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Marvin was a heavyweight robot from Team 42, which competed in Discovery Season 4 of the BattleBots reboot.

It was a two-wheel drive, keyhole-shaped robot armed with a large 60lb horizontal flywheel made from a single block of white UMHW plastic. Its main chassis was milled from a solid piece of aluminum. Its weapon was not only unique for being made primarily from plastic, but the pair of hardened 4140 steel teeth mounted at either side were actually hinged, allowing the green teeth to extend outwards due to centrifugal forces acting on the robot. Not only that, but Marvin used four motors powering bevel-shaped wheels running against the inside of the primary weapon to spin it counter-clockwise. This friction drive allowed Marvin to get up to speed relatively quickly while allowing for the shock from the robot's impacts to not travel directly back into the weapon motors. Marvin uses many of the same internal components as Hal Rucker's DUCK!, making maintenance of the two robots significantly easier.

"Why the idea of hinged plastic teeth? Ah, a good question. The idea was that the teeth would hit hard against the opponent, unless they had a wedge, and the teeth would rotate up and absorb the hit rather than Marvin getting thrown up in the air."
— Hal Rucker explains the thought process behind Marvin's unique take on a classic weapon type.[1]

In its only BattleBots season, Marvin chalked up a win against Axe Backwards but lost to Falcon and Petunia in one-on-ones, as well as to Gruff in a rumble which also involved Gemini. Marvin proved it could deliver substantial hits but suffered a recurring issue in all four of its battles concerning the steel pins holding the weapon's hinged teeth in place breaking. This led to the teeth flying off, which hindered Team 42 greatly during all four of their battles as its primary weapon was often rendered useless midway through fights.

Though captained and driven by then 14-year-old Hannah Rucker, Marvin was built by Hal Rucker, who previously competed in the ABC Season 2 with The Ringmaster and future seasons on Discovery with DUCK!. Hal was not officially listed as part of Team 42 but wife Kathy and daughter Hannah were, as well as seasoned BattleBots competitor Julia Chernushevich, who herself had competed as part of Bucktooth Burl and Red Devil up to this point. Julia would later opt to design her own 250lb robot Ferocity, and reunited with the Ruckers in Discovery Season 6 as part of Team Black and Blue.

Team 42 and Marvin's name were both inspired by fictional robot Marvin The Paranoid Android from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Neither Marvin nor DUCK! competed in Discovery Season 5 after filming was delayed due to COVID-19, however Hal Rucker stated Hannah intended to help her father out, with DUCK! originally set to compete in the initial roster of competitors. As she had recently started high school, the Ruckers prioritized DUCK! ahead of the 2020 season, but ultimately withdrew with the postponed filming dates.

Marvin again did not return for Discovery Season 6, but all three listed members of Team 42 assisted with DUCK! including Julia Chernushevich. However, builder Hal Rucker did not rule out the possibility of a rebuilt Marvin in the future.

"Marvin's future is a little less clear because Hannah has school obligations (including FRC), and we'll see how the schedules work out... If he comes back, there will be many changes to make him a better competitor."
— Hal Rucker promises upgrades to Marvin, but cannot say for sure that it would return.[2]

Robot History[]

Discovery Season 4[]

Marvin vs. Gruff vs. Gemini

Marvin's BattleBots debut came in a three-way rumble against Gruff and Gemini. As Gemini opted to target Gruff, this allowed for Marvin to spin up its horizontal flywheel. Hannah Rucker attempted to attack Gruff from the front, but drove up their lifting forks. After colliding with the Gemini twins and then Gruff once more, one of Marvin's hinged teeth which were attached to the primary weapon flew away.

Marvin is lifted by the Hellraiser.

Shortly after, it lost the other tooth, rendering the flywheel useless. Gruff proved to be the aggressor throughout the remainder of the rumble, attacking Gemini and getting in underneath Marvin while using its forks to hold it in place. Gruff threatened to overturn Marvin at several points in the second half of the fight, but all three robots lasted to a judges' decision. A unanimous 3-0 decision was made in favor of Gruff.

Marvin vs. Petunia

Marvin's next match was against Mischa de Graaf's crusher Petunia. The team opted to start the fight upside down and work as an undercutter against their opponent. As the match got underway, Marvin was able to cause sparks against Petunia's wedge, but caused no visible damage. Though its disc slowed, the teeth did enough to deflect Petunia from getting a good grip momentarily.

Marvin delivers a shot to Petunia's plow.

