(Source: Jon Bennett/JCRB Photo)
Get ready, robo-mayhem fans! Another season of BattleBots is on its way, and the Mouser-sponsored Team HUGE will be stepping back into The BattleBox for another test of mechanical design and engineering know-how as they face rivals old and new! (Figure 1). This will be Team HUGE’s fourth season competing in BattleBots, and they are returning with some new tricks up their sleeves.
Figure 1: Mouser-sponsored Team HUGE (Source: Jon Bennett/JCRB Photo)
I recently got the chance to chat with team lead Jonathan Schultz via email to see what they have in store, and this is what he had to say:
What improvements have been made to HUGE this year?
Everything! Primarily our weapon has been totally overhauled. With twice the power and better tuning and gearing, it spins up to full speed many times faster than in 2020. We're really excited to be able to go on the offense this year, rather than having to run away to have time to rev up the blade. Otherwise, we are a year more prepared, experienced, and reliable as a whole. A lot of energy went into little changes all across the robot to make things more reliable and easier to work on. We think the robot really benefits from this and it left us a lot of weight and space to play with to improve the robot further.
This is your fourth season in BattleBots; how has your perspective changed from your first competition? Do you feel like veterans now?
Fourth in BattleBots, but fifth competing in robotics in general for me. Some of our teammates are going on 10+ years, though, and we benefit a lot from their experience. We know more of what we're getting into and more of how the competition itself works—but still always feel like we have something to prove and new goals to accomplish. We only feel like veterans when new teams come up to us and treat us like veterans! We have to remind ourselves often how many times we've competed since it always feels like a blur.
I noticed a new team logo, as well. Does this feel like a whole new robot from when he premiered, or just that he’s grown and adapted?
Absolutely a brand-new logo! We felt like, especially after 2020, that we could use a refresh to kick off 2021 on the right foot. The original logo had served us well, but we felt the rounder logo would better reflect the fun personality of the robot (Figure 2). We think it embraces the feelings that helped make us a fan-favorite team.
Figure 2: Team HUGE’s BattleBot (Source: Erik Smith)
There is next to nothing left from the original robot at this stage. The attrition rate for parts is so high that we can never use wheels or blades for too long, and our 2018-era legs were finally torn up during the 2020 season, causing a replacement (Figure 3). Only the design lives on as we continue to tweak and refine it year after year. It's fun to imagine what the modern-day HUGE would be able to accomplish during our earlier seasons, but much of that technology, those skills, and that experience did not exist at the time.
Figure 3: BattleBot competition (Source: Jon Bennett/JCRB Photo)
How has the fan reaction/support helped keep you going during lockdown years?
Fans at home were so engaged in 2020 and showed us so much love through some very tough moments—as a team and personally. It was a hard year for everyone, and it really helped to feel like the effort and time and energy was worth it. Without the cheers of a crowd, a loss can feel very lonely at the arena—but the support online of the fans is a lot of why we chose to come back in 2021 and why we hope to keep competing for many years to come.
What are you most looking forward to, going into the next season? Are you hoping for any rematches?
We're really looking to test out so many of our new changes! We have tons of new wheel and bar configurations to try out, and the performance really feels more in-line with what we've always wanted from the design. We always want a challenge, and this is one of the most intense fields ever assembled at a BattleBots event, so we're excited to fight some new people and new types of robots.
Does HUGE have any new surprises in store for us this year?
Of course! There are some new hazards in the arena that make for some very interesting fights. Stay tuned to see how it plays out!
BATTLEBOTS premiered Thursday, January 6, at 8 PM ET/PT on Discovery, streaming on discovery+
Create your own papercraft HUGE! Download Here: https://www.mouser.com/pdfDocs/mouser-huge-papercraft-2021.pdf
Follow @MouserElec and @BattlebotsHuge on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the matches!
TeamHuge merchandise is available here: https://hugebattlebots.com/
Erik is the Social and Multi-Media Manager at Mouser Electronics. When he’s not tweeting about what’s next in the world of engineering for @MouserElec or uploading videos to YouTube, he can typically be found nose-down in a good Sci-Fi book. You can see what he’s up to on Twitter: @ErikSmith80
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