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...for Carlo Bertocchini

Will there be any changes to BioHazard for the ComBots Cup, or will it be the same robot we're all familiar with?

The only change is a slightly faster gear ratio. Everything else is just as it was in its last BattleBots outing - including the battle scars.

Why did you build a lifter as opposed to another type of robot?

When I built it (in 1995), nobody had yet thought of spinners (or even lifters). It seemed like it would make a good weapon, (and with a win/loss record of 34/3, it has proven to be the case).

Which robot in the tournament would you most like to fight and which robot do you not want to have to fight?

I hate going home with broken parts so I would rather not fight the spinners.

A lot of eyes will be on you at this event as the reigning BattleBots champion. Do you feel any extra pressure over that of past events?

Even though the prize is $10,000, the stakes are a lot lower at this competition than they were at BattleBots. I think I can have some fun. My goal is to see how quickly I can end each battle - no more showboating or dragging out the fight just to make it look good for TV. Look for some 10-second knockouts. The gloves are off.

This $10,000 ComBots Cup was created to renew interest in robotic combat. Do you think that a high-stakes tournament is a good way to do this and how do you feel about the fact that all of the emphasis is being placed on one weight class?

There are many ways I can think of to promote the sport, and offering a larger prize purse is definitely one of them. Everyone should thank Dave Calkins and ComBots for doing this rather than complaining that they would have done it differently. The weight class being emphasized (heavyweights) is the one I happen to compete in, so I feel lucky. If there was more money (and larger audiences), I think other weight classes could also share in the purse.

Do you think robotic combat will ever return to national TV? If so, what will it take to get it there?

Grass roots participation in small competitions may reach a "critical mass". In other words, if the sport becomes big enough without TV, then TV will take an interest.

You've developed a reputation for being one of the most prepared builders in all of robotic combat. Are you already ready for this tournament?

BioHazard has been sitting in the garage, ready to go, for almost three years.

Ignoring the restrictions of budget, time, and possibly even the laws of physics, what would your dream robot be?

I built my dream robot. Readers can see details at Your readers may also be interested in my line of combat robot kits based on BioHazard at

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