October 1999


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From reading reports and emails from some of the UK Robot Wars competitors, the series (currently in production for UK Television), is currently a mess- probably a direct result of the accident (see yesterday's update). Filming is random, events are postponed or cancelled, plans are reshuffled, and many people are having to make long distance trips for nothing. And apparently, nobody is informing the competitors of what is going on, so it is a big guessing game. Several competitors have resigned themselves to the fact that they will just have to wait until next series, others are still clinging to hope that something will come out of the mess.

Whew! I'm glad BattleBots is still on track! From what I hear, we should once again have a good showing of some of the best UK robots at the November 17 event! See you in Vegas!

Sony just announced that they will release two new 'breeds' of their amazingly popular AI Robot Dog, Aibo. The new model ERS-111 comes in two colors and still has the $2500 price tag. This will only be available November 1-8, and they promise shipping by the end of '99.


BattleBots has announced that the date for the airing of the Pay-Per-View for the November 17 event will be January 29.

According to postings on the BattleBots Forum and the alt.robotwars newsgroup, there was some kind of accident during the taping of the Robot Wars UK television show, where a crew technician was injured in the foot by a robot. Due to this unfortunate accident, some of the events have been pushed back, delayed, or even cancelled, the latter including the entire Super Heavyweight, Lightweight and Featherweight competitions. You can read more about it on the official statement here. This really stresses the point of "safety first", folks. These are not RC cars we're dealing with, let this serve as a reminder that these robots, built to be destructive to their own kind, can be extremely dangerous to humans as well. Hopefully we won't have to report an accident like this ever again.

Also, it has come to my attention that three U.S. robots were invited over to participate in the UK event this time around: The Mauler, Tentomushi and Prometheus.

Thanks for all the responses for Robot Hauling for the November 17 Las Vegas event, I think we now have about 5 heavyweight 'bots and one superheavy. Looks like I'll need the large truck this time....which means I could probably still fit a couple more, let me know if you're interested. We will be arriving with the 'bots in Vegas on Monday the 15th.

Quick question- did I loan out my old Craftsman Jigsaw to anyone out there during the Long Beach BattleBots? I cannot find it and the tool sharing became a blur after a while...Thanks

10/23/99 (part 2)

BattleBots has just announced the location for the November 17th event! It is to be held at the All-American Sport Park in Vegas. If I'm guessing right from the info on their site, it'll be in a 100,000 sqare foot arena with seating for up to 2900.

With my wife's help, I almost finished my 9 foot tall Halloween costume 'bot today. I should have it ready tomorrow, I have a lot of wiring to do for the lights, otherwise, its looking really good. I'll get pictures here soon, stay tuned.


I figured it was about time to change the graphic on the home page here. Some of you frequent visitors may need to reload or clear your cache to view it properly. Please let me know if it isn't showing up or is taking too long to load for ya- if I did it right though, it should load faster than the old one. Tell me what you think!


Well, it comes time again to make plans for the trip to the next BattleBots event! This one, as most of you probably know, is in Las Vegas, NV on November 17. And, once again, I will be renting a (bigger than necessary) truck to transport me and my robot to the event, along with a bunch of stuff for BattleBots itself. Here's the deal- we probably will have enough room for several other robots in the truck. So far, I think we have 4 heavyweights, but there is room for a few more! This could make it especially convenient for those of you who want to fly to the event and not try to "check" your robot as luggage! All I ask is that the robot is either completely secured in a crate/box/whatever, or that you personally strap it into the truck the day before departure.

If you are in or near the San Francisco Bay area, and would be interested in dropping off your robot and/or supplies to be transported to the event, I would welcome to opportunity to talk about it. Please e-mail me for more information or to arrange a drop-off.


It saddens me that the Robots Anonymous Board has deteriorated to the point of being (in my opinion) unuseful. It is because of the past few months's level of content on that board that I have decided to stop linking to it from Because it is beyond my power to administer it, I cannot shut it down (not to mention I'm sure I'd get slammed for "censorship"), so I'll settle for dropping the link instead. If you still need to access it, your bookmark to it should work, and I think there are a few other robot sites that may still carry the link. I'm sorry if this inconveniences anyone, but I just do not see how we can benefit from the trash-talking and senseless drivel going on in there. I disagree with the lows that have been stooped to in there and can no longer morally endorse its use. I suggest we stick with what works- the BattleBots Forum has been the best source of shared info around. I think most of my readers will agree. I'm sorry it didn't work out.
Lets get back to building.


The BattleBots-Las Vegas Player Agreement and Entry Form has been posted on the BattleBots site. If you're planning on bringing a 'bot, send this one to them soon!

Just wanted to let everyone know who keeps in touch with me by e-mail frequently that I'm in the process of changing my main e-mail address. If you have me in your address book as or, please change it to the one listed here. I will continue to check the old address for a few more months, but after that, I cannot guarantee a response. All the hyper-link e-mails on this site have been changed to the new one.
I just figured, since I discontinued my company "MacShack" over a year ago, I didn't need that e-mail anymore and decided to go with the theme (and title) of this site.

The Geocities server problem continued again last night on my AutoLinks page (see below). If it continues to happen daily, I may have to move all those sites off the "Most Recently Updated" area. Until then, ignore all the ones that show a "0" for the Days Old.


