Inferno Jr. was the BattleBots season 5.0 lightweight champ
Inferno Jr. was the BattleBots season 4.0 lightweight rumble
& Same-O Inferno: world's 1st multibot driven by 1 driver
Inferno Jr. custom series tournament edition remote control
toy by Hasbro
new job designing electric motors for sponsor ThinGap
Inferno won Sozbots 1.4
& Same-O Inferno sweep Robojoust antweight class in 1-2
Inferno Jr. audio CD single
Infernolab appearances in bot-related books
my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering
Inferno's first fully televised fight
Well, season 5.0 of BattleBots
wrapped up last night, with the lightweight semi-finals. Dr.
Inferno Jr. KO'ed old pal Gamma
Raptor. Well, OK, Gamma Raptor was doing quite well until,
in a cross-box slam on the Dr., Gamma Raptor knocked himself on
his back against the wall. I quickly corralled him in & made
sure that he didn't get back up, doing a little saw work on his
belly in the meantime. In the finals against Wedge of Doom, The
Dr. was on the ropes until the Wedge of Doom blew up the controller
for half his drivetrain and crippled himself. A close 23-22 judges'
decision granted Dr. Inferno Jr. the championship. The BattleBots
season 5.0 champion is Dr. Inferno Jr. Back on top! 3 giant nuts
in the last 3 BattleBots events. Not too shabby! :]
Raptor & Wedge of Doom, as well as the Dr., are signed up
to compete at Steel
Conflict in February 2003, so there might be some grudge
match action! If you're in the Los Angeles area, pick up tickets
for what's shaping up to be the biggest bot event since the last
I just got back from the Robotics
Society of America Robot Fair & Expo up in San Francisco.
put on a great antweight event, where I debuted the all-new
Lame-O AND Same-O Inferno
multibot. Driving both bots simultaneously turned out to be
trickier than I'd anticipated, despite some practice. Still,
I managed to end up somewhere mid-pack in the field of 31 entries,
with a bye, a win, a loss, a win, then my 2nd and final loss.
sure to tune in to Comedy
Central this Saturday, 12/21/02, from 8PM-9PM, to see
the final episode of BattleBots
season 5.0. Dr. Inferno
Jr. is in the final 4 in the lightweight division--see
how far he gets this season!
BattleBots: Beyond the Box video game for the Gameboy Advance
is out now. Buy it here
if you want to battle bots on the go! Here are a couple of screen
shots to whet your appetite: Hazard
clobbering Deadblow , The
Jaws of Death chomping on Diesector.
on a personal note, I closed on my condo a few days ago--can't
wait to set up my garage machine shop!!!
I'm sleepy, so just a short update. Dr.
Inferno Jr. defeated Death By Monkeys in the quarter-finals
Central on Saturday, Nov 23. Down to the semi-finals.
Dr. Inferno Jr. vs. Gamma
Raptor. Again. Rematch time! Tune in on Dec 21 to see
if I can take down the dino again.
one new clip on infernoTV.
BattleBots.com put up their 8th installment in their behind-the-scenes
video series shot back at season 5.0 in May. This segment is all
about fashion. And how could there possibly be a BattleBots fashion
segment without me!?
just registered my bots for the next Steel
Conflict. In attendance will be the all-new Lame-O
and Same-O Inferno multibot, Hell
on Wheels, & the much much faster Dr. Inferno Jr.
It took only a couple of days for them to fill up their available
bot slots--this is going to be a killer event! You don't want
to miss seeing Steel Conflict, so head on over to their site &
tickets to watch the action in person on Feb 8 & 9,
Inferno Jr. will be on BattleBots
Central tonight, Saturday, Nov 23. They'll be showing
all of the lightweight quarter-finals fights to get down to the
final 4 in this 60lb class. Wish me luck against powerful pokey
rammer Death By Monkeys!
