BattleBots Returns to the Airwaves

Robotics enthusiasts face off once more.

BattleBots has returned to the airwaves to bring engineers and robotics innovators from their garage to the battleground.

First airing in 1999, BattleBots hosted tournament-style cage matches between remote controlled robots designed and built by individuals from all walks of life. Each robot featured unique designs and weapons of choice which they would use to annihilate the opposing teams battlebot.

The original series ended in 2002.

Premiering June 21, 2015, the new series features old faces and new – bringing modern technological know-how to the hazard-filled ring, or “BattleBox” as they call it. The new incarnation of the show tries to distance itself from its Comedy Central origins, dropping the jokes and sketches of the old program and adopting a more serious tone.

While the basic premise is the same, judges now determine winners either by knock-out or scoring categories: “aggression, damage, strategy and control.” In an in-depth look at the new show, an article by Kill Screen explains how the cheesy wise-cracks and destruction for destructions sake are left behind with the old series.

“Now, men wearing well-cut suits debate the relative merits of IceWave v. RazorBack, and fights are interspersed with impeccably well-shot backstories that give them human stakes,” Matt Margini writes.

Team Neato's Ghost Raptor, to be featured in ABC's BattleBots, June 28, 2015.

Team Neato’s Ghost Raptor, to be featured in ABC’s BattleBots, June 28, 2015.

One of the new teams features engineers from Neato Robotics, under the moniker Team Neato. The team’s robot, “Ghost Raptor”, utilizes a kinetic-energy bar-spinner for a weapon. The agile bot weighs in at 248.8 lbs and boasts a system-wide 40HP.

Team Neato is one of 24 teams competing in the show and is led by Chuck Pitzer, a past competitor in the original series.

Below is a video uploaded by Pitzer, demonstrating the kinetic-energy bar-spinner.

Asked if any of the technology found in Ghost Raptor found its way into the Neato robot vacuums found in millions of households, Pitzer said “only the smart technology that doesn’t destroy your furniture.”

This season of BattleBots will air six episodes in total. The second episode, featuring Team Neato and Ghost Raptor will air June 28 on ABC.

To learn more about BattleBots, visit

Meet Team Neato and learn more about Ghost Raptor (3:59) in the following video.