abandon all hope ye robots who enter


 Lame-O & Same-O Inferno

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  • Designed & built in about a week in June 2002
  • Entire backup robot built the following day
  • Based on a BattleBots Custom Series remote control toy
  • Won 1st & 2nd place at Las Vegas Street Fight 2002!
  • Lame-O w on 4th place at Sozbots 1.2!
  • Both ended up midpack at Sozbots 1.3 @ Steel Conflict
  • Same-O won 1st place at Sozbots 1.4 @ BotBash!
  • Multibot finished midpack at Sozbots 1.5
  • Status: ready for then Sozbots 1.6 in February in LA


[see the Same-O vs. Tsunami video]

STORY: I wanted to get in on the new craze of antweight (1 pound) robots that's been popping up everywhere. However, I didn't want to spend lots of time and money on it, since my "big" bots keep me pretty busy...so, inspired by Donald Hutson's low-budget Incinerator antweight, I picked up a Killerhurtz Hasbro BattleBots Custom Series remote control toy & based this new bot on the toy chassis. After finishing the bot, I was concerned that I'd decreased its performance by messing around with the gearbox too much. So, I picked up another of the toys and built an exact copy (and called it Same-O Inferno), but without ever opening up the gearboxes. Then I pitted them against each other--totally evenly matched! Both bots run great & having 2 makes for some good practicing in the kitchen. Why the name? It's the simplest, cheapest, weakest, least creative bot I've ever built. Wedges are lame!

Lame-O & Same-O debuted at the RoboJoust Las Vegas Street Fight 3.0 in July 2002. They swept the 7-entry antweight class, both making it to the finals, where I had Mike Konshak drive Lame-O (or was it Same-O?). The judges couldn't really tell which bot won in the final fight...heck, it was an informal event, so what's the difference? One way or another, the bots got 1st & 2nd place.

I entered Lame-O Inferno (but not Same-O) in Sozbots 1.2 in Burbank, just 1 week after RoboJoust, and took 4th place in the field of 32 entries! This was a hugely fun event with some amazing killer bots! Lame-O ended up with 3 wins in the winners' bracket, taking him to the semi-finals, where Ted Shimoda's awesome VDD squeaked by in a 14-13 judges' decision. Down in the losers' bracket, I got 1 more win before getting launched clear out of the arena by Brian Roe's powerful Light Ballista pneumatic flipper in a record 13 second shortest match of the event! See details in the Sozbots 1.2 results page made with the cool BotBash Bashware.

Because there were some drop-outs at the Steel Conflict event, Sozbots let me enter both Lame-O & Same-O. Lame-O had a 2-2 record, while Same-O bested him, pulling out a 3-2 score, putting both bots somewhere in the middle of the pack. Here's the entire fight ladder--congratulations to Derek Zahn for his amazing winner, Cupcake. The absolute highlight was the epic struggle between Same-O Inferno & my buddy Pete Abrahamson's Tsunami. That was just the best fight ever--he tore off part after part of my bot, but I kept manhandling him, shoving him mercilessly, almost getting him out of the arena a couple of times--the crowd went nuts. Watch Pete's great edit of the fight on InfernoTV.

The nice Sozboys let me enter both bots again in Sozbots 1.4 at BotBash 2002 in August. Lame-O didn't do so hot, losing to Jimmy Crack Corn, then beating Dr. Humongous before being shredded by One Fierce Beer Coaster. Same-O fared much better--he swept the winners' bracket, undefeated, beating Velocibee (KO by push-out), Tsunami (KO by push-out after getting chewed up, with only 4 seconds left on the clock), Incinerator (KO by push-out after getting a little melted), Zebes 3.0 (by tough judge's decision), and Jimmy Crack Corn (KO by push-out). Jimmy won the losers' bracket & came back for more, KOing Same-O in the first final, then losing a tough juges' decision to Same-O for the final. Same-O took home the 1st place trophy!

After hitting the top, I decided that it was time for a new twist, so I reinvented them. Starting with a fresh pair of BattleBots Custom Series toys, and using lightweight components from Sozbots and sponsor Robotic Power Solutions, I managed to whittle each bot down to 0.5lb. Using an airplane radio & fancy mixing, I now drive Lame-O with my right hand joytick & Same-O with the left. Driving 2 bots simultaneously is a trip! The world's first one-person-driven-multibot fared well at Sozbots 1.5 in San Francisco on 12/15/02 and survived unscated, ready for Sozbots 1.6 in Los Angeles on 2/8/03.

SPECS: The first finished bot actually came in at about 0.7lb, so I taped down some nuts & bolts to add ballast over the wheels for extra traction. Lame-O Inferno runs off of 4 high-capacity 1.65Ah AA size NiMH batteries that give him almost 20 minutes of run time! He's got 2-wheel drive & 2 fixed rear casters to help him track straight. His weapon is a simple 3-ply [90/0/90] IM7/8552 carbon-epoxy composite panel. It's mounted so it's slightly bent to provide a very low angle of attack. $22.99 for the toy at K-Mart, and $2 of miscellaneous hardware makes for one cheeeep bot!

For the multibot, I gutted all of the Hasbro electronics & spent a few bucks on the teeny & powerful Sozbots 2-channel speed controllers, lightweight Sozbots power switches, teeny weeny GW R4P FM 72MHz radio receivers, and Robotic Power solutions kicked in a pair of their swell antpacks. Some fancy mixing on my Futaba 8UAPS and I was ready to drive both bots simultaneously!

TECH DETAILS: Not sure about much of the tech details--all I did was start with a BattleBots toy & hack it. 2 important steps to undertake when coverting a Custom Series toy are to remove the damage sensor (metal cylinder & wiggly spring at the front of the circuit board) & to short the 2 pads next to the damage sensor to trick the bot into thinking that the weapon module is installed. The carbon fiber scoop is 6" x 6". I had a 12" x 12" panel that I made for the heck of it several years ago while conducting research for Boeing. I cut it into quarters so I have a few spare scoops. It took a long time, but I finally found a good use for this old panel! A little work with a dremel, files, and a power drill, and it was mounted--that's about it...After messing around with the bots, I noticed that they would almost run upside-down, but the plastic electronics cover on the rear was sticking up too high. So, I removed the circuit board cover on the back & did some dremel & tape work to lower the circuit boards & make the bots invertible, should they get flipped in battle.

SPONSORS : Batteries donated by Robotic Power Solutions. Nuts & bolts & washers & stuf from Specialty Tool & Bolt.

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