Battlebots is UCLA's premier combat robotics club, and ASME's most popular technical project specifically geared towards beginner to intermediate engineers. The club provides a forum for students to gain hands-on experience and to apply the concepts taught in class to real-life scenarios. Students conceptualize, write proposals, design, manufacture and test arena-combat robots to compete against other collegiate and professional teams in competition. During this process, students gain experience using techniques, tools and programs commonly used in industry and other engineering professions. Examples include Computer-Aided Design and Finite Element Analysis programs such as SolidWorks or Abaqus, and industrial machining tools such as the mill, lathe, and drill press. Our mission is to teach students how to fabricate and optimize a personal design to create a professional product that can compete at a national level, as well as provide students with the skills and experience to set them apart when entering the workforce.
The club focuses primarily on combat robots, which refers to robots with both drive systems and weapons systems, tasked to battle and potentially destroy an opposing robot in an enclosed arena. Robots can have passive weapon systems, such as a wedge or plow that it uses to ram the opponent into the wall of the arena, or an active weapon such as spinning kinetic-energy systems similar to blades or flywheels, pneumatic flipping mechanisms, or flamethrowers. These robots compete in various weight-classes ranging from 150 grams to 340 pounds.
The Battlebots team is composed primarily of mechanical and electrical undergraduate engineering students. However as recently as last year, the club has featured graduate students, various other undergraduate engineering students, and even a humanities major. No specific major, experience or course of study is a prerequisite to join the club. Any student interested in participating this year can look forward to projects such as “DracUCLA” a 120-pound drum spinner, “Bruiner of Worlds” a 60-pound thwackbot, “UBRuined” a-60 pound horizontal spinner, and a small fleet of 3-pound combat robots of various weapon-types and more.