Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Robot Wars is Back!

Robot Wars is coming back to the UK after a long break, just like BattleBots came back to the US last year. Not sure who's more excited in our house, the parents or the kids. It looks like Robot Wars will take the Top Gear slot on a Sunday evening.

My partner and I watched the original Robot Wars. Our kids are now watching the old episodes in preparation for the new series. We've also just been to see a fabulous Robots Live! event where we got to see some familiar and new robots in some amazing battles.

The new series was filmed in Glasgow and from the trailer and what we saw at Robots Live! it's going to be exciting stuff.

As you would expect, the technology has moved on since the original robots. Getting enough battery power is less of a problem, there's a lot more power, and of course there's more experience to build on. Some of the roboteers have really got the hang of flipping their opponents! It's great when we find an activity that parents and kids genuinely enjoy.

At Robots Live! we took the VIP option and got a tour of the pits during the interval. Well worth it! We loved seeing the robots up close and being able to see what's inside them (and all the dents!) and we got to go into the Robots Live! arena and see how battered it is. Robot building and battling has continued while Robot Wars has been off-screen. I think we'll see an increase in this hobby when the show returns.

My kids certainly want to build their own battling robots. The younger one wants serious weapons, but they'll be starting with something a little safer and less damaging to the furniture! We've ordered some cheap Wifi robot bases plus servos for our first attempt. My boys have been busy designing their robots based on what they've seen in the old episodes and the live show. We also like the idea of building our own house robots. We'll let you know how we get on!

We do have a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot, Mindstorms is often used for Sumo-style battles. These battles usually involve robots that are programmed to be autonomous rather than remote controlled by a human. My 9 year old is very attached to the robot he has built with Mindstorms and not keen on dismantling it or fighting with it! But I'm sure we'll try this is the future.

If you're in the US HexBug are bringing out toys to tie in with BattleBots including remote control fighting robots in an arena. It would be great if we got those for Robot Wars in the UK too.

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