Battlebots is coming to ABC and will bring destruction to its competitors with rebooted technology that will be bigger than it ever was. BattleBots is a remake of Robot Wars which was famous in the 1990s in the United Kingdom with an audience of two million viewers. During the 1990s, an American version of the show was picked up by Comedy Central, and ran for five years. The inventor of the concept is Marc Thorpe, a designer at Lucas Films division of Lucas Toys. When Thorpe invented the fighting robots idea, he first gained attention in the Bay Area. It is only fitting that the new show was filmed in the Bay Area as well.
The premise of the show is to engineer a robot which is fast, indestructible and can beat other robots that it will be competing against in various challenges. There are a series of rules which outline weight classes and specifications per robot. Featured in the 2014 Pixar’s Film, Big Hero 6, the protagonist Hiro Hamada is a brilliant youngster that participates in robot wars while gambling illegally on these.
For as nerdy as BattleBots may seem, robotics engineering is a difficult task. Today, the competition for productive robots is everywhere not just on TV. Manufacturing plants require specified new generation robots to expand efficiency and return the manufacturing industry dominance to the United States. Consumer electronics can now be assembled robotically as opposed to being done by cheap labor in China. Industrial robots in America dominate in the automotive industry, yet Americans are far from leaders in robotics. Industrial robots are most common in South Korea, Japan, Germany and then the United States. The robots built today are smarter, faster and collaborative. The very fact that a prototype of Google’s self-driving car will hit the streets of Mountain View, California this month gives credence to the ultimate robot.
Laboratories in Japan are already using robots to fill syringes, and medications which they claim are five times faster than the workers at their labs. Hospitals are using magnetic microbots to remove plaque from blocked arteries. The healthcare industry altogether is getting a boost from robots that can aid in home healthcare surveillance, feeding, robotic therapy and more. One constraint to robots in various industries and likely for warrior BattleBots is that the smarter they are, the slower they become. Highly intelligent robots with multiple sensors can adjust their behavior to interact with other robots or people, which slows down their processing.
Beyond manufacturing, healthcare and entrepreneurship, real life BattleBots will bring destruction when they become rebooted by the United States Department of State into more effective weapons. The future of war will become entirely robotic and ground invasions like the Vietnam War will be a thing of the past. As of today, the Navy’s MQ-8 Fire Scout, is a drone with autonomous take-off and landings. Robots used in Afghanistan include tools that find roadside threats and keep military troops safe. The rest of the world, like the United States, is upgrading their military weaponry to include robots. There are 87 countries hat now use some form of a robotic weapon. Long gone are the days of musket battles and sword fights.
The new iteration of rebooted BattleBots will bring greater destruction and is expected to be a big hit because technology has evolved and robotics interest has grown. Although in the past these games were male-dominated, the new series will feature female contestants. A show that has gained and lost interest over time will be tested once more this August, as Americans look for the most fierce, competent and destructive BattleBot.
By Olivia Uribe-Mutal
ABC – ‘BATTLEBOTS’ GETS REBOOTED; LIVE TAPING IN BAY AREA
Wall Street Journal – Meet the New Generation of Robots for Manufacturing
Information Week – 10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare
CNN -The future of war will be robotic
Image Courtesy of Bill Ward’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License