July 16th 2022

NHRL July 2022 Badge

July 16-17 will be the fourth event in the NHRL 2022 season. Bots in 4 weight classes will be fighting for the chance to win one a Golden Dumpster, as well as a part of the $4,200 prize pool. We will be showing off our new expanded arenas, pits and spectator spaces.

This will be our annual 2-day event. We will start the tournament on Saturday July 16, and end it on Sunday July 17.

All-day passes to watch the fights are $10.00. We will be handing out a total of 3 Golden Dumpsters and $4,200 in cash prizes! There is a $25 fully refunded deposit for registration as always! We are expecting a large competitor field with over 100 robots present at the event!

Quick Links

NHRL is currently hiring paid staff for the July event! Email robot@nhrl.io for more information.

Registration for the event is open! There are no registration caps, so you don't need to register ASAP. There is a $25 per bot deposit; as long as you come to the event with your bots, you will get your deposit back.

Registration will close on Saturday, July 2 at 11:59 pm. If you register and drop before then, you'll get your $25 deposit back. If you drop on July 3 or later, you will not get your deposit back.

All eligible deposits will be refunded about 7-10 business days after the event.

Here is the list of registered bots!

New for the July 2022 event!

This is our annual mega-sized two-day event, and our first-ever event with 30lb Sportsmen! So there will be a few differences from our previous events.


On Saturday, we’ll fight 3lb, 12lb, and 30lb Full Combat bots. We will take each bracket up until there are 8 bots remaining in each bracket,, and then we will finish for the evening. Any bots that fought on Saturday and qualified to fight Sunday will get a $100 stipend per bot to help offset the cost of lodging.

On Sunday, we’ll fight the remaining 3lb, 12lb, and 30lb Full Combat fights. We will also fight all of our 30lb Sportsman fights. Any builders eliminated on Saturday are welcome to return on Sunday to fight grudge matches and, bots and interest permitting, rumbles. Your competitor pass will also get you free spectator entry for Sunday.

Repair time extensions

We will continue to guarantee 20 minutes of repair time for each bot. As we did in May, if we call you to fight and you are not ready, we will put you on a 5-minute timer. If you’re not ready to fight when the timer finishes, you will forfeit your fight.

On Sunday, we will allow each Full Combat (not Sportsman) bot one 10-minute extension. This will give you a one-time opportunity to get 10 extra minutes to fix up your bot. You must use this extension for bot repairs; you cannot use it for non-repair tasks, like taking a break or charging batteries.

Battery charging

We've added a question to registration where we'll ask you which batteries you run in your bot. NHRL has historically provided batteries to competitors upon request. In July, we will take the extra step of purchasing additional batteries in models that are popular with our builders, and have them charged and available in the pits for use throughout the event/

These extra batteries are intended as backups to your own batteries, to ensure that you'll spend your 20-minute repair window repairing your bot, instead of charging your batteries.

We ask that you please return NHRL batteries to the battery station once you are finished using them.

More details for 30lb Sportsman competitors

We will have our rear entrance open for check-in on Friday, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning. Sunday morning check-in will be for our 30lb Sportsman competitors only.

The tournament format for 30lb Sportsman will be announced closer to the competition. It might be traditional double-elimination, or it might be something else. The winner of the 30lb Sportsman class will get a trophy, but no prize money and no qualifications for our December championships.

One thing to keep in mind for 30lb Sportsman: plan to deal with Fluffy’s Wrath! For the July event, Fluffy will have a flamethrower mounted inside it. Any 30lb Sportsman bot who winds up in a non-starting corner of the cage, be it through driving or getting pushed, will get toasted. Make sure your bot can take the heat!

Fluffy’s flamethrower will be inactive for 12lb and 30lb Full Combat fights.


Brackets for our July 16th 2022 event will become public on Wednesday, July 6, and the predictions challenge will open on Friday, July 8!

What's new for 2022?

We have been hard at work on upgrading the facility since the end of the 2021 season in December, and we are super excited for everyone to see these new changes! Check out some progress pictures below.

What's new for competitors:

  • Expanded pits areas, with more tables, more space between tables, and a dedicated viewing area to sit and relax as you watch the stream.
  • 2 new cages, including a 30lb cage!

What's new for spectators:

  • More than 5,000 square feet of new activities, lounge areas, and exciting attractions, including our Bot Museum.
  • More seating around the cages, and the cages have been moved even closer to the bleachers for a better viewing experience.
  • "Walk up" cages, where you can spectate as close as you want standing around the cage.

Watching NHRL Online

All NHRL events are livestreamed on our YouTube channel.

We also upload individual fight clips to our second channel.

Don't want to wait for the event to see some robot action? Check out the highlight reel from the 2021 finals!

Spectating at NHRL

Come see some robot carnage up-close and personal! Click here to buy tickets for any of our upcoming events!

