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Robotics Television Entertainment

Syfy Reality Show Will Feature Giant Boxing Robots 82

An anonymous reader writes "It looks like the next generation of 'Battle Bots' is here: 'Syfy has greenlit and shot the first season of a new show where eight-foot-tall state-of-the-art humanoid robots will rock 'em and sock 'em in a boxing cage until one is defeated. The future-shock new series is called Robot Combat League and the project has been kept under wraps until today. The action resembles a real-life version of last year's hit movie Real Steel, with large menacing robots pounding away at each other in a satisfying shower of sparks and gushing hydraulic fluid.' Pictures are included with the story."
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Syfy Reality Show Will Feature Giant Boxing Robots

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    But are they robots this time or just remote control vehicles?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Larryish ( 1215510 )

      You beat me to it.

      An RC car with a demo saw mounted on top is still a fucking RC car.

      Robot = autonomous.

      Anybody who thinks Battle Bots involved "robots" is a tool.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Umm no, autonomous robots are that. Remote controlled robots exist too. As do pre-programmed but no AI bots.

        Seriously you are splitting hairs, this is about robots capable of fighting, not robots capable of deciding whether they should fight eachother or against us!

        • by fgb ( 62123 )

          Yes, of course, they are all robots.

          The point is that, until the robots are making their own moment-by-moment tactical decisions, it's just not that interesting to watch.

        • by Seumas ( 6865 )

          As per the dictionary: ROBOT -- A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions AUTOMATICALLY.

  • by Polo ( 30659 ) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:24PM (#42049337) Homepage

    But really, Syfy should do Science Fiction (or even fantasy) instead.

    To me, I could find all this kind of stuff on youtube.

    Sorry, imho.

  • Syfy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:24PM (#42049339)

    Syfy? What's that? Sisyphus? Syphilis? Almost sounds like it could be referring to science fiction, like that old Sci-fi channel, but it's spelled much more like that newer wrestling, horror and infomercial channel.

    Oh - that's it, isn't it? It's that horrible cable channel that metastasized from the ruin of a science fiction channel. Well, nice to know they're still busy poisoning the very concept of imagination and entertainment in the name of ambiguous shareholder value.

    • Re:Syfy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:58PM (#42049655) Homepage

      At least they had the decency to change their name. History, National Geographic, I'm looking at you..

    • Re:Syfy? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:04PM (#42049719) Homepage

      In retrospect, the fate of the Science-Fiction Channel/Sci-Fi/Syfy was inevitable. Attractive science fiction television is expensive to produce and there's no way a channel could have all its programming at the level of even a ST: TNG. What the channel ended up showing were science-fiction shows and television movies with shoestring budgets that often drew disgust. It's no suprise that the channel started moving to more sensationalistic fare that might have drawn it away from science-fiction, but drew it towards greater profitability.

      Yes, good science-fiction can be made with low production values. Tarkovsky's Stalker is, among other things, one of the greatest science-fiction achievements in cinema, yet it shows no intricate machinery or massive on-screen violation of the laws of physics. But when scaled to a channel's entire programming, that sort of thing cannot grab and hold on to an audience.

      • Perhaps, but that doesn't mean they had to cancel Stargate Universe right when it was starting to show some real promise (SG Atlantis could also have lasted for a few more seasons) and run more WWE/ghost hunting shit instead. Ending SGU was bad enough, but they had to do it on a goddamn cliffhanger so I will never know if the people managed to get home or not. (Yeah, I'm still pissed) When they got rid of SGU, I had no other reason to watch their network anymore.
      • by sco08y ( 615665 )

        In retrospect, the fate of the Science-Fiction Channel/Sci-Fi/Syfy was inevitable. Attractive science fiction television is expensive to produce and there's no way a channel could have all its programming at the level of even a ST: TNG.

        I take it you mean TNG's production quality by today's standards... yeah, what's happening is that branding yourself as "the channel for X" is proving to be an unsustainable business model and we're watching channels restructure.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Syfy? What's that? Sisyphus? Syphilis?

      It means pimples in Polish, just like on a nerds face.

    • I always refer to it as "The Channel Formerly Known as Sci-Fi."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    robots pounding away at each other in a satisfying shower of sparks and gushing hydraulic fluid.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:28PM (#42049379)
    But why is it being hosted by a Troll doll dressed as a douche?
  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:28PM (#42049381)

    You don't get to design your robot. that sucks.

      Discovery Channel can do better. and I want to see the MythBusters build one.

    • by harperska ( 1376103 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @08:34PM (#42049445)

      The best part of Robot Wars/BattleBots was the fact that the teams designed and built their own robots. It was a competition of ingenuity as well as skill. If the competitors don't get to design their robots, this is nothing more than a gimmick, and will probably (hopefully) flop.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        Robot Wars/BattleBots was enjoyable to watch, but the problem was that the robots were remote-controlled.

        Rather than an R/C game between humans, it would be far more interesting to watch self-controlled robots battle each other. They have the potential of being much more quick and precise than human controllers, especially if they are able to compensate for damage the way the Space Shuttle Columbia was able to sense and compensate for drag from the damaged wing.

        • by chroma ( 33185 ) <{chroma} {at} {}> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:57PM (#42050599) Homepage

          I've been involved with robot fighting for over 15 years.

          You're incorrect. Autonomous robots aren't as fun to watch as human controlled ones for at least 2 reasons:

          1. The current state of the art just isn't good enough.
          2. It's hard to root for a soulless lump of metal, whereas you can vicariously experience the competition through the human competitors.

