Get ready for BattleBots 2023

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Season 7 of BattleBots is HERE!
BattleBots is a battle of masterclass engineering skill, design prowess – and of course carnage! The 2023 season is now here with the mayhem caliber setting cranked up higher than ever before. Design 1st is excited to participate by supporting Team Lucky – a fierce BattleBot competitor for the past several years.
 
The new 2023 BattleBots season 7 will feature the top 50 robots and was filmed live in Las Vegas, Oct 18-30, 2022. The season will air on Discovery Channel and Discovery+ starting Jan 5, 2023.
 
To build the hype for this season, we have put together some common Q&A on BattleBots:
 

Table of Contents

1) What is BattleBots?

BattleBots is a competition of all-out destruction in which robots go head-to-head in an enclosed combat arena. The robots are armed with a catastrophic variety of weapons, such as saws, flamethrowers, and hammers, with the goal of disabling or destroying the opposing robot.

Behind the action are teams comprised of product designers, engineers, and robotics specialists who are responsible for the designing, building, testing, and controlling their robots.

With thousands of passionate fans worldwide for over 20 years, BattleBots has been one of the most successful robotics competitions and remains a prominent spectacle of engineering talent.

inside the battlebox arena, bots facing against each other on their own red and blue corners
Bots position opposing each other before starting the match
2) How do BattleBots matches work?

Matches are three minutes long, and take place within a 48ft x 48ft square arena more commonly known as the BattleBox. Before the face-off, competitors’ robots start from the opposite sides of the BattleBox in color-coded red or blue squares. With each match-up, the goal of each competitor is to immobilize the opposing robot first, along with gaining points for the 11-point judging system: 5 points for Damage, 3 points for Aggression, and 3 points for Control.

This year, while other hazards are retired. exciting hazards of the BattleBox are improved upon and remain active, including killsaws, pulverizers (large hammers), paddles (spiked barriers), ramrods (floor spikes), screws (spinning augers), and the upper deck (raised platform) introduced in 2021.

Competitors face off in a bracket-styled match-up, and the team that emerges victorious will claim the coveted Giant Nut trophy.

BattleBox with the red and blue halves of the arena
3) Where is BattleBots filmed?

Season 7 of BattleBots was filmed in sessions in Las Vegas, Nevada from October 18-30, 2022. BattleBots World Championship VII amassed a total of 50 competing robots, including teams from Canada, the UK, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands.

Season 7 was filmed months prior to airing
4) Where is the BattleBots arena?

The BattleBots arena (BattleBox) is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Following its enormous success, BattleBots has additionally announced an exclusive live Las Vegas show: BattleBots: Destruct-A-Thon. The world’s first daily robotic combat show opens on February, 3rd 2023 at Caesars Entertainment Studios, just yards from the famous Las Vegas Strip.

The arena features maximum viewability and protection for the audience, including a new full Lexan enclosure that ensures safety from the hazards that would come about as the tournament goes on.

inside the battlebox arena
Inside the BattleBox
5) How to build a BattleBot?

Designing and building a BattleBot takes a variety of skills, experience, and creativity. Teams must adhere to the design rules which can be subject to changes every year to keep the competition fresh, fair, and exciting. Not only that, but teams must also pay close attention to the ever-changing BattleBots hazards and new rulesets in order to get an edge over their competition.

To learn more about the design and build process of BattleBots, below are a couple of helpful resources recommended by BatteBots:

  • BattleBots Entry and Rules: Includes design and tournament rules
  • How to get on BattleBots!: Build resource page
  • BattleBots The Official Guide, written by C. Carlberg
  • Kickin’ Bot, written by MythBusters’ Grant Imahara
  • RioBotz Combat Robot Tutorial, written by Marco Antonio Meggiolaro, the builder behind the BattleBots robot Minotaur
Team Lucky building and assembling behind the scenes
Team Lucky building and assembling behind the scenes
6) How are BattleBots Powered?

For the standard BattleBots, any type of battery that is commercially available may be used. If lead-acid batteries are used, they must be factory-marked as AGM-type. MiniBots have different power requirements, and can only use cylindrical Lithium-Iron (LiFe), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh), or Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries.

