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This Glossary is used to define any abbreviations, terms and phrases used in and around BattleBots.

For pages based on terminologies, see Category:Terminology.

A[]

  • Ablative Armor - Armor added to a robot which is designed to take the brunt of an attack. A modern era example of ablative armor are the reflective panels on Shatter! from 2019 onward.
  • AMA - Stands for 'Ask Me Anything' and allows fans to interact with teams and builders after an episode of BattleBots. AMAs are typically held on Reddit and moderated to ensure questions are appropriate and in the spirit of the community.
  • AR500 - A hardened variation of steel which is Abrasion Resistant. The number dictates its hardness, with AR400 and AR500 commonly named in the construction of BattleBots competitors. Some robots, such as SawBlaze, use the even harder AR600 steel for their weapons.
  • Application - The online form used to confirm a team's intention of competing in an upcoming season of BattleBots.

B[]

  • Basement Tapes - A term given to the unaired battles often released to Facebook Supporters before being released publicly at a later time. These fights often have considerably less effort put into their editing and sometimes do not even have commentary. For the 2021 season, the unaired fights were posted to YouTube the Sunday after the main episode.
  • BattleBook - A part of the BattleBots website reserved for registering for and scheduling Proving Ground battles.
  • BattleBox - The enclosed arena filled with hazards in which all BattleBots fights are held.
  • Behind the Bots - A podcast dedicated to talking about BattleBots and other robot combat events where fans can submit their listener questions on Facebook to builders and producers of the show.
  • Billet - A large chunk of material from which a chassis can be cut from in one large piece. Billets are often stronger than chassis constructed from individual parts as they do not need fasteners like bolts to hold them together, but are often very expensive. An example of a billet chassis is that of DUCK! from the Discovery seasons of BattleBots.
  • Bite - In reference to a robot's weapon, the bite or purchase is the degree of engagement given weapon has for the transfer of kinetic energy. A greater bite indicates higher efficiency in a spinning weapon, thus stronger hits. It's measured as the maximum depth of opponent insertion into the arc of a spinning weapon given its radius, RPM, geometry, and number of teeth as well as the collision speed of the interested robots.[1][2]
  • Botopsy - The name given to a deep dive into the condition of a robot post-fight, often highlighting key damage which contributed to a robot's loss. The term Botopsy Report was initially used for a special segment throughout the Comedy Central run, later being reintroduced as a recurring feature of Science Channel's World Championship III airings. In 2023, the term was reintroduced once more for the tournament bracket of World Championship VII, in the Road to the Giant Nut segment.
    • Botopsy is a play on the word 'autopsy', which is a medical examination done to determine a cause of death.
  • Bot Whisperer - The role officially held by former competitor Pete Abrahamson, the Bot Whisperer acts as a medium between presenters and commentators Chris Rose and Kenny Florian and the builders, offering his insight to predict outcomes and explain aspects of certain robots.
  • Box-Rush - Derived from the term 'bum-rush', the act of charging directly at your opponent from the very start of the fight to overwhelm them and prevent robots armed with spinning weaponry to reach top speed.
  • Brazil Wheels - The general name given to wheels molded from vulcanized rubber, as seen on the likes of Whiplash, Malice, Black Dragon and from 2022 onward, SawBlaze. Though heavy and typically expensive compared to alternative options, they are also incredibly durable. As their name suggests, they were initially produced by Brazilian teams before gaining more widespread popularity.
  • Bye - More often seen in untelevised events, a bye signals where a robot's opponent was unable to make the arena for one reason or another, and therefore forfeited their place in the battle. As such, the unwithdrawn robot automatically advances. Sometimes, as in the case of robots such as HellaChopper in World Championship II, a replacement is found for the withdrawn robot instead of handing out a win.

