Hi all, I am Paul Ventimiglia, long time robot builder. Most recently, I have built a Battlebot called "Bite Force" which is competing on ABC's mini series this summer Sundays at 9pm.

I built this 250 lb robot with my friends and teammates, Cory McBride, Travis Covington, Teena Liu, and Jeremiah Jinno.

We have all built a number of robots, for the military, medical industry, combat robots, bartending robots, etc.

Ask us anything!

Proof: http://imgur.com/a/py9YV facebook.com/AptyxDesigns

EDIT: Thanks everyone for asking questions! We had a lot of fun. We'll check in periodically and see if anyone has new questions. Please make sure to watch the finale this Sunday so that we can close the show out with strong viewership numbers! If you want more info on Bite Force you can check out our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/AptyxDesigns

Comments: 329 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

inertiabots188 karma

Do you still have our 1/2" wrench?

BiteForce104 karma

I'm sure we gave it back to you. Also, thank you!

mozilla34375 karma

I understand this season was rushed. How much time did ABC give for teams to build before competition? How long was the actual competition, and during that how much pit/repair time was available?

BiteForce73 karma

Teams had different amounts of time technically. Some were accepted right away from their applications, but we were an "alternate" team for a long time.

We didn't know that it was for sure going to happen till April, and so that's when we started working seriously. We arrived on Monday May 18th, the battles went Thursday, Friday, and finished up on Saturday... and we probably slept a total of 20 hours that week...

There was ample time to repair between matches at this event, only 24 robots over 3 days! Often in other events with more robots, like Robogames, or Battlebots in the past with hundreds of robots, you only had 20 minutes!

eatemuptigs75 karma

I know some of you guys are FRC mentors, which do you have more fun participating in? Battlebots or FRC?

BiteForce80 karma

Paul- Battlebots for sure! Destroying robots is awesome. Also, in FRC, I am a mentor, not a student, so the robot isn't really "mine" as much as an entire team's.

Cory- I've done FRC for 15 years and this is my first time doing Battlebots, so it's a little tough to compare. Battlebots is very different than FRC in that everything is "just get it done". It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work. That's a big departure from how we work on 254, so it took some getting used to. I think it's definitely more exciting seeing something get destroyed (come on...Icewave/Tombstone ripping people in half...or forklifts stacking boxes?) and it's a lot of fun modding the robot on the fly to better match up with future opponents (shoutout to the Lincoln Electric welding guys that sponsored the event and spent countless hours helping us improve the bot). FRC has the advantage of working to help inspire high school students, which is also a lot of fun.

Travis-Both have their pluses and minuses. FRC is really about the team experience and inspiring students. Battlebots can do the same, but also has the ability to allow individuals to do everything themselves. I grew up and was inspired by BattleBots as a kid. Robots are robots, as far as I am concerned, but FRC was the easier and more approachable means to getting involved as a high school student. The barrier to entry was a little less. As an adult, Battlebots has fewer restrictions. It isn't just about inspiration. Adults can drive the robots and have fun in different ways. Helping Paul as much as I could and doing both FRC and Battlebots this last season has been extremely rewarding. I wouldn't rank one higher than the other.

eatemuptigs4 karma

Thanks for the reply and doing this AMA!

BiteForce3 karma

No problem, it's fun, thanks for all the questions!

ogrerocks62 karma

How did the judges decide in the match vs. Overhaul?

BiteForce102 karma

Disclaimer: We are not the judges, nor speak for them.

I (Paul) have judged combat robot and other events before, it is not fun or easy. I assume they decided mostly on the length of time of "controlling the match" and "aggression" as a slight edge for us. The essence is, about 2 minutes in our favor, a minute in their favor.

After the clock stopped, we remotely self righted and drove to our starting square, demonstrating there was zero damage. The judges I assume went in to verify that. (or to admire the robot's beauty!)

Sebastian_34141 karma

Hi Paul! Big fan of your work with The Cheesy Poofs, even bigger fan of your Battlebots work.

What are your design principles as a robot builder? What are your best practices for really good strategic analysis? As an aside, how do you like Big Blue Saw as a sponsor?


BiteForce35 karma

Design principles- 1. Heavy on the design and planning side, then quick implementation 2. Design within your means, and for manufacturability 3. (battlebots) have 4 wheel drive minimum, low center-of-gravity, and a way to get underneath your opponent.

