In all of its appearances, DUCK! was a four-wheel drive, box-shaped robot which was incredibly low and also invertible. It was an upgraded version of Hal Rucker's RoboGames 2015 and 2017 entry Whoops!, a two-time quarter-finalist. The Rucker family had also previously competed in ABC Season 2 with The Ringmaster, with captain Hal Rucker building multiple robots outside of BattleBots, including 340lb superheavyweights Crazy Susan and Buster, middleweight multibot Black and Blue, and 220lb entry Black Widow (unrelated to the 2020 season competitor and Comedy Central BattleBots Season 1.0 lightweight of the same name). DUCK! featured a steel lifting front plow which had a chisel-shaped wedge in the center to get underneath opponents, originally mounted ahead of the front wheels, though this was changed for later iterations.
While Hal Rucker drove the robot, his daughter Hannah Rucker operated the lifter. DUCK! was milled from a single billet of 6061 aluminum, making it one of the most expensive robots in the field. In its debut year, it quickly became a fan favorite after winning an entertaining rumble against Free Shipping and Mecha Rampage. It went to 2-0 after taking down Reality before suffering successive defeats to Bronco and Tombstone, but retained its status as one of the most durable robots in the field. DUCK! entered the Last Chance Rumble with its 2-2 record, but lost the judges' decision to Bombshell in controversial fashion. Its last fight was an exhibition battle against Gigabyte, which it won, however DUCK! was not selected for the tournament bracket.
DUCK! returned for Discovery Season 4, with upgrades revolving around its primary weapon. The support arms were now mounted in between each set of wheels, meaning the range of motion had been increased dramatically. DUCK!'s lifting beak could now rotate a full 360°, protecting the front wheels when lowered, and featured a sharp black tip above its face to double up as an overhead axe weapon. The plow was made from 3/4" steel and now weighed 50lbs. However, these upgrades resulted in DUCK! having too much torque in its weapon, resulting in the whole chassis being flipped. With Hannah and Kathy Rucker operating Marvin for the season, Hal Rucker was joined by Eric Gever and Gabriel Stroud, the latter being best known for his Sabretooth series of robots which competed in Robot Wars, and Tánshè which fought in King of Bots and This is Fighting Robots. DUCK! again racked up a 2-0 record before being pegged back to 2-2, but earned revenge over Bombshell in the process. It then faced Yeti for a place in the last 16, but lost and was subsequently eliminated. DUCK! also fought an unaired exhibition match against End Game, but was again defeated.
Ahead of Discovery Season 5, DUCK! was confirmed to be in the original field of competing robots. The arms and mechanism powering the primary weapon was now mounted internally, to prevent attacks tearing the support arms used in previous seasons away. Rather than a front plow with a small surface area to get underneath opponents, DUCK! featured a more traditional wedge-shaped lifter, approximately a quarter of the robot's overall width. DUCK! had an array of offensive and defensive wedge configurations, including a single plow which purposely obsstructed the lifting beak. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which delayed filming considerably, Hal Rucker opted against competing despite initially being accepted and revealed to Facebook Supporters. However, former teammate Gabriel Stroud would pair up with John Reid and compete with Beta.
DUCK! was again redesigned for Discovery Season 6, with its entire chassis rebuilt, now milled from a large magnesium billet. The beak weapon retained its updated shape, though was now split down the center to open like a real duck's beak. In addition, the robot had in-built speakers which emitted a quacking sound as the beak opened. DUCK! also kept its array of wedge configurations, but could also opt for hinged forks as seen in a test box video. Other upgrades included new brushless motors and harder, vulcanized rubber wheels. With no secondary robot to run, Hannah and Kathy Rucker returned to the team. Team Black and Blue also recruited Julia Chernushevich, who had previously been a part of Bucktooth Burl, Red Devil and the Ruckers' Marvin, as well as designing her own 250lb entry Ferocity. Unfortunately for Hal Rucker and DUCK!, Season 6 proved to be his worst to date, failing to secure a single win in its three battles against Witch Doctor, Dragon Slayer and Riptide.
