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The most prestigious awards in robot combat!

The most prestigious awards in robot combat!

Last year I wrote this goofy ass article that bookended my coverage of BattleBots’ sixth season by giving out a bunch of sarcastic “awards” dubbed the Giant Washer. This is because BattleBots holds the monopoly on the Giant Nut and Giant Bolt, and the “Giant Screw” is a colloquial award given out amongst the robot combat community itself. I also primed the joke further by saying other events kept up the spirit of the “Giant ______” name by designing their trophies around other kinds of hardware. Basically the punchline is that I settled on Giant Washers because “everything else was taken”. HA! Anyways, season six’s Giant Washer Awards article became a real hit with the community and throughout this past season there was one question that came my way more often than all the others:

“Will you be giving out Giant Washers for this year?”

Yes. Yes I will. Ladies and gentlemen, and gentlemen who think they are ladies, and ladies who think they are gentlemen… your 2016 Giant Washer Award recipients.


Joby, “The Hype Man”

I gave Joby mad kudos in the “event report” article I posted earlier this year, but I feel like this year’s “Best Robot” award has got to be his as well. ABC enlisted the help of a company called On Camera Audiences to manage seating and crowd control at the taping of this season and spearheading the whole thing was this irrationally exuberant Englishman whose energy level was perpetually at 11 literally for the entire goddamned week. Normally the “everybody clap your hands” guy is cringey as fuck in everything ranging from truck rallies to pep rallies, but this unnamed bottle of nitroglycerin was genuinely good at his job. Even though the house music consisted of like 11 songs that had just recently outlived their popularity (“Uptown Funk” et al.) his enthusiasm for Bruno fucking Mars didn’t go unappreciated.

Plus there was the time when they accidentally played the explicit version of a shitty Britney Spears song and the hype guy apologized profusely for the “naughty word”. Never in my lifetime did I ever expect someone to apologize to me for playing Britney Spears.



bbs7gwa_mikeI came here to see fighting robots so imagine my surprise when I run into Rocco from Mega64 of all people! Apparently for their latest “trolling people in real life by acting like a video game” skit they put together the robot Bombshell and wheeled it into the competition. Bombshell ended up becoming the runner-up of the whole damn show and I’m not certain if this was in their script or not. Regardless, I’m on the fence about how I feel about this particular episode (which has yet to be posted on their YouTube channel). I mean, running around dressed up as a Tetris block is funny, and harassing people at the grocery store while acting like the merchant from Resident Evil 4 is hilarious… but I don’t know how to interpret this latest stunt. Did anyone really get fooled? What was the prank? What game were they supposed to be imitating, Robot Arena 3? If that’s the case how come their robot didn’t sink through the floor?


Clockwork L’Orange

bbs7gwa_clockworkRay, I like your robots. I realize that I’ve unintentionally made Abbatoir and your team into memes but I can promise you it happened under the most genuine and endearing of circumstances. I want to see you win a fight. I actually made a huge ass sign for Clockwork L’Orange and I waited with bated breath during the taping of the preliminary rounds for the moment when the guys in control of the monitors would bring up your steampunk disaster of a robot. I was not aware at the time that Clockwork L’Orange arrived unfinished, an issue which was then followed up by the hotel locking Ray out of his room by suspending his hotel keys. Real talk, that’s kind of shitty for them to do that. I don’t have the full scoop but I’ve got to be honest here, considering the whole “Team Wetware curse” I’m not completely surprised that Clockwork L’Orange blew up on its launchpad in such a spectacular fashion.

Assuming ABC hasn’t permanently blacklisted you from ever entering another tournament again, I look forward to seeing Abbatoir II in 2017. For real.



bbs7gwa_moebiusteamLook, don’t get me wrong or anything but I have no issue with showboating and having a fun gimmick for your robot and team. Look at the Disk O’Inferno chucklefucks. Moebius’ builders dressed like they just came back from a convention for the oft forgotten Nintendo 64 game Shadowman, and that’s cool I guess. What I wasn’t ready for however was a 45 minute Rob Zombie cover band tribute the first time Moebius came out of the arena entrance arch. I knew something was fishy when I heard someone wailing on a guitar after Farooq yelled “MOEBIUS”, and I knew something was definitely wrong for sure when we were 20 minutes into the longest fucking cover of “Superbeast” that I’ve ever fucking heard in my entire life. I wished the end was nigh.



bbs7e7_rakekiss“The Rake” has become a staple of BattleBots history by this point. I don’t even need to provide the backstory here, all I need to say is “rake” and you’re able to picture the entire scene of Hypershock yanking Warrior Clan’s drone out of the sky and blowing it to kingdom goddamned come. Whatever your rake viewpoint is, you cannot deny that Will Bales’ stroke of genius is an act that expertly demonstrates the level of ingenuity that goes into this sport. It’s also a brilliant example of keeping it simple. Sure, Will could’ve 3D-printed out some dumbass hook or whatever, but he knew how to best spend his time in the pits; a literal goddamned rake was the cheaper and most practical solution, and it worked.

Speaking of solutions, there was enough salty tears coming from Whyachi fanboys to fill a fucking Olympic pool after that fight. Best of all, the water wouldn’t have been green, either. I bet you thought we were past shitty stabs at the Olympics. You thought wrong.


Preying Mantis

bbs7gwa_mantisI actually saw Preying Mantis hanging out in the pits during one of the times when I was back there goofing off. At the time, nobody knew that Preying Mantis was a competitor let alone that’s what its name was. The party I was with took a look at Preying Mantis for a while and because its team wasn’t present we were left to our own devices to try and make heads or tails of whatever the fuck we were looking at. Honestly, it looked like a custom-built motorcycle that was missing its wheels (perhaps for shipping purposes?) and this was brought in by a sponsor or one of the teams who wanted to show off some non-combat engineering. This was the headcanon we’d concocted for this thing and it sounded completely plausible to us. This was a motorcycle, and we went about our business.

Turns out it’s not a motorcycle, it was a fucking walker bot without an active weapon. Whoops.


