Meet our BattleBot

A team of Faculty of Engineering alumni are being featured on a Discovery Channel programme.

OYES Robotics, a team of alumni from the Faculty of Engineering, will soon be featured on the Discovery Channel’s BattleBots, a 20-episode television programme that follows a tournament-based robot combat competition.

Their original robot, Death Toll, was crowned Heavyweight Champion in the FMB World Cup in China last month, leading to an invitation to participate in BattleBots.

End Game, their latest robot, has been gearing up to take on the other worthy competitors on Season 3 of BattleBots. The focal point of this 110kg monster is a 23kg disc that spins at 6,000rpm, capable of tearing through 50mm steel. It boasts four 6374-sized motors on the drive train, is powered by two 7050 sized brushless motors, and its frame is built out of 7050 aluminium with a front wedge surrounded by 10mm AR40 steel, giving it the ability to stand up to solid attempts at destruction.

We recently checked in with End Game to see how things are going.

Hi End Game! What are you most looking forward to in California?
As a newcomer to BattleBots, I’m looking forward to playing against some of the legends of the sport, and learning about how they win and how I can become the best in future.

What are your most recent upgrades, and how do you think they’ll help you dominate the competition?
My recent upgrades include some internal electronic upgrades that will help the weapon get up to speed. It now only takes me 5 seconds to get to the full 6,000rpm on the weapon, which is really fast...

What do you do to prepare yourself/get hyped for the competition?
In preparation for the competition, I have to make sure I am in tip-top shape and have plenty of spares ready to go. I know that I’ll be in the pit stop between games, so making sure my builders can fix me up in short timeframes is important. I’ve also been watching lots of previous fights to see how I would fare against the toughest opponents.

Are there any opponents that you’re particularly interested in meeting or crushing?
I want to take on some of the big hitters and past champions to see where I stack up. I know they are all tough and if I beat them that’s great, and if I don’t, I will learn how to next time. I don’t want easy matches, I want matches that will push me to the limit.

With the competition to be broadcasted internationally – covering at least five continents – you are sure to gain some celebrity status. We’d ask you how you’ll cope with newfound fame, but we figured you’re no amateur to the game. If you can pick any other robot to play you in a movie, who would you choose?
If I had to choose any robot to play me in a movie, it would have to be Terminator. Because almost nothing can kill it, and I like to think nothing can kill me.

What was the most satisfying act of destruction you have committed?
Well, actually I have had no testing! But I know that my older brother Death Toll had a great time fighting robots in China earlier this year, and he said that nothing beats destroying your peers.

Do you have a regular playlist? What’s on it?
My music is the sound of gears skipping and metal crunching.

Seeing that you are essentially a killer robot, what’s your take on the perceptions surrounding robots taking over humanity someday?
I think that robots and AI are incredibly powerful and are growing and getting smarter with every passing second. It wont be long before I am fully automated and will be a danger to you all, unless my human builders can contain me… But seriously, this is a relatively safe sport and I have been informed that as long as my builders follow all the safety precautions, humanity won't have to worry about this being a problem.

What do you most appreciate about your makers?
I appreciate that they are continuously improving me and looking for ways to get better. I don’t like sitting around; I must keep on top of my game.

Do you have advice for any upcoming killer robots?
Keep calm, and keep it simple! Make sure the basics are working well before doing anything more. If you can drive reliably you are already better than half of the opponents you will face.

The OYES Robotics team is led by recent Software Engineering graduate Jack Barker, his brother and father Steven and Russell, Mechatronics Engineering graduate Nick Mabey, and Griffin Tabor. BattleBots is aired in New Zealand on Tuesdays at 7.30pm, on the Discovery Channel.