View Poll Results: Should we develop and bring back Robot Wars

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  • Yes,as it was

    3 10.00%
  • Yes,but with a redeveloped format

    21 70.00%
  • No, it's had its time

    6 20.00%
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Thread: What next for Robot Wars & bringing it back

  1. #11
    I have seen your Theo Jansen before! Not the spider though: is that based on klaan?

    These would disqualify on the basis of powered by rotary motion/cam anyhow in my understanding.

    I reckon I may have cracked it, but its all just on paper for now. Start prototyping next payday

    if we have larger terrain, more outdoors-y it woukd be interesting to see bots coping with grass, gravel, uphill, puddles, climbing "trees" etc and roboteers using an on-board cam.

  2. #12
    The technique developed by Mike Franklin for Scuttle in Technogames and Anarchy in Robotwars counts as two axis. Its the only system I know of that you could use at the moment. I am planning to build a wooden machine to test the principal. However actually making a machine that was combat ready would be insanely expensive. Around 1000 with no weapon is what I clocked one of my simpler designs at.

  3. #13
    I thought that might be the case, but wasn't sure. Was hoping so. Anarchy was the first and as far as I can tell, ONLY walker that one's opponent wouldn't simply laugh-at.

    I feel as though my various designs all solve the issue (need to find out how well they perform) but I haven't dared to look at the cost yet because like with you, it's clear that it'll be VERY expensive.

    Might it be possible to see some of the rules relaxed for very specific occasions? I mean... say the winning team get a budget to build a house-robot sized and suitably weaponized bot (so flamethrowers etc allowed) to compete with the ACTUAL house robots? (And last year's effort added to the house robots stable, too)

    Lets see the house bots evolve, get hurt, change, die, form vendettas etc too.

    ?

  4. #14
    Well, I'm afraid I can't really speak with any intelligence about the regulations, as I haven't given them a proper read, or have the engineering background to understand the full share of their limitations or implications. That said, though, I think the important thing is the people - you get something like Razer or Hypnodisc when some gifted amateur comes up with some out-of-left-field idea (hopefully the baseball metaphor works here) that nobody ever thought of before. That can be encouraged, but not directly.

    As I wrote in a Livejournal post a couple of months ago, the Robot Wars show had a very important underlying message - "You can do this too - come join us!" So, people got to see something insanely fun, followed by encouragement to build a robot of their own. And, that worked. So, I think, regardless of the format, any new show would need to have that underlying message to bring in the new blood.

    As far as the current variety goes, I think it is important to remember that the most thrilling and exciting fights depended on the robot driver more than the technology. One of the most exciting fights on the television show, as I recall, was between Chaos 2 and Wild Thing, both of which were flipper bots. But, they both had first-class drivers, and that made for a truly exciting fight. And, although they are storytelling tropes, people do love to get behind the underdog, particularly when it is fighting one of the more powerful spinners.

    When it comes to how I would prefer the format, there are a few ways that I would do it:

    - A firm focus on the people. This is part of the "you can do this too" message - it really is a powerful thing to see this stuff on television and realize in the interview that the roboteers are ordinary people just like you.

    - Bring back some, but not all, of the side events. I think series three had it right when they got rid of the qualifiers. But, it is fun to spice up the action with special events such as combat robot hockey or an obstacle course.

    - No visible corporate sponsorship. I know this would take money away from the teams, but it would also reinforce the "you can do this too" message. As soon as you have corporate logos plastered on the side of robots, it becomes a lot more intimidating for new blood to try to get into the sport. Instead, if there must be corporate sponsorship, it should be going to the organizing body and divided out to the teams based on financial need - that way, there would be a level playing field, and a more exciting sport.

    - Keep the game show format. Seriously, it works. Compare the Robot Wars viewing figures with Battlebots, and it's no contest - Robot Wars was a smashing international success, and Battlebots was a niche show. The fact is that the game show format told the story of a robot tournament on television better than a robot tournament did (strange, but true).

