Bronco was a heavyweight robot which competed in the first four seasons of the BattleBots reboot. It was built by Alexander Rose and Reason Bradley of Inertia Labs. As with most Inertia Labs robots, its weapon was a powerful pneumatic flipping arm (in fact, the arm it used was the spare from The Matador) and has almost three times the power of Toro. Bronco was a crowd favorite in the first season, throwing robots out of the BattleBox effortlessly and making it to the semi-finals before being defeated by Tombstone, but in a rather spectacular fashion.
For Season 2, two models of Bronco were built. One model was for fighting spinners, while the other was for fighting robots with other weapons. The redesigned Bronco was longer than the original bot and had six wheels instead of four. Like last season, it did really well and was once again a crowd favorite, as it beat Blacksmith, Chrome Fly, and Razorback respectively before being destroyed by Minotaur in the quarter-finals.
For Season 3, Bronco once again went through some much needed modifications. The chassis remained roughly the same shape, but Bronco returned to four-wheel drive, but it had interchangeable protection options. One included wheel guards on the back wheels only, while the other known one features a bunch of extended, bent pieces of metal, sticking out to the sides. The latter setup was used for robots with vertical spinners. It also had top armor for dealing with hammers and had 30% more power in its flipper than last season. Despite the power in the weapon and interchangeable armor pieces, it fell in the quarter-finals again after its electrics to the wheels gave out.
For Season 4, Bronco remained largely unchanged, except for some new rubber wheels and new wedgelets on the front of the machine. It's unknown how much power had been added or if the electronics are more reliable, but this proved to be its worst season ever, losing every single fight. It would get redemption in the BattleBots Challenge Re:Mars tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, but it lost in the final to a heavily upgraded and deadly Witch Doctor.
In a podcast, Bronco was confirmed to not return for Season 5, marking the first televised season that Team Inertia Labs didn't partake in.
ABC Season 1
Bronco's first ever match was against Witch Doctor. In the match, Bronco got off to a quick start scoring a flip on Witch Doctor, but it quickly righted itself. Shaman then got under Bronco and started using its flamethrower. However, Bronco activated its flipper to get away, but then drove itself into the wall where its flipper got stuck underneath. Witch Doctor used this opportunity to strike, with Shaman spraying fire on Bronco just as Witch Doctor struck it with its disc. This freed Bronco from the wall and it quickly flipped Witch Doctor again, knocking it onto the screws just as it righted itself. This resulted in Witch Doctor being stuck on the wall with no means of freeing itself. While Shaman attempted to fight Bronco, they were counted out due to the main bot being incapacitated. Bronco won by KO in 42 seconds and advanced to the round of 16, where it faced the No.13 seed Plan X.
The match against Plan X was very short. Both robots maneuvered around the BattleBox for a few seconds until 9 seconds into the match, Bronco flipped Plan X on top of the screws. Plan X was upside down and could not move, and the match was counted as a KO about 30 seconds later. Bronco advanced to the quarterfinals, where it faced the No.5 seed Stinger.
In this match, both robots went straight at each other and Bronco gave Stinger a small pop from its flipping arm. Bronco tried to flip Stinger again, but flipped itself onto the screws. Bronco was able to use its flipper to get off the screws, but it landed upside-down on the floor. Bronco was able to right itself, but Stinger got underneath and began driving Bronco around the BattleBox. Bronco then escaped, but drove itself onto the killsaws. Bronco then finished the match with a series of flips that ended with Bronco getting underneath the rear of Stinger and flipping it out of the BattleBox for an automatic KO at 1:18. This win put Bronco through to the semifinals, where it faced the feared No.1 seed Tombstone.For this match, Inertia Labs decided to extend the length of Bronco's flipper, in hopes that it would be long enough to flip Tombstone before it struck. In the beginning of the match, Bronco moved to the corner of the BattleBox while Tombstone spun up its blade. Both robots slowly moved toward each other, and Bronco struck first, flipping Tombstone onto its back. Tombstone then got a hit on Bronco, which caused it to miss its next flip. Bronco tried to get underneath the left side of the flipped Tombstone, but it missed and took another hit from Tombstone's spinning blade. This hit damaged the left side of Bronco enough to cripple that side, so it could only move in circles. Tombstone then tore the right-side wheel guard off of Bronco, and Bronco retaliated by popping Tombstone into the air. Bronco managed to flip Tombstone one more time, but the collision between the two robots ended up knocking Bronco onto its back. After seven attempts, Bronco managed to flip itself back onto its wheels, but it took a massive hit from Tombstone, which ripped the front right wheel off of Bronco. Tombstone delivered one more hit to Bronco, immobilizing it completely. While Bronco tried to get moving again by firing its flipper, it was unsuccessful and it was counted out. Right before the match ended, Tombstone struck Bronco one last time, sending Tombstone flying and causing its battery packs to eject from the robot. However, Tombstone still won the match by KO at 2:26 and Bronco was eliminated from the tournament.
