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Spank-O-Matic II


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Spank-O-Matic II

Spank-Off Spanking Machine Competitions

How do the Spank-O-Matic and the Robospanker compare head-to-head, in key factors of ease of use and performance? These are the questions I set out to answer and document when I had a day of access to a new model Robospanker. I brought in a Spank-O-Matic, of course, as well as the older version Robospanker that I haven't sold or thrown out yet. My standard is simple: these are fair tests which accurately represent each machine involved. Watching the videos will give you a basic understanding of each test and its results. More detailed information is available below.

Since the release of these videos, the Robospanker folks have responded predictably. While they voice no complaint with my assessments on all the other tests, they claim the Power Comparison is faked in some unspecified manner. They don't actually dispute my result that the SOM II is at least 2.5 times more powerful than the Robospanker, but simply complain that their new model MUST be more powerful than the old one because it has a "much thicker tension band" and a "much shorter paddle." It is interesting to note that these changes do not support their very specific claim of "40% more power"... if that were based on actual testing, their response would have discussed those tests and results, leading me to believe the claim itself is made up. My tests point out their little fib... perhaps they could have legitimately claimed the new machine "spanks harder," but they decided to go for the more glamorous "40% more power" when it's simply not true.

Let's be clear: this test assesses the power of the machine, not the perceived pain experienced by a spankee. Power is technical term, the ability to do work. In this case, the work is swinging a steel rod to create a dent in a consistent material. I am not making a subjective assessment about how a spanking will feel from any of these three machines. However, obviously a more powerful machine can deliver a more powerful stroke.

As you review these materials, you can assume the following:

- Robospanker agrees with the video segments about changing the power and height of the two current models, and changing either for floor spanking.
- Robospanker doesn't dispute that the SOM II is a far more powerful machine, and explicitly note they haven't compared the two.
- Robospanker claims the Power Comparison is rigged in some way they don't specify.

Finally, one for fun. Robospanker makes this claim: " I did not want to address this at first, but I received so many phone calls from my customers who had bought both the old and new version of the Robospanker. They were outraged by the video which they knew was a lie, and they insisted that I do not allow them to get away with it." You have to wonder. All of these many folks who called have allegedly purchased not one but TWO Robospankers already... of course it's weird that they "all" found the new comparison videos so quickly. More importantly, why are they "all" shopping for another spanking machine? ;)

Spank-Off Videos

Spank-Off: Ease of Use compares the Robospanker (new) and Spank-O-Matic in several user tasks: change striking power, change machine height, and change for floor spanking. These are tasks a spanking machine owner will perform over and over with their machine.

Spank-Off: Power Comparison lines up the Robospanker (original), Robospanker (new), and Spank-O-Matic is the most important test for a spanking machine, how hard does it strike!


Change Striking Power

The Setup. The setup for this test is extremely simple. Each machine is fully assembled and set to any power. The task is to perform all actions required to set the machine to any different striking power.

Robospanker. Changing the striking power on the Robospanker requires several steps:

- Open the rear hatch of the machine.

- Unscrew the thumbsrew holding rubberband from its current position (hard/medium/soft).

- Screw the rubberband thumbscrew into the new desired position (hard/medium/soft).

- Close the rear hatch of the machine.

Spank-O-Matic. Changing the striking power requires rotating the "Power" knob on the hand control.

Results. I performed this task twice with the Robospanker to provide two different camera angles. While I was working with reasonable speed, I could have completed the task a bit faster if I didn't have to keep my upper body off the the side (so the camera could see the action). Both times, changing the Robospanker power took about 20 seconds from opening the hatch to closing it. In comparison, you can change the speed knob on the Spank-O-Matic in a fraction of a second.


Change Machine Height

The Setup. The setup for this test is also quite simple. Each machine is fully assembled and set to any height (paddle distance from floor). The task is to perform all actions required to adjust the machine to any different height.

Robospanker. Changing the machine height on the Robospanker requires several steps:

- Turn the machine upside down.

- Remove the bolt holding the lower leg segement to upper leg segment.

- Remove the base assembly (attached to lower leg segment).

