Norwich to host fighting robots

Kim BriscoeRobots attack!Kim Briscoe

Robots attack!

That will be the cry coming from a Norwich sports hall after a father and son Robot Wars team helped set up the biggest robotic event to come to the city.

The Robots Live weekend at the University of East Anglia Sportspark will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care and will feature some of the well-known machines from the Robot Wars television series.

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 champions Storm 2.

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

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 when it was still running.

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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 single major competition at least once.

Robert, 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 battles and challenges to ensure their team progresses through the heats on Saturday to the grand final on Sunday afternoon.

As well as the 100kg machines in the main competition, the audience will also get to see the featherweights. 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 organisers 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, weighing in at over four tonnes, is surrounded by bullet-proof polycarbonate screening and contains its own weapons including the floor flipper and the dreaded pit.

Team Iron-Awe are also running a drawing competition for local schools to win free tickets to the event.

The overall winner will be picked at the 11am show on Sunday 23 and will win a visit to their school from Iron-Awe to run a workshop.

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 online at

Do you have a story about an event? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email