ABC Season 2
Bronco's first match in Season 2 was against Blacksmith. For this match, Bronco's wheel guards were placed on top in order to absorb blows from Blacksmith's hammer. After the two robots dodged around each other, Bronco launched the first attack, but missed a flip. After dodging a hammer blow from Blacksmith, it then flipped the newcomer numerous times in succession, eventually flipping it onto the screws. After several more flips, Blacksmith's hammer broke off during an attempt to self-right. Bronco struggled to get a flip in after this as Blacksmith started to play defensive, but eventually it caught Blacksmith side on and flipped it into the BattleBox side wall. Blacksmith ended up high-centered on the screws, where it could not escape. In celebration, Bronco flipped Blacksmith's broken hammer head to the ceiling as Blacksmith was counted out and Bronco won the match by KO at 2:16. This win put Bronco to the round of 32 with its No.2 seeding, where it faced the No.31 seed Chrome Fly.Deciding to use this battle as a "test," the team used the spinner model and it was turned around to drive at Chrome Fly wedge first. In the beginning of the match, Chrome Fly got its spinning blades going and Bronco made contact with it, leaving a small shower of sparks. Both robots were moving around the BattleBox and Bronco got its rear wedge under one of Chrome Fly's spinning blades. This hit caused Chrome Fly's spinning blade to rip off its top armor and stopped moving immediately. Bronco backed away and went straight at the immobile Chrome Fly. This hit ripped off one of Chrome Fly's spinning blades. Bronco then got underneath the sheets of lexan added to Chrome Fly and flipped it on its back toward the pulverizer. Bronco tried to flip Chrome Fly out of the BattleBox, but it landed on the railing and left it there. As Chrome Fly was being counted out, Bronco went after Chrome Fly's immobilized drone and tried to flip it, but it wasn't successful as it missed two times. Despite this, Bronco won by KO at 1:00 and advanced to the round of 16, where it faced the No.15 seed Razorback.
This match was fairly even as Bronco decided to use its tail armor to fend off Razorback. Razorback made multiple attempts to attack Bronco's wheels, but Bronco was always facing with the rear plow. Eventually, Razorback managed to attack but got far enough on the back of Bronco and was launched into the air. After more maneuvering, Razorback again rolled up the back of Bronco and was launched into the air, once again landing on its wheels. However, when this happened again, Razorback ended up on its side and was unable to move due to a design flaw. Razorback was counted out and Bronco won by KO at 1:21. This win put Bronco to the quarterfinals, where it faced the No.7 seed, Minotaur.The match started off rather poorly for Bronco as it managed to flip Minotaur, but not with the usual power it was known for due to a problem with an air valve. Minotaur wasn't having much luck damaging Bronco initially either, but they eventually got around to Bronco's side and attacked one of the wheels. Bronco was not able to defend itself well and took more damage to not only its underside, but its wheels as well. As the match progressed, Bronco was losing wheels to Minotaur's deadly drum and got down to half the wheels remaining. After Minotaur tore off another wheel, Bronco was left hopeless as they were trying to stay alive with a bent up flipper and only two wheels. Minotaur manged to corner Bronco and take off the remaining wheels. Bronco could no longer move and was counted out, giving Minotaur the win by KO.
Discovery Season 3
Bronco's first match in Season 3 was against Bombshell. The match started out evenly as Bronco was having trouble overcoming Bombshell's ground clearance, allowing Bombshell to land some hits. Eventually, Bombshell hit Bronco and nearly flipped it over. Bronco retaliated by flipping Bombshell over and into the corner where Bombshell couldn't move. Not satisfied with this, Bronco launched it twice more, with the second flip launching it out of the arena for an instant KO.
