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Winner Announcement: Hackbot Wars Challenge - Win an Intel Edison Kit for Arduino!

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Congratulations to rider51, andrewq, thundersqueak, productions0red, and the-dubster !


You are winners of the Hackbot Wars Challege and you win an Intel Edison Kit for Arduino!


rider51 writes:


I am going to start with my guess on who will win the robot competition. 1st Karen, 2nd Felix, 3rd Ben (Sorry Ben!)
I've actually assisted in the building of some robots and built a few of my own.


Me and a few friends are part of a Robotic Competition called FTC (First Tech Challenge). In a summery, FTC teams are assigned a goal in which they need to build a robot to accomplish. The teams then compete against each other to earn the most points. Here is a few pictures of the robot we built.


The side of the robot.Our robot's electronics.20160210_172829.jpg

Robot Description:
The main body consists of a plywood board with an under frame of made of Tetrix Bars. We were going to have a servo arm later but we were unable to finish that. The challenge involved climbing a ramp with bars across it; our idea was to connect custom 3D printed parts to assist (Those yellow pieces in the pictures above.) We have a tank-like tread system on each side of the robot to allow us to move at a decent speed at a stable rate. We used two android phones to control the robot. One was connected to all the motor control systems, the other to a generic usb game controller.



Robot Description:
This was another test robot my team and I made using a Vex Robotics set. It was far too unstable to use in the official competition but it gave us some ideas for the robot we went with.


Robots Descriptions:
The two robots above are ones I made myself. The first robot came in a kit of parts which I had to hand solder and connect everything. It is capable of simple tracking using IR. It is also able to avoid running of tables and edges. The second robot picture is of of the first ever robot I've made. It is capable of going forward until it detects an object. It would then backup, turn, and go forward again. I later modified it to follow along walls. I did this using a ultrasonic sensor and running everything on an Arduino.


Anyways, I enjoy a good robotic challenge, and I am excited for this years FTC Competition. I can't wait to see how the HackBot War Challenge ends!


andrewq writes:


Ben will use sun tzu tactics and crush Karen's machine .Felix will try to go all in with and EMP but Ben will have a aluminium shield just in case.


I made a robot to show my support for Ben .

It is controlled via ssh and streams video to browser and it run's Arch Linux  .

Components : Raspberry pi 1 model b ,raspberry camera,  micro metal 50:1 motors , wifi adapter , motor driver and some lego !

Video of robot popping balloons ! :





IMG_20160819_035809.jpgps: Big Ben Big Bang !IMG_20160819_035836.jpgIMG_20160819_041103.jpgIMG_20160819_035820.jpgIMG_20160819_035828.jpg

thundersqueak writes:


I have a feeling that Felix might win... just because he is the biggest unknown for me   After that Karen and then Ben coming in last.    I always root for the underdog!


You can't pop what you can't hit.


Here are a couple of bots that I have made.  The first is a small robot that is 3D printed on the CEL Robox printer.  It is currently powered by a Raspberry Pi 3B and is being used as a platform for testing out some machine learning code.




This robot is actually my entry in the Hackaday Prize this year,, and is a work in progress



productions0red writes:


Bot Pros and Cons.

Felix would be a bit weak on protecting his balloons, even attacking. Ben's machine of death has good attacking weapons. He could even pop balloons with his spike defence weapon. But the attack weapons will be a bit weak on the run as demonstrated as they take a while to aim and pop. Karen also has a good robot. The big ring of balloon death is awesome for defence while the hot poker of balloon death is quite tall and would be a bit of a difficulty to maneuver around.


