BattleBot Galactica

"My wife tells me that I am more in love with my robot than I am her," Roski admits. "To win you have to be. They are our creations. It's kind of like making Eve—as close as you can get without being God."

Other participants hope the rising sponsorship deals will enable them to make robot competition a career. Christian Carlberg, who designs mechanical puppets for Disneyland, says he would leave "the happiest place in the world without a second thought. I want to invent my own concepts, make them happen, shred my opponent, and look good doing it!" Jim Smentowski, another seasoned bot builder with a dream job (he makes special effects at ILM), says he'd be thrilled to do BattleBots professionally, as does Carlo Bertocchini, creator of the bot Biohazard and a rocket science engineer. Bertocchini doesn't have any qualms about the growing corporate hoopla surrounding his lifelong passion. "All professional sports rely on corporate cash and sponsorships," he says. And, as Alexander Rose points out, the more funding the better, because what it supports is "the optimal Darwinian competition, a battle of brains."

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