The Green Square

bbs7e1_lycanChris, Kenny, and Feruke kept referring to this “green square” every time there was a rumble, but in reality there was nothing painted on the floor. The “green square” was just this gross aqua spotlight that was blasted onto the arena floor across from where the driver box is. Kenny finally got it right in the final episode of the show when Wrecks couldn’t manage to stay in its goddamned starting position, but throughout the show it was a “square”. They even went through the trouble of trying to make it seem like there was a green square “ready button” and everything by showing us Wrecks’ driver and playing some sound effects. Dude, we can see his fucking hands. One of them is holding his transmitter and the other one is giving a thumbs up. Also I didn’t mean for that to sound like an Alanis Morissette lyric, it just came out that way. Isn’t that ironic?

Next time, for ABC’s third season, maybe just paint an actual green square over there? If you’re worried about it looking like shit then stick a yellow square opposite it to balance things out. This will also serve the important purpose of moving towards having rumbles that aren’t lame.


Red Devil (a.k.a. HyperActive)

bbs7ex1_reddevilJerome Miles’ incredibly intricate (and award-winning) design Red Devil wasn’t always named as such. Originally the team’s Facebook page billed it as the latest iteration of “HyperActive” and we just ran with it up until just before the event when it was retconned into “Red Devil”. Nobody really knows why this was done, though it was suggested that it may have been because it was too close to Hypershock and it may have confused people. Yeah, if those people are idiots. However considering this show is airing on a station that also runs America’s Got Talent — which recently picked some ukulele-playing Kermit the Frog sounding girl with bad teeth as its winner — that is a viable excuse. Now if only Christian Carlberg would retire Overdrive and bring back Minion I can finally stop confusing his robot with Overhaul.

[Editor’s Note: I’ve been informed that America’s Got Talent runs on NBC, not ABC. Still, that burn I wrote is absolute fire and I refuse to take it down.]


Escape Velocity

bbs7gwa_evteamSpeaking of Christian Carlberg, let’s talk about Escape Velocity. I billed this robot as one of my top favorites for the competition which apparently earned me a lot of weird looks from the community because they ended up being seeded 32nd. We’ve already had that conversation here, but in short fuck whatever “seeding criteria” the judges use because it’s wrong. These are the same people who’ve been trained to only look for PRIMARY WEAPONS and nothing else so they’re a lost cause as far as I’m concerned.

Escape Velocity’s team dressed like your standard pencil-necked geeks from the 1960’s, but that’s not why they’ve won this award. This Washer goes to this team because of how perfectly they matched the broken system that is the American government. When Escape Velocity was first wheeled out to face Overdrive the team couldn’t get their spinner to work, so the robots had to be taken back to the pits and the battle postponed, wasting everyone’s goddamned time. Then, once the battle finally got to happen the spinner blew itself to pieces while the flipper just cruised around. No cohesion whatsoever, plus a spectacular failure right off the launch pad. They couldn’t have done this any better if they tried.


Chrome Fly

bbs7gwa_chromeflyGood ol’ Chrome Fly, the robot everyone loves to hate. After seeing this robot fight I can understand why people didn’t like it (sort of), but I still don’t “get” the hate in general. Did the builder talk about how much he idolizes Hitler or something and I just missed it? Whatever the case is, Chrome Fly rolled into the contest looking like a souped up 13 Black from Robot Wars with its twin spinning blades and subsequently exited in a dumpster. Chrome Fly’s match against Bucktooth Burl didn’t make it to TV, thank god, but during this battle the robot still managed to provide one of the best moments of the entire event. When Chrome Fly and Bucktooth Burl met weapon to weapon, Chrome Fly’s front blade literally fucking exploded; it split into two parts, each one travelling fuck knows how fast in opposite directions, and managed to shoot clear through the protective covering on one of the white LED lighting arrays along the wall, the LED light array, and embed itself into the fucking Battlebox wall.

It sounded like a bomb went off in the middle of the arena, and that is not an exaggeration.


BattleBots Update

bbs7gwa_catsignHey, would you look at that! I win an award too! I had cameras focused my way pretty regularly throughout the season and a number of goofy signs I made ended up being featured on the show, but none were better than the “SABERTOOTH CAT” sign that I managed to weasel into view during Ghost Raptor’s very first introduction.

I put a meme on TV. On national TV, actually. Seen by literal millions of people. That’s the high point of my life, I guess.



bbs7gwa_ultraviolentThe only non-wildcard to end this season with two losses, Ultraviolent had every opportunity to make it pretty far into the tournament and failed spectacularly. I wouldn’t say this robot was Giant Nut material, but we’re talking maybe “quarterfinals material” at best. The reason Ultraviolent wins this award is because of its ridiculous wheel lights. They didn’t do much of anything because they ended up not working, but they were supposed to change color based upon how the robot was “feeling” in the middle of matches. You may recall Lisa Winter’s Plan X did this stupid gimmick last year with “the brain” which of course did fuck all just like Ultraviolent’s tires. The whole gimmick is stupid. You have eyes, those should be good enough indicators of how your robot is “feeling”.

I don’t know what Ultraviolent was measuring with whatever gizmos it had connected to its wheels but whatever it was didn’t do anything, even as both Son of Whyachi and Hypershock took turns turning robot’s asshole into a twisty pretzel.



bbs7e9_wrecksLots of teams bought all sorts of swag with them to give out to fans in the audience for the purposes of helping cheer them on during their fights and introductions. Most teams either had shirts or stickers, but Wrecks’ team takes the cake for their freebie which was a foam frisbee cut out in the shape of Wrecks’ weapon. It was easily the coolest thing handed out and you can sometimes see one in the background of the pit area because the team had a foam disc propped up on a pole that slowly spun around. Out of all the neat stuff given away at the event I wanted one of these… and I didn’t get one. 🙁


The Arena Entry Lights

The role the hazards play in BattleBots is one of the most important in the sport, it’s what sets BattleBots (and Robot Wars) apart from other events that feature a clear arena. Hazards are there to impede competitors, force alternative strategies, and add an extra layer of danger to the battle. Judging under these criteria, the Giant Washer Award for “Best Hazard” goes to the strip of LED lights right outside the arena entrance gate that I swear to fucking god half of the teams tripped on. More people stepped on or accidentally kicked these lights, requiring a reshoot of their entrance, than there were instances where the Killsaws did a goddamned thing. Sometimes the producers didn’t even bother to reshoot an entrance because it became so commonplace. During one of Nightmare’s introductions Erica Smentowski tripped on a light strip and almost fell down and rather than reshoot the intro — or ask if she was okay — the editors just cut away a split second after she almost goes down. Seriously, watch for it. It’s kind of fucked up.



