BattleBots had a brief run of fame around the year 2000. In 2015, a more modern form of robot warfare is coming to rise -- and the young sport is currently dominated by a teenager.
Kyle Ettinger is 15. In other words, he was being born around the time when BattleBots came to the television. Now, he's considered a prodigy of drone fighting -- a sport that's almost sure to enjoy some measure of popularity.
Ettinger competes in drone-fighting competitions through an organization called Game of Drones, which organizes contests in California. The company has had success drawing both participants and spectators for drone-fighting tournaments.
And if Ettinger's in attendance, the smart money is on him to win. According to a video from Re/Code, Ettinger won more than 20 straight matches and went undefeated in a recent tournament.
Check out this drone-fighting wunderkind.
Ettinger tells Re/Code that his interest was sparked when he bought a drone as a toy. He had fun with it -- and wanted to do more with this new technology.
"I was like, 'What's the next thing?" Ettinger said.
In April 2014, he found out about an organization that put together drone fights. Ettinger, who is from Cupertino, California (home of Apple), brought his store-bought drone, competed and did well.
From there, his interest took off. With the help of his father, Ettinger started building his own drone -- an impressive construction that uses a wire exterior to function as a forcefield against opposing drones.
The design gives Ettinger versatility in a fight -- he can try winning a match through smart maneuvering or choose to get aggressive and prevail a more violent contest.
Between the design of his drone and the skill of his handling, Ettinger has become the superstar of this grassroots sport. If the sport does gain in popularity, his own name and reputation will grow with it.