CNM instructor competes on Discovery Channel’s ‘BattleBots’

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Part-time Central New Mexico Community college instructor and Santa Fe resident Sabri Sansoy is living his dream. He is competing on team Ghost Raptor on Discovery Channel’s current season of BattleBots. In the show, 60 teams from around the world build robots that battle it out for a giant trophy. Sansoy was asked to be part of the team by his friend Chuck Pitzer who Sansoy said has been doing this for about 17 years.

“I’ve been following battle bots since 2000…I mean it’s an honor to be asked to be on this show,” Sansoy said. The season was supposed to be filmed and air by May but was postponed due to the pandemic. Sansoy said they filmed for two weeks in Long Beach, California in October. He said his team worked from 6 a.m. to midnight for those two weeks building their robot. Each robot is required to have a ‘weapon’ and be less than 250 pounds. Ghost Raptor’s robot has a blade that can spin up to 200 miles-per-hour as its weapon.

“What’s called a horizontal spinner that actually articulates,” said Sansoy. “It’s one of the fastest robots. But you have two people controlling it. One’s the driver, which is Chuck and then the other person’s controlling the weapon and the power.”

While the robot put up a fight, it lost its first battle in an already-aired episode. “You never know with each robot. I mean we can go look at the robot but this thing just hammered us,” Sansoy said. He said one of the biggest challenges in this sport is having to repair robots after going in the ring.

“Let’s say you win, but you got damaged so badly you now have to go back re-engineer, you have to add machine parts…it’s very expensive,” Sansoy said. He can’t share what happens next in the season but said win or lose, the Las Vegas, New Mexico native said he is proud to represent the state on the international tech stage and hopes he inspires future engineers.

“I mean the whole, whole experience for me was amazing. And I would love to get CNM involved for next year, get the students involved,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential here and I want to help New Mexico use this potential.” BattleBots airs every Thursday on Discovery Channel. The Ghost Raptor team’s next battle will air on January 7, 2020.

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