Bronco's next match up was a rematch from the 1999 Long Beach BattleBots event against Lock-Jaw. For this fight, Bronco went with its anti-spinner "Twangers" to hopefully keep Lock-Jaw's weapon from making contact. The match began rather evenly as both robots were unable to make a decisive move against their opponent. Bronco took a hit from Lock-Jaw, but remained upright and mostly undamaged. However, Bronco took advantage of Lock-Jaw's sudden driving issues by tossing it, losing its front flipper plate in the process. Lock-Jaw landed upside down, but still in the arena, so the match continued. Bronco and Lock-Jaw were now seemingly both having drive issues, but Bronco persisted and threw Lock-Jaw again, this time even higher than before. However, Lock-Jaw still remained in the arena and struggled to drive against the screws. Bronco pushed Lock-Jaw up on the screws, but Lock-Jaw got off and escaped. The rest of the match was mostly neither robot making a move against the other. Time ran out and the judges awarded Bronco a 3-0 unanimous decision.
Bronco's 3rd opponent in Season 3 was against DUCK!. As a result, Bronco went with its normal armor configuration that protected only its rear wheels. When the match began, Bronco struggled to get underneath DUCK! and only ended up tossing itself. Bronco tried again and again, only succeeded in throwing itself into the air, losing a piece of itself from the screws in the process. DUCK! continued to circle around and finally Bronco managed to toss it into the air, but it was too far from the arena wall to throw it out. After some more maneuvering, Bronco missed another flip and ended up on its back where it quickly self-righted. Bronco missed one last time before getting underneath and throwing DUCK! onto the screws in front of the judges where it was able to throw it over the arena barrier for an instant KO.
Bronco's next opponent was SawBlaze. For this match, Bronco added its top armor to its twanger configuration for additional defense against SawBlaze's saw. The match was off to an even start for Bronco as both robots were a bit tentative to come at one another. Bronco made the first move by tossing SawBlaze through the air and SawBlaze landed in such a way that its saw arm was not tucked in. Bronco threw it again and took sparks from SawBlaze's arm in return. SawBlaze tried to retaliate, but it was nearly thrown into the screws. Bronco missed a flip on SawBlaze before moving back into the center of the arena. Eventually, Bronco got another flip in that threw SawBlaze into the arena lexan, causing some damage to that layer of lexan. Bronco then found itself being shoved around, but used its flipper to escape. Both robots then got stuck together for several seconds before Bronco was able to get free. As the match began to wind down, Bronco and SawBlaze got stuck together once more and Bronco got one more flip in before time ran out. The judges awarded a unanimous 3-0 decision to Bronco.
Up next for Bronco was the No.15 seed, WAR Hawk, so they went with their anti-spinner twangers. When the match began, both robots were cautious to approach for several seconds until Bronco turned to the side and took a hit from WAR Hawk. Bronco continued to fight and after lots of maneuvering, tossed WAR Hawk onto its back. WAR Hawk used the arena to self-right and Bronco took another hit from it. Bronco then got WAR Hawk on to the screws, which ground away at WAR Hawk until they got free. However, by this point, WAR Hawk had no mobility left and while WAR Hawk was being counted out, Bronco went after one of the minibots and threw it into the air.
With WAR Hawk eliminated, Bronco won by KO to advance to the quarterfinals where it faced No.10 seed, Whiplash. Once again, Bronco went with its anti-spinner twangers, but this proved to be a mistake. When the match got underway, Bronco faced pressure from Whiplash as it was being pushed around the arena and up against the arena barrier, where it was lifted up and thrown onto its back. Bronco was able to self-right, but Whiplash was right there waiting for them and Bronco was shoved around again. Bronco tried to free itself, but it was unsuccessful before Whiplash let it go. Bronco finally threw Whiplash over, but Whiplash quickly self-righted and was back on the attack. Bronco was attacked once more up against the arena barrier but when it was released, smoke began to pour out. Bronco tried to use its flipper to delay the count out, but it didn't work and they were eliminated from the tournament.
