Simone DavalosThe Wired Magazine article Bots Upstage Puny Humans at Show said
Hobbyists and attendees of all ages gathered to see an exhibition of droids from TV and popular fiction, while other displays of real-life robotics bordered on the poetic. But the biggest draw of RoboGames, now in its third year, is always the combat bots, which continue to evolve into more impressive fighting machines.
This year, the action was outrageous and violent, with opponents torn apart, thrown around like toys and seemingly teetering on the brink of exploding in a hail of parts and smoke and gashed metal.
In one match, a monster bot named Ziggy threw opponent and defending heavyweight champion Sewer Snake nearly 15 feet toward the bleachers, where the 340-pound box of fighting steel bounced off the bulletproof Lexan barrier a few feet from the spectators and caught on the I-beam edge of the ring. The crowd responded with a visceral sound that was part cheer and part terrified-scream. Ziggy, a mean-looking pusher with a pneumatic tossing weapon, went on to take the gold in this year’s heavyweight combat category.
Event coordinator Simone Davalos thinks this year’s competitors, and their human creators, would probably do well against the robots people are familiar with from TV shows like BattleBots. She says motivation makes the difference: these robot builders aren’t doing it to be on TV, but for the love of the competition itself.
Simone Davalos is Owner of
Combots LLC. Her work
on robotics education and the promotion of tomorrow’s
Combots LLC seeks to provide an entertaining and educational experience in robotics and engineering for audiences of all ages. Their exhibitions (The Combots Cup, Robogames, private corporate events) combine the excitement of extreme sports events with the solid foundation of engineering and art.
Now in its fourth year, Combots LLC continues to foster associations with entities such as NASA Ames Research, Federation International Robotsoccer Association (FIRA), Carnegie Mellon University, San Francisco State University, The Robotics Society of America, The X Cup, and a variety of other national and international associations and institutions of higher education.
Commercial partnerships include O’Reilly Media, Make Magazine, Hi-Tec USA, Fujitsu, Servo Magazine, Parallax Electronics, Wowee, The Flaming Lotus Girls, TechShop, and Burning Art Inc.
Simone is also a contributor to Gridskipper, the urban travel guide.
Read her blog! Check out RoboGames.