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It's sport dependent. Even Battlebots has changed how they put contestants into the brackets over the years. After all, they used to have a special mass battle where they would put in 8 bots to fight together and the last one standing got a spot (or judge's decision after 3 minutes - there was controversy when Duck lost one yea because there were only two left). Many contestants with records "on the hump" would often enter to guarantee themselves a spot if they win, since it doesn't take you out of the normal section. Last year they went with your win-loss record (including how many were by the judges versus KOs).

How each sport does their bracketing depends on the sport itself - there are no rules on how it has to be done or even how the matchups should be done.
 

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LOAD"*",8,1
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I really don't know how "seeding" works.. and do other "real sports" do the "extra face-off to see if you're actually going to get in the main tournament"? (I think they did two of them this time)
NCAA Div 1 Men's Basketball started with play-in games several years ago, I believe. They call them "First four" games.
 

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Seems weird that they skipped a couple of the fights and just showed highlights. For a show that's about 50% fluff you'd think they could have fit in another 6 minutes or less of combat.

But liked seeing Hydra and Blip on their game; they may not hit as hard but I love watching a good flipper. (Though with the new "sneeze guards" around much of the arena it's a lot harder to get a clean out of the park KO - there're fewer legal areas outside the area they could be thrown into [the area by the entry/exit doors in not a legal area to throw/place a bot)

(Also discovered that a bot can be counted out if the refs feel it's been on the upper deck "an unnecessarily excessive amount of time")
 

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Reticulating Splines
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Seems weird that they skipped a couple of the fights and just showed highlights. For a show that's about 50% fluff you'd think they could have fit in another 6 minutes or less of combat.
Yeah, a fight is 3 minutes or less, you could easily cut out the slo mo b-roll of the teams standing and holding bot parts.
 

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One thing I noticed from the past couple of weeks.. and this may be my faulty memory.. at least from when I started paying attention (this season or last), it seemed to me that they did the whole "is red team ready, is blue team ready" thing for the VERY first one of the night and I think the last one (whatever they call it, the one they think is important). But last night I think they still did it on two of them, but NOT the very first one for sure. (...and I just mean cut that part out of what we see in the other matches shown)

(That's more 'padding' that they could leave out of all of the matches. I realize for the actual competitors, it has use but of course could be done way less fancifully..)
 

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The two hour format has around 8 matches, so they're determined to show just 8 matches. Each of the round of 32 had 9 matches because of the 31 and 32 seeds being contested.

Though, there seems to be a lot less padding during the post season games than during the regular game. I don't know why, perhaps they are simply showing more ads during the breaks - the regular season had lots of interviews and other things that aren't present.

But it's also possible they're only showing 7 matches and padding with more ads as well.
 

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But liked seeing Hydra and Blip on their game; they may not hit as hard but I love watching a good flipper. (Though with the new "sneeze guards" around much of the arena it's a lot harder to get a clean out of the park KO - there're fewer legal areas outside the area they could be thrown into [the area by the entry/exit doors in not a legal area to throw/place a bot)
I heard the announcer say that Blip could flip an unlimited amount of time as compared to the gas powered flippers. What's Blip's magic, dilithium crystals?

I'm still amazed at he bots that can't self right when flipped over.

I don't even bother watching the Bounty Hunter hour that gets appended to the regular BB recording.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I heard the announcer say that Blip could flip an unlimited amount of time as compared to the gas powered flippers. What's Blip's magic, dilithium crystals?
At first I thought the answer was simply that it's battery powered. But apparently it's way, way more complicated than that. Apparently there's some sort of always spinning flywheel in there that we don't see, and some sort of wedge that latches it into a curved assembly that levers the flipper up very, very fast, but is clutched as to not stop the flywheel completely so it takes less effort to get it back up to speed for the next flip. (The flywheel being powered by a battery powered motor). And apparently there's a wound tensioned rope in there?

