Event Day for Competitors


Welcome to NHRL!

Event Day is crazy but this page should help guide you around. Here is some important information for you;

There are a lot of big things going on behind the scenes here at NHRL, and we'll soon have some exciting things to share about the upcoming season. If you want to be one of the first to hear about these exciting developments, sign up for our mailing list!


Starting at 1:00 PM and ending at 9:00PM we will be opening up our facility for competitors to find their tables and set up their gear before the event. The goal of the pre day is to give you time to work on your robot and potentially pass safety ahead of the event. The pits are open. Much of the staff will be getting ready for the broadcast. You will have full access to all the tools and resources we have at our facility. Since we will still be getting ready for the broadcast all the broadcast spaces will be off limits until the day of the event.

  • If you need help with anything reach out on the #tech-support-general discord channel, or find a staff member
  • You are welcome to use any of the test boxes to test your robot.
  • The photo booth won't be ready until the day of the event. Feel free to take pictures for your own use though!
  • Take some time to explore the building, make sure you know where everything is.


Welcome to the event! Below are some helpful links for navigating the event. If you have any questions or issues, please find a staff member.

Things to do, in order of importance:

  • Pass a safety check
  • Click this link Find your robot. Click its name, and update your bots picture.
  • Ensure your robot is ready. Robots that are not ready may forfeit their matches
    • Keep track of when your next fight is. We have screens in the pits showing the next 10 fights.
  • Join the Discord
  • Create a wiki page for your bot.

Day of Schedule

Now that you have arrived here at our facility and are preparing for your day of combat it is important to be aware of the days schedule so that you are never caught off guard! If you find that you have free time throughout the day and are ready for your fights we want to encourage you to look at our other attractions present at the arena.

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

During this time we will be opening the doors for our competitors to arrive, check-in, pass safety, and take their robot photos. We ask that all competitors be present in the building by 9:30 AM.

9:30AM - 9:45 AM

During this time we are going to be having our morning drivers meeting. This meeting is going to cover the safety and event procedures that will be in place during the event.

9:45 AM

Starting off in the morning at 9:45AM we will open our doors to allow for spectators to being entering into the arena and getting situated with the spectating arena, event activities, and photo opportunities.

10:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Starting at 10:00 AM we will begin robot fights that are going to run are fights in our winners and losers brackets. These fights will take a break at 6:00 PM for 30 minutes to allow for builders to have time to repair their robots. During this break the stream will also be switched over to the NRHL prime stream.

12:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Our food trucks will be open at around this time. Exact hours vary by individual food trucks; this time listed is a rough window!

7:00 PM - Close

After the 30 minute break we will move into NHRL prime which is going to focus on the last 16 bots in each weight class. These fights are expected to be less rapidly paced as each builder is allotted 20 minutes after each fight to repair and recharge their robot. However, since these are gearing up to be some of our finalists these fights are sure to be intense and action packed.

Exciting Activities at NHRL

Drive Brett!

For the first time ever we are excited to offer our spectators and competitors the opportunity to drive NHRL's one of a kind referee bot Brett the Brick! Driving this bot will not only allow for everyone to be able to drive a real combat robot but it will also give people an opportunity to understand the challenges associated with driving our referee bots. As a special treat for this experience we will be stocking the cage with some materials to allow for everyone to understand just how powerful our referee bots are, even when they are in demonstration mode.

Our Bot Museum

Another experience that we are able to offer here at our arena is for a chance to take photos with some of your favorite 250lb bots in our Bot Museum! You can take a photo with bots like Ribbot, SMEEEEEEE, and Sharko.

Food trucks

Food trucks for the November 12th 2022 event will be announced soon!


Finally we have our lounge and eating area. Here we have free drinks, water dispensers, picnic tables, and a view of the live stream for anyone who wants to get food without missing any of the action throughout the day!

Competitor Information

During the day we know everyone is going to be under a large amount of stress with keeping their robots ready to fight during the grueling battles they will face. As a result we wanted to provide you with a collection of information that we are sure everyone will be looking for during their time here at Norwalk. First, in order to ensure a timely end to our event we are asking everyone to be on top of ensuring they are in the green room as soon as they see their name on the next 10 fight list. This list is going to be posted at the front of the pits during the event so please keep an eye out for your robot's name!

Keep an eye out for brackets! Here are the brackets for our September 17th 2022 event!

3lb: https://challonge.com/nhrl_sep22_3lb

12lb: https://challonge.com/nhrl_sep22_12lb

30lb: https://challonge.com/nhrl_sep22_30lb

Prediction Challenge

We are giving prizes to people who correctly predict the 3lb, 12lb, or 30lb brackets! The person who has the highest score for each of those three brackets wins $300.

Your methodology is entirely up to you, whether that's taking a deep dive into the statistics, flipping a coin, or having your bot make your picks for you. Then, sit back and watch the madness unfold as you revel in victory, or witness your bracket get busted before the end of the tournament.

