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Claw Viper is a robot built by Team Bad Ideas, which competed in Discovery Seasons 5 and 6 of the BattleBots reboot.

It is a flat, four-wheel drive robot armed with a grappling claw, which was designed to look like a snake's head, and lifter mechanism similar to that of Comedy Central BattleBots competitor Complete Control. As the forks lift, the robot made use of gears to snap the top jaw down at the same time, though this was swapped out to a more reliable pivoting mechanism for its second season. The robot proved capable of performing a "suplex" on opponents, similar to SlamMow! in Discovery Season 5. Notably, team captain Kevin Milczewski posted a video showing the robot performing this move on former teammate Emmanuel Carrillo's Big Dill.[1] Claw Viper boasted some of the best acceleration in the field, in part due to the four RV-120E brushless motors used for drive, each of which are each paired up to its respective wheel via belts. These motors are more commonly seen powering heavy spinning weaponry, but Team Bad Ideas opted to use these for speed and power in the BattleBox instead.

Team captain Kevin Milczewski previously drove minibot WAR Stop for the WAR Hawk team in Discovery Season 4, and Rob Farrow of Western Allied Robotics assisted in welding Claw Viper's defensive wedge, which was used against HiJinx in Claw Viper's BattleBots debut. But despite this prior experience, Claw Viper struggled to perform during the 2020 season, winning just the once and losing two fights via by KO, preventing it from progressing to the Round of 32.

Team Bad Ideas returned for Discovery Season 6 with a handful of functional and aesthetic changes, including but not limited to sloped armor around the front and sides which doubles up as wheel protection, and a new pivoting mechanism to allow the lifting forks and snake head to clamp more reliably. The snake head and forks were now cut from white UMHW plastic, with red metal wedges bolted to the leading edges. The lifting forks, which were considerably thicker than before, were also connected at a lower position to prevent them deforming under the stress of lifting opponents. After an impressive display against Pardon My French, Claw Viper was pegged back to 1-1 after again losing to Team Uai!rrior and Black Dragon, before suffering a second loss to Bloodsport which cost Kevin Milczewski a Top 32 spot.

On August 1, 2022, Claw Viper was confirmed to appear in the first Sin City Slugfest bracket of BattleBots: Champions.[2]

The robot has previously competed in Robot Ruckus events at Orlando Maker Faire under the name Siege Breaker. It returned in November 2021 under its BattleBots name. Notably, Claw Viper was so powerful that it was able to damage the Robot Ruckus arena, peeling up panels of the arena floor and dislodging the arena barriers during its fight against Slammo!.[3] Claw Viper was also known to have fought Banana Runt, a repainted Big Dill, in a bonus battle.

Claw Viper signed up for the July 2022 Robotica event in Houston, Texas bearing the name Danger Noodle. The team entered it along with hobbyweight Siege Breaker, which has now also adopted the "Claw Viper" name.[4] However, due to shipping issues, the team had to withdraw.[5]

Robot History[]

Discovery Season 5[]

Claw Viper vs. HiJinx

Claw Viper gets a hold of HiJinx.

Claw Viper's first battle was against fellow newcomer, HiJinx. In response, Claw Viper had a front wedge installed to deflect the undercutter's heavy bar. Claw Viper started off rather poorly as its clamping arm was quickly disabled, but Claw Viper was otherwise unscathed and began outpacing its opponent. After driving over HiJinx, Claw Viper started to work in slowing down HiJinx's weapon and was successful. Claw Viper got in two more attacks with the later finally disabling HiJinx completely and HiJinx was counted out, giving Claw Viper the win by KO.

Claw Viper vs. Black Dragon

Black Dragon gets to the side of Claw Viper.

Claw Viper's next match was against the previous season's Desperado Tournament winner Black Dragon. Claw Viper entered with its traditional grappling configuration and tried to box rush Black Dragon from the start. Due to their raw speed and power, Claw Viper missed and slammed itself into the screws. Claw Viper was then tossed into the air and took a hit to the lower part of its clamping arm. Luckily, neither this nor any of the following hits did any real damage. However, Claw Viper was then taken into the screws and stopped moving a smoke began to pour out. Claw Viper tried to get going again and was able to avoid a full count-out, but took another impact and stopped moving completely as the smoke quickly turned to fire. Claw Viper was counted out, giving Black Dragon the win by KO.

Claw Viper vs. Gigabyte

Gigabyte strikes the side of Claw Viper.

Claw Viper's last Fight Night matchup came against Robotic Death Company and Gigabyte. Claw Viper was armed with its upper clamping arm and its front wedge used to deflect spinners upward. This proved to be a good choice as the first collision sent Gigabyte flying into the air. Unfortunately, Gigabyte landed upright, so Claw Viper was forced to keep fighting. After a second hit, Claw Viper was struggling to move outside of a back-and-forth movement in the corner. Claw Viper took a final blow that ripped out its left rear wheel and left it unable to move. Claw Viper was counted out, giving Gigabyte the win by KO.

