Robot combat is a form of robot competition in which two or more custom-built machines use varied methods of destroying or disabling the other. Despite the name, the machines are generally remote-controlled vehicles rather than autonomous robots.
Robot combat competitions have been made into television series, including Battlebots in the US and Robot Wars in the UK. These shows were originally broadcast in the late 1990s to early 2000s and experienced revivals in the mid-2010s. As well as televised competitions, smaller robot combat events are staged for live audiences such as those organised by the Robot Fighting League.
Robot builders are generally hobbyists and the complexity and cost of their machines can vary substantially. Robot combat uses weight classes, with the heaviest robots able to exert more power and destructive capabilities. The rules of competitions are designed for safety of the builders, operators, and spectators while also providing for an entertaining spectacle. Robot combat arenas are generally surrounded by a bulletproof screen.
Competitor robots come in a variety of designs, with different strategies for winning fights. Robot designs typically incorporate weapons for attacking opponents, such as axes, hammers, flippers and spinning devices. Rules almost always prohibit gun-like weapons as well as other strategies not conducive to the safety and enjoyment of participants and spectators.