It’s a great pleasure we have been invited back to Robots Live! at the National Museum of Flight on Sunday 17 June 2012. We’ll be bringing some of the mechanical monsters from television’s Robot Wars to fight it out live underneath the iconic Concorde. As well as the 100kg Heavyweight robots you’ve seen on the television, we’ll have their smaller relations the Featherweights, weighing in at 13.8kg.
We will also have the unique Boxing robots, standing at 1.82metres tall. These machines will stand toe-to-toe in an all out robot boxing match – there only two heavyweight boxing robots in the world. Joining the combat robots will be our resident mechanoid ‘Sidewinder’ and his popular friend the Dalek. You can also have a go at driving a robot on our ‘Cyberball’.
We’ve been running events since 2001, and built our custom fighting arena in 2007. We’ll be bringing along the 8×8 metre arena complete with hydraulic pit. The arena stage is constructed out of steel sections and a 30mm thick wooden floor. Around this is a self-climbing trussing structure that supports the suspended polycarbonate screening: this makes sure no flying shrapnel (or robots!) can leave the arena.
Even though this is only a one day event, preparations begin weeks in advance: all the robots are serviced and any repairs done. As we are based about 300 miles away in the East Midlands, we will load the vehicles on the Friday and start the journey up to Scotland. We usually arrive at the National Museum of Flight around lunchtime, just in time to pop in to the excellent Aviator Café for some food. Once we’re all filled up we start with the set-up. It’s an excellent venue for us as the loading is very easy and we have the amazing Concorde as a backdrop. It normally takes around six hours to set up the arena with a crew of eight.
On the day of event we don’t normally get a moment to rest – between each show we’ll be busy fixing robots, charging the batteries, filling the gas bottles and talking to interested visitors. I have several roles during the shows. First, to ‘Tech Check’ all of the robots – this is a safety check on the robots to make sure they comply with the rules and regulations and that they have all of the safety systems fitted and working.
Whilst the show is on I will be ‘Arena Marshall’, responsible for the loading of the robots into the arena but more importantly making sure they are armed up safely and at the end of the fight that they are dis-armed safely as well. Should there be any issues during a fight I will be on hand with a fire extinguisher! I will also be operating the sound and lighting, whilst driving some of the robots. For the last two years I have hosted the show as well, but thankfully this year we have our resident presenter, Ed Hoppitt, coming along. He is the Team Captain of Team Storm, who are the current Robot Wars World Champions with their robot Storm 2.
We’ll be running 3-4 shows during the day, each lasting around 40 minutes. Each show will be of the same format with two heavyweight fights, a featherweight fight and a boxing match, although each fight will be different, so well worth coming to as many shows as you can!
For more information on Robots Live you can visit our website; www.robotslive.co.uk you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive behind the scenes information and pictures; www.facebook.com/robotsliveshow and www.twitter.com/robotslive.