BBC2 have recently announced a revival of the best 90s sport of all: Robot Wars. Today’s grown-ups will look back in fondness at the days of remote-controlled robots trying to flip each other into the iron clutches of Sir Killalot, all while Craig Charles looks on at the orgy of destruction below.
However, the field of robotics has come so far since the days of those R/C cars on steroids that the show needs to adapt or be left in the dust by real world innovations. Fortunately, we have 5 new robot categories that would make the new Robot Wars hype as fuck:
5. Aerial Drones
A fringe military project during the classic show’s run, today drones are used for everything from bomb disposal to Amazon deliveries. A Robot Wars show being made in the 2010s would be remiss if it didn’t include some kind of aerial destruction category.
Imagine battle drones going one-on-one or acting as air support in a team battle, expanding the field of play into 3-dimensions. This is exactly the right time as there are loads of quadcopter enthusiasts here and abroad, and the addition of aerial drones would make every show a true Robot War.
In future societies, giving a gun to a robot may be recorded as the greatest mistake we ever made before our inevitable destruction. Still, there’s no reason we can’t make our armed usurpers battle for our entertainment in the meantime.
The new Robot Wars arena in Glasgow is “literally bullet-proof”, which to me is code for “our robots will literally have guns and shoot each other” and a truly ranged element is something the show has never really had before. Bring on the robot gun battles!
Back in the 90s, most walker bots were a slow-moving joke that almost always got trounced by their wheeled counterparts. However, since then companies like Boston Dynamics have been pushing the boundaries of robotic locomotion.
We now share a planet with bots like Wildcat up there, which can gallop at speeds of up to 29mph. That means only one thing in my book: Robot Wars Jousting.
Traditionally, Robot Wars has been one machine against the other, but what if we expanded that? Robotics scientists are now creating swarms of tiny robots with a community intelligence, able to cooperate and form structures.
Imagine a battle between rival swarms, hundreds vs hundreds in a miniature battle adapting and reforming to each other. Better yet, we could see a Gulliver’s Travels style crossover battle between a regular robot and a roboswarm trying to take the bigger one down like an army of angry ants. Holy shit!
1. Robot Cars
Forget miniature robots and take everyone out to the car park for a life-size robot battle! Remotely controllable and self-driving cars are one of the other big innovations of today, and a car category would let Robot Wars realise everybody’s dreams of a no holds barred Mad Max style demolition derby without endangering any drivers inside.
Just don’t pit them against any of the other categories!