For the televised competition BattleBots, the budget for the top-end robots can go up to about $50,000. That’s the estimated cost to build HyperShock, including spare parts, which is one of the most expensive machines in the competition.
Some Battlebots are very expensive. Hypershock, one of the more expensive bots, costs around $50,000. Part of the prize for winning Battlebots is $10,000, so one could assume that most bots cost around $10,000, to make it worth it to compete.
BattleBots is exactly what it sounds like. Competitors in each match control their robot creations via remote control as they duke it out against each other in a series of three-minute matches. While in the arena, each robot must navigate around various traps while trying to disable the opposing robot.
Interestingly enough, applying to be on BattleBots is pretty simple. On the official site, the show asks applicants to submit a design for their competing robot, including sketches, technical details, and artistic renders.
How much do bots cost?
Most of these bots are not built out of items found in a scrap bin. They use very high end components or ones that have been custom built. A small example would be the switches most of us use to turn the weapon and drive on and off at the start and end of a fight. These are $97 each (and are actually made by Team Whyachi) you need at least 2 on the bot and couple of spares. So with a bit of shipping that is $400, just to safely turn it on and off. Some bots have many sets of these.
There is however a rough rule of thumb that I have heard a number of times that in my experience gets you into the right ball park, that is that a combat robot costs you ~$100 per pound. On Battlebots we compete with 250lb heavyweights which would put the cost around $25,000. There are some people who will be able to come in way below that, and others I know with much more.
Around 5k$ to make one. You just need metal sheets, standard remote equipment, and quite some time to design one properly.