Lucas Grell from Proctor told me how he first got involved and what it's like to be on a nationally televised show
He was featured in a DNT article about making it on the show. In that article, his Mom says he first became interested in robots when he was a sophomore at Proctor and saw what the Robotics team was doing there.
Lucas told me he used to watch reruns of the Comedy Central version of Battlebots. He said it was something he wanted to do but the show wasn't in production anymore. So he started building 15-pound robots for the Minnesota and National Leagues with friends and said he was hooked.
He was a member of the Proctor Robotics Team and he said it taught him skills to build 250-pound Battlebots. He said it taught him designing skills as well that became useful to him.
He told me that he traveled across the country to compete and went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Denver, and Los Angles to compete with a 12-pound battlebots. He had also heard the show rebooted and he met many people who were competing for a spot on the show.
I asked him to tell me about how he made it to the show. he said, "Team JackPot had been accepted to BattleBots for the 2020 season and competed, and when I joined we were starting work on our new 2021 version of the robot. Before we built it this time, we had confirmation that we had a place on the show, but last year, team captain Jeff Waters had begun ordering parts and building just 4 weeks before the filming of the show and finished just in time to compete. The rest of our team members actually live in Las Vegas, so it's not hard for them to get together and work on the robot."
He says they follow rules that are similar to other combat sports. They have 3-minute rounds, there is a count-out for disabled or destroyed robots. The judge makes a decision based on damage, aggression, and control.
He told me all the Battlebots weigh 250 pounds and are remote-controlled. They are in a 48x48' arena, and any other restrictions have been created for safety reasons.
Lucas does hold down a real job and says he competes largely as a hobby and only spends a few weeks competing. Lucas also likes classic and retro cars, which I wasn't surprised by because he likes and builds machines. He said it only takes a few weeks to film and it airs about 6 months later.
He told me if someone wants to do what he does is to get involved with a Robotics class. Lucas said the show will be back and he intends to be on because he loves visiting Las Vegas.
Thanks to Lucas for getting back to me about the show, and to his Dad Greg for helping connect us.
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