A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that BattleBots is a competition show that features remote-controlled robots fighting to the death. The matches are aggressive, but the overall series shows how science and technology can be fun and appealing to everyone. There's lots of crashing, breaking, and exploding machines, and on occasion their creators lose their temper or say the occasional (bleeped) bad word. Logos of companies or services owned by the Bot creators are shown, as is the occasional Apple logo.
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What's the story?
BATTLEBOTS, a revival of the original Comedy Central series of the same title, is a competition featuring epic battles to the death between remote-controlled robots. Hosted by Molly McGrath, it hosts eight rounds of battles between "Bots" designed and built by teams made up of builders ranging from scientists and engineers to teenagers and plumbers. The machines face off in three-minute matches, during which they must disable or completely destroy the other in a hazard-filled arena to continue the tournament. The judges, including experienced competitor Fon Davis, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, and Jessica Chobot of Nerdist, determine who wins the round if there's no clear victor. The creators of the last Bot standing win a major cash prize and the ultimate title. Throughout it all, veteran sports broadcaster Chris Rose, UFC fighter Kenny Florian, and sideline reporters Bobak Ferdowsi and Alison Haislip introduce Bot builders, break down the machines, conduct interviews, and offer lots of energetic play-by-play commentary.
Is it any good?
From wheel-less devices to machines with rotor blades fast enough to saw an entire robot in half, the San Francisco-based competition proves that combining sports, gaming, science, and technology can be both exciting and fun. Adding to the fray are the high-energy, Vegas-style matches, complete with bright lights, an enthusiastic ring announcer (Faruq Tauheed), and wild, cheering fans.
The mashing, slicing, dicing, and fiery confrontations between the Bots are designed to be entertainingly violent. However, the show also sends strong messages about the kinds of things you can learn from robotics and the kinds of things you can use robots for outside of battle. More importantly, it underscores the fact that no matter what your age, gender, or education level, robotics is for everybody.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it takes to build a robot that could compete against the other robots featured here. Do you think you could build a robot that could beat the ones competing here? What kinds of capabilities would it have?
Robotics has traditionally been viewed as a field for men. Where does this mindset come from? Has this attitude changed?
For kids who love science
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