Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s Robot Fighting Time!

Copyright © 2016 BattleBots Inc. Photographer Daniel Longmire

On a Friday afternoon in April of this year, I am 5 miles east of Downtown LA waiting in line to enter a warehouse. They open the doors and scan my ticket. Following an eager crowd, we maze through a pitch-black and winding corridor to emerge into a huge arena. At its center lies a massive cube covered in Plexiglas and outfitted with stage lights and various destruction devices. As my eyes adjust, I scramble to the front row, impatient for the awesome experience that awaits.

The crowd is electric and the emcee warms up the audience as the first set of robots enter the arena to battle [Holy cow, these robots are bigger than they look on TV]. The robots’ fail-safes are removed, their teams exit the arena, the doors are locked and the battle is about to begin.






I was an audience member for the taping of several episodes of BattleBots Season 2! I am a huge fan of the show, and nothing compares to experiencing it live. There’s a reason why the cube is surrounded in bullet-proof glass – robots are launched across the arena and smashed to bits as sparks fly, blades cut metal, hammers smash armor and drones blast fire. These highly designed machines are one-off masterpieces. Most parts are custom designed in CAD, and CNC’d to very tight tolerances. SOLIDWORKS is at the core of many of these designs to optimize strength, minimize weight, and ensure precise placement of internal components. Motors, batteries, control boxes and wiring are very delicate, so their placement and protection are critical for survival.

Copyright © 2016 BattleBots Inc. Photographer Daniel Longmire

And did mention their weapons? These weapons are as fierce as they look. You truly understand the extent of their power when a 250 pound robot finds itself on the business end of an opponent’s spinning blade and is tossed around like a beach ball. These creative teams dream big with weapons such as rotating steel blades, spinning spiked drums, pneumatic flipping mechanisms, massive hammers, clamping jaws and flame throwers. With everything on the line, these dedicated engineers, makers, hobbyists, designers and machinists know that two robots enter the ring, but only one leaves.

Wanna compete? Do you think you have what it takes to go head-to-head with Bite Force, IceWave and Brutus in the BattleBots arena? Click here, open up SOLIDWORKS 2016 and Make Great Design Happen!

Andrew Gross

Andrew Gross

Andrew is a Senior Territory Technical Manager at SOLIDWORKS, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He has years of experience working with resellers and customers, and has a strong background in Engineering Simulation and Design Validation. More recently, Andrew has expanded his interest and passion into Industrial Design. Andrew holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA.