of surface will they be playing on. When they're played on very smooth, very flat surfaces, it becomes all about wedges and flippers.
        that is wwhy I always liked the british 'robot wars' more (though battlebots was still fun to watch) because there were fire and spike and pit obstales in the arena- it made it a lot more interesting - besides lister hosted it
    • by MattHawk (215818) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @12:53PM (#22719452) Homepage
      Part of the reason for things being banned is a simple matter of safety. I've competed at several robot combat events with a middleweight, and even with the extremely strict safety rules and the high tech arenas, some of them are freaking dangerous. I've been within a few feet of an arena breach at one point, where some of the heavier robots hit a wall hard enough to come up over the safety stop and almost go through the bulletproof Lexan arena wall (fortunately neither robot managed to come clear out of the arena, but they knocked a wall section out and very nearly did). There have also been incidents of robots with cutting weapons putting holes clear through the wall (and at least one incident I know of where a robot put a hole in a 1/2" thick steel plate that was part of the arena safety system). The safety crew at the events takes these things very seriously - the fight IMMEDIATELY stops if there's any threat of the arena being breached, and the robots are disabled until the situation can be evaluated, but that's with the limited scope of the current rules - many of the things people would love to see in the robots would be damn near impossible to do safely around an audience.

      Even if there isn't an audience, there's still the crews to think about. People have to work around the robots to repair them (many of the rules involve safeguarding the robot when it's around people), and to load them into and out of the arena. Also, some of these robots get torn up pretty badly, hence rules relating to making sure the robots aren't hazardous to clean up after they've gotten heavily damaged.
    • Liquid nitrogen? No liquid weapons allowed. High voltage? With permission if you want more than (IIRC) 72 volts. Blue tack? No entanglement weapons, which this would fall under. Maximum weight of hammer? Whatever fits in your weight class. Cannon? No untethered projectiles. Tack welder? Entanglement rules again (probably) as well as no open electrical discharges (as weapons--those caused by damage are of course permitted). Cowboy Neal? not a robot. (or RC machine) Also, EMPs are also not allowed, and you c
  • not robots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:43AM (#22713028) Homepage Journal
    Its mildly cool and all, but I'm sorry, remote controlled vehicles are not robots. They're kind of the complete opposite of robots.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stripe7 (571267)
      UAV's and other military robots are remote piloted, some are 100% remotely controlled others are semi-autonomous, we still call them all robots. The Battle-Bots are generally 100% remotely controlled, but as robot reflexes become faster than human ones, the Battle Bots will change and become more and more autonomous. Who knows, maybe the inspiration for a future War-Bot may be found in the Arena one day. What I find interesting is that Americans prefer their robots form to follow function whereas the Japane
      • UAV = Unmanned aerial vehicle. As for the ground vehicles, they have names like explosive ordinance disposal vehicle, remote reconnaissance system, and so forth. Nobody calls them robots except for the soldiers (they're allowed to) and the ignorant (this is not meant as a jab). A boy with a remote controlled car doesn't own a robot, and neither do people who appear on TV shows like Battle Bots.
        • by STrinity (723872)

          As for the ground vehicles, they have names like explosive ordinance disposal vehicle, remote reconnaissance system, and so forth. Nobody calls them robots except for the soldiers
          So when the media talks about the police using a bomb-disposal robot to investigate a suspicious package, the reporters are soldiers? It's pretty common parlance to refer to remotely operated vehicles as robots.
      • by bughunter (10093)
        This kind of lowered expectation creep is why terms like "artificial intelligence" and "virtual reality" don't mean the same thing they once did.

        Once, "artificial intelligence" meant a self-aware machine consciousness, one that could pass any Turing test. Now it is commonly used to describe something as simple as an expert system that can employ rules to perform one specialized task.

        Once, "virtual reality" referred to complete sensorium immersion into an artificial world a la "Johnny Mnemonic" or "Drea

    • Yeah remote controlled cars with weapons is cool.

