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Kebsis
2005-Jan-18, 02:40 PM
http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/011705/sta_20050117006.shtml

Quite an accomplishment. But is an 18-horsepower engine enough to make it move?

Amadeus
2005-Jan-18, 02:50 PM
=D>

Whilst 18 horse power may seem a bit small once he starts getting money from the shows he'll be able to upgrade. Besides would you want to go full power the first time you use it?

I find it hard to tell from the picture how he operates it. Is he sitting in a small cabin ala Battle mech or is he "wearing the suit" ala Appleseed.

If he's wearing it then he better have good insurance. :o

I'ld be interested to see how he's worked out the bi-pedal balanceing act. The requires lots of adjustments constantly.

Then again you have to respect the fact that he's put nail guns and flamethrowers on it!

Captain Kidd
2005-Jan-18, 03:05 PM
On the balancing, the article says that he made the legs a lot heavier to drop the center of gravity and he has "training feet" until he gets the hang of it.

I just passed it on to a Battletech fan here at work and he loves it. Says he's seen mockups at conventions but the big problem has always been, where's the guy sit? He'll be inside:

The red backlit eyes of his 18-foot hydraulic mecha - please don't call it a robot - will glow, but they're just for show. Five cameras will be the real eyes, allowing the operator riding inside the steel contraption to see via a laptop computer and flatscreen monitor rigged inside.

Swift
2005-Jan-18, 03:24 PM
<skip>
Then again you have to respect the fact that he's put nail guns and flamethrowers on it!
my bold
Oh no, not more nail guns. Well, at least that should keep the dentists busy. :wink:

electromagneticpulse
2005-Jan-18, 03:56 PM
That is one impressive Mecha.


The U.S. military has spent millions and a half decade developing a limited exoskeleton to help soldiers carry supplies.

Owens figures his prototype, which he began building in October 2003, will set him back about $20,000.
^^^ My favourite two lines.

It could be used for loads of things, one of the applications he said was fire fighting. Now would that be a fire extinguisher mounted to the other arm to put out the fire he caused :D

I wonder if he could make it skip :roll:

Captain Kidd
2005-Jan-18, 04:49 PM
That is one impressive Mecha.


The U.S. military has spent millions and a half decade developing a limited exoskeleton to help soldiers carry supplies.

Owens figures his prototype, which he began building in October 2003, will set him back about $20,000.
^^^ My favourite two lines.
Got a chuckle over that too.

However, the more I think about it, the more I think that might be an apples and oranges comparison. The military has been working on an exoskeleton that literally straps to a person's body. Further evolutions of it becoming suits a-la Starship Troopers (the book). This guy's making a mecha which, from what I've picked up, he'll be a pilot a-la most mecha animes and BattleTech and will operate it via a keyboard and I'm guessing joystick(s), not by sticking his limbs into the limbs of the bot.

Therefore, the military's problems aren't his problems, and vice versa. The exoskeleton has to have biofeedback and limiters so that the wearer's limbs aren't snapped or muscles torn from hyperextension of the limb or the occupant trying to go one way and the limb decides to go another. Whereas he'll be sitting in a cockpit and won't be as affected if an arm glitches and bends further than a human's can.

Each has their own problem areas to overcome and can't be that easily compared.

Zachary
2005-Jan-18, 04:58 PM
Sitting in a small cockpit with flamethrowers right next to you doesn't seem to be that safe to me :o . I hope he has a decend escape mechanism, as I can just imagine the tanks bursting into flames and melting some of the fibreglass effectively sealing him in...

Doodler
2005-Jan-18, 05:07 PM
As an old school Battletech fan from back in the tabletop days before the Clans were introduced, I've got one thing to say.


Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooool! 8)

Irishman
2005-Jan-18, 05:30 PM
I find it hard to tell from the picture how he operates it. Is he sitting in a small cabin ala Battle mech or is he "wearing the suit" ala Appleseed.



However, the more I think about it, the more I think that might be an apples and oranges comparison. The military has been working on an exoskeleton that literally straps to a person's body. Further evolutions of it becoming suits a-la Starship Troopers (the book). This guy's making a mecha which, from what I've picked up, he'll be a pilot a-la most mecha animes and BattleTech and will operate it via a keyboard and I'm guessing joystick(s), not by sticking his limbs into the limbs of the bot.