1.5 will be taking place at the next San
Francisco Robotics Society of America event at Fort Mason
(birthplace of robot combat!) on my birthday, December 15. What
a birthday present! I've finished an interesting rebuild of Lame-O
and Same-O Inferno. Yup, I'm bringing both bots back again,
but this time, they're a multibot. Each bot has been slimmed
down (thanks to some long hours with a dremel & to some great
lightweight components from Sozbots & sponsor Robotic
Power Solutions) to weigh only 1/2lb each. To make matters
even more interesting, I'll be driving both halves of the multibot
myself, Lame-O with my right hand joystick and Same-O with the
So, welcome to the long-overdue new Infernolab site. The site
should load faster and be easier on your eyes, and I've finally
adopted a modern look. Please don't hesitate to let
me know if you find a bad link or have any problems with
the site. Thanks to Reeves
Little for doing lots of the formatting & some graphics
work. Big thanks to Adam
Conus for redoing the Infernolab logo
& symbol. As
soon as I deplete my supply of stickers, shirts, etc., I'll be
adopting the hot new logos on all bots & merchandise.
more small recent media apperance to report. The Village Voice
of Ottawa Hills, newsletter of my hometown outside of Toledo,
OH, published a small
article on me.
Dr. Inferno Jr. came
out on top in the "great cute plastic toy robot fight of
2002" against Tentoumushi. It was a tough fight--I underestimated
the power of the ladybug & almost paid the price. The Dr.
will be back on BattleBots
next Saturday, Nov 23, when Comedy
Central shows an abbreviated version of his battle against
Death By Monkeys. I sure hope that they use the slam cam footage--it's
pretty rare to see a lightweight bot with room to house the slam
cam, but we managed to shoehorn it into the Dr.'s torso for this
Comedy Central didn't air Dr. Inferno Jr.'s first TV round fight
against Aferburner, here's a quick recap, if you're wondering
why the Dr. had a bloody stump instead of a right arm during the
is a lightweight version of Team Loki's middleweight Turbo. It's
got a cool-looking knocker-laden shell that's spun by 2 powerful
electric bicycle motors. I never saw his earlier fights, so I
didn't know what to expect, but I did see what he did to The Crusher
(thoroughly tweaked) & was told that Afterburner had mangled
his way through the prelims. Yikes.
I had a little weight to spare and found yet more by pulling off
several redundant bolts here & there. I was able to double
up the Dr.'s back flap, giving him a total of 3/4" lexan
on the scoop, darn thick for a lightweight.
started out the fight driving backwards & backed into him
a couple of times. Nothing too bad happened--I did lose the end
of the outer flap on the back & took several deep gouges to
that same part, but Afterburner couldn't get through the 3/4"
that I wasn't taking much damage going in backwards, I became
bold & turned around to dig in with the saws on the front.
Oops. The Dr.'s right arm was instantly torn off, and just about
all that was left was the weapon motor, dangling sadly by its
wires. Fortunately, in the process of this shove & rush, I
got Afterburner into the spike strip & flipped him over onto
his side, where he was stuck. I'd like to think that the tri-foil
arm saws actually did their job, but it all happened so fast that
I'm not sure exactly what happened.
already had the win but decided to go for it & flipped Afterburner
onto his top & scooted him to the nearest pulverizer. I remember
a crewbot yelling at me, pointing out that I'd already won the
fight & could jinx it by this bold move, but I ignored him--I
was having too much fun. It was probably the most fun I'd had
yet in a BattleBots fight, probably because I was very worried
at the start and things ended up going far better than expected.
sent my pit crew guys, Dave & Nick, to the first aid area
to get some gauze. A little red spray paint later & I was
ready to take on Tentoumushi"with one arm tied behind my
back." Before and after pictures are in the Dr.
Inferno Jr. gallery.
Dr. Inferno Jr. will
be on BattleBots
this weekend. Tune in at 8PM on Saturday night on Comedy
Central to watch the Dr. duke it out with fellow plastic-bot
got a final copy of the new book Building
Bots: Designing & Building Warrior Robots, by Bill
Gurstelle. Looks pretty slick to see it in its final form. It's
a great reference and how-to to help out newbies & experienced
builders. Check it out.
started working full-time for ThinGap,
the very same cool electric motor company that sponsored me with
high-tech motors for Hell on
Wheels. Work's really fun son far, and the more I learn
about our ThinGap motors, the more I'm amazed--these are going
to be huge! Right now I'm commuting 40 minutes, but I should
be closing on a swell condominium very near work by early December.
Hooray for 2-car garages, errr, I mean "20 robot garage."
