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Since the BattleBots robot combat competition became a weekly television show, we have been inundated with emails from people who are interested in building a BattleBot. In response to the vast public demand, we have put together this page of resources for the aspiring combat robotics champion. We have had quite a bit of experience in this field since we sponsor our own BattleBots robot. We also feature books about robot soccer competitions on this page.



   Build Your Own Combat Robot

Build Your Own Combat RobotExperience the excitement of building your own champion battling bot! Build a powerful robot for full-blown competition with the help of this authoritative robot resource. This team of experts gives you an inside look at the innovative new world of robotic combat, explaining the origins of the sport as well as all the elements that go into constructing a fighting robot. You'll learn technical basics from motors and wiring to locomotion, and read builders' true stories from the front lines of robot competition. Whether or not you're mechanically minded, you'll find this book both entertaining and informative. Fully capturing the spirit of the sport, this detailed guide shows you how an imagination and a few bits of metal can start you on your way to constructing your own champion bot.

  • Plan, design, and build your own battling robot

  • Discover how electric motors work and choose the right type for your design

  • Learn about both wheeled and walking robots

  • Incorporate creative weapons and armor on your bot-learn the pros and cons of spinning hammers, jabbing spikes, buzzing saw blades, and more

  • Minimize radio interference-so you can effectively control your bot to do what you want, when you want

  • Understand what goes into building fully autonomous robots

  • Save money on parts and equipment by enlisting help from company sponsors

  • Read true stories from combat roboteers and learn which types of construction work and which don't

Technical editors Grant Imahara and Carlo Bertocchini are both BattleBots Champions.

Read an excerpt from this book

Chapter   1: Welcome to Competition Robotics
Chapter   2: Getting Started
Chapter   3: Robot locomotion
Chapter   4: It's All About Power
Chapter   5: Power Transmission
Chapter   6: Controlling Your Motion

Chapter   7: Remotely Controlling Your Robots
Chapter   8: Strength of Materials
Chapter   9: Getting to Love the Smell of Victory
Chapter 10: Brains for Bots
Chapter 11: The Autonomous: Letting Robots Play by Themselves
Chapter 12: Robot Sumo
Chapter 13: Case Study: Building "Live Wires"
Appendix A: Prototyping Electronics
Appendix B: Robot References
Appendix C: Electronic Resources and References
Appendix D: Mechanical Resources and References

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   Building Bots : Designing and Building Warrior Robots

Building Bots : Designing and Building Warrior RobotsThis is the definitive guide to designing and building warrior robots like those seen on BattleBots, Robotica, and Robot Wars. It walks robot enthusiasts of all ages step-by-step through the design and building process, enabling them to create any number of customized warrior robots. With a strong emphasis on safety, chapters include designing a robot, choosing materials, radio control systems, electric motors, robot batteries, motor speed controllers, gasoline engines, and drive trains. Clear instructions are accompanied by photos, line drawings, and detailed diagrams throughout. A color section showcases a variety of glorious fighting machines.

For beginners, there is machine shop 101, basic robot physics, and chapters on weaponry that include spinner robots, thwackbots, cutting blade robots, lifters, and chameleon robots.

Suggestions on where to compete and game-day strategies and tactics help you take the next step after you finish building the robot of your dreams. Also included is an extensive resource section that lists parts suppliers and pertinent web sites.

William Gurstelle is the author of the bestselling Backyard Ballistics.

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   BattleBots : The Official Guide

BattleBots the Official GuideView the metal-crunching destruction from the front lines with this behind the scenes guide to BattleBots - one of today's hottest sporting events and a hit TV show! "BattleBots : The Official Guide" is packed with full-color / full-page photographs, battle statistics, and builder profiles and interviews.

This book gives you an inside view of the world of robot combat. Browse through photo-filled profiles of every major BattleBot and get details on weight, speed, weapon type, and what it took to build them. Read about the different weapon types - including RamBots, SpinBots, ThwackBots, and Wedges. Meet the people behind the crowd-pleasing, spark-flying robot demolition and get step-by-step instructions for building your own fierce fighting machine. This big beautiful book will make a welcome addition to your robot library and your coffee table!

Table of Contents:

PART I: The History of Robots and Robotic Competition
Ch. 1: The History of Robots and Robotic Combat
Ch. 2: The History of the BattleBots Organization
Ch. 3: The Famous Builders
PART II: The Arena and the Robots
Ch. 4: The BattleBox and the Pit
Ch. 5: Robot Types
Ch. 6: The Robots Themselves
PART III: Build Your Own BattleBot
Ch. 7: Building a basic BattleBot; BattleStats

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   FIRST Robots: Rack 'N' Roll: Behind the Design (2007)

The FIRST Robotics competition partners school students with engineering and design mentors to explore science, technology, and themselves through robotics. The challenge for each team is to develop a robot capable of out-performing oth0071408525 in a game that changes annually. The authors document through photographs, drawings, and text the 2007 FIRST competition: Rack 'n' Roll.