Discovery Season 4
Bronco started off 2019 with a match against the 2-time champion Bite Force. For this fight, Bronco went with its anti-spinner pwangers and two front forks to hopefully protect itself against Bite Force's attacks. The match began fairly evenly as Bronco and Bite Force were rather cautious. Bite Force struck first and Bronco was late in firing its flipper and lost the tip of its flipper as a result. Bronco pressed on and looked for an opening but Bite Force kept on them and began shoving them around. Bronco persisted and lost one of its anti-spinner pwangers as a result. Bronco was then shoved into the arena barrier before getting briefly stuck on the arena floor. Bronco continued to fight and lost a tire before smoke began to pour out. This didn't seem to affect Bronco much as they fought a little longer before they stopped moving near the arena barrier. Bronco was counted out with 12 seconds left in the match, giving Bite Force the win by KO.
Bronco's next opponent was Gary Gin and Free Shipping. After the brawl with Bite Force, the tip of Bronco's flipper was reinforced. The match began pretty evenly with both robots unwilling to make the first mistake. However, Bronco missed with its flipper twice, the latter causing its own flipper arm to buckle inward, rendering it useless. After another collision with Free Shipping, Bronco's flipper returned to its normal shape, but was fairly brittle and was ready to break off. Bronco was then shoved into the screws by Free Shipping and lost the use of its flipper completely as the damaged section broke off. Bronco tried its best to out maneuver Free Shipping and/or make use of the rest of its flipper, much like Lucky did in the Desperado tournament, but time ran out with it doing little of either. The judges gave Free Shipping its first win for the fourth season of BattleBots by a unanimous 3-0 decision.
Bronco was desperate for a win, but to get one, they had to fight HUGE. As a result, Bronco was fitted with top armor and a curved piece of metal at the top of the flipper dubbed the "Unicorn Horn" to allow the flipper to reach HUGE's and possibly get them out of the arena. Bronco didn't have a good start as they quickly took damage from HUGE's weapon, causing part of the top armor to detach at one end. Bronco then got under HUGE and was able to push it around a bit before losing the rest of that section of top armor. Bronco then got in a flip on HUGE, but HUGE's design prevented it from suffering any damage. Bronco continued to fight, but was taking the worst of the impacts, having done a full barrel-roll by HUGE's spinning bar. In the final seconds, Bronco ground to a halt right in front of the judges and took a few final hits from HUGE. The judges awarded HUGE a unanimous 3-0 decision, pretty much eradicating any hopes for Bronco's Top 16 journey.
Still winless, Bronco was now facing newcomer Hydra from Team Whyachi. In response, Bronco was armed with pwangers and a reused flipping arm from The Matador that also had a filed down tip. As the match got underway, Bronco was immediately thrown into the air but landed upright. Bronco then took another flip that also left it upright. By the third flip, Bronco was flipped over but quick to get back over. Bronco took yet another flip but still seemed to be unphased by the impacts. After a final flip, Bronco was up on its side with its flipper wrapped around the shorter lexan wall. With no way to get down, Bronco was counted out, giving Hydra the win by KO.
Amazon Alexa BattleBots Challenge
Bronco was one of 10 robots selected to compete in an event streamed live at Las Vegas, Nevada to compete for the Giant Bolt trophy. Its first opponent was a rematch against Free Shipping. The match was off to a good start for Bronco as they immediately threw Free Shipping over. However, Free Shipping was able to right itself so Bronco attacked again but only managed to flip itself over. Bronco self-righted and landed on top of Free Shipping but was able to escape before Free Shipping could cause it any major problems. Bronco then got in two more flips on its opponent but Free Shipping was only stopped because it its self-righting would've put it on the screws. Nevertheless, Bronco gave it an assist that threw it even higher into the air where Free Shipping narrowly avoided landing on top of the pulverizer. Bronco then gave it a more gentle lift that toppled Free Shipping but the damage to Free Shipping's lifter had rendered it stuck in the air so Free Shipping had some drive available. Bronco then went in and threw Free Shipping into the gap for the screws and decided to wait nearby. With Free Shipping attempting to free itself, Bronco lifted Free Shipping again, leaving it too far between the gap for the screws to get out and it was counted out, giving Bronco the win by KO. Bronco was selected by the crowd to compete against Witch Doctor for the championship, a rematch from the 2015 season as well.
In this final match, Bronco was not doing well as their first move turned their wheel into Witch Doctor's weapon and tore off that tire. Bronco then miss-timed a flip and ended up on their back, allowing Witch Doctor to move in for an attack. Bronco self-righted, but lost another tire in the process. Bronco then took more damage, causing the tip of its flipper to be bent up, rendering it pretty much useless. Bronco then lost a 3rd tire from its opponent and could no longer move, leaving it motionless up against the screws. Bronco was counted out giving Witch Doctor the win by KO and the Giant Bolt trophy.
