Combat robots invade Eagan!


Man vs. machine is so boring; machine vs. machine, though—now that's a little more like it. This weekend, months (in some cases, years) of toiling to produce the ultimate battle 'bot will come to fruition (or ruin) when machines with names like the Defyer, Mangler, and Eugene battle for mechanical dominance at Mechwar 10. City Pages recently took a moment to chat with Steven Murphy, member of Team Rusty Nuts, which helms the mighty Mangler.

City Pages: These machines look so complex. Is robot battling an expensive hobby to get into?

Steven Murphy: It is an affordable hobby depending on how creative you are. Some can do it for a little, some use an extreme amount of resources. Certainly a sponsor helps. We have one, but we've done it mostly ourselves. It takes a lot of planning, trying out different ideas, prototypes, and luck.

CP: Is it hard to watch all your hard work get destroyed by another robot?

SM: I've witnessed some younger competitors get upset when their work is destroyed. They're probably a little too close to their robot—it's become a model of them somehow. My team's philosophy is: We built it for combat. We expect it to either come out the champion or completely destroyed. Part of the joy is building the robot, the camaraderie, the team. The whole process is what makes it great. Making an idea into something tangible.

CP: RoboCop versus Terminator. Who wins?


SM: I would have to say Terminator, because RoboCop is sort of a cyborg human and machine, and Terminator is all machine. And Terminator has a little bit more attitude I think.

See Steven Murphy and the rest of Team Rusty Nuts put Mangler to the test in Mechwar 10 at the Eagan Civic Arena, Saturday, May 19. $5/$8 at the door. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more info call 612.743.5971 or visit 3870 Pilot Knob Rd., Eagan.