      Automated remote controlled cars is freaking awesome. :)
      A whole new field of malfunctions can occur.
    • Battle Bots is awesome but I agree. It'd be much more impressive if they forced the bots to fend for themselves.

      I always wanted to see a show that combined Battle Bots and Junkyard Wars too. You have one day and one garbage dump to put together the coolest bot you can and then have them tear each other apart. Otherwise it can become to much a competition of who can spend the most money.

      I'm surprised the military doesn't sponsor these kinds of shows. It can only lead to more interest and more experience in b
      • who can spend the most money

        You obviously didn't watch a lot of competitions. How many times was a $10K all-stainless death machine taken apart by a 10yr old girl with a ladybug? A lot.
      • YES... a much cooler show IMHO though I'd give them 3 days to do it not 1 and it would have to be a well stocked garbage dump... ie: buy out an old FRY's electronics store with all the parts still there ;-p

        On ideas for weapons... how about a capacitor that discharges when your bot gets touched by another bot.... very passive aggressive but effective... just send your bot into the kill path of another and see if you can withstand the first hit long enough to totally disable the other bot. Maybe a little bori
    • by Himring (646324)
      Yea, but "Remote Controlled Vehicle Wars!" or "Battle RC Machines!" isn't quite as cool a title. And I loved that show.... Anyone calling it "mild" entertainment shouldn't be given an insightful mod. I thought xfiles was sorta ok, here's my thoughts on it. Now mod me way up.

      Jk of course. Loved xfiles but you see my point....

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BabySledge (756467)
      True enough..They are not robots. But they could very well be the bodies for robots. This show changed my interests from electronics to robotics and I have been back in school ever since. This show/format could produce a viable sport. As it is the original(American) spawned groups across the nation to form and compete with smaller more affordable (non autonomous(ro)BOTS. There were even a few tries at semi or fully autonomous bot battles. Hopefully it will stick around for a while this time. The USA needs s
    • by wattrlz (1162603)
      Being a, "robot" in most circles doesn't require autonomy. In common usage the term has grown to include automata, remote-control devices, and anything that can appear to operate in a robotic capacity.
    • I agree. My father and my brother are heavily involved in FIRST robotics. Apparently, when it started, the competition was all autonomous. Now, they have been giving the team more and more direct control of the robot every . year
    • by WhiteDragon (4556)

      Its mildly cool and all, but I'm sorry, remote controlled vehicles are not robots. They're kind of the complete opposite of robots.
      They are robots, but they are not autonomous robots [wikipedia.org]. Wikipedia's article on robots [wikipedia.org] gives some defining characteristics of robots, but it is not a definitive list.
  • I sure hope Joe Rogan does commentary again. The guy is really good, and hilarious as well.
  • Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:58AM (#22713096)
    I missed that show. My father and I did not connect on a lot of things, but robots thrashing the crap out of each other was something we could both share....

    That and Betelgeuse from the Howard Stern show.
  • About time! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iansmith (444117) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:04AM (#22713118) Homepage
    My friends and I always thought that BattleBots on Comedy Central was a bad idea.

    The humor was funny, but the sportscasting was awful. Weird stats, rarly any good discussion over what happened or any more details. The after-fight interviews were pretty much just, "How did you feel about winning?". And the crazy stats and numbers rarely had any relation to the judges scores, which were glossed over and never explained.

    We always wished ESPN would have shown it.. THEY at least know how to host a sporting event. Hopefully they will treat Battle Bots just like any other sport this time around, explaining judge decisions, giving people a better idea of why someone wins, focusing on the exciting parts more than long, long clips about someones garage.

    Here's to hoping we get lucky and ESPN doesn't screw it up this time around. :-)
    • Re:About time! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Matrix2110 (190829) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:13AM (#22713164) Journal
      ...My friends and I always thought that BattleBots on Comedy Central was a bad idea.

      If ESPN treats the sport at least half as well as NBC did with American Gladiators, We may be in for a treat!