Video here, but it's well beyond my comprehension:
 

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At first I thought the answer was simply that it's battery powered. But apparently it's way, way more complicated than that. Apparently there's some sort of always spinning flywheel in there that we don't see, and some sort of wedge that latches it into a curved assembly that levers the flipper up very, very fast, but is clutched as to not stop the flywheel completely so it takes less effort to get it back up to speed for the next flip. (The flywheel being powered by a battery powered motor). And apparently there's a wound tensioned rope in there?
Complicated - but ultimately battery powered. And batteries are more power dense than the pressurized cylinders of gas or fluid that the pneumatic or hydraulic flippers use. But batteries can't discharge as quickly - so if they were trying to directly power a motor that ran the flipper it'd be way too weak/slow. They're using the flywheel as a way to relatively slowly move power out of the batteries into something that can dump it very quickly on demand.

But being able to recharge the flywheel using an electric motor, driven by the batteries, means the bot can flip hard, but also flip more times, while still being more compact that a flipper than needs to hold (and protect) a large pressure vessel. And I'm sure Battlebots has limits on how much pressure they'll allow since they need to worry about danger to the area, staff, or competitors if the pressure vessel is damaged during a fight; which is why the tanks need to be bigger for a given amount of power and why there's a limit to how many flips worth of energy can be stored in the tanks.

And they'd be right to be concerned, since a rupturing pressure vessel dumps all its power very quickly, literally a pressure explosion, and so is far more dangerous to those around it than a failed battery; which (though it'll burn hot and put out a lot of toxic gas) won't explode.
 

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I watched the finale. Even though it was a split decision, I thought Hydra should have won his fight vs. Tantrum. It appeared the commentators agreed with me as they went back to show the judges score cards.

I didn't understand why they paused the fight when Witch Doctor got stuck under the platform. It seemed they did that pretty quickly and if they hadn't, Minitaur could have gotten some hits and done some damage. Frankly, I didn't understand the pause at all. Why was this any different than when someone gets stuck on the screws or somewhere else?

All in all, it was a good season.
 

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Reticulating Splines
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Hydra vs Tantrum was an awesome fight. Tantrum won on aggression points. I think this is because Hydra just waited for Tantrum to come to it. Perhaps Hydra would have scored better aggression if it chased Tantrum more.

I too was puzzled by the pause to get WD unstuck. Even though Minotaur was missing a wheel, it could have maneuvered around to whomp on WD. At the end, I feel that Minotaur should have been counted out. Yes, it could move, but it wasn't controlled motion. The ref should have started counting instead of arguing with the team.

Daniel Freitas is an intense guy. You can see it when he's driving. However, he was a sore loser. Yelling at the judges was poor sportsmanship. Jake Ewert handled Hydra's loss much better. He felt he won, but didn't blow up.
 

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LOAD"*",8,1
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I don't think Minotaur had what could be described as controlled movement, so I think their complaints fall flat.

As far as Witch Doctor, there are, in fact, official rules that cover a bot getting stuck on non-movable parts of the arena, exactly as happened with WD:
If at any time during a Match, a Robot or Multi-Bot Segment becomes Stuck, and cannot free itself after 20 seconds, the Referees can call a Timeout.

If a Team has determined that their Robot or Multi-Bot Segment has become Stuck:
  1. The Robot’s Team needs to tell the Referee that their Robot is Stuck.
  2. At the Referee’s discretion, based on the circumstances, a Timeout will be declared.
  3. If a Robot is Stuck against or under an Arena hazard, BattleBots officials may make a reasonable attempt to unstick the Robot by manipulating the operation of the hazard.
  4. If necessary, CrewBots will enter the Arena and attempt to free the Stuck Robot(s).
  5. If safe to do so, the CrewBots will turn upright any inverted Robots. They will also attempt to locate and orient the Robots such that they cannot immediately make contact on restart without first maneuvering.
  6. The Referees will verbally restart the Match.
  7. The Match will be continued for the remaining Match time
The biggest problem I have with all of that is that I'm pretty sure that WD was stuck for a LOT less than 20 seconds. I'm not sure if Minotaur could have taken advantage during those 20 seconds, given their lack of controlled movement, so I don't know that it really mattered, but if they have a set of rules that covers the instance, they should have followed them.

