"Hey, look, it's a battle bot!"

arrrg, today was a day in our town where they close main street down and fill the sides up vendors selling different things (food, rides, trinkets, food, smoke bombs, etc.). You walk all along main street looking at things, perhaps buying things, buying food, things like that. Anyways, we got a booth to display our 'bot at. We got lots of publicity, just one problem.

Every other person who stopped to look at it said, “look, it’s a battle-bot!” or something to that extent. Don’t really know why I’m posting this, just wanted to let you guys know just how popular battle bots is in comparison with FIRST.

Im the PR director for my team. When ever we do demos I get the questions " Wheres the Chainsaws and spikes" or" So has this one already been on TV". Just simply explain to them that no it is not a battle bot and that It is actually for a competition called FIRST. Then go it to what ever you say about FIRST and your team. :smiley:

yeah, it got annoying after a while. there were actually some smart people who realized it’s not a battle bot right away, but those were few and far between. :frowning:

*Originally posted by The wheelman *
or "So has this one already been on TV"

yeah, that was another big one today

At our fundraisers we get allot of

“So is this like for battlebots or something?”

“How does this one fight?”

“How does this work as a weapon?”

Then when they are done bombarding you with battlebot questions and you explain to them that it participates in a game and we used engineering skills and strategy to design, build, and work together they just totally zone out.

But then again there are some really cool people who come along who are extremely amazed that there is something this big that they didn’t even know about.

I probably posted this story a while ago, but what the heck, another post can’t hurt.

When 111 and 112 took a few bots to the local FLL competition last year to show them off & demo them, almost everyone who came to talk to us thought we had fighting robots. The students (who are supposed to know about FIRST, right?) just wanted to see the robots fight each other.

student: “so are these battlebots?”
me: “no”
student: “well do they at least fight?”
me: “no”
student: “then what are they?”
me: “they’re robots for the FIRST competition, the high school version of what you do. this robot picks up balls & scores them in a goal”
student: “oh” (walks away)

Kind of sad & disappointing.


Yeah I’ve noticed that too… The kids in FLL don’t even know what we do. Here’s my question to FIRST - “How can we get John Q. Public to know what we are all about when the kids in the junior competition don’t even know we exist!”

And to add to that how many people here did not know that the Lego League existed when they joined thier High School team for FIRST?? I didn’t know there was one until after the build season the first year. Not that there is anything else to focus on other than building…but still…

Well, our city just had our flag day parade on Saturday and it went quite well. I only heard the b-word a few times as the float went down the street. That’s because we were on the news several times because of how well we did during the competitions. I was very suprised to have many people walk up and not use the b-word, because they had seen us on TV and know about FIRST.

Don’t get me started. All we have to say is robot in our school and you get “Like BB?” or some other question like that. That’s fine, but when we say “Nope, it’s different” or “No, we use more stratage and we don’t kill” they turn their head and ignor us.

We get that a lot too! It’s really annoying. Gosh Darn uneducated public.

I see it as part of the outreach/fundrasing challenge. Be creative on what you do.

“How do I make this interesting to Jon Q. Public and his kids?”

A few things I have observed.

Have the light on and rotating.

The goals are worth 10 points, and balls in them were worth 1 point. If you have a tether, we also got 10 extra points if we were able to strech out across the field, so we worked on this special device to do that.
Rather than there are 5 zones, and if the goal is in this zone…

By all means, if there is heavy intrest, more detail, but for the large majority of passerbyers, they will only have a passing interest, and confusing them isn’t good thing if you want them interested.

These motors are used in RV jacks. These are the same as you have in a drill, but we took them apart and used them instead to drive around.
What inspired your bot. We had an arm in 2001, and could explain that we were attempting to mimic the action a human would make to pick up a ball.
Other things that you can find so they can relate too are good.

The rotating light. Don’t ask me why, but it attracts the eye and helps draw people in.

Many other things you can do, but just field the questions as they come. You will get used to the BB questions, even if you don’t like them.


Step right this way

the light doesn’t help much when it’s bright daylight out though…

need a giant spotlight :smiley:

I have heard so much about BB, that during our next big PR event which is a whole week long, I am thinking about posting a huge sign that says … ATTENTION:

better yet, a big sign on the robot that says ‘…Battle bot’ on one side, and ‘This is not a…’ on the other. people see that, and come to look, realize it’s not a battle bot, but then say, hey, this is cool anyways. :smiley:

Wait, your team makes Battlebots? That’s so cool!

no one ever said their team does battle bots in this thread. i know that hauppauge (358) does have a battle bot team, but that’s something entirely different. this thread is not promoting battle bots, nor degrading them, just pointing out how something that is destrcutive and involves similar things to our robots is so much more popular, and how can we make FIRST as, or more, popular than battle bots, or at least get people to recognize a FIRST bot from a battle bot when they see one.

I am thinking about posting a huge sign that says … ATTENTION:THIS IS NOT A BATTLEBOT

We have one up at demos and people STILL ask!

i had the same problem the otherday…i was driving our robot for a school family day picnic thing and everyone was asking why we do FIRST, cuz we should do Battle Bots instead. the first 20 or so people i gave a good answer, then i gave up and just wrote a note and stuck on the robot saying “I am not a Battle Bot, i am far more sophisticated”

This may not be a thread trashing or degrading battlebots but the “negativity” can still be spotted. I really do think it’s sad that FIRST doesn’t get as much publicity as it deserves but there are just so many reasons for that. The majority of the public has a short attention span - most will not take the time to even bother to learn the rules of the game and most will probably get bored and walk away. I love first as much as I do battlebots and I participate in both. But there is a reason robotica flopped, the general public doesn’t really care much for “games”. Believe me, I get annoyed just as you do by those comments but I also get annoyed when we display our battlebot and we get questions like “Can you use a machine gun?” I mean it’s all relative. The best way to get more attention is to educate the public and that’s a rather difficult thing to do. I really don’t think that’s the main drive and idea behind FIRST though, they want it to be popular but among students(and big name companies) im sure the general public isn’t as important. FIRST is well known in Universities and other places of the sort, it’s hitting where it counts and that’s what’s important. FIRST has made a huge impact on many people’s lives, including myself and many of you.

We need to spread and inspire people in technology by whatever method, be it Battlebots(Oh no I used the “b-word”!), FIRST, HERC Bug Battles(Cute little ant weight robots play games or fight eachother :wink: ), or any other thing like SECME, etc.


hehehehe, and i thought my team was the only one who goes through all this