I suggest the two of you read that article again, paying more attention this time.


Owens plans to pad a central compartment in which to operate the mecha, controlling it with his own movements. When he lifts a leg or flexes an arm so will his creation, according to the plan.

Bolding added.

You make some vital points about the concerns on feedback and control.

Amadeus
2005-Jan-18, 05:37 PM
Well thats me told! #-o

Captain Kidd
2005-Jan-18, 06:02 PM
I find it hard to tell from the picture how he operates it. Is he sitting in a small cabin ala Battle mech or is he "wearing the suit" ala Appleseed.



However, the more I think about it, the more I think that might be an apples and oranges comparison. The military has been working on an exoskeleton that literally straps to a person's body. Further evolutions of it becoming suits a-la Starship Troopers (the book). This guy's making a mecha which, from what I've picked up, he'll be a pilot a-la most mecha animes and BattleTech and will operate it via a keyboard and I'm guessing joystick(s), not by sticking his limbs into the limbs of the bot.

I suggest the two of you read that article again, paying more attention this time.


Owens plans to pad a central compartment in which to operate the mecha, controlling it with his own movements. When he lifts a leg or flexes an arm so will his creation, according to the plan.

Bolding added.

You make some vital points about the concerns on feedback and control.

Mmmmm, I had to do a word search to find it. For some reason that's a hard to read article. However, if you look at the larger picture in conjunction with the text, I doubt his limbs are in the mecha's limbs. For one thing he ain't 18 feet tall so joints aren't going to line up. Which again matches some mecha anime (and live action movies too) where the pilot is in a compartment with sensors reading their movements. So my previous comments about the differences between his and the military research are still valid minus the controlling method.

Kebsis
2005-Jan-18, 09:11 PM
Owens plans to pad a central compartment in which to operate the mecha, controlling it with his own movements. When he lifts a leg or flexes an arm so will his creation, according to the plan.

I think perhaps by 'plans' they mean that eventually he will be able to do something like that, not immediately. After he works up funding with shows and whatnot. It seems he will be piloting it from inside a fiberglass cabin with joysticks and a laptop.

I laughed at the line about him spending 20,000 dollars and a couple of years on this while the gov't spent millions and half a decade on theirs, but like Captain Kidd said it is comparing apples and oranges. This thing will be cool for shows and entertainment, but looks like it would be pretty useless militarily speaking.

Van Rijn
2005-Jan-18, 10:35 PM
Let's just say I'll believe it when it works. A walking machine can be incredibly difficult, even with a person at the controls. A hexapod design might not be too bad, but I doubt that is what he is building.

Tuckerfan
2005-Jan-18, 11:02 PM
I'm bettin' this guy doesn't have girlfriend.

Seems to me that the easiest way for him to work out the balance issue would be to cannibalize the electronics from a Segway.

electromagneticpulse
2005-Jan-19, 12:35 AM
I find it hard to tell from the picture how he operates it. Is he sitting in a small cabin ala Battle mech or is he "wearing the suit" ala Appleseed.



However, the more I think about it, the more I think that might be an apples and oranges comparison. The military has been working on an exoskeleton that literally straps to a person's body. Further evolutions of it becoming suits a-la Starship Troopers (the book). This guy's making a mecha which, from what I've picked up, he'll be a pilot a-la most mecha animes and BattleTech and will operate it via a keyboard and I'm guessing joystick(s), not by sticking his limbs into the limbs of the bot.

I suggest the two of you read that article again, paying more attention this time.


Owens plans to pad a central compartment in which to operate the mecha, controlling it with his own movements. When he lifts a leg or flexes an arm so will his creation, according to the plan.

Bolding added.

You make some vital points about the concerns on feedback and control.

Mmmmm, I had to do a word search to find it. For some reason that's a hard to read article. However, if you look at the larger picture in conjunction with the text, I doubt his limbs are in the mecha's limbs. For one thing he ain't 18 feet tall so joints aren't going to line up. Which again matches some mecha anime (and live action movies too) where the pilot is in a compartment with sensors reading their movements. So my previous comments about the differences between his and the military research are still valid minus the controlling method.

I think it may use similar methods to new VR controls. I bend my left arm it mimics the movement on screen, but instead this mimics it in the Mecha.

