on BattleBots pay-per-view show
Link does 2 episodes of Grownups prime-time UPN sitcom
guide, galleries, & InfernoTV pages appear
Box gets 2nd place in middleweights & heavyweight Missing
Link ties for 3rd in points at BotBash 2000
music mixes made for BotBash & BattleBots
Link & Dr. Inferno Jr. fight at BattleBots San Francisco
and appear on Comedy Central show
LEGO sparking machine: Sparky
Inferno Jr. fights at Vegas BattleBots
New in InfernoTV
is a short snippet from the Tonight Show, where Jay Leno came out
with his robot Chin-Killa, did a couple of demo fights, and did
some interviews & comedy. The nice long segment had a 1/2-second
snippet of me furiously twiddling my radio controller, trying
to drive Dr. Inferno Jr.
new BattleBots season 2 episodes on Comedy
Central start tomorrow. The commercials look very enticing
(they got some cool footage of my radio controller in one of them),
and those who have seen the first couple of episodes already say
it's a riot. It's on at a new day & time. Watch for it on Tuesdays
from 10:00PM-10:30PM, but tomorrow night is a special 1.5 hour show
from 9:30PM-11:00PM, all with new footage from Vegas! Go one click
deeper into Comedy Central's BattleBots site & you'll see some
video and pictures from the pits, including some shots of the Infernolab
[click here to buy shirts]
student paper, always runs a photo issue at the end of the quarter.
They printed about 32 pictures (and lots of ads) to sum up the quarter's
highlights, and in there was one of Jason
Shock's cool pictures of me & the doctor. I can still
hear him saying, "Look devious. Come on, give me your devious
face. More devious!"
What a blast. We just returned from Las Vegas after 4
solid days of robot mayhem at BattleBots.
Pictures will follow soon. I signed a non-disclosure agreement that
forbids me from giving specific info on the fights, so just sit
tight & keep watching the show on Comedy
Central. Speaking of which, there are 2 more episodes of
the current San Francisco series (11/22 & 11/29), then a recap
of SF/preview of Vegas show (12/6), then they launch right into
the new Vegas series (12/12). Note that they're moving the show
from Wednesdays at 10:30PM to Tuesdays at 10PM. If you've missed
any shows, tune in from 2PM to 8PM this Saturday the 25th &
watch a 12-show marathon!
as usual, the pits were a pleasant place with lots of teamwork &
helping & sharing & all of those warm fuzzies. Actually,
they were cold fuzzies--Vegas was experiencing record cold temperature.
I brought a space heater & a vibrating back massager to keep
me happy. Competitors got to watch nicely-edited footage on closed-circuit
TVs in the pits & the camera crews got some good color commentary
from us as we watched the fights & gave blow-by-blow narration.
to the help & support I got from Mike, Lauren, Curtis &
Maureen, Elaine & Dennis, and everybody else.
student paper, printed a big
article on me & my bots on Friday the 17th. This newsworthy
story snagged 2/3 of the front page & 1/2 of another page, bumping
presidential election coverage to page 2. I think this is the biggest
single article I've seen in the Nexus in the 6+ years I've been
here. They also used it to kick off the launch of their on-line
version of the paper.
since this news page is getting unwieldy & super big, I'm going
to start archiving old news updates. Here's the 1999
t-shirts! Just picked up a big fat pile of new Infernolab
t-shirts and they look snazzy. Same Infernolab artwork
as before, but new sponsor artwork & a new orange www.infernolab.com
URL on the sleeve, so when somebody asks you "Hey! Where'd
you get that cool shirt?" you can just point to the sleeve.
Thanks much to the Clutter Doc for hooking me up with the shirts--look
her up if you've got a big organizing, remodeling, or moving project.
Inferno's locked & loaded & ready to put up a fight in
Vegas. We leave in 1 week. Thanks to my returning pit crew babe
Lauren & to my new crew member, Mike,
the lifter of heavy things and cutter-upper of stickers.
Infernolab is now a power affiliate with Online
Metals, a retailer of metals you can use for building
your bots. Check them out next time you're buying some stock.
You can order items right here through the Infernolab. Just click
and you're on your way.
2 weeks to go till BattleBots
in Vegas. Dr. Inferno
Jr. just needs 1 more part, a little fine-tuning, some
stickers, and then he's all set to romp on the other 58lb bots.
and I got a couple of new pictures of Missing
Link fighting Chiabot at BattleBots in San Francisco,
the 1st fight of the whole event.
big news is the final & complete transfer of the Infernolab
web pages from the old engineering server at UCSB to the service
of one of my new sponsors, Adgrafix.com.