Strategy- 1. Drive slowly, spin and aim, then move. Keep the business end pointed at your opponent. 2. Be calm, one mistake can cost you the match.

Big Blue Saw- They were awesome! I have known Simon (owner) for years, and he "gets it". High quality parts, very quickly. Also, instant quotes are awesome. No other waterjet shops do that.

Zoccihedron39 karma

Hey, I'm a WPI student. Can I borrow Bite Force to steal the Goat's Head Trophy?

BiteForce36 karma

JJ - I once accidentally ran off the back of the Harrington loading dock (~15 foot) in pursuit of the Goats Head Trophy. You should have seen the kids face, thinking he was just gonna catch the trophy and run away, yet instead he sees me jumping at him. I am pretty sure he injured himself in his escape as we sprinted across the back half of campus and cut through some trees... ahh the good ol' days

HuCast_31 karma

How does it feel to have the inventor of Capri Sun on your team?

BiteForce35 karma

It's news to us that Travis invented the Capri Sun...he's wondering where his royalty checks are. The 254 mentors do like their Capri Sun though.

Qwyxand30 karma

Would you rather have Bite Force fight 10 30 pound Tombstones or one 300 pound Tentoumushi?

BiteForce29 karma

10 30 lb tombstones for sure...it's difficult to fight a really large robot.

Sunderpool29 karma

Are hazards controlled by someone or are they set to be randomly controlled by a computer?

BiteForce37 karma

The hammers in the corners are controlled by the team members.

The other hazards are all controlled randomly by the field controller computer. There were some parameters, like that they would introduce one new hazard per round (screws, then the "hellraiser" posts that popped up, then the saws, then the big flipper panels in the middle of the box) and that they would wait until later in the match to activate the random hazards.

HuCast_22 karma

Is Cory still single or has he begun mingling?

BiteForce28 karma

One can be single and mingle simultaneously ;)

SafetyStrap20 karma

Uhh... Strap?

BiteForce26 karma

Si, chute puerta

CalT241018 karma

Hello there, my name is Cal Tran, an alumni of FRC 2410.
I had a few questions -
1. What's the best way to get started into Battlebots?
2. I saw on CD that you, Paul, said that the tank treads were largely for the entertainment value. How much does "doing things because they look cool" factor into the design of battlebots?
3. Would you ever consider selling team merchandise? I'd love to purchase an Aptyx Designs t-shirt or hat!

BiteForce15 karma

  1. Search the internet! right now, r/battlebots is good. I learned the most from robotcombat.com (nightmare) and teamdelta.com (hazard). "Kickin Bot" by Grant Imahara is a fantastic resource.
  2. A huge amount of Battlebots is doing things because they look cool, or are interesting to the builder! We all do it for fun, and it is like an art sculpture. Some people are hardcore competitive, some people are super goofy. I have always liked to build something interesting which is also able to win matches (a tough line to straddle)
  3. We would love to sell merchandise, if allowed. ABC/Battlebots owns the image and licensing rights, but they have done well in the past! Games, toys, Happy Meals, etc

ogrerocks17 karma

How much money does your team have invested in Bite Force? How does that compare to the other builders and teams?

BiteForce26 karma

There is about $15k-$20k for the entire effort.

That doesn't mean we out of pocket spent that much, but in tools, and spare parts, and services, etc.

edit: by the way, I haven't actually tallied the cost officially, this is a big guesstimate from my memory of big purchases.

flashisflamable17 karma

How bad was your right tread damaged on last weeks episode?

BiteForce42 karma

The robot treads were not damaged at all in Episode 5.

The episode was actually cut off before you could see the robot independently self-right, drive away, and go back to the starting square with the clamping jaws and lifting forks operational. (If you look at the shot of the judges assessing Bite Force, you'll notice that Bite Force had already driven back to the square).

WhoahCanada16 karma

Oh god I need to know this. The whole match was crazy.

BiteForce20 karma

It was a very back and forth and tough match! Very crazy to have re-seen it on TV last night.

CreativeUsername133715 karma

How has being involved in battlebots helped your business out, if at all?

What was your favorite robot (besides your own) in the tournament?

Thank you!

BiteForce17 karma

Paul - ICEwave

Cory - Bronco...in a landslide. Totally badass.

Teena - Witch Doctor. Good robot with cool imagery

JJ - Beta. They were next to us in the pits and we were very disappointed that they were unable to make it in the box. They have a massive hammer that can actually do serious damage.

