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Meet the country's best robot fighting family who just love making killing machines

PUBLISHED: 18:35 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:35 02 October 2019

On the right Gilbert Grimm with his son Rob and their winning robot, Iron-Awe. Picture Jamie Honeywood

On the right Gilbert Grimm with his son Rob and their winning robot, Iron-Awe. Picture Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A father and son team who starred on Robot Wars have been declared the UK's top robot fighters after winning at last weekend's championships.

Inside the Iron-Awe robot. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodInside the Iron-Awe robot. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Gilbert Grimm from Broome near Bungay is a packaging engineer who uses his knowledge to design killer robots in his spare time.

With his son, Rob, Mr Grimm has been competing for 17 years.

He said: "It all started when I was watching Robot Wars on TV with my son, and he said I could make a better robot than the one on TV, so I did.

"I'm a skilled engineer, currently working as a part time maintenance engineer, but I've done all sorts of equipment doing installations and packaging machinery.

"By the time we got our first robot built, Iron-Awe, we missed series 3 and started in series 4."

It wasn't until the third version of Iron-Awe that the Grimm family won any 'significant' competitions.

On the right Gilbert Grimm with his son Rob and their winning robot, Iron-Awe. Picture Jamie Honeywood On the right Gilbert Grimm with his son Rob and their winning robot, Iron-Awe. Picture Jamie Honeywood

But now they have "so many trophies it's unbelievable."

Mr Grimm's grandson, William, who is three, has now joined the family team as he has become interested in robotics.

The family have also recruited an old friend from Birmingham as their driver, Shane Lale.

The Iron-Awe team workshop in Broome. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe Iron-Awe team workshop in Broome. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Grimm said: "Iron-Awe 5 was the one we did very well with, it became the UK champion in 2008 and again in 2010. And now it's Iron-Awe 6 which has become the champion."

At the Fighting Robots Association (FRA), the Grimm family came third last year and second the year before that.

Mr Grimm said: "So this time we thought it was time to do the job properly.

On the right Gilbert Grimm with his son Rob and their winning robot, Iron-Awe. Picture Jamie HoneywoodOn the right Gilbert Grimm with his son Rob and their winning robot, Iron-Awe. Picture Jamie Honeywood

"The robot we had in the final was the Robot Wars champion, it was the robot called Eruption, and he had been winning everything.

"I specifically modified my robot thinking about beating him this year."

There are 26 entrants to the heavyweight FRA championships which sees robots up to 110kg battle.

The Iron-Awe team workshop in Broome. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodThe Iron-Awe team workshop in Broome. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Grimm said: "It's a great time to get involved in this, we're on the verge of seeing a lot better equipment available, but the old school robots are still best.

"It's a great way to get children interested in engineering - it's a great route."

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