C[]

  • CAD - Stands for Computer Aided Design and describes the use of producing a three-dimensional model of a robot or specific parts using computer software. Common examples of CAD software include Autodesk Inventor, Fusion360, OnShape and SolidWorks.
  • Classic Era - A term referring to any form of robot combat event or show prior to BattleBots returning to television in 2015. Within the realms of BattleBots itself, the term often refers to Seasons 1.0 to 5.0 on Comedy Central.
  • Configurations - An important part of the modern sport, a configuration is an offensive or defensive setup to suit an upcoming opponent and give a team the best chance of winning a specific fight. This can come in the form of a specific weapon (see Interchangeable Weaponry), additional or minimal armor, wedges, plows, forks or wedgelets at the front, and so on. Many configurations will come with their own advantages and disadvantages, with sacrifices being made to keep the robot within a limit.
  • Controlbots - The category given to robots which rely on active weaponry which prioritise controlling their opponent by pushing, lifting or flipping it as opposed to causing damage.
  • Crab-Walking - A term used to describe the limited mobility of a robot after it has lost drive to at least one of its wheels, tracks or legs on one side. The term comes from the way in which crabs move side-to-side due to the way their legs are jointed.

D[]

  • Death Hum - The name given to the noise made as a spinning weapon gets up to speed. This is due to air being pushed away in gusts, which produces a humming noise that typically gets louder as a weapon gets faster.
  • Desperado Tournament - A mid-season tournament held during World Championship III and IV where eight robots would be selected to fight in a knockout bracket. The winner of the bracket, irrespective of their win/loss record to date, would be guaranteed a place in the tournament bracket.
  • Destruct-A-Thon - The BattleBots live event held in Las Vegas, Nevada between televised World Championships, which also consist of Proving Ground battles.
  • Dress Rehearsal - Battles staged with the sole purpose of testing cameras, lighting and sound ahead of filming a full season of BattleBots. For examples of known dress rehearsal fights, see its dedicated page.
  • Drisc/Drisk - A portmanteau of 'drum' and 'disc/disk', this is a weapon type consisting of a cylindrical mass sandwiched between two or more larger discs. Robots which feature a drisc weapon include but are not limited to HyperShock, Ominous, Reality and Axolotl.

E[]

  • ESC - Stands for 'Electronic Speed Controller', and is the part of a robot which regulates the speed of a motor it is connected to.
  • Exhibition - Sometimes known as a grudge match or whiteboard, an exhibition is a fight or demonstration which takes place but does not affect the teams' places in a tournament or records during Fight Night.

F[]

  • Failsafe - A safety feature which ensures all power to a robot is cut off in the event of the radio signal from a transmitter being lost. A common test for failsafing is to high-center a robot, power it in a safe environment and turn off the transmitter. If the failsafe is successful, the robot will shut off remotely.
  • Fight Night - The competition format used from World Championship III onward, Fight Night sees competing robots get up to four fights (three in the World Championship V and World Championship VI) to impress a selection committee. Every robot will earn a win/loss record and this, as well as their strength of schedule, will determine a Top 32 (Top 16 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons) to advance to the main knockout bracket.
  • Floor Spinner - A spinning disc integrated into the BattleBox floor during the Comedy Central era which, when active, aimed to disrupt robots that drove over it.
  • Forks - Long triangular strips of metal often added to the front of a robot with the intention of sliding in underneath an opponent to win the ground game. Some may be serrated to snag a robot once it is on top of them, or smooth instead. Forks can be static, hinged or connected to a shaft driven by a powerful motor and gearbox in order to lift opponents.

G[]

  • Giant Nut - Sometimes shortened simply to 'the Nut' and dating back to the very first BattleBots sanctioned events, the Giant Nut is the ultimate trophy awarded to the winner of a main competition.
  • Ground Game - The fight to have the lowest leading edge on a wedge or forks, in order to get underneath an opponent and either control them around the BattleBox, take them to the arena hazards or inflict damage with a primary weapon.
  • Gyro - Often used interchangeably with 'gyro-dancing', this describes the effect of a robot lifting up on one side due to the gyroscopic forces in play from its vertical spinning weapon, or internal flywheel. Though this occurs with many vertical spinners, robots such as Minotaur and the flywheel flipper Blip utilize gyro-dancing as a way of celebrating a win.

