Each match will consist of a three-minute bout in which the goal is to completely destroy or disable the opponent. If there is no knockout during the three-minute battle, the panel of judges will declare a victor to move onto the next round. Judging the matches are former "BattleBots" competitor and special effects artist Fon Davis, the face of "Nerdist," Jessica Chobot, and special guest judge Michael Stevens of YouTube fame with over 10 million subscribers to his "Vsauce" channel.
Forty-eight builders representing four continents make up this year's field – double the size of last year's tournament. With them they bring an unprecedented arsenal, innovative designs, destructive new weapons and for the first time in the history of robot-fighting tournaments, the launch of drone warfare. The competitors range from NASA engineers to teenage students and everyone in between — each with one goal: to claim the ultimate title and walk away with the Giant Nut. Winners from the 24 matches in the qualifying round automatically advance, after which the selection committee picks eight wildcards from the losers to join them. Once the teams advance out of the qualifying round, it's single elimination all the way to the title.