Team Toad: Chicago 2001

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Event Report for iHXRC 2001 in Chicago

Okay, we're back from the Northeast Robotics Club's Robot COnflict held at the International Model and Hobby Expo in Chicago over the weekend.


We had a great time, and want to thank Jim Goeke, Joanne Nuzzi and John Pagano and everyone else who helped organize this event. It was great to see Dan Danknick from Team Delta and Rich Reid from NPC Robotics who helped sponsor the event, and General Morgan Tilford from the South Bay Robowarriors, who brought Mauler 51-50 for a display.

The level of destruction in the 12 and 30 pound classes was incredible. There were so few 30 pounders left operational that there was no 30 pound rumble. There were more knockouts than decisions in both of these classes, too. I learned for a fact that fun and adrenaline levels are not proportional to size.

Our Results

We took three bots to Chicago:

TadPole took 1st place in the antweight division, with a 4-0 record:

Mini-Mauler took 2nd place in the 12 pound division, with a 3-2 record:

SnowCone failed to place, with a 1-1 record:


In addition to celebrity bots and celebrity drivers, we also had a visit from one of the original bot widows: Becky Winter. But even though Debbie feels like a bot widow at times, at this event she was forced to drive. But she seemed to have fun with her little wingless airplane. I had to make her practice, too. Friday night in the hotel room I made her drive SnowCone back and forth across the bedroom floor (with the safety key for the blade safely locked away).

Here we see Danny trash-talking with Al Kindle and Dan Watts. Dan also hassled Chris H. of Team Parasite a lot. He made good on two of his three threats.

To try to keep Danny from talking too much trash, I asked him to meditate to calm down before his first match. Here we see him with his cousin Artie.

Dan did a great job of driving Mini-Mauler; against ForkBot he learned to back off and let the spinner build up speed before hitting again (he learned from me yelling instructions at him from across the room :-)

There was a great moment in the ForkBot match where ForkBot got his lifting forks under MM, and lifted up one side...but the gyroscopic forces kept Mini-Mauler mostly level, and it settled gently back to earth while flipping ForkBot over on his front. We'll post video of that move later.

He did an even better job against 911, knocking off a wheel and immobilizing him.

But even though Danny drove really well, and Mini-Mauler was both destructive and tough, there is no truth to the rumor that Mini-Mauler won the Giant Nut for most aggresive robot.


The highlight of Danny's trip, aside from winning second place, was getting to see his old buddy General Morgan again. Even better was the chance to introduce Mini-Mauler to his namesake. Becky Winter's presence at the event will no doubt revive those old rumors about Tentomushi and Mauler having a lovechild.

We are not authorized at this time to confirm that Tentomushi is the mother, nor can we explain any role that FrostBite may have had in this affair.

We'll have more photos later, and videos of our fights...

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Last updated 11-Sep-2001 Lazy Toad Ranch   Web Site contents Copyright © 2000,2001 Michael L. Mauldin