Please let me know if I've goofed up any links or messed anything
up in the transfer.
please update any of your bookmarks or links that pointed to the
big news of this week is that the Infernolab has a new sponsor,
Started by my old robotics professor, Brad Paden, Magnetic Moments
makes some sweet electromagnetic bearings, a part for an artificial
heart, and some other goodies. Also employed there are Randy,
who was working on a heavyweight for Robot Wars 97, and Tom, who
did the awesome paintbrush job on Bot
Will Eat Itself way back when.
to Dr. Inferno Jr.
are coming along nicely. I've got a whole new replacement set
of drive motors/gearboxes ready to install, & I've almost
finished the adapters to run the big SystiMatic
saws on his right arm. That just leaves 2 replacement "shoulder'
parts that clamp his arms to his torso. Those used to be made
of plexiglass, but they cracked & he was in danger of being
disarmed, so I'm upping them to Aluminum.
doctor has a 2-second appearance on Comedy
Central's BattleBots show this week, in a recap of Alpha
Raptor's fights on his way to his 2nd place finish. They showed
a nice show of both Dr. Inferno Jr. & Alpha Raptor getting
launched from the killsaws in the floor.
the show on Comedy
Central is a big hit. I've been getting lots of e-mails,
phone calls, & comments from friends & acquaintances.
Congratulations to the BattleBots
crew for their dedication.
aspect that's been taking off in the Infernolab is sponsorship.
Many companies are teaming up with the Infernolab help me crank
out bigger & better bots. Many thanks to Adgrafix.com
for their funding & web hosting (in the process of switching
over to them), Bell-Everman
for consulting & working on Armed
Forces parts for me, and SystiMatic
for supplying Dr. Inferno
Jr. with some super-nasty circular saw blades.
I've decided on a name for my upcoming 12lb BotBash
2001 entry: Temper Tantrum. No page is set up yet, but
here are some preview
pics. The drive motors and axles were donated by Christian
Of course, I use the term "donated" rather loosely--he
suckered me into helping him move & I'm storing some of his
old bot parts for an indefinite period of time...
got 2 more sponsorship deals in the works & will share more
as soon as we get everything finalized. For more information on
sponsoring the Infernolab, click on that little sponsor
got 3 more InfernoTV videos:
a newscast clip about
BotBash 99, an old stop-motion LEGO Ministry
music video, and the 1st Missing
Link demo at a BBQ at UCSB. Thanks again to RobotCombat.com
for hosting those huge video files (160MB of movies so far!).
He's offering web hosting service for anybody interested--check
a quick note to let everybody know that BattleBots
has announced their next event and ticket information. The entire
event will be in Las Vegas from Thurs Nov 16 to Sun Nov 19. The
public portions of the event will be on Sat & Sun afternoons
& evenings. Here's all the event information and how
tickets. Now that it's a popular show on Comedy
Central, the event might sell out quickly, so don't procrastinate
too long on buying tickets!
will be returning, with some mild upgrades: replaced drivetrain
motors & gearboxes, newer beefy wheels, strengthened weapon
arm mounting, new batteries, and an improved weapon mount inside
his reciprocating saw arm.
got some serious sponsorship deals in the works--the new Infernolab
t-shirts are going to have many a corporate logo on them
this time around. I'll have the shirts in a month or so, in time
for the event. These sponsorship deals are also going toward Armed
Forces, which should be ready to roll for the next event
after Vegas. More details soon.
Putman sent me a video of Air Burial, his catapult robot.
He teamed up with me & Dr.
Inferno for the Hot Air multibot lightweight entry
in Long Beach last year. See how far Air Burial can throw
a cinder block!
teeny weeny update. Just a few more videos to InfernoTV,
got a demo of the Coolrobots
a few more captures of the Grownups
episodes with Missing Link,
and a little fun documentary on LEGO Mindstorms RoboGladiators
covering Coolrobots' Dreadnaught & the Infernolab's 2A,
bringing the grand total up to 116MB of movies so far,
with more on the way--if you're looking for a file server of big
robot-related media files like the Infernolab's, check out RobotCombat.com.