I agree with the Hydra/Tantrum results. Hydra never showed aggression at all. Their flips of Tantrum were huge, but they were more defensive, not offensive. They spun in one place and waited for Tantrum to come to them; that's not aggression.
 

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I didn't think either finalist bot deserved to be there. Minotaur lost a wheel but I thought it beat Witch Doctor handily during the actual fight. I don't understand why the match was stopped to unstick Witch Doctor but Blip was counted out for being stuck on the upper level. What was the difference? And frankly, I thought Hydra beat the bejesus out of Tantrum. That match wasn't even close in my opinion. Apparently, having a strategy to neutralize your opponent's mindless attack is a negative. The only damage Tantrum did to Hydra was to bend its flipper back. Meanwhile, Hydra gave Tantrum more air miles than a 747. If Hydra was spenalized for not being aggressive then why wasn't Witch Doctor penalized for non-aggression for the entire rest of the match after the restart? Both of these decisions deserved the boos they received. I rooted for Witch Doctor in the final because I thought the judges made a less bad decision in their favor in the semifinals than they did for Tantrum but that matchup was basically over less than thirty seconds in.

I wonder how long in real time the taping for the semifinals and final matches took. There has to be a lot of down time for cleanup between matches and there has to be time for repairs and maintenance between rounds. Does the same audience stay for all that time?
 

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The thing is, Blip wasn't "stuck" as in wedged. Witch Doctor was actually wedged into the arena and had to be levered out, while Blip was merely hung up die tp bad geometry.

Bit stopping the match so soon after Witch Doctor got stuck was unusual. I suspect maybe Minotaur complained about it which is why the referees gave Minotaur a lot more leeway at the end. (We don't know how long the pause was - it looks like it might have taken a few minutes to unstick Witch Doctor, during which Minotaur might have lodged a complaint about it).

Hydra and Tantrum was a split decision, and it was basically damage and aggression. Hydra may have flipped Tantrum around a lot, but Tantrum kept moving just fine, showing it accumulated very little damage. Hydra on the other hand had problems with their primary weapon leading it to not go down properly near the end. Whether this was from normal use or damage that Tantrum caused, it was considered to be more heavily damaged because the primary weapon wasn't working as well, while Tantrum's weapon was fine.

And then there was aggression - Hydra's basic strategy is go to the center and let the opponent approach. Aggression is where you see out the opponent to use your weapon on them, and Hydra didn't do it. Tantrum though was circling around looking for point to attack and even making a few moves. Add in the attack when Hydra's weapon failed and that is considered aggressive play.

Remember, the goal is to knock out your opponent so a KO is the desired outcome. Once you have to go to the judges, the outcome is far more variable as good strategic play might not be play the judges are looking for. Battlebots is primarily a spectator sport - and the criteria are such that the more exciting the battle the better, so the bot that makes the round exciting will generally score better than the bot that plays strategically but doesn't really show off anything impressive.

That's why there were changes - the arena added more covers to make it much harder to flip a bot out of the arena (this was giving flippers too much of an advantage, plus, a random powerful flip out isn't that exciting a win - so now you have to flip it out while aiming at the corners (which aren't covered).

Now, the fun battle was Witch Doctor and SawBlaze. There's always something fun when a flamethrower bot suddenly bursts into flame because something got punctured or ripped or whatever, and what started as basically just the flamethrower engulfed the whole bot in the end. And I'm surprised we didn't get more than a quick glimpse of the finished statue that was created from the broken off pieces.
 

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LOAD"*",8,1
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The thing is, Blip wasn't "stuck" as in wedged. Witch Doctor was actually wedged into the arena and had to be levered out, while Blip was merely hung up die tp bad geometry.
The rules even specifically call out "the surrounding spike strip of the Upper Deck" when describing getting "stuck", meaning they recognized the strip could cause the exact situation that Witch Doctor got themselves in.

