- "As mentioned, it came from a little naming competition here. Overall what I liked and meant by it, is it could mimic the non-serious nature of our name 'Mega Melvin' in a more easily translatable way. It's painted pink, it's named blue. It's just light-hearted as a counterpoint to the super serious names a lot of people use."
- — Bots FC explain the origins of Blue's name
蓝调 (translated as Blue) is a heavyweight robot built by Bots FC of Brooklyn, New York, which competed in the first season of King of Bots and Season 1.5, the debut of This is Fighting Robots. A crowd favourite in North American robot combat, due to its technical specifications and unusual drive system, it reached the third round of Season 1 after winning its first battle on a Judges’ decision, against EarthShaker, and its second via knockout, against Thunderstorm. Blue was ultimately eliminated at that stage by Chinese spinner Two BBQ.
Blue qualified for the main bracket of Season 1.5 after impressing Zheng Shuang in its preliminary battle, and immobilized Bonfire in its rumble within the main competition. It would later win a second battle by default, after its opponent Hunting Wind, also of the green team, suffered technical issues before the start of the fight, and then defeated Bulldozer before engaging in its final fight, a victory against Formula and Greedy Snake. Despite this, Blue was controversially eliminated by Zheng Shuang in favor of Sandstorm, despite Blue losing no battles throughout the competition. Blue was also not selected to return for King of Bots Season 2.
The robot is essentially a renamed and refined version of Bots FC's heavyweight, Mega Melvin, featuring improvements to the latter's chassis, electronics and weapon. The name Blue originated from a competition held on Reddit, and is an intentional juxtaposition based on the robot's pink design.
Blue is a low, box-shaped robot driven by four Mecanum wheels. Each wheel is powered by a brushless motor, and feature several rollers which allow the robot to drive forwards, backwards and sideways. This enables Blue to 'coast' across the arena in a controlled manner which allows it to always face opponents head-on. Blue's weapon is a powerful bladed axe, driven by two brushless electric motors, which allows the robot to hit opponents regularly and to self-right if flipped. The axe itself also features a second interchangeable hammer head with a flat end; both heads and the weapon arm are cut out of 1.5-inch and 2-inch thick Grade 5 titanium respectively.
In addition to this weapon - one of the most powerful axes/hammers in robot combat - Blue also featured sets of front and rear wedges, enabling it to get underneath other robots and provide extra protection against spinning weapons. For the latter purpose, an optional ablative armor panel could be attached to the front wedge, offering even greater defense. The robot is finished in a tri-tone grey and white color-scheme, with pink central panels and axe/hammer heads; the latter a deliberate juxtaposition with its name.
Blue returned to This is Fighting Robots using a more obviously pink colour-scheme, as well as a heavier hammer on a stronger arm. A new baseplate was also created for Blue, out of thicker titanium.
- "Blue is back! And better than ever! Our hammer is heavier. Our arm is stronger. Our paint scheme is pinker. Our baseplate is titaniumer. Woooo!"
- — Team Bots FC on Reddit
Robot History Edit
King of Bots (Season 1)Edit
Blue made its King of Bots debut in Episode 3, where it fought Chinese flipper EarthShaker in the first round. Immediately, it strafed out of the blue square and into EarthShaker, but was pushed into the wall spikes by the latter after exposing its side. Blue bumped into EarthShaker, striking the latter’s top panel with its axe before reversing and strafing towards EarthShaker once again. After a few misses, it axed EarthShaker’s flipper as its opponent pushed back, sliding off EarthShaker seconds before the latter flipped itself over. Capitalising on EarthShaker’s mistake, Blue drove round and attempted to hammer its baseplate, pushing EarthShaker sideways as it self-righted.
Blue continued to strafe across the arena, at one point collecting EarthShaker from the side and striking it once again. It dodged another flip from EarthShaker as the latter got underneath and mistimed its attack, before hammering EarthShaker’s flipper twice more. However, EarthShaker quickly got underneath Blue again and tossed it into the air; Blue retracted its axe to say upright, landing back on its wheels near the blue square and losing a bolt from its axe head in the process. It recovered to axe EarthShaker’s flipper once again, but missed its next few axe blows, and was pushed sideways across the arena by EarthShaker before it could land its next blow. The two robots lingered near the grinders, but separated and eventually met again, with Blue again dodging a planned flip from EarthShaker before striking its flipper three more times.