      ESPN has a rep to keep up, and sports show crews tend to be fanatics. So there is much upside.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hal2814 (725639)
        "ESPN has a rep to keep up"

        A rep to keep up? They show Scrabble tournaments!!! I saw a dominoes tourney on there once. I've also seen darts and billiards. If you've seen any of those, you'd notice the coverage crews were anything but fanatic or even enthusiastic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kalirion (728907)
      The worst part is that only one or two types of bots ever got anywhere. There were some very imaginative and cool designs, but none that could compete with a simple wedge.
      • by Plekto (1018050)
        The worst part is that only one or two types of bots ever got anywhere. There were some very imaginative and cool designs, but none that could compete with a simple wedge.

        ****

        There was one that did amazingly well, though that was different. It had a giant triangle assembly that spun. With 10lb sledgehammers on the ends. Wedge bots were helpless against it because they would get mauled before they could get in range.

        Which is why they need to make it *less* restrictive. There are always ways to counter a
  • Honestly... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xzaph (1157805)
    I always preferred Robotica over BattleBots - the former had interesting courses and whatnot that made things less monotonous than BattleBot's "WWE"-style straight up fight.
    • I too preferred Robotica, and I wish it would make a come back. Battlebots is mainly about the fight and damage and less about bot design and operator skill. I kind of equate Battlebots to soap opera style wrestling and Robotica to a chess match. Robot Wars is/was the worst, because the house bots always got involved which ruined it for me even though the studio audience seemed to like it when the 2 ton Sarge or whatever the name of that monster house bot would roll in and pick up the competitor bots as
  • The idea sounds better then it is. in execution the show was slow and dull, with robots always getting stuck or unable to land the killing blow.


    maybe if it got some funding behind it and some interesting idea's came out of it it's be more fun, but the designs are all predictable and revolve around the overhead axe or a flipping motion.

    • Re:boring (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bazman (4849) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:58AM (#22713318) Journal
      Until some real new idea comes out. On the UK 'Robot Wars' it was turning into a battle of the flippers v the axes, until innovations like HypnoDisc and Gemini appeared. HypnoDisc had a heavy horizontal spinning disk with blades, and a very low CoG. It span up until it had masses of angular momentum, and then all the other robots just bounced off it with massive gashes. Version 1 was liable to being flipped, but in the next series they added a self-righting mechanism. Gemini was a 'clusterbot': the robot split into two independent parts, each with a flipper. Combined they were below the weight limit so it was all legal. Other bots found themselves facing two small light flippers, and so couldn't use the usual tactic of pointing their dangerous end at the opponent.

      • I'd like to see battles involving the house robots from the world's various iterations of robot wars.

        That would be cool.
  • Robot Wars... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wizard Drongo (712526) <wizard_drongo.yahoo@co@uk> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:30AM (#22713226)
    Dunno if any of you over the other side of the pond ever got this show, it stopped in 2003, and was presented by Craig Charles (oh he of Red Dwarf fame).
    Was an awesome program, with a whole load of different teams, ranging from a 13 year old girl with her Dad to a major university grad team and a Army engineers team.
    Was pretty decent in it's day. Maybe they should bring this back.
    • Robot Wars was awesome! It aired here in Australia several years ago (or perhaps it was on cable?). Whatever, was definitely worth watching.

      I vaguely rememember seeing the US variant, but only one episode. Certainly the UK variant had better presentation.
    • by IBBoard (1128019)
      Yeah, the Brits always do things like this properly. Any time I watch the American versions I think "yeah, good show, but it'd be better without the commentator being a completely over-zealous tit". Jeremy Clarkson was okay in the first series, but I think Craig Charles and Phillipa Forrester were the best team.