Travis - Bronco (I loved Toro from the old Battlebots).

BiteForce16 karma

For helping out my career, Battlebots has helped a lot! My first job was at Boston Dynamics, where I was interviewed by a Battlebots veteran, and he had been given my name by the Battlebots creators. I also worked at Double Robotics, which was created and owned by Battlebots people, Marc DeVidts and David Cann. Finally, people message me out of the blue with job contract possibilities based on seeing my robots.

lij201514 karma

Have you guys ever let the 254 students work on any of your combat bots or thought about it?

BiteForce17 karma

Two of our recently graduated students (Andrew and Mani) helped out quite a bit with robot assembly. They spent a lot of time assembling all the links of the tank treads, attaching them to the chain, and mounting the rubber bumpers onto the treadplates.

ragbagger13 karma

Whose idea were the magnets? And how difficult was the process of getting them to stay attached to the treads?

Thanks for doing this AMA! My current flair over at /r/battlebots (shoutout!) is Bite Force. Love your bot and love the show.

BiteForce27 karma

Thanks! Magnets have been used by many robots for additional traction for 10+ years that I know of in robot combat. I do not know who the first person was. I used them first back in 2004 on my middleweight Hazard style robot.

The magnets all have a center hole, and are screwed into the center of each tread... so in that sense, they were simple. On the flip side, we picked up more bot-fragments from the arena floor than anybody else.

WhoahCanada13 karma

Your fight against Warhead was probably the most entertaining match until Stinger took on Tombstone.

My question is: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

BiteForce9 karma

Paul - Vanilla with peanut butter swirl. Emphasis on the swirl, definitely not peanut butter cups.

JJ - Chocolate chip!

Teena - Pineapple coconut! Our team also had a Snickers addiction while building the robot, I think we collectively ate at least 300+ mini Snickers pieces.

Travis - Cookies and cream.

sarahbau4 karma

Our team also had a Snickers addiction while building the robot

Have you tried the snicker's ice cream bars? Those are amazing - like 83x better than regular snickers.

BiteForce5 karma

Of course I have had the snickers ice cream bars, they are amazing! However I don't get them a lot because if I buy the box, I eat them all in a matter of about 1 or 2 days.

frogstomp42713 karma

Congratulations on your success so far in this tournament!

Firstly, what kind of repairs do you typically have to make between fights, if any?

Secondly, could you please make sure you beat Ghost Raptor?

BiteForce19 karma

Cory: Thank you!

After playing Warhead, our wedge was effectively destroyed. It didn't look too damaged on TV, but the mounting trusses were lightened a little too aggressively, which caused them to completely cave in. We stayed up until 2 AM designing a new wedge on Thursday night that was laser cut Friday morning and then welded up on site by the Lincoln Electric welding guys (Thanks, Lon!). This is the wedge you saw in the Hypershock match. We spent a lot of time modifying that wedge to potentially face Tombstone or ICEwave, in the event we made it far enough to face them.

Other than that, we mostly did routine maintenance. Making sure that drive chains were tensioned properly, that the treads weren't stretching too much, replacing magnets and rubber bumpers on the treads (this had to take place every single match...and was awful. There were something like 250 rubber bumpers on the treads), checking to make sure all the bolts on the bot were snugged down, etc.

At one point we discovered after a match that we had a bad drive gearbox causing one side of the drive to drag intermittently.

I forget which match it occurred before, but we were doing a pre-match test of the robot minutes before going to the box...and the entire electrical system of the robot appeared to be shorted and non functional. We had to scramble to diagnose the problem and test every connection to each speed controller in about 5 minutes. We nearly got replaced by a backup bot, but eventually discovered an extra circuit on a speed controller that was powering the radio receiver was causing the problem. We were able to replace it and make it out in the box just in the nick of time.

Mk22312 karma

Long time FRC student/mentor, love 254's robots and Bite Force. Just wondering would you guys ever release the CAD files for Bite Force? Curious to how it looks under the hood.

BiteForce3 karma

I will release plenty of information about the parts and design of Bite Force. To the specific aspect of entire CAD model the answer is probably not. The CAD was done super quickly and roughly, and wouldn't be a fair representation necessarily of the final robot.

RasputintheHamster11 karma

Are you planning on returning for season 2, and if so do you have any plans on how to improve?

