abandon all hope ye robots who enter


 The Disk O' Inferno Image Gallery

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Halloween 2018: The Disk O' Inferno guards jack-o-lanterns & bot-o-lanterns

Halloween 2018: At night, I hid in the minivan, kids wanted to see the big robot, then I'd scare trick-or-treaters by activating the little bots when the kids were close

Halloween 2019: same as last year, but with a new bot (a D2 kit on its way to becoming Dr. Inferno IV)

Halloween 2019: I also made the sign a little more legible, & I parked the minivan backwards to give us a better view of the bots


Our dear friend, Andrew Botter, the nicest human robot encyclopedia you could ever meet, once bought a hot dog restaurant with his dad

He invited lots of SoCal teams to bring their bots, talk shop, & entertain the patrons

Dr. Inferno ]|[, The Disk O' Inferno, giant nuts, antweights--the works!

What a crew, including teams responsible for Particle Accelerator, Double Jeopardy, Deep Six, Gigabyte, Malice, VDD, Mechachu, & more!

Instagram post from Jerry's, advertising the event

Another Jerry's Instagram post for the event


2018: The Disk O' Inferno & other current/recent bots were part of a kindergarten display

2018: I also gave a mechanical engineering presentation & let the kids play with some toy bots

2018: Some local bot friends also lent me some of their bots to display

2018: I needed to borrow a van & a cart to haul all the bot stuff to the classroom!

2019: The Disk O' Inferno & other current/recent bots were part of an elementary school event display & demo

2019: Explaining the current state of BattleBots

2019: Cheap Harbor Freight mechanic's creeper makes for easy bot transport!

2019: Bots & nuts on display for the afternoon at an elementary school event


GoEngineer, valued-added reseller of SolidWorks & other engineering software, chose to use The Disk O' Inferno for their annual Shape Your World events.

The Infernolab stable was on display at the opening event of the tour, in Anaheim: Dr. Inferno ]|[, Towering Inferno, & The Disk O' Inferno...

...and 3 giant nuts.

The venue was the amazing Highway 39 Event Center, full of classic cars.

To showcase their 3D printing capabilities, GoEngineer made a 1/4-scale printed version of The Disk O' Inferno!

The scale model was motorized & controlled by Blueeooth.

Before the experts showcased their software, the audience watched an interview of me explaining how I used SolidWorks to design The Disk O' Inferno.

This is what I look like on a big screen on Windows 7 Media Player.

I gave the keynote speech, chronicling 2 decades of robot designs, from my modest 17 lb Rampage to my considerably less modest 250 lb The Disk O' Inferno.

Another impressive demonstration of the capability of the printers that GoEngineer resells was a 1:1 scale print of the enormous chassis part!

What else can be done with a giant 3D print? Put some markers on it & scan it back into the computer!

GoEngineer showed a thermal analysis of The Disk O' Inferno being hit with a flamethrower...

...and a finite element stress analysis of the disk whacking an immovable object. Analysis showed no failure!

Another demonstration showed how to generate photorealistic renderings in a snap.

Also demonstrated was Composer, which can be used to make interactive assembly & repair documentation.


SolidWorks & GoEngineer sponsored several teams for BattleBots 2016 (Season 2 on ABC). At their big annual trade show / conference / training extravaganza, SolidWorks World at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The current Infernolab stable was on display in the Product Showcase in the Partner Pavilion at the opening event of the tour, in Anaheim: Dr. Inferno ]|[, Towering Inferno, & The Disk O' Inferno...

...and 3 giant nuts.

Also in attendance were 3 other popular BattleBots, as well as a slew of 15-pound student-built fighting bots.

One of the high points of the hgh-profile morning keynote events was live robot fighting. The 15-pound robots went at it in the NTMA NRL arena, under the guidance of The Infernolab's own Richard Loehnig! Dr. Inferno ]|[ was too pretty (& too hefty) to fight.

Our friends, the Vazquez kids, pwned the Robot Rumble.

I'm looking forward to seeing how SolidWorks & GoEngineer continue to support robot combat teams both young & old.

GoEngineer's after-hours party at the bolwing alley. Thanks to founder / president / owner Ken Coburn & his colleagues for the fine evening!

Fortunately, SolidWorks World will be at the LA Convention Center again next year. Let's see how many robots I can haul in next time... :]



Tweets from Adam Savage, our new BFF, Adam Savage, on his rationale for voting for The Disk O' Inferno over Chomp.

The Disk O' Inferno got swept up in the excitement of the NBA finals. Video.

The ol' spin-the-basketball-on-the-hardened-steel-pointy-tail-tip trick.

Passing back & forth with Mark. What teamwork!

The Disk O' Inferno & Towering Inferno appeared on Good Mythical Morning's search for robots appropriate for a tabletop fight. Our bots were a little too big for the to use. Aaaand, I'm really not sure what this show is all about, but it's got a huge set of followers & views, so I'm clearly not trendy (surprise).