Teams are given design specifications and a basic kit of parts and components, and then they select strategies to play the game, develop functional requirements, conceptualize a robot, source and fabricate parts and assemblies, test materials, and develop control code. The 45-day design cycle is a learning process and is delightfully revealed, without repetition, through the thirty profiles of award-winning robots and their developers. Robots were judged based on their performance in the many rounds of the game and the entries' creativity, design excellence, quality, and control system automation.

This competition has been highlighted by major news organizations like NBC, CNN, Business Week online, and more, making this a high-profile, much anticipated yearly event among competitors and robot enthusiasts. The book will be a must-have item for those attending and participating in the events and gear heads, tinkerers, and electromechanical developers of all ages.

FIRST Robots: Rack 'N' Roll: Behind the Design is visually stunning with more than 750 photographs and a mix of narrative and design details.

Also Available:

FIRST Robots: Aim High: Behind the Design (2006)

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   FIRST Lego League: The Unofficial Guide

FIRST Lego League (FLL) is an international program for kids ages 9 to 14 that combines a hands-on, interactive robotics program and research presentation with a sports-like atmosphere. Authors James Floyd Kelly and Jonathan Daudelin-both participants in numerous FIRST Lego League competitions-have teamed up to bring coaches, teachers, parents, and students an all-in-one guide to FLL.

Written for both rookie and experienced teams, FIRST Lego League: The Unofficial Guide includes in-depth coverage of topics like team formation and organization, robot building and programming, and the basics of getting involved with FLL. Using a combination of real-life stories and candid commentary from actual FLL teams, as well as recollections of their own experiences, they offer an abundance of helpful guidance and dependable building and programming examples.

You'll learn how to:
* Organize, recruit, and manage a team
* Find equipment, mentors, and funding
* Design, build, and program winning robots
* Tackle each of the four FLL components-from Robot Game to Teamwork
* Use strategies and techniques from FLL masters to increase your scores

No matter what your role in the FLL competition, FIRST Lego League: The Unofficial Guide will make you a better competitor, builder, designer, and team member. The only ingredient you need to add is your competitive spirit!

Chapter Listing:
01. First Lego League Basics
02. How FLL Works
03. Rules
04. Equipment, Mentors, Funding
05. Starting a Team
06. Managing the Team
07. Team Experience
08. Coaching a Team
09. NXT vs. RIS
10. Basic Building
11. Building Techniques
12. Sensors
13. Getting Organized
14. NXT-G Programming Concepts
15. The Project
16. Tournaments

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   Robot Sumo : The Official Guide

Robot Sumo : The Official GuideRobot Sumo contests are now being held worldwide, with several thousand robots busily trying to push each other out of the ring with ever-greater aplomb. Now you can plan, design, and build your own powerful and innovative Sumo or Mini-Sumo robot using this one-of-a-kind resource. Featuring complete coverage of the rules and regulations of this increasingly popular competitive sport, this authoritative guide will show you what it takes to build a Sumo robot from beginning to end. Packed with helpful diagrams, schematics, sample programs, and action photos of robots from around the world, this book explains where to get the best parts and components for your bot, building specifications for the Dohyo (the Sumo ring), gearing and traction methods, motors, batteries, speed controllers, high quality sensors, microcontrollers, programming strategies for robotic combat, and tips on getting the most pushing power from your robot.

With one or more pictures or diagrams on almost every page, Robot Sumo illustrates and explains in a clear and easy-to-understand way the various technologies, techniques, and tricks involved in building Sumo robots. Even if Sumo Robots are not your bag, you can use these same techniques to build other types of robots. Until now, if you wanted to get involved, you had to learn by trial and error or by watching and losing. Now, there's a shortcut -- Robot Sumo: The Official Guide

This text is appropriate for the beginner looking for a place to start and to the seasoned robot builder looking for advanced techniques. Now you can experience the excitement of one of the fastest-growing robot sports in the world!


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   Gearheads : The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports

Gearheads : The Rise of Robotic SportsIn the early nineties, a visionary special-effects guru named Marc Thorpe conjured a field of dreams different from any the world had seen before: populated not by ghostly ballplayers but by remote-controlled robots, armed to the steely teeth and fighting in a booby-trapped arena. A dedicated community of robot hobbyists quickly formed around this novel concept but the gearheads' passions were soon to be tested.

There were, at the time, high-minded, mildly competitive engineering challenges at MIT and elsewhere. But robots designed to destroy each other was different. The idea of battling 'bots' was eagerly adopted by clever nerds, garage mechanics, and jazzed gearheads, and in 1994, San Francisco was invaded by these awesome beasts in the first-ever robot combat event. The machines sported flippers and flame-throwers, probes, saws, spikes, and chainsaws as well as pistons, gears, treads, tires, and elaborate electronic circuitry. Sparks, smoke, and especially deafening noise characterized the affair. Television spotted the possibilities of the destructive machinery, and now on TV former Baywatch babes present the "Big Nut" trophies to the champions. It was more than a hobby. The commotion was called a sport, perhaps even art.