bbs7gwa_mohawkDepending upon your feelings toward this robot Mohawk either won its qualifying rumble by demonstrating exemplary strategy or by simply waiting for Invader and Lycan to kill themselves before taking a free win. In any case, out of all of the robots bringing flamethrowers to this event — which is an uncomfortably high number, trust me — the award for “Best Fire Effect” goes to everybody’s nobody’s favorite Korey Kline machine. After Mohawk’s qualifying rumble Korey mentioned his robot’s “nice fire effects”, a treat which the team was eager to show off in its match against reigning champion Bite Force wherein Mohawk tried to light its, uh, mohawk on fire and succeeded only in blowing the fuck up. Twice. Moments before their match started (during the “robots activate” bit) Mohawk went up in flames but not in a good way causing its rubber gasket to shit out of its neck and stop halfway up the mohawk. At least when Blacksmith explodes it does so with emotion and not the bowel urgency of eating Taco Bell.


Complete Control

bbs7e5_completecontrolfireDerek Young has come a long way in BattleBots. He was the first ever middleweight champion and although he never quite reached that level of success again his robots constantly pushed the envelope when it came to engineering. Pressure Drop was a complete waste of time but god damn was that thing still cool as hell. Complete Control basically created and defined the “grappler”, the move that likely got Kenny Florian to host this fucking show. Complete Control became Derek’s mainstay and it was great to see the robot return as a heavyweight. Sadly, this past season would be his last. A lot’s happened in the 17 years since he joined BattleBots with Son of Smashy. The guy has a family now and has just welcomed in his second child. Derek’s team announced on Reddit that they would be retiring from the sport.

But let’s look at how Complete Control went out. People like to throw around the phrase “blaze of glory”, well here’s the literal fucking interpretation of it. Complete Control turned into a burning bonfire as Warhead shredded it to pieces and was finally KO’ed after Warhead propped itself up on its weapon, skidded across the arena, and landed the coup de grace. God damn. What a way to go out. Complete Control made BattleBots history in its TV debut against Super Chiabot by lifting its opponent completely perpendicular to the floor, and now it’s gone out as BattleBots history via Warhead as well.

Thank you for everything, Derek.


Chuck Pitzer

bbs7e1_sabertoothcatWhen I (re)started this website last year I didn’t expect it to grow into the beast that it is today. I wasn’t aware that someday the words I wrote on this web zone would be responsible for creating “memes”. I am/was just a small-time humorist whose sense of humor and style don’t immediately lend themselves very well to a lot of things, so I was extremely surprised to see The Update take off as well as it did. Most people know that this is all a purposefully exaggerated farce just for the sake of cheap laughs, but really what comforts me more than anything is when the builders and teams are “in” on the joke. Especially when I’ve unintentionally made their pieces of engineering into punchlines.

Enter Chuck Pitzer, builder of the legendary Ghost “Sabertooth Cat” Raptor. Arguably the first meme ever churned out by this website. Up to and including the moment when I photobombed this man on national fucking television I had no idea how he actually felt about the sabertooth cat catchphrase. When I said “he could kick me in the face via email” I meant it. As it turns out, Chuck is not only aware of the joke but he’s in on it too. That’s a good thing, because a fan of BattleBots Update has built an antweight version of his robot and named it — you guessed it — Sabertooth Cat. I am so sorry.



Above: Greg tries to perform a Hadoken.

Yeti’s from Alaska, but that’s basically Canada. I mean, Alaska is just stuck right there on the end of it and yet Canada doesn’t own the territory. It’s like the United States is playing a game of Monopoly with our northern neighbors and we’re unwilling to give them the last property in the group because we don’t want them to build houses and hotels on it. That’s a good strategy too, by the way, because if you ever look at how much a property’s rent goes up when there’s a hotel on it you’ll shit your pants. Greg Gibson and his team are all comprised of copies of the same person: a husky white guy with a giant beard. Nobody noticed this. These men were on national goddamned television and not a single person was all “hey something seems a bit off here”. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.


The Bronco Boys

"I need to see controlled movement."

Sometimes it’s not the robot that needs an award, but the fans behind it. No matter how high the deck was stacked against them, “The Bronco Boys” never ceased their undying and potentially irrational love of a pneumatic flipper driven by two dudes who like to ruin fun by enjoying it in moderation only. Also, something about pissing off other builders by literally bringing two Broncos to the event. You’ll know when you come across one of The Boys because if their catchphrase “our Lord and Savior” doesn’t hit you first then their alternate meme “B R O N C O B O Y S” surely will, likely because the latter also has another iteration that takes up ten fucking lines of text. Bronco’s road to the Giant Nut was relatively easy until they advanced to battle Minotaur which ended up being a total shitfest of a fight where Bronco managed to lose not just one or two tires, but all fucking six of them.

And yet, The Boys cheered on nonetheless. Godspeed you crazy bastards.



bbs7e1_skorpiosYou might be wondering why I’m giving this award to a driver who TKO’d themselves in mere seconds. If that’s the case, I question how you’ve made it this far into BattleBots Update because none of these awards mean a goddamned thing. Skorpios is like a shittier version of Sawblaze. Or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case, this is a robot built by Orion Beach who was formerly a part of the Wrecks team last year. He bounced because let’s face it no one wants to be associated with that for more than one season. Once is an accident, twice and you’ll never shake that cred penalty. Orion’s pride and joy had to begin its quest in one of the four qualification rumbles this year where it faced off against Bad Kitty and Black Ice. I say “faced off” but what I really meant was “drove into the screws, got stuck, and died”. Congratulations my man, you drove this thing like it was one of the “loaner bots” from fucking Robot Wars.


Ghost Raptor

bbs7e5_ghostraptorflipI know why Ghost Raptor received a wildcard this year. I think we all do; it’s because last year the robot reached the semifinals. Granted, it did so without an active weapon, but one of the criteria the judges look at when choosing wildcards is a robot’s past performance. Ghost Raptor was absolutely trashed in its qualifying round against Son of Whyachi. According to Chuck Pitzer his robot had its ass handed to it so badly that the chassis literally broke completely in fucking half. Son of Whyachi isn’t invincible by any means, because Poison Arrow sank that stupid thing in a single blow, but when you get wrecked so savagely that it causes robots on the other side of the bracket to stop working I think it’s time to call it quits.

