abandon all hope ye robots who enter



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I'm looking for individuals, companies, or organizations who are interested in promoting innovative engineering, especially in the the rapidly-growing sport of robotic combat. Since 1994, robot combat has packed arenas, been the subject of several successful TV shows, including Comedy Central's BattleBots & ABC's BattleBots, and attracted interest and exposure in all the major media.

By sponsoring the Infernolab (in the form of funds, products, or services), you can be a part of thesport. Have a robot to root for in major robotic combat competitions! In return for your help, I will promote you or your company in the manner in which you prefer. Please visit the Contact page if you are interested in sponsoring a project.

Examples:Your logo can be on my robots, which have appeared on television, newspapers, books, magazines, and web pages. I include links, graphics, blurbs for your business on my website. I can distribute your catalogs, stickers, or brochures at events or through the Infernolab website. I have a successful Facebook page & a YouTube channel with millions of video views.

With larger and larger Infernolab projects in the works, bigger sponsorship deals are not only instrumental for me to complete robots but there are also greater opportunities for companies to get bigger and better exposure.

The choice is yours--the exposure is guaranteed.


Accurate Heat Treating processed all of the pointy tool steel weapon parts on The Disk O' Inferno: Disk, Disk Top Teeth, Disk Shaft, Tail Shaft, & Tail Teeth. So many tool steel parts. So much heat treating. Such great results. Accurate Steel Treating is the largest tool steel heat treating company west of the Mississippi. Accurate Steel Treating is leading the way with one of the most advanced heat-treating facilities in the industry. They have combined their decades of hands-on knowledge with the latest state-of-the-art equipment to provide their customers with a level of quality and service second to none. This powerful combination has earned Accurate Steel Treating a nationwide customer-base, in addition to their local market in Southern California. They offer unmatched expertise in normal and high-pressure vacuum heat-treating, precision carburizing, & gas & ion nitriding,all in a production environment designed for quick turn-around and reliable results, every time.

Axxis Corporation milled some big big big parts of The Disk O' Inferno. Because the Infernolab had access to advanced machining capabilities, the design strategy for The Disk O' Inferno was to build the bot from very few parts; most of the robot was made up of only 4 parts...4 very large & complex parts. This saved on assembly/disassembly time, lowered fastener count, increased strength & stiffness...and is also very very very cool. Axxis Corp used large-bed mills to machine the disk (27" x 23") & tail frame (22" x 13"). Axxis Corp. has an impressive array of modern CNC machines, many of which can accommodate extraordinary parts. Axxis Corp. came through with some gorgeous machined parts, cut some challenging geometry & design features, & delivered some effective parts that made many of the other teams jealous. Axxis Corp. is a state-of-the-art CNC machine shop in Southern California committed to creating cost-effective product design and manufacturing of the highest quality.

Bralco Metals: where the Infernolab got most of its metal to machine parts for The Disk O' Inferno. This bot was built from a lot of aluminum: the Chassis Frame, the Tail Frame, the Chassis Foorpan, & about a dozen smaller parts. The billets for those first two parts alone, plus a spare of each, added up to hundreds of pounds of 6061. Receipt of these hunds of material was part of the exciting day when the big truck dropped off the big pallet for the forklift to pile up our metal in the shop. As they say, there's a robot hiding inside those billets--just cut away everything that's doesn't look like a robot. Bralco Metals is a diversified metals processor & distributor located in La Mirada, CA. Bralco Metals is a division of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co, the largest metals service center company in the United States. Bralco Metals is a step ahead with their state-of-the-art 140,000 sq. ft., AS9100- & AS9120- certified facility with an array of diverse products, processing, & service to meet your ever-changing needs. With over five decades of experience, Bralco Metals provides the industry with immediate delivery from a vast inventory of aluminum, brass, copper, bronze, stainless steel, & cold-finished steel rod & bar. Located in the Los Angeles suburb of La Mirada, CA, with branches in Kent, WA; Wichita, KS; Garland, TX; Phoenix, AZ; & Albuquerque, NM. Bralco Metals offers complete pre-production precision processing services: leveling, blanking, cutting-to-length, slitting, sawing, shearing, grinding, machining, & thermal flattening. Let Bralco, with their sophisticated computer system and multi-branch locations, plan your just-in-time inventory to give you exactly the material you need, when you need it, while lowering your total cost of ownership.

