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The Dentist was a robot was built by the MIT Combat Robotics Club which was entered into BattleBots World Championship II.

Roughly rectangular in shape, The Dentist had welded mild steel tubing protruding from the sides to make it harder to flip and somewhat protect the otherwise totally exposed drive system. The Dentist used a pair of motors to drive its wheels, which were positioned right at the front of the robot, as well as two smaller chain-driven wheels to allow it to run inverted. The robot was originally going to have four wheels in a more traditional setup, though this was dropped as it was deemed too heavy in the CAD stage. Due to the planned 47lb weapon motor and further 16lb of lithium-polymer batteries, compromises on the robot's armor and overall look had to be made.[1] The team would rinse through a handful of ideas before finally settling on The Dentist's final design.[2]

The Dentist was armed with a spinning drum, which was going driven by an 100HP motor salvaged from a Toyota Prius until the team realised it was not a viable option. Originally armed with twin drum weapons similar to Falcon and minimal aesthetic work, this idea was dropped as Greg Munson stated it was not unique enough for the show.

"My quick feedback on this robot is the shape is too boring. Too many robots are rectangles with 4 wheels. Yes, that is an efficient design for a chassis, but its a design we see over and over and over and over… This robot needs more personality."
— Greg Munson's email to The Dentist's team prior to World Championship II

The team returned to CAD to design a more interesting robot. This proved to be their ultimate downfall, however, as they opted for obscure methods of design, drive and weaponry to appear unique in the eyes of the selection team. As well as its spinning weaponry, the team suggested The Dentist would feature hinged "injectible teeth" on the drum, which would work similar to Robot Wars competitor Expulsion in Series 9. However, this idea was also scrapped prior to the robot's actual build, which looked wildly different to the CAD they had applied with.

"In addition to being a bit gimmicky, and of questionable strength and usefulness, mostly, we heard back almost 2 months after we expected to. Our build season was barely half as long as we thought we would have. So, back to a traditional fixed-tooth drum design."
— The Dentist's team explain their change of weapon design

The team were very good friends with Charles Guan and various other team members from the Overhaul team, who reached the quarter-finals of World Championship I. Despite attending filming for World Championship II, The Dentist's team had to create a custom speed controller to handle the Prius motor powering its drum, and a solution for this was not found prior to filming. After many redesigns, the robot itself was built in just 12 days, and was therefore unfinished when it arrived at filming. According to several builders in attendance with their own robots, The Dentist was lacking in safety.

"We tried a lot of different designs to try to fit this heavy-ass motor and heavy-ass electrical system into a 250lb CAD model. We switched to titanium, then switched back to aluminum, turned side armor into Swiss cheese - lots of desperate engineering. But in the end the designs became too strained, time was running short, and decided to drop the Prius motor from the design."
— The Dentist's build log explains a late decision to ditch the Prius motor

Despite eventually getting rid of the Toyota Prius motor, the team were forced to drop out of the competition, and would not even get an exhibition match during the season.

The Dentist would not return for future seasons of BattleBots, but was displayed outside the Boston Children's Museum alongside fellow MIT robots Overhaul, Sawblaze, and Road Rash in July 2016. Team member Austin Brown would join Team Uppercut in 2020, and later competed as part of Omega Team.

Results[]

THE DENTIST
World Championship II
2016 Championship
NOTE: The Dentist withdrew from the competition and as such, did not compete.

Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 0
Competition Wins Losses
World Championship II None None

Trivia[]

The Dentist S2 t-shirt

The Dentist featuring on the official t-shirt for the 2016 season.

  • The Dentist was so unsafe that the team required large rubber gloves to turn the robot on and off, in order to prevent electrocution.
    • Ironically, The Dentist had several "High Voltage" warning stickers stuck to the black framework of the robot.
  • The team cited Team HyperShock and Team Riobotz's Touro Maximus as inspiration for The Dentist's drum weapon.
  • The Toyota Prius which was gutted for its motors was bought from a local scrapyard for $250.
  • Despite not competing, The Dentist's revised CAD, which was different to its final look, appeared on official merchandise.

References[]

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