The new season of BattleBots aired its first episode last night, and it looks as if the competition was a spectacular success. To quote one of the builders of "Mauler," a Heavyweight robot from the 1999 series, "That was some gourmet damage." If you get Comedy Central, the episode will be re-airing at least four times over the remainder of the week.
One of the crazy things is that there are now veteran robots that have become regular participants, accumulating tweaks and enhancements, and lifetime records. Go figure - the robot geek crowd is keeping the same sort of stats as are kept in Sumo wrestling: wins, losses, records versus different configurations of robot, whether or not they've ever won from the red or blue starting square... On the flip side, Sumo seems to be keeping their wrestlers in fighting trim longer than ever by incorporating modern surgeries and dietary techniques. What does it mean that a milennium-old sport and a two-year-old one are converging?
In related news, it seems there will be a line of BattleBots toys available soon. Havoc-wreaking robot action figures. How cool is this? Beats gang wars.