The Technology and Art of Engineering a Competitive Killer Robot


Organized by the San Diego IEEE Robotics Society, the Control Systems Society, and the IEEE CSUSM Student Branch (inaugural)

BattleBots® is a televised, high stakes robotics competition where combat robots clash in a fight to the death. Winner take all! BattleBots® now has coverage in more than 150 countries appearing on the Discovery and Science Channels, Amazon, Apple TV, Hulu, Google Play, DiscoveryGO, and SciGO.  King of Bots is the Chinese equivalent to Battlebots, which is streamed on, and has gotten over a billion viewers in the first two events, more than all other robots events in the world combined. 

This talk will feature an insider’s account from one of the leading BattleBot teams that designed and built Megabyte and Gigabyte, ‘spinning’ robots. The founder of the Robotic Death Company will talk about what motivated him to get started in the competitive robot business, how he built a winning team and their competition experiences. Technical challenges will also be discussed and how the team found effective design solutions to survive the harsh environment of robotic battles.


  Date and Time




  • California State University, San Marcos
  • 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd
  • San Marcos, California
  • United States 92096
  • Building: Markstein Hall
  • Room Number: 125
  • Click here for Map

Staticmap?size=250x200&sensor=false&zoom=14&markers=33.1347184%2c 117
  • Co-sponsored by Mike Borrello
  • Starts 15 March 2019 01:15 PM
  • Ends 26 March 2019 11:55 PM
  • All times are US/Pacific
  • No Admission Charge
  • Register


John Mladenik of Logi-core


John Mladenik is self-employed Electrical Engineer that’s worked on electronics, systems, circuits and chip designs in the San Diego area since 1994. He received his BSEE in 1982 from Purdue University and his MSEE in 1986 from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. In 1995 he founded his own company, Logi-Core Engineering and Incorporated in 2009.  In 2001 John founded the Robotic Death Company to build combat robots for professional, televised competitions. In 2003 John’s team won the RFL National Champion Heavyweight competition with Megabyte, becoming a member of the Robotic Combat Hall of Fame. In 2018 Megabyte was chosen The Most Popular Robot in China.

Mike Lindberg of Philips Respironics


Mike Lindberg is a Senior Staff Electrical Engineer who designs medical ventilators for Philips Respironics in Carlsbad, CA. He works with the Robotic Death Company as a team member specializing in motor controller electronics. Mike began his early electronics career as a middle schooler exploring junkyards for parts to build radio receivers, motors and nefarious devices for zapping friends with electrical shocks. In 1980 he received his MSEE from the University of Minnesota studying Flicker Noise in Indium Antimonide Hall Sensors under contract to Hitachi Corp. Mike worked in Aerospace designing power equipment for the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station and Geostationary communications satellites. In commercial industries he designed power magnetics for computers and for satellite / internet communications equipment. Mike holds numerous patents in power electronics, linear motors, magnetics and sensors and has served as Vice President of Engineering for two previous companies.

Mike and John work together at Philips where they developed a brushless motor controller for a blower in a medical ventilator; Mike doing the analog and system level design, John doing the FPGA with a PID current control loop. 



4:30 - 5:00 Opening messages, refreshments

5:00 - 6:00 Talk 

Parking information: $4.00 for 2 hours; obtain a pass at the paystations or use the smart phone app: PayByPhone