The Cardmaster assisted the Infernolab with marketing The Disk O' Inferno; marketing is one of the many other aspects that a successful team must master, apart from building the actual bot. Our fans needed audience signs & banners! Our toolboxes & equipment cases needed skins! Our car bumpers needed bumper stickers! The Cardmaster provided us with high-quality full-color prints on a variety of different materials. The Cardmaster not only printed but also designed our audience banners--the fans loved them almost as much as we loved seeing our signs in the stands when we were in the BattleBox, & they caught the eye of the TV cameras & producers, landing our most energetic of fans on prime-time network TV! Fast, responsive, creative, & economical! The Cardmaster provides the highest level of quality service to its clients. Their design team can provide you with custom designs that cater to your business needs. They design simple artwork & also create multiple marketing ideas. They use state-of-the art printing & die-cutting equipment. They take your concept & elevate it to the next level. All design fees are included in their prices.

Great Western Grinding machined 2 critical parts for The Disk O' Inferno, the Disk Shaft & Tail Shaft, each of which sported many precision features & smooth surface finishes. A few stats on the Disk Shaft: held an assembly weighing 66 lb & spinng at 3,000 RPM. The Tail shaft supported a 33 pound assembly, & it featured 7 retaining ring grooves, 2 big lightening thru-slots, & 3 keyway pockets. Since 1956, Great Western Grinding has been known for the highest quality & most exacting standards. Their services include close tolerance ID and OD grinding to within +/-0001", tooling, precision CNC machining, prototyping, & special equipment manufacturing in-house. For craftsmanship, personal attention to customer service, & on-time delivery, please contact Great Western Grinding.

Griggs Steel Company worked with Hudson to provide the M4 tool steel for the Tail Tips & Disk Top Teeth of The Disk O' Inferno. Griggs has been providing high speed tool steel to the cutting tool, & forming industries for over 65 years. Their customers range from the largest punch, drill, broach, form tool & tap manufacturers in the world to thousands of smaller users. No one stocks more grades of flat and round bars then Griggs Steel Company, or they can cut any size that you require from sheet, block, or plate.

Hudson Tool Steel is where the Infernolab got all that high-strength, hard material for weapons & other critical parts for The Disk O' Inferno. When you hit something hard, you want that other something to be the something that breaks, not your something. What are hammers, files, & many other tools made of? Tool steel! The obvious choice for hard & strong parts, especially where impacts are involved. Hudson Tool Steel provided 2 giant (28"x26"x1", 200 lb) plates of S7 tool steel for the Disk. After extensive machining, about 150 of those 200 pounds ended up as chips in bottom of the milling machine. Many other weapon parts were made from Hudson tool steel: M4 for the Tail Tips, Disk Top Teeth, Disk Shaft, Tail Shaft, & the Optional Tail Armor. Hudson used their experience to help the Infernolab select the best tool steel alloys for each part, based on machinability, intended use, expected loads, etc. Since 2002, Hudson Tool Steel Corporation has been supplying tool steels, high speed steels, carbon steels, and alloy steels to customers around the country.

IQ Corporation was pivotal in supplying the Infernolab with critical electrical, mechanical, & electromechanical components for The Disk O' Inferno. The effort of making a BattleBot (designing, speccing electronics, wiring, testing, troubleshooting, etc.) is very similar to IQC's specialties. IQC also supplied the Infernolab with extensive 3D printer services, with which we made many colorful edge guards that protected the myriad of pointy weapon tips & sharp points. These 3D prints + some Bungee cords + Boy Scout knots made for a safe robot. Specializing in designing, building, & installing Electrical Control Systems, PLC programming, and HMI programming, IQC strives to deliver a superior solution within your budget and within your time frame. Their project methodology results in a superior turnover documentation package that allows their customers to take full ownership of the system. In addition, they strive to train all of their customers to have a complete understanding of the system capabilities available to them.

