Local maker featured on the Discovery Channel’s “BattleBots”

Authored By Chloé Morrison

A local resident, businessman and ChattLab Makerspace co-founder is featured on this season of the Discovery Channel’s “BattleBots.”

Chattanooga’s Jason Brown, who is also the Chief Technology Officer at ARS, is on the team that built a robot called Bombshell, which found success during the 2016 season, despite its underdog status.

Now the team, which is mainly made up of people from Atlanta, is competing in this season on the television show’s new station, The Discovery Channel.

ChattLab Makerspace recently hosted a viewing party, which drew about 40 people, who watched the first episode featuring Brown’s team.

The last season, which aired in 2016 on ABC, was done in a single-elimination format, Brown said.

But this year, it’s a bit different.

“Everyone has a lot of matches and then from [those], 16 [teams] are ranked the top and then go into single elimination at the end,” he said.

In 2016, Bombshell, which is on the right, took second place in the overall bot battle. (Screenshot: YouTube)

Brown’s team—the Chaos Corps—will be featured again sometime this season, but Brown isn’t sure when and he can’t reveal many details about what happens, he said.

Brown, who has been at the bot hobby since 1992, and most of the other members of the Chaos Corps team compete in other robot battles, which are hosted frequently.

“When I started building robots, I was doing things in my basement with just a hand drill and whatever parts I could find,” he said.

Seeing technology change and learning about science and engineering is part of what Brown loves about the hobby, which can get expensive, he also said.

ChattLab Makerspace co-founder Jeff Johnson said members of the organization are tinkerers of all kinds, some of whom are interested in robots. The turnout to the viewing party was strong, he also said.

About 40 people gathered at ChattLab Makerspace to watch Brown’s team compete recently. (Photo: Contributed)

“We’re always trying to grow the membership of our nonprofit club to get more makers, more tools and more events that stimulate making things,” he said via email.

Since November 2016, the makerspace has doubled its membership and gotten new equipment, he also said.