Hal Rucker confirmed in his 2022 Reddit AMA that DUCK! will be retired after Discovery Season 6. Alongside a handful of other robots from the season, DUCK! made an appearance as a static display at a live premiere of the tournament conclusion in San Jose, California. On August 1, 2022, DUCK! was confirmed as one of the competitors in BattleBots: Champions, appearing in the opening Sin City Slugfest bracket. However, it lost in the first round to eventual bracket winner HyperShock.
Discovery Season 3
DUCK! vs. Mecha Rampage vs. Free ShippingDUCK!'s first ever fight was a rumble with Mecha Rampage and Free Shipping. DUCK! started poorly after losing a wheel from Mecha Rampage's first attack. Even so, it continued to battle by flipping Free Shipping, who had also taken damage from Mecha Rampage. DUCK! continued to attack, tossing both Mecha Rampage and Free Shipping multiple times and remaining aggressive throughout. Time ran out and DUCK! was declared the winner of the rumble by a 3-0 judges' decision.
DUCK! vs. RealityNext up for DUCK! was Reality. When the fight began, things were fairly even as Reality could not do anything to DUCK and vice versa. However, as the robots continued to maneuver, Reality took off one of DUCK!'s tires, reducing the effectiveness of their front lifting plow as a result. Still, DUCK! continued to maneuver so Reality continued to attack, eventually tearing off what was left of the wheel it attacked earlier. Despite being well on top, Reality suddenly stopped moving, and DUCK! left its opponent idle in order to claim a victory by knockout.
DUCK! vs. BroncoDUCK!'s next opponent in the competition was a Main Event matchup versus former semi-finalist Bronco. The match was pretty even to start as Bronco was missing its flips but DUCK! was unable to capitalize. DUCK! continued to search for an opening and was eventually thrown into the air by its opponent. This flip was too far away from the arena barrier so DUCK! was able to continue unharmed. DUCK! managed to stay away from Bronco's flipper, causing the Inertia Labs machine to miss more flips, but it was eventually tossed onto the screws and thrown out right in front of the judges. This put DUCK! to 2-1 for the season after three battles.
DUCK! vs. TombstoneDUCK! was next put up against the reigning champion Tombstone, a rematch from RoboGames 2017. From the off, DUCK! was able to do little else but tank Tombstone's initial hits, losing a piece of their plow. At one stage, DUCK! was able to shove Tombstone into the casing for the screws, but again resorted to absorbing hits from Tombstone, losing the other side of its plow in the process. DUCK! started to take damage to its wheels, and one eventually fell off. Still able to drive with three wheels, DUCK! did not show any signs of mechanical failure and continued to come at Tombstone, but lost another wheel. Luckily for DUCK!, the impacts were taking its toll on Tombstone as the frame had bent the weapon downward, reducing the damage it was inflicting. DUCK! continued to show movement, but Tombstone continued to attack and target DUCK's remaining wheels. As the fight entered its closing stages, DUCK! could no longer move so was counted out, giving Tombstone the win by KO.