H[]

  • Haaspital - A portmanteau of 'Haas' and 'hospital', the on-site CNC machining area in the pits during BattleBots seasons which are dedicated to manufacturing new and replacement parts for teams between fights. The Haaspital received a dedicated segment during Episode 8 of World Championship VI.
  • Hammer Saw - A variation on existing weapons which consists of a downward-spinning disc on the end of an arm which swings like a traditional axe or hammer bot to hit an opponent. Hammer saws have been popularized by later versions of SawBlaze and Skorpios, as well as Jäger's Arm Muscle and the most recent build of Blacksmith. 2020 season runner-up Whiplash has also been known to attack from the rear with its lifting arm at full stretch.
  • HARDOX - A brand name of steel which is harder to source, but commonly seen in the construction of British robots.
  • Hellraisers - A now-defunct BattleBox hazard which raised multiple panels in the center of the arena floor to create ramps and mess with robots looking to win the ground game. After causing the center of the arena to sink during the 2019 season, the hellraisers were not integrated into the new BattleBox floor for World Championship V onward.
  • Hero Shot - Professional photoshoots of robots taken early in the first few days of a season's filming schedule, often with red or blue background lighting.
  • Hyperanalysis - The act of picking apart images or brief video clips to find telling details which may spoil the outcome of fights, but are not intended to be spoilers.

I[]

  • ICE - Stands for 'Internal Combustion Engine', it is a motor that uses gasoline to power up a primary weapon as opposed to an electric one. The only known bot that uses an ICE is Icewave.
  • Incapacitated - The state in which a robot is unable to move freely under its own power, whether through direct damage, malfunctions, issues with self-righting, or being stranded against the wall or by hazards.
  • Interchangeable Weaponry - The ability to swap weapons out depending on an opponent. Very similar to the wider term 'configurations', but solely concerning weapons. Notable examples include Ribbot with their vertical spinner, bar spinner, horizontal undercutter and lifting arm weapons, and Ultimo Destructo with its vertical spinner, horizontal bar spinner, hammer and lifter.

J[]

  • Judges' Decision - The way in which a winner is determined if all robots are still active at the end of the three minute fight. A panel of three judges will each vouch for a winner based on the categories: Damage, Aggression and Control.
    • Unanimous Decision - a Judges' Decision where every judge votes in favor of the same robot, irrespective of their scoring.
    • Split Decision - a Judges' Decision where at least one judge has voted differently to the others. An odd number of judges are always present to ensure this cannot be split evenly.

K[]

  • Killsaws - Circular saws which raise and lower through slots cut into the BattleBox floor, designed to cut the underside of robots. They are typically only active for the final minute of a fight in the reboot era.
  • kg - Short for kilograms, this is a unit of measuring weight often seen with UK combat robots (1kg = ~2.2lbs).
  • Kiwi Drive - Also known as Y Drive, this is a unique form of locomotion which utilizes three wheels positioned at 120 degrees from one another, forming a Y shape. This was seen in The Ringmaster as well as the 2019 season competitor Shellshock.
  • Knockout - Often shortened to KO, the act of disabling and immobilizing your opponent.

L[]

  • lbs - Otherwise known as pounds, this is the most common unit of weight concerning US combat robots. In the modern era, heavyweight BattleBots competitors are allowed to weigh up to 250lbs, with walkers permitted an upper limit of 500lbs. Robots armed with spinning weapons cannot have a spinning mass exceeding 80lbs in weight, as of the 2020 season.
  • LiPo - Short for Lithium Polymer, LiPos are the most common type of batteries seen in BattleBots competitors due in part to the power they offer for such little weight, compared to heavier alternatives such as the lead acid batteries seen in many Comedy Central era competitors.

M[]