Dr. & I appeared in some pictures & quotations in a fun
article on BattleBots that appeared in the October 2002 issue
of the adult magazine Gallery. Click
here to see the article (don't worry, this page is rated
PG-13). Cool--I'm in a porn mag!
other news, the History Channel showed a 2-hour program all about
destruction, including a prominent segment on BattleBots, which
had some great clips of Slugger
slugging it out in the heavyweight rumble in the Las Vegas pay-per-view.
head on over to Steel
Conflict to pick up a copy of the 1st video from the August
2002 event, in which Hell on Wheels participated. It's the most
thorough bot coverage videotape I've ever seen! Tape #2
of the series that documents Steel Conflict 1 should be out soon,
I just received issue 3 of BattleBots
Magazine. It's got lots of good technical articles and
some detailed info on the inaugural BattleBots
IQ event that took place in March 2002. I contributed
an article on composite
materials and also was the content editor, trudging through
run-on sentences, misplaced modifiers, split infinitives, and
non-parallel verb structures. Fun! You can buy the issue or, better
yet, subscribe to the magazine in the Infernolab
you can now order your copy of BattleBots:
Beyond the BattleBox, a new video game for the Game Boy
Advance handheld system. It will be out on Friday the 4th. I've
seen a video and some pictures (Hazard
clobbering Deadblow , The
Jaws of Death clamping on Diesector) and it looks fun.
You can pick it up in the Infernolab
received some nice photos of Infernolab bots in the pits from
season 5.0 back in May. The Dr.
Inferno Jr. gallery and Towering
Inferno gallery have new images.
has put up episode 4 of their series of behind-the-scenes videos
from season 5.0. This clip shows the story behind graphic and
names of bots. There's a little bit of Dr. Inferno Jr. history
in there. You can access all of these videos from InfernoTV.
Finally, I plan on taking a fully revamped Lame-O
and Same-O Inferno to compete in Sozbots
1.5 at the next San
Francisco Robotics Society of America event in the Exploratorium
science museum. I'll also bring back my non-winning LEGO Mindstorms
remote control mini sumo bot aptly named Two Hours and Zero
Just got back from BotBash.
Wow, heck of an event. New expanding arena built on a trailer,
new fight format (2-on-2 soccer, flag capture, & fighting),
and hot hot hot Arizona weather! Hell
on Wheels wasn't so hot, and Lame-O
Inferno lived up to his name, but Same-O
Inferno fared much better, snagging 1st
place! My friend Robert Masek mailed me his 30lb
bot from New Hampshire, JB Johnson, the night before the event
so I could drive it for him in his absence--definitely a fast
little bot that has lots of promise. JB Johnson ended up in 5th
place in his class--heck, I did better with Robert's bot than
with Hell on Wheels--thanks for the fun, Robert!
news in the BattleBots
world. First, Comedy
Central has decided not to renew their contract with BattleBots,
so the November 2002 event, where season 6.0 would have been filmed,
has been canceled. :[ Second, the TV show time slot has been moved--you
can now catch BattleBots at 8PM on Saturdays. Check TV
Guide to confirm your local times & the repeats schedule.
Gurstelle, who introduced himself to me at BotBash 2001 (and gave
me a copy of his cool book, Backyard
Ballistics), has been working hard for the last year on
a new book called Building
Bots: Designing & Building Warrior Robots, which should
be out in October. I reviewed a couple of the chapters back in
December & I just finished reading an uncorrected early proof
of the book. It looks really good--it's a great tutorial for new
builders & has some good reference material for experienced
bot folks. You can pick it up in the Infernolab
store or just click
here to pre-order a copy.
big Infernolab sale is going great--click
here to see what's left--I've still got Dr. Inferno Jr.'s
old shell, lots of batteries, chargers, motors, a welder, &
some other goodies for sale.
Lots has happened since the last Infernolab update. Where to start?
How about with the Dr.
