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...for Billy Moon

Tell us about the robot that you're bringing to the ComBots Cup.

Eugene gets his name from the Pink Floyd song "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". In this mostly instrumental work, the only lyrics are this single phrase followed by monstrous screaming sounds. It was this thought that inspired the creation of our new 220 lb heavyweight robot "Eugene".

Eugene is the first robot designed and built by Team Moon Robotics that is 100% computer designed. Ordinarily, we'd do several paper studies, build 1/3 scale prototypes and wooden models of a new bot before "going to metal", however in the case of Eugene the complete design was done using SolidWorks and the bot went straight from that design to the final product.

Eugene is about 90% Titanium. Only a few bolts, the motors, batteries, radio and ESC are made of anything else.

Eugene shares weapons with our SHW - Star Hawk 3.0. As such it currently has two weapons -- the Super Axe and the Super Blade. Both weapons are capable of putting out in excess of 200 Kj of energy.

Why did you build a spinner as opposed to a different type of robot?

Eugene is not a classic spinner design. The blade is neither horizontal nor vertical. It is held at an angle to form a frontal "wedge". We believe that this design will change the "balance of power" against other simple wedge bots as this angle allows us to hit their wedge at an optimal angle of attack.

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

We'd love to fight anyone that is willing to show up and put up a good fight. We don't like fighting against robots that are very weak as its hard not to cause them to much harm yet still be assured that the match is won.

The robot and driver to "fear" at this event will be Karcas II with Donald Hutson.

This $10,000 ComBots Cup was created to renew interest in robotic combat, both among some of the builders who have drifted away and among the potential audience. 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?

Fewer weight classes would be great. I've personally argued for combining SHW/HW and MW/LW classes to have just two remaining weight classes: 300 lbs and 100 lbs respectively. This will allow many bots to be gradually converted to the "new" weight classes. I'd promote the higher weight class as a "professional" class and the lower as the "hobby" class. Next, we need to learn how to run events in a single evening so that fans can follow the action and the brackets and actually understand what it is we are doing. On and yes, cash prizes are good.

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

Yes. Someone to actually try it.

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

Swarms of small, specialized robots that I could "task" collectively to carry out various things and that would adapt to make it happen.

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