All NHRL events are open to the public for spectating. Adults and children over the age of 4 can purchase an all-day access pass for $10. This will give access to all of the spectating areas around all the fighting cages, as well as the spectator lounges, Bot Museum, and other fun combat robotics attractions. Spectators under the age of 4 are admitted for free. Any spectator under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a guardian over the age of 18.

Read more about our spectator experience.

Food trucks for our July 16th 2022 event will be announced soon!

Spectator FAQ

What should I bring with me to NHRL?

Spectators are encouraged to bring a pillow, sweater, or other soft object to sit on in the bleachers while watching fights. Seat cushions will also be available for purchase at the event. We also encourage bringing hearing protection, especially for younger spectators. Free earplugs will also be provided at the event.

How do I buy a ticket?

Click here to buy tickets for any of our upcoming events!

Tickets are also available day-of at the door. We also sometimes run special promotions on ticket sales or sell them as part of a bundle through websites like Groupon. Any such deals or offers will be linked here when available.

Is there food at NHRL? Can I bring my own food/drink?

NHRL hosts a number of food trucks from local businesses serving a wide range of food. We also provide free water for all spectators. Outside food and drink are not permitted. This does not include baby food, food related to medical needs, or water. Keep in mind your admission is all-day, so you are welcome to leave and get lunch, and come back. South Norwalk has a ton of great places to eat, which you can read more about on the Travel Info page.

How do I get to NHRL?

NHRL is within walking distance of the South Norwalk train station, serviced by the MTA New Haven Line, MTA Danbury Branch, and the CTRail Shore Line East. It is also possible to drive to NHRL, and parking on site is included with your spectator pass. For more information on getting to NHRL, please see the Travel Info page.

Besides food, is there anything else to buy at NHRL?

Yes! NHRL has an official merch store, where you can buy t-shirts, stickers, magnets, and more. You are also able to purchase competitor merchandise here, to support your favorite bot.

Are alcohol or drugs permitted at NHRL?

Alcohol is permitted at NHRL for spectators aged 21 and up. Only builders with bots not active in the competition, not planning to fight grudge matches, and are aged 21 and up may drink.

Any inebriated people who are causing a disturbance, be they spectators or builders out of the competition, will be asked to leave the premises. Please drink responsibly!

NHRL does not permit the consumption of any other recreational drugs.

NHRL is a smoke-free building, but there are ashtrays located outside the building for your convenience.

What can I do besides watching robots fight at NHRL?

In addition to robot fighting, there will be opportunities to relax in our brand-new spectator area, watch behind the scenes as competitors repair/test their robots, and try driving our house bot, Brett.

What does the schedule for the day look like?

The doors open to spectators on Saturday at 10 a.m., just as the first fights of the day are starting. Food trucks will arrive be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Fights will continue nonstop until we reach the final 8 bots in each weight class (usually around 6:30 p.m.), at which point we will take a 30 minute break to allow competitors time to eat dinner and for our staff to do cage repairs. After this break, fights will resume until we have made it through all the fights in all weight classes. Fights usually conclude between 10 and 11 p.m., and the facility closes 30 minutes after the last fight of the day.

Do you offer behind the scenes tours, meet-and-greets with competitors, etc?

Currently we do not offer such things, but we hope to in the future. That being said, many competitors make a point of hanging out in the spectator areas after their fights, so just keep an eye out for those wearing NHRL competitor badges!

What is your current COVID-19 Policy?

Norwalk recently lifted its mask mandate, and the CDC has identified the COVID-19 community level in all of CT, as well as many surrounding communities, as "low", so masks will not be required at our events, unless Norwalk changes its masking policy. We will continue to follow the guidance of state and local agencies and will advise if our policy changes. Norwalk is a mask-supportive community, and we believe in the effectiveness of high-quality masks as a means of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and support individuals who choose to mask at any time for any reason.

What if I have another question?

Feel free to contact us at robot@nhrl.io, and we will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Competing at NHRL

Want to come fight at NHRL?

NHRL is open to competitors of any experience level. Before building/bringing a bot to NHRL, make sure to review our bot design rules!

There is a $25 deposit for each bot you register. As long as you check in for the event, you'll get your deposit back a few business days later. Keep in mind that there are no caps on the number of bots at NHRL events, so don't worry about rushing to sign up! Signups will close 2 weeks before 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 weekend? 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.

We will finish Saturday, our first day of fighting, when we're down to about 8 bots remaining in the 3lb, 12lb, and 30lb full combat classes. That should be between 7 and 8 pm. Note that our 30lb Sportsman bots will not have fought yet.

On Sunday morning, we will allow 30lb Sportsman bots to check in. We will resume fighting at 10 am, with the remaining bots in the 3lb, 12lb, and 30lb full combat classes, and with the entire 30lb Sportsman competition. We'll also hold some grudge matches and rumbles. We plan to finish at around 8 pm.

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.