Team Fatcats Robot History
We began our journey into the world of Battlebots and Antweights back in May, 2001, when we built our first rather crude robot, Sledge-Jammer. We purchased wheel chair motors, gearboxes and wheels from NPC, made a box out of thick plastic material we thought was Lexan (it was a cheap acrylic copy) and placed an 8-foot double-headed sledge hammer down the middle. We entered only Sledge-Jammer in Battlebots 3.0 and learned a lot!
After a "bye" in the first round, we faced a new robot, Bad Dog and Andy was well ahead in the battle when we learned how important it is to have your heavy batteries tied down really securely… during one of our big hits, one of our batteries dislodged and cut the circuits to the motors. Bot dead. End of first experience.
For the November, 2001 Battlebots 4.0 competition, we decided that if you're going to compete at Battlebots, you might as well have more than one robot in the field. We didn't have time to build a bot from scratch, so Andy found that the builders of "Patriot" were selling their robot on Ebay. We bid; we won; and rebuilt Patriot with new electronics and a sold aluminum shell which sported a spear on the back, and a fixed wedge in front. We named our new creation "Slap 'Em Silly" for no apparent reason. The results were amazing. We made it to the Quarter-Finals with this silly little wedge! For a full account of the blow-by-blow experience, here's my recap of the event. For downloadable videos of our appearances on Battlebots 4.0, click here. Sledge-Jammer didn't fair as well in 4.0. He lost when our opponent shattered the front of our "fake Lexan" body with machine-gun-like power and precision. Adios, Sledge-Jammer.
Next came Battlebots 5.0 in May, 2002. We figured if two robots were good, three
would be even better. We created
two more versions of Slap 'Em Silly, but with better motors, no chains in the
drive and better electronics. We took
one of them and made in the "new" Slap 'Em Silly lightweight. We took the old
Our new fascination with Antweight bots started when we entered the Sozbots 1.2 competition in Burbank in July, 2002. We entered two ants, Jimmy Crack Corn and SawsBot. They won a few, lost a few in the double-elimination. We've made improvements to both and they competed in both Steel Conflict in Pomona and BotBash in Phoenix.
Andy REALLY did well at Bot Bash… his antweight, Jimmy Crack Corn, had an amazing run of success going all the way to the Championship match. He lost the First Place prize in a very close split decision to veteran bot-builder Jason Bardis.
The Antweight competitions continued with a fun event in San Francisco in December of 2002, right in our own back yard. Andy did quite well with Jimmy Crack Corn, and because Jimmy had placed in a number of competitions, it was ranked the No. 1 Antweight by Sozbots rankings for several months.
In February, 2003 we had our best success of any event. We placed three robots first or second in three weight classes. Slap ‘Em Silly won second place in the lightweight division; a new 12-lb bot we created, “Pushy Bots Still Rule” (P.B.S.R.) won first place; and Angry Dustpan placed second in the Antweight class. All three of these bots therefore qualified for the Triangle Series Nationals to be held in Minnesota during the summer of 2003.