Ask Aaron - The Iceywave Troll

Questions and Answers about Combat Robotics
from Team Run Amok

Privacy Policy
The Iceywave Troll 
Our devoted reader Iceywave [West of San Antonio] apparently had some time on his hands in mid-October of 2023. He elected to spend that time trolling me here at 'Ask Aaron'. I enjoy a good troll, and this one was of such depth of research of such physical length that I decided it needed its own page. Assigning it a separate page also saves other readers the trouble of scrolling thru the full length of this document to get to material that might actually be useful to a combat robot builder . Here we go...

How to Troll Team Run Amok - Part 1
Q: I thought I would ask you to grade my ideas for other antwieght robots. Please know that I'm just brainstorming and I'm not going to build them anytime soon, but I just wanted to know if any of these ideas are good. Some of these I thought of when I was very sleep deprived, BE WARNED.
  1. Overhead spinner with flails (essentially just a 1lb 'Mauler')
  2. A box with two omni wheels and ramming spikes on all four sides
  3. A linear actuator powered crusher (this is the only way I could see a crusher working without hydraulics or pneumatics)
  4. Two arms on servo motors (think 'Little Metal Friend' from Robot Arena 2) with vibrating razor blades on the end
  5. A multi bot consisting of two copies of Flamin'Yon but half the size and weight
  6. A three wheel drive sit-and-spin bot (a mini Y-Pout without meltybrain technology)
  7. A full body spinner with legs instead of wheels
  8. 37 HexBug nanos with tiny paper traffic cones on them (we'll market it as the first fully autonomous antweight robot)
If you need more information about one of my ideas listed, let me know and I'll send a drawing. - Sincerely, Iceywave : ) [West of San Antonio]

A: [Mark J.] Thank you for the warning, Iceywave. I see you've become familliar with the type of questions we really appreciate, or perhaps you're playing off of the Barber-Ous variations? Either way, here are your answers:

  1. Remember, you can't spell "flail" without "fail".
  2. A box with four wheels and omni-spikes on two sides would at least drive straight.
  3. Ditch the linear actuator and tape a live lobster to the top.
  4. Vibrating razor blades is so 2020 -- try oscillating toothpicks.
  5. Build four copies of Flamin'Yon at double the weight, then see answer #8 below'
  6. Sure. Heavyweight Y-Pout never won a match, but that must be because it was too heavy.
  7. I hope the legs are REALLY tall. Send me a drawing of this one.
  8. The Cone Army was almost accepted for BatttleBots so you can probably enter the 37 antweight version as an NHRL beetle multibot, 'cause ain't nobody understands their multibot rules.

How to Troll Team Run Amok - Part 2
Thanks for the live lobster idea. How about 'This Ain't Gonna Make PETA Happy' for a name?

I think 'Bisque'.

Inspirational violin music plays

I thought a normal 2D drawing wouldn't suffice for the ultimate supremacy that is my antweight, so here is a 3D model of 'Iceywave's Paradigm'. I saw a video of another paradigm yesterday by someone named Russell, and I thought to myself "I can make a paradigm that is paradigm-er than that" so I made a robot that's the paradigm-ist!

Inspirational violin music stops

I get it! The spinning FBS gyro force keeps the bot upright on two legs, and the FBS is mounted so high so that your opponent can't stop if from spinning. If you tilt the FBS side-to-side it can gyro-walk. Absolute paradigm!

Anyways, since round one of my unconventional antweight designs went so well, here's round two!

9. 'Starchild' but with triangular wheels made of steel tubing so it doesn't rip or roll. It uses fans to propel itself forward.

I was once propelled forward by a group of fans. When I stopped buying the beer they got tired and went home. Fans are unreliable.

10. A hammer that injects lighter fluid into the opponent, then lights the inside on fire by dropping a sparkler on it.

Spectators are tired of fire. Bears like jelly. Fill your opponent with jelly and release a bear.

11. A ring spinner with the top and bottom half spinning in opposite directions. This is the best way to cancel out gyro effects.

You only need one ring. Spin it one way for a while, then spin it back the other way to 'unwind' the gyro.

12. A robot with 2 hook shaped vertical spinners on its left and right side, and says "pick it up" (points if you get the reference).

I'm incredibly old. The last time I got a reference was in 1988. It was an off-color joke about Milton Berle.

13. A cardboard box with a two foot aluminum frame around it. Crushers can't hurt me, and I can't fall into the pit this way.

The last builder who did that got his 'bot in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame.

14. Two motors, a receiver, and a battery wrapped in duct tape with a big sign on the front that says "HIT ME" (it wins fights using reverse psychology).

I built that antweight years ago. It didn't need a sign - see photo.

15. A FlySky transmitter with wheels that's controlled by an antweight robot (don't ask how, that's not important yet).

Use a transmitter with OpenTX firmware. They say you can program them to do anything.