BiteForce20 karma

Absolutely! I have been obsessed with Battlebots for my entire life. I always hope to be able to compete. I want to build something destructive again like my last robot, Brutality, but with a new design. We hope to compete in as many different robotic combat events as possible (Such as Robogames).

We need everyone to keep watching the show so it can close out with strong ratings and hopefully seal the deal on a second season.

We are not tied to using Bite Force again and are always interested in building new things. For this season, the designs were highly curated by ABC, which lead to some design decisions being made on the basis of what would cater to the producer's wants as opposed to what might be the most destructive/cool. We are hoping to have a little more freedom in what we potentially build for a future season.

RA2lover7 karma

What designs didn't make it due to corporate meddling instead of technical malfunctions?

BiteForce10 karma

It seems that for this season your "team" background was just as important as your robot, or moreso. Any boring looking or too traditional of a design was essentially rejected, or they had one of those already in mind. With only 24 robots they wanted the ones they thought would make the best series!

snowbirdie11 karma

Hello from NASA in Mountain View!

A lot of people are talking about the anti-bot specific defense system used against Ice Wave. What's the rule on switching out your main weapon mid-competition? Are you allowed to just throw a blade on your bot if you wanted? What would be your "Anti-Bite" weapon someone could use against you (specifically to counter/avoid you, not just chop to pieces)?

BiteForce6 karma

Hi! We love Ames (Team 254 works in a lab there for the FIRST Robotics Competition).

You have the freedom to make pretty much any modification you want to your robot mid event, so long as it satisfies the safety rules and the requirement that you must have an active weapon. Ghost Raptor was very good at making mid-event changes once their spinner broke.

Our game is to get underneath the opponent and either pick them up or shove them around...So the super weapon to counter us (but not destroy us) would be to have a wedge or spikes that ride along the ground and get under our wedge/forks.

teamtestbot10 karma

Paul why are you so cute?

BiteForce14 karma

My parents I assume, also, dimples help or so I have heard ;)

latrebuchet9 karma

Best sign you saw in the crowd? (At least from what I've seen it's "Cory is single and ready to mingle")

<3 you guys (but you already probably knew that)

BiteForce10 karma

Thanks, Jess! The best sign I saw said "I <3 Paul" or "Paul is cute", however, I may be biased ;)

missdoctorwho9 karma

Do you love WPI or do you love WPI?

(I'm a current student, I have to ask! I'm always super excited when I see Worcester Polytechnic Institute as a sponsor!)

BiteForce10 karma

I love WPI! I was never the best student, and don't really care for things like HW, but, if I had to choose a college, I chose the best one! WPI was the only school to grant me 24/7 shop access from day 1 as a freshman, and lab space to build robots! The school was very unique with being able to take any class any time, and the project system.

missdoctorwho2 karma

Thanks for the response! I love the school too! Cannot wait to go back for my second year!

BiteForce2 karma

Cool, good luck! Robotics major?

picklesitter7 karma

Any site you recommend to get into battlebots? I'm looking for an active forum or something.

Btw, I love Bite Force.

BiteForce8 karma

The most active place I feel currently is in Facebook groups, https://www.facebook.com/groups/RobotCombat/

Otherwise, r/battlebots has been really active lately (less on the building side though, more on the show commenting)

In the past, it was the delphi forums, "therfl" for Robot Fighting League. Years of great archived stuff there! http://forums.delphiforums.com/therfl/

abyssmalstar7 karma

Big fan here, I was wondering where the Center of Gravity was on your bot, and if you hoped the downforce from the magnets would aid in that. One thing I noticed was whenever you tried to pick up another robot, you all would end up picking your own bot up. My theory was that the CoG was too high.

Related, were the magnet-treads worth it?

Third, What do you think is the coolest robotics project going on (or similar science project)

BiteForce10 karma

This robot was designed and built in just under 8 weeks. It constantly changed on the fly. The center of gravity was too far forewards, not too high, that is what gave me difficulty in tipping forward while lifting Overhaul.

The "wedgelets" out in front had hard stops to try and prevent the robot from tipping forward, but they were not forward enough.

I did originally hope that the magnets would be able to add enough force to keep us planted, however, there was not enough time to test and tune the magent force to make it strong enough. Although the TV talks up the magnet power a lot, that was more of a planned in thing, then an actually executed thing. For this event, the magnets didn't add much. I and others have used much more powerful ones in the past.

Fire2box7 karma

If ABC renews for a season 2 and you come back only to find out it's going to be 2 v 2 matchups. Who would you want as a ally?

