As with the last post, this one will cover the results of our fight. If you haven’t seen Bombshell Vs. Cobalt yet you can view it in full here:

Pre-Fight Activities

While we may have lost the fight with Complete Control the damage was quickly repaired. This allowed us to move on to preparing our Adjustable Height Horizontal Spinner Module for action. The big task with this configuration was to get it driving as well as possible on the BattleBox floor. The unusual weapon layout meant that the center of gravity was actually forward of our front wheels, which as you may expect resulted in a rather difficult to drive bot. We spent a good bit of time fine tuning our outriggers with an angle grinder to minimize the chances of us getting in a spot where our rear wheels and the outriggers were keeping the front wheels off the ground. We also kept up preparation/fine tuning activities with our other weapons to keep the Cobalt team guessing as to exactly what they’d be fighting.

It took a good deal of time to get the outriggers set up right, and even then we were not thrilled with how the weight balance was. Luckily the AHHS Module was not our heaviest weapon so we had some weight margin to add ballast to the rear of the bot. Adding ballast consisted of melting a lead hammer into the back corner of our wheel guards and running a bolt through both to help retain the solidified lead lump. (Special thanks to Rob Masek from the Lucky team for the hammer “loan”)

With that detail sorted we were ready to fight.


There wasn’t any doubt which weapon we were going with for this fight. The AHHS Module was designed as a non-wedge means of combating powerful horizontal spinners. The height adjustment allows us to target fragile components at a range of heights during a fight, effectively functioning as a 42″ scalpel.

Our goal in this fight was simple: Get the bar lined up with Cobalts weapon chain and break it.

Post-Fight Analysis

After seeing the Cobalt team having a strategy session with another team prior to the fight I knew there was a decent chance they’d have an approach that was a bit more complex than run straight at us with their weapon bar. Once the fight started, my suspicions were confirmed. Instead of leading with the bar they were backing into our bar, trying to either stop it or destabilize us to the point where they could whip around and take a huge chunk out of our armor. Overall, a pretty solid strategy that easily could have worked out well for them.

What I don’t think either team expected was that Bombshells bar would skip up their wedge and drop down onto their top armor pulling massive chunks out of their wheels. As soon as I realized what was happening the plan shifted from going for the chain to trying to keep chunking their wheels. This continued for a bit until Cobalt stopped. Part way through the count they started moving again and one of the last hits finished off most of the screws holding their top armor on which made it possible for us to bury the bar deep into their chassis, hitting the shaft on their brand new weapon motor.

The last major hit of the fight
The last major hit of the fight

We didn’t make it out of the fight unscathed, as we had to replace a drive motor, the outer frame rail for a wheel pod, a few wheels, and our wheel guard due to damage taken during the fight. Luckily the design of the bot allowed these parts to be swapped fairly quickly and once again we were able to turn things around for the next fight without cutting it terrible close.


Up next, we take on Red Devil, a bot which took out its last opponent by cutting directly into one of their batteries and flipping it over.

If you’re taking the time to read this then you’re likely interested in competing at BattleBots. If the Season 2 application process is anything to go by, you’ll be competing with hundreds of teams for a spot on the bracket, and it absolutely is a competition. You’ve got to convince BattleBots and ABC that your team and your bot should be on the show instead of potentially hundreds of other applicants. It’s not an easy thing to do. With that in mind, here are a few of our suggestions for how to put yourself in the best position for Season 3.


Design Something Cool

BattleBots is both a competition and a TV show. A dense metal box with a powerful spinning weapon may be a good way to win a fight, but you may be one of 50 teams submitting what is essentially the same design. Find some way to make your entry stand out. Play with geometry, try some interesting or unexpected components, add some color. The selection committee is going to be reviewing hundreds of designs so you want to have something in the design that will make sure it sticks in their minds.


Build a Proof of Concept For Risky Systems

Coming up with a wild concept for weapon operation or robot locomotion is great, but if it’s really something that’s uncommon or outright unseen in combat build some sort of proof of concept for your application. The people on the selection committee don’t know you and don’t know what you are or aren’t capable of, so show them. “Yeah, it’s cool, but will it work?” is only slightly better than not making an impression at all when it comes to your design.


Have a Cohesive Style

Whether it’s the look of the bot fitting the style of the team, or the look of the bot driving some team styling it can only help to have the look of the bot and team align. This doesn’t mean you need to dress up as 50’s sci-fi robots because you’re applying with a bot that’s covered in riveted, unpainted metal, it means that you should spend a bit of time thinking on how you can make the team look like they belong with the robot when it comes time for team photos. Jeans and a t-shirt can work, but putting some effort into a cohesive bot-team combination makes an impression.


The Competition Doesn’t Start When You Get to the Arena

We took an approach to Season 2 that viewed the BattleBots competition as three major rounds. The first was the application process, where you’re showing that you’ve got the design skills and team that can both pull off the build and manage some level of stage presence at the event. The second is the build season, where you’re proving that you’re capable of delivering on the promises you made in round one. The event itself is round three, where it all comes together and if you managed to make it through the second round with what you promised, you now get the chance to put it in the box and put it to the test.


Start Planning and Designing Now

If you’ve got an idea there’s no time like the present to do the planning and design work. The earlier you start on this side of things the earlier you’ll find any issues and earlier you’ll be able to resolve them. This isn’t the time to start buying parts or building unless you’re planning to build the bot no matter whether or not your application is accepted, but everything that goes into the bot prior to buying parts or cutting metal can be done now and will save you time during the build season.


You don’t have to do any of the above, but from what we’ve seen keeping the above in mind while preparing your entry will put you in a better than average position when it comes to applying for Season 3. Best of luck and we hope to see you in the BattleBox.
Don’t forget, applications for Season 3 are already open at so if you’re serious about entering, go there and start filling out your application.