September 13-15, 2002
National Guard Armory, ASU
Tempe, AZ, USA
Mpeg of start of a 30lb bot soccer match (344 KB)
Mpeg of start of a 120lb Annihilator match(344 KB)
We weren't at the hotel longer than 30 minutes before we took out Tinbender and were fighting in the lobby with other, soon to become friends.
The official hotel for Botbash was the Quality Inn on University Ave in Tempe, AZ, which was just down the street from the campus. The National Guard armory, which was being used for the event was across the street from the Arizona State University Stadium. The arena was placed inside the building and the pits were located in a large tent alongside the arena. Both structures had air-conditioning brought in to make the otherwise sweltering weather bearable. The SOZBOT arena and bleachers were strategically placed in the armory, along with a bandstand, which was to provide 'industrial' music (I use the term 'music' here loosely), and overhead screens to allow full view of every fight for the audience.
BotBash is the brain child of Bob Pitzer and his brother, Chuck Pitzer, designed the new mobile arena. It is built on a large trailer and expands out hydraulically like a transformer. The arena had more mechanisms and moving parts than most of the bots in attendance. I think Chuck must have worked for a carnival before, you know, the ones that have the entire ride on a trailer? I can't wait for them to haul and set it up in my local town square. Please?
In this all-new-improved-robotic-combat, Bob designed Botbash for maximum crowd appeal and builder enjoyment, which involved teams of two bots competing against another two bots. Each time you fought you had different partners and different opponents. Lets see, the enemy of my friend is my enemy? or my friend? Anyway, you ended up fighting with or against everyone else. It made for great camaraderie and great sport as we combined strategy, skill and a lot of luck to try and make goals with a ball which refused to roll straight or to fight to the death in the Annihilator. There was also a capture-the-flag competition that a few of us competed in late the Saturday, but it was set aside Sunday to make everything else, including the 1lb SOZBOTS competition, happen on time. Since everything was double elimination, everyone fought at least 4 to 6 times (and more) so if you brought more than one bot (me) you were busy bot-puppy. The main ways to win were to actually get a goal with the ball, put your opponent into the pits, or just plain knock them over the 6 inch rail to the floor below. Most everyone spent some time on that floor alongside the arena trailer.
The 30lb bot, Helios from Team Cosmos (Ted Zeiger and Pete Covert) did the most tossing of its opponents, including Wedgeward-Ho, of all the bots there. You were glad when you drew Helios as a partner, but terrified if you were an opponent. Dan Danknick showed up with an Omni drive 60-lbder, called Archetype, with a spinning blade powered by..you won't believe it...an Etek! Donald Hudson showed up with just the front of an earlier revision of Dissector which he called Karcass. You were fortunate to pull Donald as a team mate as well. Don and Dawn Hudson were there on the tail end of their honeymoon. Congratulations you two!
Besides our RobotDojo bots, there were many others from Colorado present to counter the many California bots. Ted Zeiger and partner Pete Covert brought Helios and Alpha Pujo, Derek Zahn brought SunFlower, Barry Anderson brought Worm Burner and there was a very nice family from Basalt, CO. Some competitors came as far away as the east coast, Tony and Sarah Hall from Massachusettes and young Devon from South Carolina. I spent most of friday helping Devon rewire his 60 lb bot D2, although I had originally planned on sleeping the whole afternoon back at the hotel since we drove all through the night getting there after work.
Fortunately Besides Becky-the-bot-Mom, I had my twin sister Ricky and her husband Dan Juanillo there as pit crew, and as an added bonus, Tim and Loreen McTigue, who I met at Robot Wars in England, came up from Yuma, AZ to also be on the team. Unfortunately, when cameras were present they seemed to be in other locations. With these husky men around, the ladies could sit back and gossip about their new roles as bot-widows.
As far as my all-time favorite competitions for builders/drivers, I place BotBash second behind Robotica. The format is just great fun! Speaking of Robotica, Mark Joerger, The Robotica Series 1 champ was there as a judge, all the way from Oregon, and the two of us put on a short but decisive grudge match between us, as the two series 1 and 2 champions. Tinbender was doing well until it made a slip and got on top of Mark's Rat trap (which is an actual rat trap) and when the trap sprung it spit Tinbender out of the arena. Rats! Ok, Mark bring out Run Amok and we'll pit it against Flexy-Flyer!
1 lb Sozbot:
The Folloeing pictures were taken by teammate Tim McTigue:
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