I don’t know what Ghost Raptor’s design is trying to be. I “get” that it’s a helicopter that can tilt, but I guess the bigger question is “why”? Especially considering Chuck has built much more formidable iterations in the “Raptor” lineage. You’re making Tripulta Raptor look good by comparison, dude.


Ultimo Destructo

bbs7gwa_ultimodestructoI don’t want to say I “never liked” Techno Destructo, but I guess a more honest way of putting it is that I never really understood its design. Namely the wheelbase. Why is it so goddamned huge? Why was this robot’s wheelbase so massive, and why were its wheels hilariously wide as well? The whole thing looked like someone cut a go kart in half and stuck a shitty flipping arm onto it. Unless you’re making a speedbump there’s no reason I can think of for building a robot that’s wider than it is long. Regardless, I’m always a sucker for seeing veteran competitors make a comeback so when I heard that Techno Destructo was returning with a new design that featured multiple weapons I was eager to see it in action. Sean Irwin, Techno’s builder, was super excited to show off his robot’s arsenal during a behind the scenes Periscope stream before the event. Despite his robot still having “stupid wheels” I was somewhat optimistic.

Fuck me, right? The new Ultimo Destructo’s first fight was against The Ringmaster, a complicated ring spinner that wasn’t even fully functional for this fight, and the stupid thing still lost. This robot is as big as a fucking soda machine and Sean somehow still connected with its opponent using one of his robot’s wheels. The first hit popped a chain and since Ultimo Destructo was apparently built out of silly putty the whole thing was a total loss.


All of them.

bbs7e9_dronecrashHere’s a thought. Call me crazy or whatever, but let’s not use drones next season? Or in fact, let’s not use drones literally ever again? Not a single drone did anything of substance or merit this season. They served the annoying purpose of filling up screen time and cutting away from the actual battle at hand so we could see some pissant shitty off-the-shelf drone with a Coleman camping torch stapled onto it shart out some ineffective fire and crash into the goddamned wall. I’ve got the page of season two competitors pulled up right now, I’m going to go down the list and itemize why these things are fucking cancer.

  • Basilisk: Hosts played up the drone’s drill. Did fuck all and ended up getting smashed by Blacksmith.
  • Bombshell: Drone came out for a single fight, crashed into the wall, and we never saw it again.
  • Chrome Fly: Dropped a weapon onto Bucktooth Burl, didn’t work. Tried the same against Bronco, didn’t work.
  • Poison Arrow: Spit out a lot of flames, potentially caused minor damage to Mega Tento, but still did nothing.
  • SubZero: Brought a drone, didn’t even fucking use it.
  • Warrior Clan: THE RAKE.



bbs7gwa_spicyboyEven though I affectionately referred to it as “spicy boy”, Stinger’s mostly useless minibot wins this award for falling apart immediately and failing to live up to its sole purpose of embedding itself in Mega Tento’s throat and self-detonating. Matt Maxham’s Stinger is normally a robot that can hold its own and I’m not sure why he felt the need to enter this fight toting what amounted to a can of butane with wheels that he snipped the tip off of and lit on fire. For better or worse (hint: worse) Stinger’s “fire ant” managed to lose all of its wheels within seconds after being run over by every bot in the fucking arena, including Stinger. Tsk tsk.


Son of Whyachi (vs. Creepy Crawlies & Ultraviolent)

bbs7e5_sonofwhyachiMy inner cynic is sometimes very hard to contain (surprising, I know!) so when I saw that former champion Son of Whyachi was forced to participate in a “qualification rumble” I knew something was awry. Furthermore, they pitted the champ against five lightweights and an otherwise unmentionable robot with a lot of pretty lights and moving parts? This is supposed to be a “random” selection? This shit doesn’t add up, plain and simple. I refuse to believe this match was drawn at random because it seems too good to be true, Son of Whyachi versus six cannon fodder opponents. For fuck’s sake Whyachi’s goddamnd weapon alone is twice the weight of each of the Creepy Crawlies. There was literally no way that multibot stood a fucking chance.

Why did Son of Whyachi get the “qualification” treatment by the way? If Mohawk was demoted to the pre-preliminaries for being a piece of shit then surely Warrior Clan would’ve been better off receiving the same treatment, no?


Mega Tento (vs. Stinger)

bbs7e6_tentofireI like Lisa Winter. (No, not in that way you sick fucks.) I don’t like Tentomushi, however. Ever since the robot competed as a lightweight and was rammed down our collective throats with appearances on The Tonight Show and getting lots of unwarranted exposure it always came off as a robot that photographed nicely that we were “supposed” to like even though it generally sucked in the arena. Mega Tento, Lisa’s roid rage counterpart to her original lightweight, is no different. I get the idea behind the robot, but if you’re going to build something whose intent is to control other robots why the fuck did you build it with the weakest fucking drive system on the planet? Mega Tento’s match against Poison Arrow was a lot closer than its fight against Stinger, in my opinion, and I don’t mean that in Mega Tento’s favor when it comes to its battle against Stinger. “Oh, but Stinger lost a wheel Draco!” Fuck that, Stinger has SIX fucking wheels. Much like Bronco, the robot is built to be able to lose a couple and still fight.



bbs7gwa_shamanLast season Shaman went from zero to hero in seconds by relentlessly bullying opponents eight times its own weight. You may also recall Shaman’s time to shine last season when it blew chunks on Bronco’s dick. This season Shaman returned as Witch Doctor’s counterpart toting a brand new flamethrower capable of shooting out spooky green flames. I don’t know what additive was put into Shaman’s fuel to make it do that, but whatever it was left scorch marks all over the Battlebox like someone made a Back to the Future reboot with Michael J. Fox and the DeLorean just started having a Parkinson’s fit all over the fucking floor. For all the ooh and aah commanded by Shaman’s flamethrower however, it never got to really do anything. In fact, Shaman’s best showing was when it inadvertently blew up when Witch Doctor accidentally clipped it during its rumble and sent its Scooby Doo fire toy straight to hell (and an early retirement).


