BattleBots Episode 1 Preview: Overdrive, Photon Storm, Ringmaster, Splatter

Seven bots left to preview after today. Only three days until robot fighting time. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.



Weapon: Vertical bar spinner

BattleBots history: A different version of Overdrive competed last season, defeating Chomp by knockout before being eliminated by Witch Doctor in the round of 16. Builder Christian Carlberg has 19 years of experience, previously winning two superheavyweight titles with his bot Minion.

What’s cool about it? Overdrive has undergone a complete overhaul since last season. Last year’s iteration of the bot had four wheels and a lifting arm. This new version is pretty much entirely different, with only two wheels and a dangerous vertical spinner. Here’s what the bot looked like last year:


Big question: Last season Overdrive got its wheels shredded by Witch Doctor, and especially in that fight Carlberg had issues driving it. Will those be problems again this time? Overdrive is basically a brand new bot, and this version with only two wheels seems like it’ll be easier to control, but the wheels are also still exposed, leaving them prone to spinners yet again.

First round opponent: Escape Velocity

Prediction: Overdrive is one of my favorite bots this season. The old version was super quick, and if this one can retain most of that speed but with more control it’s going to be extremely dangerous. Add the spinner on top of that, and Overdrive can be deadly. Escape Velocity has its weight split up between two bots, and Overdrive should have no problems in the first round. After that, I expect to see a deep run.

Photon Storm


Weapon: Grabber

BattleBots history: None, but the team has 16 years of experience competing in Robot Wars.

What’s cool about it? Something awesome I found in Cathalised’s bot preview on /r/BattleBots: Photon Storm is set up to transmit data to the team while its competing, so the driver can know when the bot is in danger of overheating before the smoke starts to rise.

Big question: What can it do against bots with obtrusive weapons? I’m thinking bots with big spinners. Nightmare, Tombstone, etc. It’s going to be really hard for it to be able to grab onto anything, and I also have questions about how its armor will stack up against powerful spinners.

First round opponent: Minotaur

Prediction: Minotaur’s drum is going to give Photon Storm a lot of problems. I don’t see how Photon Storm makes any kind of run at all. It will be eliminated early.

The Ringmaster


Weapon: Ring spinner

BattleBots history: 14 years of robot fighting experience across multiple weight classes.

What’s cool about it? Not only is the outer ring spinning, but it’s got a massive tooth on the edge of it.


This is going to be really destructive when it gets up to speed.

Big question: Will the six wheel set up be a problem? The Ringmaster isn’t going to be able to turn. It doesn’t really have to aim its weapon, since it’s a ring spinner, but this could cause some overall problems with mobility.

First round opponent: Ultimo Destructo

Prediction: I can’t get a good read on The Ringmaster. It seems to be powerful enough, but I think the mobility will be an issue, and it also sits a little high off the ground. The Ringmaster can win a fight or two, but I don’t see it as a real contender.



Weapon: Vertical spinner/lifter

BattleBots history: 16 total years of experience, previously competing with Deb Bot, Matts Bammer, and Think Tank.

What’s cool about it? The spinner is placed on an arm which can rotate a full 180 degrees, so it can quickly attack from either side without having to completely turn the bot around.

Big question: Perhaps the most common concern I’ve had in these previews is how some of them will stack up against powerful horizontal spinners, and that’s exactly my question for Splatter. It’s got so many straight edges that it will take the full impact of the hits, which could render it immobilized.

First round opponent: Warrior Clan

Prediction: I’m not that worried about Warrior Clan’s spinner, but it’s so thin and low to the ground that I do wonder a little bit about how Splatter will get its hits in. Regardless, I like Splatter to advance and make some noise, so long as it can avoid Tombstone, Ultimo Destructo, or any other bots that can take advantage of its straight edged design.


One thought on “BattleBots Episode 1 Preview: Overdrive, Photon Storm, Ringmaster, Splatter

  1. Ringmaster’s drive is actually super clever, and is going to make it more mobile than most full body spinners. Set up with a system called holonomic drive, wheel speeds can be mixed and matched to produce omnidirectional motion, allowing it to move whatever way the joystick is pointed. It can’t turn, but since it doesn’t have a front, it doesn’t need to. As a bonus, the same wheel setup which prevents it from turning will also prevent it from rotating too badly under the kickback force from impacts.

    The mobility is there. Whether or not its drivers can make the most of it (it’s obviously a kinda confusing setup to operate) is another question.

    Liked by 1 person

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