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Photos: BattleBots duke it out

Sparks fly, literally, at the high-tech, twisted-metal robot engineering competition for college students.

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james-martin-profile-crop

James Martin

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BattleBots at Mare Island

Teams of college students from around the country shipped their robots in these crates to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, Calif., where they gathered last week for the BattleBots Collegiate Championship event. Having spent hundreds of hours, and in some cases, thousands of dollars, participants showcased their mad scientist skills and sent their heavy metal robots into combat against some incredibly dangerous and destructive machines.

Disclosure: CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS. CBS College Sports Network is airing the BattleBots Collegiate Championship.

Editors' note: this gallery has been edited since publication to eliminate spoiler information.

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BattleBots arena

Thick Plexiglas surrounds the BattleBots arena, protecting spectators from the flying shrapnel torn from robots during the battles (and making it quite challenging to take clear photos.)
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Sparks during attack

The heaviest weight category is the 220-pound class. These robots are some of the most fierce and destructive. Spinning disks made of steel quickly shred the unprotected opponent.
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Stinger

Team Plumbcrazy estimates it spent $3,000 building "Stinger: The Killer Bee."
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BattleBots arena

Inside the battle zone, Team Plumbcrazy takes a final look at Stinger before the start of its first match Friday afternoon against SubZero.
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Arena clock

When you're up against the power of some of these destructive machines, a three-minute match can seem like eternity. After pushing the button to signal your readiness and to start the match, that same button serves as a signal to surrender.
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Grinding metal

Outside at the grinding area, teams make repairs to robots torn apart during battles.
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Stuck on the grinders

In addition to the spinning and shredding weapons mounted on the robots themselves, teams can also cause damage by pushing the opposing bots into shredders mounted on the walls of the gaming floor.
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Woz at BattleBots

Apple's Steve Wozniak is in attendance at the BattleBots event Friday, taking a look at the students' vicious engineering.
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Safety first

Safety is a top concern at the event, with the robots outfitted with protective mechanisms and kill switches to make sure they don't go haywire.
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Welding outside

With sparks flying, a few extra welds are needed to repair a steel frame before the second match.
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Sparks

When BattleBots Collegiate Championship airs in early August on CBS College Sports, robotics fans worldwide will get to see the loud, crushing results of this mechanical engineering warfare.

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