BattleBots: Bounty Hunters[]

Claw Viper vs. Kraken

Kraken and Claw Viper come to blows.

Claw Viper also took part in the Tombstone Bounty Hunters bracket for a shot at facing Ray Billings' machine and win a share of $25,000. To do just that, Claw Viper first had to fight Kraken. Claw Viper quickly raced out, attemping to box rush its opponent but missed and instead was grappled and carried around the arena, losing a piece of its lifting clamping arm. Kraken also took minor damage but Claw Viper wasn't able to do much as Kraken's very design made it difficult to grab ahold of but was able to tap the top of Kraken while it was in their opponent's grip. Claw Viper released and was able to get some minor lifts in, but they were grappled again and taken to the screws. Time ran out with both robots still mobile but Kraken won a unanimous 3-0 decision.

Discovery Season 6[]

Claw Viper vs. Pardon My French

Claw Viper lands an early suplex on Pardon My French.

Claw Viper toys with its immobile opponent.

Claw Viper turns its attention to ZUT! as Pardon My French is chewed up by the screws.

Claw Viper slams ZUT! into the arena barrier.

Claw Viper's first fight of the 2021 season was against Canadian newcomer Pardon My French. The fight began with Claw Viper attempting to box rush the rookie team, but missing and sliding into the screws momentarily. It recovered and barged into the front of Pardon My French, whose large drum spinner had not yet reached maximum speed. They turned to try and spin up, but drove into a killsaw slot and Claw Viper capitalized, slowing their drum and getting a hold of Pardon My French before successfully performing a suplex. Pardon My French was now upside-down, but its drum was no longer able to spin. Claw Viper shunted it across the box in an impressive show of speed, then picked up Pardon My French again before dropping it. ZUT! was seemingly immobile near the pulverizer, and Claw Viper flipped it over when trying to bring its opponent out of the corner. Evidently also immobile, the main bot was rammed again by Claw Viper, this time into the side screws and causing a drive chain to loosen on the right side. The screws continued to chew at the underside of Pardon My French before a count began, with Claw Viper picking up and slamming ZUT! into the arena barrier in the meantime. Claw Viper won by an impressive KO to go 1-0 for the season.

Claw Viper vs. Black Dragon

Claw Viper grapples and lifts Black Dragon.

Black Dragon lands a hit on Claw Viper.

Claw Viper's second fight was a rematch from last season against Black Dragon. Claw Viper box-rushed the Brazilian bot in the opening seconds, picking it up in an impressive display of control. It then dropped its opponent behind itself, which proved to be a mistake as Black Dragon landed a glancing blow to its rear. In doing so, Claw Viper appeared to have taken damage to its drive as it only seemed able to move in arcs. However, it was able to grab Black Dragon again but tipped over in the process on two occasions. The eggbeater drum then got underneath Claw Viper and coerced it against the screws, before backing away. Claw Viper was unable to show translational movement, so was counted out, pushing them to 1-1 for the season.

Claw Viper vs. Bloodsport

Claw Viper fights back despite losing its weapon.

Sitting at 1-1, Claw Viper was given a third Fight Night battle to determine their tournament fate. Their final opponent was the only robot to defeat the previous season's champion, Bloodsport. For this fight, Claw Viper was accompanied by their minibot Hatchling. Bloodsport was allowed to spin up to speed and dealt a glancing hit to Claw Viper's back end in the opening moments. It then turned and drove straight into Claw Viper's weapon, ripping off its top clamping arm and buckling the UMHW forks. Claw Viper gave chase but in trying to lift its opponent, sent its weapon into the spinning bar of Bloodsport. This further damaged Claw Viper's weaponry and a chunk of UMHW was sent flying towards the drivers. The two bots went head to head again, this time sandwiching Hatchling and causing damage to its battery as smoke rose from the minibot. However, Claw Viper was able to use its superior drive power to bully Bloodsport into the short corner and under the pulverizer. It escaped to spin up again and dealt another hit, but Bloodsport was sent flying and almost bounced out of the arena. Claw Viper continued to tank hits from the horizontal spinner as it again got underneath Bloodsport and drove it the length of the BattleBox, slamming it into the housing for the screws, and then into the hazard itself. Bloodsport had again spun up but was lacking a wedgelet and attempted to land attacks in the closing seconds but was unsuccessful. The remains of Claw Viper's weaponry dangled from the bot as the fight went to the judges. As damage carried more weight, Bloodsport took the win by a unanimous decision, ending Claw Viper's season.

BattleBots: Champions[]

Claw Viper vs. Defender

Claw Viper upends Defender.