  • Magic Smoke - A term which alludes to the thick, white smoke produced when a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery is damaged or shorts within a robot. This is often, but not always, followed by fire and requires crew to enter the arena, extinguish the fire and remove the smoke from the BattleBox.
  • mAh - Short for milli ampere-hours (or milliamp hours), mAh is a unit which measures the capacity of a battery. Typically, a battery with a larger mAh value will be able to power components for longer than a battery with equivalent specifications, but a lower mAh value. 1000mAh is the same as 1Ah.
  • Main Event - The final and most hyped-up battle of the episode, often between two of the best robots in the competition.
  • Mauler Dance - Also known as 'doing a Mauler' named after its pioneer, this term refers to a robot, typically a shell spinner, appearing to breakdance when unbalanced as it tries to use its spinning weapon to self-right. This has since been emulated by other robots too, including Captain Shrederator in its 2021 season exhibition match against HUGE.
  • Meltybrain - The name given to a unique feature with robots such as Blade Runner and Herr Gepoünden whereby the robot can sit and spin in place, while also maneuvering around the arena. Although meltybrain robots were typically limited to smaller weight classes, the idea was popularized with the Robot Wars competitor Nuts 2 and was trialed with BattleBots applicants such as ZAP and Dizzy.
  • Minibots - Smaller robots weighing up to 20lbs which accompany a heavier robot and serve as either a distraction for their opponent, or to play an active part in the fight.
  • Multibots - Not to be confused with Minibots, these are BattleBots competitors comprised of two or more smaller robots which, when combined, adhere to their division's weight limit. Notable examples include Pack Raptors, The Four Horsemen, Gemini and Jäger, and are also known in some scenes as 'Clusterbots'.

N[]

  • NDA - Stands for 'Non-Disclosure Agreement' and describes the agreement between production and people at filming to not spread information about an upcoming season prior to it airing.
  • NHRL - National Havoc Robot League (formerly Norwalk Havoc Robot League) is a robot combat event based in Norwalk, Connecticut, which sees many BattleBots competitors fighting with smaller robots. The event has sponsored Team Shreddit in each of their seasons to date, and featured as a shirt sponsor of World Championship VI winner Tantrum in its title defence, as well as the team's flywheel flipper, Blip.

O[]

  • Off-Season - The name given to the time between a BattleBots season finale being aired and a new season or spin-off airing.
  • Omniwheels - A unique kind of wheel with built-in rollers that allow a robot using them to strafe side to side if used correctly.
  • OotA - Stands for 'Out of the Arena' and describes the act of a robot being hit or flipped in such a way that it lands outside of the fighting arena within the BattleBox.

P[]

  • Paddles - A scarcely used BattleBox hazard consisting of hinged bumpers which are operated by pneumatics, similar to flippers on a pinball machine. They have been part of the BattleBox since the 2015 season, but the concept of the hazard dates back to early US Robot Wars events.
  • Pits - The area where teams maintain and repair their robots between fights. Each competing team is allocated a designated area in the pits.
  • Play-in Rumble - A specific type of Rumble where a guaranteed place in the later stages of a tournament is on the line for the winner.
  • Preliminary Rounds - The name given to the early, often untelevised rounds of a Comedy Central era BattleBots tournament. A robot would have to advance through up to five rounds before featuring in a televised fight.
  • Primary Weapon - The term given to a robot's main or most commonly used weapon used to attack an opponent.
  • Proving Ground - The name given to special fights held during the live show, BattleBots: Destruct-A-Thon, where teams have an open invitation to fight in the BattleBox over the course of a weekend during the off-season.
  • Pulverizers - Hammers housed in the corner of the BattleBox which are controlled by teams in the reboot era, formerly controlled by Peter Lambertson in the Comedy Central era, and slam onto the top of a robot.
  • PYOW- Stands for 'Pay Your Own Way' and describes the method in which various rookie teams financially afford to compete in BattleBots.

Q[]

  • Qualifiers - In the two ABC seasons of BattleBots, qualifiers were used to cut the original field in half after their first fights. However, 4 of the 12 losers of their qualifiers in World Championship I and 8 of the 24 losers of their qualifiers in World Championship II were selected to advance regardless as wildcards. Though technically known as 'pre-qualifiers', the three-way rumbles fought to determine the final four places in the 48-bot tournament of the 2016 tournament were also known simply as qualifiers.
  • Quarter-Finals - The name given to the stage in a World Championship bracket when only eight robots remain.