Strafing, Blue axed EarthShaker yet again, only to be flipped onto its back by the latter. However, it immediately self-righted before striking EarthShaker’s top-right panel and getting lifted by the floor rods. Blue hit EarthShaker’s flipper once more, but was lifted by a floor flipper and thrown over by EarthShaker again, requiring it to self-right a second time. For the remainder of the battle, it kept strafing and attempting to hit EarthShaker again, but without success, and dodged one last flip from EarthShaker before time ran out. As both robots were still mobile, the battle went to a Judges’ decision – the decision ruled in favour of Blue, putting it through to the second round. After the battle, judge Ian Lewis considered Blue to have been better controlled throughout, having praised its design and drive system when interviewed by Ling Zhou.
- "I know [Thunderstorm] has a tough weapon that didn’t work in the first fight. He has a really scary weapon. So to prepare for this, we put a lot more armor on the front, hopefully deflect their weapon a little better, because we know it’s a really powerful spinner."
- — Adam Wrigley explains Bots FC’s strategy against Blue’s next opponent, Thunderstorm
In the second round, Blue faced Thunderstorm; before the battle began, Bots FC attached the ablative armor panel onto its front wedge in order to deflect and withstand the impacts of its opponent’s bar spinner. In the opening seconds, it drove and steered into Thunderstorm, knocking the latter back into the wall spikes and succeeding in causing one of its drive chains to break. Blue capitalized on Thunderstorm’s reduced mobility by pushing it along the wall spikes, axing its top-left panel and pinning it directly underneath a nearby hammer. Seconds later, it axed Thunderstorm’s left-front wheel, then its bar spinner, stopping the weapon from rotating. Momentarily stuck to its opponent, Blue dragged Thunderstorm back before retracting its axe, but missed an axe blow as it turned and pursued Thunderstorm again. As Thunderstorm spun its weapon up, Blue drifted in circles around it numerous times, before strafing across the arena floor into Thunderstorm’s spinner once again.
Blue’s front armor withstood the collision, allowing it to push Thunderstorm into the wall spikes near the hammer. As it lined up for another attack, the hammer swung down; Blue’s axe struck the hammer arm and momentarily lifted its front wheels off the floor. It broke free to axe Thunderstorm a few more times, at which point Thunderstorm was left unable to drive away from the wall spikes. Blue spun and swung its axe again in celebration shortly after its opponent was counted out, progressing to the third round as a result.
- "I’m really impressed that [Peng]’s able to come here alone. I’m really impressed that he’s able to do that, but I need my team – I can’t do it without my team."
- — Adam Wrigley praises Peng Changqi following Blue’s knockout victory
In the third round, Blue faced another vertical spinner, Two BBQ, retaining its anti-spinner armor. It hesitated in the blue square in the first few seconds, before driving towards and into Two BBQ’s front. As a result, Blue was pushed back into a corner by Two BBQ while both teams activated smokescreens in each other’s control areas; Blue fired its axe twice, but without hitting Two BBQ, and sustained damage to its armor and chassis following successive hits from Two BBQ’s spinner. Another hit resulted in Blue getting catapulted across the arena by Two BBQ – although Blue landed upright, the impact bent its chassis, impeding the robot’s maneuvrability as Two BBQ slammed it into the wall spikes and pushed it over the flame jets. The two competitors separated; Blue steered into and up Two BBQ’s wedges again, resulting in it being spun away after another collision with the latter’s spinner.
Undeterred, Blue strafed and drove itself into Two BBQ twice more, sustaining more damage to its anti-spinner armor in the process. It was then pushed across the arena again by Two BBQ, sustaining even more damage, as it became apparent that its axe was no longer functioning.
- Adam Wrigley: "Hit him whenever, fire it whenever! Fire whenever!"
- Xiaoyang Feng: "It’s not working."
- Adam Wrigley: "It’s not working? Keep trying! Turn it off and on again!"
