Max Bales '14 (center) with his team and robot, Mohawk
Forman Robotics has seen great success recently, but our current students aren’t the only members of the community with an affinity for this 21st century pursuit. Max Bales ’14 says building robots is something he “dabbles in from time to time.” What he considers to be a hobby, however, others like ABC, call a gift. When the television network revived the early-2000s Comedy Central show, BattleBots, Max and a group of like-minded friends and family members were some of the first to be invited to participate as a team.
“One of the main difficulties is building something that works in the short time they give you, so they had to choose people they felt could get it done on time,” he says. The team and their robot, Mohawk, were featured on Season 1 in 2015 and then came back for Season 2 when BattleBots reported impressive ratings.
This opportunity was especially meaningful to Max, as he remembers watching competitors design and operate remote-controlled robots to fight in an arena on BattleBots when he was younger. The show sparked his interest in robotics and by third grade, he and his father had built their first one-pound robot. “While [robotics] may appear to be super hard, it isn’t actually that hard to get into. The robot community is very friendly and often willing to help out,” he says.
Max called BattleBots “a great experience” and said he is looking forward to being on the show again for Season 3. Watch Max compete on Battlebots here.