The BattleBox is the arena in which BattleBots matches are held. It measured 48 x 48 feet and contained a red and blue square at each end as starting positions for the competitors. Over the seasons, the arena has undergone many changes such as adding or removing different hazards, or modifying existing hazards. However, the layout hasn't really changed much since Season 1.0.
|Pulverizers: The Pulverizers were large hammers, one in each corner of the BattleBox. These hammers came down with 150 pounds of force, enough to flatten robots. For Season 1.0, they were just 50 pound sledgehammers that were not only ineffective but tiny when they appeared on TV, especially next to the robots. For Season 2.0 onwards, the hammers were much more powerful, including with a free-weight inside the hammer. However, most robots above the Middleweight division did not suffer much damage from them.|
Killsaws: The Killsaws were, as the name implies, sets of circular saws embedded in the floor of the BattleBox. These 24" saws would pop up and damage robots if they drove over them. They did some damage, but were sometimes damaged themselves by robots wielding horizontal spinning weapons. These hazards only occasionally changed the outcome of a fight. Much like the Pulverizers, the Killsaws generally did the most damage with bots below the Heavyweight Division.
|Ramrods: The Ramrods were sets of spikes embedded in the floor that would pop out, similar to the Killsaws. However, the spikes did minimal damage and never changed the outcome of any fight. Occasionally, a robot using an axe as a could get its arm or blade stuck in the holes where the spikes pop out, but none of these robots lost the fight due to these. Initially, space around them was a solid yellow color but later was changed to be more like a grid with either red or yellow squares.|
|Spinners: Spinners, introduced in Season 2.0, were yellow and black disks embedded in the floor. These were designed to disorient competitors, but were ineffective against most robots except Lightweight and a minority of the Middleweight robots. On occasion, the Spinners were lodged out of place by robots with either a low ground clearance or their weapon, particularly Heavyweights. For Season 2.0, the paint design mostly resembled a bulls-eye but later changed to be the symbol for radioactive waste.|
|Hell Raisers: Hell Raisers were panels in the BattleBox floor later painted with the Battlebots logo that would pop up to flip a robot over or simply nudge them but managed to snare the occasional bot in the space between the floor and where the floor section had raised. They initially were accompanied by multiple sets of Killsaws in the center of the arena but later were the only hazard in the center and were reconfigured during Season 2.0 so that they formed a grid comprised of the logo. The Hell Raisers were removed after Season 3.0 but reappeared later on (see The 2004 BattleBox).|
|Spike Strip: The Spike Strip was a ring of spikes that surrounded the arena. A robot could push its opponent onto these spikes to try to impale them, and sometimes the spikes did their job, although the gap between the spikes and the polocarbonate walls could also be used to a robot's advantage but this was later covered during Season 3.0 to prevent robots from getting caught there. These spikes tended to get the most abuse during matches as robots would either rip the spike off the wall or bend it out of place.|
|Pistons: The Pistons were metal cylinders that popped out of the floor to tip robots onto their sides. These were only hazards in Season 3.0, when they were used to controversially end numerous fights. Due to their high tensile material, they often ended up breaking weapon systems, mainly vertical spinners.|
|Screws: The Screws were large metal spirals placed in the walls near the Pulverizers introduced for Season 3.0. The point of the Screws was to drag robots towards the Pulverizers, but they rarely did their job. For Season 5.0 the Screws were redesigned to be serrated, and this allowed them to do their job slightly better than before and their movement changed from one direction to two directions in which each "half" of the Screws went to the center to form a "V". Like the Spike Strip, though to a lesser extent, the screws took much of the abuse and some were not functional at times.|
The 2004 BattleBox
For the 2004 BattleBots-sanctioned NPC Charity Open, the arena underwent many changes. The only hazards in the arena were the pulverizers, one in each corner as always. The spike strips were replaced with a spiked bumper which surrounded the arena. This arena was probably rebuilt into the BattleBox for the 2009 event.
The 2009 BattleBox
For the 2009 competition, several hazards returned:
- The pulverizers returned in their normal places but were now controlled by competittors.
- The killsaws also made a reappearance, with two sets near the center of the arena on each side, though they rarely popped up until after the preliminary bouts.
- The screws returned even deadlier than before, completely serrated. One set was behind both starting squares as well as with one set in the center of the walls in between the pulverizers.
- The hell raisers returned after a long hiatus, with a set of four in the center of the arena.
- The spiked bumper from the 2004 event returned with no apparent changes.
The 2015 BattleBox
For the BattleBots reboot in 2015, the arena was updated heavily. The pulverizers, killsaws, screws and the original Hellraisers all returned, relatively unchanged, but alongside them was a new hazard: The paddles. These were sections of the spiked wall bumper which were rigged with pneumatics, causing them to fire outwards, similar to a pinball flipper and the hazard used at the original Robot Wars 1996 event. These are designed to hopefully push robots into the killsaws, now made of titanium.
Also added to the arena for the 2015 reboot were numerous pneumatic spikes added to the floor. Dubbed "Hellraisers" after the old ramp hazard, these were designed to pop robots off the ground and put wedge robots at a disadvantage. With the exception of the Pulverizers, which are controlled by the opponent, all the hazards in the arena are now controlled by a computer.