Also, since we're on the subject of trolling, I've attached a copy of my entire Combat Robot Hall of Fame ballot! (Yes, I have kept it on my iPad since August) Now you can mount it on your refrigerator!!! - Sincerely, an aspiring writer : )

That's very kind, but unnecessary. I'll always remember the ballot that had ten times as many robots as did the average ballot. Next time just say "One vote for every robot" -- it'll save us both a lot of time.

How to Troll Team Run Amok - Part 3
Iceywave Part 3 Presented By

Click Here
Alas, we've reached the final installment of 'The Iceywave Troll-igy' (I swear I'll start asking serious questions after today) so, here is an updated list of "questions you'll appreciate".

16. I haven't built a combat robot in my life, so how would I go about building a 1:50 scale version of 'Chomp'?

See question twenty.

17. My LiPo is smoking after I charged it for 9 days straight, is this normal?

Sounds like you got a faulty one. Wrap it in tin foil and send it back to China.

18. I'm a builder WHO IS DEFINITELY NOT FROM INDIA and I was wondering how I would build an extremely deadly spinner THAT I'M DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO MAKE. [Digital Ocean]

Get an old washing machine, lock the controls on 'spin', and remove the sheet metal around the drum. Presto.

19. Is 'Kiff' getting renewed for a second season? Will (politician) win the election? Does 'Mister Mittens' love me?

If (politician) wins Nebraska by at least four points and 'Mister Mittens' leaves a dead mouse on your doorstep, then Disney will renew 'Kiff'... unless it's Tuesday or they don't want to.

20. I'm the guy who asked #16, it's been 6 minutes and you haven't responded yet. I know you're an adult with a job, but I want an answer RIGHT NOW!

Build a full-scale 'Chomp' and run it thru the 'hot water' cycle in your washing machine. It will shrink. Don't ever call me an adult again.

21. Whatever happened to 'Ultraviolet'? They performed decently, then dropped off the face of the earth.

'Ultraviolet' entered ABC BattleBots in 2016 and lost to 'SOW' and 'Hypershock'. Depressed, it made its way to the edge of the earth and leapt off. End of story.

22. I'm the person who asked #17, my LiPo started spewing blue flames so put water on it, but it didn't help much. Should I throw it away?

Blue flames are a good sign. When they turn green it's time to worry.

23. My beetleweight stopped working after I let go of the transmitter stick. I thought these things would fight by themselves.

Sounds like you got a faulty one. Wrap it in tin foil and send it back to China.

24. How do I ask my question?

Attach it to a twenty-dollar bill and leave it on my doorstep. Dead mice not accepted.

25. It's the LiPo guy again, I was too impatient and threw it in the garbage, but now my trash can has melted into a pile of goop. Should I call the police?

The police will not bring you a new trash can. Call your trash company. Ask for a metal can this time.

P.S. the reference from my previous post was for the animated masterpiece 'Puss in Boots: The last Wish'.

Thank you. I am unable to share the off-color joke about Milton Berle -- this is a familly-friendly website.

How to Troll Team Run Amok - November Epilogue
Q: Since I know you LOVE answering my questions [insert maniacal laughter here] I thought I'd share a secret. During the final day of 'The Iceywave Troll-igy' I actually had to restrain myself from asking more than 10 questions. Now that it's been a month, I thought I would share the questions that didn't make the cut. - Sincerely, Iceywave [West of San Antonio]

A: [Mark J.] I don't know whether to worry about you for asking this continuing series of questions, or worry about me for answering them.

26. What's your opinion on Razor? It better be the same bloody opinion as mine, or I'M GONNA [comment redacted]. [Whitechapel, England]

[Auto-Translated to Cockney] Me in me best whistle and flute, and you in your best bib and tucker. It's a long frog and toad but we'd do it OK on Shank's pony. That's if our plates of meat last out. Probably see a couple of me china plates there with the arrows and a pig's ear or two.

27. so battlebots came out out in 2015 but technically it came out in 2000 but technically it actually came out in 1999 but before that there was robot wars in 1994 and before that there was critter crunch in 1988 or something but before that there was the war of 1812 which i think was the start of robot combat but i can't be sure and in retrospect i don't really have any thing to ask sorry for my lack of punctuation. [Washington, D.C.]

This works out well, you have nothing to ask and I'm fresh out of answers.

28. I'm going to make an antweight version of Double Jeopardy, is that a good idea? [location blocked by VPN]

Why stop at 'double'? Make up for the small size by going big: 'Hextuple Jeopardy' sounds about right.

29. Aren't you the guy who built Shreddit Bro? [McMurdo Station, Antarctica]

I used to be, but I found being that guy socially irresponsible. Now I'm Batman.

30. I asked a question last week and I didn't like the tone of your response. I'd like you to reply in a more respectful manner. And get rid of that Cheerleader Button; it's degrading to members of several gender groups to which I belong. [Triton, Moon of Neptune]

I edited this question to keep you out of trouble, Iceywave. Now I think it may get ME in trouble.

31. I tried sending my question, but I couldn't get past the CAPCHA test. This website stinks!

That smell isn't coming from the CAPCHA -- it comes from the crushed and rotting dreams of new builders who insisted on asking me if they should build "melty-brain flail spinners with homemade Arduino-based control systems" for their first 'bot. They should have just asked the Cheerleader.