- — Bots FC discover that Blue’s axe is inoperable
Shepherded into a corner, Blue spun round and momentarily drove away from Two BBQ – another hit from the latter launched it into the wall and tore its anti-spinner panel open. Blue sustained more damage following another head-on attack from Two BBQ, before spinning, strafing and dodging its opponent for some time. This was until Blue’s wedge made contact with Two BBQ’s spinner again, causing a vast volley of sparks to fly. More parts of Blue’s anti-spinner armor were torn off, before Blue backed into a corner and attempted to pursue Two BBQ. In doing so, it veered towards the circular saws, one of which lifted Blue off the floor and sent an even larger shower of sparks flying. This left Blue vulnerable to two more attacks from Two BBQ, which proceeded to push it over the saws and throw it onto its back. With its axe disabled, Blue was left unable to self-right, and was declared immobile with seconds of the battle remaining.
- "At the end when we got flipped, they didn't count us out, it went to the judges. And actually [Two BBQ] went in for a late hit after the match counter ended. Annoying that they cut that out and made us look like we got KO'd. I mean, it's not like we didn't lose, it's just the principle of the thing :/"
- — Bots FC
Although the televised battle showed Blue being counted out and eliminated via knockout, it had actually been immobilized late enough in the battle to survive to a Judges’ decision. Shortly after time ran out, Blue sustained another attack from Two BBQ, although neither the decision nor the latter attack were shown or mentioned. Regardless, it and Bots FC were eliminated from the competition.
In addition to the main competition, Blue fought in a nine-robot Rumble broadcast at the end of Season 1, where it fought Crossfire, Dark Knight, Griffin, Ink Thorns, Nuclear Bomb, Steel Dragon, The Grubs and Violent Dragon. In the opening seconds, it immediately turned round and hit Ink Thorns twice with the axe, only to be briefly bumped by Griffin as Ink Thorns sped away. Blue swung its axe down twice more as it approached Crossfire – as the axe retracted, sparks flew as the Scottish robot’s bar spinner hit the axe head. Unseen in the televised edit, it proceeded to collide with Crossfire’s spinner several more times, eventually resulting in the axe arm becoming severely bent.
- "They cut out a good 8 minutes of me and that hammer thing bumping into each other lol"
- — Bots FC on Reddit
Undeterred, Blue kept strafing and firing its axe – albeit without landing any more hits on a nearby Ink Thorns – and was momentarily beached on one of Ink Thorns’ front wedges. Momentarily approaching Crossfire again, Blue proceeded to drive towards and strike the top of Nuclear Bomb – however, the force of the attack was enough for Blue to lift itself onto the top of Nuclear Bomb. Shaking itself vigorously in an attempt to break free, Blue sustained a side-on attack from Steel Dragon which finally knocked it back onto the arena floor. It turned and attacked both Ink Thorns and Crossfire again as the latter two were pushed across the arena by Dark Knight. Blue fired its axe on Crossfire’s bar spinner, forcing the spinner down and causing the electronics powering it to short-circuit. It reversed and began pursuing Steel Dragon across the arena; despite having a drive controller catch fire due to a set screw jamming its weapon , Blue repeatedly drove into Steel Dragon’s chain flails, sparks flying as it maneuvered over the flame jets. The jets set a second fire inside Blue, although it continued to chase Steel Dragon, pushing Crossfire aside in the process.
After momentarily being pinned against Crossfire by Nuclear Bomb, Blue continued its onslaught against Steel Dragon, momentarily pinning it and Dark Knight against the overturned chassis of Violent Dragon. It followed both opponents as Dark Knight dragged Steel Dragon onto the circular saws, but was rammed onto the saws by Dark Knight in the process, and left wedged on a piece of Violent Dragon’s head. Blue sustained a hit from Steel Dragon as it tried to drive itself off the debris, eventually spinning around in circles before Nuclear Bomb pushed it into Chop, the now-immobile orange part of The Grubs. Eventually, Blue fired its axe again and finally maneuvered off the debris, immediately nudging Crossfire and driving axe-first into Steel Dragon. A few moments later, Blue bumped into Steel Dragon again as the latter was pushed one more time by Dark Knight. The two competitors collided again, resulting in Blue being spun round – Blue was then pushed onto the floor rods by Steel Dragon and Nuclear Bomb, with the rods lifting all three robots off the floor simultaneously. Blue and Steel Dragon were left suspended as a result; the rods did not retract to let either of them escape, resulting in both robots being eliminated together. With this, Blue lost the Rumble to Nuclear Bomb.
