"It's Ok If It Breaks and Blows Up"

Published in MIT News on June 30, 2016, by Abby Abazorius

MIT’s thriving maker culture is on display in ABC network’s “BattleBots” competition.

A robot that can throw fire and saws into its opponents with a spinning blade; a 250-pound bot that can damage and throw competitors with a steel drum powered by its 100-horsepower motor; and a robot with two sets of arms to grab and hoist other machines: These are some of the robots developed by MIT-affiliated teams selected to compete in the second season of ABC’s “BattleBots.”

Throughout the 2016 spring semester, four teams of MIT students, research staff, and alumni worked to design, construct, and test combat robots for the “BattleBots” competition, a reboot of the Comedy Central classic that pits homemade combat robots against one another in an elimination-style tournament.

For the MIT participants, competing in “BattleBots” was an opportunity to not only design and build the combat robot of their dreams, but also to apply and test engineering concepts in an exhilarating, hands-on manner. In addition to their academic coursework and extracurricular activities, the competitors dedicated countless hours to building their robots from the ground up, work that provided them with a diverse range of engineering experiences...

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