Towering Inferno posing for the Good Mythical Morning folks.

Regarding The Disk O' Inferno. I think it was wise of Richard to keep the safety guards on when these guys visited.


Final wiring. Most pictures of Mark are a blur--he's young, perky, & impetuous. Most pictures of Ross are in sharp focus--he's mature, meticulous, & cautious. The original odd couple!

We sported the casual t-shirts on work days. 3-piece suits were saved for special days. Bringing beach chairs was a good move on my part--until 3/4 of them got crunched & tossed out...

Tuning. Easy to transport the bot on its back, folded, with a giant F-shaped restraint keeping it from springing up. The disk is also pinned to prevent it from rotating.

Ready to go. Waiting. Probably the shortest (in height) robot in the whole event, & one of the longer ones too.

In the folded position, with the tail acting as top armor against overhead hammer bots, or poised to bring some downward slaps itself!

Spotlight added later to highlight the hundreds of disco ball mirrors.

All set up on the pit table on display: signs, sponsor banner, safety guards, etc.

Going through the rotating video capture exercise to generate on-screen animation graphics.

Still shiny during the photo shoots.

Debating poses with the photographer...both mine & the bot's.

One of the runs in the test box.

Grand entrance: strut, strut, strut, wiiiiiiind up, & POINTY POSE NOW!

The Bee Gees backing up Travolta.

Glad our sponsors got good on-screen exposure. Ross applies spotlight to disco ball, I do the pointy pose yet again, Richard & Mark roll their hands (Mark earns the difficulty multiplier for doing it while holding the radio transmitter).

Complicated action shot in the fight against Chomp: Chomp flames & swings down, The Disk O' Inferno puts the tail upright to block the swing, Chomp pops up high & doesn't land the blow. Full fight video.

Post-fight, our fans swarm us for a photo op.


First subassembly: Ampflow gearmotors, NPC Colson wheels, our custom hubs & hubacps. Detailed assembly drawings with BOMs make for efficient assembling!

That complicated chassis took a long time to machine. We did much of our wiring & layout on a 1:1 printout.

Mark getting ready to program the speed controllers, Ross planning wiring, & Jason kitting fasteners & other COTS.

The disco mirror precision layout was performed per ASME Y14.5M, with tolerances besting those of a finest CNC mill. Another masterpiece by Art By Ji.

Disk & tail weapon subassemblies were the next to come together, with flair & everything.

Richard & Jason test-fitting the weapon subassemblies. It's beginning to look like a bot!

Installing the drivetrain subassemblies & weapon motors. Routing wires, cutting them to length, & crimping on connectors.

The dense, compact, & light chassis is what allowed enough weight for 2 powerful weapons. But it did tend to make cable management challenging...


Disk weapon: 48 lb, cut from 1 billet of tool steel, single tooth w/ asymmetric pockets for balance.

Chassis Frame: 48 lb, cut from 1 billet of aluminum 6061. Not many screws needed to assemble this bot!

Tail Frame: 16 lb, cut from 1 billet of aluminum, awaiting disco dance floor paint job.

Tail Shaft: 7 lb of heat-treated tool steel.

Chassis Floorpan: 13 lb, cut from 1 billet of aluminum 6061, dozens of registraton featues to lock to Chassis Frame.

4 Tail Tips, each made from tool steel. 2 installed, & 2 spares.

2 Tail Pivot Blocks, which held bushings that supported the Tail Shaft. Interlocked into features in the Chassis Frame to handle abusive impacts.

EDMed giant steel wrench to torque giant Trantorque keyless bushing that held Disk to Disk Shaft.


Over 600 pounds of metal showed up one day. What a wonderful pallet that the forklift is delivering!

The Chassis Frame was the most machining-intensive & complex part, requiring several setups & cutting tools.

Some last-minute touches on the manual mill.

Mark Lui cranked & cranked for a couple of days to finish off the part. Richard Loehnig provided moral support & lifting strength. Jason Bardis worried, directed, acted as quality control.

The Chassis Floorpan incorporates dozens of registration features to stiffen the Chassis Frame.

Manual lathes sometimes can't be beat for shaft & pulley work.

We kept the EDM machine running for days non-stop to cut tool steel, bronze thrust bushings, & even a super giant open-ended wrench (because Habor Freight didn't have one big enough).

The 3D printer made many weapon guards, as well as a few models & mockups.


PhotoView 360 rendering of SolidWorks model of final assembly, with bling.

Front view, showing the single side tooth & the tail in overhead armor position.

Rear view, stretched out to highlight the tail tips.

Side low view highlights how short the bot is.

Hidden lines shown grayscale rendering, hinting at the complex parts within.

Super exploded view, showing all internal components & where they fit.
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