Went to see Battlebots live at Treasure Island (halfway between Oakland and San Francisco, at the nexus of the Bay Bridge – a former naval station) with . This was just the prelims, so they didn’t use the hammers or saws or pistons coming out of the floor, which deadened the excitement level a bit. Only about half an hour of really exciting stuff out of a five hour event. Amazing how fragile a lot of the bots are – non-starters, quick-quitters, radio control problems, wheels out of alignment… but the strong survive.

It didn’t get really good until the end, when the best of the heavyweights competed. Then we really started to see shit fly. The best offense is heavy stuff that spins fast, like hammers on armatures or chains. The best defense is still the wedge. But plain wedge designs are such cop-outs – just a “try to survive” strategy, which works as far as far as it goes, but isn’t really in the spirit of the game.

How many years before we’re watching human-piloted bots, or cyborgs doing battle? How long before we’re taking our kids to android soccer matches?

Ate too much kettle corn. I have no self control where popcorn is concerned.

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