      Big battles are fun, but what you need is the extra skill and variance of the games like Gauntlet and the variety of "trials" they did :)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot_wars [wikipedia.org]
      • Sorry, but yeah, good show, but it'd be better without the commentator being a completely over-zealous tit". + Jeremy Clarkson was okay in the first series, does not compute.
    • Agreed. I saw one of the US version; it was awful, no trials, totally hammed up presenter, almost as bad as the Red Dwarf US version. Given that Craig Charles was in both Red Dwarf and Robot Wars, it's weird that the US versions of both were dreadful.
    • I really loved that show. I can remember watching the first season (which was presented by Jeremy Clarkson back then) on BBC2. It was a bit of a pity to see the gauntlet scrapped after the second season, but there were a lot of fantastic fights. Chaos 2, Hypnodisc, Bigger Brother, Tornado, Razer, some really memorable ones. Ah memories...
  • Stirke is a perfectly cromulent word.
  • by Yvanhoe (564877)
    I want to see the DARPA challenge on my TV screen on a more regular basis.
  • Though ESPN may seem like a junket of jocks crazy on sports, the cable network has a solid past of coverage on topics outside of conventional sports. Case in point, they have successfully covered the World Series of Poker, National Paintball Championships and soon to be MLG (Major League Gaming). Each of these areas had little to no coverage in the past, while the production quality was quite poor. The World Series of Poker after being made popular on ESPN grew into one of their most popular shows, while th

    • Other than the two of the worlds most popular sports: Soccer & Rugby. Seriously: boxing, gymnastics, paintball all these 'unconventional sports' but nothing about real sports. Probably has something major to do with no 'commercial breaks'. So record the match and play it back and just insert a commercials at throw ins but don't skip play.

      I've never introduced Rugby to a friend who didn't enjoy watching it over American Football.
    • by pshumate (1004477)
      I remember a Magic:The Gathering competition on ESPN2, about ten years ago. So yeah, I agree.
  • jeez.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Elsapotk421 (1097205)
    I can get fighting robots, but would it kill you to play rugby espn.
  • by AceMarkE (154966) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @06:25AM (#22713864)

    Next up on ESPN: Davion vs Steiner, live from Solaris VII!

    (maybe we should get these guys [mechaps.com] involved to speed up the process).

  • I can't wait to hear those two girly men scream and nag and shriek about what a moral outrage it all is. The winner can bury an ice ax in Skip Baylis's head.

  • This is the first notable progress towards televised combat robotics in years.
    "Televised combat robotics"? Very nerd. No -- very very nerd.
  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @07:29AM (#22714348)
    Since I'm happily employed and unlikely to end up as an advisor for the show, I'll throw in a few words of advice for ESPN.

    1. Do something about the wedge/flipper bots. There are plenty of methods to deal with them that don't involve a simple ban on the design type. But trust me when I say that BattleBots was being done in by what appeared to be a never ending supply of squat cheese wedges.

    Why spend time engineering a novel robot when you could stick a motor and a hydraulic arm into a wedge and have a good chance at winning?

    2. Give them a real amount of time to fight. Comedy Central tried to cram the whole tournament into something that was far to short. Let the damned things fight.

    2.1: Let the damned things fight. The course doesn't need to be 'extreme' and deadly. Sure, put in a few obstacles but don't turn the course into a third opponent. Nothing like watching a good battle only to see one opponent DQ'd after some goofy piece of scenery flips over for no reason.

    Imagine watching a UFC match. The opponents have separated after an amazing show on the mat. They are circling one another, knowing that if they show the other any opening that it will be taken advantage of. This is a fight to go down in history books gentlemen. I haven't seen one like this since... Opps, there goes the trap door. Bob Tartarsky wins.

    3. It doesn't need to be the WWF/WWE to be entertaining. No need for over the top announcers that act like 8 yr olds on meth. Keep the commentary on topic and interesting, not loud and idiotic.

    4. This one follows number 3. We can get our bikini babes on the internet, you are not SPIKE tv.

    5. Give a reasonable stipend to the robots that compete. These things are expensive, but are expected to enter into a fight where their entire investment could be flushed away. The designer of the robot shouldn't have to be a wiz at getting sponsorship. Don't ban sponsorship, but give the anti-social geeks a chance.

