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RE: Just for fun - Battlebots

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I guess we are both kids at heart. I saw the first Battlebot program on TLC
or Discovery. I was so enthralled by it that I taped it to watch over and
over again. I agree about the Interviews as it seems to be catering to the
young college level who want a pretty face asking dumb questions. However,
the enthusiasm that the designers express and the rationale for their
designs is what is so impressive. Every time I see a machine that I can
anticipate will be torn apart, there is something unique on it that the
designer thought about to protect his design or to compensate for other
problems (such as the hydraulics to right the machines when overturned).
I really thought that this was one program that structural engineers would
find absolutely fascinating because it involves all of the problems that we
have dealt with in structural mechanics but dynamically.
What the public loses sight of is the amount of  money in grants that many
of these designers obtain to work on a bot. They are developing
transportation mechanical systems that will be used on automobiles in the
I am glad to see that there is at least one person on the list who
understands that it takes a tremendously creative intellect to design and
build one of these bots and the arena is the testing ground for their ideas.
This is much more cerebral than the other comments give it credit for, but
you do, as you say, have to look past the immature way it is presented on
television. On the other hand, if it were not for the T&A this great program
may not have made the airwaves.

Regards from another old-timer child at heart.

-----Original Message-----
From: chuckuc [mailto:chuckuc(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 5:58 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Just for fun - Battlebots

I've missed machine design ever since I left aerospace in '69. So BattleBots
been very interesting to me. I've started building one, but it's still in
PLOP stage (pile of loosely organized parts). I'll be in the pits at the San
Francisco event in May helping on someone else's  crew.
It's unfortunate that Comedy Central picked up the television rights.  Their
on-air "talent" has the combined IQ of a kumquat.  I usually just mute the
when they're talking.  Regardless, there is some very good design/machine
on display.  They also have a very informative forum and the competitors are
even more helpful than the engineers in SEAOC.
It's too bad both my sons are grown, I could have used them as excuse to
with this stuff. I guess I'm just a kid at heart.
Chuck Utzman