Not to be confused with the Robot Wars competitor of the same name.
Team Iron Force consists of just one member; Dave Eaton, a mechanical engineer from Antioch, Illinois.
- "I'm here alone, one man band. I'm getting it done by myself, you know, doing what I need to do and I've kinda got it all planned out, and I've got to get up and going to get it done. A lot of great teams here and stuff that i'm trying to competing against. Things came together and I've got the robot and everything's ready to go and I'm ready to do it!"
- — Dave Eaton during his first fight discussion.
Rusty is designed to resemble a classic steampunk robot, covered mostly in authentic rusty metal with the exception of its domed head and curved top plate, as well as its plastic back cover. The bot runs on long rubber tracks, semi-protected by cage-styled tread guards. For weaponry, Rusty is armed with a swinging sledgehammer, but can swap this out for a pneumatic actuated spike which functions similar to a jackhammer. In a December 2020 Reddit AMA, David Eaton revealed that a flipper attachment was also planned but could not be completed in time for Discovery Season 5.
Rusty exceeded many people's expectations and performed well in its debut year, racking up a KO win over fellow rookie Sporkinok and even defeating seasoned competitor Kraken in its BattleBots: Bounty Hunters bracket, only losing to established and more experienced competitors. Rusty was only knocked out once in the Fight Night episodes, but after losing to Beta and SawBlaze, missed out on the Top 32 with its 1-2 record. Dave Eaton and Rusty became fan favorites as one of the underdog stories of the season, and during the post-season awards, won the "Rookie of the Year".
- "I expected people to like Rusty, I was a little shocked when people fell in love with Rusty. I love Rusty, and he does have a charm all his own. He kind of embodies the little engine that could I guess."
- — Dave Eaton expresses his surprise at how fans took to Rusty during its rookie season.
Rusty applied for Discovery Season 6 of BattleBots with a brand new build. Larger than before, it utilized AR500 steel and titanium for armor and protection for its tracks instead of the mild steel armor from the previous season. Aluminum was also used in its construction, as well as 5160 sprint steel for its arms. Dave Eaton explained in a video with HEXBUG that the belts forming its tracks on this iteration weigh around 20lbs less than Rusty's original tracks. Despite its upgrades, Rusty retained its worn-down look and authentic rust, and kept the hammer as its primary weapon. However, Dave Eaton was forced to enter the 2020 season Rusty once again, as he was let down by suppliers and sponsors for machined parts and other vital components.
- "We were running into a big marathon and having all kinds of parts and supplies issues, and we had a few criticial parts that weren't finished."
- — Dave Eaton explains the decision to bring Rusty Mk. I out of retirement.
The new version of Rusty was still present at filming and even had official photos taken. As such, the original Rusty came out of retirement for Discovery Season 6, though this was not acknowledged by the show in its losses to Blip and Witch Doctor. Strangely, however, HEXBUG produced a remote control toy based on this rebuilt Rusty, which was announced alongside HyperShock in February 2022.
Discovery Season 5
Rusty vs. Sporkinok
Rusty's first fight of the season was against fellow newcomer, Sporkinok. The match started out with Sporkinok lifting Rusty on its side, but after a few seconds, Rusty managed to right itself. With Sporkinok's lifter breaking down and the bot moving around a lot slower than at the start, it became an awkward battle of both robots driving around the arena. Eventually, Rusty managed to get a chance to use its hammer on the back of Sporkinok, which caused minimal damage to Sporkinok's wheels. When Rusty backed off, Sporkinok stopped moving after driving onto the small lip on the screw casing, high centering itself. Sporkinok was counted out and Rusty won by KO.
Rusty vs. Beta
Rusty was next up against John Reid and Beta. Rusty started off poorly as they were immediately slammed into the arena barrier before being released. As Beta came around, Rusty missed with its drill. Rusty then tried to continue the fight but stopped moving and left its backside exposed. Rusty then took multiple shots from its opponent's hammer and was counted out, giving Beta the win by KO.
Rusty vs. SawBlaze
For its final Fight Night battle, Rusty was against Jamison Go and SawBlaze, who opted to use their cutting saw for the first time in the season, as opposed to their preferred hammer saw. From the start, Rusty was scooped up from the side and SawBlaze was able to get its weapon into play. Due to SawBlaze's serrated front forks hooking onto Rusty's track protection, Dave Eaton's bot struggled to escape, and was then sliced between its head and right-side weapon support. Rusty escaped momentarily, but then SawBlaze slid underneath it once more, this time threatening to cut through the track protection and disable Rusty's left-side drive. Throughout the match, Rusty was unable to mount any sort of attack and took shots from its opponent. Rusty was then upended near the screws and was righted by its opponent, but only to target their top armor once more with its saw blade. Halfway through the fight, SawBlaze introduced its flamethrower and rammed its opponent into the driver booth, and then the screws once more. By now, its top armor was dented in several places and the left-side support for Rusty's drill weapon had come away. Rusty was again overturned and took a glancing shot from the pulverizer when righted, and continued to take abuse for the remainder of the fight. Even so, Rusty continued to move until the time elapsed, forcing a judges' decision. Unsurprisingly, they awarded SawBlaze a unanimous 3-0 win, ending any possibility of a Top 32 place for the rookie bot.
BattleBots: Bounty Hunters
Rusty vs. Kraken
For the first round of the Son of Whyachi Bounty Hunters tournament, Rusty was up against Kraken. Rusty began poorly, as Kraken was able to outdrive it and attacked from the sides. Kraken then pushed Rusty towards the corner, but Rusty retaliated, landing a powerful shot to Krakens head. This attack managed to visibly damage Kraken's top armor causing the air bag to fall out and drag across the BattleBox as both robots were moving at the end of the fight. The judges awarded Rusty a 3-0 judges' decision, allowing it to proceed to the semi-finals and face Copperhead.