Before the Rumble, Blue also fought in an unaired Tag Team battle, where it was partnered with British multibot - and fellow Rumble competitor - The Grubs. Together, they fought against the Chinese team of Nuclear Bomb and Residual Wind. During the battle, Blue was able to land repeated blows on Residual Wind, breaking its bar spinner and heavily denting its top armor. It also removed the crusher from Nuclear Bomb. However, Blue also immobilized one of The Grubs, and pushed another into the Grinder to immobilize a second part of The Grubs. Although Blue was still mobile, and both Chinese robots were struggling for life, Blue and The Grubs were counted out based on the immobility of the multibot. This awarded the win to Nuclear Bomb and Residual Wind, although the producers apologized to Team Bots FC after the battle, realizing that Blue's mobility should have allowed the battle to continue.
- "We teamed up with the grubs and fought the carbide clone and the weird in effective horizontal crusher. We exploded the bar on the spinner and caved in their top. The crusher broke off the other bot pretty quickly. In the process we also accidentally squished a grub and pushed one into the screws. The grubs all died and they started counting us out for some reason? Said we lost in a KO despite the other two bots barely moving and Blue still working fine. Producers apologized after for counting us out."
- — Bots FC on Reddit
This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)Edit
Blue was not selected by any celebrities to join their team, forcing Blue to compete in a preliminary rumble in order to impress the celebrities. There, Blue fought the King of Bots fourth-place finisher and multibot Thunder and Lightning, the flipper of Saber II, and newcomer Wall Breaker.
Blue mainly missed with its opening attacks, while trying to attack the orange half of Thunder and Lightning (Thunder), which started spinning in circles. Thunder and Lightning collaborated to trap Blue, which fired its axe aimlessly. A direct blow from Lightning caused the front wedge of Blue to fall off, while the use of Blue's axe generated sparks on the arena floor. Blue became stuck on top of Thunder, and Wall Breaker attempted to grab the smaller multibot. However, this allowed Blue to land an overhead blow on Thunder, while Saber II drove under Wall Breaker and tossed it across the arena. Saber II followed this up with a flip which turned Blue and Wall Breaker over with a single attack.
Blue had been left in a precarious position from Saber II's flip, but after adjusting itself, Blue used its axe to successfully self-right. This impressed two celebrities, and Blue became the second robot to join a celebrity team, after Zheng Shuang managed to choose Blue first. The axe of Blue was now running low on power, but it still landed a blow on the top of Saber II, which had just wedged under it. Blue shunted the spinning Lightning backwards, and the battle concluded. This meant that Blue, alongside Saber II, had been selected for a team, and advanced to the main bracket.
Zheng Shuang selected Blue to battle three British machines in its next battle; Bonfire, Griffin Mk II and Ninja. Blue immediately tried to attack Griffin Mk II but missed, but struck Ninja with its axe, then swung at the inactive weapon arm of Bonfire. In an untelevised attack, Blue was slammed into the wall by Bonfire, and was then edged into the corner of the arena by Bonfire, but Blue then landed a direct blow to the wedge of its opponent. Blue then landed two direct blows onto the top of Bonfire, but on the third swing, Blue flipped itself over, self-righting quickly. At this stage, Bonfire had become immobile as a result of its speed controller failing, shorting out the entire robot. Nevertheless, Blue continued to pound the top of Bonfire, denting its weaponry, also forcing Ninja to attack Bonfire in the same fashion, despite Team Immersion conceding the immobility of their machine.