What Will Happen

At the start it would be a bunch of running around, you know, till they get used to the bots. Felix would a bit worried about the other's OP weapons. Ben out of no where pops a balloon with the swinging spike ball. But Karen pays back, thanks to her ring of needles of balloon death. After that she goes trying to attack Felix's balloons. Felix's bot is a bit fast. Karen can't go very fast but thanks to the hot poker of balloon death she manages to pop one of Felix's balloons. Ben again tries to get Karen, but she flew out of the way and Ben rammed into Felix, popping his last balloon. FELIX IS OUT. It's a one on one match with one balloon each. Karen goes in circles while Ben is chasing her. But somehow she manages to pull out of Ben's sight, trying to poke ben with the hot poker of balloon death. She fails, Ben tries to strike again, but the ring of balloon death of Karen's reaches the balloon and it pops! KAREN WINS, BEN IS SECOND.


the-dubster writes:


I have NO idea where you're attaching the balloons, but judging by the potential spinning wheel of balloon death on Karen's robot I wouldn't fancy that approaching me.


I shan't even start to consider what looks to be a 'glowing-poker hot-wire of doom' charging up my rear . . . . . . . . 


Karen FTW

Ben for runner-up

Felix's robot gets invited to a 'televised celebrity dance TV show' of your choosing!




I've watched the weapons video now - still going for Karen

Ben - I understand the concern over the unnecessary complexity of a reciprocating 'sting', yes you can move the bot back & forth but the in your original plan, the sting could reciprocate whilst you're advancing - you may regret that decision come battle time!


Only time will tell.


For now we will have to wait until it's          3 . . . . . 2 . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . ACTIVATE!!    (for the UK at least).


Thank you to everyone who participated in the Hackbot Wars Challenge!  Thanks for keeping it light and making us laugh!


While we appreciate everyone who participated, here are some of the highlights:


benslice writes:


I think that Karen's lamp-bot will mean lights-out for the other two. Gold medal.

Felix's secret weapon is intriguing enough to earn him the wild card spot. Silver medal.

Ben will place third, which is the best spot for talking trash. Bronze.


delavanken writes:


Karen's bot will shield her balloon as she tears through latex like a hot knife through butter!

Better pull out Ben and Felix!


mjc4wilton writes:



Ben's pokey-arm will prove to be ineffective and will get jammed in Karen robot's defensive ring and both will break. Felix's piloting skills will be able to have his robot avoid the other robot's offensive weapons. And Felix will have some trick pulled up his sleeve to give him an advantage. Karen's will probably have a wire pulled loose and cause a motor to burn out or create magic smoke.


xybear writes:


pretty good odds that no matter how Ben does, he will be disqualified because a "video" will surface of him doing something shady.  in the episode i see Ben and Karen conspiring to take out Felix.  once the battle starts, it appears that Karen betrays Ben by attacking him.  in reality it is Felix, able to take control because of his 'help'.  does not matter who wins, if it is Karen's bot, it will self destruct leaving Felix the winner by simple attrition.  if Ben wins, the 'video' surfaces.  While the video is of questionable origin and implies Ben did some sort of sabotage to Karen's bot, it is taken as gospel and Ben is disqualified, letting Felix take the number one spot.  in either case the video surfaces and Ben is banished from the shop due to his history of nefarious misdeeds.  Perhaps there will be a montage of the misdeeds.  As the episode ends we see Felix in a large throne like chair, smiling, chuckling and muttering about "showing them" and "the Felix show".  in the final scene we can see Karen either clutching the remains of her bot or menacingly holding a soldering iron or doing both as she gives the back of the chair the evil eye.   


entejamd writes:


I think when the robots first touch in combat the static from the balloons will send a simultaneous ESD shock to the bots. This will trigger them to join together and turn into one larger hackbot, named Felix 5. This uncontrollable monster will then escape, only to return and pop all the balloons at Karen's next birthday party. Run while you still have the chance. The only thing that will stop this monster will be a game station laptop hack in which Felix 5 is challenged to a game of tic-tac-toe, only to discover that there are no winners in robot balloon battle. If this frightening scenario does not take place and the hackbots proceed in there fierce contest, I think Karen with demolish Felix and Ben based on the size and number of pointy bits on her bot.


lethalchiouaoua writes:


Okay here's how it will go.

Ben start's strong by popping Felix's balloon.

Felix starts relying on his robot's mobility to run around Ben and Karen while they fight each other.

The derby intensifies as Ben and Karen become continuously more aggressive.

Felix still runs around in circles trying to avoid any hits.

Karen suddenly pops two of Ben's balloons.