Bucktooth Burl

bbs7gwa_bucktoothburlFat suits are a thing in the furry fandom. I am deeply sorry if this is trivia that you are learning from me. Bucktooth Burl’s gimmick is that it’s Canadian and because it’s an animal that means it has to be a beaver. Really the whole damned team is just one big Canadian joke because they named themselves “Eh”. Getting back to the matter at hand, Bucktooth Burl came into the arena dressed in a special furry cover that doubled as its “peace mod” in the pits. This special cover was a giant furry fat suit. Gross. At least the recipient of this year’s “Worst Fursuit” award is a clean-looking suit, I shudder to think about Bulldog’s nasty ass haggard fucksuit mess from last year. That’s a fursuit that has semen stains on it, guaranteed. The worst stain on Burl would, I don’t know, be fucking maple syrup or something because “LOL CANADA”.


This One

bbs7gwa_alisonGod damn, girl. Seriously. Where the fuck did this wardrobe disaster even come from? Was this someone’s way of putting in their two week’s notice? What in god’s name are you wearing? For fuck’s sake it looks like you’re cosplaying as a 2980’s version of fucking Thriller. Take that shit off, fix your hair, and go back to some normal clothes.



Rob Masek

bbs7gwa_robHey, let’s talk about “LOL CANADA” again. Specifically, just “CANADA!”. This was the catchphrase of Rob Masek, builder of the robot Lucky… who was actually entered as “Lucky Canucky” but ended up being shortened to just “Lucky” presumably once Rob realized there was already someone else at the event whose goddamned gimmick was “lel we’re from cananananada”. You see, that would be fine and dandy and all but Rob isn’t actually from Canada. He’s from New Hampshire. While that’s certainly close to Canada it’s not “close enough” in the same vein as Yeti whose team won the Giant Washer for “Best Canadians”. Geographically the states aren’t the same, and Rob while I share your personal embarrassment over this fucking country my only advice to you is to take it in stride. We’re gonna build that wall and Make America Great Again, just you watch.



bbs7e2_chomphitThis is a meme that I wish didn’t need to exist. I really wish I understood more about the BattleBots production process because the phrase “PRIMARY WEAPON” didn’t start to gain traction until after Chomp’s fight against Disk O’Inferno where Chomp ended up being dominated, but not by its opponent’s primary weapon, and still won the fight. This created a fucking salt tornado that I’m 100% positive made landfall at BattleBots HQ because afterward Chris and Kenny started saying “primary weapon” a hell of a lot more often. The term became this season’s “jam up” except rather than be a silly endearing catchphrase “PRIMARY WEAPON” ended up being this fucking monster of spite and hatred toward whatever stupid ass “criteria” the “judges” used to decide winners with. Real talk, Disk O’Inferno won that fight. It was not a glamorous win, but it was a win that I felt they earned. A secondary weapon is still a weapon you dickheads. I hope to god that this isn’t a thing next year. This meme needs to die right now.


Road Rash

bbs7gwa_roadrashBuilt by Dane Kouttron, the “D” from last year’s Team JACD, Road Rash is the fourth MIT robot that I previously said got the “Ringo Starr” treatment of the group. Really that’s probably a mistake because at least Ringo Starr was a part of the actual Beatles and has probably made more money than the entire GDP of fucking Africa. What I should’ve said is “Road Rash is the Pete Best of the MIT robots”. Who is Pete Best? Exactly. Overhaul, I guess, was last year’s “dream team” if the producers of this show are to be believed. However when Team JACD split airtime was given to Overhaul, Brutus, and Sawblaze… but Road Rash didn’t even get a passing mention. The robot didn’t get to compete in the main tournament but did show up for the “MIT rumble” where Road Rash managed to blow up near the Killsaws and get flipped over and die all in the course of about ten seconds. Fantastic work, mate. I feel like I could go to MIT.


Magnetic Barrier (Black Ice)

bbs7gwa_barrierBlack Ice was one of my favorites this year because in a sea of over-engineered garbage seeing something that I’d build with my dad in his garage was refreshing. Seeing it win a fight — a rumble at that — was even better. Though, since the “preliminary rumbles” were basically traps unless you were drawn to fight Ghost Raptor, Black Ice was sadly destined to lose. While most of you are probably laughing at Black Ice’s completely ineffectual “blades”, I’ve chosen the road less traveled in the form of its magnetic barrier attachment that it dropped onto the arena during its rumble. I don’t understand how this worked, period. How did they disconnect it from Black Ice? If it’s only a few pounds in weight how is it going to stop a 250-pound machine moving several miles per hour? Really in the grand scheme of things the barrier managed only to get in the way of Bad Kitty’s shitty minibot before the much larger bots knocked it away. Just like its fabled spear gun, we may never truly know the mysteries behind Black Ice’s fridge magnet of death.


Bite Force

bbs7e8_chomphitPaul, please tell me you didn’t actually overnight four fucking E-Tek motors before your fight against Chomp. Seriously hearing you say that on TV caused a sharp pain on my ass cheek where my wallet usually sits. Fuck dude, those things are like $600 a pop, and speaking of pops Chomp fucked up the E-Tek you ended up getting anyways! I just can’t stop thinking about the level of buyer’s remorse that comes with buying four fucking E-Teks only to realize you only needed one of them. I guess you have enough of them now to make Bite Force 3.0 the scariest goddamned thing on the planet. You can basically build something that looks like a Sarlacc pit turned inside out, which would be the most metal thing ever. Seriously, do it.


Bobak Ferdowsi

bbs7gwa_bobakI gave this guy the award for “Best Disappearing Act” last year but now I feel bad about it. Bobo, I miss you. It’s bullshit that his segments were cut from the show last season and it’s even worse this season that there simply wasn’t a technical correspondent on the show period. Adam Savage was clearly willing to be a guest judge, now that Mythbusters has been cancelled I’m sure this guy would’ve loved to get back into something he was formerly involved with before he sold his soul to Discovery Channel. No matter how much the producers try to spin this as some shitty reality TV event BattleBots is first and foremost about engineering and technology. It’s not just important that we have someone like Bill Nye on the show, it’s fucking mandatory. I don’t care about someone wanting to be the first female to win BattleBots or hearing someone’s life story about how privileged they are to be able to go to M.I. fucking T, I want to have someone smart tell me how Chomp’s hammer works and tell me how powerful it is without using the phrase “titanium steel”.


