Spirit of TAGA is a heavyweight robot built by a group of seven high school students and their mentor, all hailing from Saipan. It was originally accepted for Discovery Season 5 of the BattleBots reboot, prior to the season's postponement.
The robot is unique in shape, designed to resemble a native Polynesian statue with a head and arms protruding from the sides, one of which carries a spear while the other carries a tin of SPAM. The team claim its limbs were intended to be sacrificial, and filled with red confetti, though modern BattleBots rules would likely prohibit this.
The submitted CAD of Spirit of TAGA shows the robot to be largely box-like with twin drum spinners at the front, mounted on pointed triangular wedges, and two cone shapes towards the rear. These drum weapons were a peculiar shape, designed in such a way that they were heavier and wider in diameter towards the inside of the bot. As well as this, each drum was positioned at a 45° angle, inspired by Pacific Ocean waves according to the team. Spirit of TAGA features speakers, on-board cameras and decorative flora and palm trees.
The team originally uploaded a YouTube video in December 2019 stating their intention to compete in BattleBots, explaining the CAD and many of the robot's design features. Spirit of TAGA was confirmed to Facebook supporters as an accepted competitor in February 2020, though due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team were unable to make the journey to compete, so were forced to withdraw.
Spirit of TAGA was one of several teams to be sponsored by Team HyperShock ahead of the 2020 season as part of their HyperShock Approved brand, though due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this could not go ahead. Regardless, the two teams were in touch as recently as summer 2021 according to Team HyperShock.
- "They didn't need funding, but their school wouldn't let them go and order components from dozens of online stores because the shipping adds up too fast. We ordered everything and sent it in two large shipments."
- — HyperShock's Kyle Awner discusses Spirit of TAGA.
Spirit of TAGA's team received parts from Team HyperShock in 2021, with the intention of building the robot irrespective of whether it gets to compete in BattleBots or not. It is currently unknown whether they will reapply for Discovery Season 7, which has already been confirmed by the network.
- If accepted, Spirit of TAGA would have been the first Saipanese representatives in BattleBots.