Ben starts playing more strategically by trying to turn Karen against Felix.

His plan doesn't work as Felix hits him in the back, that sneaky bastard...

Ben is out.

At this point Felix has 2 balloons and Karen has 3.

Karen is quite more aggressive than Felix.

Felix gets bored of running and starts attacking when he pops 2 of Karen's balloons at once.

Karen pulls herself together and fights back.

She pops one of Felix's balloons.

They both try hard to win the fight but they don't find a good chance to attack.

Karen suddenly traps Felix in a corner.

Everything seems to be over.

But out of nowhere her robot slips on a banana peel.

She watches angrily as her last balloon goes away.

Freddy Mercury appears out of nowhere with the other members of Queen and they start playing their song "We Are The Champions" for Felix.

Confetti starts falling from the ceiling while Ben and Karen start crying.

The president of the United States Of America personally congratulates Felix for his win and gives him a medal.

The illuminati  get amazed by his talent and his knowledge and hire him to make a Hackbot/Human cyborg to rule the world.

He accepts the job and after a 3 part episode of him building the cyborg he finally succeeds.

The illuminati overthrow democratically elected governments by the help of Felix's cyborg.

They finally rule the world... All because of Felix...

Thanks Felix! You destroyed everything...



I actually think Karen is going to win. FIRE BEATS ALL!


mpicker21 writes:


As usual Felix will lose because he is a gentleman and helped Karen with the electronics of her bot. His bot is sweet but nice guys finish last. Ben's bot is more likely to rip Karen's treads up than pop a balloon. Karen's bot contains part of a toaster. What more is there to say? If you need a reminder how awesome toast is just look up Heywood Banks. My prediction: Science is the real winner here. I say this because they are all likely to realize that their bots don't last long on a charge and then we're watching three bots sit motionless in the arena with 1 or 2 balloons each left.


flip-a-botversion2.0 writes:


Karen's robot is going to beat the crap out of ben and felix she should put the balloons inside or above the lamp shade. I have built a battle robot named flip-a-bot version 2.0 it's whole body is made of polycarb and aluminium and it uses a pneumatic flipper for a weapon i compete in a 20 kg class and have won first place at a geekfest. I have lots of photos but i dont know how to share them here


incaseywood writes:


I think that Ben is going to win, but I think that he may use "questionable methods" (cheating) and that on base stats without handicaps, Felix's robot will the the superior one.  It is very mobile, and I think that Felix has a crafty mind.  Plus he deserves the MVP award for doing 1/2 of Karen's work for her.  I think that it will be difficult to get to Karen's balloons, but I don't think her spikes will be very effective weapons.  Her hot cutter will destroy any balloon it touches, but I think she's going to drain her batteries very quickly.


Also, I think the whole match will end with Karen lighting something on fire.

Excited to see the battle results!




Hackbot Wars is the Ben Heck Show's take on BattleBots and Robot Wars with a Mario Kart Twist.  Ben, Karen, and Felix assemble robots from kits and try to pop each other's balloons in homage to Nintendo's Mario Kart video game series.


Ben, Karen, and Felix face off in a best of three winner take all series!


Who will be the final two contestants and who will emerge victorious?


Vote for the robot you believe will be the final winner!


Comment below on what happens next and why!


For instance: Will Ben use brute force to dominate Felix?   Will Felix's robot have too many moves for Ben's robot to handle?   Will Karen put Ben or Felix in their place?  Guess what happens next and make us laugh. Or, share a robot you made!


Our favorite 5 guesses (or robots) will receive an Intel Edison Kit for Arduino!



Step 1:  Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

Step 2: Post in the comments section below and tell us what you think will happen next and why! Our favorite five answers win. Full Terms and Conditions can be found here. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

Step 3:  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!  We will accept entries until 8:00am CDT August 18th, 2016 and we will announce our winner the following week. If you need something to do between now and then make sure to check out what is happening This week on element14 Community, or watch more Ben at

Poll Results
  • Ben's Robot (18%)

  • Felix's Robot (25%)

  • Karen's Robot (57%)



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