- Wins: 12
- Losses: 8
|ABC Season 1||Tombstone|
|ABC Season 2||Blacksmith||Minotaur|
|Discovery Season 3||
Bombshell (Main Event/Undercard Match)
Lock-Jaw (Main Event/Undercard Match)
DUCK! (Main Event/Undercard Match)
Sawblaze (Main Event/Undercard Match)
|Discovery Season 4||None||
Bite Force (Main Event/Undercard Match)
Free Shipping (Undercard Match)
HUGE (Main Event)
Hydra (Main Event)
|Amazon Alexa BattleBots Challenge||Free Shipping||Witch Doctor|
Faruq Tauheed Introductions
"Its got more bucks than Mark Zuckerberg. If you're placing bets, let 'em ride on BRONCO!"
"At this rodeo, no one lasts more than eight seconds. Get ready to get flipped. It's BRONCO!"
"To bring this bot down, you need a bigger posse than Justin Bieber. Call in the cavalry! Here comes BRONCO!"
"Hickory, Dickory, Dock! You're about to get clocked! Here to bring the end of times. It's BRONCO!"
"Saddle up for the wild horse of pneumatic force. Go flipping crazy for BRONCO!"
"If it were a constellation, it would be called "The Big Flipper"! You're gonna see stars! It's BRONCO!"
"This bot goes bareback, unsaddled but never rattled. It's BRONCO!"
"From northern California, where they only know two things, steers and gears, it's time for a showdown at the KO Corral. It's BRONCO!"
"From San Francisco, if it were a rock band, it would be The Hateful Dead. While you're trippin', it's flippin', BRONCO!"
"This bot is so scary, it could be on Danger Things and send you flipping upside down, they're about to turn it up to 11. It's BRONCO!"
"Once, doce, trece, catorce, you don't want none of this horsey. Say hasta luego, it's BRONCO!"
"They're the masters of the flipping universe. Their pistons pack a punch. They make other bots lose their lunch. It's the kings of fling, BRONCO!"
"It's the rodeo king, you're the rodeo clown and we all know how this'll go down. Here to cause some bleeding, the always stampeding. It's BRONCO!"
"Last round, it sent the Hawk flying into the screws. Stand in its way and you're the next to bruise. Meet the heavyweight horse, BRONCO!"
"It's from the city by the bay, the land of Ricerony. Get ready to meet this not-so nice-oppony. You're about to get San Francisco Beat. Ding ding, it's BRONCO!"
"It's the bucking bronc from the San Francisco bay. Think you can last all of eight seconds? Folks be like neeeeeeehhhhhh! *horse noises* It's BRONCO!"
Any appearances by Bronco in merchandise are listed below:
- Bronco is one of three robots to appear in a more recent Pizza Hut commercial. The other two are Stinger and Lock-Jaw.
- Bronco was the first known robot in BattleBots history to get a televised OOTA [Note 1], via its fight with Stinger. In Discovery Season 3 Bronco got second OOTA, via fight with Bombshell, making it the first robot in BattleBots history to have scored two OOTA's
- In every odd numbered season of the reboot Bronco flipped a robot out of the arena that was armed with some sort of lifting weapon as at least one of their weapons at some point.
- Up until its fight with Lock-Jaw, Bronco has only ever won or lost by K.O.
- Bronco is the only robot in Discovery Season 3 to have all four of it's Undercard matches as Main Events.
- It's also the only robot to be featured in a Main Event two episodes in a row, when it fought HUGE and Hydra in Episodes 12 and 13 of the fourth season.
- At the start of Season 3, Episode 14 of the Discovery reboot, Bronco was shown using its flipper to toss Gamma 9 into a dumpster.
- With the exceptions of Hydra and Free Shipping, every robot it lost to was armed with a spinner.
- Coincidentally, with the exception of Free Shipping, Bite Force, HUGE, and Witch Doctor, they all lost their next fight.
- In Season 3, Bronco was the only seed that didn't have any kind of spinning weapon on it.
- Bronco's battle history on the BattleBots website lists its match against Minotaur twice.
- Bronco is the first robot in history to follow up a 4-0 season with an 0-4 season.