BiteForce20 karma

If it was these 24 robots, I think Witch Doctor would be the best to have on our side. They have destructive power, defensive ability, and attachments. Plus they can have floor scraping ability, you need to get under your opponents!

teamtiki6 karma

What is your all-time most memorable match?

BiteForce6 karma

JJ - I've only been on Paul's team twice, but loved his old bot Brutality vs. Toro... mostly cause that was my first time... and you did say most memorable...

Paul- Most memorable by far was beating Biohazard with Brutality at Combots Cup. I cannot believe I retired a legend that I looked up to.

Also memorable: Brutality vs Last Rites, breaking my blade and a hole in the arena, and beating him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHKRsMg2Ccw

Brutality vs VD6 at Battlebots 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f07p73N9Ryo

TheShortWalk5 karma

How much extra down-force did the magnets produce? Do you think they made much of a difference?

BiteForce10 karma

The magnets actually added very little downforce in this configuration, maybe 50-75 lbs at most. I planned on being able to add hundreds of lbs of force, but we ran out of time to test and properly finish and tune the robot. So no, I do not think they made much difference.

Getting underneath your opponent makes all the difference in the world! In the past, in my old robot, Brutality, I have had several hundred pounds of downforce which has helped a lot fighting against vertical spinners.

Harmonicdrive4 karma

How did you start off your career in battlebots and robotics? What were some of the very first battlebots that you built?

BiteForce4 karma

I started by watching Jurassic Park, and Terminator, and Star Wars, and wanting to build the animatronics to make those movie possible!

For Battlebots, I found it by searching on the internet, and reading other builder's build reports and websites. The first one I built was a lightweight called Tantrum http://battlebots.wikia.com/wiki/Tantrum

_tx3 karma

How many hours would you say you've got in both this bot, and in combat bots in general?

BiteForce3 karma

In this robot there is probably 1000 hours.

I have built dozens of combat robots, since 2001, and hundreds of matches total. Too many hours to count, but tons of experience! I love robots.

hijinks_the_turtle3 karma

What do you think of the MegaBot vs Kuratas videos that have been showing up on Youtube? Do you think it's interesting to see big robots being piloted by people to fight each other?

BiteForce6 karma

Paul-They are awesome. What's not to like about giant robots fighting each other? I used to work with Gui (the Megabots co-founder) at Boston Dynamics.

dsmitherines3 karma

What you folks do is so inspiring. How would you recommend getting younger kids into robotics?

BiteForce7 karma

FIRST Lego League and VEX are good, lower cost options for kids that are interested in exposure to robotics (non-combat based).

FryGuy10133 karma

I was in the audience behind some of your crew who were very enthusiastic and had some nicely made signs. How much do you owe your success so far to your support team?

BiteForce4 karma

JJ - I am 100% sure we would have been hospitalized without them! Paul doesn't let us have breaks to go GET food, so we need them to get it for us ;-)

Fire2box3 karma

Would you of changed any of the hazards from the ABC's battlebot arena? Such as make the kill saws more active or replace the screw auger's with something else.

BiteForce6 karma

Cory: I had never been to a Battlebots event before but had heard the screws were quite useless. That was not the case at this event...the screws were by far the most dangerous hazard and were responsible for eliminating a number of teams (also want to take a second here to point out how ridiculously awesome it was when Bronco went full on "honey badger don't give a shit" last night and just drove across the screws and then flipped themselves off of them). As a robot that relied on the hazards to do damage to other teams, I was a big fan of the screws. It would be cool if there were flippers (like Bronco status flippers) embedded in the floor.

Paul: I would make the kill saws active 100% of the time. They can slice through 1/4" aluminum, easy. You could see Bronco's base plate get torn up pretty good when they took a hit from them last night.

CynCity3233 karma

Hey guys! Been watching the show and i've been curious, who built what on BiteForce?

BiteForce3 karma

Paul was responsible for all of the design. The majority of the fabrication was done by sponsors who water jet and laser cut parts for the robot. Welding was done by a local shop who sponsors our FRC team (Shoutout to Eddie at Applied Welding in Mountain View. He does amazing work, if you ever need welding done!), with the exception of Paul and Cory making a mess of welding up a wedge at 5:00 AM two days before the competition (let's just say that we ended up with the mounting plates on upside down, a wedge that could never be reinstalled after coming off the robot, and second degree burns to hands and feet).

