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Three …two …one…ACTIVATE!

A new series of Robot Wars is starting on Saturday (8 pm BBC2), and geeks, budding engineers, and a lot of very noisy children will be having a smashing time of it as the arena is once again home to 30 fighting robots of every possible design.

Patrolling their home ground as usual will be ‘house robots’ Sir Killalot, Matilda, Dead Metal and Shunt, and this time contestants will have to wage battle with a new hazard – the Fog of War. Fighting in the arena is bad enough when you can see what you’re doing, but trying to make the most of your armoury when your robot is clouded in mist is a handicap too far.  Presenters Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon will be on hand as usual as will eminent judges:

– Professor Noel Sharkey (Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Sheffield University, and a co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics)

– Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, a world-renowned roboticist, and Director at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics at the University of Edinburgh.

and Doctor Lucy Rogers, Doctor of Mechanical Engineering and owner of robotics building company, Makertorium, as well as the author of Its Only Rocket Science.

Lead judge Noel has admitted to being a very reluctant participant in the original series but is now a convert:

“I meet engineers all the time that say Robot Wars changed their lives and set them on the path to engineering. It certainly changed my life and the way I looked at education. But it was probably the competitors who most inspired me. Like me, they were the rebels, the trouble makers and the comedians. Many were the kind of naughty kids who, like myself, did not get on in the school system. Like me, they were the rebels, the trouble makers and the comedians. Today they’re the very smart people in our factories and our trades.”

Have  look at the The Robot Wars website for dozens of metal-crunching clips.