On 28 September, as one of the main events of the 2017 edition of the national Researchers’ Night Festival in Estonia, Science Centre AHHAA organized the second robot battle for engineering enthusiasts all over the country.
The robots held their matches in 2 categories, 10 in the lightweight category of 0-25 kg and 4 in the mid-weight category of 25 to 50 kg. Due to the popularity of the event, the fight time in each round of the battle was shortened from 3 minutes to 2 minutes and took place on a 6 x 6 m arena.
The battle proved to be spectacularly popular among festival-goers with more than 800 ticketed visitors squeezing themselves into the event location and another 100 being sent back from the doors due to cramped conditions in the room. Despite the low levels of oxygen and high levels of battle-related smoke, the crowd cheered on while the robots skillfully crashed into each other, trying to eliminate their opponents.
The audience’s favourite robot (according to the poll) was C!F!T!, a machine built by a group of engineers with the help of sponsors that managed to captivate the audience’s attention due to its lift-and-throw pneumatic weapon that proved to be unbeatable. For the same reason, C!F!T! also became the winner in the mid-weight class, being granted a 700 € prize.
In the lightweight class, most robots were equally durable but the triangular veneer- and metal sheet construction of a robot called Rüütel (’The Knight’) built by a father-son team showed its perseverence in every round and was crowned the winner of the class, happily taking home 500 € of prize money.
A robot that got the attention of the youngest audience members and did a brave comeback was built by an all-female team and called Malibu Barbie v 2.0. Fittinlgy painted bright pink and decorared with a Barbie doll, the robot did suffer some weapon triggering issues but finished all of its rounds with hardly any damages. Rumour has it, the version 3.0 is already in the making.
In 2018, AHHAA is planning to continue the Robot Battle tradition with a new and improved edition together with the local makers in the SPARK Makerlab.