The Disk O’Inferno

bbs7e2_diskoinfernoJason, I get what you’re doing here. The problem is that it’s so not an original idea that you might as well just go fuck yourself forever. The robot itself isn’t bad, just the name. I know that every Infernolab robot has to have “Inferno” in its name, that’s your gimmick, but the “technicality” aspect of Disk O’Inferno just screams cheap. I’m assuming that “Disco Inferno” outright was off the table as a possible name because Atlantic Records would’ve raped ABC for licensing fees because of that stupid song. Clever workaround nonetheless; that’s right up there with the guys from Robot Wars who named their machine “Disc-O-Inferno”. Still a stupid ass name.

What’s the harm in trying “Disco Inferno” anyways? I mean, you got away with naming your old heavyweight robot Towering Inferno which was some shitty 70’s movie and nobody cared about that. Probably because you gave that robot triangular wheels.



bbs7gwa_overhaulteamI’m thinking Overhaul might be the “new Beta” in terms of just having otherwise shitty luck. Sure, the robot keeps getting wildcards, but last year they were slammed around after the buzzer by an over-eager Lock-Jaw and they were the only team whose robot got stuck under the virtually nonexistent fucking Hellraisers. This year according to Charles Guan, Overhaul was KO’d against Cobalt because a set screw got stuck in the robot’s drivetrain. There’s such an astronomically low chance of that happening that it’s gotta be either bad karma or bad luck. Finally, in one of the greatest “one in a million” blows landed this season, Beta struck Overhaul directly on its little radio receiver box and smashed the shit out of it. I think with that crippling blow Beta may have actually rubbed its curse off on the anime robot officially, which is fucked up because Overhaul is by no means the worst robot in the competition. Next season expect a forfeit withdrawal when Charles forgets to bring his IDOLM@STER Blu-ray’s to watch between fights.


Photon Storm

bbs7gwa_photonhitWe had quite a few international competitors coming over from post-Brexit United Kingdom where Robot Wars and Roaming Robots have been in full force for quite some time. We had Beta, Creepy Crawlies, Warhead, and even Cobalt — Robot Wars finalist “Carbide” with a shittier Scotland-themed paint job. Also hailing from across the pond was Photon Storm from Team Storm. Photon Storm may have had an unlucky draw to fight Minotaur in the qualification rounds, because god damn was that one hell of a knock out, but that fight could’ve gone so much differently if Team Storm had just fucking brought Storm 2 with them instead of this dumbass Razer clone all gussied up like a fucking chicken. Storm 2 was an incredibly successful rambot that the Robot Wars producers hated so much that they conspired to try and get rid of it all the way up to the Grand Finals where a win was given to Typhoon simply because of some bizarre irrational hatred of this robot. Sounds like a pretty fucking solid contender to me. Next time don’t bullshit around with Me Too Razer.


Clark Gregg

bbs7e1_endofarticlelmao “there was whyachi and now the son of whyachi it’s the return of a legend”

Nigga don’t you pretend to be a superhero on TV or something for a living? With great power comes great responsibility, and with an out of place actor comes great spaghetti. Git gud.



Warrior Clan

bbs7gwa_warriorkidLast year when I gave this award out this kiddo looked a lot more jovial. I think I described him as “excited to get home to see the new episode of Spongebob Squarepants“. Well, now I don’t know how to spin this. I’m definitely not going to make fun of kids on this website, because I don’t have the same insecurities as Maddox, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look like someone or something pissed this kid right the hell off. Maybe he read my joke last year and was all “excuse me, I prefer Paw Patrol, motherfucker” and this glare he’s shooting is meant for me and not the wider BattleBots audience.

Or maybe he’s pissed off because sales of the Udder Gun are in the shitter this year. People just aren’t feeling the “teat belt” anymore, and ever since that one weirdo was caught masturbating* with one things haven’t been the same for Whyachi PR.

*I don’t know if this actually happened, but it seems absolutely plausible.


(no winner)




bbs7e2_icewavehitI like Icewave, and you should too. Like I mentioned in the article where I covered some of the battles that didn’t make it to air it’s really shitty that this robot was given the Judy Winslow treatment and was cast aside after literally helping float this show through its first ABC season. Icewave isn’t a shitty machine, at least when it’s not losing to Ghost Raptor. It’s untelevised battles weren’t even that bad, either. You motherfuckers really think we needed to see Obwalden Overlord get dragged all over the arena by a giant dinosaur? Actually, when I type that out it does sound pretty sweet. I stand corrected. Still, you guys couldn’t drop one of the umpteen thousand needless segments to instead roll that beautiful Icewave bean footage? For shame.

Marc, bring your robot back next year and win the whole tournament. Let ABC know they dun goofed and that the consequences will never be the same.



bbs7gwa_hellchopperHellachopper scares the hell out of me. You know who else was scared by this robot? The safety crew. Hellachopper failed to pass safety inspection because even though the Battlebox walls are what Instagram would call “thicc af”, they still weren’t thick enough to stop a potential failure of Hellachopper’s weapon which could’ve sent a sharpened titanium blade flying off at, oh, about four hundred and fifty fucking miles per hour. One of Hellachopper’s builders popped onto the /r/BattleBots Reddit community to explain their robot’s sad tale and elaborated “we assured the inspectors that the cables move so fast that the hammers would not wrap around anything like a tetherball, [but rather] essentially cut through anything”. These are the fucking cables that he’s talking about by the way, not the blades. The fucking cables. Moving fast enough to “cut through anything”. This is officially Hellraiser territory.

The team did their best to make Hellachopper safe for combat going as far as to rebuild the robot’s entire weapon gearbox — a full day’s work — to slow it the fuck down for their final chance at passing inspection. The safety officials required the robot to cover its hammers up with rags and when the weapon spun up to speed a rag came loose and was subsequently sucked back into the robot’s inner workings by the sheer force of wind generated by this fucking thing. The resulting entanglement caused Hellachopper’s electronics to fry and that pretty much sealed the deal for this one. Honestly, I’m just shocked. I mean, props to you guys for building something so fucking dangerous that the safety crew was like “this robot is bad ass, but it’s not ‘$20 million lawsuit bad ass'”.


Disk O’Inferno

bbs7gwa_diskoteamSince Radioactive isn’t here to win this award again, I guess Jason Bardis gets to bask in the VIP lounge of builders who’ve won not just a Giant Washer Award, but TWO awards in the same year because holy shit look at these guys. I love the 70’s disco/retro gimmick going on with this robot but if you’re going to go full on Saturday Night Fever then god damn it you better commit to it. Jason was the only person on the team even trying to disco dance. What’s the deal with the other three chumps? Are you afraid to look like idiots on national television? Jesus fucking Christ have you seen the robot you brought? By leaving Jason to do his own thing the rest of the team just look like a bunch of jabronies too modest to have a little fun.