NPC Robotics has a long history of developing motors, wheels, gearboxes, etc. for wheelchair & military applications, so NPC knows how to make a durable, robust, & reliable product! The design of The Disk O' Inferno dictated that the robot body needed to be extreeeeemely thin--it was just about the shortest (if not the shortest) robot in BattleBots 2016. We designed ourselves into a corner, limiting our options for motors & gearboxes for the drive & weapons. Unfortunately, we couldn't shoehorn in NPC products, which were our #1 choice for motors & gearboxes. So, we turned to NPC for their small, durable wheels with machined bores. The wheels held up great! And, even though much brainstorming between NPC & us didn't result in a configuration where we could use NPC drive products, they were still generous to add financial support the build of The Disk O' Inferno! They're always a pleasure to work with & are happy to provide engineering recommendations, drawings, & other technical information that you need to evaluate their products. They even drove out from Minnesota in a parts-laden truck, just to provide personal support to teams in the BattleBots 16 event! NPC Robotics specializes in the rapid design, prototyping, testing, & production of innovative electric and mechanical motion systems for military and commercial clients. BlackDog Robotics was formed as a division of NPC Robotics with a strong desire to assist law enforcement, first responders, & the military by providing a resilient & dependable modular robot. The goal: to design & develop a reliable & durable adaptable robotic tool to assist at high-risk scenes by providing planners and decision-makers with real-time critical information to make optimized outcome decisions.

Since 1968, the NTMA (National Tooling & Machining Association) Training Centers of Southern California have trained more than 50,000 men & women for a career in the machining, tooling, and manufacturing industry. They offer a well-developed curriculum that combines classroom instruction & computer lab experience with real-world shop floor experience on state-of-the-art equipment. Since 2013, NTMA has hosted the NRL, their own 15-pound robot combat league fo rhigh school & college students. For The Disk O' Inferno, NTMA handled almost all of the machining, material acquisition, purchasing, coordinating with other shops & suppliers, & assembly.

Panasonic Avionics products let you do the following on an airplane: watch Real Steel, use Wi-Fi to look at BattleBots pictures on Facebook, charge your laptop & smartphone at your airplane seat to not run out of battery while watching BattleBots videos on YouTube. They're the company that has been making in-flight entertainment systems for over 35 years! Panasonic Avionics connects the business and pleasure of flying, just as the Infernolab connects the business and pleasure of fighting robots. The next time you find yourself watching BattleBots episodes on the high-resolution touchscreen monitor on the back of the airplane seat in front of you, thank Panasonic Avionics not only for entertaining you but also for supporting the Infernolab with a very generous financial donation towards The Disk O' Inferno's high-end purchased components.

Q-Mark designs & manufactures probe styli and associated tooling for CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines) & machine tool probe systems. Any precision machine shop or manufacturing business should have a CMM setup to be able to measure complex and high-precision parts. One of the most critical parts of a CMM is the probe itself, the feature that touches the part during the measurement process. If the CMM is expected to measure accurately, its probe must have been manufactured with tremendous precision! Q-Mark also has a full machine shop, with which they machined the chain guards on The Disk O' Inferno's tail weapon. These guards held up during battle, never breaking, always protecting the tail weapon's sprocket & chain. We had te pleasure of returning for a full refund a whoooole lot of unused spare chain & connecting links that we never ended up needing to use, thanks to these chain guards! And, as an added bonus, the chain guards acted as excellent handling wheels. The Disk O' Inferno was designed to be serviced from underneath by removing the floorpan. Upside-down on our workbench in the pits, the chain guards allowed us to roll the robot back & forth, wheelbarrow-style, to wrangle it while wrenching on it.