Blue finally left Bonfire and struck the wedge of Ninja, but was pushed back by the wedge of Ninja, and struck by its sword. Although Ninja and Griffin Mk II collaboratively pushed Blue backwards, this indirectly led to Griffin Mk II's immobilization by the arena hammer. With only Ninja and Blue active, both robots attempted to strike each other from above, but largely missed. After narrowly missing an attack on Ninja, Blue turned itself over when retracting its weapon. Ninja pushed Blue back, but the momentum of Ninja's push sent Blue sliding back, where it could freely self-right. Blue was still pinned against the wall by Ninja, and Blue missed with its retaliating strikes. In the final ten seconds of the battle, Ninja drove under Blue, which climbed even further up the body of Ninja by swinging its weapon, but Ninja pushed Blue towards the Grinder, before the battle concluded. The episode was left on a cliffhanger, which was resolved in Episode 4; the subsequent Judges' decision ruled Blue to be the winner. Blue's victory resulted in Zheng Shaung receiving her third point in the first round, tying with and winning the round over the Yellow team's Sa Beining.
Blue would later be selected again for a head-to-head battle against fellow Green team member Hunting Wind, to determine which robot would remain with Shaung’s team. Hesitant to fight against their Chinese teammates, Bots FC decided to add extra top armor plates to the robot in order to offer extra protection against Hunting Wind’s hammer. During pre-battle checks, Hunting Wind suffered technical issues which prevented it from moving, even following further adjustments and repairs. As a result, when it became clear that Hunting Wind could not be prepared in time to fight, Blue was declared the winner by default; an outcome which Adam Wrigley, among others, was noticeably disappointed in.
- "I’ve never been so sad about a win, actually. That’s not how you want to win – we didn’t want to have to fight our teammate, but we didn’t want to have to have him forfeit because the robot didn’t work. You know, it’s really sad. We’re really disappointed."
- — Adam Wrigley of Bots FC laments Blue’s automatic victory
Blue's next battle was against Bulldozer, although the fight was hardly broadcast on television, leaving the details of the battle scarce. Regardless, Blue won the battle and advanced to the next round.
At this stage, Blue fought in a three-way melee against Greedy Snake and Formula in order to earn points for the green team. Blue immediately targeted Formula, but missed with its swing, and flipped itself over. Blue self-righted, but this time missed its attack on Greedy Snake, which had lightly pushed Formula. Blue continued to miss with its swings, flipping itself over near the arena wall, self-righted, and then failed to hit Formula which had driven far under it, finally landing a glancing blow on Formula afterwards. Greedy Snake charged Formula and briefly tilted it onto its back, but failed to grab it on two attempts. Eventually, Greedy Snake drove under Formula, clamped down on it and lifted the British machine, but Blue intercepted with a hammer blow and separated the two machines, then directly struck Greedy Snake.
Formula pushed Blue back, as it was too small to be hit by Blue's hammer, and rammed it into the arena wall, while sustaining only a light hit from Blue's hammer. The arena hammer crashed down on Blue, knocking it off-balance. Formula made a similar push again, but fired its flipper at the wrong time, hitting thin air. Greedy Snake wedged under Blue, but it became stuck near the arena wall, and Blue landed three direct hits on Greedy Snake before Formula wedged under both machines. The three robots locked together in the center of the arena, with Formula controlling the pushing, while Blue repeatedly hit Greedy Snake. Formula managed to push both robots towards the wall, but could not use its flipper due to a gas leak, and eventually lost mobility altogether. In the final few seconds, Greedy Snake managed to lift Blue into the air, but still sustained hammer blows, and time expired on the battle.
The battle was sent to a Judges' decision, and Blue was declared to be the winner, earning three points for the Green team, with Greedy Snake and Formula both earning a point for their respective teams. However, despite Blue collecting a fourth consecutive win, its fortune came to a sudden end. At the end of the round, Zheng Shuang was required to cull two robots from her team of five, prior to the Top 8, where she would advance with only three. She selected the also-undefeated Tánshè, the recently victorious Tungsten, and ultimately chose Sandstorm over Blue, despite Sandstorm losing its most recent battle. As a result, Blue was controversially eliminated.