Cory machined some motor mounts, lightened sprockets, and manufactured a number of standoffs and miscellaneous small parts.

Colin (another Team 254 mentor) also helped with manual machining of a number of parts for the lifter and the drivetrain.

Most of the assembly was done by Paul and Cory, with electronics and wiring by JJ, and treads by former Team 254 students Mani and Andrew.

BiteForce3 karma

Also, if you look at any of the still-shots of BiteForce, the blinking LEDs inside the main arm, and the blue under-glow of the rolling cart was JJ... he compulsively adds LEDs to things...

littleman19883 karma

whats harder to win in: FRC or Battlebots? Also, how hard would it be to transition from FRC to battlebots?

BiteForce7 karma

Cory: FRC by far. You are at the mercy of your partners for most games. One superstar robot usually cannot carry an alliance to a World Championship. There is SO much luck involved to come out on top of 600 other teams. If you get a qualifying schedule with weak partners and tough opponents, you can be done before you even get started. If you want to seed first, you need to win 10 matches in a row...and then you need to win 6 matches to make it to Einstein...and then at least 4 more matches there. So all told, you need to win 10 matches in a row and then 10 more out of the next 15...

To win Battlebots you only needed to win 5 matches (this season) and your fate was 100% in your own hands. It's not an easy task, but it's easier for sure. Since it is a single elimination tournament, you don't have room for a bad match, which does make it a bit more difficult.

littleman19882 karma

makes a lot of sense.

Now, how did you feel losing in the quarterfinals this year in Einstein?

BiteForce7 karma

Cory: Not as bad as Adam did (sorry buddy, couldn't resist!). In all seriousness, losing sucks. Especially with an alliance that good (We were ecstatic to be able to pick 999 and 4499). We were disappointed with the results, particularly with how hard our/973's students had worked to improve their robots over the course of the season and knowing that Championships was the last hurrah for many of them.

ResettisReplicas3 karma

I love that triangle hole pattern. What's the deal with it?

BiteForce3 karma

Practically -- Strength and weight reduction. Aesthetically -- Looked cool, glad you liked the pattern!

Robotic_Potatoes3 karma

So I have more then one question. (For Paul)

*1. When did you graduate from WPI? And with what degree?

*2. This question is partially tied to the first. While looking around WPI and Combat Robotics I came across WPI Combat Robotics LINK, did you have any part in this group?

*3. (tied partially to number two) I am an incoming freshman at WPI and have been wondering about trying to reboot the WPI Combat Robotics group, or going to mentor 190. Any advice?

BiteForce4 karma

  1. Graduated 2012, started 2005 ;) Liberal Arts & Engineering http://www.wpi.edu/academics/lae/pventimiglia.html

  2. Yes! Originally Brian Benson and I were the main two students that used the WPI Combat Robotics name, and club. I used the team WPI name for Battlebots IQ 2006 and won the college division, and again in 2009 with Brutality, WPI was our lead sponsor, and we also won that event!

  3. Do both! 190 was awesome, Ken is one of my favorite people! Also, do combat robotics, but mainly on your own. It is good to have team projects, and also good to have individual projects too. Ask Ken, and say hi from me!

BiteForce2 karma

JJ - HEY!!! Cory and I went to WPI TOO!!!

Loading----------2 karma

In your opinion, 100 years from now, what would a military robot would be capable of?

BiteForce3 karma

Hopefully last longer than 3 minutes in an arena before needing to charge the batteries...

On a more serious note, given the incredible advancements in the past 100 years, we can only hope that the next 100 years will outpace even the imagination of Gene Roddenberry

If not, there is always: https://what-if.xkcd.com/5/

BiteForce2 karma

See Skynet.

gorams142 karma


I was curious, what are the side rails made out of? Were they CNC or water jetted?

BiteForce5 karma

the outer side panels were made of 2 sheets of 3/8" 6061 aluminum. They were waterjet cut by bigbluesaw.com and then welded together by Applied Welding in Mountain View.

They were made from two sheets cut and welded as opposed to a thick one machined out because the waterjet option was much faster! I don't have a mill, or a milling sponsor, but I had the support from Big Blue Saw!

KarmaBot2002 karma

What were your thoughts on the close battle that aired last night?

BiteForce2 karma

It was fun to see it again from the viewer perspective! During a match it is very hard for me to remember what happened, so it was like seeing it for the first time. Very exciting and nerve racking to re-watch, but it was fun to watch with other builders around in a bar!

