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Since 1991, Robot Battles has been staging robotic combat competitions (mostly) around the United States, with annual events currently held in in Atlanta at Dragon Con, in Nashville at the Geek Media Expo, and in Chattanooga at Chattacon and at the Chattanooga Mini-Maker Faire. We have also held past events in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and as far away as Barcelona, Spain.

So what makes Robot Battles different from other robotic events? Well, we don't have a TV show, we don't have supermodels, and we don't have huge cash prizes. What we do have is a creatively unique host, some of the most imaginative builders and designers in the sport, and the most involved audiences in the country (in our humble opinion).

And, of course, lots and lots of very intense one-on-one mechanical mayhem matches.

Which is what it's all about. And what we live for.

Robot Battles is one of the oldest continuously running robotic combat competitions in the world. We proudly trace our roots to the Denver Mad Scientists Club and are a direct descendent of the "Critter Crunch" robotic competition held every year at MileHiCon in Denver, which began back in 1987 (and is still going strong).

Our next competition, Robot Battles 54, will be held at Dragon Con in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta over the Labor Day Weekend. We will be staging two events: the Microbattles on Sunday, September 6 beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the International Ballroom and the main event on Monday, September 7 beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Regency Ballroom. Microbattles involves the insect classes (ant and beetle) and will feature two arenas this year to keep the action flowing. The main event is for the 12 and 30 pound classes and will be the usual sumo-style competition.

Here are some important points to remember if you plan on competing this year:

1. There is no pre-registration: simply bring your bot(s) to the event two hours before scheduled start time.
2. There is no extra entry fee to compete in or attend the Robot Battles events.
3. You will need at least a single-day membership to Dragon Con (which is worth it, as it is a very cool convention).
4. Bring extra power strips, just in case. You can never have too many. Same goes with extension cords.
5. Bring as many extra batteries as you have. We have a very fast pace, so charging time is basically nonexistent.
6. If you have any questions about the rules, please ask us now instead of waiting until the event. And review the rules anyway, just so you know how we differ from other events.
7. Dress funny. This is a crowd favorite, and the more fun you have, the more fans you get.

And now for a little Robot Battles history.

When we started back in 1991, we had only a handful of builders and small audiences (a few hundred people). We had a lot of fun, of course, but it was still pretty small. Then BattleBots came on the air in 2000 and we suddenly saw a huge increase in both competitors and audience. Which we continued to build on after BattleBots went off the air, the the point where we are now: dozens and dozens of competitors and thousands of people showing up for our shows.

Now BattleBots is back on the air (yay!) and, yep, we are seeing a surge of interest from new builders. As such, we are expecting (and planning for) a record turnout this year at Dragon Con, both in builders and audience. Which we are very happy about, of course.

So, what does this mean to you?

If you're a builder, it means we are going to have to much more strictly enforce the time rules to get all the matches in within our allotted time slot. This is especially true for the MicroBattles event on Sunday of the con. We will have two arenas to the event, which will help a lot, but even so, it's going to very fast-paced so everyone gets a chance to fight.

It you're a fan, it means GET THERE EARLY TO GET A SEAT. Unlike most other events at Dragon Con, we do not make people wait for the doors to open. As soon as we get there to begin setting up early in the morning, you are welcome to come in and claim your seat. Just remember that once we hit the attendance limit for the room, the Fire Marshal will stop people from coming in. Bring snacks. Bring a book. Bring cards. Bring a Caramel Latte with two sugars and extra cream for Kelly, if you really want to be nice. Just get there early.

* Kelly made us add in the latte note. Though it has been noted over the years he's been emceeing that the more caffeinated he gets, the more entertaining he becomes.

And finally, to keep up with all the latest news (and fun) about Robot Battles, please join our Robot Battles Yahoo Group or visit us on our Facebook page to become part of the Robot Battles family.

DragonCon For the 25th year in a row, we will be returning to Atlanta for the Dragon*Con convention and our largest competition of the year. Held for two days over the Labor Day Weekend of 2015, this is the one robotic event of the year you do NOT want to miss!
Geek Media Expo Due to positive response, we are planning to return to the the Geek Media Expo (GMX) in Nashville on Sunday, November 1st for another Robot Microbattles event. A very fun convention, with an entire "makers" room along with panels & workshops.
Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire After our success last year, we've been invited back for the Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire in (obviously) Chattanooga. The  Robot Microbattles event will be on Saturday, September 19 at the First Tennessee Pavilion on the Southside near the football stadium.
Chattacon The crowds keep growing and the competition gets tougher every year as the Robot Microbattles event at the Chattacon convention in Chattanooga becomes ever more popular. Come enjoy the fun at the Chattanooga Choo Choo this coming January.

And Robot Battles would like to extend a big thanks to our 2015 sponsors. We appreciate all of your support.

SERVO Magazine Big Blue Saw FingerTech Robotics
SERVO Magazine Waterjet Cutting by Big Blue Saw FingerTech Robotics

Copyright 2015, Kelly Lockhart.  All Rights Reserved.  "Robot Battles" trademark and likeness used by permission.