and I sat down with some biiiiig paper & started laying out
the components & body shell for Armed
almost forgot. My buddy Amber & I put together a few neat
things for her underwater-themed camp at Burning
Man (she was dressed up as a mermaid). We made an electroluminscent
jellyfish and an electroluminescent
wig. Wish I could've made it to Burning Man this year--last
year was a hoot.
but not least, the on-line magazine Woof
wrote an article on BattleBots and some of its builders, including
a little press for Dr. Inferno.
teeny weeny update today. How much can happen in 1 day?
with the InfernoTV layout,
I've already revamped it to be a lot easier to navigate. I have
also moved all of my files to the RobotCombat.com
file server--huge thanks to Jim for not only doing some of the
video captures but hosting 74MB(!) of movie clips. This added
space has allowed me to put a handful more files up already. Look
for more bot videos to come in the near future!
also added update dates on the <alt> tags on the Infernolab
home page, so you can tell right away which sections have been
updated. Just hold your mouse over a scribbly word for a moment
& it'll pop up.
also cleaned up lots of crusty old HTML code & slimmed down
the web pages so they should load a tad faster. Just because I
many new things in the Infernolab that I wanted to get them all
squared away before the big update:
you caught the 1st episode of Comedy
Central's BattleBots that aired on Aug 30 & repeated
on Sep 2, you would've seen Missing
put up a valiant fight against last year's champ, Ziggo. The meathead
announcers mistook Missing Link's last-minute carbon fiber/honeycomb
ballistic sandwich panels for blocks of wood...guess that's what
happens when an NFL quarterback & a comedian discuss robots.
The fight itself was great--Missing Link, even with 1 wheel gone,
would not give up & kept at it until both wheels were gone,
leaving him beached atop an arena killsaw, which terminated the
fight in a huge shower of white titanium sparks. If you
watch the commercials carefully, you can catch that shot. You
can follow the championship
standings on Comedy Central's site. Keep watching--the
lightweight rumble should be aired in a few weeks, so we should
see some of Dr. Inferno
Jr. and some more of Missing Link.
Central is promoting the show in full force. Not only are they
airing commercials round the clock, but they've been contacting
the local media to encourage news stories on competitors before
they appear on the show. The Santa
Barbara News Press and the Santa
Barbara Independent both ran stories about me & my
bots & the TV show. Here is the short Independent
article and here's the News
Press article. Check out the media
page for more Infernolab appearances, including this
short blurb in the 8/26/00 TV
long last, I have opened up the InfernoTV
page, featuring video clips of Infernolab projects. So far, I've
got the KCAL9 news story
from 2/29/00, clips of all of the Missing
Link appearances on the Grownups
TV show (the 2nd Missing Link episode will be repeated this Tuesday
night, 9/12/00, at 8:30 on UPN), and the old Dr.
Inferno vs. Gigan epic driveway bout.
news to the Infernolab is that a totally cool local robotics company,
got in touch with me after reading the article in the News Press.
Owner/designer Mike Everman has put together some amazing
mechanisms and machines, both at his current company and at his
former job at AEC-Able,
a local aerospace company where he used to work. He and his employees
are quite taken with BattleBots
and are gung-ho on making several parts for me and supplying me
with parts & materials. With their help, Armed
Forces will finally be coming together, though surely
not in time for the November BattleBots event. Look for more info
few more minor updates and upgrades here and there: some new
pics of Dr. Inferno Jr. at BattleBots San Francisco &
pics of Missing Link at BattleBots San Francisco (thanks
to my brother Byron), and the new Composites
gallery where I've put up a few more pictures of some
of the composite work I've done for my bots over the years. Of
note are the Pyrex casserole-mold carbon fiber parts that will
fasten together clamshell-style to be the body/armor of my upcoming
12lb for BotBash
2001. I have all the parts necessary to put the bot together--I've
decided to give myself a challenge and try to put the bot together
exclusively by adhesively bonded joints. No nuts & bolts...well,
very few. Because I've been learning a great deal about adhesive
bonding in aerospace applications for my research,
I've decided to try to put this knowledge to use--it'll also help
save weight on such a tiny bot & it'll look majorly cool without
all sorts of bolt heads sticking out of it.
I think that's it for now! Stay tuned--much more is on the horizon.