Revelation Records was not only a generous sponsor of The Disk O' Inferno but also a loooong-time supporter of robot combat (by sponsoring Gammatron & Gammacide in the good old days)! Revelation Records assisted the Infernolab's 2016 effort with funds & t-shirts (the shirts that team members, fans, friends, sponsors, & family sport proudly not only on camera but on a spirited night on the town). Reproductions of the original Revelation Records run of t-shirts are available at the BattleBots Store, where a portion of your purchases comes back to the Infernolab, gets spent on new robot parts, & then goes right back out into the arena--the circle of life! They also run RevHQ, a one-stop solution to all your indie, punk, hardcore, emo, rock, & metal needs. They are one of the original online indie stores & have been rapidly growing since their inception in 1997. RevHQ was created in order to build on the growing mail order department of the label Revelation Records. They appreciate their loyal customers, &, in return, they like to make available the music they love at the cheapest prices, while providing the best & fastest possible service. Everyone at RevHQ is a knowledgeable fan of the music they sell. Hardcore passion goes into every order packed (along with free stickers, zines, posters, samplers or whatever they have lying around).

Servo City provided a large percentage of the electronics in The Disk O' Inferno. Battery chargers, both high-current & small-gauge wire, wiring tools (cutters, pliers, snippers, crimpers, etc.), heat shrink tube, Velcro, electrical connectors, connector retention clips, switches, PWM servo cables, grommets, small fasteners, cable strain relief clamps, etc. etc. Servo City also sells oodles of electrical & mechanical components & kits for smaller, more benevolent robotics applications. Servo City is an online storefront that provides a large selection of mechanical components for use in robotics, R/C applications, animatronics, videography, photography, industrial projects, & a wide array of other fields. Servo City provides high-quality products paired with fast & friendly service to their customers around the globe.

Specialty Tool is known to every engineer, machinist, inventor, or tinkerer in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area. What an impressive resource nestled amongst the light industry around the Santa Barbara airport. Need fasteners...RIGHT NOW? Walk up to the counter at Specialty Tool, grab a stool, give the helpful folks your list, & have your nuts, bolts, washers, wrenches, drill bits, crimp connectors, wire, rivets, pins, threaded rods, standoffs, etc., etc., etc. in your hands in mere moments! In addition to supporting local industry, Specialty Tool sponsored my fighting robots when I was a UCSB student. Their fasteners held together Dr. Inferno Jr., Towering Inferno, Mini Inferno, Hell on Wheels, & Lame-O Inferno (& Same-O Inferno), as well as BattleBots 2016's The Disk O' Inferno. Specialty Tool's 120 ksi & 170 ksi alloy steel button head, socket head, and flat head cap screws not to mention several alloy steel shoulder screws, held The Disk O' Inferno together through tortuous combat at BattleBots! Because our design approach for The Disk O' Inferno was to make it mostly comprised of a small number of very complicated parts, to greatly reduced the required number of fasteners, those few fasteners that were required needed to be of the highest caliber.

Wire Cut Company is an EDM Shop specializing in complex parts for the aerospace, medical, semiconductor, commercial, & automotive industries in Southern California. 2 excellent applications for EDM in The Disk O' Inferno vs. conventional forms of machining. 1: Cutting a large piece out of a tough material. The 48-pound disk for The Disk O' Inferno was made of 1 giant hunk of tool steel: 23" diameter (not counting its tooth!), 1" thick. The perimeter & bore (both of which are high-precision features) were cut in 1 EDM setup, which shortened the time required on the later mill operations, allowed for 2 machines to be kept busy in parallel, & shortened the overall machining time of this part. 2: Cutting a profile...a loooong profile...as in a 13" deep profile, in 1 pass! The tail frame for The Disk O' Inferno is 1 giant piece of aluminum. How giant? Before machining, it was a 115-lb billet; after final machining, it weighed about 16 pounds. Most of that weight was removed in 2 EDM setups performed by Wire Cut Company.

Wire Tech EDM Wire TEch EDM fabricated the optional tail armor parts for The Disk O' Inferno. The EDM process, vs. traditional machining methods (cutting, sanding, grinding, etc.), worked great for these tool steel plates. Flexible & configurable, The Disk O' Inferno could be set up with a couple of the offensive teeth removed & one of these extra defensive pieces of armor attached to the tail. Wire Tech EDM Service is a Job Shop specializing in Wire EDM and EDM Hole drilling including large hole drilling and small hole drilling.