I think he's got the idea, using joysticks etc would be to in efficient and slow. He has direct control from his actions, which will be whatís needed for maintaining balance. I imagine it will be like learning to balance on a surf board (as an analogy) as he'll need to learn it as a physical extension not as another thing.

I think they could in fact be quite useful, maybe not for direct combat but like he said it could be useful in fire fighting. Replacing the flame tanks with compressed CO2 gas and you have a fire-fighting machine. Covered in the polymers (is it a polymer?) like on NASA's shuttle would mean it could sit in an inferno if it had life support. Joints would be a bit of a problem but Iím sure someone would figure it out in like 30 seconds probably just a lose net of the polymer would do.

For military use i mean it could carry far more than a few people could, he's going to be punching up cars with it so it must have hydraulics or something in it for power.

It would also be good for use in street fighting riot type situations where it isn't likely to be faced with an RPG unless some psychopath has one lying around in their house in New York waiting for a cop car in the next power cut.
I mean who would try an uncivilised protest with something that could turn your head into strawberry jam strolling about.

Captain Kidd
2005-Jan-19, 02:00 AM
I think that's why I've taken some interest in this. If he get's it working and if he does good with it, he might sell the idea. Japan has aready designed and are testing a robot for rescue purposes, but it is a track layer if I'm remembering the article right.

All of which is rather funny as I hate the idea of battle mechas to the point that I refuse to watch any anime with them. (Although I'm getting might tempted by Evagelion due to the promoting in the anime thread.) Especially the ones that run around with swords and handheld guns the size of ships.

But for rescue, firefighting, construction, etc. well, they might have their uses.

Kebsis
2005-Jan-19, 02:48 AM
It's just that there's nothing something like this could do that there aren't a bunch of other more specialized machines couldn't do better. Fire rescue? Obviously you would have to not care too much about the structural integrity of the burning building you're trying to rescue people from if your gonna send a 25 foot robot stomping through it, so why not just use some kind of tank. Cranes, bulldozers, trailers, etc all are considerably more useful in construction and moving operations that I could see something like this mech ever being.

Tuckerfan
2005-Jan-19, 03:16 AM
Of course, if he doesn't get it working, he could always turn it into a playhouse. (http://www.wizkidsgames.com/mwdarkage/mw_article.asp?cid=36984&frame=news)

Captain Kidd
2005-Jan-19, 03:23 AM
Japan seems to think a robot (tracklayer so it be) rescue unit is worth a shot.
http://www.dottocomu.com/b/archives/000744.html

Or in some cases, snakes (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_22-9-2003_pg6_10).

There's even a rescue robot contest (http://ce.sharif.edu/%7Erescuerobot/).

Now, for firefighting. Why only houses or places with people to rescue?

What about industrial settings? Oil well fires? Etc. Places needing the ability to move fallen structual members while at the same time discharging fire suppressants. Granted, a wheeled/tracked unit can probably do just as good. But then the person who thinks outside the box and invents something that might be really weird at first only to prove very useful later on is going to be a rich fellow (pending on them playing their cards right).

Mrdomination
2005-Jan-19, 04:10 AM
You guys are thinking to much about "practical" uses, when you should be concentrating on the most important use.

BattleMech on BattleMech combat.

Put some guns/misslie launchers/ppcs on these bad boys and go atter!

Id pay to watch that, even on paper view. Say goodbye to boxing and wrestling and all other ** "sports"(really just a means for people to watch other people hurt people) and say hello to abadoned cities becoming warzones for these Mechs to battle one another in varying weight classes and heights and armaments.

WOOO! I'm gonna have to start savin to build my own.

Kebsis
2005-Jan-19, 04:27 AM
Japan seems to think a robot (tracklayer so it be) rescue unit is worth a shot.
http://www.dottocomu.com/b/archives/000744.html

Or in some cases, snakes (http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_22-9-2003_pg6_10).

There's even a rescue robot contest (http://ce.sharif.edu/%7Erescuerobot/).

Now, for firefighting. Why only houses or places with people to rescue?

What about industrial settings? Oil well fires? Etc. Places needing the ability to move fallen structual members while at the same time discharging fire suppressants. Granted, a wheeled/tracked unit can probably do just as good. But then the person who thinks outside the box and invents something that might be really weird at first only to prove very useful later on is going to be a rich fellow (pending on them playing their cards right).