Last Chance RumbleNow 2-2 and far from guaranteed a place in the main bracket, DUCK!'s final chance for qualification came in the Last Chance Rumble with Bombshell, Gigabyte, Lucky, Valkyrie and Red Devil to determine the 16th seed in the Top 16 bracket. Early on, each of the spinners got up to speed as Red Devil got an early grab on DUCK! and with assistance from Bombshell, took it to the screws.DUCK! was then taken to Valkyrie's undercutter, who ran into the spinning shell of Gigabyte and deflected away. Gigabyte itself ran into the wedge of Bombshell, unbalancing it as John Mladenik's bot hit the screws. Not yet back up to speed, Gigabyte's ground clearance was breached by Bombshell as Valkyrie drove itself into the arena wall. Lucky and DUCK! tussled in the far end of the arena as Red Devil got back into the action and grabbed the back end of Bombshell, but could not get its saw into play.DUCK! and Gigabyte collided in the middle of the BattleBox before Hal Rucker's bot rammed into the back of Valkyrie, before taking a blow to its plow. Lucky was experiencing drive issues on one side while Bombshell looked to prevent Gigabyte from spinning back up. As Red Devil drove up Bombshell's wedge, its vertical spinner hit their right side tread and tore it off, which was the first major damage of the rumble. Gigabyte dealt a follow-up shot which sent Red Devil spinning away from the action.As it tried to spin up, Bombshell ran into Gigabyte with its front and popped it into the air several times. Gigabyte escaped, driving into DUCK! before turning its attention towards Valkyrie. Bombshell again ran at Gigabyte, but suffered drive issues as a result and was no longer fully mobile by the half-way point. Gigabyte drove into DUCK! and then Valkyrie again before it suddenly stopped moving, but was still an active hazard as its shell continued to spin. Valkyrie also appeared weary as DUCK! got to its rear and shoved it into the corner.Lucky had managed to maneuver into the action by this point as it feebly lifted DUCK! with its arm. Valkyrie had also driven to the center of the BattleBox, but DUCK! lifted it up and dropped it into Gigabyte's spinning shell. Lucky was no longer mobile at this stage, and DUCK! proceeded to lift Valkyrie once more against the spiked bumper. The latter attack allowed DUCK!'s beak to spear through a hole in Valkyrie's chassis and short out part of its electronics, seemingly leaving Valkyrie partially incapacitated. The partially-immobilized Bombshell also managed to shuffle its way from the red square to meet DUCK! in the center of the BattleBox as time ran out. As there had been no official count-outs during the rumble, the fight went to the judges with DUCK! and Bombshell both being considered eligible for the decision. Despite Bombshell's mobility issues, and the internal damage it inflicted to Valkyrie, DUCK! lost the subsequent decision, to the surprise of Chaos Corps' Mike Jeffries and the visible dejection of Hal Rucker and his team. As such, DUCK! was eliminated from the main 2018 season competition under highly controversial circumstances.
DUCK! vs. GigabyteThe last battle for DUCK! was an exhibition match against Gigabyte, both of which fought in the Last Chance Rumble. The fight started tentatively before DUCK! and Gigabyte collided, sending both robots into opposite corners of the BattleBox. DUCK! came back and took another hit from Gigabyte which threw it into the air. Gigabyte continued to wear down DUCK! and eventually cause it to lose mobility in its left front wheel. However, it could still show translational movement and as Gigabyte bumped into the casing for the screws, John Mladenik's machine was suddenly no longer mobile. Gigabyte was counted out, giving DUCK! the win by KO.
Discovery Season 4
DUCK! vs. BombshellDUCK! returned for Discovery Season 4 and was drawn against Last Chance Rumble winner, Bombshell. DUCK! and Bombshell circled for a moment before DUCK! got in a lift in near the arena barrier, flipping Bombshell over.
Bombshell tried to self-right with its disc, but was surprisingly unable to move. Bombshell was counted out, giving DUCK! its revenge and their first win of the season by virtue of a very quick KO.
DUCK! vs. CobaltDUCK! was then placed against the redesigned British entry, Cobalt. The fight started poorly for DUCK! as they were repeatedly sent flying though the air by Cobalt's new vertical spinner, but were still able to drive. DUCK! took more hits and the match went on, their lifting beak eventually became bent and was no longer able to stay flush on the floor, even after DUCK! was flipped over. DUCK! took another hit from Cobalt which launched the front of the plow out of the arena, leaving DUCK! pretty much defenseless. However, as Cobalt went in for another attack, it hit a seam in the BattleBox floor and bounced into the air before landing on an uneven patch of the floor. Though not damaged in any way, Cobalt was unable to move and was counted out. This gave DUCK! the win by KO, putting it up to 2-0.