Momentosis2 karma

How much does the top piece of your grabber weigh? It must be a bit because you guys have to take it off for the plow.

BiteForce3 karma

Can't remember exactly how much...somewhere between 35 and 40 lbs or so.

The_Zone52 karma

What were your thoughts on the other final four bots going into the semifinals?

What motivated/inspired you to build Bite Force?

BiteForce6 karma

Ghost Raptor- tough opponent because they have floor scraping wedges, and drive very quickly. Chuck is also wise in modifying his robot to try and win.

Tombstone- Super scary, it is never fun to face Ray in the box. At Combots Cup events in the past I have beaten Last Rites, but it is not easy. You have to have perfect driving and hope your robot is more robust than his. I love watching his destruction!

Bronco- Super tough robot to beat. You can control it for 2 minutes, and then they can still be patient and flip you over the wall with ease. I have seen them do it many times. I love their power!

Bite Force was primarily inspired by Derek Young's Complete Control from the past. I loved that robot! And I wanted something that could make use of the arena hazards, and look like a menacing kids toy!

Blargcakes2 karma

Why don't you use lasers and missile launcher's on your bot? Would be so cool to make other bots go boom :D

BiteForce2 karma

It would be cool! Most of the challenge comes into making effective weapons within the weight limit... but that said, go for it!

ResettisReplicas2 karma

Brutality was so deadly and mean! What made you decide to go with such a pacifist design for this?

BiteForce3 karma

Honestly, we wanted to create a robot that looked cool, like a toy! Even the owners of Battlebots suggested that we design and build something unique that could be recognized as a happy meal toy.

I've always wanted to try using tank treads because they looked neat. Plus, Bite Force was inspired by Complete Control -- I've always loved it as a robot.

jrichdotcom5131 karma

Hello, Paul. I have just recently gotten into Battle Bots, and I want to ask a few questions. Has Bite Force ever won in a tournament? Are you guys intimidated by your next opponent? How long have you been fighting in Battle Bots?

BiteForce1 karma

Bite Force was built for this tournament, so it has not competed anywhere else.

At the time of the match we did not know what Ghost Raptor would show up in the box with, based on all the modifications they had made during the tournament. That wasn't intimidating, but uncertainty can cause you to second guess your strategy. We thought we would have a good chance to move on, regardless of what they put out there, as long as we continued to drive well.

ahmad771 karma

Hi Paul ! My question is somehow refering to details. How did you figure your way to what you are now ? Have you been to university ? If yes, did it play a major part in your career ? which program have you studied ?

llumiknatie1 karma

Hi I'm an aspiring mechanical engineering student. My question is how did you come to design for a battlebot team? Was it connections? Reputation? Passion? Just curious big fan of the show.

BiteForce1 karma

As an Engineer, you just have to put your mind to it (and get student copies of software like Solid Works) and you can build anything you want.

Analoginadigitalwrld1 karma

Paul, Do you think it is possible to make a living as a freelance robot builder or must one have a steady gig outside the freelancing?

BiteForce2 karma

You can do it without a steady gig! It is what I have been doing :)

I have only ever had sort of "normal" 9-5 jobs for maybe 1.5 years total, other than that I have used robot contract money or prize money. Winning a NASA challenge was the most helpful part for sure.

Mutt12231 karma

Who is your favorite character on Modern Family?

BiteForce2 karma


Paul- I am partial to Julie Bowen for sure ;) However, Phil is pretty funny, and he was on a Double telepresence robot which I helped build, so I like him too!

BowdenPrinters1 karma

Have you ever worked on VEX robots in the past or only FRC?

BiteForce1 karma

Paul, Cory, and Travis have all supported the 254 VEX program in various ways over the years.

southsamurai1 karma

When a battle bot is defeated and is damaged what's the repair time like?

BiteForce2 karma

This tournament was very different than past ones. There were only 24 teams and it was single elimination, so at most you could play 5 matches over 3 days. That leaves a pretty good amount of time for repairs between matches.

In the past seasons of the show there were up to 500 teams playing double elimination matches. This could mean really long turnaround times at the beginning (matches occurred over 10 days) but as short as 20 minutes once you got deeper into the event.

BiteForce1 karma

For some it is infinite... depends on the level of destruction...

Honestly we were impressed by the RazorBack team... complete destruction in round 1, yet I swear to you, their bot was fully functional the next day.