Combat Robotics Team to Compete in Robot Ruckus in Florida

A Kettering University student poses next to the metal flipper of the robot.

We plan to have a driving robot by the beginning of Fall Term.”

Justin Poiner (‘25, ME), the team’s Manufacturing Director

Kettering University’s Combat Robotics may get to fight some “BattleBots” teams after learning they have been invited to compete in the Robot Ruckus combat robotics competition Nov. 13-14, in Orlando, FL. 

Teams compete in weight classes that range from one to 250 pounds, and Kettering’s team is in the 250-pound weight class — the same weight class that many teams who have or will compete on Discovery Channel’s “BattleBots” show.

The University’s Combat Robotics Team has been meeting since October 2019, and submitted an application to compete on “BattleBots” at the end of February 2021 but was not selected to participate in the 2021 season.  

“Compared to applying to ‘BattleBots,’ this was a fairly short application process,” Team President Nick Lipcsik (’24, ME) said. “Rather than extensive documentation and video content, all we had to do for Robot Ruckus was compile some pictures and a description of our robot and send them over. After a couple of weeks, we were accepted into the competition.”

They plan to compete with Mad Dog, the robot they started to build for “BattleBots,” which will weigh 250 pounds and measure 4 feet long, 1.5 feet wide and 1 foot tall. Each wheel will be independently controlled so that the robot can face one way while moving a different way. It also will feature a lifting mechanism to flip its opponents.

The team has completed its chassis and drive modules, which are the most complicated parts, said Justin Poiner (‘25, ME), the team’s Manufacturing Director. “Right now, we’re working on integrating the electronics and pneumatic systems into the chassis,” he said. “We plan to have a driving robot by the beginning of Fall Term.”

In addition, they aren’t giving up on representing Kettering University on the small screen as they plan to apply for the 2022 season of “BattleBots.”

“As we finish up this year’s robot, we’re continuously brainstorming how we’ll modify our form of combat, aesthetics and design strategies,” said Luke Fenstermacher (‘22, ME), team Marketing Director. “While there is no official due date yet for the ‘BattleBots’ 2022 season, we’re aiming to finish our application by the end of the year so we have more time to focus on robot production going into the new year.”

Currently, the team has 12 active members, but is always interested in growing. Students interested in joining the Combat Robotics Team can contact maddogkcr@gmail.com.

To stay updated on the team’s progress, follow them on Twitter @MadDogKCR.

The chassis of the combat robot.