DUCK! vs. Lock-JawDUCK! was then drawn against veteran Donald Hutson and Lock-Jaw. DUCK! decided to use the spike on top of its lifter as a hammer initially, but missed and started to take hits from Lock-Jaw. DUCK! pressed on, absorbing hits from Lock-Jaw without taking much damage. DUCK! managed to find an opening and started to attack Lock-Jaw from above, however DUCK! found it difficult to land many meaningful blows, or get in many lifts as Lock-Jaw was able to stay out of the way. Lock-Jaw's weapon soon started smoking, reducing the fight to a battle between two pushers. Both robots were still mobile as time ran out, and the judges awarded a unanimous 3-0 decision to Lock-Jaw.
DUCK! vs. QuantumDUCK! was next placed against newcomer Quantum and again opted to lead with its spike. However, as the match got underway, DUCK! found itself repeatedly in the jaw of Quantum, trying to hammer it as often as possible. DUCK! threatened to list Quantum on occasion, but it only held for so long. DUCK! found itself shoved into the walls and screws so often, eventually smoking as Quantum hit a battery with its teeth. Hal Rucker's machine simply could not escape Quantum, as the crusher held them against the screws and bit down as the time ran out. The judges gave a unanimous 3-0 decision to Quantum.
DUCK! vs. YetiAgain pegged back to 2-2, DUCK! now faced Greg Gibson and Yeti. DUCK! started off fairly strongly as it was taking hits from Yeti's drum and managed to flip them over. Due to the gyroscopic forces of its drum, Yeti took a moment to land back on its wheels, so DUCK! stayed on its opponent. DUCK! then started having trouble with its primary weapon as it was lifting and spinning the main chassis of DUCK! rather than lifting Yeti. This happened again as DUCK tried to lift while shoving Yeti into the corner of the BattleBox. DUCK! had to go on the defensive as Yeti scuffed the steel plow with their drum, and then attacked the rear end of DUCK! Although Yeti's drum stopped working, its attacks were relentless. As such, the judges awarded Yeti a unanimous 3-0 decision and a spot in the Top 16.
DUCK! vs. End GameDUCK! returned for an exhibition match against Jack Barker and End Game, with Hannah Rucker returning to operate the lifter. The match began with DUCK! box-rushing End Game, who were caught momentarily in the killsaw slots. However, as their vertical spinner got up to speed, DUCK! was sent flying, reminiscent of the opening moments of their Cobalt fight. DUCK! had little offensive tactics against End Game so it continued to come at them, but was this time hurled onto the screws. DUCK! was able to escape with the help of its lifter, but looked worse for wear. With hit after hit, DUCK's steel plow became more and more warped, and End Game eventually delivered another attack which propelled DUCK! into the air. The New Zealand representative stopped moving for a moment, but were pushed by DUCK! and came back to life. DUCK! found itself near the corner of the box and after a final hit from End Game, it was no longer mobile and smoke was pouring from the machine. DUCK! was counted out, giving End Game the win by KO.
Discovery Season 6
DUCK! vs. Witch DoctorDUCK! made its return in the 2021 season after a year away from BattleBots. Its first opponent was against the re:MARS champion and 2019 runner-up Witch Doctor. As the fight began, DUCK! was tentative out of its square which gave Witch Doctor the chance to spin up to speed. DUCK! was punted around the BattleBox in the opening moments and lost one of its two hinged forks during the exchanges. However, as DUCK! tanked the assault, a front-on hit from Witch Doctor seemingly disabled their primary weapon. From that moment, DUCK! attacked with less fear, shoving Witch Doctor into the Upper Deck and attempting to get its lifting beak into play. Witch Doctor proved to have the superior drive power, bullying DUCK! into the Upper Deck as well, then landing several pulverizer shots on top of Hal Rucker’s bot. With both bots mobile at the end of the fight, the judges ruled in favor of Witch Doctor.