R[]

  • Ramrods - The name given to cylindrical metal poles which raised from the BattleBox floor to try and lift competitors and disrupt their attacks.
  • Reboot Era - Otherwise known as the modern era, this term is given to any BattleBots competition or robot combat event typically hosted after the show's revival on ABC in 2015.
  • Receiver - Also known as 'Rx', a receiver is a device used within a robot which receives wireless signals from the transmitter, converting them into meaningful actions for any components connected to it. Receivers will have separate channels, meaning a single receiver can divert signals to multiple different components, such as brushed and brushless motors, servos, etc.
  • Rematch - The name given to fights where both robots have fought previously.
  • Reserve - The name given to a robot which attends filming, but is only drafted into the main competition in the event of a competing robot having to withdraw. Reserves are also often known as Alternates or Backups. Notably, there were a number of withdrawals in World Championship II, such as Preying Mantis, The Dentist and Ambush. 2015 competitor Counter Revolution was the first example of the reboot era of a reserve robot being drafted in to replace a team already in the competition. With Beta having to withdraw, Counter Revolution was instead chosen to fight Tombstone.
  • Reversal - A term often used in professional wrestling, this term refers to a robot which is on the back foot suddenly gaining control over its opponent within the context of a BattleBots fight.
  • RoboGames - An event in the San Francisco Bay Area which often sees many competitors competing with revised and renamed versions of their main season BattleBots entries as well as new entries built specifically for the event.
  • Rookie - The term for a brand new BattleBots entry.
    • Rookie Captain - A team captain in charge of a BattleBots team for the first time ever.
    • Rookie Driver - A teammate driving a BattleBots robot for the first time ever.
    • Rookie Robot - A brand new robot, which may or may not have been entered by a team with prior BattleBots experience with other robots.
    • Rookie Team - A BattleBots team consisting largely of personnel with no prior experience competing in the show.
  • RPM - Standing for Revolutions Per Minute, RPM is a unit of measurement which denotes the amount of times a mass rotates within 60 seconds.
  • Rumble - The term given to three or more robots, excluding minibots and individual parts of a multibot, fighting one another.
  • Runner-up - The second-placed finisher within a competition.

S[]

  • Semi-Finals - The name given to the stage in a World Championship bracket when only four robots remain.
  • Screws - A BattleBox hazard which covers two sides of the modern BattleBox, behind each starting square, the screws are large rotating spirals which snag and carry robots which make contact with them. They are able to automatically reverse in order to free stuck robots if they stall when trying to spin. As of the 2021 season, they are also present at the front of the Upper Deck.
  • Shell Spinner - The name given to robots such as Ziggo, Blendo and more recently, Gigabyte and Captain Shrederator which utilize all of their outer armor as a spinning mass to attack opponents from all directions. Notoriously hard to control, shell spinners will often have a directional indicator on top to tell the driver which way it is facing.
  • Short Corner - Also called the 'pockets', these are the 8ft x 16ft alleys of the BattleBox either side of the Upper Deck created by the hazard not covering the entire length of the arena.
  • Silhouette Test - A term used outside of the show itself to denote whether a robot would be identifiable and/or interesting if only provided with its silhouette. Often referred to when determining what robots would be marketable for the show.
  • Slam Cam - The general name given to any on-board camera fitted to a robot, a slam cam offered a first-person view of a battle. This was often seen during televised episodes during Comedy Central BattleBots, though was typically uploaded as bonus content to the BattleBots YouTube channel from 2015 onward.
  • Split Decision - A judges' decision in the reboot era where the winning robot gets just two of the judges' three votes. In the instance of a split decision, Faruq Tauheed announces the vote attributed to one robot and then one attributed to the other before announcing the overall winner.
  • Strength of Schedule - The term used to assess the difficulty of a robot's opponents when comparing two or more competitors with the same or similar Fight Night records. Wins over higher tier teams and robots often hold more weight than wins over rookie teams or robots with unimpressive results in the past.
  • Suplex - The act of lifting an opponent off the ground and dropping it behind the attacking robot. This maneuver has been popularized with robots such as Complete Control, Slammo! and Big Dill.
  • Supporters - Fans of the show who pay a monthly amount via Facebook to access exclusive content such as early fight card reveals, Store discounts and roster reveals ahead of a competition.
  • Sweet 16 - An alternative name given to the Top 16 robots chosen for the World Championship tournaments until 2020, where the Top 16 became a Top 32.
  • Switch - A safety feature which turns a robot on and off, similar to other electronic devices. Switches are mandatory within BattleBots and many US competitions and ensure a robot is not active when outside of the arena.