I've told you before, Texas. I can't publish any of the good ones here -- especially the one that ends with, "Yeah, and deep too." It's a familly friendly site.

33. My current robot is stooooopid. How do I make it less stew-ped?

Wire an Arduino microprocessor board in it somewhere. I don't think it matters where. Then you can write some code and your 'bot can do smart things.

34. The four-bar lifter spreadsheet looks like something a Mononykus drew on a Nintendo NES from 1988! I demand an updated spreadsheet to be posted underneath this question right away!

Much though I might wish to comply with your demand, the tribe of Mononykus I contracted with to author that spreadsheet went extinct in the late Cretaceous period and neither Rodger nor myself can make any sense of their code. Perhaps you'd like to build a one-bar lifter?

And now, The Absolute 100% Super Duper Ultra Mega Final Question for The Iceywave Troll-igy:
35. So I was editing my video reviewing every episode of "Saving Me" at 2:45 am when I had this thought:

Imagine there are four copies of Run Amok fighting in an exhibition match. They're driven by you, your neighbor, a dog, and an alien from the planet Zoloplax. The fight lasts 5 minutes and at 2:30 in, a generic sports drink gets dumped on the referees, who are John Cena and William Shakespeare. You're fighting in the BattleBots arena from 2002, except the floor spinners have been replaced by pneumatic flippers made of porcelain, and the floor has been covered in olive oil. At 1:30 in a googolplex of rubber chickens drop on the drivers, and at 4:00 minutes in they release a live coyote in the driver's deck. The arena commentators are Akbar Gbadjabiamila and ChatGPT.

Whooooooooo winzzzzzzzzzz?!?!?! -sincerely, Nuts 2's #1 Fan : ) [West of San Antonio]

This is surprisingly easy to resolve:
1:10 After more than a minute of fruitless wheel spinning by all four 'bots, the one-eyed alien from Zoloplax ("Gary") somehow gains enough traction to slowly propel Run Amok4 a few feet across the arena, throwing a roostertail of olive oil in its wake. Gary's lack of depth perception results in Run Amok4 mounting the nearest arena flipper and immediately being tossed between the arena bumper and Lexan, where it is counted out.

1:40 There is a brief silence as the last few rubber chickens fall onto the drivers and slowly settle into the gelatinous mound. All action on the arena has stopped, and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila fills time by re-telling the story of the time he sacked Daunte Culpepper in a game against the Vikings. Chat GPT corrects Akbar on the date of the Vikings game.

2:38 John Cena mistakenly assumes that William Shakespeare was responsible for his being soaked in generic sports drink and places The Bard in a headlock. Akbar Gbaja-Biamila shares his memories of the time he sacked Brad Johnson in a game against Tampa Bay. Chat GPT tells us the temperature at the time of the Tampa Bay game's kick-off.

3:25 William Shakespeare breaks free and hits John Cena with a metal folding chair. Cena is counted out.

4:12 Burrowing down into the rubber chickens, the coyote (also named "Gary") finds itself nose-to-nose with the Weimaraner driving Run Amok3. The two canines explode out of the rubber chicken mountain and are last seen heading for the pit area as an avalanche of novelty birds rolls out into the audience. Run Amok3 is disqualified by Wm. Shakespeare for having her driver leave the deck.

4:40 The shift in the latex poultry mountain allows me to push thru to the Lexan and visually assess the situation in the arena. Flipping 'Switch E' on my trusty Futaba T6XAs transmitter, I activate the on-board Arduino Uno Rev3 microcontroller which jettisons the wedge on Run Amok1 and deploys the secret meltybrain flail minibot with magnetic wheels that slices across the arena to land a single blow on Run Amok2 just as the buzzer sounds.

The match goes to the judges who unanimously award the match to Run Amok1 based on agression points. Besides, as everybody who has read FAQ #33 knows, In fantasy matches involving our robots, we always win. 

Fan Art by Iceywave
Iceywave is an avid 'Robot Arena 2' player, and he has been busy creating playable versions of Team Run Amok's robots and their opponents as they appeared at Robot Wars, Robotica, and events world-wide. He has been kind enough to share screen captures of these creations with us.
Update - You can now download Iceywave's RA2 bot models for 'Run Away', 'Rat Amok', 'Nasty Glass of Water', 'Zpatula', 'The Gap', and both versions of 'Mini Maxbot' from our Team Run Amok RA2 page!

Run Amok and Killer Bee at Robotica
Run Amok and Run Away at Home
The Gap and Propeller Head at Robot Wars
Evil Fish Tank and Nasty Glass of Water
Rat Amok and Flamin'Yon
Mini Maxbot and Mini Maxbot 2.0
Zpatula and Filibuster
Team Portrait

To see the most recent questions or to ask a new question, go to the

Run Amok Combat Robotics homepage
Copyright 2023 by Mark Joerger -- all rights reserved.