DUCK! vs. Dragon SlayerComing off a bad loss to a former BattleBots runner-up, DUCK!’s next opponent was the rookie Dragon Slayer, who was making its BattleBots debut. For this fight, Hal Rucker ditched the long hinged forks which did not work as planned in their previous fight. As the match got underway, the front lifting beak of DUCK! was right away damaged by Dragon Slayer’s spinner, essentially disabling it for the rest of the fight. Dragon Slayer continued to pressure DUCK! by landing in a few more shots, resulting in the beak of DUCK! showing more visible damage. DUCK! was able to fire back and pushed Dragon Slayer into the wall before taking another shot to its lifting beak. Both bots then went into a pushing battle before DUCK! backed away to regroup. Dragon Slayer meanwhile became momentarily caught by the pulverizer controlled by Team Black and Blue, but was able to free themselves. Dragon Slayer continued to hit DUCK!, with the latter being able to sometimes stop Dragon Slayer’s weapon and push it around. However, both bots were slowly losing lift as DUCK!’s drive system was much slower and Dragon Slayer’s spinner was less powerful, and was often stopping completely after a hit. DUCK! became caught on the killsaws before the match ended, and it went to the judges. Dragon Slayer won by unanimous decision, pushing DUCK! to a precarious 0-2 record.
DUCK! vs. RiptideWith two disappointing losses to its name, DUCK!'s final ever Fight Night battle before retirement came against another newcomer the 1-1 Riptide. For this fight, the team opted to sacrifice a drive motor for a rear plow, with the intention of breaking Riptide's weapon. DUCK! led with its plow in the opening seconds, taking several glancing hits from the primary weapon of Riptide. DUCK! found itself stuck in the corner of the BattleBox as Riptide shattered its beak. In the time it took DUCK! to escape, Riptide's weapon got up to full speed and tore pieces away from Hal Rucker's bot. It then tore one of their front wheels away and took a bite out of the corner of DUCK!'s billet frame. Riptide continued to attack and threw DUCK! into the protection right in front of Team Black and Blue. Parts of DUCK! littered the arena floor as it struggled to escape the red square before driving under the pulverizer. Riptide landed yet another hit on the rear of DUCK!, sending it flying high into the air and landing beneath the pulverizer to take another hit from the hazard. DUCK! began smoking and as Riptide eventually showed mercy, a count began on Hal Rucker's bot. Riptide took the win by knockout, and DUCK! fell to 0-3 for the 2021 season.
DUCK! vs. HyperShockDUCK! returned for the BattleBots: Champions summer series, marking its final televised competition before retirement. In the first round of the bracket, Hal Rucker's bot faced re:MARS all:STARS 2022 champion HyperShock. For this fight, DUCK! was driven by Hannah Rucker and sported a single hinged fork to the side of its beak. HyperShock began by getting in underneath the front of DUCK! and pressing it against the corner before getting its primary weapon up to speed. While charging at its opponent, DUCK! ran into the blade of HyperShock who swerved to face DUCK! head on. This shattered the end of the top beak, though DUCK! was then able to get a brief hold of Will Bales' bot. HyperShock escaped and spun up again, popping DUCK! up into the air before using its superior drive power to maneuver DUCK! into the screws. HyperShock almost flipped itself over but balanced itself and set after DUCK!, tearing away the fork from its mounting point. DUCK! took the brunt of another head-on attack, which broke part of the lower beak this time. Now stuck on the opposite set of screws, DUCK! freed itself but only found itself at the mercy of HyperShock once again. HyperShock threw DUCK! up into the air and buckled its left-front wheel on impact. DUCK! landed upside-down and what was now its right-front wheel gave way as it was flung onto the Upper Deck. DUCK!'s mobility had been hampered and HyperShock took full advantage, ramming it into the barrier and trying to deliver it to the pulverizers in the final thirty seconds. Despite the punishment it took, DUCK! managed to last the full three minutes, but HyperShock took the unanimous judges' decision, ending Team Black and Blue's run at the first hurdle. This match would prove to be the final one for DUCK!, as team captain Hal Rucker had announced its retirement on a Reddit AMA prior to the airing of the episode.
