This was the Colorado Contingent's big travel day, having decided to head to the ROBOlympics in sunny San Francisco. We were looking forward to this trip out west, having not been to California for some time. Bringing robot gear to an event in the luggage is always a challenge. Before checking our luggage, we redistributed the load a bit. Five robots and associated equipment in 4 50-pound suitcases was tricky to do, to say the least.

The flight was uneventful. At the San Fran airport, the Colorado Contigent ended up with a matching pair of PT Cruisers. We "raced" through traffic to the venue. The venue was in a great location down by the water, with a view of Alcatraz. As for the PT cruiser, we can't recommend them!

Amidst the arena construction, we found our pit tables and set up camp. It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces again. We hadn't been to SF since our first (and only) Battlebots experience, so it was good to be back. Steve B and crew was setting up the arena, Dan D was test driving his wedge-crusher.

Under the watchful eyes of the safety czar, we got through safety without any trouble. The kegs were rolled in, and with beer in hand, we attended the competitors meeting. Having a chance to socialize with fellow builders was one of the highlights of the trip. After so many months on the forums, it was nice to chat face to face. (Thanks to Team Tentacle for the crowd picture!)

We ended up hanging out until 10 or so, checking out all the cool bots that were unpacking. We headed to the hotel and then to the corner bar to grab a few beers and a bite to eat. Beer + wings - sleep = one hell of a great day!


Hangover in hand, we arrived at the Herbst Pavilion around 8:30AM. The air was abuzz with robot activity. The inclusion of Robo-One, Sumo, soccer robots and others really set ROBOlympics apart from other events. The presence of non-combat classes was a welcome addition. It was hard to focus on our robots with so much other cool stuff going on. Getting to rub elbows with robot builders from around the world was an eye opener.

Things started to roll around 11:30AM. Typical to a first day, there was initially bit of confusion trying to coordinate all events simultaneously. The volunteers quickly streamlined the process, and by 1:00PM the event was running very smoothly. Dave had gathered a great crew of helpers, and had all the bases covered. It was great seeing a line of spectators waiting to get in to a robot event. The stands were nearly full by the time the metal really started flying.

With so many weight classes we had a lot of "hurry up and wait" on the first day of competition. Luckily, there was a lot of cool things to check out, so we kept plenty busy. The hobby-weights and feather-weights got to fight in the "Toad Tank". It was donated to the RSA by Fuzzy after he closed the Robot Club and Grill. For the most part the arena is great, but has a reputation not being wedge-friendly. This definitely was the case this weekend.

Click here for video and commentary for our first day of fighting.

After an epic day, the action wrapped up around just after dark. The crowd started to thin and the builders were starting to get frazzled. Eating cold pizza can do that to you! After a haze-induced zig-zagging route, we retired to the hotel, and threw back a 6 pack (or two). Ted, didn't you grow up here? Pete was showing his fatuige by forgetting the video adapter at the venue. The hotel had cable, so things weren't that bad after all.


Did some one forget the set the alarm? A lighting fast fire-drill and we stormed the venue with 5 minutes to spare before the first match of the day. Thankfully the Sozbots were the first up so we had a bit of breathing room afterall. With the experience from the previous day, the event crew had everthing in control. Nora was whipping the builders into form, and the other supporting volenteers took her lead. It was clear that we might have stopped a tad too early as fighting for Sunday ran to well after 10pm.

While the leisurely pace of Saturday allowed us to venture out to forage at the local Safeway, Sunday did not afford us such luxuries. Dave had rounded up a rowdy bunch to run the concession stand. You've got to like an EO that has a beer stand, but you've got to LOVE an EO that has beer open at 10:30am on a Sunday! If you've never had an clothes-ironed hotdog with a cold-cold-beer, you haven't lived!

The fights came much faster on Sunday, as we advanced deeper into the brackets. Click here to read all about it. (Yep, this is coming soon too!)

After a very full day of fighting, we finally wrapped things up around 11:00 Sunday night.

We've been to a lot of great events in the last few years, but ROBOlympics really stood out. A giant Thank You to Dave and everyone else who made this event happen. Special thanks to Steve & Nora and the clip runners for the great job running safety & clip impound, Stephen Felk, Ruthie and Don Shiver for doing a great job in the large and small boxes, the entire Sozbots crew for putting on a bit more of an event then they expected, Steve Brown and Brian Nave for helping out the event in more ways then one, Marc DeVidts for helping the schedule run smoothly, and Roy for his wacky announcing. We're undoubtably forgetting people , but all of your efforts were appreciated to the extreme!

If you missed this ROBOlympics, make every effort to make it to the next one, regardless of what it's named!

Overall, Team Cosmos came home with 4 medals (1 of which was shared with Derek Zahn for the ribbon climber).

  • Angry Accountant did better then expected. The weapon worked great, but there were several design flaws that weren't fixed in time for this event. Thanks go to Derek Zahn for re-wiring her at the last minute. She'll be back, and angrier then ever!
  • Even though Xenophobia tied for fifth place, that was enough to clench a spot in the nationals, since so many other high placing bots were already qualified.
  • Free Climber took 3rd place in the ribbon climbing competition. With all the combat robot activity, Free Climber got little attention, and even less debugging, and didn't fare as well as hoped.
  • Solaris ended up in Second place, but was already qualified for Nationals at Robot Assualt. He'll likely be rebuilt for Nationals, although the current frame is in good shape.
  • 8 Hour Misfit battled his way through the field to take first in the Beetleweights. However, 8 hour had already qualified at RMRS, and is a candidate for upgrades for Nationals.
  • Helios took his seventh first place title in the 30 pounders, although there were several fights where he got a lucky win.
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