Button Lee was an American-Chinese competitor robot which fought in Season 2 of King of Bots. Built and entered by Team FlightPlan, it made its debut in the opening episode, being selected by Emma Dumont to fight in the second round of head-to-head battles. In its debut battle, Button Lee fought Mist Lion, but lost on a Judges' decision after both robots became immobilized at the same time. Button Lee was then eliminated after losing a four-way rumble to Cracked Sword.
Button Lee was a dark blue axlebot, driven by two 48-inch diameter wheels. Each wheel was made out of glassfiber-reinforced ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW), and fitted with two sets of three vertically-spinning chain flails with red hooks. The front end of Button Lee's main body also featured scrolling LED projections, which would display its name as well as humorous messages during battles and the celebrities' selection process, with the side of Button Lee's wheels also displaying bright, flashing lights. However, the robot's wheels could bend in a way that Button Lee would be stranded on its side, without a way of recovering, a weakness which led to its first loss of the competition.
King of Bots 2 (Season 2)
Button Lee debuted in Episode 1 of Season 2, where its large size drew attention from Emma Dumont prior to the second round of one-on-one battles. Charmed by the robot and Team FlightPlan’s rationale behind its design, Dumont selected it to compete at this stage of the competition; Button Lee was subsequently drawn to face Mist Lion, a new robot from the established Honghe team.
In the opening seconds, Button Lee wobbled its way out of the red corner while getting its flails up to speed. It drove slowly towards and over an approaching Mist Lion, whose vertical spinner clipped Button Lee's right wheel and threw it into the air. Button Lee bounced back onto the floor, spinning in recoil; the force of the landing caused one of its wheels to buckle. With its mobility hampered, Button Lee spun up its flails again as it was rammed by Mist Lion, but caused little damage to its now-burning opponent.
Mist Lion proceeded to push Button Lee towards a grinder and back into the red corner, causing a wheel to bend once again. Button Lee was left immobilized by this attack, with its unbent wheel unable to gain any purchase on the arena floor. Mist Lion also became immobile after driving into the wall spikes, smoking and getting hit by a nearby hammer; both robots were counted out simultaneously, despite Button Lee's continuous attempts to keep its flails, body and unbuckled wheel rotating. With this, the battle went to a Judges' decision, which ruled against Button Lee, preventing it from joining Emma Dumont's team at this stage of the competition.
After the battle, Team FlightPlan were able to straighten Button Lee's wheels by lifting the robot up and leaving it on its side overnight. The team later explained that the landing following Mist Lion's first attack was sufficient to imprint a drive gear against the affected wheel, causing it to seize.
Due to the nature of its attacking style, Button Lee was largely left out of the action for much of the opening stages, which saw Cracked Sword repeatedly smash into Tank. Eventually, while Cracked Sword was attacking Tank, its spinner deflected into the wheel of Button Lee, and Little Qinglong also bumped into Button Lee at the same time. This was enough to disable the flails on one side of Button Lee, which never left its current section of the arena again, despite being able to turn in circles. This was not good enough for the referee, who counted Button Lee out, making it the only robot not to survive to the Judges' decision, which Cracked Sword ultimately won, to eliminate Button Lee from the competition.
|BUTTON LEE - RESULTS|
|King of Bots (Season 2)|
|Episode 1, 1v1||vs. Mist Lion||Lost|
|Redemption Round||vs. Cracked Sword, Little Qinglong, Tank||Lost|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 2
|Series||Button Lee Series Record|
|Season 1||Did not enter|
|Season 1.5||Did not enter|
|Season 2||Eliminated in Redemption Round|
Outside King of Bots
On the US live circuit, Team FlightPlan are known for competing with designs such as the beetleweight and featherweight robots SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, and ThunderSnow. The former is a famously wide robot designed to 'hug' other robots and obstruct their path.
The team competed at BattleBots for the first time in 2020, entering a heavyweight version of SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE that was armed with two undercutting spinners, with one blade on each end. In its first battle, SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE defeated Sharkoprion on a Judges' decision after disabling one of its wheels. However, it lost its next fight against Pain Train on a split judges' decision after both robots physically lost an entire spinner. A final knockout where P1 managed to strand SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE on the BattleBox screw mountings left it with a 1-2 record and it subsequently failed to qualify for the main competition. SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE also competed in the BattleBots: Bounty Hunter spin-off, fighting for the right to face-off against former champion Tombstone. It progressed through its first fight against Mammoth after overturning its opponent, but lost to Kraken on a very close judges' decision.