However, Marvin was then grappled by Petunia and suffered minor visible damaafter being released. Petunia attempted to come in for a second bite, but Marvin's makeshift undercutter was able to get underneath their wedge, topping it backwards. Marvin was taken to the screws, and was unable to spin up to speed with its opponent consistently on their tail. With a minute to go, Hannah Rucker's robot was now only working on one wheel, but found itself underneath Petunia once more. Separated by the killsaws, Marvin was finally able to get its weapon up to speed. However, Petunia saw an opportunity to grab Marvin from the back and did so, shoving it into the screws in an attack which saw both of Marvin's teeth fly away. The last action of the battle saw Marvin rammed into the wall by their opponent, and the judges awarded a unanimous 3-0 decision for in Petunia's favor.

Marvin vs. Axe Backwards

Marvin sends Axe Backwards flying.

Next up for Hannah Rucker was Axe Backwards, in the first of its two untelevised fights. Marvin started strongly and was able to get its disc up to speed. It managed to hit Axe Backwards several times and immediately disabled their spinning drum, reducing it to a thwackbot. Marvin continued to fight, letting Axe Backwards bounce over its horizontal flywheel. A side swipe to their left wheel caused it to come loose, though it was still able to drive. Despite allowing Axe Backwards to get to its side several times in the match, Marvin refused to be bullied by Kurt Durjan's machine as it did not have the pushing power to shove Marvin around the BattleBox. Marvin spun up once more and dealt another hit to Axe Backwards, but lost one of its hinged teeth in the process, leaving it unbalanced. Nevertheless, Marvin was undeterred and took its opponent to the screws. Marvin was briefly hooked by one of Axe Backwards' thwacking axes as it latched into the center of the flywheel, but as time ran out, the judges awarded Marvin the decision and its first win of the season.

Marvin vs. Falcon

Marvin is overturned by Falcon.

Marvin then faced Team Whyachi's Falcon, in its fourth fight of the season. Marvin started the fight backwards in its red square, hoping to tank a hit to the rear and attack with its own primary weapon. However, Marvin focused on Falcon's minibot as the larger machine held back. Marvin hit the arena wall and as such, lost one of its hinged teeth again. Team 42 continued to spin the weapon, though this unbalanced Marvin, allowing for the minibot to wedge underneath its one wheel momentarily. As Marvin backed up, Falcon quickly changed direction, landing a hit which popped Marvin up into the air. Marvin then retaliated by shoving the minibot out of the picture, but a hit to their right side began to shred the one tire. Despite having to compromise their primary weapon for drive power, Marvin was able to use its flat rear end to push Falcon side on into the screws. However, it escaped and spun up both of its drums, delivering another shot to Marvin's rear. While being harrassed by Team Whyachi's minibot, Falcon came in for a big hit, which upended Hannah Rucker's machine. It pushed back, but lacked the torque to force Falcon into the arena hazards. Falcon opted to grind against Marvin with one of its drum spinners, and the upside-down Marvin attempted to spin up again, unbalancing itself but dealing a blow to Falcon's minibot in the closing stages. The judges awarded Falcon a unanimous 3-0 decision, and Marvin's 1-3 record was not enough to make the Top 32.

Results[]

MARVIN - RESULTS
Discovery Season 4
Fight Nights
1-3
Fight Night Rumble vs. Gemini, Gruff Lost (JD)
Fight Night vs. Petunia Lost (JD)
Fight Night (Untelevised) vs. Axe Backwards Won (JD)
Fight Night vs. Falcon Lost (JD)

Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 3
Competition Wins Losses
Discovery Season 4 Axe Backwards (Untelevised Undercard Match)

Gruff (Undercard Rumble)

Petunia (Undercard Match)

Falcon (Untelevised Undercard Match)

Faruq Tauheed Introductions[]

"This bot don't need a cheerleader because you can see in his eyes, it knows how to be aggressive. B-E aggressive. B-E A-G-G R-E-S-S-I-V-E. MARVIN!"

"This bots name is from the Hitchhiker's Guide, and is here to put an Arthur Dent in your side. The only paranoid android is you, don't panic forty-two! It's MARVIN!"

"This California girl is undeniable. In the box, she'll hit you like a FIREWORK! She'll make you feel like you're living a teenage dream. Everybody RO-O-O-O-O-OAR for MARVIN!"

"It's low and mean, it's a teen builder's dream. Inside the Box, it makes grown builders scream. What, you're scared of a little girl? You should be! From BattleBots' harmin' darling, it's MARVIN!"

Trivia[]

  • At the age of 14, Hannah Rucker became one of the youngest competitors to earn a win in BattleBots after defeating Axe Backwards.
  • Marvin is one of a few BattleBots competitors with multiple battles to have never been knocked out.
    • All four of Marvin's battles were decided by a judges' decision, winning one but losing three.
  • Marvin was originally supposed to be four-wheel drive with a rear wedge and red teeth, but this idea was dropped for unknown reasons.

References[]

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