As you’re probably aware by now, Robot Wars is due to return to BBC2 later this year, and has started shooting in it’s new, purpose-built fighting arena, in Glasgow. Today the BBC released a bunch of new info about the series, so here’s what we know so far.
Who is Presenting?
Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon host the brand new series of Robot Wars with commentary from the legendary Jonathan Pearce who returns from the original series with his inimitable take on the robot battles.
“Since the announcement that Robot Wars was returning, people are genuinely excited for it coming back.” comments Scanlon. “Fans aren’t like ‘oh it’s just another reboot’ but ‘oh my god we’ve been waiting for this for 15 years and literally cannot wait!’ So yes, and hopefully we don’t mess it up, there is a really big love for the show.”
Are The House Robots Back?
Yes! And they’ve had some upgrades! “One major thing about the new Robot Wars is that if you put any of the old House Robots in the pit with the ones that feature now, they would last about eight seconds because things have moved on.” comments Dara O Briain. “The House Robots grip harder than they used to, they smash further, they move quicker, they are terrifyingly bigger and heavier than the first time round. But then, aren’t we all?”
DEAD METAL – Now heavier, weighing in at 343kg (Old weight was 112kg) and has a speed of 13mph. His upgrades include a circular saw which rotates at 4000rpm and is 450mm wide, and CO2 power driven pincers which are 1.4m wide with 300kg grip.
SIR KILLALOT – Weighing in at 741kg (Old weight was 520kg), with his speed doubled from 5mph to 10mph, and has some nasty new weapons, the daddy of the house robots is a force to be reckoned with! He now sports a rotating drill lance and jaws which open to 700mm wide, and hydraulic claws with 2.5 tonnes of crush force. Each arm can lift 300kg (the weight of almost three competitor robots), and he’s covered in super strong Armox armour!
MATILDA – Also has put on weight, coming in at 350kg (Old weight was 116kg), and a huge speed increase, from 8mph to 14mph. She has pneumatic flipping tusks, a vertical flywheel weapon weighing 35kg which spins 25 times per second, and her head is powered by CO2, allowing her to lift 1.5 tonnes!
SHUNT – The bulldozer of the bunch has increased in weight from 105kg to 327kg, and with a speed of 11mph, that’s not something you want heading towards you! The front ramming plough and a rear bucket scoop with high pushing power and can lift 350kg, and he’s armed with a CO2 powered Titanium axe which fires at the speed of 0.25 seconds! He also has a shiny new high torque drive has enough power to tow a van!
Where Are The Fights Taking Place?
The new battleground is a purpose-built fighting arena based in Glasgow. It’s 20m x 20m squared, and 7m high. It contains 27,864 screws, 18,547 bolts, and took 360 litres of paint to cover it! There are 16 tonnes of polycarbonate (bulletproof glass) in the roof, and 16.5 tonnes of steel in the flooring!
Who Are The Judges?
In the event of a tie, the winner is decided by 3 judges, and these people really know their stuff!
Doctor Lucy Rogers is a doctor of Mechanical Engineering and owner of engineering consultancy, Makertorium Ltd, also business and technology communications specialist and author of It’s Only Rocket Science.
Professor Noel Sharkey is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Sheffield University. Prof Sharkey is the only judge to appear in every series of Robot Wars, and is also a co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics.
Professor Sethu Vijayakumar is a world-renowned roboticist, and Director at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics in the School of Informatics at University of Edinburgh.
What Are The Rules?
In each round of the competition, the robots will fight in a timed battle. The winner will be decided by either a ‘knockout’ or if there is no clear winner once the time runs out, a panel of three expert judges will agree on a ‘judge’s decision’.
There are three ways to win by a knockout:
1. Flipping an opponent out of the arena into the surrounding trench.
2. Manoeuvring your opponent into the ‘pit’ hazard inside the arena.
3. Immobilising your opponent for 10 seconds through extensive damage or your opponent breaks down and is therefore not able to continue.
In the event that a battle goes to a judges’ decision, the judges will award a win based on the following three criteria:
1. Damage – causing clear damage to an opponent both visually and internally.
2. Aggression – consistently taking the battle to its opponents.
3. Control – demonstrating good driving skills and weapon accuracy throughout the battle.
Each category will be scored from one to five and the scores are weighted to reflect their importance as follows:
Aggression x 3, Damage x 2, and Control x 1
This will result in an overall score and the robot with the highest overall score wins the battle.