Inferno Jr. remote control Custom Series BattleBots toys
that are now available on-line right here in the Infernolab
Shop. Just click here
to buy! I've only got access to the lone Dr. Inferno Jr. toys
right now--to get a Dr. Inferno Jr./Blendo combo, you'll have
to trudge over to your local
had a great time at Steve Brown's inaugural Steel
Conflict event, which had bots from 120lb all the way
down to 1lb. Hell on Wheels
ended up in the absolute middle of the 12lb pack, at 6th place.
weapon worked great--after my first fight, I ended up
bending the front spike down to make it a 1-point wedge, as many
of the bots in that class were good pushers & the arena had
2 big pits in it! I think I'll squeeze his voltage back up to
18V for the weekend's BotBash,
ran the antweight event, and because of a few cancellations, they
let me enter both Lame-O
& Same-O Inferno, who achieved 2-2 and 3-2 records
for the event. But the highlight was an absolutely sweet battle
between my buddy Pete
Abrahamson's Tsunami and Same-O. The crowd went nuts--he
took me apart, but I still shoved him all over the place. Those
BattleBots toys are tough! The footage was so good that Pete edited
it into a sweet little fight video that I added to InfernoTV.
Steel Conflict is already scheduled for a new event in February
2003 in LA--get your bots ready!
done some seriously overdue Spring cleaning & come up with
a whole big mess of robot stuff for sale super cheap. Batteries,
chargers, motors, posters, bearings, a welder, BASIC stamp computer
kits, Missing Link's
drivetrain, even a 1994 record picture disk of Robot Wars theme
music! I've posted detailed pictures & descriptions at the
BattleBots discussion forum--click
here to check it out & find some sweet deals on handy
bot parts & Infernolab memorabilia.
I got word that Dr. Inferno
Jr. will be on the November 12 episode, show #13 of season
5.0 of Comedy
Central's BattleBots. Don't worry. I'll remind you when
the airdate is closer.
I drove up the California coast to survey the Lamborghinis, Ferraris,
and other beautiful Italian cars up at the Concorso Italiano this
weekend & stopped at 3 Target
stores between Santa Barbara & Monterey to pick up a handful
of the Dr.
remote control Custom Series BattleBots toys. They're
great--I especially like the new interchangeable weapons that
they include: a devil's pitchfork (how Infernal!) and a giant
hammer that's about 3x bigger than his body! Pictures of the toys
are in the Dr.
Inferno Jr. gallery. The toy comes alone or packaged with
Arts & I have been busy. We put together two all-new
weapons for Hell on Wheels: a hammer end with multiple
threaded holes for attaching various spikes, and a new pair of
poking sticks that are longer and thicker than the first set.
I'll try out these new weapons at Steel
Conflict next weekend than again at BotBash
next month. We also made up new hardened tool steel chisel spikes
for Towering Inferno
and some motor mounts that I designed to work with the Team
Delta 18V DeWalt drill motor setups that I'm using on
the upgraded Dr. Inferno Jr. for season 6.0 and beyond.
to the Infernolab store is
a new book called Fighting Robots
that details hundreds and hundreds of fighting bots from all of
the major competitions--included in the list are Infernolab creations
The Missing Link, Mini Inferno, Towering Inferno, and Dr. Inferno
Jr. Author Michael Benson has put together a very thorough reference
here to purchase the book.
but not least, season 5.0 of Comedy
Central's BattleBots starts this coming Tuesday, August
20. Unfortunately, Towering Inferno did not make it out of the
preliminary rounds this time, losing to a solid spinner named
Ripkin, but you'll definitely be seeing a lot of Dr. Inferno Jr.
later on in the season.
Well, the Dr.
remote control Custom Series BattleBots toy is on the
shelves! They've been sighted at Target stores so far. You can
buy the Dr. alone or paired up with Blendo--I'm not sure if there
are any other combinations available. I'll have a link to purchase
these straight from the Infernolab site pretty soon.
other news, sponsors Machine
Arts & PTC
are now also helping out with Hell
on Wheels. I drew up a new multi-directional hammer weapon
on Pro/Engineer & Machine Arts is putting it together. I'll
try it out at this month's Steel
Conflict event in Pomona--check their website for audience
the new BattleBots: Beyond the BattleBox video game cartridge
for the Game Boy Advance is set to be released in 1 month, on
September 10. Initial screen shots & video captures make it
look pretty slick!
I entered just 1 antweight in last weekend's Sozbots
event. Lame-O Inferno
scooped and plowed his way to a 4th place win in the field of
32 entries! And I think I can say that Lame-O was one of the cheapest
& most hastily put together bots there--I was blown away by
some of the sweet machines that people put together! I got in
4 wins and 2 losses--lots of fun fighting time, not to mention
the crazy rumble with a couple dozen bots! Check out the full
a little work to do on the scoop & 1 wheel & I'm ready
for the next 2 Sozbots events coming up in the next 2 months!
season 5.0 will start airing on August 20. To see how Dr. Inferno
Jr. & Towering Inferno did, tune in Tuesdays at 10PM starting
on that date!