Sometimes I feel that the Japanese are in love with the idea of large robots to a fault. The first link, for example; what is it that that thing can do that you couldn't get done alot faster with a pair of jaws of life and a jackhammer? With a smaller chance of technical difficulty.

Even with oil fires, the fact is that there doesn't seem to be much that a 25 foot tall robot can do that tracked vehicles can't do better. Oil fires burn so hot that you can't really get too close to them while they're blazing no matter what you're driving, so anything like this would be relegated to post-fire cleanup. In some instances I could see an exosuit like the one teh gov't is supposedly developing coming in useful. But a bulldozer and some cranes still are considerably more useful.

There was a thread here a few months ago, comparing theoretical 'battlemechs' to tanks in combat. That is an interesting read.

Kebsis
2005-Jan-19, 04:29 AM
You guys are thinking to much about "practical" uses, when you should be concentrating on the most important use.


BattleMech on BattleMech combat.

Put some guns/misslie launchers/ppcs on these bad boys and go atter!

Id pay to watch that, even on paper view. Say goodbye to boxing and wrestling and all other ** "sports"(really just a means for people to watch other people hurt people) and say hello to abadoned cities becoming warzones for these Mechs to battle one another in varying weight classes and heights and armaments.

WOOO! I'm gonna have to start savin to build my own.

Now someone is speaking my language. I remember watching battlebots and thinking 'Man, this sucks. Just a bunch of boxes smacking into each other. Now on the other hand, if these things were thirty stories tall and were packing missile launchers and chainsaws...'

Tuckerfan
2005-Jan-19, 04:31 AM
And hey, maybe he can get a job at Survival Research (http://www.srl.org/).

electromagneticpulse
2005-Jan-19, 12:04 PM
You guys are thinking to much about "practical" uses, when you should be concentrating on the most important use.


BattleMech on BattleMech combat.

Put some guns/misslie launchers/ppcs on these bad boys and go atter!

Id pay to watch that, even on paper view. Say goodbye to boxing and wrestling and all other ** "sports"(really just a means for people to watch other people hurt people) and say hello to abadoned cities becoming warzones for these Mechs to battle one another in varying weight classes and heights and armaments.

WOOO! I'm gonna have to start savin to build my own.

Now someone is speaking my language. I remember watching battlebots and thinking 'Man, this sucks. Just a bunch of boxes smacking into each other. Now on the other hand, if these things were thirty stories tall and were packing missile launchers and chainsaws...'

Just give the two combatants a small city with a few small sky scrapers and it would make a great film. Jackass eat your heart out, the final battle could be something like one of them getting crushed under one of the sky scrapers after it gets hit by a rocket.

But then it would probably have to blow up and destroy the planet to satisfy hollywood [-(

captain swoop
2005-Jan-19, 12:39 PM
I remember watching battlebots and thinking 'Man, this sucks. Just a bunch of boxes smacking into each other. Now on the other hand, if these things were thirty stories tall and were packing missile launchers and chainsaws...'

And the first one to fall over would lose, a box on wheels or tracks is still the best in a fight.

electromagneticpulse
2005-Jan-19, 02:04 PM
I remember watching battlebots and thinking 'Man, this sucks. Just a bunch of boxes smacking into each other. Now on the other hand, if these things were thirty stories tall and were packing missile launchers and chainsaws...'

And the first one to fall over would lose, a box on wheels or tracks is still the best in a fight.

But they're no fun to watch. Oh no the box on the left hit the box on the right, they got stuck together... how do they know who wins they all look the same :roll:

Actually the TV program robot wars over here was fun to watch, the lady bird one always set on fire :lol: The early ones were best when the competitors robots always used to get into fights with the house robots, and sometimes won despite unfair advantages in weight and weapons.

But it still can't be as amusing as 30 feet tall robots levelling a city :D

Amadeus
2005-Jan-19, 02:55 PM
Well I think that the Robo wars program missed a trick there.

Because it was a "kids show" the studio audiance was young. I think this is why for safty they limited the weapons. I know your couldn't used hardend steel blades because they can shatter etc.

They should have jsut made it adults only are let people go wild.

electromagneticpulse
2005-Jan-19, 03:20 PM
Well I think that the Robo wars program missed a trick there.

Because it was a "kids show" the studio audiance was young. I think this is why for safty they limited the weapons. I know your couldn't used hardend steel blades because they can shatter etc.

They should have jsut made it adults only are let people go wild.