Woody's Precision Grinding performed surface grinding on the critical disk & tail weapon shafts and the optional tail armor for The Disk O' Inferno. The parts were ground. The parts were precise. The parts experienced precision grinding. They worked beautifully. The mission of Woody’s Precision Grinding, Inc. is to supply and produce the highest quality in precision surface- and form-grinding in the machining industry today. Since their opening in 1956, they have been dedicated to customer satisfaction. The long-term relationships they build with their customers are the foundation for their success and have given them their reputation of high quality and service. Their employees are attuned to the strategic priorities of their company through communication, leadership, and focus on customer needs.

Zane & Eric Hansen are awesome. I worked with Eric at PTCG in Boston from 1993 to 1994. We worked on software to optimize freight trucking companies' operations. We drove the same car, had similar hairdos, & Eric's the only other person I know who had the MUTE - Tonal Evidence [USA] compilation & thus suffered from resultant natural aversion to Throbbing Gristle's ironically atonal "Subhuman." Apart from UCSB, which I was attending when I commenced my fighting robot career, Eric was my very first BattleBots sponsor back in 2000. His company generously donated funds to help me build Dr. Inferno Jr. & The Missing Link. See all those "Worldmachine Technologies - get it in gear" stickers? 16 years later, Eric has been raising his son properly. Zane is a huge BattleBots fan. When the Infernolab reached out to Eric, Eric reached into his own wallet & contributed our The Disk O' Inferno effort.



Alliance Finishing specializes in anodizing and other processes to make your metal parts look fancy, be more durable, or have other desirable surface material properties. Alliance fronted for some aluminum for the Towering Inferno rebuild and provided finishing services (anodizing & nickel plating).

Robotic Power Solutions is Steve Hill's robots-only division of his Hilltop Batteries company, producing the awesome BattlePack batteries. They supplied the Infernolab with great NiMH batteries for Dr. Inferno Jr., Hell on Wheels, & Lame-O Inferno, as well as lightweight, high capacity NiMH radio receiver packs for Dr. Inferno Jr., Hell on Wheels, & Towering Inferno.

Bell-Everman, a nifty local robotics company, helped me with the acquisition, machining, and assembly of the big nasty custom machined parts for the original build of Towering Inferno. Get a load of their sweet award-winning KAOS positioning robots.

The Carylyle-Johnson Machine Company sells amazing clutches and brakes. A bunch of friendly, helpful people. They gave me Missing Link's compact, efficient, in-line ball speed reducers.

Christian Carlberg, robot builder extraordinaire, donated Dr. Inferno's drive motors, machined a few pieces for me, helped me locate parts and materials, gave me sound robot-building advice, and completely funded our joint project, Slugger. Oh, and he makes such cool robots.

Hosting.com, a web hosting service, hosted the Infernolab web site on their server for quite a while.

Industrial Forming, a cool local company specializes in vacuum forming but they also do heat bending, molding, some maching, and plastics distribution. They helped out the Infernolab by providing the polycarbonate body panels for revision 2 of Towering Inferno and the season 6.0 rebuild of Dr. Inferno Jr.. They also made & helped design custom-bent polycarb Vantec 3-series covers & vacuum-formed electronics mounting systems for Towering Inferno.

LEGO, the finest toy/design tool/engineering tool in the universe. The Mindstorms robot kits bring sophisticated robotics to the masses, with amazing versatility, flexibility, and sophistication. Go out and buy LEGO Technic sets today! Right now! Do it!

Reeves Little, old high school bud in San Jose, for capturing some videos for me and helping me with my mailing list

Machine Arts is a swell machine shop in Santa Barbara. Contact them for CNC or other machining work. They also have some tumbling & finishing machines to make their parts come out looking extra sweet. Machine Arts did the majority of the machining for the upgraded Towering Inferno & Dr. Inferno Jr., as well as some work on Hell on Wheels.

Magnetic Moments, a company started by my former robotics professor, Brad Paden, makes some neat electromagnetic levitating bearings. They're also working on another other instructional control system, and parts for an artifical heart. Neat stuff. They helped out with Dr. Inferno Jr.'s 1st 2 events.