    6. Consider price caps in addition to weight restrictions. I'd be interested in seeing the $10k robots fight the $10k robots.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      1. Do something about the wedge/flipper bots. There are plenty of methods to deal with them that don't involve a simple ban on the design type. But trust me when I say that BattleBots was being done in by what appeared to be a never ending supply of squat cheese wedges.

      I think the best way to deal with it is just for the bots to evolve. There were plenty of wedge-resistant bots showing up in later seasons, and it doesn't necessarily have to dictate the entire design. A lot of bot makers were too into maki
      • by Plekto (1018050)
        I kind of disagree. I think the biggest problem with at least the BattleBots arena was that the hazards weren't potent enough.
        ****

        I think that there should be real obstacles in the arena as well as varying terrains and levels. So, for instance, if you are against a wedge bot, you can just roll up onto a raised area(a few inches higher than the surrounding areas) or maybe move over to the astroturf area.

        As for things that damage them, while I'm not a fan, it's mostly because you were right - they lacked any
    • by deanpole (185240)
      Stop the wedge-bots by adding texture to the play surface. It would force designers to include suspension and some clearance.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Fifth Earth (1172333)
      Speaking as someone who has actually competed in Battlebots, I'll address some of your questions.

      1: It's a legitimate concern, one that crops up time and again in the builder community. The simple answer is, basically nothing can be done about it. We want to encourage everyone to join the sport, including people who don't have an extreme amount of technical skill, and a wesgebot is the simplest kind to build. Many teams build a wedge for their first robot, just to "learn the ropes", and then go on to build
      • 1. One of the ways that I would hope we could see less of the 'simple' (yes a relative term) wedgebots is through a greater amount of competition. Hopefully if this genre takes off, we will see a lot more competitors.

        Think 'Ninja Warrior'. They give it enough time, and intially allow 100 people to participate in the first round. This gives them a good pool of talent out of which we get to see the real competitors at the other end. (Unfortunately for NW, some of the returning talent makes a simple mist
  • Any word on whether Bill Nye will be returning?(In classic slashdot fashion, I haven't read the article yet, but I figure something like that would be summary-worthy news...) That was probably one of the few things they could have done to make a show with giant fighting machines any better, putting Bill Nye on. I would think Adam & Jaime(the Mythbusters, for those who don't know) would make pretty good hosts too, if they didn't, you know, already have their own TV show...
  • Amazing. I haven't been to a BB competition since the 2001 finals in Vegas. This is exciting.
    • In response to your sig...

      Only one thing travels faster than the speed of light, and thats bad news.

      And excerpt from Douglas Adams.
  • Battlebots was decent when it first came out on Comedy Central, but once they started replacing Bill Nye with porn stars, it was all down hill. I leaving that series the moment "Buddy Lee Don't Play in the Street" won a match. Now realize that this was simply a stuffed animal sitting in a remote controlled firetruck. It had no weapons at all and was torn to shred by the opposing robot, because it DID have a weapon. Watching that stupid thing win destroyed any remaining interest I had int he series. And that
    • once they started replacing Bill Nye with porn stars, it was all down hill.
      There's something you don't hear very often...
  • into a discussion about Grant Imahara's [wikipedia.org] butt.
  • Have an autonomous robots competition.

    Also, have a class with only 2 restrictions:
    a) weight
    b) must contain everything it uses.

    I would to see these RC devices spray liquads, shoot electricity, and attemp EMP attacks.

    Both those classes would be a better RnD Lab in the long run, and be really spectacular.
  • Also, they aren't robots, they're remote controlled cars with weapons. Give me a show with AIs duking it out and i'm there. /Razor pwns all
  • It's not funny any more. Not since the US Army started deploying their killbots in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The moment when mobile robotics got serious can be pinpointed. It was on the first day of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge. Now, remember that the 2004 Grand Challenge had been a total joke. None of the vehicles really worked. Some of them crashed in the starting gate. Some of them rolled over. None made it more than a few miles along an easy course. The whole thing was just embarrassing to everyone

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