Hello BotFans! We design and build robots for the TV show BattleBots, which just aired its finale episode on Discovery this past Friday. We have team members here from both 2018 semi-finalist teams, “Whiplash” and “Lock Jaw”. Both of our teams have been building robots for fun and professionally for 18+ years.

BattleBots is a TV show challenging teams from all different backgrounds to design and build 250 lb remote controlled machines to battle each other in fights to the death inside of a huge bullet-proof glass arena. It aired in the early 2000’s on Comedy Central, and was revived on ABC in 2015 and 2016, and now just finished airing a 20 episode season on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel.

Other machines from the Whiplash team include ‘Splatter’, which competed in the 2015 and 2016 seasons of BattleBots, and ‘Doom on You’, which appeared on the TV show ‘The Big Bang Theory’. The Lock-Jaw team you know from machines like ‘Tazbot’ and ‘Diesector’, which both proved successful during the Comedy Central era of the show.

We do this for fun, it is our biggest passion in life, we love fighting robots! Ask us anything about this season, past seasons, or combat robotics in general. Primarily, Jeff Vasquez will be answering most questions for Whiplash, along with team members Matthew, Jason, and Debbie. Donald Hutson will answer most questions for Lock Jaw, along with teammate Paul Ferrell.

PROOF: https://www.facebook.com/FastElectricRobots/photos/a.232649624139481/355111991893243/?type=3&theater

Whiplash: u/FastElectricRobots (Jeff), u/Whiplash_Battlebot (Matthew) and u/JasonVasquez (Jason)

Lock Jaw: u/MutantBots (Donald), u/Celticshadows (Paul)

You can watch the show on Amazon Prime (see https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D1MWXXR) for $30 for the entire season, or by logging into Discovery.com with your cable TV provider information.

Whiplash on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FastElectricRobots/

Lock Jaw on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamMutantRobots/

BattleBots Website: https://battlebots.com/

BattleBots subreddit: www.reddit.com/r/battlebots

Whiplash is sponsored by:

Molex, GoEngineer, Crane Technology, MaxAmps.com, and Towers Metalworks

Lock Jaw is sponsored by:

Modal AI, Solidworks, Spectrum, Stratasys, VEX Robotics, and Vinatech

(edit) - Thanks for your questions! Taking a break for now, feel free to add more questions and we'll be checking in over the next couple of days to answer.

Comments: 180 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

Infernaltank36 karma

Lock Jaw:

Hi Don! Been a fan since the Comedy Central days with Diesector and Tazbot. You've made such amazingly designed bots: Which one are you the most proud of and why?

At the height of BB's popularity on Comedy Central, were you ever recognized in public?

Whiplash:

Hi Vasquez family! You guys had a great run on both BB and at Robogames 2017. What were the biggest lessons you learned from the past two seasons and Robogames that you worked into Whiplash?

Whiplash_Battlebot12 karma

Hey Nate ... thanks! One of the biggest lessons learned from season two to three was that we needed to stop spending so much time and energy worrying about making the robot look more interesting (so we would be accepted) and focus on making it more competitive.

-Debbie

Tankslayer30318 karma

Do either of you plan on modifying or improving your bots for next season? And if so, what do you plan on?

Whiplash_Battlebot9 karma

We have already started a new version of Whipash! We are mostly improving reliability issues, and building a sturdier frame. For this build we are really taking our time, and paying attention to the smaller details.

The_Dacca9 karma

Hey Donald, all of your robots are awesome. Where did the tube frame design style come from for your bots? And will we ever see gearcrow again?

Hey Matt, other than 'very good' how would you describe your driving style?

Whiplash_Battlebot11 karma

Lol. I would say extremely aggressive, and maybe a little reckless

gingerbeard_house9 karma

Donald, historically you've built and driven more unconventional weaponed robots. What was it like driving a more typical bot that's primary a vertical spinner? Did you enjoy it any more or less? Was there a driving adjustment? I'm assuming it's easier to coordinate than say when you drove Tazbot

MutantBots13 karma

It was fun to have a weapon that sat in the center of the lower Jaws. I have wanted to do it for a while . I do want to do a new Tazbot someday?

Whiplash_Battlebot10 karma

A new Tazbot would be awesome!

  • Matthew

HoshiNoSenshi8 karma

Hey, guys. First, I want to say congrats to both of you for a great showing this year, and to Lock-Jaw for winning the Desperado Tournament! I'm a big fan of both of you, and your bots, and I look forward to seeing what Season 4 brings!

I don't have too much ask, but here goes.

For both of you: - What changes or improvements can we expect to see in Season 4? - Got any good stories from the pits?

For Whiplash: - What sparked the idea to combine a lifting arm with a spinner? - How long has Matt been driving for?

