Proposed Event: Antweight (1lb.) Combat Robot Tournament

There are a few members that use to be part of a local robot combat group SWARC (Southwest Area Robot Combat). We use to have tournaments at the former Mike’s Hobby Shop about 8 years ago. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about engineering, problem solving, and competition.

Here’s a video of one of the events from back then:

I emailed who I believe to still have that antweight arena and hopefully be able to reuse it for an event at DMS. If not, we could build one, we would just need some funding for the cost of polycarbonate. PC/Lexan is definitely a requirement since some of the robots have dangerous weapons. Robot combat safety is always first. It’s a great family friendly activity though and I think it would draw people to the makerspace.

I wanted to gauge interest in who would build an antweight robot or interested in watching. I’ll come up with official robot combat rules. The range of antweights that competed were anything from R/C cars with armor plates, to brushless motors and LiPo batteries and custom steel chassis and R/C controllers. They can be built with most of the modern R/C aircraft and car parts, as long as it’s under 16oz.


Sounds like a great idea in terms of publicity, what is the size of arena? Potential cost of a robot?

The original arena was a 4ft x 4ft arena, with a steel stand. Also a LED display timer and cameras for recording fights. There is usually 3 judges if there’s no K.O.

Potential cost now is around $100-500 depending on the components used. Most of the electronics can be found at Although now a lot of the R/C components are cheaper and lighter than when I built them. Also younger kids can get into it by hacking R/C cars with armor.

If there’s enough interest to warrant it, please get a cost estimate together for the arena. We could potentially have the organization purchase the materials for it.

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I got a reply that the old SWARC arena was dismantled and re-purposed.

I’ll try to get some interest. There’s also Flea weight (150gram) and Beetleweight (5lb.) we could try those too.

@Derek_Davis I know has R/C experience and could help. Theoretically we could build our own controller boards, and also requires metal fabrication, or even 3D printing. Even some of the DPRG guys want to help.

In addition to the proposed full contact combat, I would suggest we also look at this:
It is basically robot combat via airsoft weaponry, piloted via FPV (no direct watching of the bot from outside the combat area, you gotta pilot it directly from the “cockpit”)…

It would allow for non-destructive combat, and also let us participate in a preexisting series of events, and possibly host an event of our own.

Paul W.


This would be fun. Have you seen the “SumoBot” competitions?

@Scot A SumoBot competition would be a good idea, probably easier to organize. I think that would fall under DPRG’s category though, I’m all for doing autonomous competitions. Robot combat is completely different though.

@Hardsuit FPV systems add to cost and complexity, such as FPV quadcopter racing. I like the idea of airsoft robot fights, like the R/C ship battles. Maybe we could do something along those lines.

We use to use the rules outlined by Robot Fighting League

If we get enough interest I’d build the arena and update my old 'bot to compete, but I’m definitely busy with other projects. There was just talk about Battlebots coming back on TV which gave me the idea to bring back a local combat robot tournament.

DPRG kinda looks down their noses at battlebots.



That’s why I suggested we do a SumoBot separately, which I’d love to learn how to build.

Battlebots are just glorified R/C tanks/

True, but considering the advances in both tech and costs, one can create a multi camera FPV setup for a combat bot for well under $200, and possibly under $100 if one gets lucky sourcing parts (via Ebay, Banggood, HobbyKing, etc). Weight is a potential issue, but also not insurmountable considering how many people are making DIY FPV setups for micro quads where every single gram of weight counts.

Considering how much potential there is for serious/fatal injury there is from a full bore BattleBot style bot, I’d say calling them “just glorified R/C tanks” not quite doing them justice. No way in hell I’d want to be in the 'box with Blendo, BioHazard, Toro, etc…

Little bit of a tangent - but this has always looked like a fun outing - warship combat.

144 scale WWII models complete with ball bearing cannons and bilge pumps - sinking each other…

Sample from the North Texas Battle Group:

Wiki shows international interest:

oh wait - is that the same group meeting at DMS this Saturday at 2pm?

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There’s still a lot of engineering going into an R/C robot even if it isn’t autonomous. I wouldn’t mind doing R/C tank battles though, like the warship combat.

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