As the battles progress, you’ll get points for every winner you picked correctly. Points will increase linearly every round; for example, the first round is worth 1, second round is worth 2, and so on. At the end of the tournament, the player with the most points wins that group.

How to enter

Entering the contest is simple: just fill out this form, and then click on any of the brackets above and start making predictions. You only need to fill out the form once, regardless of how many of the July brackets you predict.

Only participants who fill out the form are eligible to win the $300 prize for each bracket. If the form tells you you're ineligible to win the prize, you're still welcome to make predictions. You'll be playing for bragging rights instead!

Note that any crew working the event or builders participating in the event, and their immediate family members, are ineligible for this prize. You must be 18 or over, and live in the US.

We have full details for the contest here.

Best of luck!

Finally, either before you arrive or as you arrive at our arena we encourage you to review our building map. This map contains all of the information about the facility that we want you to be aware of. It also contains information about egress routes in the event that we need to evacuate the building during the event.

Competitor FAQ

What should I bring with me to compete at NHRL?

Most competitors will bring their own set of tools, spare batteries, a battery charger, and spare modules/copies of their bot for faster repairs. See the question below "What tools/equipment/space do I get to use as a competitor at NHRL?" for more information on what you can use from our facilities.

I am new to building combat robots. Where should I start?

If you are new to combat robotics, I would suggest reading The Combat Design Handbook, which can be downloaded for free here. You should also join our Discord, where you can ask questions and get advice from other competitors as well as our staff.

If you want some inspiration for your bot, you can check out past competitors here;

Is there any way to get help with my bot?

The staff and facilities at NHRL are also available to help builders. Our staff can offer technical advice, assistance in assembly/construction, loan new builders parts to use, and even assist in fabricating parts for your robot. Contact robot@nhrl.io or ask a staff member on the Discord for more information.

What tools/equipment/space do I get to use as a competitor at NHRL?

Each competitor at NHRL gets 1 pit table, which is a 6' x 36" folding table, and 2 padded folding chairs. Each pit table has at least 2 outlets and 2 USB charging ports at it. Competitors also get access to free high-speed WiFi during events.

During the event, all of our safety test boxes are available for competitors to use. We ask that you refrain from fighting in these cages though.

All competitors have access to our workshop facilities, fully stocked with tools, hardware, and equipment. Tools from the workshop are not allowed to be removed from the workshop, so any work with them must be done there rather than at your pit tables. For help with specialized equipment, like welders, staff can assist you.

What does the schedule look like for the day? When can I come to NHRL?

Competitors can access the facilities on both the Friday before the event and the Saturday of the event. On Friday, the facility is open from noon to 10 p.m.. During this time, competitors can complete check-in, set up their pits, pass safety, and use the workshop facilities. Once doors close at 10 p.m., all equipment must be unplugged (especially battery chargers!), and the facility doors will be kept locked until the event on the following day under 24/7 CCTV monitoring, so don't worry about leaving stuff overnight.

On Saturday, doors open to competitors at 8 a.m., and all competitors must have passed safety and be fight-ready by 9:30 a.m.. Keep in mind that the line for safety is longer on Saturday than it is Friday, so try to get there early to pass safety (or even better, come Friday!). Failure to pass safety on time can result in disqualification.

The first fight of the day will take place at 10 a.m., and fights will continue back-to-back across all weight classes until we reach the final 8 bots in each weight class. At this time (usually around 6:30 p.m.), we will take a 30-minute break as we reset the cages and prepare for the last fights of the day. These last fights of the day usually will take us until 10 or 11 p.m.. Competitors are welcome to stay the entire event, or are also allowed to leave once their fights are done for the day.

How many fights will I be in during an event?

NHRL is a double-elimination tournament, meaning that you will keep fighting until you have lost twice. For most competitors, this averages out to 3-4 fights over the course of th day. Later in the day, competitors are also allowed to request "grudge matches" against each other, where two (or more!) bots can face off against eachother, independent of the tournament bracket.

How much time do I have between fights?

Competitors are guaranteed at least 20 minutes between fights. Towards the start of the day, though, this can be more in the range of hours. When your time is nearly up or your fight is coming up soon, your name will appear on a list on all the TVs in the pits, indicating it is time to report in for your fight.

Can I bring multiple bots?

Yes, there are no rules at NHRL prohibiting you from entering multiple bots in different weight categories, or even the same weight category. However, the 20-minute repair time rule applies to each bot independently, so you may end up in back-to-back fights if you have too many bots. It is your responsibility to manage your time if you bring multiple bots, and having multiple bots to fight will not be accepted as an excuse if you are facing disqualification for being late to a fight.

Is there a code of conduct that all builders must follow?

Yes, we have a Builder Conduct Policy that we expect all builders to adhere to.