The idea of robots having human-like form and function has been around for a long time. In today’s advanced technology, robots are more than just your smart vacuum cleaners. They can take on different forms and have specific functions.
The use of robots is now widespread. We can see their application in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and especially entertainment.
One niche that has developed a wide fanbase is the sport of robot fighting. As we have learned from the Romans: violence sells.
Robot fighting gives its viewers the thrill and rush of combat without the need for a person to be physically harmed. It is a battle of design, function, and form.
Robot fighting made its debut in the 1990s and 2000s. The first-ever robot fighting tournament was held at a science fiction convention called MileHiCon. It was an event called Critter Crunch. Fast-forward to a few years later, several competitions have adopted the event.
Here’s a list of the most prominent robot fighting competitions we have today.
This is a Japanese robot boxing competition where teams create robots to pit against each other. The goal is simply to defeat its opponent using the body. Some robots are capable of doing MMA moves like take downs that we see on TV.
The show has a variant called Robo-One Kendo. This is also robot fighting, but this time robots use tiny swords made from bamboo. Think of it as mini samurai robots trying to hit each other.
Robo-One is considered the least violent compared to its other counterparts.
This program is based in Shenzhou, China. Usually, college students are both the builders and the contestants. It has become so popular that it was adapted into different media forms like comics, documentaries, animation, and even a reality show.
Every year, there is a competition for the three categories. These are the collegiate, public, and youth categories. Thousands of participants from all over the world take part in the competition. The RoboMaster University Championship is the most anticipated event in this competition.
RoboMaster is a huge leap from Robo-One. Here, teams create several robots that have different functions or roles. There are fighter robots, healers, and even tank robots.
In order to score points, teams must hit the enemy robots. They can also shoot balls towards a target in the battlefield. As such, teamwork is very important if you want to win in this competition.
This is an American TV show that you can watch on Discovery. BattleBots is an adaptation of Marc Thorpe’s American Robot Wars. Its first ever season aired on Comedy Central in the 2000s. Now, you can watch it live every night in Las Vegas.
In BattleBots, the goal is to completely disable your opponent’s robot. They fight it out full gladiator style. Anyone can join and dish out remote-controlled destruction on their opponents.
This show is definitely intense. Robots created are usually several feet long and have sharp tools like saws and blades to destroy their enemies. Sometimes, you can even witness sparks flying as a robot shreds its competition.
The arena itself also has booby traps. These take the form of spike strips, kill saws, hell raisers, and many more. Players can use these booby traps to their advantage.
Is betting on robot fighting legal?
As of this writing, betting on robot fights is still illegal. Doing so will even lead to imprisonment. However, robot fighting in itself is completely okay. It’s the betting part that’s not.
One factor that greatly affects this is that robot fighting shows are not live. They air about six months after taping. People who already know the outcome would win it big if betting was allowed.
Sportsbooks will not take that risk of having skewed bets. We’ll just have to see what the future of robot fighting holds for its fans.
It is not wrong for someone to hope that legalization of robot fighting is possible in the near future.
Take for example BattleBots. The show taped its last 2 seasons in Las Vegas. And now, you can watch it live nightly in Vegas. With a tournament style, this really has the potential to make big bucks for sportsbooks and betting sites. This is something that’s just waiting to happen.
And when the time comes that it is legalized, fast payout casinos will definitely pick it up. This niche sport is sure to be lucrative once betting is finally made legal.