Norwich set for major robots event

Kim BriscoeA father and son Robot Wars team are helping to host the biggest robotic event to come to Norwich. The Robots Live weekend at the University of East Anglia Sportspark will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care and will see some of the well-known machines from the Robot Wars television series come to the city.Kim Briscoe

A father and son Robot Wars team are helping to host the biggest robotic event to come to Norwich.

The Robots Live weekend at the University of East Anglia Sportspark will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care and will see some of the machines from the Robot Wars television series come to the city.

The event, on Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23, will be the first team championships event for robots and will include television favourites such as Behemoth, Bigger Brother, Tornado and Robot Wars world champion Storm 2.

Robert Grimm, 36, from Heartsease Lane, Norwich, and his father Gilbert, 61, who lives near Wisbech, are helping to organise the event.


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With Gilbert's engineering know-how, the pair created their first version of robot Iron-Awe about 10 years ago and featured on the Robot Wars programme.

Their robot Iron-Awe 5 is one of the most successful robots ever. The 2008 UK champion has the most powerful flipper on the circuit and has dominated the UK robot scene for the last three years, winning every major competition at least once.

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Robert Grimm, a database analyst for Aviva, said: "It's great fun and very challenging because you are designing and building the robot, then fighting with it and it takes time for your robot to evolve and for you to improve it.

"It's also a great way to get children involved in engineering.

"It should be a really good weekend as it is the first team championships and we will be brining back some of the games from the early series of Robot Wars such as pinball, tag team and air hockey."

With up to six heavyweight robots in each of the four teams, the robots will have to work together to complete a series of battles and challenges to ensure their team progresses through the heats on the Saturday to the grand final on the Sunday afternoon.

As well as the 100kg machines in the main competition, the audience will also get to see the feather-weights. These 13kg machines can pack a punch that belies their size.

With anywhere up to 18 robots in the arena at a time, the house robot Battle-Axe will be keeping guard during these fights.

As well as the fighting machines, Skeletron, from BBC television's Technogames, will be making an appearance in his car before climbing to the top of a 10-metre rope.

Other highlights at the event, which is being staged with leading robotic combat organiser Robots Live, include humanoid robots interacting with the audience, a Dalek and pneumatically powered boxing robots.

Robots Live will be bringing a massive touring arena which contains its own weapons including the floor flipper and the dreaded pit.

The event will be split into four shows. Tickets for each show are �8 for children, �12 for adults, �35 for a family ticket, and are available from UEA Sportspark on 0844 870 0000 or from www.robotslive.co.uk.

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