- Remove the bolt holding angle brace. Changing height without changing this brace will change the angle of the head.

- Replace base assembly, holding it such that holes in the upper and lower leg segments line up.

- Replace bolt holding leg segments together, apply wingnut.

- Hold leg to desired angle, reattach angle brace and accompanying bolt.

Spank-O-Matic. Changing the machine height on the Spank-O-Matic requires several steps:

- Loosen two hand knobs on sliding mount.

- Slide mount to desired height.

- Tighten two hand knobs on sliding mount.

Results. I performed this task with the Robospanker in approximately 1 minute, 15 seconds, as documented in the video. In comparison, adjusting machine height on the Spank-O-Matic took approximately 7 seconds. Out of curiosity, I did try to adjust the Robospanker height without flipping it (not on video), and agree with the Robospanker manual warning:

"Do not try to adjust the height of the machine while the machine is standing upright. You will find it to be too heavy to hold up and remove the bolt."


Change for Floor Spanking

The Setup. The setup for this test is as follows. Each machine is fully assembled and set to any height (paddle distance from floor). The task is to perform all actions required to adjust the machine to spank a target lying on the floor.

Robospanker. Changing the Robospanker to spank a floor target requires several steps:

- Turn the machine on its side.

- Remove the angle brace by removing the bolted end from the leg, and pulling a pin from the opposite end. Put aside, not used.

- Remove the bolt holding the lower leg segement to upper leg segment.

- Remove the base assembly (attached to lower leg segment).

- Use two wrenches to remove bolt holding upper leg to frame.

- Move upper leg to alternate mounting location and bolt it there.

- Replace base assembly, securing with its bolt and wingnut.

- Bolt upper leg through original mount on frame to fix angle (I wasn't able to get this bolt fully in place).

- Place machine upright.

Spank-O-Matic. Changing the Spank-O-Matic to spank a floor target requires several steps:

- Use 1/4" hex key to loosen the SOM II pipe fitting.

- Rotate the machine head to the appropriate angle (swinging down).

- Tighten pipe fitting with hex key.

- Loosen two hand knobs on sliding mount.

- Slide mount to desired height near floor.

- Tighten two hand knobs on sliding mount.

Results. I performed this task with the Robospanker in approximately 2 minutes, 10 seconds, as documented in the video. In comparison, adjusting machine height on the Spank-O-Matic took approximately 10 seconds.


Power Comparison

The Setup. The setup for this test is designed to ensure a fair and accurate comparison of the relative striking power of the three machines, as it would be experienced by the end user. All strikes have been filmed from the same location and angle. The specific factors of this test are outlined below, with enough detail that someone could replicate the tests and results if desired.

- Each machine strikes an identical target, a core of Jo-Anne Fabrics foral foam measuring 3 x 4 x 8 inches supported on each side with a piece of 1/8" single layer cardboard from a Bodine motor box. The cardboard has been secured with spray glue. This target block provides the ideal characteristics for the test. There is no recovery in either cardboard or floral foam... it will hold an accurate depth of strike indefinitely. The materials crush consistently... if a strike is twice as hard, it will create a dent twice as deep. The materials are readily obtained to confirm the results.

- The two Robospanker machines strike their block three times, once for each power setting. This approach proves that the measured strike was in fact the "hard" setting on the machine. The SOM II machine strikes a single time, with full power on the control and 125 PSI incoming air pressure. While the machine is capable of 150 PSI input, the small compressor I used on this day is not. 150 PSI provides 20% more power than 125 PSI.

- Each block is clearly and uniquely marked with the machine name handwritten in ink, ensuring that no off-camera manipulation can take place. Each power setting used by the two Robospanker machines are individually marked.

- Each block is securely fixed to the same large, sturdy tree at a height convenient to the machine. The Robospanker machines are elevated for each the second and third stroke to create a dent in a fresh location on the block.

- Each machine is equipped with a "cane" of 1/2" steel round bar of a length identical to that machine's standard paddle: original Robospanker = 30", new Robospanker = 23-3/4", Spank-O-Matic = 33". Using a length identical to the standard equipment ensures that the same leverage applied to the user will be reflected against the target. The weight of the impliment is immaterial... we are measuring the power applied by the machine to the implement. While a lighter paddle will evidence greater speed, it also strikes with less momentum, a factor of both mass and speed.

