Team of four wage war against robots

A TEAM of Robot Wars enthusiasts had their skills put to the test as they competed in the TV programme’s new series.

Brighton-based team The Swarm appeared in the first episode of the brand new series last night to take on a host of new challenges.

The team of four includes captain Ian Watts, 57, a university lecturer, schoolboy Sam Watts, 13, hat-maker and supplier Mike Hamilton-Macy and university student Ryan Pratt, 27.

The show’s co-host Dara O’Briain said: “Years and years of their lives are spent devising their robots.

“They have to go up the weight rankings, starting with tiny little micro versions of the robots you see, that all flip or spin and they fight in little arenas.

“Then they just get heavier and heavier and heavier until you get to the proper heavyweight ones.

“These teams spend their lives surrounded by robots, devising them and honing their design.”

This series will have thirty teams battling it out to take the title, with a few old favourites alongside new teams fighting in the purpose-built bullet-proof Robot Wars arena in Glasgow.

Teams competing in the first episode faced a brand new arena hazard called The Fog of War, which temporarily fills the arena with smoke, leaving players vulnerable to sneak attacks from the house robots and their opponents.

The series also features an all new competition format, with a robot redemption round, plus the biggest battle in Robot Wars history, the ten robot rumble.

In the first episode The Swarm were pitted against five other teams, including previous champions Apollo returned to try and reclaim their crown.

Angela Scanlon, co-host alongside Mr O’Brien, said: “This series myself and Dara are much more involved in the action, we’re in the faces of competitors as they leave the arena, crying.

“We’re in the trenches showing viewers the destruction up close.

“We’re right in there, stuck in the action and hope that viewers will feel the energy that is so palpable in that warehouse.

“Yes, it’s a competition but the teams very kindly help each other in the pits, then they march to the arena and destroy each other’s robots and dreams.”

Commentator Jonathan Pearce will guide viewers through the series as each team takes on one another as well as house robots Dead Metal, Matilda, Shunt, and Sir Killalot.

The grand final features the heat winners of the previous five episodes – alongside the winner of the ten robot rumble – returning to battle for this season’s Robot Wars trophy.