Mouser Electronics is a provider of all things electric and electronic, a great catalog resource. A large part of their business is from hobbyists and mad scientists, so they got a kick out of my robots. They gave me a finite-yet-handy line of credit for their catalog.

Online Metals is a power affiliate of the Infernolab. What does that mean? Well, you can order robot-buildin' materials right here on the Infernolab pages. Just click and start browsing their aluminum, titanium, steel, polycarbonate, etc. Their motto is "Small quanitities...fast!" and they'll even cut the material to your required sizes.

Portable Power Systems has got tons of batteries and battery-related items for sale. They gave me four 24V 8Ah Hawker Cyclon Monoblock sets that were custom hot-melted together to make for some sweet battery power for Towering Inferno.

PTC makes the powerful Pro/Engineer CAD software. It's a great tool for designing bots on a computer before sitting down and making parts. Plus, the drawings can be fed directly to computer-controlled metal machining equipment to make multiple copies of perfect parts. Towering Inferno was designed primarily on Pro/Engineer software, after I'd figured out the basic design. PTC also supplied me with a laptop computer & the latest software so I can continue designing infernal bots even when I'm on the road!

Jim Smentowski, fellow bot builder, has a great website full of resources. He hosted the huge files in my InfernoTV section before I got set up with hosting.com, and he's done most of my video captures, too.

Russ Greene works at a cool precision sheet metal fabrication shop in Louisiana. He & his cohorts helped out by making some ever-so-sweet aluminum sheet metal fenders for Towering Inferno for 2 seasons (and fixing up bent ones for a 3rd season).

Switzer Communications is the PR firm that represents LEGO Mindstorms. Tim Gnatek of Switzer was the brainchild of the LEGO RoboGladiators and Mindstorms Mayhem competitions and the man I have to thank for receiving obscenely huge piles of LEGO.

Systimatic / International Knife & Saw, the world's leading supplier of industrial cutting tools, has a keen involvement in robotic combat. They sent me a nice supply of circular saws to use on Dr. Inferno Jr. and are sending me some new custom crazy triangular sawblades for the new version of the Doc.. They make some big nasty saws & even do custom orders. They also made me crazy custom chain guard saw blades for Towering Inferno.

G&G Technology/Thin Gap is a research facility in Ventura that, among other things, is developing revolutionary sweet new motors with technology never seen before for this type of application. I put pair of their extremely powerful, light, effecient, high speed motors in Hell on Wheels.

Toni Armstrong Jr., Chicago, for generous monetary contributions

The University of California Santa Barbara, the school that I am attending as a graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering department, gives me not only access to amazing facilities (including a super machine shop with all of the tools I could ever desire), but a wealth of personal resources in the form of experienced staff and faculty members.

  • Nelson Bednersh, superintendent of the engineering student shop, is the most talented welder in the known universe. And then some.
  • Andy Weinberg, who made some Towering Inferno parts for me and who always has good advice and is always offering to help me out.
  • Nick Dinapoli, mechanical engineering student project advisor, recognizes the value of UCSB students participating in robotic combat events and has set aside healthy budgets each year since 1995 for combat robot development.
  • Peter Allen (engineering publicity), the chancellor's public relations office, and UCSB public relations have offered me digital video equipment, filmed my robots for university investment promotions, and invited me and my creations to appear at university investors' benefit events.

Urethane Rubber is a specialist in, well, urethane rubber! They create various types of urethane in all sorts of shapes & forms & can even pour custom molds. They hooked me up with great tire tread for Towering Inferno. E-mail production manager Rodney Sewell or give him a call at 714-731-1325 for more info on urethane for your projects.

Worldmachine Technologies, a leading web engineering and application integration company, donated big bucks to the Infernolab. These funds went toward the cost of construction for Dr. Inferno Jr. & Towering Inferno, the maintenance of Missing Link, and the costs of attending BotBash and BattleBots in 2000.

news :::: shop :::: projects :::: gallery :::: SPONSOR :::: infernoTV :::: media :::: contact :::: about :::: dante :::: links

All content © Jason Dante Bardis and the Infernolab, 1999-2016