2 quick news briefs: Lame-O
Inferno and Same-O Inferno won the antweight RoboJoust
competition, and there are lots of new
items in the Infernolab shop.
was a long & hot weekend in Las Vegas! In 110-degree
heat, under a cloudless sky, a couple dozen bots ranging from
1 to 220lb fought in a cozy little street arena at the Las Vegas
Street Fight 3.0. Seven antweight bots showed up, counting both
Lame-O & Same-O. Both of my bots made it to the finals, where
they had to fight each other. I recruited Mike Konshak to drive
Lame-O (or was it Same-O???). We're not sure who really won that
last fight--it was sort of a moot point... :] But I came home
with a big gold spray-painted screw trophy. Neat! Next weekend,
I'll be bringing 1 or both ants to Sozbots
in Burbank, CA. They're ready to go, after replacing the carbon
fiber scoops that got a bit chewed up by RoboJoust's arena saw.
expanded the Infernolab shop
to include BattleBots
merchandise. Now you can pick up all of the toys (like
Series remote control toys used to make my antweights)
& other goodies (like the BattleBots
magazine) right here!
Lots of news lately!
brand new bot has entered the Infernolab stable (2, actually).
Not wanting to get left behind in the new 1lb antweight class
that's gaining popularity, I whipped up a modest little bot, based
on a Hasbro
BattleBots Custom Series remote control Killherhurtz toy.
A little grinding, drilling, and filing, plus the addition of
a carbon fiber composite scoop, and Lame-O
Inferno was born! And heck, when a bot costs $25 to put
together, why not spend a 2nd afternoon and make a copy for practice
fights in the kitchen (I call the 2nd bot Same-O Inferno)? And
why "Lame-O"? Well, the bot's simple, cheap, uncreative,
and I whipped him together just for the heck of it. I'll have
4(!) opportunities to fight with Lame-O Inferno in the next 3
in Vegas, Sozbots
in Burbank, BotBash
in Phoenix, and Steel
Conflict in Pomona.
new antweights are powered by high capacity NiCad batteries from
new sponsor Robotic
Power Solutions. Additionally, they provided powerful
new 3.0Ah NiMH BattlePack batteries for Dr.
Inferno Jr. & Hell
on Wheels and their teeny AAA batteries will be powering
all of my bots' radio receivers, saving a few ounces.
an interview with me was just published in the May/June 2002 issue
magazine. This is a neat publication geared toward academically
talented high school students and put out by Johns Hopkins University.
Most of the issue focuses on robotics, including the new BattleBots
IQ program. Second, I checked out a copy of the May 2-8,
2002 issue of vsd
magazine from France. There's an article on BattleBots
with, strangely enough, a picture of me and other competitors
in the Robot Wars 97 featherweight rumble...
Well, the taping of BattleBots
season 5.0 is a wrap! I'm bound under a non-disclosure agreement
to keep the results quiet, so make sure to tune in when the new
season starts airing in August. Believe it or not, I've already
started on some upgrades for Dr.
Inferno Jr. & Towering
Inferno--no time like the present (being unemployed and
want to thank the following people for great help for and during
this past BattleBots:
Dave, and James: my great pit crew who took my orders with a
smile, lifted heavy things, turned wrenches, gave me advice,
and looked over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't doing anything
& company at Machine
Arts for lots of great machining work on the bots.
Scott, & company at Specialty
Tool & Bolt for keeping me flush with fasteners
and various industrial odds & ends that the bots needed
for keeping infernolab.com up & running
Armstrong Jr. for her regular and generous personal sponsorship
Hill of Robotic
Power Solutions for modifying Dr. Inferno Jr.'s batteries
between bouts to give the Doc some more power. And Steve will
be sponsoring me with some hot new battery packs for upcoming
got another new picture in the fan
gallery page. Keep those submissions coming!
