Combat Robotics Team Takes on Robotics Great at NHRL Competition

Combat Robotics Team June 2023

In June, the Kent State University Combat Robotics Team took on another weekend of fierce competition in the National Havoc Robotics League. After making some key modifications to their bot Flash-BANG, which made its NHRL debut in March, the team was prepared to face their biggest challenge yet. 

The bot, Flash-BANG, was originally built in just three weeks ahead of the March 2023 competition. “The bot is inspired by Battlebots you see on TV that are big hitters. However, unlike the bots on TV we have a very modest budget. So, there are design elements that set us apart from other bots and allow us to use our budget to the fullest'' says Team President David Dreyer. The bot features a 3.5-pound drum capable of spinning up to 225 miles per hour, which proved time and time again to be devastating to other competitors. “We are running a welded frame made from laser cut aluminum. Our weapon is a drum made up of stacked steel plates welded together. This saves cost and allows us to show off our fabrication skills.” According to Dreyer, Flash-BANG was the only bot at the June competition that had these specific features. 


In competition, the Team first faced Superscope, the bot that would eventually win first place in the 12-pound bracket. After a rebuilding and making the necessary repairs, Flash-BANG was quickly back in action against Torrent, a bot that had previously won an NHRL sponsored event in January. “We absolutely trounced him, shattering his expensive weapon in the first hit then laying on the heat until he was a smoking wreck. This was by far the best match Flash-BANG has ever had and bodes well for its future performance” says an incredibly proud Dreyer. 

Combat Robotics Team June 2023

Finally, the team went head-to-head with combat robotics legend, Ray Billings and his bot, Fake News. Billings is the captain of Hardcore Robotics and is well known for his appearance and performance on many seasons of the hit show, BattleBots. Dreyer says of Billings, “He is known for very destructive machines, so for us to put up not only a good fight but to go the full 3 minutes is a huge achievement. The match was very close, and everyone agreed it could have gone either way.” Despite a tough loss in this match, the team is grateful to have had the opportunity to compete against Billings. 

Happy with the performance of Flash-BANG’s weapons systems, the team will be shifting its sights to improve the mobility of the bot for future competitions. The Combat Robotics Team’s performance at competitions is made possible by their generous sponsors, the NHRL, Ward Jet, Innov8tive Designs, and Quick Service.

POSTED: Thursday, July 13, 2023 11:07 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024 01:32 PM