In Gearheads, Newsweek's technology correspondent Brad Stone examines the history of robotic sports, from their cultish early years at universities and sci-fi conventions to today's televised extravaganzas -- and the turmoil that threatened the whole enterprise almost from the beginning. Casual fans of BattleBots will be shocked at the Machiavellian intrigue behind the scenes of the radio-controlled robotic warfare. Stone's original and surprisingly engaging account of the rise of robotic sports depicts a world hardly anyone not passionate about these gladiatorial gear fests would have ever suspected. All the elements of a taut thriller are here: paranoid geeks, rabid lawyers, sleazy executives, killer machines, and threats of physical violence. He documents how the American judicial system can be used as a personal Mafia-style hit squad to bludgeon a business partner into bankruptcy and physical ruin. Even Jay Leno and the guy who destroyed Run-DMC's career put in key appearances.

Stone manages to find the universal elements in a story that people not familiar with robot sports can appreciate, and he lets those elements do the heavy lifting. His admonitory tale is strong on descriptions of the machines and the combat, but of even more interest are the people he candidly describes and their conniving and betrayal. The story moves fast and offers high-rpm clashes: A lawsuit-slinging exec reduces Thorpe to financial ruin, and supergeek Dean Kamen weighs in with dismay as cash and TV deals go to Segway's crude cousins. Stone chronicles the stories of the young enthusiast who had to be placed in a psych ward and the Bruce Wayne-like rich guy who tries to save the day. He profiles a well-known builder whose shifts of allegiance baffle his peers, to those who have elevated these robots from mere machines to works of art.

Gearheads is a unique opportunity to watch a sport in its nascent stages develop rapidly from slightly obsessive leisure pursuit to corporate entertainment industry, complete with television shows and several lines of toys. It is the story of every underground phenomenon that struggles to remain true to its original vision, and every visionary artist who gets lost in an unforgiving system that favors capital over creativity.

Stone phrases his tale within a context accessible to all readers, with plenty for the genuine gearheads to chew on as well. By turns a lively historical narrative, a legal thriller, and an exploration of a cultural and technological phenomenon, Gearheads is a funny and fascinating look at the sport of the future today.

We recommend this book!

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   AmpFlow Motors

AmpFlows are high-quality, high-performance motors designed specifically for BattleBots. Take a look at the specifications of this motor. We think that you'll agree that they are the ultimate motors for robots!





   The Sponsorship Seeker's Toolkit with 3.5" Disk

Sponsorship has evolved from simple stickers to sophisticated, objective-oriented partnerships. Competition for sponsorship dollars is fierce. But the good news is that most sponsorship seekers don't understand how to create the type of partnerships that corporations are now expecting.

The Sponsorship Seeker's Toolkit and accompanying disk provide a step-by-step, no-nonsense approach to securing, retaining, and managing sponsorships. The Toolkit is full of easy-to-use tools, techniques, resources, and templates, creating a straightforward framework for people just starting out in sponsorship, and enhancing the skills of seasoned professionals.

Now that BattleBots has become well known, the opportunities for sponsorship have really opened up. Take a look at the robots belonging to the veteran teams, and you will see that most of them are sporting at least one sponsorship sticker, and some of them have several. The key to getting sponsored is to take a professional approach to the whole thing. You won't get sponsored by sending out hundreds of unsolicited amateurish emails to large corporations. This book/disk outlines the step-by-step methods that star athletes and pro racing teams use to raise money.

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   RoboCup : Robot Soccer World Cup

RoboCupRoboCup is an international initiative devoted to advancing the state of the art in artificial intelligence and robotics. The ambitious long-term goal is to build a team of robot soccer players which can beat a human World Cup champion team by 2050. Over 340 teams from 37 countries entered the 2009 competition and more than 100,000 spectators attended. Each year RoboCup publishes a book covering that year's competition.

RoboCup- 2009 documents the achievements presented at the Robot World Cup Soccer Competition and Conference. The RoboCup teams consist of five robots. The winning teams use excellent mechanical design and advanced vision systems to get the edge. The book is packed with illustrations, and every page has a wealth of information. At 460 pages, the amount of knowledge packed into this book is incredible.

RoboCup- 2009 opens with an overview presenting the history of this sport, the overall perspectives and challenges, and a survey of the state of the art. The technical paper section presents the latest research and development. The revised full papers and  revised short papers presented together with award winning papers went through two rounds of reviewing and post-symposium improvements and were selected from over 100 paper submissions. The teams describe their robots in detail--everything from programming strategies to mechanical design. Also included is a league report summarizing the results of the various leagues running competitions.

These books are mandatory reading for the rapidly growing RoboCup community as well as a valuable source of reference and inspiration for hobbyists and professionals interested in multi-agent systems, distributed artificial intelligence, robot vision, and intelligent robotics.

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