A few new BattleBots
announcements. The "Prelude to War" intro episode will
be on Comedy
Central eight times during
its premiere week, so you have no excuse for missing it! You can
catch it at: 8/23 Wed 10:30PM, 8/25 Fri 8PM, 8/26 Sat 10AM, 8/26
Sat 5PM, 8/26 Sat 11PM, 8/27 Sun 11:30AM, 8/28 Mon 1AM, 8/30,
or Wed 3:30PM. From
then on out, the show will be just on Weds at 10:30PM & repeated
Sats at 5PM & 11PM.
news is that Missing
made it into the show in his ugly fight vs. Ziggo. Comedy Central
told me that it will be in the first "real" episode,
on Aug 30, repeated on Sep 2. I was fortunate to see a rough edit
of the show, and it looks really really slick! They did a great
job with it. I'd love to say more, but I'm not sure if BattleBots
wants any details leaked. How did I get to see this advance show,
you ask? Read on...
Central seems to be trying hard to promote the BattleBots show--they've
been showing lots of commercials, they put it in the time slot
right after South Park, and they helped me get hooked up with
our two local papers, the Santa
Barbara News Press and the Santa
Barbara Independent, both of which interviewed me &
will be running stories with pictures. Locals can read all about
it in the 8/27 News Press & the 8/24 Independent.
the robot front, I've ordered replacement motors & gearboxes
I re-assembled him for the newspaper last night, and he's looking
pretty good. A few tweaks are needed here & there, but he'll
be ready & robust in plenty of time for the next BattleBots
event, which is scheduled for November 17-19 in Las Vegas, which
will be used for a 2nd 13-show series on Comedy Central.
also made and cleaned up 2 slick carbon fiber molded pieces for
the new 12lb bot for the next BotBash
(not yet announced). Good buddy Christian at Coolrobots
gave me a handful of motors/mounts/axles that will be used for
this bot--I'll be really stressing these motors, so it'll pay
off to have spares. I'm too short on cash to continue Armed
Forces at the moment, but I'll be able to put together
this tiny bot with parts I already have leftover from other projects,
so it's sort of a freebie. Hmmm, if only I had some additional
generous sponsors, I could
continue work on my heavyweight 200lb bot. Hmmm... Anyway, pictures
of the little bot are on the way soon (gotta think of a name first).
New to the Infernolab is Sparky.
Not a robot. Perhaps an addition to a future bot. Sparky is a
108V LEGO contraption. Essentially, it's a way to defeat LEGO's
built-in safety mechanisms on their electric products & line
up 72 AA batteries in a row then touch their ends together. Why?
(a) potential future LEGO RoboGladiator weapon, (b) wanted to
see what would happen, (c) gotta do something with all these LEGO
pieces, (d) easier than building a Tesla coil, (e) just because.
a more constructive note, I'm in the midst of a new 12lb bot for
I've done some overvoltage research and testing on the drive
motors from Dr.
Inferno, and the whole drivetrain seems to be up to the
task, with just a tiny upgrade to the wheel mounts. Also, I've
been figuring out how to make some molded composite
parts. Up to now, all of the nifty composite materials I've used
on bots have been boring flat panels. It's time to get into fancier
3-D shapes and contours. I'm starting off a little easy, making
a part that already has a nice tool (mold) ready: a Pyrex cooking
pan (in which I used to make my Super Lemon Chicken dinners).
Our lab got ahold of some fancy graphite/epoxy weave intended
for use in mold applications like this--it's really easy to shape
around a 3-D object. Two of these pan-shaped parts, trimmed &
assembled in a clamshell configuration, should make for a lightweight,
stiff, and fancy chassis for a 12lb bot. I'll be curing the 1st
piece tomorrow--if all goes well, it'll be pretty easy to whip
out several more. One of the neat things about laying up your
own composite parts is that you choose how many plies (layers)
of the material to use, and you can reinforce certain parts with
extra plies (at stress concentrations, for localized armor, where
bolts are to be attached, etc.). Name is undetermined, but, in
keeping with this year's simple & powerful entry, Overpowered
Box, I think it'll be an Overpowered something or other.
It'll be fun to see how much damage can be done with so little
mass. Plus, somebody's gotta do something about all these off-the-shelf
R/C trucks that keep winning this weight class!
Infernolab's 1 year anniversary (scroll to bottom
for inaugural news blurb)! Thanks for all the visitors & helpers
over the year. I hope this will be the 1st of many many years
of Infernolab combat robots.
already well underway in upgrading & fortifying Dr.