No time to update lately--I've been swamped. Tons of news to report,
leave tomorrow morning for the next BattleBots
event and both Dr. Inferno
Jr. and Towering Inferno
are packed up & ready to go. I had some last-minute changes
to make, but they're ready! If you want to see the event live,
up tickets! Thanks again to my great sponsors
for their help in getting the bots back together & upgraded
for the upcoming event!
Central showed up at my house on Wednesday to tape some
interviews, demos, and even some swing dancing. This should make
for a wacky bio segment in season 5.0.
been collaborating with Eban Schletter of Netherota
Records for a little while & we finally finished up
the Dr. Inferno Jr. CD single!
(well, he did all the hard work like the writing, recording, &
performing--I just provided some sound samples & some recorded
intro dialogue...). Check out an MP3
of the title track [2.3MB]. If you want to hear the other
songs, the CD's a mere $5, including shipping. Act
got several new pictures in the fan
gallery page. Keep those submissions coming!
great new robot book is out. BattleBots:
The Official Guide is a great big thick coffee table book
with the history, people, and machines behind the bots. It's full
of stats, rules, and great photos. There's even a spread on Dr.
Inferno Jr. You can pick it up at the Infernolab shop.
Laurie put on another great robotics event through his
Robo-Challenge program for grade school & high school students
throughout Santa Barbara county. I brought back previous tug-o-war
champs Longneck & The Infernal Brick of Despair for
more action. This year, high school students with the entry Flash
took the top honors, besting both of my bots on their way to the
top. The Infernal Brick of Despair fell in the finals, gaining
2nd place, while former champ Longneck was toppled by Flash in
the semi-finals. Congratulations to the Flash team & all of
the others with their great tug-o-war, line-following, sumo, and
other awesome LEGO bots!
now that I'm all done with my Ph.D., I'm on the hunt for a job!
If you or anybody you know might be looking for a Mechanical Engineer
with experience in robotics, composite materials, manufacturing,
aerospace, and design, please check
out my resume & send me a note!
Busy busy busy...3 weeks to go till the next BattleBots
and I'm pretty much on track for being ready in time. I'm bringing
back Dr. Inferno Jr.
and Towering Inferno,
both with internal upgrades to make them more robust & reliable,
but they'll look pretty much the same from the outside. The only
noticeable difference will be some fancy brand new titanium hammers
with hardened steel replaceable chisel tips, put together by swell
Arts. Dr. Inferno Jr. underwent successful test runs on
my back patio a few days ago, and Towering Inferno's nearly re-assembled
you want to see the Infernolab bots in action in person, pick
up BattleBots tickets. I've said it before & I'll
say it again: the TV show's great, but seeing fighting bots in
person is sooooo much cooler!
Laurie put up a really fun video covering the February 23 seminar
of BattleBots & RoboChallenge LEGO Mindstorms tug-o-war.
I'll be hosting a longer version of the video here on InfernoTV
pretty soon, but check out the current
version in the meantime on Luke's pages.
You might have noticed that, on this week's episode of BattleBots,
there were some photos of me with TWO giant nuts. Hmmm...
Dr. Inferno Jr. didn't
do so hot in the BattleBots season 4.0 one-on-one duel competition--he
broke down in his 1st fight when his upgraded drivetrain gave
out. But, a swap to the old drivetrain got him into the losers'
rumble (bots that ended up in positions 17-32 in the event). He
held together great & pushed the other bots around the box,
but the fuse for the saws weapons blew. After 5 minutes, he was
1 of 2 bots chosen by the judges to advance to the main rumble
(top 16 bots in the event).
the rush to prepare him, while also preparing Towering
Inferno for his rumble, I forgot to swap out the blown
fuse, but I needed a full 5 minutes of drivetrain power, so I
didn't worry about it. This rumble was tough--lots of powerful
bots here, but this was a situation where slow & steady won
the race--lots of the high-power bots took each other or themselves
out, and the number of remaining functional bots dwindled. In
the end, the judges picked Dr. Inferno Jr., Hexy Jr., and The
Crusher as the finalists. In an audience vote, the doctor came
out ahead! Woohoo!
Boy, some secrets are hard to keep, but the cat's out of the bag
now, so I can share! Hasbro & Tiger Electronics are making
control Dr. Inferno Jr. toy in the new BattleBots Custom Series
Tournament Edition! It will feature the ability to mix
& match parts with other bots in the same series. Cool! No
official word on when these will hit the shelves, but check back
here for more info as it's available.
got a pre-release copy of The
Official Guide to BattleBots and it's a pretty neat book.
