abandon all hope ye robots who enter


 Dr. Inferno Jr.

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  • Designed & built first version in Winter 2000
  • Powered by 6 cordless power tools
  • Megapower & hypercuteness all in one package
  • Overpowered Box won 2nd place in BotBash 2000
  • Fought in all 5 seasons of BattleBots
  • Featured on Movies For Guys Who Like Movies
  • BattleBots season 3.0 lightweight champion!
  • BattleBots season 4.0 lightweight rumble champ!
  • Remote control toy of Dr. Inferno Jr. available
  • BattleBots season 5.0 lightweight champion!
  • Status: upgraded after BattleBots season 5.0


[buy a Dr. Inferno Jr. toy]

STORY: The original Dr. Inferno combat robot, built on a whim, turned out to be a hit. He came in 3rd place at BotBash 99 and had the dubious honor of being the most spectacularly destroyed bot at BattleBots Long Beach 99. I decided to carry on the tradition, but with a bigger, badder version. Dr. Inferno Jr. competed at BotBash 2000 in Phoenix (see below), and in all 5 seasons of BattleBots.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to finish the doctor for BotBash 2000, but his finished drivetrain weighed in at exactly 30lb, perfect for the middleweight class. I slapped on some protective hinges, added a few parts, and entered him under the name Overpowered Box. He did great--I was delighted with his performance and his 2nd place finish.

Dr. Inferno Jr. turned in a pretty good performance at BattleBots San Francisco on June 10-11. His drivetrain was meaty, but he shredded a couple of his tires, lost his reciprocating saw attachment adapter, & blew a motor in the rumble because of a silly hack I implemented to keep his body level while running on 3 wheels. So, I did one some tire & motor upgrades for the next event.

Upgraded, Dr. Inferno Jr. won a fight, lost a fight, and put in a good rumble performance at BattleBots Vegas in November 2000.

Later, he was the feature of two segments on the Movies For Guys Who Like Movies Judge Dredd airing on the TBS Superstation, where I took on a few plastic robot toys and then some fellow lightweight BattleBots.

After a few more upgrades, I brought the doctor to BattleBots 3.0 2001 in San Francisco. He took the title this time! Woohoo! He was seeded only #15 going into this event, and he took down 6 opponents to win the giant nut.

The Doc needed serious repairs & upgrades after getting creamed in the rumbles in season 3.0, so I entered a heavily-revamped Dr. Inferno Jr. in BattleBots season 4.0 in November 2001. Major upgrades included replacing the carbon fiber composite structure and flaps with very thick polycarbonate sheet, doubling the thickness of the aluminum frame, switching to NiMh BattlePack batteries, and ditching the reciprocating saw & configuring with 2 spinner weapons that I designed with sawblade company SystiMatic. A last-minute motor "upgrade" failure cost me my first & only fight, but my great team helped me swap out most of the entire drivetrain and...Dr. Inferno Jr. won both of the BattleBots season 4.0 lightweight rumbles. Another giant nut!

I entered the Dr. in season 5.0, with some drivetrain and electronics upgrades, as well as a few other minor changes. 5 tough fights resulted in the Dr.'s 3rd giant nut. Dr. Inferno Jr. is the BattleBots season 5.0 lightweight champ. 3 giant nuts in the last 3 BattleBots events. Not too shabby! The Dr. KO'ed fierce spinner Afterburner (losing his left arm in the process), beat the adorable Tentoumushi by judges' decision, scraped by in a tough fight against Death By Monkeys, KO'ed old pal Gamma Raptor, then got darn lucky when Wedge of Doom blew up half of his drivetrain near the end of the finals, edging the Dr. ahead by 1 little point in the judges' decision!

Dr. Inferno Jr. remote control toys from Hasbro hit the shelves in August 2002! It's a pretty good likeness of the Dr. and a really fun to toy play with (or to use as the base of a 1lb antweight bot).

Immediately after season 5.0, I undertook some thorough drivetrain upgrades to make the Doc much much faster and much much more powerful. He now sports a Dewalt-powered drivetrain from Team Delta, ready for his next appearance. I upgraded the batteries with a new set of custom BattlePacks, added tension springs to the hinged flaps, and changed several cosmetic features.

SPECS: Like his father, Dr. Inferno Jr. started life as a Tomy Omnibot toy that I picked up cheap on eBay. After promptly gutting him all of all his computer innards and tearing off his arms, I began the cordless power tool search to give him big nasty weapon arms. I ended up with a 12V Sears Craftsman reciprocating saw and a Chicago Electric 18V circular saw. For the drivetrain, I picked up 4 Chicago Electric cordless drills from Harbor Freight. I made motor mounts out of plexiglass and put together some beefy wheel hubs and bearings. I needed to decide on a good wheel for this robot, so I bought a whole bunch and made a wheel comparison guide to use as a reference. I picked up the 5 Chicago Electric tools from Harbor Freight, a great source for cheap tools. These aren't the nicest drills or saws you can get, but if you know you're going to be hacking them apart as soon as you take them out of the box, they make a lot of sense. After growing weary of rebuilding the drivetrain over & over, I finally upgraded to Team Delta's 18V DeWalt drill products. Slick!

TECH DETAILS: The first arm weapon I picked up was the reciprocating saw. Its first modifications were the removal of the saw blade holding mechanism and finagling a 14.4V battery into the 12V battery slot. I have several attachments that screw into the end of it: long & short pokers, long & short bludgeoners, a boxing glove, a spatula, and a toy robot dog head with a concealed spike for a tongue. The circular saw underwent some hacking to remove the blade guards and any other parts associated with safety or handholds. Next, I had to paint the saw black to match the other arm--couldn't have one black arm & one bright orange arm. Both of these arm weapons were originally controlled by a Vantec RDFR22 2-channel electronic speed controller. Upgrades over the years included a new Team Delta drivetrain, custom spinner weapons, new materials choices, and many other changes.

SPONSORS: Specialty Tool provided nuts, bolts, washers, bearings, & most of the other odds & ends. Saw blades and custom spinner tri-tip saws are from SystiMatic. Machine Arts did some great machining. Industrial Forming provided the polycarbonate material. Hosting.com provides my web hosting.

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All content © Jason Dante Bardis and the Infernolab, 1999-2016