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Axolotl was a heavyweight robot built by Uh-Oh Robotics which competed in BattleBots World Championship V as well as the spin-off series, BattleBots: Bounty Hunters.

It was a two-wheel drive robot armed with a 45lb AR500 drum spinner which could spin at around 5000rpm and measured 11 inches in diameter. This vertical spinner was mounted between a pair of long, fixed wedges as well as two shorter pivoting wedgelets to get under its opponents. Axolotl's overall design and bright pink color is inspired by the amphibian of the same name.

Axolotl WCV hero shot

Axolotl during World Championship V hero shots.

The team also added six pink decorative spikes on the top panel to imitate a real axolotl's fins, though these were removed before fights as they hindered the robot's ability to run inverted. Like the weapon, Axolotl's frame and armor was made from AR500 steel. Ishaan Gupta stated in a Reddit AMA post that the team took inspiration from Black Dragon, Witch Doctor and SawBlaze when designing and ultimately building Axolotl.[1]

Uh-Oh Robotics consisted of just two members over the age of 18 at the time of World Championship V, making them by far and away the youngest team in the competition. Though the team had built robots before as part of VEX Robotics, the team had no experience of combat robotics prior to building and competing with Axolotl.

"If you were tracking when new BattleBots teams showed up, it probably seems like we came out of nowhere a month before filming started, and that's because we did. We were a group of kids with no combat robotics experience, and with 34 days to conceptualize, design, apply with, fund, brand, build and test our robot."
— Uh-Oh Robotics explain their ambitious journey to competing in World Championship V

Built in the space of just a month, Axolotl did not fare well in its rookie season. In its fights, it was hindered by several issues which persisted throughout the season, such as the robot's drive chains jumping off their sprockets, which was the result of alignment issues with the robot's two-stage reduction drive, as well as its side-mounted weapon belts often slipping off and disabling the drum spinner.

An upgraded CAD image of Axolotl was posted ahead of World Championship VI. This version featured a bulkier front and chamfered rear, as well as two additional hinged wedgelets, and a larger vertical spinner. The top panel was also planned to be made from AR500 steel. Aesthetically, the proposed CAD was a brighter pink than its Season 5 look and had fins extending from the angled front, which was more accurate to the real animal. This version also intended to have anti-horizontal configuration according to team member Leo Riesenbach.

Axolotl was not accepted for World Championship VI, though Uh-Oh Robotics stated interest in reapplying for future seasons. Team captain Alon Belkin was present with Robotic Death Company during the season, who entered both Gigabyte and Cobalt for the competition. He is also an active part of Horizon, who too were unsuccessful in applying in 2021.

Team member Cooper Wahl branched off from Uh-Oh Robotics to apply with Tempest, but were also not accepted. Although they were encouraged to reapply for the following season, it is unknown whether they did.

Axolotl resided with Alon Belkin until 2022, though various team members own different parts of the robot including the detachable fins. In March 2022, he confirmed Axolotl would not be reapplying for World Championship VII as he did not believe the current design would be accepted.[2] Alon Belkin since rejoined Team Horizon as they applied and were accepted for the seventh World Championship. Victoria Tomozei also joined newcomer Terrortops in 2022 and reunited with Axolotl's captain during Horizon's weekend at BattleBots Proving Ground. Likewise, Ishtaan Gupta joined Glitch ahead of their second BattleBots campaign, but suffered a winless season.

Robot History[]

World Championship V[]

Axolotl vs. WAR? EZ!

"We just started building, like, a month ago. So when we got here, we just had the frame. So, uh, we've been working non-stop on, uh, this robot, trying to get it ready to go. But, uh, we got it ready to go, and, um, we tempered the Test Box, and both function... The weapon and the drive function really well, so..."
— Alon Belkin on Axolotl's build process prior to its debut match (ITV4 UK version)

For its first match, Axolotl was put up against fellow newcomer, WAR? EZ!. This match was not fully televised in the US, but was later uploaded as a Basement Tape fight and included in Episode 6 of the ITV4 UK version.

Axowarez

Axolotl is upturned near the screws.

