Combat robots, warring battleships: Xeni at Maker Faire

Boing Boing tv's embedded robo-combat reporter Xeni Jardin witnesses warfare inside Robogames and Combots at Bay Area Maker Faire 2008, where robots battle until death -- or at least 'til one competitor busts a sprocket.

Next, BB-gun wielding battleships go BOOM!, with the Western Warship Combat Club. Participants painstakingly re-create historic battleships on small scale, and outfit each warboat with actual artillery. He who sinks last wins. The cameraman took a pellet or two in the pants, but the goofy safety goggles kept all eyes intact.

If you dig the robots, you may enjoy the upcoming Robogames. The world's largest robot show takes place Fri, June 13th through Sun, June 15 in San Francisco. Link to tickets.

About Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:
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7 Responses to Combat robots, warring battleships: Xeni at Maker Faire

  1. BenjaminWright says:


    Robots of all descriptions are creeping into our world. As they grow more numerous, they will raise a host of legal questions . . . regulation, liability for damage, privacy for humans who encounter them. One way to regulate robot behavior is to form legal contracts with their owners.


  2. GuabaMan says:

    Why not use the same laws used for animals, right now independent robots are more like artificial animals.

    Great episode. <3 the pirate hat!

  3. fredblotnic says:

    You should look up RC Airplane combat. They use cheap planes with streamers and dogfight until streamers are cut. They wear hardhats and have a blast.

  4. madsci says:

    Hey, that’s my backside at 5:33! Didn’t know they were still taping at that point. Was nice meeting you, Xeni!

    I spent most of the weekend with the WWCC and had a blast. Stephen’s new fire control system worked great – Wired had some coverage of it. Historically everyone’s always used dumb R/C controllers and servos to aim and fire their guns, but his is the first to use a microcontroller to slave all of the guns together and aim them with a single heading and range control. If you look closely, you can see it in use on the HMS Hood. The guns on front and back will swivel in opposite directions to converge on a target at a specified range.

  5. iamcantaloupe says:

    I missed both of these because the crowds were so huge when I got there. Thanks for letting me a get a glimpse of the action that wasn’t from jumping to look over peoples’ heads.

  6. eustace says:

    That was a geektastic episode – THX

    and thx ben wright for the link. Now I need to get my palm e2 to bluetooth broadcast that text!

  7. Kieran O'Neill says:

    This has been going for a while, but still cool.

    The best was when the BBC used to broadcast it weekly.

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