As far as Blip, the fault wasn't the arena, it was Blip itself. If I recall correctly, they said that Blip had large magnets to plant it to the ground, and those magnets bit it in the backside because it planted them right to the metal strip. The rules even have a clause that specifically addresses Blip's situation:
If any attached part of a Robot is touching the floor of the Upper Deck, the Robot will be considered to be “on” the Upper Deck. Touching the surrounding spike strips or the screws is not considered to be on the Upper Deck.

If the Referees jointly determine that a Robot has been on the Upper Deck for an unnecessarily excessive amount of time, a Referee will notify the Robot’s Operator(s) and then begin a 10-count count-down. If the Robot fails to be off the Upper Deck before the end of the count-down, it will be declared Incapacitated.
Blip had two wheels on the floor of the upper deck, deeming it to be "on the upper deck," and because it spent enough time on the upper deck (thanks to the magnets), it got counted out.
 

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I watched the finale. Even though it was a split decision, I thought Hydra should have won his fight vs. Tantrum. It appeared the commentators agreed with me as they went back to show the judges score cards.

I didn't understand why they paused the fight when Witch Doctor got stuck under the platform. It seemed they did that pretty quickly and if they hadn't, Minitaur could have gotten some hits and done some damage. Frankly, I didn't understand the pause at all. Why was this any different than when someone gets stuck on the screws or somewhere else?

All in all, it was a good season.
The only reason I wasn't surprised about that time out was that I'd gone down a rabbit hole of reading the battlebots rules not too long ago. The rule for stuck robots, which Loadstar already quoted, appears to have been newly revised/expanded for 2022 (blue text in the document) and they basically say if it gets hung up on the arena, or on loose debris, or the bots entangled with each other, but appear to otherwise still be capable of movement the Refs can, at their discretion, call a time out to try to get the robot(s) unstuck so the fight can continue.

But if the bot is just leaning against the wall in such a way its wheels aren't in contact with the floor then that's considered incapacitated (and thus gets counted out) rather than considered stuck.

Also one of the matches (was it last week?) they wanted to unstick the robots, but one's weapon wouldn't spin down on command and thus it was considered too dangerous to send show crew into the box; so they sent it to the judges (just like if they would have if they'd be unable to quickly unstick Witch Doctor). And now that I think about it earlier in the season wasn't one of the bots impaled on another such that the show crew in to pry them apart? That also falls under the stuck robot rules.


Still, they should have given Minotaur the full 20 seconds to try to flop around and hit Witch Doctor. A hit might well have popped the bot loose and let the fight continue. And if they weren't able to wobble around on their one wheel to make contact in those 20 seconds then the TO to unstick would have been more obviously justified to the fans.
 

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Reticulating Splines
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Has anybody ever gone to a local robot skirmish? I learned about Vegas Combat Robotics from our hometown hero, Jackpot. There's a local battle on Saturday that I plan on attending.
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I thought both fights in question were close, and I would have hated to be a judge either way. I can't argue with either decision and I wouldn't have argued if they had gone the other way either. Since I don't like Hydra's owner and WD has always been one of my favorites, from a fan perspective I liked the outcome.

Fun season and the long wait until next season.
 

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I went to Bits N Bots that I mentioned above. There were two classes, 1 lb and 3 lb. It wasn't the carnage that you see on TV, but there were some really different bot designs. Jeff Waters of Jackpot had 4 or 5 unique bots. Team Jackpot was there as well as some of Team Malice, including Bunny. I didn't realize Team Malice helped Team Jackpot get started for the big leagues.

I never have had the stomach to spend the kind of money they do for a BattleBots league machine, but maybe a 1 or 3 lb bot would be fun.
They streamed the event. You can watch it here: Twitch
They had Jackpot out for us to see. It is more impressive close up.
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