It covers the top bots in each weight class, with a page on Dr.
Inferno Jr. and a great shot of FrenZy
beating on Towering Inferno
on the cover. It's available now through academic channels and
will be out for everybody else pretty soon.
got a few more submission for the fan
gallery. Keep 'em coming--I love seeing your models &
I've updated the Infernolab Shop
to include books & magazines. You can now order Robot
Riots & the 2 upcoming books listed in the 2/22/2002
news entry directly from The Infernolab, and I've got a link to
the cool BattleBots
magazine. It's a little sparse right now, but I'll be
adding more books, toys, and other products to the store shortly,
so you'll be only 1 click away from all sorts of robot goodies.
had an awesome time
on Saturday 2/23/02 with Luke
Laurie and his RoboChallenge
program, in which he's teaching kids all over the county about
robotics, through the use of LEGO
Mindstorms. The highlight of the event was a tug-o-war
competition for which I made a couple of bots to take on the 3rd-12th
grade students. It was a blast. Other high points included demos
of Hell on Wheels,
Dr. Inferno Jr.,
Itchy, and Scratchy.
Read all about the
Barbara Newspress came out & ran a short
piece in the paper the next day.
I'm finalizing the details of a solution to make an easy upgrade
to Dr. Inferno Jr.'s drivetrain. Once I've got it all nailed down,
I'll have some gears for sale here and some part numbers to order
the necessary bits elsewhere.
As of 3PM on Friday, 2/14/2002, I am now Dr. Jason Dante
Bardis! After 7.5 years at UCSB, I finally wrapped up my Ph.D.
in mechanical engineering.
did a write-up on Towering Inferno
on their community web pages. Yay.
This coming week's episode of Comedy
Central's BattleBots will have the lightweight finals.
I'll be in the show for an in-studio interview, talking with Bil
Dwyer about the lightweight bots from this season. Tune in on
Tuesday 2/5/02 at 10PM, or catch repeats this weekend.
Towering Inferno got
killed by Mechavore on this past episode. Darn. The autopsy revealed
that I didn't mount the batteries securely enough one 1 side,
and that I didn't use enough screws to hold on the wheel sections
on the other side. Both of these problems have been corrected
& a new improved (though outwardly nearly-identical) Towering
Inferno's already in the works.
Towering Inferno will
be on this coming week's episode of BattleBots.
Tune in tomorrow at 10PM on Comedy
Central, or catch the repeats over the weekend. Towering
Inferno's going up against Mechavore, a powerful bot that did
really well last season. I've torn down Towering Inferno to fix
up some parts & upgrade some others in preparation for his
the following week's show, on 2/5/02, BattleBots will be airing
the lightweight finals, and they brought me into the studio for
an interview to discuss it with Bil Dwyer.
be giving an all-day robotics workshop to junior high students
next month. I'll demo some of my LEGO & fighting bots, plus
I'll be taking them on in a tug-of-war competition. There's a
great program in the Santa Barbara schools called Robochallenge,
where they build & program LEGO bots.
a BattleBots board game out in stores now--check it out!
finished Hell on Wheels'
drivetrain upgrades. He's got lots more speed & traction &
can now flip himself over when I gun the throttle. I've got a
little weight to play with, so next I'll replace his 2 long skewer
spears with something a little beefier that will work well in
spinning, stabbing, & overhead attacks.
are a couple more drawings in the fan
Happy New Year! I hope that 2002 is as great for robot combat
as 2001 was. Just a few quick updates--not much news, I've mostly
been recovering & recuperating since the last BattleBots
Comedy Central's BattleBots season 4.0 starts tomorrow,
January 8. Look for Towering
Inferno to take on Mechavore on the January 29 episode,
and an in-studio interview with me the following week, on February
been doing some minor upgrades to the bots. Hell
on Wheels is getting newer, bigger wheels so he'll have
better traction & be less likely to get hung up on a wall
(so he'll be "Hell on New Wheels"?), and Dr.
Inferno Jr. is getting some drivetrain upgrades.
been getting some great pictures & models & such from
fans, so I decided to put them together into a fan
complete 2001 news
is now archived.