The Beta Curse is a superstition held amongst some members of the Robot Combat community in which a promising robot generally fails to perform due to bad luck, bad draws, mechanical gremlins, or a combination of 2, or even all three of the things. The curse is named for BattleBots competitor beta which suffered mechanical gremlins in its first ever attempt to compete, then had critical components lost by American Airlines on its second attempt.
beta would eventually buck the curse when it made the quarter-finals of Season 2 of ABC's Battlebots reboot, but the curse still carries its namesake.
Notable RoboGames robots suspected to suffer from the Beta CurseEdit
|Robot Name||Weight Class||Curse Details|
Perhaps RoboGames most notable case, and one of the three most notable cases in the history of the sport (alongside beta, and Robot Wars competitor Sabretooth) is that of Foxic. A British-American robot based out of North Carolina.
This robot was solidly built, able to tank multiple hits from Last Rites with barely a scratch, compact, and quite nimble but suffered from a combination of transmitter, and traction issues that prevented it from performing well.
Finally in RoboGames 2017 DHL severely messed up the shipping for Foxic, and the robot didn't arrive until day 3 at which point the robot had already forfeited both its fights, and was shipped to the UK for a live event where it nearly scored its second win ever but at the last second went up in smoke.
This case is so notable because the curse struck at not just one event, but three, including two major events (RoboGames and Robot Wars) as well as a UK Live event.
Mega Melvin is currently the most powerful axe-bot in the world. Unfortunately the robot is plagued with bad draws, and bad luck. In its RoboGames debut it drew Polar Vortex, the worst possible robot for it to fight, and was quickly KO'd, causing damage that essentially crippled it for the remainder of the event.
The robot was then rejected for the UK show Robot Wars twice despite the show's producers obviously taking enough of a shine to the machine to feature footage of its weapon tests in the shows intro.
With two custom four HP brushless DC motors powering the drive system, one custom 2 HP brushless motor operating the lifting arm, a closed loop servo system borrowed from a missile development program, and 2 hand built 48 Volt NiCad battery packs Rolling Blackout had massive potential.
However the robot was unreliable, and as such failed to win a single match in its only RoboGames appearance.
The most powerful Lightweight flipper ever, Rocket debuted in a spectacular fashion, throwing its first ever opponent out of the arena. However it quickly became clear that the robot suffered from bad luck.
There would be multiple occasions where Rocket would be controlling a fight only to miss a flip, and get into a position it could not self right from.
Then in RoboGames 2017 Rocket had issues with its weapon firing without input, and knocked itself out in its comeback match.
By far one of the most successful robots to suffer from "the curse". MANDi has reached the quarter-finals twice. However the robot tends to get bad draws, and in the leadup to RoboGames 2017 where it went 1-2 the drum got machined incorrectly leading to the two pieces being not in line with the others.