          Also, every robot fighting competition I've ever competed in has allowed autonomous competitors, as long as they have fail-safe remote control. So you're welcome to build your own autonomous fighting robot.

          • It's hard to root for a soulless lump of metal, whereas you can vicariously experience the competition through the human competitors.

            Sounds like an excellent argument for human fights instead of robots fights.

            • by chroma ( 33185 )

              True, though there is some precedent for human-machine pairing in sports like auto racing.

              The old NASCAR was a great example of this. Fans who drove Chevys would root for the Chevy to win.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I've watched Robocup every year, it's very easy to root for the "soulless lump of meal" (in that case, usually mostly plastic) in the humanoid leagues.

            In the wheeled leagues there's no time to root for anything because they're so fast, even the near-human sized ones are crazy fast. But in the humanoid leagues, just as with real human soccer players you know they might trip or kick the ball wrong, you know the goal keeper might be momentarily confused and step out of the path of the ball instead of into it.

    • the mythbusters did or at least the several of the hosts did. in fact they have cannibalized there robots for parts several time on the show especially in the early seasons. Now if they did this show much more like discovery did junkyard wars where several teams build vehicles siege engines and robots from scrap metal and junked car parts then we would have something, other wise this is just televised knock-um sock-um robots. where the end result is even easier to stack/throw in favor of one competitor then

  • This reminds me of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robot commercials that used to be on some of my favorite Saturday morning TV shows years ago. []
  • The action resembles a real-life version of last year's hit movie Real Steel

    So, just like Battle Bots, it won't actually have anything to do with robots. It'll just be giant remote-controlled toys operated by humans.

    Don't really miss cable. Definitely don't miss "SyFy" (aka, the John Edwards and fake wrestling channel) or Comedy Central.

  • by Megane ( 129182 )
    Pronounced "Shitty". Glad to hear they're living up to their name. And still no reason for me to pay for TV.
  • yay (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_Bionic_lemming ( 446569 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:00PM (#42049673)

    I had mod points so I stepped in to see if there were any corporate shills I could mod down, but as it should be SyFy is still a laughingstock and generally regarded as one of the dumbest channels on pay tv.

    It's also the channel that got me to cut the cord.

    Piss off and die SyFy. the nitwits that went for reality TV and wrestling to make more cash should be put up against a wall, shot, Duct Taped back on the wall, shot again and finally be staked in effigy to warn off others from being total douche-bags and emulating the way you destroyed a perfectly good SCI-FI channel.

    If that isn't clear enough - SyFy Sucks!

    • I concur, except I wouldn't ever have described it as a "perfectly good" Sci-Fi channel. I don't think it ever lived up to it's potential, which I found disappointing, though now it doesn't try to live up to anything at all, which I find pathetic.
  • My Reader preview shortened this to "Syfy Reality Show Will Feature Giant Boxing".

    Then I thought "Whoa! But won't that just be like regular boxing, just a foot (or seven) higher?"

    I suppose there must be demand for it, as there seems to be for "midget boxing"...
  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:19PM (#42050327)
    Apparently they get them to fight by shoving a pole up their asses.
  • Didn't Fox already try this? A reality show that was allegedly about some kid named John Connor and all the problems he had with his unusual family, but mostly about a robot in a miniskirt, or a "cybernetic organism with hyper-alloy combat chassis in a miniskirt," that boxes other robots [] without messing its hair up. There seemed to be a bug in the programming that invariably caused the robots to stop boxing and begin throwing each other through walls. Often this would be followed by one or both being hit wi
  • This was done (and almost certainly better) fifty years ago: []

  • Great News (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chroma ( 33185 ) <{chroma} {at} {}> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:04PM (#42050647) Homepage

    The best thing I've heard about this is that Mark Setrakian is involved. Competitors and real fans of robot fighting know him as one of the great geniuses of the sport.

    He won the first Robot Wars with The Master. His later machines, Mechadon and Snake, were far less competitive, but were much more interesting.

    Here's a video of Mechadon in action: []

  • This is "reality"? it will be just as scripted as WWF. Probably completely pre-programmed while the "jockeys" just roleplay and mug for the cameras.
  • has achieved the ultimate expression of the medium. People are no longer relevant to the process.

  • 8 foot tall does not equal giant. 80 FOOT TALL = GIANT

    • Just to play devil's advocate, compared to most current robots 8' is awfully tall. That's like twice the height of Asimo, right? The supposed "giant anaconda", which may or may not exist, is only purported to be twice the size of the regular ones. And Andre the giant wasn't 80 feet tall :)

      I think for now, giant could apply to an 8' tall robot. Hopefully we'll see some of those, as opposed to the ones in that photo.

  • I need to start watching WWE!
    Seriously it's funny to me that the the opening paragraph hypes the "eight-foot tall robots" under a photo that was probably purposefully staged to not make the host look smaller than the bots behind him so as not to bruise his ego or something.
    Pure speculation on my part of course. Don't bring your WWE robot buddies to my house to beat me up, Mr Jericho!

  • by Richy_T ( 111409 )

    Could I get a little bread with my circuses, please?

    (Though this does sound awesome. Gotta admit)

  • I've been out of the TV loop for a while. Every time I get tempted to start watching again, I'm put off by the overabundance of hype and the poor signal to noise ratio - see other poster's comment about stretching two minutes of substance into half an hour.

    That said, I'm looking forward to the day when we have giant mechatronic "robots" fighting in arenas. By "giant" I mean big enough that you'll need to host these in stadiums - think monster-truck shows, and attendant audiences. This would, of course,

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.