Combat Robotics Team Makes 2023 NHRL Season Debut

Not long after their attendance at the 2022 Championship Competition, the Kent State University Combat Robotics Team was back in action at the Norwalk Havoc Robotics League’s March competition. This was made possible by a very generous anonymous donation to rebuild the team’s previous robot, which had been in need of a replacement. At NHRL competitions, the Combat Robotics Team faces steep competition, with some teams even flying in from overseas to compete. 

The Team’s new robot, Flash-BANG, was built in just three weeks leading up to the competition, giving team members many opportunities to learn quickly and on their feet. The bot features a 3.5 pound drum capable of spinning up to 225 miles per hour, which proved to be devastating to other competitors. The bot finished 2-1 at the competition, with a final ranking of 15th in the league out of over 40 other bots in the 12 pound weight class. 

The short turnaround time meant that a lot of Flash-BANG’s features were experimental in nature, giving the team a more trial and error approach. Combat Robotics Team President David Dreyer says considering this, the team is more than happy with the bot’s overall performance and final standing. “We came back with a lot of good data and learned many things that will help us improve for the future…we think with some changes our robot will be a real contender.”

Dreyer also competed himself, entering a personal robot into the competition. His bot, named KillaJoule, placed 5th overall in the competition and finished with a final record of 3-1. Both KillaJoule and Flash-BANG lost only to very close judges' decisions. 

The remaining funds from the donation will be used to build the team a training arena to test future bots in the 12 pound weight class, and to hold exhibition fights with 1 pound bots at the College of Aeronautics and Engineering and for recruitment events such as BlastOff. Dreyer describes the excitement for these new opportunities, saying “it will be an interactive experience open to everyone so look forward to that in the fall semester.” The team also hopes to compete at another NHRL event in June with the goal of qualifying for the 2023 NHRL Championships. 

NHRL March Competition Video Footage

POSTED: Thursday, April 20, 2023 02:18 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024 01:32 PM