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Arizona Robotic Combat looking to expand with new arena

Posted at 4:48 AM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 06:51:59-05

S.T.E.M. programs have taken our state's school system by storm, opening the fields of math and engineering to young minds. But building robots doesn't have to be all about programming and career planning. Sometimes it's just pure chaotic fun.

When it comes to creating something unique whether it's your favorite alternative band to Apple computer, it all started in a garage. Does anybody remember BattleBots? The late 90's Long Beach phenomenon reached all the way out to the desert.

"My dad brought home this VHS tape, played it and I watched it over and over and over, and over...this is what I want to do," said David Small.

Small is big on bots but not the kind that plays nice.

"Breaking stuff, in general, is just fun," Small said. 

He tinkers and dremels his way for months to a custom creation that's ready for a few minutes of glory.
"It's like dominoes. You'll set them all up, but the only reason you set 'em up is to knock 'em all down," Small said. 

In 2016, Small created ARC - Arizona Robotic Combat.

The 24-year-old has since recruited others of all ages to his confrontational cause. 

Nick Dobrikov is a champion with "Tsunami" and with other names like "Nessy," "Maverick," "Typhoon" and "The Highlander," how could you go wrong?

"You get bragging rights on Facebook forums and stuff. It's really all about the fun," Dobrikov told ABC15.

But bragging rights don't pay the bills, so ARC is looking to expand. They've set up a GoFundMe page for an honest-to-goodness arena. Their members number is in the dozens, but they've got to build up this club so that their appetite for destruction can tear it all down again.

"If every high school had a combat robot team that was up there with their football team that's what I would love to see."