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    We Went Behind The Scenes Of Battlebots And Some Of These Robots Are Insane

    It was pretty cool.

    If you don't already know, Battlebots is a robot competition where people design and operate remote-controlled machines, then compete against each other in an arena-style combat tournament.

    Twitter: @BattleBots

    The competition series is a show that airs on the Discovery Network and the Science Channel.

    And kids love 'em. So, I took my nine-year-old son behind the scenes to see what it was all about.

    Torres / BuzzFeed

    After spending months building their robots, people travel across the world to compete in these tournaments.

    Torres / BuzzFeed

    Ray Billings is the builder and driver for Tombstone – last year's Battlebot champion. "I’ve built a lot of different versions of this over the years. I can build one from scratch over four or five months probably. It’s done in my spare time, so it depends on how much time I sink into doing it," Billings told BuzzFeed.

    Each robot is built differently, with innovative ideas on how to outlast their opponents.

    Torres / BuzzFeed,

    Andrea Suarez and her team built the bot called Witch Doctor. Suarez told BuzzFeed, "The biggest struggle is that nothing is designed to be put into fighting robots. So anything you buy off the shelf needs to be modified – we call it battle hardening." The team is located in Miami and they have a maker's space where kids can show up and learn how to build robots on a smaller scale.

    Brent Rycker is a machinist and mechanic for the bot called Gigabyte. He said, "The electronics can fail a lot from shock. It’s extremely challenging, so we actually have an electrical engineer that made our own motor controller."

    Torres / BuzzFeed

    Before the competition, teams spend hours testing and driving their bots to make sure they are ready.

    Torres / BuzzFeed

    And each bot has a unique name decided on by their teams.

    Torres / BuzzFeed

    Donald Huston and his team named their bot Lock-Jaw. Huston told BuzzFeed, "Lock-jaw is something you get from a rusty nail and you have to get tetanus. I thought it was really funny that it’s a rusty, deadly robot. A lot of my robots over the years had jaws on them."

    When the bots enter the arena, usually one to two people from each team are designated to operate the machine against the other bot.


    "It’s just like any battle, you make a plan, but as soon as the match starts, that can all go out the window," Andrea Suarez from Witch Doctor said.

    And – in a matter of minutes – it can be the end of all their hard work.

    But, after each battle, the creators walk away learning something new and it helps them build a better machine for the next competition.

    Torres / BuzzFeed

    Ray Billings from Tombstone said, "There’s all kind of skills you learn. There’s a lot of engineering that you wouldn’t learn in any other way. If you do engineering elsewhere, you could design a bridge and you might not find out you screwed up for ten years. This sort of engineering, you find out in ten minutes."

    The new season of Battlebots airs on Friday on the Discovery Network and next Wednesday on the Science Channel.