Killer Robots on Science Channel

Anyone else going to be watching Killer Robots tonight? I know I am. :smiley:

Saw the commercial for this last night, got way too excited :smiley:

I’ve got other things to catch at 9:00, but I’m DVRing it for sure.

I always wonder when FIRST-a-holics see any movie robots if they figure they can build a better one.

I went to RoboGames in San Mateo last year. It was a pretty cool time, everyone was really friendly and willing to show off their bot. A bit different than FRC, but still awesome.

They are robots for which no one bothers to devise an annual game. It’s easy to presume that they’re the modern version of gladiators. No spoilers from me, but I wonder how the brackets were established so that similar robot types start the early rounds against each other.

These are also the robots most high-school aspiring robot builders really (really) want to build. I’m pretty sure the GDC is aware of this aspect of robot building but we have opted for gloved contact in lieu of bare metal [knuckle] contact as a game component. Even more unlikely than a water game, an Armageddon themed game will not be seen any time soon, even though many rules and team updates will be written to forestall battling urges.

With Isaac Asimov out of the picture, the popular assault on just what constitutes a robot continues. These machines are “merely” remote controlled machinery as are the large majority of FRC machines. Calling them robots dilutes the concept of robotics severely, but the viewing public is too busy calling for more flames and flying debris to worry about such a fine point of definition. P.T. Barnum would be proud and standing in line to sign up as many for his big top as possible.

It’s not really diluting anything.

Recalling the original concepts of robotics, Asimov (and Čapek) originally envisioned robots as basically androids. This was presumably because it was lot easier for them to be used as literary and dramatic characters if the robots could harbour their own emotions and motives (and, in the case of plays, be portrayed by humans). If dilution is such a problem, it seems to me we should be much more faithful to Čapek’s original concept, and abandon our fixation on computers and mechanical parts—his robots had neither.

More crucial to the original concept, robots’ autonomy was inextricably linked to the control exerted over them by humans—and the diminution of that control provided a convenient plot device. Nevertheless, the defining characteristic of a robot was always that it was a complex device that did labour so that people didn’t have to. The element of human control has likewise been a constant: whether the operator told the robot to do something, or manipulated a joystick, the robot’s role was to work for the human—and conflict inevitably arises when the robot doesn’t do as instructed.

At that essential level, calling a teleoperated robot a robot is no dilution. It’s just that you can’t really anthropomorphize a robot that doesn’t have the ability to do things apparently of its own volition. That would make for a boring story.

Besides, it was the engineers, not the general public that first likened machinery to the android robots from literature. They regarded their creations as the first steps toward the robots envisioned in the science fiction magazines, and adopted the same vocabulary to describe them.

I saw at least one person from the FIRST and CD world: pitzoid of 4FX Design was part of the team with the claw that was defeated in the first round of competition.

The Raging Scotsman was built by the Piedmont Scotbots (FTC team #3873). Ray Billings of Last Rites fame mentors a team (not sure which) and is always trying to get more combot builders to do the same. I am sure there many more that I don’t know of.

As for myself, I am a Team 79 alumnus and mentor. I built Gruff before joining the USF Robotics Interest Group, but we now compete as a team (RIG also competes with several lower weight class combat robots).

For what it’s worth, Gruff is the only combot running an IFI control system.:cool:

It’s not really in it’s hayday anymore, but there was some darn good engineering going on (and still now, just to a lesser extent) with these robots in the past.

I was at Robogames this year, I didn’t watch much of the combots because there are about 60 events going on, I did see some really crazy matches though when i did watch. Too bad they only did a single hour show instead of multiple shows with more different events shown.

The event i competed in is called Mech Warfare, I’ll just leave a link and a video if your interested in walking robots with airsoft guns and remote operation. It is a big challenge on all fronts of robotics.

I CAN’T BELIEVE I MISSED IT!!! :eek: Why!? Why???

Yep, motor controller failure even gets you in the combat world :wink: Stinks as we were pretty much pwning him up to that point, i.e. we were seeking revenge for our 2002 SuperBowl defeat

You can see the original Pitzer Brothers (Inflictor) Vs Minifridge fight here

that was the joke for RoboGames :slight_smile: The full match (not edited for TV) is here

More info about the bot on my brother Chuck’s web site

My Brother appeared on an embarassing episode of Auction Hunters last week with the new version of the bot

its being rebuilt for Robogames 2012 dates here
they did the Combots Cup this weekend. Far as I know, Robogames in the spring will be recorded for Killer Robots again. My brother and I will be there…

I’m looking for some FIRST alumni in the Central Florida Area to work on 4FX projects and possible future FRC development. If anyone is looking for engineering development work in the Tampa Area, drop me a note.