The Official Behind-the-Scenes Guide
BERKELEY, Calif., April 2002 - "BattleBots," one of the most popular shows on Comedy Central, second only to "South Park," and live BattleBots competitions are the latest craze for inventors and tech-savvy spectators. It's no surprise that there's an increasing interest in these radio-controlled robots that can weigh up to 408 pounds with weapons such as rotary sawblades, spikes, hammers, and other destructive tools, that are either reduced to scrap metal or emerge victorious in the competitions. Even Jay Leno and his bot "Chin-Killa" have battled in an exhibition match! Now, fans can add the only book on the market that is officially endorsed by BattleBots to their collection - BattleBots: The Official Guide (ISBN 0-07-222425-8) by Mark Clarkson, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media.
"When I first saw BattleBots, it was love at first sight," says Clarkson. "Here, finally, was a sport my 13-year-old daughter and I could both get enthused about! We critique bots and strategies, just like football fans armchair quarterbacking, except with BattleBots the talk is all about kinetic energy, pivot points, leverage, and centers of gravity. But it ain't dull," he adds. Despite the emphasis on engineering and science, BattleBots has all the guilty pleasures of a violent sport - fierce competition, carnage, destruction - without a trace of guilt. Stuff's getting ripped to shreds, and yet nobody's getting hurt."
With exclusive interviews and hundreds of full-color photographs, this book presents the history of robots and robotic competition, including biographies and unique stories of famous builders, as well as the history of the BattleBots organization itself and biographical information on founders Trey Roski and Greg Munson. Clarkson introduces the people behind BattleBots such as Pete the Mechanic, who built the 35-ton "BattleBox" ring that houses all the competitions, and offers details about the technology, construction, and operation of BattleBox. Fans are treated to interviews with prominent robot builders and behind-the-scenes pictures, stories, and statistics from previous battles.
Clarkson covers all major types of robots and robotic weapon systems found in BattleBots, from simple "Wedges" to "Spinners" to "Clamp-bots," and others, and discusses energy, mass, torque, etc. Full-color-spreads feature pictures of every major BattleBot, including action shots, builder photos, and pictures of the BattleBot innards. An illustrated chapter on building a bot is designed to give the reader a good sense of what is involved in terms of knowledge, time, materials, and costs, and provides information for anyone who is interested in getting involved in the sport.
"There has never been a sport for intelligent people to show their stuff," says BattleBots co-founder Greg Munson. "No matter what walk of life they hail from, these motivated inventors have a passion for discovering how things work, figuring things out and then breaking them.
Participants can include special effects artists, rocket scientists, engineering students, sculptors, architects, computer programmers, machine shops gurus, and young kids," he adds.
About the Author:
Mark Clarkson is a longtime BattleBots enthusiast and experienced author who has written about topics ranging from computer-aided BattleBot design and manufacturing, to molecular computers and artificial life, to computer games and children's software. His books include Flash 5 Cartooning and Windows Hothouse: Creating Artificial Life with Visual C++. A self-described dilettante, Clarkson cartoons, animates, home schools, and writes fact, fiction, and song lyrics from his home office in Wichita, Kansas. For details please visit www.markclarkson.com.
Since BattleBots first premiered on the Comedy Central Network in 1999, it has enjoyed phenomenal growth and recognition. An average of 3.5 million viewers tune into the show every week. BattleBots is now also the third highest rated sports program on basic cable programming, behind only the World Wrestling Federation and ESPN's NFL Sunday Night Football for men aged 18-34 and young adults aged 12-34 (Source: Nielsen Media Research 12/00). BattleBots currently airs internationally in the United Kingdom (BBC2), Canada (The Comedy Network), and New Zealand (Prime TV). The world of BattleBots is also branching out from the elite engineering community to the colleges and high schools of America. BattleBots is currently developing the BattleBots IQ robotics educational curriculum, which will be implemented in high school districts across the country in 2002. Designed to draw more students to the math and scientific disciplines, BattleBots IQ will serve as a platform for a youth competition and a children's educational television program. For more information please visit www.battlebots.com.
BattleBots: The Official Guide
By Mark Clarkson
Pages: 272 pp
Publication Date: April 2002
A McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media Book