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Robot Battles                    


1997 was the second year that BioHazard competed. If you are interested in a little history, the following is a play-by-play of the 1997 competition. All pictures on this page are courtesy of Andrew Lindsey.

BioHazard 1997


BioHazard vs. Monster

Monster is a fast, low, four wheel drive machine, similar to BioHazard in shape, and drivetrain layout. It has a heavy steel spike in the front that it used as a battering ram.

As soon as the match started, I realized that the monster was quite a fast robot. We danced about each other for a while and came into contact several times without too much damage to either robot. At one point we were on opposite sides of the arena and we each got a running start and collided head-on at full speed in the middle of the floor. I estimate that the combined speed was 25 MPH. Monster's spike found one of the few square inches of frame on BioHazard that is not protected by the angled titanium fenders. This blow cracked a bulkhead and pushed it in about a quarter of an inch. Luckily, the damaged bulkhead did not adversely affect the operation of the robot in any way. I managed to push Monster into a corner and used the mighty arm to flip him over. In the struggle, Monster lost two wheels, leaving him incapable of continuing.

BioHazard vs. Vlad the Impaler

Vlad is a fast, well made robot with two steel pipes extending from the front. The pipes are powered by a potent pneumatic cylinder. They could easily get under most robots and flip them over.

This was probably the most difficult match of the weekend. The contest went on for the full five minutes, and I had to use all my driving skill to keep up with the faster Vlad. Vlad uses some very powerful electric motors. You can actually hear the tires squealing as he accelerates and turns. Even so, BioHazard is no slouch, and I believe it may even have the edge in acceleration, albeit to a lower top speed. This is the same robot that flipped BioHazard onto it's back in the '96 competition. (BioHazard managed to right itself using it's arm).

Each time we collided, Vlad would simply drive right over BioHazard. This may seem unlikely, until you consider that Bio is only about 4 inches tall. I finally managed to corner him and flip him over, but before I could even start to gloat, he utilized a surprise weapon and flipped himself back over. I went after him and managed to flip him again. He righted himself and charged me and ...horror! he got his pipes under BioHazard! I tried to back off, but before I could, he fired his pipes, and Bio almost went over. In the end the judges had to decide the match on points. I think the score was Bio: 15, Vlad: 10. Check out the picture of BioHazard picking up Vlad's full 175 pounds, and lifting him two to three feet off of the floor!

BioHazard vs. Rhino

Rhino is a low, powerful, robot with an interesting secret weapon: It shoots Halon gas that kills any gasoline engines.

Unfortunately for Rhino, BioHazard uses only electric power. The Halon has no effect on electric motors. Bio's attack went pretty smoothly. I pushed Rhino against the wall, and lifted him up onto the curb. He was unable to move, and BioHazard put another notch on the handle of it's gun.

BioHazard vs. Mauler

Mauler is a cylinder about three feet in diameter and about 16 inches tall. It has a flat plate on top that spins at high speed. Attached to the plate with chains are four heavy spiked maces. This robot could probably put up a good fight against a car!

The Mauler, even though one of the most dangerous robots at the competition, did not present a particularly great threat to BioHazard. Mauler's spinning maces were simply to high to touch the low-riding BioHazard. This was a quick, but exciting contest. Bio pushed Mauler into the wall with Maulers maces going full speed. This made a tremendous crash that shook the entire arena! With the maces stopped, I transmitted the lift signal to Bio, and when Mauler was tilted up a few inches, I sent the signal for full forward power. The combined lifting and driving motion pushed Mauler into the wall so hard that the wall flexed under the pressure. This made an even louder crash, and the dozen or so people standing behind that wall ran for their lives!

BioHazard vs. La Machine

La Machine is the original wedge design. Probably the most powerful robot at Robot Wars, La Machine has motors that can push the robot to the far side of 40 miles per hour. It's first incarnation was as a middleweight at the 1995 competition. It won both the one-on-one, and Melee contests, then went on to win the heavyweight Melee. In 1996, La Machine entered as a heavyweight, and the championship for the one-on-one competition boiled down to one last match between BioHazard and La Machine. The rookie BioHazard managed to win that contest after a long, violent battle. La Machine did take home the '96 Melee trophy though.

The one-on-one championship once again boiled down to La Machine and BioHazard in 1997. This time the battle was short and sweet (for BioHazard). La Machine charged, but when it came into contact with Bio, it just rolled right over it. I managed to maneuver the robot into striking position, and flipped La Machine onto it's side. The match was over in 15 seconds, and the 1997one-on-one trophy (and prize money), went to BioHazard.


The first Melee battle in which BioHazard was scheduled was cancelled because one by one, each of the five other robots that were to fight in that round, withdrew because of inability to repair damage suffered in earlier battles. Time was running late on Sunday night so they decided to put all eight surviving heavyweights in the arena at the same time. Unfortunately, two of the robots were on the same radio frequency, so they had to stage two battles with four robots in each. BioHazard ended up in the arena with Hercules, DooAll, and La Machine.

Hercules is a double-wedge design with a pair of steel saws on one side, and a lifting arm on the other side. DooAll looked like an army tank. It was driven by two very wide tracks, and it had a four horsepower gasoline engine spinning a saw. The saw had been destroyed in an earlier contest, so for the melee, it was replaced with a plow-type device. This robot was rumored to have cost over $30,000.

I judged La Machine to be the most dangerous of this lot, so I went after him first. I managed to flip him up, but not over, so he was still in the running. I found myself next to an apparently immobile DooAll, but I flipped him on his side, just to make sure. I set my sites on Hercules and started to go after him, but then I realized that I had better take care of La Machine if I wanted to survive this match. This battle against La Machine was more difficult than the earlier one. At one point, he managed to get the tip of his wedge under my anti-wedge fenders. I tried to back away but he kept the forward power on while his wedge was inching deeper into Bio's underbelly. I finally managed to break free, and after a few more maneuvers I got Bio's arm under him and flipped him over.

Two down, one to go. Only Hercules was standing between me and the Melee trophy. I couldn't just flip him in the middle of the ring because he could use his arm to right himself. I would have to crunch him against the wall. I hit him from the side and pushed him across the arena. His rubber tires weighed down by his 175 pounds put up quite a resistance to Bio's push. I signaled for full power, and the robot answered with about 1/3 speed. Two dark skid marks emerged from under my robot, evidence of BioHazard's six rubber wheels spinning under the load. I pushed him into the wall and flipped him up. He pushed against the wall with his arm, and got back onto the floor. I did this again with exactly the same results. The third time I tried it, he got into a position from which he could not right himself. The match was over, and BioHazard was the victor!

The winner of the other heavyweight Melee was Vlad the Impaler. The judges decided that there wasn't enough time for us to recharge our batteries, for one last one-on-one competition. So they called for an audience vote for Melee champion. The crowd gave Bio a huge cheer, and the 1997 Heavyweight Melee title went to BioHazard.

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