Axolotl started the battle attacking WAR? EZ! from the side and then the front, however struggled to get its own weapon up to speed. By the time WAR? EZ! had managed to spin up, Axolotl stopped moving momentarily. Struggling with drive issues, Axolotl's weapon belt flew out of the robot and WAR? EZ! was able to overturn it. The next impact flipped it back into the center of the box and peeled part of the top panel away.
Chris Rose: "Kenny, war isn't easy in the BattleBox!"
Kenny Florian: "Yeah, no doubt about it."
— Commentary immediately before Axolotl sheds its left wheels (ITV4 UK version)
WAREZaxo

Axolotl loses a wheel, which is punted by WAR? EZ!.

Axolotl's left-side wheels fell off in an attempt to escape, which WAR? EZ! punted into the wall of the box as Axolotl was counted out. WAR? EZ! won by knockout and Axolotl fell to a winless start.

Axolotl vs. Ribbot

Next, Axolotl was placed against the returning Ribbot.

SEND IT

Ribbot lands one final attack on Axolotl, nearly throwing itself out of the BattleBox.

Axolotl started off well as it initially threw Ribbot into the air, but Ribbot stayed upright and its weapon continued to function. Axolotl attacked again, sending Ribbot near the pulverizer, but it managed to stay in the arena. Axolotl was no longer moving, but both teams had agreed to attack if the other appeared immobile to improve their chances of the fight airing.

With Axolotl unable to move, they were attacked a final time before being counted out. Although this almost sent Ribbot flying outside the BattleBox, the WPI team's bot bounced to safety and Ribbot won by knockout.

BattleBots: Bounty Hunters[]

Axolotl vs. ROTATOR

After the main tournament ended, Axolotl returned for BattleBots: Bounty Hunters, where it could earn the chance to fight a legendary robot in Bronco. However Axolotl first took on Victor Soto and ROTATOR. In response, Axolotl was armed with a dustpan-like configuration consisting of a checker plate wedge bridging across their front forks.

AxoRotator

Axolotl starts off strong, shoving ROTATOR from the rear.

Axolotl was off to a good start, pushing ROTATOR into the screws. ROTATOR recovered and Axolotl quickly lost both its weapon belts before being pushed under the pulverizer, where it began to suffer some drive issues. Axolotl fought on, but it was no match and soon lost drive completely.

AxoRotator2

Axolotl immobile as ROTATOR pushes it away.

Axolotl remained motionless as it was being counted out and was then tapped by its opponent. ROTATOR took the win by knockout, eliminating Axolotl at the first hurdle.

Results[]

AXOLOTL
World Championship V
Fight Nights
0-2
Fight Night #1 (Untelevised) vs. WAR? EZ! Lost (KO)
Fight Night #2 vs. Ribbot Lost (KO)
BattleBots: Bounty Hunters
Bounty Hunters - Bronco Bounty
Quarter-Finals
Quarter-Final vs. ROTATOR Lost (KO)

Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 3
Competition Wins Losses
World Championship V None WAR? EZ! (Untelevised Undercard Match)
Ribbot (Undercard Match)
BattleBots: Bounty Hunters None ROTATOR

Faruq Tauheed Introductions[]

"From Northridge, California, it's the adorable annihilator... AXOLOTL!"

"A cute little amphibian who's about to start killin' 'em... it's AXOLOTL!"

"From Northridge, California, the amphibian that's killing 'em, AXOLOTL!"

Trivia[]

  • Axolotl was initially going to be called Akimbo according to team captain Alon Belkin, but this was changed when Greg Munson suggested a rebrand during the design stage.
  • Uh-Oh Robotics raised over $8100 on GoFundMe just weeks before filming for World Championship V.
  • Axolotl was one of the cheapest BattleBots builds in the 2020 season, with their batteries being loaned from fellow VEX Robotics team and eventual season champions End Game.
    • Notably, Axolotl's foam-filled pink tires cost just $8 each.
  • Axolotl's logo and overall branding was done by graphic designer and team member Victoria Tomozei. She would later design for Terrortops ahead of World Championship VII.
    • The axolotl in the team's logo is called Pinkie.

References[]

Navigation[]

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