- Each machine is set up identically. The striking surface of the cane is square to the target at the point of contact, and extends past the target by 1". Note that the new Robospanker rocked back significantly on the High setting due to instability of the single leg design, resulting in angled contact (you can see this in the measurement section of the video). The measurement to assess power was taken on the deeper side of the resulting notch, overestimating the power of the machine to a slight degree.

Assessment Criteria. The power of each machine is assessed by measuring the depth of the strike dent. Each dent is measured on the carboard, on the side farthest from the machine. The depth measured is proportionate to the power applied... twice the depth indicates twice the power.

Results. Original Robospanker = .375". New Robospanker = .375". Spank-O-Matic = 1". As noted in the video, there are two key findings in comparing the power of these three machines:

1 - The new Robospanker is NOT "40% more powerful" than the original Robospanker, as claimed by the manufacturer. The two machines have basically identical results in a direct power comparison. See below for a bit more analysis.

2 - The Spank-O-Matic II machine is more than 2.5 times more powerful than either Robospanker machine. The SOM II strikes much, much harder.


Is the Power Video Fake?

Robospanker would like you to think so... I suppose for a simple reason: if it's not fake, then they make up the claim that in the new version they "increase the power of the spank by nearly 40%." Well, the short answer is that nothing in the video is faked and they did make up their claim. Had their "40% more power" claim been based on actual testing, they would have responded to the video by explaining how they arrived at this figure. Instead, Robospanker says "The new version of the Robospanker has a much thicker tension band than the old version. This alone would produce more force." Well, no. A larger cross-section of rubber might or might not deliver more spanking power, but you certainly don't determine delivered power by looking at the rubberband. If you say the new Robospanker is more powerful, you're saying it'll swing any given implement with more power... and it does not.

The real reason the new Robospanker tests no more powerfully than the old is a major design flaw. The new Robospanker machine is very wobbly on its single telescoping leg, and totters back and forth as the stroke goes off. If you watch the comparison video and place your mouse over a notable point on each machine as it strikes (or review to composite pictures below) , you'll find that the original Robospanker barely moves because of its weight and stance, and all of its available power goes into striking the target. The Spank-O-Matic moves back a bit more and promptly returnes to its original position. The additional movement comes because the unit is lighter, but the very rigid stand minimizes it, directing almost all of the machine's extensive power into the target. The new Robospanker shoots backwards significantly, bobbles forward, back again... it moves all over because the jointed telescoping leg isn't rigid. The original movement backwards soaks up a larger portion of whatever power the rubberband generates, and that amount is not driven into the target.

The following shots for each machine illustrate the movement of the unit. Each picture includes two screen shots from the Power Comparison video, a pre-stroke view in the upper half and a during-stroke view in the lower half. The vertical red line displays a steady position referenced off the woods in the background. Note the substantial swaying from the new Robospanker, as displayed by the small round screw head indicated by the "Big Movement" lines. The entire head portion is pushed back by an inch or more, soaking up some of the limited power that makes the stroke.

Old Robospanker

New Robospanker

Spank-O-Matic II

The folks at Robospanker claim their new model is more powerful based on the thicker tarp strap and a shorter paddle. They don't deny that my comparison reflects the new rubberband, but state that "The new version also uses a much shorter paddle. This changes the leverage to the spank blow, and results in more power. Their video test fails to take that fact in to count." First, changing the length of the paddle does not change the power of the machine, any more than putting larger tires on a car makes it have more horsepower. The power of a machine is it's ability to do work, in a rotational system defined as the product of applied torque (force) and the angular velocity in radians of the point at which the spanking arm is pushed or pulled. If a spanking machine is "40% more powerful" then it swings ANY effector with 40% more power. However, the Robo-folks obviously aren't paying enough attention to the video. The new Robospanker WAS loaded with a shorter 1/2" diameter steel cane! In fact, each spanker was tested with an effector of length identical to that with which it ships to a customer, and a picture of these effectors with their noted length in inches is prominently featured in the video.

