|Ray .::. mandi .::. sam .::. madison .::.|
Welcome to the Raybotics International Robotic Combat Research and Development Center.
This is the center of my latest passion, Combat Robotics. I first heard about robot combat around 1997 or so, it was one of those fringe sports played by fringe people, you know freaks, geeks, and nerds... At the time I had a one year old child and was half way through college so I thought, looks interesting, and moved on. Then around August 2000 I was suffering through another Chargers loss and started channel surfing at half time.
I ended up on Comedy Central and found something that absolutely drew me in. I was mesmerized! There on the small screen were two mechanical combatants totally bent on the other's destruction. That first fight I saw was between two super heavy weights, Minion and GrayMatter. I watched the rest of the show without noticing time pass then rushed upstairs to get on the computer to see if there was any information out there on this wacky sport. Was there! In it's small yet growing community combat robotics is huge. And the players are very passionate about thier sport.
I first came across Christian Carlberg's C2 Robotics, the builder of Minion. I read every word then went on to Jim Smentowski's Team Nightmare site. Between these two sites you'll find an unsurpassed wealth of knowledge to get you started in robot combat. Christian has a complete 'How to build a robot' tutorial and Jim has probably the most complete listing of robotic links, builders, and teams around. From these two sites you can find everything that is robot combat.
From the first moment I typed 'BattleBots' into a search engine I knew I wanted to build one. But first research was required. I really lucked out when in November of 2000 Jim Smentowski was looking for someone to help him at the next Battlebots event in Las Vegas. I was planning to go anyway and already had the time off and the reservations. Jim and I hooked up through email then met in Las Vegas. What an amazing time I had, and the experience was extremely valuable to my preparations to enter my own robot.
I built my first robot, Malvolio, as a Battlebot middle weight but I ended up getting selected for a new competition that The Learning Channel was putting together. I revamped Malvolio and headed out to LA for a serious butt kicking at the end effector of a very powerful bot named Panzer MK I. Despite my poor showing I learned even more about robot combat, and how to prepare for a competition.
A few months later I was in San Francisco for the filming of Battlebots Season 3 with Malvolio. I didn't do well but I wasn't discouraged. Malvolio lost to a solid bot named Iron Soldier. However, withing days I started designing a new bot in my head. So the when November 2001 rolled around I had two bots to throw in the fire.
Malvolio did well enough to make the television show and the details are in the TI01.2 event report.
That pretty much brings us to the present where both Malvolio and Some Parts are going through some major overhauls as I get ready for both BotBash in a few weeks and the next Battlebots probably some time in May.
Thanks for visiting, Ray Ebert
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