Well there ended up being a lot of older teams and they had bullet proof glass around the arena. But i suppose it could have made some of the fights unfair, use a mounted mini mass driver aimed at the enemy from the start. As soon as the buzzer goes a high velocity round goes straight through the opposition. Now that would have made the show go faster 8)

Nicolas
2005-Jan-19, 03:28 PM
For Robot Wars, I always thought of something like a welding tool with contact needles all over your robot. The moment the other robot touches your needles, you start welding on the other robot. Now that's not a problem, but the current going through the other robot most certainly will damage at least some of the eleectronics. Of course you'll need to prevent that from happening to your own robot. Nice spectacle by the way, robot approaches, and SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATSH Robot has a plume of smoke and sparks around it. Of course you'll have to make sure your robot does not get welded onto the victim, or the jury might call you out as well.

electromagneticpulse
2005-Jan-19, 04:06 PM
For Robot Wars, I always thought of something like a welding tool with contact needles all over your robot. The moment the other robot touches your needles, you start welding on the other robot. Now that's not a problem, but the current going through the other robot most certainly will damage at least some of the eleectronics. Of course you'll need to prevent that from happening to your own robot. Nice spectacle by the way, robot approaches, and SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATSH Robot has a plume of smoke and sparks around it. Of course you'll have to make sure your robot does not get welded onto the victim, or the jury might call you out as well.

Arc welder, use two cathodes on it and just ram their vehicle. It would go straight through them and any non shielded electrical units would be fried. As long as you kept the power on you could just pull out and it would keep the metals around it molten.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-19, 04:08 PM
Your batteries have to hold out of course. I assume that it is somewhere forbidden in the rules, it is too easy to come up and build something like this.

electromagneticpulse
2005-Jan-19, 04:19 PM
Your batteries have to hold out of course. I assume that it is somewhere forbidden in the rules, it is too easy to come up and build something like this.

If the Arc welder had a separate power supply then that wouldn't get drained. Also the power would only (to the best of my knowledge) be drained when it is in contact.

I suppose another option would be to build a high charge Van de Graaff generator on wheels so when they come near they get 100,000 volts into their electronics.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-19, 04:22 PM
I meant a separate power supply, which gets drained quite rapidly during welding. With a truck battery you would come an end, the sparks you get when those contacts are connected, it is able to burn steel cable a pinky thick!! You don't even need a welding tool anymore, just contacts Though I don't know whether that ain't dangerous concerning battery explosions.
And of course, if a persons hits the contacts of a battery, ouch. Even with a switch it is massively dangerous, it only has to hang once...

Amadeus
2005-Jan-19, 04:57 PM
The idea I had for a robot weapon was this...

Have a hollow spike or drill bit that can puncture the armour, once imbedded it pumps in a flamable gas. At the end of the spike/bit have a little sparkplug.

Kamboom.
:o
Most of the designs I saw were to protect the machine from the outside comming in and not from explosive force from the inside.

archman
2005-Jan-19, 10:01 PM
I suppose another option would be to build a high charge Van de Graaff generator on wheels so when they come near they get 100,000 volts into their electronics.

Ha ha, I would LOVE to see this! Remote controlled killer Van de Graaff generator... that's classic.

TinFoilHat
2005-Jan-19, 10:45 PM
High voltage electricial weapons are banned. As are radio jamming, explosives and flammible gases or liquids, radio jamming, untethered projectiles, and most other clever things you can think of.

Among the non-televised independant events over here in the states, there has been some talk of a "zoomorphic" class, in which wheels or traks would not be allowed, only legs. Unfortunatly it's been only talk so far since legged bots are a lot more expensive and fragile.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-19, 10:50 PM
On BBC's Robot Wars, one of the housebots (BBC program owned) has a flamethrower...

I think their rules are too stringent, mentioning radio jamming twice :D
(I'm sorry, it's the exames working on me :) )

TinFoilHat
2005-Jan-19, 11:15 PM
On BBC's Robot Wars, one of the housebots (BBC program owned) has a flamethrower...

Yeah, they're also way, way over the weight limit. House bots get to do things competitor bots can't.

Some of the independant competitions being run over here in the states have rules permitting flamethrowers - but the type and quantity of fuel allowed are extremely restricted, and the safety rules which have to be followed extensive. In the end they end up being for decoration only, puffs of flame which entertain the crowd but don't actually do any damage.