Rusty vs. Copperhead
Now in the semi-finals, Rusty faced Copperhead. Rusty started slow as Copperhead landed a few shots and was able to make Rusty fall and tip to its side. Rusty was able to self right and get back up, then manages to get a good shot with its weapon right at Copperhead's drum spinner weapon, slowing it down and jamming it. Rusty then removes its weapon out of Copperheads drum spinner but Copperhead's primary weapon gets back up to speed. It then lands more shots on Rusty, who finds itself in the corner of the BattleBox on its side. Struggling to right itself due to being propped against the side barrier, Copperhead hangs back. Rusty was eventually able to use his weapon to get unstuck and land right side up, but it became clear that Copperhead had torn one of Rusty's the tracks with an earlier assault. Rusty was no longer moving, so was counted out, allowing Copperhead to advance in the bracket.
Discovery Season 6
Rusty vs. BlipRusty returned for the 2021 season, and was first drawn against newcomer Blip. Despite its redesign, Dave Eaton entered the 2020 season bot into this battle, fitted with its sledgehammer weapon. The fight began with Blip darting towards Rusty as it slide underneath its side. Blip pushed Rusty a few inches before launching it across the BattleBox, causing it to land on its back. Rusty righted itself and trundled back to Blip, who nudged it towards the side of the Upper Deck. Blip slid under Rusty again and threw it into the railing, before trying to flip Dave Eaton's bot onto the new BattleBox hazard but instead throwing it behind Blip onto its side again. Blip repositioned and tossed Rusty against their team's pulverizer, activating it as Rusty landed and peeling the metal armor away from the top, which Blip flipped into the air as Rusty was no longer mobile. Rusty fired its sledgehammer several more times as it was counted out, and ultimately lost by KO.
Rusty vs. Witch DoctorRusty's second and final fight of the 2021 season came against the 1-1 Witch Doctor, a fight Dave Eaton himself requested. For this battle, Rusty ditched its track protection and hammer weaponry in favor of a lifting scoop, which was actually Lock-Jaw's rear plow welded to the bot. Rusty scuttled around as Witch Doctor circled it in the opening moments. Witch Doctor then delivered an uppercut to the front of Rusty, knocking it upside-down, but it was able to self-right. Witch Doctor approached Rusty again and split the loaned steel plow through the middle, before attacking the vulnerable left-side tracks and knocking Rusty on its side. This time, it was stuck and a count began on Rusty, who fell to 0-2 for the competition.
|RUSTY - RESULTS|
|Discovery Season 5|
|Fight Night||vs. Sporkinok||Won (JD)|
|Fight Night||vs. Beta||Lost (KO)|
|Fight Night||vs. SawBlaze||Lost (JD)|
|BattleBots Bounty Hunters 2020|
|Bounty Hunters 2020 - Son of Whyachi Episode|
|Round 1||vs. Kraken||Won (JD)|
|Round 2||vs. Copperhead||Lost (KO)|
|Discovery Season 6|
|Fight Night||vs. Blip||Lost (KO)|
|Fight Night||vs. Witch Doctor||Lost (KO)|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 5
|Discovery Season 5||Sporkinok (Undercard Match)||Beta (Undercard Match)
SawBlaze (Undercard Match)
|BattleBots: Bounty Hunters||Kraken||Copperhead|
|Discovery Season 6||None||Blip (Undercard Match)
Witch Doctor (Undercard Match)
Faruq Tauheed Introductions
"From Antioch, Illinois, it puts the die in oxidize. Don't worry, it happens to lots of guys. It's RUSTY!"
"From Antioch, Illinois, another one bites the rust! All thanks to... RUSTY!"
"This show is about brilliant engineers with mechanical degrees. Bots using complex machinery to kill you with ease. A combination of science and violence being used to tear hearts. And then this guy, slapped together from spare parts. But don't take that as a diss, that's all part of his charm. Introducing the blue-collar robot straight out of the farm, it's RUSTY!"
"Experts doubted this bot last year, they called him a junker. Now he’s a star and all the hot single bots are asking for his number. TMZ keeps hounding him with questions ‘cause they’re curious. Like “hey, over here, over here, is it true that you’re replacing Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious?” Signing autographs and taking selfies is the embodiment of greatness, and everyone back on the farm is like “don’t forget us when you’re famous!”. Give it up for RUSTY!”
"Sometimes here in Vegas, people drink too much. It isn't a secret but you don't end up with a hangover if you face this bot. You better believe it. But it's not a pina colada or strawberry daiquiri that's killing you either. Just a potent punch of Rusty's trusty screwdriver. Give it up for RUSTY!"
Any appearances by Rusty in merchandise are listed below:
- The rust on Rusty is all authentic.
- Rusty's domed head in its debut year was made from a kitchen bowl.
- The robot's power switch, which is an essential safety feature of all competiting robots, is made from a nut welded onto a bolt which powers Rusty on when twisted.
- Rusty also utilized a titanium panel from Gamma 9 to support its fuel tank.
- Dave Eaton used a cut street sign to make Rusty's battery tray for Discovery Season 5.
- Rusty was the only tracked robot to compete in Discovery Season 5 and 6.
- Rusty was entirely self-funded in its rookie season, with Dave Eaton even listing his sponsors as "Hope, Prayers, and Whatever is Available" on the BattleBots website.