    - Oh yes, and PAY THE ROBOTEERS! Seriously, I couldn't believe it when I read in Gearheads that the UK Roboteers for all intents and purposes never received a penny for their hard work, even as they and their robots became international stars. Shame on Mentorn for that, really. Please tell me that between now and then Mentorn actually paid them...
    Last edited by Garwulf; 10th April 2013 at 16:17.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by AIBB View Post
    Constructors will be using more computer and programmed functionality
    AIBB
    Hmm. I do think the personalities of the teams matter hugely and frankly, fully autonomous bots just won't cut the mustard in terms of good viewing. However, I think some inclusion of this may well help with funding, and it would be fun to see each bot have SOME autonomy. A "special-move" type of idea might work, self righting would be easy enough etc. and perhaps the more automated a bot is, the more concessions towards weight or something could be awarded. A certain amount of fly-by-wire is probably a natural progression anyhow (eg, selecting where in the arena you want the bot to go, rather than actually steering) But recognising an opponent vs house bots for example? Hmmm.

    I think there's some potential here, but nobody wants to watch bots dithering about, missing the opponent completely and bashing against the arena lamely. Its a gladiatorial contest and we want blood! Glory!

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Garwulf View Post
    - Oh yes, and PAY THE ROBOTEERS! Seriously, I couldn't believe it when I read in Gearheads that the UK Roboteers for all intents and purposes never received a penny for their hard work, even as they and their robots became international stars. Shame on Mentorn for that, really. Please tell me that between now and then Mentorn actually paid them...
    Well generally that was the case but Mentorn did hire the hotel where free rooms were given. Plusthere was a the refund of the Robot Wars club money , the free food from the burger van & sometimes a petrol allowance. Plus free liability insurance. Still two grains of rice though.

  7. #17
    Well, a certain amount of autonomy, perhaps, but it would have to be pretty limited.

    Something I noticed a while ago when it comes to these things. The first time a robot follows a line, it's amazing. The second time, it's cool. The third time, it's ordinary. The fourth time, it's little more than a technology demo.

    There are sometimes robots with self-firing weapons, and a self-firing SRImech makes plenty of sense - but I wouldn't want it to go any further than that. The reason is simple - the more you remove the driver and the team from the equation, the more it becomes a technology demo once the match begins. People will care about the roboteers, and they'll care about the robots that they are driving - but I really don't think they'd care about autonomous robots for long, even if on a technological level they are more impressive.

  8. #18
    Just a thought but perhaps there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we judge the events. The criteria for Battle bots allowed for even the most bizarre robots to be able to take victory on a regular basis. Where here, cos damage gets you such a high number of points you end up with lots of spinners and then armoured flippers that are designed to end the fight quickly.

    One thought that I had what to include another element... expected damage. This is heavily dependant on your driving skill and your aggression as you may have a powerful spinner but if you cant utilise the weapon properly that is either poor design or poor driving.

    I have no idea how you would go about scoring that but I am just throwing it out there.

    Finally I guess that as we can OOTA this gives flippers an easy victory. Flippers are less common in the US as they don't have an OOTA but you see launchers that aim for massive air and the resulting internal and structural damage. Even if you put wall son 2 sides of the arena you reduce the chance of an OOTA by 50%. This would give machines that cant OOTA or end the fight quickly to gain more points for control and aggression over longer lasting fights.

    I also love the idea of having an angled edge to the arena. Say that a 2m length on all sides is at a 20-30dgr angle with the wall at the top as usual. what would that do to the style of robots?

  9. #19
    Max's Avatar
    Member

    Just an idea- what if an oota wasn't an automatic win, instead after an oota it went to judges decision. That way flippers are still effective but they will have to drive well and try to be aggressive throughout the fight then flip the other robot out at the end so that way they win the decision. Whereas if an axe bot was aggressive throughout the fight then got flipped out at the end it would still win the decision!

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Just an idea- what if an oota wasn't an automatic win, instead after an oota it went to judges decision. That way flippers are still effective but they will have to drive well and try to be aggressive throughout the fight then flip the other robot out at the end so that way they win the decision. Whereas if an axe bot was aggressive throughout the fight then got flipped out at the end it would still win the decision!
    I'm not sure how popular or fair this idea is.. but I'm guess that the oota would carry some serious points? That might make it a reasonable way of doing things...

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