|BLUE - RESULTS|
|Round 1||vs. EarthShaker||Won|
|Round 2||vs. Thunderstorm||Won|
|Round 3||vs. Two BBQ||Lost|
|Rumble||vs. Crossfire, Dark Knight, Griffin, Ink Thorns, Nuclear Bomb, Steel Dragon, The Grubs, Violent Dragon||Lost|
Partnered with The Grubs
|Tag Team||vs. Nuclear Bomb & Residual Wind||Lost (unaired)|
|This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)|
|Preliminary Rumble||vs. Saber II, Thunder and Lightning, Wall Breaker||Selected|
|Rumble||vs. Bonfire, Griffin Mk II, Ninja||Won|
|Head-to-Head||vs. Hunting Wind||Won by forfeit|
|NOTE: Hunting Wind forfeited the battle due to technical issues which prevented it from moving.|
|Rumble||vs. Formula, Greedy Snake||Won|
|NOTE: Blue was eliminated after this battle when Zheng Shuang was forced to cut two of her five robots.|
- Wins: 5
- Losses: 2
NOTE: Blue's unaired Tag Team battle in Season 1, preliminary rumble in Season 1.5, and head-to-head against Hunting Wind in Season 1.5 are not included.
|Series||Blue Series Record|
|Season 1||Round 3|
|Season 1.5||Selected by celebrity, four wins|
|Season 2||Not selected|
Outside King of Bots Edit
Blue competed outside of King of Bots under the name Mega Melvin, and was originally intended to be entered into Series 9-10 of Robot Wars under this guise. However, it and Bots FC were not selected to compete for either series.
Mega Melvin first appeared at the Orlando Maker Faire 2016, where it entered the HW Sportsman Class competition. At the event, it fought several battles against robots such as Old Iron and Witch Doctor, each intended to test its drive systems and axe weapon.
A second version of Mega Melvin was built in 2017, carrying over the motors and gearboxes of the original version while featuring a new axe arm, weapon shaft and front and rear wedges. This version initially competed under its original name at RoboGames 2017, but was eliminated early after losing both of its battles to Polar Vortex and Megalodon respectively. Bots FC's experience from this event enabled them to carry out modifications to Mega Melvin ahead of its transformation into Blue.
Team Bots FC competed at RoboGames 2018 with an unequally weighted five-part multibot, Cluster Flock. However, the two largest segments were immobilized by the drum spinner of Echo, putting Team Bots FC into the losers' bracket. Cluster Flock gained a sixth segment in order to battle Nigel, although its 120lb wedge did not move during the match, with a 3lb segment also becoming immobile. The remaining segments of Cluster Flock survived until a Judges' decision, but lost on a 21-12 decision based on the immobility of the main segment. Blue then competed in the 2018 Orlando Maker Faire where it got past the round robins, and proceeded to become the champion, beating Mammoth in the semi-finals, and Gruff in the finals.
Team Bots FC competed in televised BattleBots for the first time in 2019, competing in the fourth modern series of the show with Shatter!, a robot using the same hammer weaponry and omniwheel drive of Mega Melvin, but with a new shell and internals. It fought Witch Doctor in its first battle.
- Before both of Blue's rumbles in Season 1.5, one member of Team Bots FC would strike the arena floor with Blue's spare hammer, causing another team member to comedically fall over from the 'impact'.
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/battlebots/comments/7rrqyw/king_of_bots_episode_3_discussion_thread/dt2xf4m/
- ↑ http://www.botsfc.com/home/king-of-bots-we-go-to-china
- ↑ http://www.botsfc.com/home/the-road-to-robogames
- ↑ http://www.botsfc.com/home/king-of-bots-episodes-3-4-recap
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/battlebots/comments/8d38ip/this_is_fighting_robots_episode_2_discussion/dxo7xhp/
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/battlebots/comments/7wgm3q/king_of_bots_episode_6_discussion_thread/du4m9iq/
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/battlebots/comments/81q85i/king_of_bots_final_episode_discussion_thread/dv7owo0/
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/battlebots/comments/81q85i/king_of_bots_final_episode_discussion_thread/dv7p0jb/
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/battlebots/comments/81q85i/king_of_bots_final_episode_discussion_thread/dv7pslb/
- ↑ Private correspondence with Adam Hamilton
- ↑ http://www.botsfc.com/home/the-road-to-robogames
External Links Edit