Inferno Jr. I've replaced his soft (yet grippy) foam wheels
with beefier Colson casters. That went smoothly & they look
great. I've also fixed up his reciprocating
saw weapon. It just required a re-machined adapter to
allow me to screw in his various weapons instead of attaching
the intended teeny saw blade.
in the process of getting lots of video clips captured to Quicktime
files, getting them optimized for fast web downloads, and securing
web server space to hold them. I've got a couple of them tentatively
done, but I want to make sure everything's all set before releasing
them. I'll probably have a dedicated video page, InfernoTV, to
sent off some technical drawings to get the structural brackets
for Armed Forces
CNCed. Can't wait to get them back. Then the bot will start to
take shape. I've decided to simplify it a little and outfit the
arms with big pointy hammers instead of gas-powered chop saws--it'll
be easier, cheaper, faster, and likely more effective. I might
rename this bot Temper Tantrum--I have a feeling it'll
look like a kid having a fit on the floor when it's in action.
the meantime, I put up a few more pre-BattleBots 2000 pics of
the finished bots in my back yard, ready to pack up for the trip:
Well, BattleBots 2000
in San Francisco is over. It was a great show & should make
for a really fun series this fall on Comedy
Central. We've been asked to not reveal the outcome of
the fights or, especially, the winners. I'll just say a few vague
things: I'm pretty happy with Dr.
performances ,there were some awesome fights, the upgraded arena
weapons really mixed things up, and I've retired Missing
Yah, it's time to concentrate on bigger bots instead of keeping
that guy chugging away. Oh, and Dr. Inferno Jr.'s drivetrain did
great--he shredded some of his grippy foam tires, so I've already
picked up some beefier Colson
caster wheels, and I'll probably upgrade his cheap Chicago
Electric power drill drive motors to beefier DeWalt
Comedy Central had their own music to play during fights, which
will probably end up on the TV show, they did manage to play my
robot music CDs during the breaks and such. It's all about
rights to broadcast copyrighted music and such.
since it was printed
in the San Francisco Examiner, I guess it doesn't hurt
to tell you that the very first match of the whole event was Missing
Link vs. Chiabot (yes, a bush on wheels, more or less). Naturally,
I bolted on the chainsaw for some shrubbery pruning. Thank god
I beat the bush--never would've lived that one down...The Ziggo
vs. Missing Link fight was also pretty spectacular and made the
Sunday morning news on Ch. 7 (ABC?) in San Francisco.
to my great pit crew, supporters, and sponsors. You all really
overnight film processing has had my APS film for a week so far,
so you can check out only a smattering of pictures from my digital
camera, as well as a couple of shots of a bonding jig I designed
& built for my research:
Well, I leave tonight for LA, then get
up early on Friday & drive to Mesa, AZ for BotBash
2000. I'm bringing Missing
Link to fight in the heavyweight class, Tesseract
for the open demo sessions, and, unfortunately, I did not finish
Dr. Inferno Jr.
in time to fight in the heavyweight class. I did, however, finish
up his drivetrain, and it happened to weigh in at an even 30lb,
which just happens to be the cutoff weight for BotBash's middleweight
class. So, I've dubbed it Overpowered Box and will be entering
it as a middleweight. I'm very happy with the way the drivetrain
turned out--it's the strongest 30lb robot I've yet seen. I rode
it around in my kitchen--it's fun! It has a little troubling turning
with my 160lb on top, but it still zips forward and backward without
complaining. It's just a simple aluminum and carbon fiber box,
with hinged plates on the front & back (much like the original
Dr. Inferno's skirts),
and 4 power drill motors driving 4 wheels at 24V. I took some
rough pics, but I want to clean them up before I put them in the
Dr. Inferno Jr.
gallery--I'll probably get to it next week. I think it
will do well and, at the least, this event will be a testing ground
for the platform begore I finish it up for BattleBots,
which was just announced to be on June 9-11 in San Francisco.
finished putting together the huge list of bands & songs that
are on the BotBash 2000 soundtrack, "Music
to Bash By", that I put together for the event. Check
out these bands--it's all great electronic hard-hitting music
to listen to while building or fighting your bots (or just dreaming
about it...). Hope you enjoy it--I welcome any feedback on it.
a quick thanks to Matt Wilhelm for helping me print up the huge
6'x2' Infernolab banner, to Lauren Herold for getting the banner
laminated and grommeted & helping me out at BotBash, and to
Mike Wrobleski for cutting out all those little Infernolab stickers
& sponsor ads to stick on my bots.
