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Local company builds BattleBots | Blue Collar

Story By Kyle Pozorski
Local News Published 09/23/2021 5:48PM, Last Updated 09/23/2021 7:10PM
Clark County - Wisconsin has seen more than its fair share of elite athletes from all the world championship Packers teams to the current NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks. But northcentral Wisconsin is also home to another group that is among the world's best in their particular type of competition. 

In 2000, Comedy Central debuted BattleBots, a TV show where remote controlled robots fight one on one. Jake Ewert and his family have been building competitive robots since 2001. "We started in Dorchester because my dad started the business with a bunch of buddies back in the day, and when he saw the BattleBots show on TV in 2001, he said, 'Oh, I think I can do that," said Ewert. 

Team Whyachi has built their bots Hydra, Fusion, and Son of Whyachi to compete on the popular BattleBots show, which now airs on Discovery Channel.

"The simplest way I can explain BattleBots is that it's 250-pound robots that we remote control from the sidelines like it's RC cars, and we try to destroy each other in a pre-made BattleBots event," said Ewert. "It's a 40-by-40-foot square, and we just go in there and we try to knock out the other robot. It's as simple as that." 

Ewert says that building the bots takes a lot of time, effort, and money. The frame on Hydra alone can cost $20,000. 

"From the ground up this probably would takes you months, it really does. There's a lot that goes into it, from electronics to building a controller to welding and fabricating. There's so much mechanical and electrical stuff that goes into helping and building a bot that you need a team," Ewert said.  

But what qualifies the normal-looking guys from rural Wisconsin to build the competitive robots? "What qualifies us? Absolutely nothing. We just do it, so that's the biggest thing: Anybody can get into it. You don't have to have a degree in mechanical engineering or electrical engineering to be able to do this. You can go out with your dad and just build a random robot," said Ewert.  

Team Whyachi just finished filming for the upcoming season of BattleBots in Las Vegas which will be seen on Discovery in the coming months.
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