I still remember being blown away by the robots in the first episodes of BBC Robot Wars when it aired back in the late nineties.
It’s incredibly fun to watch these proxy battles of the minds, but I imagine that it would be even more fun to participate, especially in the heavyweight classes.
Building a heavyweight robot requires a significant investment, and chances are that the resulting product of this investment will be reduced to smoking rubble within minutes of entering the arena floor.
It is a sport that requires deep pockets and probably also sponsor funding. Without a secure arena, this can also be a dangerous sport, even for the spectators. Heavyweight tournaments are few and far between. I’m guessing we won’t see any such competitions being held in Norway in the near future.
However, there are alternatives.
Omega Workshop is a student workshop for electronics enthusiasts, located at the grounds of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. A couple of years ago, a friend that is quite involved in the operations of a local hacker / makerspace mentioned that Omega was arranging robot tournaments twice a year.
The maximum weight of the robots in this tournament is 4kg (You can check out the competition rules here)
The first time I entered this tournament was back in 2019. I got flipped by a drum bot after a few seconds and lost, but it was still good fun. You can read the full story and watch a video of the post/competition carnage here
Then covid struck - and all robot tournament activity was put on hold.
That is - until November this year.
I decided to build a new robot. Most people build these bots in steel or aluminum, but I decided to go for a 3D printed robot with a carbon fiber shell this time around also.
This time, I actually won the competition - by letting the opponent choke on debris that had been ripped of my bot during the fight. Totally intentional!
Below is a link to a video of the design and build process.
And you can also watch footage of most of the fights here: