RE: ROBOT: "Robot Wars" Continues To Burgeon

From: Emlyn O'regan (
Date: Sun Jan 13 2002 - 20:52:19 MST

I saw Robot Wars the other day, for the first time... it's just come down
from the rarified air of pay-tv, into grubby-masses-vision, so I now I get
to watch :-)

I'd had some programmer types tell me how great it was, and non-techies had
quoted reviews to me about how truly lame it was. I began watching with some

It's fantastic! Just like sport, but it doesn't suck. It blew me away. It
has just the right mixture of cool technology, bashing (including flames,
choppy things, bashy things, etc), very silly wwf style format, and totally
emotionally engrossed teams (who look devastated when their robots are


I had two criticisms. First, I'd like to see it played a bit straighter. I'd
like to see more league tables, lists of scores, and more battles per show.
If the presenters would take it a bit more seriously, that would be good.
Second, I would love to see autonomous robots as detailed below by Spike,
rather than glorified radio controlled cars.

What are the rules on their weapons, btw? They don't seem to be allowed
projectile weapons or explosives. What about, say, whacking an opponent with
a pointy axe thing which is hollow, then pumping that opponent full of
water, or some conductive foam or some such? Or maybe conductive dust - iron
filings? Carbon fillaments? Something like that? Or something which
dissolves cable shielding?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Spike Jones []
> Sent: Sunday, 13 January 2002 3:48
> To:
> Subject: Re: ROBOT: "Robot Wars" Continues To Burgeon
> > Spike wrote
> > >But JR, twisted metal, chainsaws and jets of flame are
> inherently appealing.
> > >Wicked cool. It has all the elements of good
> entertainment: engineering,
> > >physical struggle, humor, destruction, etc. {8-] spike
> >
> > Amara Graps wrote: You're forgetting Survival Research
> Laboratories, Spike.
> > They've been putting on shows of robot twisted metal, chainsaws
> > and jets of flame for more than 10 years...
> Keep watching this robot wars. We are right on the edge of getting
> something an order of magnitude more interesting and worrisome:
> a version of robot wars where the battlebots must be entirely
> autonomous, preprogrammed to attack and defend. When they
> start getting good at that, perhaps we could make the game so
> that there is some meta-goal, such as having each bot gather randomly
> scattered stones into a goal box. The others try to stop that while
> filling their own goal boxes.
> Perhaps bots would learn to form temporary alliances, smash
> the other guy, rob each other's goal boxes, etc, then fight among
> themselves. Pretty soon they might start acting not so different
> from humans.
> We are on the verge of making up sports that would be
> way more entertaining than watching 22 overpaid galoots
> struggling to kick a pigskin obelisk thru goal posts. spike

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