Returning for BattleBots: Champions, Claw Viper met a fellow controlbot in Defender in the first round of the bracket. For the tournament, Claw Viper had been fitted with a brand new four-bar mechanism for its top grabbing arm. This allowed for Claw Viper to not only clamp, but reach forward to grab opponents and pull them into its path. Both bots charged at one another from the off and Defender won the immediate fight for low ground. It managed to lift Claw Viper from the side and topple it over, pressing it against the Upper Deck and then trying to put it on the screws. Claw Viper used its agility to escape, though Defender slid its forks under the side of it again, this time to no true benefit. Both robots circled one another in an attempt to gain an advantage, but Claw Viper found itself snagged on Defender's fork. After ramming it into the housing for the screws, Claw Viper was free and now Defender was stuck and needed freeing. Claw Viper was able to use its new four-bar grappling mechanism to hoist Defender momentarily, dropping it against one of the paddles of the BattleBox. Claw Viper got to the rear of Defender again, but struggled to get a meaningful grab with its new weapon setup. Defender gave chase, though as Claw Viper maneuvered it into the wall, Defender's right wheel fell off, severely hampering their mobility. Claw Viper was then able to assert itself for the remainder of the fight. It grabbed Defender and delivered it to the screws, right in front of the judges. Claw Viper took Defender to the short corner and then to the screws again, all before attempting to finish with a lift on Jason Vazquez's bot. The fight went the distance and Claw Viper won by a unanimous judges' decision, advancing in the bracket.

Claw Viper vs. MadCatter

MadCatter stares down an immobile Claw Viper.

In the next round, Claw Viper faced MadCatter, fresh off a comfortable win over Triple Crown. For this fight, Kevin Milczewski opted to swap out the UMHW viper head for a steel one, with the intention of snagging and cutting MadCatter's weapon belts. This did not come at the expense of its new weapon mechanism, though, as it could still reach forwards as before. Claw Viper immediately charged at MadCatter, who began the fight facing sideways to evade a potential box rush. MadCatter escaped and got underneath Claw Viper, pushing it into the screws of the Upper Deck momentarily. It backed away to spin up before launching Claw Viper across the Upper Deck where it landed in the short corner. This impact also broke the linkage for Claw Viper's top arm, which hung limp for much of the remaining fight. Martin Mason's bot targeted the vulnerable underbelly of Claw Viper, who kept its weaponry in a defensive position before being caught on its opponent. Claw Viper got away, but suffered more attacks from its opponent who drove it across the length of the arena and rammed it into the barrier. MadCatter backed away as Claw Viper appeared high-centered on a loose part, before dealing another hit to its back panel. The next attack appeared to kill Claw Viper's drive completely, as it was no longer able to move convincingly. MadCatter used its lifting arm to pull Claw Viper back onto its weapon, and it became evident that the reason for its hampered mobility was a snapped drive belt. Claw Viper was counted out and was eliminated from the Sin City Slugfest bracket.

Results[]

CLAW VIPER - RESULTS
Discovery Season 5
Fight Nights
1-2
Fight Night vs. HiJinx Won (KO)
Fight Night vs. Black Dragon Lost (KO)
Fight Night vs. Gigabyte Lost (KO)
Bounty Hunters
Bounty Hunters - Tombstone Episode
Round 1 vs. Kraken Lost (JD)
Discovery Season 6
Fight Nights
1-2
Fight Night vs. Pardon My French Won (KO)
Fight Night vs. Black Dragon Lost (KO)
Fight Night vs. Bloodsport Lost (JD)
BattleBots: Champions
Sin City Slugfest
Gigabyte Episode
Round of 8 vs. Defender Won (JD)
Semi-Finals vs. MadCatter Lost (KO)

Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 6
Competition Wins Losses
Discovery Season 5 HiJinx (Undercard Match) Black Dragon (Undercard Match)

Gigabyte (Undercard Match)

BattleBots: Bounty Hunters None Kraken
Discovery Season 6 Pardon My French (Untelevised Undercard Match) Black Dragon (Undercard Match)

Bloodsport (Undercard Match)

BattleBots: Champions Defender MadCatter

Faruq Tauheed Introductions[]

"From Seattle, Washington, here to rain, it's CLAW VIPER!"

"The only thing I hate worse than denim on denim is a snake full of fangs and poisonous venom. Little known fact, I'm afraid of snakes. They make me quiver and give me the shakes. So do me a favor and stay the hell over there, or else Faruq is gonna need a change of underwear. *Shrugs* It's CLAW VIPER!"

"From Seattle, Washington, prepare for some claw and order... dun-dun. It's CLAW VIPER!"

"From Seattle, Washington, the town Starbucks calls home, comes a bot who'll spell your name wrong on your tombstone. Lifter stronger than a double shot, the best you've ever seen, yo. Burning other bots with a hot grapple-cino. Here comes CLAW VIPER!"

"Let's get to the next fight. I know you all wanna. This bot's from Seattle, the home of Nirvana. Come as you are and he'll kick your behind. When it's your turn to face him, you'll say, 'Never mind.' When the lights go on, he's more dangerous. It's CLAW VIPER!"

"From Seattle, Washington, this thing's a battle snake and he's hissssed off. It's CLAW VIPER!"

"From Seattle, Washington, here to rain down brutality, give it up for CLAW VIPER!"

"From Seattle, Washington, here to Pearl Jam you into a wall, it's CLAW VIPER!"

References[]

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