T[]

  • TBA - Stands for 'to be announced', often seen on fight cards which are not yet totally confirmed. Interchangeable with TBC - to be confirmed, and TBD - to be determined.
  • Tegris - A compound material which makes up the black wheels sometimes seen on HUGE.
  • Tip Speed - The speed at which the outermost part of a spinning weapon rotates at. From World Championship III onward, the tip speed of powered spinning weapons was capped at 250mph.
  • Title Fight - Sometimes called the 'Finals', it is the name given to the final fight of a BattleBots season where the winner of the fight wins the Giant Nut.
  • Toaster Slots - An unofficial name given to the thin slots in between the inner and outermost layers of protective Lexan which several robots have become stuck in, such as DUCK! and HyperShock. However, guards were added to prevent this from happening from the 2021 season onward.
  • Torque Reaction - The force which acts on an object and forces it to spin in the opposite direction to an attached object which is powered to rotate. This action is seen with many classic era thwackbots such as OverKill and Toe-Crusher, and played a major role in the design of Horizon.
  • Translational Movement - Often shortened to simply 'movement' when asked for by referees, translational movement is the ability for a robot to maneuver outside of its own circumference. If a robot cannot demonstrate this, it will be counted out for a knockout. The concept was scrapped ahead of World Championship VII, however.
  • Transmitter - Also known as 'Tx', the transmitter is the controller drivers use to control their robot. Transmitters communicate with receivers within a robot to send signals through to motors via electronic speed controllers (ESCs).
  • Trey Cam - The camera attached to Trey Roski as he enters the BattleBox to offer a first-person view of an unsticking incident.
  • TV Rounds - The name given to televised fights of BattleBots tournaments, back when the field for each weight class was so large that not every fight could make a broadcast episode.

U[]

  • UMHW - Officially called UMHWPE and standing for 'Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene', UMHW is a resilient plastic which absorbs impacts well has a very high abrasion resistance. It is most commonly seen on the standard white wheels of HUGE but is also used on the white trunk of Mammoth and on other robots as additional armor.
  • Unanimous Decision - A judges' decision where all three voting judges agree on the same winner of a battle.
  • Undercutters - The name given to robots armed with horizontal spinners positioned close to the floor with the intention of hitting low down on opponents.
  • Upper Deck - The name given to the newest BattleBox hazard introduced in 2021. The Upper Deck is a raised platform with screws at one side which allows controlbots an opportunity to score a knockout win if an opponent is stranded on top of it for more than 20 seconds. Also unofficially known as The Shelf.

V[]

  • Vert - Short for 'vertical spinner' and used to describe robots with any variation of rotating disc, drum or blade used to cause damage.

W[]

  • Walkers - Robots which use legs with Robots such as the Comedy Central version of Son of Whyachi were originally referred to as a 'walker', before rules were enforced on what constituted a method of locomotion that qualified for the weight bonus. As such, early versions of SOW are considered 'shufflers'. Sometimes called 'true walkers' to denote the distinction between them and shufflers, examples include the 2020 season build of Chomp, later versions of Red Scorpion and Gloomweaver.
  • Wildcard - A competitor selected to advance in a BattleBots tournament despite losing their previous fight. Wildcards were only used in the first two reboot seasons on ABC, as they were deemed unnecessary for the Fight Night format.
  • WOPR - Introduced in 2015, the WOPR was the unofficial name given to the system used to automate various BattleBox hazards including the Killsaws and Screws. This also allowed for the latter to reverse automatically if any debris was detected preventing them from rotating. Its name derives from the 1983 film WarGames and stands for War Operation Plan Response.
  • Wubs - A type of shock isolator consisting of rubber or a similarly flexible material sandwiched between metal which aims to absorb the shock of a big hit and prevent anything attached to it bearing the brunt of the impact. Although wubs offer protection for expensive and vital components, they are prone to breaking too.

X[]

  • X-Drive - A unique method of drive where one pair of wheels are positioned at a 45 degree angle from the front of the robot. Another pair of wheels are positioned 45 degrees in the other direction, meaning both pairs are at 90 degree angles from one another, in an X shape. This was used notably in Glitch.

Y[]

Z[]

  • Zip Ties - Also known as hose ties and cable ties, these are a type of fastener which have been seen in robots of all weight classes over the years. They are often used for wire management to make repairs easier between fights, but are renowned for their versatility.

References[]

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