Details from the 2017 Combat Robot Hall of Fame balloting

2017 Open Ballot -- Detailed Breakout

I had a feeling it was going to be an interesting ballot this time. I figured that the airing of ABC BattleBots season two reboot was going to complicate things, but another complication developed that I did not foresee.

The number of ballots set an all-time record for The Hall by a full order of magnitude. More than 190 different robots appeared on at least one ballot - also a record. The voting broke out into four major blocks:

  1. I'm a fan of the ABC BattleBots reboot and BattleBots are cool so I voted for all the BattleBots (yes, even that humanoid thing) and nothing else.
  2. I'm an American that watches YouTube videos and/or actually attends regional US competitions so I voted for robots that I see there - a mix of US and international robots.
  3. I'm British and I properly voted for the best of the UK 'bots because they are very good robots. I also voted for a select few of the more capable BattleBots and some top-flight 'bots from the US and Brazil.
  4. I'm Indian and my entire ballot is a single vote for one of eight Indian robots. There are thirteen times as many of me as all the other voting blocks combined!

Clearly, India did not stop to read the criteria for induction of a robot into the Combat Robot Hall of Fame. A quick refresher: a robot must appear on 50% of the ballots submitted to be inducted into The Hall. By flooding the ballot box with single-robot ballots spread remarkably evenly between seven different robots, the Indian vote not only guaranteed that none of their robots could appear on 50% of the ballots cast, but also insured that no robot from anywhere would be able to meet that criterion. Great work, guys.

Balloting for the Combat Robot Hall of Fame is not a popularity contest; it is a poll of the combat robot community to determine which robots are deserving of recognition. Soliciting votes for your robot from friends, familly, classmates, co-workers, and readers of your FaceBook page turns it into an egotistical mockery. Everybody understands this, except India. Fortunately, protocols are in place to prevent this from happening.

In order to salvage the Combat Robot Hall of Fame vote I invoked a contingency rule developed in 2005 when an American team attempted to stuff the ballot box with single-robot ballots from friends and family. The rule reduces the weight and count for blocks of identical ballots. The bigger the block, the greater the reduction. With this rule in place the disproportionate and ruinous impact of the Indian vote was balanced out.

The large voting turnout combined with the great number of robots mentioned in ballots did dilute the voting pool a bit, making it difficult to crack the 50% threshold. Fortunately the UK builders must have had a thoughtful discussion of their voting options and their relative unity combined with support from US YouTube hipsters and a BattleBots tie-in pushed two distinguished robots to well deserved victory.

Congratulations to our new members for 2017

Full Member: Carbide

Honorable Mention: ßeta

'Eruption' also appeared on a large enough percentage of ballots to qualify for Honorable Mention, but already appears in the Honorable Mention roll.

Regional Breakouts

North America

  • Largest number of robots listed on a single ballot: 34
  • Mean number of robots per ballot: 10
  • Percentage of total ballots cast: 4%
  • Votes cast for North American robots: 65%
  • Top Five Robots:
  1. Carbide
  2. Eruption
  3. Tombstone (250)
  4. Ziggy
  5. No Fly Zone


  • Largest number of robots listed on a single ballot: 35
  • Mean number of robots per ballot: 8
  • Percentage of total ballots cast: 3%
  • Votes cast for European robots: 75%
  • Top Five Robots:
  1. Carbide
  2. ßeta
  3. Eruption
  4. Firestorm
  5. Behemoth


  • Largest number of robots listed on a single ballot: 13
  • Mean number of robots per ballot: 1
  • Percentage of ballots cast: 92%
  • Votes cast for Indian robots: 98%
  • Top Five Robots:
  1. Defiance
  2. Karma
  3. Suarez
  4. Khashaba
  5. Dauntless

The Hall also received ballots from Australia and South America, but in numbers too small for statistical breakout.
All robots appearing on at least 10% of the ballots  In alphabetical order:

Big Ripto
No Fly Zone
Storm II
Touro Maximus

Fun Facts

First ballot New Barnet, England

Last Ballot Jasper, Alabama

Total number of robots mentioned on at least one ballot 192

Percentage of robots mentioned on ONLY one ballot 50%

Biggest Bunghole In spite of the clearly stated 'One Ballot per Person' rule, more than 200 ballots came in for one obscure and particularly undistinguished robot from a single proxy IP address outside the actual country of origin. They arrived in large groups, often several per minute. The ballots were rejected and the IP has been blocked from future voting.

Rumors, facts, and outright lies about Combat Robot Hall of Fame balloting
  1. Robots appearing on at least 50% of the submitted ballots will attain full membership in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame. This method of voting is common to established 'Hall of Fame' voting practices. See Baseball Hall of Fame Voting for an example.
  2. Robots appearing on at least 25% of the submitted ballots will gain Honorable Mention status and will remain eligible for promotion to full membership on future ballots.
  3. You are strongly encouraged to vote for ALL the robots YOU believe to be worthy of membership in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame. A typical ballot will have about seven robots listed. Large blocks of identical ballots are considered suspicious and are subject to being 'trimmed'.
  4. Ballots with a very small number of robots listed carry less weight than do ballots with a larger number of robots. These ballots are also aggregated into a smaller number of combined ballots to prevent 'dilution' of the percentage votes caused by such small ballots.
  5. Due to regional voters being more familiar with and favoring their local robots, a small scoring weight is added to robots highly popular in their home voting continent. The exact details of this and other scoring adjustments are kept confidential to prevent the system from being 'gamed'.
  6. Rumor has it that ballots with their entries in alphabetical order are given extra weight. Mark may have started this rumor simply to make it easier for him to enter ballots into the tally sheet.
  7. There are four key considerations for membership in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame, as published at the top of the Combat Robot Hall of Fame page:
    • Dominating success in combat;
    • Pioneering or perfecting influential designs;
    • Having great fan or entertainment appeal; or
    • Otherwise making a lasting impact on the sport.

    Note that 'being really cool' is not on the list, and neither is 'beautiful machine porn'. Note also that winning ANY single tournament does not, by itself, qualify as 'dominating success in combat'. A robot that has no discernible standing in any of these categories will not be allowed full membership in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame regardless of the voting outcome. The Combat Robot Hall of Fame membership committee has not yet found it necessary to enforce this rule.

CRHoF - 2019 Voting Breakout   - - - - -   CRHoF - 2021 Voting Breakout   - - - - -   CRHoF - 2023 Voting Breakout

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Contents copyright Mark Joerger, 2003, 2017
'Combat Robot Hall of Fame' is a trademark held by Mark Joerger, 2003