Why The Time is Right For a Robot Wars Revival

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Robot Wars is going to make a grand return to our living rooms, with BBC 2 set to televise six 60-minute episodes later this year. We’re hopeful that the show will stay true to its origins, in which amateur-built robotic fighting machines essentially tore each other to shreds.

With very few details of the revamped show in circulation, we’ve taken the opportunity to get ahead of ourselves and fantasise about what could be on the cards.

Combat in the Skies

Yeah, baby. If anything demonstrates just how far technology has come over recent years, it’s the drone. Finally, ordinary folk will be able to do all the bad stuff we’re specifically banned from doing with drones. Sir Killalot wouldn’t stand a chance against a ruthlessly-accurate missile-plopper, hovering just out of reach of that claw.

The prospect of drone-on-drone warfare is even more tantalising. It would be like watching a pair of eagles go at in mid-air, before one of them inevitably crashes to the ground and shatters into a million prices. Slo-mo lovers will be wetting themselves. Ahh, we can almost hear the terrorism alerts already.

Raspberry Pi Magic

You can pretty much do anything with a Raspberry Pi and, fortunately for publications like this one, people are. Take a look at PiBot, for instance. It may look all friendly and innocent, but in the right hands it could be transformed into a grease-thirsty lunatic.

Best of all, since it’s cheap, any Tom, Dick or Harry could have a go at creating their very own monster, while learning a thing or two about computing along the way. Thanks to Robot Wars, the government may uncover the stream of evil talent it’s been demanding for years.

AI Experiments

Okay, this one's ambitious, but bear with us. Thanks to Kinetik and Formula E, the first ROBORACE is set to take place later this year, with artificial intelligence-controlled vehicles set to do battle on real racing tracks. An AI category would be frighteningly entertaining, though we are of course holding out for more than just a bunch of speedy vehicles. One for season two of Robot Wars reloaded, perhaps?

A Roman Throwback

Remember the hunts and battles they used to stage at the Colosseum? We’d love to see a slightly less disturbing version, involving rubbish robots attacking each other/running away. Seriously, picture something as awkward-looking as the BigDog robot desperately trying to escape a pack of overgrown BB-8-looking thugs armed with crowbars and attitude.

Techie Tinkerer Tech

As technology has become more widespread and accessible, we've seen a huge growth in the popularity of DIY-type sites, such as Lifehacker. There's a huge scene that's been built around tech tinkering, and it would be great for people to see first-hand the ways in which amateurs can tweak and improve existing products.


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