Also, Super Mario over there on the left isn’t even wearing a real tuxedo. That’s a fucking shirt from Hot Topic.


Bad Kitty

bbs7gwa_badkitty2Look at this artwork. Look at this fucking artwork and tell me with a straight face “no one on Team Think Tank has an account on FurAffinity”. You can’t. Thus far I’ve just been giving out furry awards as a joke because I think we all know that neither Bulldog nor Bucktooth Burl’s teams are secretly harboring a lolcow on their team, but this is the first time that notion is being challenged. This isn’t just a mean-looking cat, this is a full-on sultry anthropomorphic tiger cast in bright ass “suck your dick for $50 and anal is $100 extra” pink. The line between “mascot” and “furfag” is at least 20 miles behind Team Think Tank.

I’m not the only one who’s noticed this, either. A Bad Kitty “fan” left this comment on their official mascot art:

Do like this logo specially [sic] with that sexy tigress



Double Dutch

bbs7gwa_doubledutchI know what you’re about to ask so let me address this ahead of time. Double Dutch was a “not even an alternate” robot from this season that did not get to compete. Obviously. It was not selected for combat, however BattleBots phoned up Kevin Lung, Double Dutch’s builder, in February to ask if he had done anything with his robot design as he may have been considered as a “second alternate”. This unfortunately fell through. As it turns out, Kevin did end up building Double Dutch to near-completion at his own expense just in case.

This is where the problems arose. Kevin took to Reddit to post about his robot for the sake of showing off the fruits of his hard work on something that could’ve been. Rather than promote his robot on a high note, his comments were littered with a number of passive aggressive remarks toward other builders, such as:

[Double Dutch] has 36Hp driving two counter-rotating blades, and another 12Hp for an omni-directional drive train. For comparison, [Son of Whyachi] has 32hp on their spinner

Ringmaster is the only other entry I’ve seen using an omni-drive, but for some reason they oriented their wheels radially rather than tangentially, so they have no Yaw control. I’m sure Hal has his reasons.

I had provided very detailed renderings (sorry Zoe, you’re not the only one who includes Rx antennas and signal wires in the model)

Good luck to all the competitors who made it, but shame on any of you who replace your active or in some cases barely active weapons with plows and wedges whenever it suits you. You guys are all better than that and nothing is worse than seeing good engineering wasted on a push bot, unless of course your goal is to kill the show.

Look how upset MOE got over a bot with a similar weapon design beating him out for a spot.

a reminder to those 7(?) teams who failed to produce a working robot in time, that you squandered an opportunity that could have been realized by other competitors who were just as eager for the chance to compete (Bad Penny, Honest Abe, ME!, and many more).

All of these examples were fetched from a staggering TWO total comments. Like, dude, we get it. You didn’t get selected. Even though your robot is a special little snowflake it just wasn’t special enough. Big fucking deal. He later went on to say that he’d also given up on RoboGames, a popular alternative event held in California, to spend time with his daughter instead. The manner in which he chose to explain this basically used his own kid as an emotional bargaining chip I guess in an effort to make someone at BattleBots feel bad in the off chance that they read the comment.

Kevin also irrationally became upset with Zoe Stephenson, Chomp’s builder, because her robot was named “Chomp” and he had previously built a heavyweight in 2001 with the same name. This of course beckoned me to look this robot up wherein I discovered that Kevin’s Chomp fought exactly once and lost its only match to a shitty rammer named I-Beam… whose weapon was a literal construction beam bolted onto its chassis. Chomp’s weapons were a hammer and some jaws and it also featured omni-directional wheels which means that even in 2001 this fucking guy felt some level of entitlement with how “special” his robots were. His justification for being angry about this is that someone should’ve “remembered” it. Motherfucker, there were almost four hundred competitors in Season 3.0 alone. Do you really think someone is going to have remembered every single fucking robot, including some shitty one that lost its first fight to a fucking I-beam via KNOCK OUT?



bbs7e9_betaWho else was going to take this one, really? Beta has waited nearly a decade and a half to get into the Battlebox to pound some meat and this year was finally the year where it could. Fuck, 14 years is a long long time. In the United States that’s one run through the entire public schooling system plus preschool. Someone born in 2002, when Beta was built, has almost already grown up by now. That’s why when Beta first swung that hammer at Lucky and it connected, taking a piece of Lucky’s chassis off with it, everyone lost their shit and cheered like crazy. Beta had finally done it. Beta didn’t even need to win that fight to win this award. It didn’t even need to beat Overhaul and Nightmare and then the first robot this season to last the full 3 minutes against Tombstone either, but it did.



bbs7e1_invaderMeanwhile over on the opposite side of time itself is another robot who was going to win something for you-know-what. In BattleBots there are regulations in place so that robots can be remotely deactivated once a battle is over. I believe there is also some stipulation on “spin down” time for robots with spinning weapons, like Invader. I don’t know what the rules state exactly, but I’m like 90% sure “almost a fucking hour” isn’t listed as an acceptable spin down time. The issue here is that when Invader started hockey pucking around the arena like fucking crazy it shorted something out. This “something” prevented builder and driver John Mladenik from shutting his robot off. Instead, Trey Roski had to make the executive decision to just sit there and let Invader’s batteries run dry until its shell slowed down to an acceptable speed where it’d be safe to go in, stop it with a boot, and shut the robot off. At least we got to see some great spaghetti from that Clark Gregg guy while the producers scrambled to fill time.


Captain Shrederator

Captain Shrederator may not have won the Giant Nut, but god damn it Brian Nave did his best. At least the Captain was able to repel the invading forces of Australia before succumbing to the Tumblr-esque antics of Chomp, which I guess in a general sense is exactly where politically correct identity politics is taking this goddamned country as we speak. The war is not over yet. There is still much work that needs to be done. Someday, Captain Shrederator will return to Make America Great Again, but today is not that day.