|DUCK! - RESULTS|
|Discovery Season 3|
2-2 in Fight Nights, lost Play-in
|Fight Night Rumble||vs. Free Shipping, Mecha Rampage||Won (JD)|
|Fight Night||vs. Reality||Won (KO)|
|Fight Night Main Event||vs. Bronco||Lost (KO)|
|Fight Night||vs. Tombstone||Lost (KO)|
|Last Chance Rumble||vs. Bombshell, Gigabyte, Lucky,
Red Devil, Valkyrie
|Exhibition Match||vs. Gigabyte||Won (KO)|
|Discovery Season 4|
2-2, lost Play-in
|Fight Night||vs. Bombshell||Won (KO)|
|Fight Night||vs. Cobalt||Won (KO)|
|Fight Night||vs. Lock-Jaw||Lost (JD)|
|Fight Night||vs. Quantum||Lost (JD)|
|Play-in||vs. Yeti||Lost (JD)|
|Exhibition Match||vs. End Game||Lost (KO)|
|Discovery Season 6|
|Fight Night||vs. Witch Doctor||Lost (JD)|
|Fight Night||vs. Dragon Slayer||Lost (JD)|
|Fight Night||vs. Riptide||Lost (KO)|
|Sin City Slugfest|
|Round of 8||vs. HyperShock||Lost (JD)|
- Wins: 5
- Losses: 11
|Discovery Season 3||
Reality (Undercard Match)
Gigabyte (Untelevised Match)
Bronco (Main Event/Undercard Match)
Tombstone (Undercard Match)
Bombshell (Last Chance Rumble)
|Discovery Season 4||Bombshell (Undercard Match)
Cobalt (Undercard Match)
Lock-Jaw (Undercard Match)
Quantum (Undercard Match)
Yeti (Play In Match)
End Game (Exhibition Match)
|Discovery Season 6||None||Witch Doctor (Undercard Match)
Dragon Slayer (Undercard Match)
Riptide (Undercard Match)
Faruq Tauheed Introductions
"It may look fly but it's got a fowl mouth. Don't ruffle its feathers cause it's got plenty of pluck and you're outta luck. Say what's up to DUCK!!"
"Got a robot you nead beaten? He'll take a quack at it. Underestimating this bot is just plain Daffy... DUCK!"
"Can this ugly duckling turn into a swan? Beat out the bigger bots and make its season long? The way it fights is ugly, as you can see. It's the classic break fist on face strategy. It's DUCK!"
"It'll leave you crying fowl and stick you with the bill. Release the quack-en! It's DUCK!!"
"Don't call him chicken. He's no chive turkey. This bird's got plenty of pluck. You're about to be out of luck. It's DUCK!"
"If it were a volcano, it would be called Quack-atoa. I do lava good pun. Now don't blow it! Here's DUCK!"
"Forget the Millennium Falcon, THIS is the most dangerous bird in the galaxy. All fight, no flight. DUCK!"
"If it were an assassin, it would be called Swan Wilkes Booth. It's what they should've told Lincoln, DUCK!"
"Don't act like a bird brain when you fight this bot, or you might wind up with egg on your face. This battle won't be won over easy. Get ready to be goosed by DUCK!"
"Brace yourself y’all, it’s about to get spooky. This thing is a murderer, something straight out of a movie. Imagine a scene. You wake up in a dark room, mouth taped shut, and you can feel the impending doom. Suddenly, the killer’s behind you. You feel his breath on your back, and you know you’re dead when you hear… the… quack… give it up for DUCK!"
"From Atherton, California, while his friends fly south for the winter, he flies straight for your jugular. It’s DUCK!"
"It'll flip your wiggy you'll be talking like Twiggy. You'll be like, "What's up, Buck?" You're about to get dumped like a 10-ton truck by DUCK!"
"From Palo Alto, California, not even Goldberg can save you when you get put on ice by the mighty DUCK!"
"From Palo Alto, California, if you step to the quack, he'll break your robot's back. It's DUCK!"
Any appearances by DUCK! in merchandise are listed below:
- According to an interview with sponsors Protolabs, the original DUCK! was built in just 28 days.