The story of the virtual Hall of Fame for Combat Robots
The Hall re-opens for balloting in August of odd-numbered years. Membership in the Hall is by ballot of the global combat robot community. Notification and balloting instructions appear in combat robot forums in the US, UK, Australia, and India in August of odd-numbered years. A robot appearing on at least 50% of authenticated ballots gains full membership in the Hall, and a robot appearing on fewer than 50% but at least 25% of the ballots appears on the Honorable Mention roll and remain eligible for promotion to full membership in future balloting. Some special consideration is given to robots receiving a high percentage of votes from a specific global region.
The Hall of Fame 'Contest'
The approach of the 9th anniversary of the first Robot Wars competition in San Francisco motivated me to create a site to honor the efforts of builders who had created particularly successful combat robots. I decided that the community of robot builders themselves were the group best suited to select robots for the new Hall of Fame, but I needed a way to focus the attention of that group on the 'big picture' rather than just start an argument.
My solution was to disguise the balloting as a contest. The builders were invited to predict my own list of twenty-five 'Hall of Fame' robots, which would direct their attention toward what they believed other builders might think and away from any personal favoritism. As a starting point, I created my own list (see below) of 25 'Hall of Fame' combat robots plus an 'Honorable Mention' list of 10 more based on:
I posted the rules along with an email address on the Delphi combat robot forums and tallied the responses as they came in. The ballots were surprisingly tightly centered around a core group of robots. Nearly every email mentioned a few robots unique to that ballot, but a group of robots emerged that appeared on the majority. Six robots appeared on every ballot submitted!
My votes for the Hall of Fame
My ballot counted no more than anyone else's, but it proved to be a good predictor of the final results:
My list correctly predicted 21 of the 25 inductees into the Hall of Fame, plus four that received honorable mention. 'The Master' received enough votes in 2011 to be promoted from the honorable mention list to full membership, improving my list's record by a little.
My Honorable Mention List
These Ten 'bots deserved recognition, but I thought that they were either too odd or insufficiently unique to make my top 25 list. Three of these 'bots were voted into the hall of fame directly, and two others were given honorable mention. The others in red above were on my list for the following reasons:
And the winner is...
Brendan McClure from Alberta, Canada nailed 19 out of the 25 'bots on my Hall of Fame list, plus three from my Honorable Mention list for half a point each. He also listed the 'People's Choice' winner 'Panic Attack' for a bonus point: a 21.5 point total. His list also tied with my own for most choices shared with the popular vote list at 21.
Brendan (known as GUAVAMOMENT on the forums) received a 'Run Amok Combat Robotics' embroidered hat and an Oregon Clandestine Street Fight video CD. Well done, Brendan!
Note: Cale Putnam submitted the only ballot that mentioned one of my 'bots, 'Run Amok', in the top 25. I don't know whether Cale is a fan or if he was just trying to suck up to me. Either way, I sent him a copy of the video CD. Thank you, Cale!
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Copyright Mark Joerger, 2003, 2008