For Lock-Jaw: - A lot of people seem to be asking why Lock-Jaw didn't use its rear plow in the Minotaur fight. I want to know that too, but also, would it have even made any difference in how the fight went down? How much would it have helped or hurt Lock-Jaw to have the plow in that fight? - I've seen a picture floating around on Reddit of Lock-Jaw having an upper jaw replacement for its current iteration. Is that true? - Lastly, thinking about your history in competing on Battlebots back in its former days of glory, where did you come up with the name "Tazbot"?

See you next year!

Whiplash_Battlebot7 karma

Thanks for the support! The spinner in lifter idea spawned from wanting to do an overhead cutter (for example, Scorpios or Sawblaze), then during the design phase evolved into what it is today.

I think I drove in my first fight when I was 6, but have been seriously competing since I was maybe 12.

  • Matthew

Tralegy8 karma

Hello Donald, and Hello the Vasquez family, huge fan here!

To All:

How do you all ensures that your wedges/wedglets/forks are as low to the ground as possible, even with the slightly uneven floor surfaces during matches?

Whiplash_Battlebot8 karma

Gotta be scraping the floor! Seams in the floor are something everyone has to deal with, I see it as the most annoying arena hazard!

chivalrymaster1937 karma

Other than your own what robot design of your competition do you like the most?

Whiplash_Battlebot7 karma

If I had to pick a favorite new design from this season, it would have to be Valkyrie. Huge would be a close second along with my other favorites, Blacksmith, Bronco, Huge and Yeti.

-Debbie

Whiplash_Battlebot7 karma

Lockjaw!

I would say it is one of the most perfectly designed bots at the event, balancing style and effectiveness. The attention to detail is insane!

  • Matthew

chivalrymaster1936 karma

What robot has been the hardest fight of the event?

Whiplash_Battlebot10 karma

Bite force! He didn’t give us a second to breathe! lol

kalamarininja6 karma

When will battle bots get bored of battling each other and resort to battling humans?

Whiplash_Battlebot5 karma

Hopefully never, lol

  • Matthew

AlexTheGreat19975 karma

Are you guys going to be making any adjustments to your robots for next season? If so, what do you have in mind? If not, why not?

Whiplash_Battlebot3 karma

Attachments to fight vertical spinners! Probably some long forks on the front of the bot

Sgt_Cutlass3 karma

Howdy y'all, really enjoyed watching both of these machines in action this year, congrats on the deep runs.

Question for Team Mutant Robots:

Lock Jaw is probably the machine to see the most change over the three seasons of the reboot (my personal favorite was the second iteration). What prompted these changes and are there any plans to significantly change the bot in the future or are you satisfied with this design?

Fast Electric Robots:

All season it was the speed and driving of Whiplash that seemed to be the critical difference in fights (and I'm saying this as a Bronco fan). Does Whiplash's unique take on the 'vertical spinning weapon with secondary lifter' lend any unique driving characteristics?

And did Matt win the Giant Bolt for driving? 'Cause if not, he got ripped off.

Good luck to both teams in Season 4.

Whiplash_Battlebot3 karma

Our weapon definitely gives Whiplash a completely unique driving style. We can be a vertical disk, lifter, overhear cutter or clamper depending on our opponent without changing any configurations. I would say it is a primary lifter with a secondary spinner. Sadly there was no best driver award this year :(

Icommentoncrap3 karma

Who would win in a battle, Whiplash or Lock-Jaw?

Whiplash_Battlebot9 karma

That would be a fantastic fight! Two very unique spinner / lifter bots. I think it would come down to driving. Let’s hope for that matchup next season!

  • Matthew

Memelew2 karma

Will hexbug ever make lockjaw and whiplash battlebots? Or would that be too hard?

Whiplash_Battlebot3 karma

We hope so! A hexbug Lock-Jaw would be awesome (we still have all of our Diesector and Tazbot toys)! We noticed some fans converting old Witch Doctor hexbug toys into Whiplash toys, and Bot Bash Party Services just did a really cool tutorial on how to do it. I think there's definitely a demand for them. If hexbug needs any assistance with making the design for Whiplash work, we'd be more than happy to help them out, lol!

-Debbie

Manic_Eraser_Cat2 karma

Does Whiplash have any plans to get under bots with hinges/low ground clearance next year so bots like Bite Force can't get underneath?

Does the lifting fork that comes with the plow on Lock-Jaw retractable? Also, did the mechanism that the forks were attached to have to be removed? Seems like they never moved on their own after End Game

Whiplash_Battlebot4 karma

Yes, definitely. Currently in the early cad stages. Gotta find a way to handle all of those vertical spinners!

cahaseler1 karma

What makes you guys better than the winners?

Whiplash_Battlebot7 karma

Whiplash and Lockjaw have more style when they fight!

  • Matthew

[deleted]0 karma

[removed]

Whiplash_Battlebot2 karma

I can’t say I have been, lol

lies_about_flossing-1 karma

Fuck tombstone, am I right?

Edit: just to clarify, this was sarcastic. I love tombstone and battlebots, I’d just hate to face that weapon in a match!

Whiplash_Battlebot4 karma

I like Tombstone