Kebsis
2005-Jan-20, 03:39 AM
If the bots had explosives and flamethrowers and guns and stuff...that would be cool. Not as cool as a 30 story tall Mech but a good first step.

Amadeus
2005-Jan-20, 10:01 AM
On BBC's Robot Wars, one of the housebots (BBC program owned) has a flamethrower...

Yeah, they're also way, way over the weight limit. House bots get to do things competitor bots can't.

Some of the independant competitions being run over here in the states have rules permitting flamethrowers - but the type and quantity of fuel allowed are extremely restricted, and the safety rules which have to be followed extensive. In the end they end up being for decoration only, puffs of flame which entertain the crowd but don't actually do any damage.

I think it's just a gas flamer.
Might give a human a bit of a burn but a metal case machine... no way.

This is not a true flame thrower. It should be a liquid mix that sticks to a surface.

Nicolas
2005-Jan-20, 10:06 AM
The flame didn't go 50 metres of course. It was a 1 metre yellow burning flame. So it wasn't a metal cutter, but still good enough to do serious damage to unshielded electronics (bye-bye insulation :)).

sidmel
2005-Jan-20, 03:21 PM
Wasn't there a late 80's, early 90's movie called Robot Jocks or something that had mechs with pilots faced off in an arena and blowing the bajesus out of each other?

Amadeus
2005-Jan-20, 03:39 PM
Wasn't there a late 80's, early 90's movie called Robot Jocks or something that had mechs with pilots faced off in an arena and blowing the bajesus out of each other?

Robot Jox (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102800/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj 0wfHE9cm9ib3Qgam98aHRtbD0xfG5tPW9u;fc=2;ft=21;fm=1 ) Not an oscar winner that one....

Avatar28
2005-Jan-20, 06:56 PM
No, it sure wasn't. But dang, it was a rather fun movie to watch. :-)

Fram
2005-Jan-21, 10:27 AM
I much liked Robot Wars, but, well, it was really RC wars, wasn't it? With current technology, wouldn't it be more of a challenge to have real robots? They don't have to be other models than the previous ones, but they shouldn't be remote controlled (just a remote on/off switch, and perhaps a remote selfdestruct command :lol: ): that way they need to have more 'intelligence', sensors (which give extra vulnerability), ... I don't know if it would make good TV, but it would certainly be a lot more challenging for the builders (not that the robots on Robot Wars were easy to make, but the technological creativity had dried up in the last seasons, IMO).

Amadeus
2005-Jan-21, 12:09 PM
IMHO the reason why the designs dried up in the last series was basic evolution. The robots had mostly evolved to fit the enviroment.
This favoure a wedge or a box with a low center of gravity and low ground clearance. Because the enviroment did not change the robots just because more and more samey.

Razor was a good inovation but it spawned a lot of low quality clones.

TinFoilHat
2005-Jan-21, 11:47 PM
I much liked Robot Wars, but, well, it was really RC wars, wasn't it? With current technology, wouldn't it be more of a challenge to have real robots? They don't have to be other models than the previous ones, but they shouldn't be remote controlled (just a remote on/off switch, and perhaps a remote selfdestruct command :lol: ): that way they need to have more 'intelligence', sensors (which give extra vulnerability), ... I don't know if it would make good TV, but it would certainly be a lot more challenging for the builders (not that the robots on Robot Wars were easy to make, but the technological creativity had dried up in the last seasons, IMO).
Back in the early days - when Robot Wars was an untelevised event held in a small warehouse in California - there was an autonomous class. The robots had no remote controls other than a mandatory remote kill switch, and were fixed with beacons to make finding each other easier. What you got were two robots blindly wandering around the area, trying to pick each other out from all the background clutter and lights, until one of them broke down or got stuck to a wall and the other was declared the winner. It made for poor TV, so it was dropped when the event went televised.

Building a machine that can find and sucessfully attack an unknown enemy in a complex environment is much harder than making a remote-controlled metal wedge. There are some competitions going on now with autonomous robots, but they mostly involve playing soccer or moving colored blocks around a field rather than actual combat.

There are also a lot of old-style robot combat events still going on, even though all the televised shows have shut down. But (IMHO) there haven't been any innovative designs developed in years - these days nearly all the technological innovation is in improved reliability and power-to-weight of motors and batteries, and improved materials for armor.