Combat Robot Projects


When I was ten years old I became consumed by the fighting robot competitions that drew competitors from all over the world to the San Francisco Bay Area. As a 5th grader I began sketching designs and attempting to build my own fighting ‘bots, and a year later I entered my first 115 pound “middleweight” ‘bot in a BattleBots competition. By the middle of high school I had designed and built three ‘bots and competed in seven international competitions in San Fransisco and Las Vegas.


An article written about my ‘bots (2004)

An article written about my ‘bots (2004)





Beelzebub was my latest and most successful ‘bot. The first version of this 30lb featherweight was built in a month and was designed around a drive train similar to one of my 120 pound robots. It used a light weight aluminum shell that acted as a chassis and as armor. Beelzebub was effective because of its speed and acceleration, its hinged titanium wedge that slipped under other ‘bots, and its “speed bump” that protected the large motors and launched other ‘bots into the air (see videos). The second version featured a self righting bar that automatically flipped Beelzebub when turned over.

Beelzebub competed in a Las Vegas Robot Fighting League tournament and at Robolympics in 2003, ranking high enough to advance the 2004 RFL National Championships.

Beelzebub 2

Beelzebub 1

Videos from National Championships!!! 

Battle damage after nationals

Beelzebub 2’s Guts

Beelzebub during final assembly



Terminal Velocity


The 120lb Terminal Velocity was a huge improvement compared to my earlier middleweight Battlebots entries. This ‘bot featured a four wheel skid steer drive train powered by electric scooter motors and Ni-Cad batteries. On top of the improved drive train, Terminal Velocity had an electric hammer weapon and a hinged plow in front.

Terminal Velocity competed at a Robot Fighting League tournament in Las Vegas  in 2003.

Luke working on TV





Velocity 1 was a 120lb middleweight and was the first ‘bot that I built and entered in competition. The electronics and drive train were from an electric wheelchair that I bought from a repair shop that was sympathetic to my cause. Velocity 1 had a welded tube steel frame and polycarbonate armor. Velocity 1 competed at a Battlebots tournament in 2001.

Luke and Velocity 1

Velocity 2 used the same drive train as its younger brother, but featured a low profile welded steel frame with wedge like spikes on its front for manipulating opponents. Velocity 2 competed at battlebots tournaments in 2001 and 2002.

Luke and Velocity 2

Velocity 2 in the pits

Velocity 2’s Guts

Velocity 3 Added a hammer weapon to the velocity 2 chassis

Velocity 3 with safety covers

Velocity 3 with prototype hammer weapon