The Conversation was locked, the audience was ready, it was BattleBot panel time!

Zachary Levi and The Nerd Machine brought Robot Fighting fans a treat on Thursday, July 9th at San Diego Comic-Con, using the ever popular Conversations for a Cause panels in the geek chic Nerd HQ.

Let me give you a quick rundown on how the Conversations for a Cause and Nerd HQ work to start things off.

As you may very well know, Nerd HQ is completely free to the public during San Diego Comic-Con. The only thing you need to have is the handy RFID wristbands that they give out for free! There is a set of tents outside of Nerd HQ (located at the New Children’s Museum) that you will want to head to first, panel or not. You’ll sign up with your information, get registered, and get handed the wristband. You can save some major time by registering through the Nerd HQ App as well! We had already registered, walked up to the line, entered our number and we were off!

Now just where are the panels, seeing as Nerd HQ is three stories? You’re going to want to head downstairs! At the entrance, once you’re scanned in, you will see a staircase to the left. There should be a helpful NerdHQ volunteer there to guide you, so walk on down, get your tickets checked, and then you’ll be sorted in the waiting area by rows. A-C is up towards the front, moving down the alphabet behind them.

Once you’re lined up, a volunteer ushers everyone in, lights go down and you’re all set!

We knew we were in for a treat, but did not really know what to expect.

We have been big fans of BattleBots since its original airing on Comedy Central. When hearing it was on its way back to the airwaves, we danced a robot dance of joy for the return of gear-grinding destruction. Now, with the show in its fourth week of airing on NBC, the chance to see some of the competitors up close and personal. Here is what we are talking about:

WHAT:  BATTLEBOTS, the new reality competition series from Whalerock Industries and Trey Roski and Greg Munson, airing on ABC on Sunday nights at 9/8c, will unveil a live demonstration along with a sneak peek of an upcoming robot fight along with a panel discussion featuring robot builders, special effects artist and executive producers.

Alison Haislip:  BattleBots Sideline Reporter
Jessica Chabot:  BattleBots Judge
Donald Hutson:  Builder of Lock-Jaw (and San Diego local)
Matt Maxham:  Builder for Stinger
Peter Abrahamson: Long time BattleBot builder, Special Effect Artist, Military Robot Builder and BattleBots Play-by-Play Producer
Greg Munson: BattleBots Co-Creator and Executive Producer
Chris Cowan:  BattleBots Executive Producer

There was no real moderation to the panel, but instead was fueled by the fans questions. Audience members were treated to the backgrounds of each of the bot builders/drivers, what tactics they like to employ in the box, and so much more. Seeing as the whole season has been taped already (all in the span of 3 days in Northern California!) there were very curious ways to answer some questions. A fan asked Donald Hutson and Matt Maxham if they were more afraid to fight fellow bots Bronco or Tombstone. You could see the careful ways they had to answer the question, not wanting to give anything away.

Fun fact: fans of the show will remember an incident called “Net-gate,” in a team used a net to get their competitor tangled right as the match was beginning. There was criticism that this was set up by the producers of the show to give it some more tension, but we learned today that the whole situation was indeed unscripted and happened without any of the production team knowing. Knowing this little bit of information made the whole thing so much cooler. Anything can really happen!

The panel ended with a live demonstration of just what these bots could do! But, on a smaller scale. There were no flame throwers or thrown shrapnel, but just a show of how the bots could flip one another, right themselves, and their movement. It was incredible to see these bots who, on the show, look small, but in person are 200+ pounds of pure metal and electronics.   Not your everyday scene, that is for sure!

Feel free to browse our gallery above for photos taken at the panel, and we hope you have a fantastic time at any panels you are making your way to! Until next time!

One of these Nerds doing Stuff. Can be found drinking cider on the weekends, and attempting to sing any Disney song in his brain that he can come up with in the shower. Thinks albums sound better on vinyl. Collector of useless trivia and references. Puns a plenty.

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