Season 5.0 Turtle stats

Original Builder: Thomas Petruccelli
Modifications and upgrades: Jim Smentowski
Driver: Jim Smentowski
Weight: 87 pounds (yes, that's 33 pounds underweight!)
Armor: 1/8" steel shell, reinforced with 1/4" 6061 Aluminum
Drivetrain: Dayton with custom dual-stage gear reduction
Batteries: Custom built Nickel Metal Hydride packs at 24VDC
Control System: IFI Isaac 16 and Thor Speed Controllers

Update 5/30/04: Turtle has a new owner! Watch for Turtle to come back, meaner than ever. Sorry Team Nightmare fans, I just had too many Middleweight robots, and I think Turtle will see more action this way.


When Team Steyer decided they were going to retire Turtle after season 4.0, I offered to take him and continue competing with him. They agreed, and so I took Turtle into my home (well, my shop anyway). I decided I needed to make some serious upgrades to Turtle for Season 5.0, starting mainly with the control system, so I basically completely gutted the bot and started over, replacing the entire electrical system. The drivetrain got some minor upgrades, and I did some modifications to the armor to be able to hold up to the mean spinner bots that are out there. I beefed up the underside armor, and added killsaw protection for the chains (which killed Turtle last season). Had the shell repainted (Thanks Shon & Marc!) and Turtle was ready to roll. Once all the additions and upgrades were done, Turtle was actually lighter than before! (mostly due to switching out to NiMh batteries) The bot weighed in at a very lean 87 pounds (out of 120) at the event.

Fight 1: vs. Heavy Metal Noise

Turtle's first fight was against the vicious vertical spinner, Heavy Metal Noise.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this fight, I had reinforced Turtle's armor on the front to hold up to the big spinners in the Middleweight division, and here was one of the meanest.

The fight basically was a lot of charging and ramming. At first, I was cautious, trying to get around the side or back of HMN, but the spinner was always in Turtle's face, so after taking a couple hits, and realizing that HMN's spinner wasn't doing much damage to Turtle's sloped edges, I proceeded to back up and slam Heavy Metal Noise repeatedly as fast and as often as possible. Turtle, being a bit faster, was usually one step ahead of HMN and since I knew I couldn't win on Damage, I went for as much aggression as possible.

The judges seemed to agree, and awarded Turtle a 27-18 decision.



Fight 2: vs. Little Drummer Boy

Great, another vertical spinner... this time the most deadly drum weapon in probably any weight division!

This fight I decided I would have to handle the same way as the last one, I'd have to be more aggressive to take this one.

Turtle proceeded to charge and slam Little Drummer Boy repeatedly, with no regard to where he was hitting him, in the side, in the back, directly on the spinning drum, whatever I could get, I was going to slam him again and again. The sloped faces of Turtle kept LDB from catching on and doing much more damage than a few scratches and dents in the reinforced aluminum and steel armor.

A couple times, however, LDB did get some good hits on Turtle, and for a few moments, Turtle was actually high-centered in the arena. Luckly, LDB wanted more, and knocked Turtle free to continue the assault.

The match ended and I knew this one would be a closer fight. The judges gave it to Turtle 25-20! Sweet.


Fight 2: vs. Anklebiter

On to the Quarter Finals.

What's this? ANOTHER vertical spinner! This one, the totally upgraded and vicious Anklebiter, who had just totally dismembered Mark Setrakian's The Master.

I didn't like the looks of this one. Turtle's armor was definitely showing signs of fatigue and had several places that were broken off, giving just enough area for a spinner to grab and throw, I didn't like that. We pounded out what we could and went for it.

I approached Ankelbiter a little more cautiously. I wanted to try to get him from the sides and push him into a wall or arena hazard. Anklebiter was a little more squirrelly and hard to control, so I wanted to use that against him.

Anklebiter got in several good hits against Turtle, shredding some of the aluminum armor off the front, and bending in the steel pretty good too.

At one point, the bots danced dangerously close to the arena Killsaws, and with one push, Anklebiter was grabbed by the saws and pulled upside down, where his wheels could no longer touch the ground. Anklebiter's disc spun wildly, buzzing and cutting along the steel floor as Turtle tried to push him back onto the killsaws. The referees counted down from 10 and Anklebiter was out.

Turtle wins by KO in 2 minutes 38 seconds!

Keeping track? That's THREE of the deadliest vertical spinners in a row that Turtle just beat! Woohoo!


Fight 2: vs. S.O.B.

On to the Semi Finals!

Cool! Turtle made it to the Semifinals!

However, the damage was definitely starting to catch up with him.

We took Turtle's shell out for some much-needed pounding and welding (Thanks, Lincoln Electric!). The result was better, but definitely far from perfect.

Unfortunately, after the repairs, I forgot to set Turtle down on the ground to make sure the shell still cleared the ground. This was my undoing....

The fight was miserable. It turned out that the back corner of Turtle's shell had been bent down far enough that it was scraping the floor, and every time Turtle went over an uneven part of the floor (and there were a LOT of them this late in the tournament), he would get high-centered. S.O.B. took these opportunities to scoop Turtle up and cut into the top with that spinning sawblade. Turtle rarely was able to get free, (that S.O.B. certainly is a good design against Turtle!) and when he did, he would only get stuck on the floor again, high-centering at least 4 or 5 times during the fight. Luckily S.O.B. continued to free Turtle from these positions, and there were very few aggresive moves againt S.O.B. by Turtle, save a one good charge that slammed S.O.B. into the wall.

The fight went the full 3 minutes, and the judges awarded S.O.B. the win, 31-14.

S.O.B. went on to the finals against T-Minus, and lost.

Turtle had a great time at BattleBots Season 5.0! He is looking forward to next time, and will be upgraded, making use of the 33 pounds that he was underweight this time!