Big new sponsor
on board! Worldmachine
Technologies, a leading web engineering and application
integration company in Boston, donated big bucks to the Infernolab.
funds will go toward the cost of construction for Dr.
Inferno Jr. & Armed
Forces, the maintenance of Missing
Link, and the costs of attending BotBash
in 2000. Big thanks, guys!
on Dr. Inferno Jr. has been coming along--I've been spending most
of my evenings in the UCSB machine shop lately. His drivetrain
is reeeeeally close to being done, so now I'm starting on the
weapons & plastic robot shell. If I don't finish him up in
time for BotBash, at least I can enter his chassis in the 28lb
middleweight class & beat on the light robots. I'll call it
Overpowered Box, since it's meant to carry 60lb worth of
robot but will be carrying only half that--it should really haul.
I've got a few pics of the work in progress, but I want to concentrate
my efforts on building right now, not documenting.
robot-related news, I finished putting together the soundtrack
to BotBash 2000. Event organizer Bob Pitzer asked me to draw upon
my old DJing days (I used to be big into the gothic/industrial/techno
scene) and put together some good hard-hitting electronic robot
fighting music. I call the 6 CD set "Music to Bash By".
If you make it to BotBash, please let me know if you dig the music.
Hmm, I suppose the CDs would also make for good, agressive robot-building
love to make copies & sell them at cost, but I'd have to check
into the legalities of the copyrighted music, and burning CDs
is mighty mighty time-consuming with my old 2X CD-R drive. At
the very least, I'll put up playlists, probably with links to
the bands' sites or to on-line music retailers so you can give
them a listen.
Well, in the last update, I promised "Lots more web updates
on the way in the very near future" and I wasn't lying. I've
got 2 big updates & 3 little ones:
still ironing out the details, but my
first major sponsor has jumped on board. Worldmachine
Technologies, a Boston web engineering and application
integration company, has signed on with some fat financial support.
These funds will go toward finishing up Dr.
Inferno Jr. (who's a pretty cheap project to start with
anyway) and toward parts for Armed
Forces. Hey, their company logo is even a big globe in
a gear. How convenient will that be to incorporate with
the Infernolab flaming gear logo!? I used to work with president
and founder Eric Hansen way back when we worked for PTCG, designing
and selling decision support software for the transportation industry
(that is, our software told the trucking companies the best way
to route their trucks).
other big news of the weekend is that I finished the robot
wheel comparison guide. In the search for the best wheels
for Dr. Inferno Jr., I amassed a huge load of wheels and compared
and contrasted their features and costs. I hope you find it to
be a useful reference when picking up wheels for your robot projects.
but not least, I've got a few pics of me up on the Dante
page. The pics are extras from the Infernolab t-shirt photo shoot
that weren't up to snuff in my quest to motivate you to buy
also added a few more pictures to the new Missing
Link gallery. I've got lots of pics ready for about
8 more galleries, but they're not quite ready yet.
of new pics, there are a few on the Dr.
Inferno Jr. page, showing its progress. Lots more pics
Lots of new things in the Infernolab. Lots more web updates on
the way in the very near future, too.
biggest news is the opening of the Infernolab shop.
Get yer red hot Infernolab shirts for only $15 shipped. What an
of renting, the UPN
asked me back for a second episode. They wanted the Missing
Link back to show his thespian skills in another show.
The 2nd show should air sometime in May. The 1st episode with
the Missing Link will air on the evening of 03.20.2000. Don't
brings me to the Missing
Link gallery. I'm putting together thorough picture galleries
for most of my projects. Missing Link's is done, others are on
the way. There are lots of shots of Missing
Link's "costume" for the Grown-Ups show.
in the gallery are some pictures of a live TV appearance that
Carlberg and I made on the KCAL9
10 o'clock news last month. They put together a pre-edited
segment with some interviews and footage of us working on our
bots, then we had a live robot fight in the studio parking lot.
on Dr. Inferno Jr. is progressing. I made 4 motor mounts for his
drivetrain, and I ordered a couple dozen wheels from McMaster-Carr
& Tower Hobbies to find the perfect wheel for him. I'm going
to turn the wheel hunt into a robot wheel selection guide very
As mentioned in the last report, work on Dr.
Inferno Jr. is now in full swing. I've put up the first
set of pictures of his components. More will be on the way soon.
