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Bionic Boppers put people in the fightin' robot's seat


November 10, 2011

Hammacher Schlemmer's Bionic Bopper Cars are large fighting robots, which the operators sit inside of

Hammacher Schlemmer's Bionic Bopper Cars are large fighting robots, which the operators sit inside of

Simpsons-watchers may recall an episode in which Bart and Homer enter their homebuilt robot in a Robot Wars-like competition, but mayhem ensues and Homer ends up having to operate the fighting 'bot from inside its body. Its hard to say if the creators of Hammacher Schlemmer's Bionic Bopper Cars ever saw that episode, but it's entirely possible, as the basic idea is pretty much the same - two human operators each sit inside of a big wheeled robot, then pummel each other with their robots' arms.

The people are protected by steel cages, and operate their robot's pneumatic arms independently, using two thumb-trigger-equipped joysticks. Tire treads on the "fists" keep the robots from seriously damaging one another.

Each operator tries to land punches on the opposing robot's head, causing it to snap back. Points are awarded for every successful head-snap, with a display on the front of each robot keeping a tally. Rubber bumpers on the bottom of the robots serve to protect their fiberglass and aluminum chassis, but also keep the robots far enough apart that they can get in some good swings at one another.

The robots are each propelled by a Honda gas engine, which allows them to move forward or backward - or spin left or right - at a maximum speed of 3 mph (4.8 km/h). One tank of gas is said to be good for about five hours of sparring. Presumably, the use of gas engines means that the robots must be operated outdoors. Even then, however, one has to wonder how much carbon monoxide will be sucked back by the operators.

Interested parties can order their own Bionic Bopper Cars from Hammacher Schlemmer, at a price of US$17,000 for a pair.

Source: Uncrate

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Meh. Get back to me when Hammacher Schlemmer starts offering fighting bots like in Robot Jox.



I\'m ordering 10 and having a big party! What a ridiculous waste of money this is!

Warren Gang

Oh you poor young'uns. You've not been around long enough to realise that these are clearly inspired by an old toy/game called Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. ;) Very nice idea. I like. http://www.theoldrobots.com/images61/RockEm-6.JPG

Chris Winter
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