BattleBots Wiki
BattleBots Wiki

Drills are a unique weapon type which consist of a long, pointed mass rotating at a lower speed than traditional spinning weaponry, with the aim to use its pointed tip to carve holes into opponents by burrowing into armor.

While they can sometimes resemble the drill bits seen in power tools, the name can loosely describe any similarly-shaped weaponry with the same function.

Design and History[]

Drills have been a rare choice of weapon across the history of BattleBots, with few robots equipped with such a weapon finding much success. The first example was the Long Beach 1999 multibot Hot Air - one half of which was Jason Bardis' Dr. Inferno, predecessor to Dr. Inferno Jr. which would later win multiple lightweight titles.

Snake 2

The drill half of Snake.

Mark Setrakian's unique superheavyweight Snake featured a large, rotating drill at its tail end in its Season 2.0 appearance. Although the original, heavyweight version of Snake sported a static spike in the 1997 US Robot Wars competition, the addition of a secondary weapon meant it was able to score additional points in its sole victory over Anubis. Another example in Season 2.0 was Drill-O-Dillo, which had an unorthodox rock-crushing drill protruding from the front. However, it lost its only battle and would not return for later seasons.

Rusty Drils Sporkinok

Rusty drilling into Sporkinok.

BattleBots and the sport of combat robotics had generally outgrown drills as weapons, with a far greater percentage of competitors using materials standard drills could not penetrate through for armor such as AR500 steel. However, an unsuccessful applicant named Acme Pilot Drill looked to feature a flywheel-powered earth drill at the front inspired by cone log splitters. Its team applied for the 2016 and 2018 seasons of BattleBots with the robot, but was not selected on either occasion. 2020 season competitor and fan favorite Rusty entered the season with a variety of weaponry, including a pneumatic actuated drill which could attack from overhead. Though largely ineffective against tougher armor, Rusty was able to score valuable aggression points in its win over Sporkinok, and used its weapon to latch onto Kraken during BattleBots: Bounty Hunters and threaten to drill through the relatively thin armor around its head. Rusty ultimately won this fight by judges' decision, making the semi-finals of its episode before losing out to Copperhead.

Away from BattleBots, other robots have found mixed success in using drill weaponry. In Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, the controversial shufflerbot Drillzilla featured a static drill at the rear in its fights. This carried over to the team's BattleBots equivalent, Dreadbot. Notable examples from the United Kingdom include the Robot Wars heavyweight Ming Die-nasty, which featured a front-facing drill mounted to a lifting arm. In the lower weight classes, 150g UK antweight Boring Bot uses a drill bit attached to a brushless motor to burrow through its opponent's vulnerable top armor and even reach vital components to score knockout wins. Boring Bot was built by Alex Shakespeare, who was a teammate of Team Monsoon's Rory Mangles as they competed in Robot Wars with Nuts and Nuts 2. The house robot Sir Killalot also sported a drill at the end of his lance, which he sometimes used to gore into competitors and hoist them up.

Advantages & Disadvantages[]


  • They are easy to find and incorporate for robots.
  • They can easily reach inside an open wound (as Snake showed on Anubis)
  • They can be combined with articulators and even Self-righting mechanisms (as seen with Rusty, who uses a drill as a hammer)
  • They can be included with Invertibility, and it doesn't matter either way up as the drill's spinning direction won't switch from a flip-over.
  • Even when not spinning, they can still do damage when used as a battering ram.


  • Their long length makes them vulnerable to side-attacks, especially vertical grabbers, and they can break or be removed if placed against an obstruction.
  • They have a narrow radius and require extreme accuracy to be effective.
  • They aren't the strongest spinning weapon, which could be the reason they're less popular than Discs, Drums, Bars, shells and Rings

Notable Competitors[]

Robot Seasons Image
Hot Air Long Beach 1999
Hot air lb99
Snake Season 2.0
Full snake pits 2.0
Dr. Inferno Jr. Season 1.0 - 5.0
Drinfernojr LV00
Rusty World Championship V - Present
Dreadbot Season 2.0 - 5.0
Dreadbot sf01
Drill-O-Dillo Season 2.0