February 16, 2024
We watch lots of reality shows on cable television. Home remodeling shows, veterinary medicine shows, game warden shows, and car rebuilding shows are popular here; just about anything except dating shows — as you might expect, old married folks get bored with all that hokey mating drama. The “boss” cannot stand shows where there are temper tantrums and foul mouthed supervisors. I cringe a bit myself when this occurs because it brings to mind the occasional flare up at shops where I worked. One really great co-worker may hold the world record for destroyed “walkie-talkie” radios in a single year; we had lots of things going on and some of those things were prone to get out of control at critical moments. I bring this up because I have resumed watching Battlebots after many years of ignoring it. It started off great, with many different designs competing; then, over time every winning robot started to look just like every other robot. While I was ignoring the show they changed the rules to require unique designs, and now the field is full of wacky-but- lethal machines that can toss each other 2 meters in the air, survive, and continue fighting. We considered designing and building a robot fighting machine back in the original days, but things got busy and the moment was lost. How cool would it be for a bunch of gear guys and gals to construct one during a reality show and then take it to the 2020 tournament? An amazing number of high-tech companies support the current teams with components and tooling. The robots carry more sponsor decals than most race cars. I would certainly lobby Gear Technology to put its logo on a robot with gear trade origins. Wouldn’t a few matches enliven a Fall Technical Meeting?