Update: Revealing Reaction

When the Power Comparison video first appeared, Robpospanker simply claimed that it was a lie... not about the massive power advantage of the SOM II, but the insignificant aside that the new and old Robospankers provided the same level of power into the target. When I provided the photos directly above illustrating the loss of power through their wobbly, unstable stand, they simply claimed that was a lie too, despite clear evidence screenshotted from live video. They say: "[I] posted a ton of photos on their website of the Robospanker trying to justify their claim." To be clear, I provided exactly the reason there's no change in output. Your wobbly single leg design.

So what is the "Revealing Reaction," you ask? It turns out that Robospanker realized full well that my observations were accurate, and denied this information only online and just for show. Behind the scenes, they quietly changed their design in an attempt to limit leg wobble. They added a small screw pinching the inner tube to limit its movement, one more thiing to mess with every time you change the height on their cumbersome machine. One does not fix something that is not a problem, so they obviously realize that their wobbly stand was in fact a source of lost power. Their public claims to the contrary are lies and that is proven unequivocably by their actions.


The Big Distraction

Robospanker has responded again and again to the Power Comparison video. In each case, they continue to employ a tactic of distraction. Where is their comparison of the Robospanker against the Spank-O-Matic? Where is their discussion of the functional advantages their machine offers to you, the buyer? What you read there is all about the power of the new versus old Robospanker, baloney about air compressors referencing links that don't support the claims, and a peppering of inspecific complaints about lies and deceptions.

As a customer contemplating the purchase of a new spanking machine, you probably realize that this is all a big distraction. You can't buy the old Robospanker, so its power level just doesn't matter. You are considering the Spank-O-Matic II and the current version of the Robospanker, the two possible spanking machines you might buy. Either is a significant investment in a product over the Internet, sight unseen, so you'd like to know as much as possible about these two options and how they compare. Please take a moment to re-read the Robospanker pages with this in mind and ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Do the Robo-folks claim that their machine outperforms the SOM II in any way, anywhere on their site? The answer is no, so they must agree with my many observations of superiority. They agree that the SOM II spanks both harder and softer, that it is more adjustable, that you have more control options or better ways to control it. They agree that the SOM II is the only machine you can connect to a computer or use over the Internet. They do not claim that the Robospanker is a better performer in any way, because it clearly is not.

2. Do the Robo-folks disagree with any of the Ease Of Use video comparisons between the current Robospanker and the SOM II? The answer is no, so they must agree with every such comparison depicted in the Spank-Off videos. They agree that it is much easier to change the striking power on the SOM II, that you must crawl around in the back of their machine to change its power, and that it takes perhaps 40 times longer to complete this task on their machine. They agree that it takes far longer to change the striking height of their machine (10x longer), or to convert it to vertical operation (13x longer). Do you want such a cumbersome, inconvenient machine?

3. Do the Robo-folks disagree that the SOM II is a far more powerful machine than theirs? Not only do they refrain from this claim, they continue to proudly note that they have not done any testing. They don't even want to know. They must agree with my testing results, that the SOM II is 2.5 times more powerful... when it is not even fully powered! You certainly will not find them claiming otherwise.

4. Based on their tactics, do you trust the people behind the Robospanker? Are they honest and forthright, straightforward about the strengths and weaknesses of their product, do they evidence integrity?

A key point to my mind is this. Robospanker continues to proudly note that they have not tested the power of their machine against the Spank-O-Matic. Why not? Why would they rather distract the person considering a purchase of the SOM II or the Robospanker, by talking ONLY about the RS vs. RS part of this video? If they think their machine hits as hard, let's see it. I can make this video over and over, a hundred different ways, and the SOM II will be massively more powerful than the RS every time because IT IS FAR MORE POWERFUL! Babble on about claims of lying all you'd like, boys. You've been spanked, good and proper. ;)

Learn: SOM II

See: Video of the SOM II
Control: Take Control of the SOM II
Hear: Testimonials for the SOM II
Compare: SOM II vs. the Competition
Understand: Pneumatics for Spanking Power
Enlighten: Find Truth Through the Competition's Lies


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