I pretty much have all of the main parts gathered--it's just a
matter of making them all fit and fasten together. The doctor
will be competing at BotBash
in May 2000 and at the next BattleBots,
wherever that may be.
also added a quick & dirty sketch to the Armed
Forces page to show what the finished robot will look
like. Still amassing parts for it--any sponsorship
will help speed it along!
It looks as if BattleBots
is becoming even more mainstream. I got a call this past week
from a production assistant of a relatively new UPN
sitcom called Grown-Ups.
It's on Mondays at 9PM starring Jaleel White, the guy who used
to play Urkel on Family Matters. Their writers wrote in a scene
for a 24-yr-old whiz kid computer game company owner to chase
one of his employees with his BattleBot after he finds out this
employee is sleeping with his mom. It was a last-minute script
change, probably prompted by a writer who saw the BattleBots
Pay-Per-View commercials & researched it on the web.
I packed up the Missing Link
& headed to the Sony studios in Culver City (recognizable by the
Gone With the Wind mansion out front). The rehearsals on Thursday
went well, so they wrote in another bit for Missing Link to chase
around the company's brown-noser suck-up. I left the bot and most
of my tools at the studios and came back the next day to find,
to my horror, that they'd made my robot "cute." It now had bicycle
light eyes with huge eyelashes, a blinky red "mouth" light, tassel
streamer "ears", beige "fur" wrapped around the body, a circuit
board stuck on the back, and a few biker/bondage studded bracelets
here and there. It looked like a robot in drag or a poor puppy
dog dressed up in awkward clothes. Ugh. Oh well, I still got to
live out the American dream of chasing Urkel around with a chainsaw!
The show should air in early March, and the "before and after"
Missing Link pics are on the way.
99 video is available! For only $17.50 (incl. shipping),
you get a fine 25-minute video featuring action in the pits, autonomous
maze-navigating bots, the sumo shoving matches, and the all-out
combat to the death (the best part!). Dr.
Inferno and Missing
Link competed in this event, both taking 3rd place in
their weight classes. See how they pulled it off! This is a great
deal--there aren't many other robot competition videos out there
for purchase (if any), so it's a no-brainer. Go to the official
site or send e-mail to Bob
got a pile of 6 cordless power tools and a fresh TOMY Omnibot
shell ready to slap together to create Dr.
Inferno Jr. He will be a 50lb robot with tons more power
than the original Dr. Inferno and scarier weapons. 5 of the 6
power tools (4 18V drills & 1 18V circular saw) were from
Freight, a great big warehouse of discount tools. When
you buy power tools knowing you're going to hack them up immediately,
it's much more pleasant to buy the cheap imports instead of nice
ones. The 6th one is a 12V Craftsman
reciprocating saw that I've already beefed up to 14.4V.
but certainly not least, the BattleBots
Pay-Per-View aired this past weekend across the country.
It was a great 2-hour show following the heavyweight & super-heavyweight
robots we all brought to the Las Vegas BattleBots
event in November 1999. I hope you had a chance to see it--it
was a very slick production overall. Due to a goof somewhere along
the line, I got credited as co-captain of Christian's
Minion robot, while it should've been Brian Roe who got
the limelight on that one.
up a decent fight at BattleBots
Vegas on Nov 14. Christian
and I had trouble with Slugger's chains breaking (even though
they never broke during the several practice parking lot test
runs...). If the BattleBots guys gave a prize for biggest tires
on a robot, Slugger would have won hands-down.
can catch all the BattleBots action on Pay-Per-View
on January 29, 30, or 31, 2000. If you watch the video commercial
on the Pay-Per-View web site, you can catch a quarter-second glimpse
of me driving Slugger. Don't blink!
on Armed Forces is
coming along slowly but surely. I snagged a great deal on a bunch
of batteries and chargers on eBay's
industrial equipment auction page, and I'm working with
a Canadian machining company to CNC all of Armed Forces' brackets
that will hold the body together. I had a good amount of money
saved up for robot parts, then my car's transmission and clutch
broke down, so funds are tight for robot parts--I was hoping my
car would last long enough for me to trade it in on a new PT
Cruiser when they come out this spring, but no such luck.
Wouldn't it be awesome to haul around my big killer robots in
this modern-yet-retro 30s-style delivery van? It even comes in
a color called Inferno Red--how cool is that? So, due to
the rapid draining of my bank account, sponsors
are still needed. Hopefully, this Pay-Per-View event will demonstrate
how robot combat can reach a large audience and companies can
benefit from sponsoring contestants.