View Poll Results: Should we develop and bring back Robot Wars

30. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes,as it was

    3 10.00%
  • Yes,but with a redeveloped format

    21 70.00%
  • No, it's had its time

    6 20.00%
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Thread: What next for Robot Wars & bringing it back

  1. #1

  2. #2
    One of things I noticed only just the other day was the huge LACK of robots in the later series of Robot Wars.
    Even I got bored and stopped watching around Season 5 and I realised this was because in Season 1 the show was only 30mins, but you got to see 6 robots competing in a variety of formats every week.
    I watched an episode of Extreme the other day, 1 hour and I saw 4 robots, soooo much talking too!
    With the first 3 seasons lots of shots of the pits, people working on robots, close ups on the inners etc...
    It also had much more rustic charm, the later ones just seemed too fake.

    Just my 2 pennies.

  3. #3
    Sums my feelings on it up in a nutshell, cheers PJ

    The other thing that got to me about the show later on was just how much stuff they were willing to stick the RW logo on. Replica toys and such I can understand, but I feel the just tried to squeeze too much money out of the brand through merchandise. Brands such as Star Wars, that stretch back decades, can get away with it (they're still churning out Phantom Menace stuff in some of the latest store catalogues) but RW couldn't, in my opinion anyway.

    That description of the earlier shows feeling rustic, exactly! It was only when I re-watched Series 1 and 2 recently on Youtube that I realised how much that feel was lacking from the later series'. Things like the Trial games, Craig's introductory speeches and little quips here and there just completed it nicely.

    So yeah, if it was to come back in some way, shape or form, I'd like to see a return to games and assault courses, in addition to battles of course. Promotes the importance of good driving and things such as ramps and 'cattle grids' could help deter a ground-scraping wedge culture. Also, less WWE style trash-talk, more technical coverage of the robots. If it can educate while entertaining, it's much more beneficial.

  4. #4
    Just to add to that, I don't see such a program coming back as Robot Wars. It is a format that is known for what it was and has had its time on screen.

    A new programme would have to have a new name, new approach and fresh feel in order to stand a chance of succeeding. And while I'm quietly pessimistic about a show of that scale ever actually making it back on to television, anything that promotes the sport in a positive way and encourages new people to get involved is to be supported.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I voted yes, with a new format, by which I mean returning to the core of the sports that you got to see glimpses of in the earlier series' of RW. The later shows were brilliant too but they were more that than anything, a show.

    I can't say autonomous machines strikes me as an obvious direction to take the sport, as very few roboteers have ever gone there. I can name just one fully autonomous machine, and it's in the US and still being developed. I believe one of the main attractions for most of us is actually being at the controls of the robots, and by moving partially or entirely to AI, the TV companies might take more of an interest but the hobbyists themselves might be put off. Plus, I can't imagine the robots would be as impressive as piloted machines, which with today's tech would be even more extreme than in series 7.

    Just slightly playing devils advocate^, but as far as I'm concerned do please keep looking into the TV possibilities. Whatever the format, there is an absolute mountain of learning material in this hobby, I think there is no question that education would benefit greatly from joining in.

  7. #7

    Newbie here. Never built a robot, maybe never will (but I plan to try, starting with asking some questions on this forum)

    But as a fan for many, many years, the TV show is sorely missed.

    I'm quite sure it WOULD need a new lease of life to make it back onto prime-time. But I think a major part of the problem in terms of viewing figures was the lack of innovation.

    Safety regs are of course necessary, and so is fairness. But seeing 20 wedges flip each other for hours-on-end does not inspire new generations of students, families, kids, designers, teams..

    What is wanted is the mayhem and violence that is promised, as a vehicle for the genuine education and exploration of ideas that lies behind it all. And THAT requires teams to be very free to come up with mad, nasty, metal-munching, devious tactics and weapons etc. Which in turn would require some very, very serious money put into a completely safe arena and protected audience. It isn't gonna happen that way.

    But lets not also forget that TV is probably going to have to re-think itself in the next 5 years anyway. If sponsorship and advertising could garner enough money to make a success out of a purely online approach, then what's stopping it?

  8. #8
    Well, if James Cameron's show gets off the ground properly, this sort of robot combat will be back on the air in a pretty big way, but I think I really must disagree with you when it comes to innovation.

    The big problem in the UK right now is that spinners aren't allowed at the heavyweight level due to the arena ceilings not being able to handle them. The sort of money that a television show would bring in would probably fix that (especially considering that one of the reasons the current UK arenas can't handle the spinners is due to the need for portability), and you'd start seeing a full range of robots again.

    Also, I think it is worth pointing out that what drives innovation in this sort of contest is the arms race created when somebody comes up with an otherwise off-the-wall idea. If you asked me the two most important robots in the UK robot wars, I'd say Chaos 2 and Hypnodisc, no contest. Both of them were obsolete by the end of the television series, but it was thanks to them that a lot of the armour and robot weapons developed as they did. So, that sort of innovation is not something you can really impose from the outside - you need another Hypnodisc or Chaos 2 to force roboteers to react. And that requires the enthusiastic participants.

    (Oh yes - and welcome to the forum, fellow fan!)

  9. #9
    Cheers Garwulf.

    We agree that innovation is the driving force for success. But are you sure there is room for such innovation under current regs? (and again, this isn't a whinge; I recognise the need for such regs) Most of the innovation we see now is under the bonnet since we ended-up with 3 main bot types (brick, wedge, spinner) with the exception of tin-openers such as Razor who also deserves a place in the pantheon of game-changing ideas.

    It's great coming-up with new, spinner-proof armour for example, but it doesn't change the nature of the bot. For the onlooker, it's just the same bot as ever before.

    It's about creating a spectacle.

    I agree about the arena making a difference, certainly. But I doubt we'll see this on tv again until we having something brand-new for audiences. Even Dr Who's come-back came with some major format changes.

    Could we have aquatic and aerial divisions? (Yeah, I can see how tough that would be too, but brainstorming here) and I personally would like to see more walkers now materials have moved-on a bit (That's what I plan to work-on!)#


  10. #10
    Interesting point about walkers, I have two, (links below) the rules for walkers have been recently tightened up to such a level they are not illegal but now not practical, under the two degrees of movement clause both the robots on the videos would be technically shufflers, and would not be allowed any weight allowances. Perhaps in the future we may get something to work on say walker against walker fights but until then we can only talk of what might have been.

    Never Mess With THE SAINT

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