Shrederator/Draco ’20 baybeeeee



bbs7gwa_minotaurDid you know that legendary fighting game tournament competitor Phillip “DarksydePhil” Burnell was once the “highest ranked” American Super Street Fighter II Turbo player in the world? Well, technically. If you look at the results of EVO 2005 Phil was 4th place behind three Japanese players… and he only made it that far by abusing a move with Vega that was specific to this shitty port of SSF2T that was being used for the tournament that year, and because most of the top players elected not to participate that year for that very reason. BUT STILL, that’s one hell of an achievement — I guess —  and by uppercutting Warhead so hard that its fucking head came off Minotaur can proudly claim this award, and even though they too finished 4th they can at least brag that they were the highest ranking Brazilian team in the world at BattleBots this year.


Over Easy

bbs7gwa_overeasyOver Easy was one of the many potential alternate robots waiting in the wings to see if they’d get their chance to compete in case someone whose application was already accepted dropped out from the contest. There’s never any guarantee that an alternate would get to compete, so rather than build a robot and possibly not even get to use it the team decided to shoot BattleBots the finger and left to go participate in RoboGames instead. Judging by the footage available on YouTube, Over Easy seems to have done pretty well I guess? I mean, its flipper looks like a total goddamned joke but out of the four fights I’m able to see it looks like they won 2 and lost 2 so that’s pretty okay in my book. You do you, Over Easy. Those hookers and Blackjack seem to be working, but please do at least try and come back next year. I have the distinct feeling something hilarious will happen to your robot and I need to write about it.





Obwalden “O.B.” Overlord

bbs7e2_obwaldenoverlordI don’t even know what the point of this award is. I don’t know what I am trying to say or emphasize here, I just know that Obwalden Overlord needed to win a Giant Washer and I couldn’t figure out what the fuck to give it. I settled on some bullshit SyFy Channel award because this whole robot looks and fights like some shitty prop from a bottom of the barrel SyFy Channel original movie that was greenlit solely because the people in charge of that channel realized that people were laughing at them — not with them — and this is the best they can do before one of them eventually gargles buckshot and ends their miserable existence. Chris and Kenny described Obwalden Overlord as a possible glimpse into the “future” of this sport. No, you guys. Just, no. At no point did you ever come close to a correct answer. Everyone in this room is now dumber after hearing you. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.



bbs7gwa_chompflipTasteless humor is basically this blog’s M.O. which is why I’ve continued on the legacy of an award named at the expense of a NASCAR tragedy. It’s what The Intimidator would’ve wanted. He sure was intimidating, that Dale, too bad he failed his intimidation check on that fucking wall. Anyways, I know Dale Earnhardt didn’t go out in a blazing fireball of death like that accident in Final Destination, but it’s fun to imagine. That’s why this years “Race Hard, Crash Harder” award goes out to Chomp. Zoe’s Chomp, that is. You know, the real one. Every time Chomp swung its hammer this thing flipped and flopped all over the place like Bugs Bunny sticking his dick in a plug socket, not to mention the fire this thing would shoot all over the place while it seizured out. Congratulations, Zoe. I’m sure this award will look great next to the much larger and more official Founder’s Award from BattleBots.


Creepy Crawlies

“Blow it out your ass.”bbs7e1_panicattack
– Duke Nukem

This award seems to always go out to smaller robots or minibots, however that’s not really the intent here. The “Balls of Steel” lifetime achievement award is meant to go to the robot(s) who knew they were outmatched or, as we officially say, “completely fucked five ways to Sunday” yet still valiantly rode into battle to face their opponents. Last year Shaman won this award for being only 30 pounds but fighting like a heavyweight, this year the collective known as Creepy Crawlies take home this award for staring down Son of Whyachi’s maw of death and still jumping right in. The Crawlies were absolutely decimated and only one of the five robots survived the fight, but their balls shall not go without honor.

Actually I’ve just received news that the “Panic Attack” Crawlie who survived the match suffered a panic attack of its own and has ended its life. LOL VETERANS IN AMERICA JOKE.



bbs7e2_blacksmithflip2Blacksmith is perhaps the most durable goddamned robot I have ever seen. Ever. Although the valiant robot ended this season with a 1-2 record, in those three fights we got to see Al Kindle’s robot take an absurd amount of punishment, which resulted in the robot literally exploding not one but fucking twice, and neither time did Blacksmith ever cease. Normally when a robot’s internals shit the bed severely enough to visibly blow the fuck up the robot usually just kinda quietly dies and burns to death in the corner of the arena. Not Blacksmith. Blacksmith gave Minotaur everything it had and then some which included a wedge, the Big Time Hammer, and about five armor panels and not once did it slow down. Not even when Blacksmith began smoking and burning alive did this fucking thing slow down. Blacksmith’s fight against Minotaur has since gone on to become the most viewed video ever uploaded to ABC’s YouTube channel. Most viewed of all time. I swear to god if these people don’t greenlight another season I’m going to lose my shit.



bbs7e2_deathrollThink of this like the “Founder’s Award” from BattleBots, an award that I want to give out to a robot that I think shows the most potential or is otherwise noteworthy in ways that these other dumbass fake awards cannot show. Deathroll, the alligator-themed robot with the vertical spinning disc, got a bad draw against Captain Shrederator. That’s a hell of a hill to climb for a first round match up and the resulting mess was to be expected. However even though the robot was completely — and I mean completely — trashed, the team was still able to put it back together like new again for one of the rumbles where it was able to hold its own and was well on its way to beating Skorpios and Bucktooth Burl had it not ended up high centered on the arena wall. Deathroll has got one hell of a weapon (same E-Tek motor as Bite Force) and a style unrivaled by everyone except for maybe Lock-Jaw. I hope they are back for next year and I hope they kick some serious ass.

HERE IS SOMETHING NEW THAT I AM DOING WITH THESE AWARDS! If you or your team were a recipient of a Giant Washer Award — or if you’re just a fan of the website — and you’d like to have your very own physical edition of this prestigious accolade to showcase alongside your more reputable and meaningful real awards I am offering handmade editions of the GWA’s. Price is not set, but they’ll be less than $20 (shipping included). International shipping outside of the US will likely elevate the final figure just a bit. The Giant Washers will be available later this year, so make sure you’re following BattleBots Update on Facebook so you’ll know when they are ready!

I hope this year’s Giant Washers lived up to your expectations, and if so then maybe they will become a regular thing on this website. I don’t know what to do for Robot Wars, though. Giant Spanners? Whatever, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. See you next time!

– Draco