One of the few shows we watch every week is Battle Bots.
We enjoy the work these engineers put into designing their “robots” (they are not actually autonomous, but rather remote-controlled vehicles with weapons of various sorts). Bill enjoys it as an engineer, and I enjoy it from my please of utter ignorance.
We enjoy watching the battles between different types of robots and assessing (okay, judging) the driving skills and the effectiveness of the weapons of the combatants.
Sometimes you can spot a bad design or stupid, ineffective weapon a mile away.
You wonder WTF were they thinking?
But it is usually fun to watch those bots get torn up by better designed and operated bots.
So why the fuck am I blabbing on about this?
Because last night we were watching the show (on demand), and I about peed myself.
There is a largely ineffectual new robot this year – SawBlaze.
Its basic weapon is this really strong 5 pound circular saw blade that stays behind the body of the robot, and when deployed, the arm comes up over the robot and goes down to slice up its opponent.
At least, that’s the idea.
You might think this is a good weapon.
You’d be wrong.
The other robots generally have good armor, and while the blade may be capable of cutting through some tough material, that takes time.
So you have to be able to maneuver the opponent under the blade and hold it there while you do your cutting.
You have to do this while your opponent is also using its weapon against you.
Also, should you be able to get your opponent in place, and actually bring down the blade in enough time to pin your opponent under it, and survive the opponent’s weapon, you’re only allowed to hold the opponent for 10 seconds!
Not a lot of time to cut through some other robot’s armor.
SawBlaze makes for a lot of pretty sparks, but doesn’t tend to do any real damage to the opponent.
I think it’s a stupid and impractical weapon.
Well, in the battle we were watching, the team leader decided to switch out the 5 pound blade for a 30 pound circular rotating blade – one that, as the lead guy explained, is supposed to lop off chunks of the opponent, quickly.
I’d say that’s a much more effective weapon.
I did expect the energy of the heavy rotating blade would effect how they drove the robt, as spinning bars and rotation blades tend to have a nasty recoil when they connect.
What I didn’t expect was that the blade was so heavy that the only way they could lift it was if the opponent was already on their front wedge – otherwise, the result was that trying to bring the blade over the body of the robot (to attack the opponent) without leverage caused their bot to start to tip over!
I laughed so hard.
Didn’t they test this thing at all?
Well, it turns out they did.
And their test footage shows their stupid weapon actually flipping their robot!
SawBlaze was against an equally ineffectual bot – Blacksmith.
Blacksmith has a big old hammer that swings (much like SawBlaze’s blade) over the robot to hammer the opponent. Again, not very effective.
Most of the SawBlaze v. Blacksmith battle was pure slapstick with the two bots whaling away on each other, neither one doing much damage to the other.
But the really fucked up thing was, SawBlaze was declared the winner (the battle can last 3 minutes, if there is no knock-out it goes to the judges to decide).
What can I say? I’m easily amused.