Not sure what Geocities did last night, but it messed with my AutoLinks page script. Every robot site that is on the geocities server (about 16 robot teams) showed a recent update, even if the page wasn't updated at all, so that's what all those ones at the top of the list of 'recently updated sites' are. Sorry if that confused anyone...

Anyway, I'm almost done with my big Halloween Robot Costume, its HUGE- I'd get some photos here, but my blasted new digital camera doesn't want to talk to either of my computers... stay tuned anyway.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot- BattleBots updated their rules on their site to accomodate the new SuperHeavyweight class and some other modifications too. Check it out, especially if you're building a 'bot for this event.

Got some good news yesterday that my sponsor- Grainger, will be helping me out again with Nightmare's upgrade for the November 17 BattleBots event! Woo Hoo! These guys are the best!


Many thanks to all of you who have been helping me finish up the BattleBots-Long Beach Report. Thanks to SORC, I now have only 4 robots left that need pictures. Keep the info and photos coming, you guys are great!


Wow, that was quick! Thanks to several readers (Charles Carns, Jason Bardis, Derek Young & Grayson DuRaine) I now have identified all 9 of the mystery robots for the BattleBots-Long Beach Report. Less than 24 hours- Great work, guys!

I still have a ist of about a dozen or so robots that attended BattleBots that I have no photo. If you could contribute any missing photos from the event, I would greatly appreciate it. Here is the list. Please e-mail me.

I guess it's a bit late, I know I should have asked this beforehand; but here goes anyway, if any of the competitors have a problem with me posting the picture of their robot on this Report, please let me know and I will promptly remove it from the record. Sincerest apologies if I've offended anyone by posting these prematurely.

Thanks to everyone that has made this report come together so far- besides the people above, I'd also like to toss out another extra-special "Thank You" to Arthur Sanders and Gary Cline.


I've finished the first draft of the 1999 BattleBots-Long Beach Report. Please note that it is still incomplete, and some info may be incorrect. I would really appreciate any input on the missing/wrong areas as I work on completing the rest of the report.


Nothing major to report today, just a special thanks to those of you who contributed to my Legal Defense Fund in response to the subpoena I received in August from Profile (see last month's update if you missed out on all that info) and resulting deposition. Overall, your contributions paid for approximately 30% of my legal fees in this circumstance! I am overwhelmed and greatly appreciative to those of you who sent me a donation towards this defense! I would publicly acknowlege you here, but I know how important anonymity is with these touchy lawsuit-throwing times. Thanks so much.

I hope you guys are busy out there with your robot construction/repair in preparation for the November 17 BattleBots in Las Vegas! Nightmare's upgrades are going smoothly, but a bit slower than I would like.

I'm almost ready to post the first version of the BattleBots Long Beach Report. I have about 9 unidentified robot pictures and 8-10 robots that I appear not to have any pics of at all, so I will definitely appreciate if you could send me some additional pics (I will credit you with any I use). Watch the report (coming in the next couple days) for which ones I need. Many thanks so far to Arthur Sanders and Derek Young for the pictures I have already.


Just a quick note to say YES, I am still working on the BattleBots August report. I have most of the pictures of all the robots in the computer now and I'm waiting on the play-by-play report document, which should be here any day now. Once I get things entered, I may be asking around from you guys names of the 'bots that I didn't catch or recognize, and possibly the outcome of some matches, it sure is a LOT of information! I'll announce it here when I have a first draft for you to look at! If I may, I would also love it if you guys could send me some of your own pictures too, if any of the ones you have are better than ours (man, those colored lights in the pit sure hampered the taking of decent pictures!). I'll credit your name by any pictures that you send.
Thanks for your patience as I get this ready to post.

I'm also crazy for taking on a new project- a monstrous Halloween costume for the annual Lucas Halloween party at ILM. Every year, the prizes get better and better (Trips to Hawaii, SGI Computer, TV/Video equipment, etc.), and so the costumes get more and more elaborate too. I've got a robot costume (what else?) that I am working on- this one will be called "HouseBot 2000", be equipped with a working wheeled robot base, exterior in aluminum and steel sheeting (thin, of course- it doesn't need to go into battle) plenty of lights, fitted with vaccuum cleaner, duster, broom, drink dispenser, etc., have 4 working arms (my wife and I will be inside), and stand almost 9 feet tall. What, am I completely nuts??? Yes, I guess so. Gotta hurry, the party is on the 30th! I'll make sure to post some shots of this one...


Not much new to report right now, still waiting and hoping for more details (like many of you) on the November BattleBots event. I did a little bit of work on Nightmare this weekend and ordered a couple new parts today. I'd like to be able to have plenty of time to test out his new weapon configuration before the event.

I unfortunately ended up missing the Robot Sumo at the Exploratorium this past weekend, I'd love it if someone out there who attended could post a review of the event and the robots there onto the BattleBots Forum or send to me to post here with your credit. Anyone? How did Carlo's Beast do?

I created a short survey (bottom of the home page) to get some ideas of what you guys use and need here on, please take a moment to fill it out if you haven't already. Thanks!


New month (October), so the September updates have been archived below.

This weekend is the annual Robot Sumo competition in San Francisco at the Exploratorium. If you are in the area, you HAVE to come check this out, its a blast! I went last year and had a great time, I wish I had time to build one of these great robots. Come cheer on the US Champ, our own Carlo Bertocchini with his awesome sumo-bot, Beast!