All batteries, particularly Lithium-based batteries can catch fire and even explode! Thus, there are battery-handling specifics and safety hazard warnings that BattleBots competitors must follow. The Battery Handling Rules outline specifics such as battery areas, initial battery handling, battery charging, batteries before and after matches, and how to operate with damaged batteries. 

Voltage used for weapons and motions systems cannot exceed a nominal 60 volts, with the maximum voltage allowed for any low-power auxiliary systems elsewhere in the bot is 240 volts. 

For more information about the electrical system of BattleBots, check out the Design Rules.

Team Lucky wears safety equipment when handling and constructing
Team Lucky wears safety equipment when handling and constructing
7) How heavy are BattleBots?

There is no minimum weight requirement for BattleBots, however the maximum weight allowed is 250.0 pounds. Bots can be walkers, hoppers, fliers, slitherers, or whatever else in terms of mobility – as long as it complies with the limits!

Any bot must also be able to fit through the 8ft x 8ft arena entry doors without disassembling. Additionally, it is preferred that bots can move around at a fast walking pace (at least ~4 mph). 

A lot of exceptions to bots’ weight limit can be made on a case-by-case basis. “Flybots” (flying bots) are limited to a maximum of 10.0 pounds each, and MiniBots can weigh no more than 20.0 pounds.

Lucky is set for 2023!
8) How much do BattleBots cost to build?

Bots can cost between $5,000 and $50,000 to build, depending on many factors such as the type of bot, materials, components, prototyping facilities, custom fabrication, and shipping. Upgrading a bot with a brand new construction (such as the Switchback v2) would cost heaps more than upgrading from recycled parts. 

Many of the successful BattleBots, such as Lucky Canucky, are backed by sponsors and volunteers that help with the designing, prototyping, and developing of bots.

For any BattleBot there are four key areas of cost:

  1. Raw Material: $2000 – $8000, depending on what material you use (Carbon Fiber, Titanium etc. can drive up this price significantly)
  2. Components: $3500 – $10,000 (include motors, switches, gearboxes, magnets, compression tanks etc.
  3. Prototyping: $5000 – $10,000+ (Costs can be lower/higher if you have in-house equipment OR sponsors)
  4. Time: FREE (If you have a passionate BattleBots crew of experts!)

Generally, a bill of materials (BOM) is used to organize a  list of all raw materials that go into the final assembly of a product or robot. BOMs usually include a list of all components, quantity, cost, and a source or link for purchasing said component.

Design1st’s Designing a Robot for Destruction:

9) When does BattleBots start?

The BattleBots Word Championship VII fights air every Thursday evening from Jan 1 – Apr 13, 2023 at 8pm EST.

The top 32 finalists go forward to compete in the World Championship VII Tournament Apr 20th – May 11th.

The live Vegas Destruct-A-Thon show starts on Feb 3rd.The full match schedule can be found here.

battlebots first episode fights schedule matchup
Premiere episode of 2023 starts with seven fights
10) Where to watch BattleBots 2023?

BattleBots can be watched on Discovery in the US and Canada starting on Jan 5 at 8pm EST, and streamed through Discovery’s streaming platform, Discovery+.

BattleBots is broadcasted in over 150 countries, including UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Brazil and the whole of Latin America, Australia, Thailand and most of Asia, with other regions continuously being added.

The full broadcast details can be found here.

battlebots discovery banner
Watch BattleBots on Discovery
11) What is new for the 2023 BattleBots season?

There are a handful of changes with the tournament judging and matches for the 2023 season that are sure to wreck more havoc than previous seasons:

  • Season 7 has more screen time, from 40 to 54 total hours!
  • The returning Upper Deck is now raised several inches off the floor of the arena
  • A new role of “Match Steward” is introduced to act as an intermediary between the teams and judges on match scoring and rules
  • Attacking actions during a match are more defined. Referees will allow Pinning with a maximum of 10 Counts per pin, whereas Lifting and Grappling are allowed for 20 Counts
  • More destructive and enhanced upgrades from fan-favorite teams, such as Lucky’s now bringing seven complete frames (four more than last season) and strengthening their flipping arms

2023 Trailer for BattleBots World Championship VII, Season 7 of BattleBots:

Stayed tuned for more info on BattleBots this Spring! We will be updating this page and Design 1st social media accounts.

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