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Robot Wars Returns - Sunday 8pm BBC2


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That wooden robot was hilarious, it's just a shame that it didn't last long enough to accidentally run over the flame grill things.

 

I strongly suspect that the production has had some kind of Top Gear-style high-level edict that Robot Wars is too male-focused, and that teams have to have women involved, which has the effect of making it seem even more sexist because the women's involvement with the actual design and operation of the robots is so tenuous.

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I don't mind the interviews, showing the people behind the robot makes it more interesting, especially when it's a knobber (e.g. foxic) as it makes their demise much more entertaining.

I really thought that this series would be dominated by spinners but so far they've all been either fragile and not able to handle their own power or too slow to spin up.

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I thought the technological developments of the intervening years were meant to have made things more exciting? I mean, I wasn't exactly expecting ground bots vs drones (dream - net launchers; Reality - robots buzzing around impotently, unable or unwilling to interact with each other), but it's pretty much the same as it ever was.

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I liked the new* Dantomkia captain. He was fairly clearly playing the heel but he did it with some charisma, unlike the Foxic driver whose attempt fell flat. I think Foxic guy didn't grasp that you actually have to be quite likeable to be a good heel.

 

I agree with what was said upthread about Dara O'Briain. I like him but I'm not sure I like his tone on this show - he's almost a bit too condescending about some of the less impressive robots. Craig Charles sold it 100%, like building fighting robots was the single noblest endeavour in human history, and I think it made it that bit more fun. Pearce still tries his best, of course.

 

Prompted by the comments on this thread, I've also been watching the current series of Battlebots USA. The differences are really interesting - BB appears to have a much higher production budget, for one thing, but also the different rules have a huge effect. For example, the BB rules explicitly say that each robot must have at least one primary offensive weapon that looks like it can do damage to an opponent. Simple pushers aren't allowed, and if your offensive weapon fails or is disabled then any further 'attacks' you make (eg by ramming your opponent) will be classed as defensive manoeuvres and won't net you any attacking points on the judges' scorecards.

 

It makes sense in BB because there's no pit or house robots and the arena hazards are fairly limited (a hammer and some spinning saw blades are about the height of it).

 

Spinners remain arguably the best for sheer destruction but I think last night highlighted how hard they are to drive due to gyroscopic precession. If you've ever held a spinning hard drive in your hand you'll have some experience of this already.

 

* The Dantomkia robot and name were sold to an entirely new team at some point since the end of the old Robot Wars series.

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1 hour ago, Mr Cochese said:

I thought the technological developments of the intervening years were meant to have made things more exciting? I mean, I wasn't exactly expecting ground bots vs drones (dream - net launchers; Reality - robots buzzing around impotently, unable or unwilling to interact with each other), but it's pretty much the same as it ever was.

 

Noel Sharkey made a bit of a fuss about that at the top of this season but I think it was overstated.

 

I read an interview with Ian Lewis from Team Razer (who are now competing on Battlebots with a robot called Warhead) and he said really the main thing is the batteries - in the old days they were essentially limited to lead acid, nowadays you can get much more power for less weight with lithium batteries.

 

Which in practice means the robots can haul more armour around, possibly a bit faster.

 

But then of course you get stuff like last night:

 

Spoiler

King Buxton trying to put too much power through the drivetrain and bursting their chain.

 

Actually don't they have form for that kind of thing? I seem to recall previous versions of that machine going on fire for largely the same reason.

 

 

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4 hours ago, K said:

I strongly suspect that the production has had some kind of Top Gear-style high-level edict that Robot Wars is too male-focused, and that teams have to have women involved, which has the effect of making it seem even more sexist because the women's involvement with the actual design and operation of the robots is so tenuous.

 

Is this really true though? I've watched the first two eps so far, and only the first one had a few teams with women in it, episode 2 was completely male, with one bloke mentioning his mother designed their teamwear but she never appeared in the video.

 

 

I felt sorry for poor lone wolf Thor, dominating it, then got completely mullered on the rematch.

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I just caught up. I have no idea why there isn't a rule "you need to have built it, not bought it from someone who made a good robot then lost interest" as that seems fully against the spirit of the show.

 

Still not keen on Dara's approach, either. 

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On 15 August 2016 at 11:31, JohnC said:

I did enjoy Apollo taking out house robots.

 

PP3D should have come out on top, but two serious design flaws - the disc was too low, and the wheels were very vulnerable.

Apollo has got a very strong flipper, interesting to see if it stays reliable in the Grand Final.

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I can't see Apollo making it through whatever the next stage is. Although its flipper was good, it seemed way too vulnerable. Kept grounding out and bring fixed on the spot.

 

What was the point of Storm 2? They bang on about how expensive it was, then all it did was drive forwards.

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I wasn't a regular watcher of old Robot Wars. Were exposed wheels such a massive vulnerability back then? They certainly seem to be a big issue this series, the downfall of a few robots, and I'd have thought they'd have learned from the old show unless they weren't back then.

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When Apollo did their boy band pose I thought "oh do fuck off". Then they put in that performance despite obvious technical issues and yeah, loved it!

Was the final filmed at the same time or would they have been given chance to fix those kind of things? As long as no one can do a Tornado I think being able to work on making your robot more reliable should be allowed

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44 minutes ago, wev said:

Was the final filmed at the same time or would they have been given chance to fix those kind of things?

 

They did a pilot filming on a Tuesday in early march, then filmed the entire thing over 7 days the following week.

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Thats what I thought, will be interesting to see how teams with obvious weaknesses (like Apollo) overcome them, if indeed they do.

 

I did notice that none of tonights flipper teams mentioned the cold at all

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3 hours ago, JohnC said:

I wasn't a regular watcher of old Robot Wars. Were exposed wheels such a massive vulnerability back then? They certainly seem to be a big issue this series, the downfall of a few robots, and I'd have thought they'd have learned from the old show unless they weren't back then.

 

I think there are more spinners nowadays. Back in the day I can only really think of Hypnodisc. Hammers, axes and flippers aren't going to do a whole lot of damage to exposed wheels, but they're a liability against spinners. 

 

34 minutes ago, wev said:

Thats what I thought, will be interesting to see how teams with obvious weaknesses (like Apollo) overcome them, if indeed they do.

 

I did notice that none of tonights flipper teams mentioned the cold at all

 

I'm sure Apollo mentioned that their flipper had only been working at about half power because of a combination of a stuck valve and the cold in the arena. 

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Must have missed that, my 12 year old daughter gets rather excited when we watch it :) (she asked me tonight if I knew how to build a robot, she was rather dissappointed when I said I didn't :( )

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Storm was rubbish, they kept talking up its cost and multiple weapon system and it just seemed like they attached something the size you'd find on swiss army knife, all of which were totally ineffective.

 

Loved Apollo, don't know what made it better than any other flipper as the design was nothing unique, but they certainly went for it

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The latest episode had another token female team member, this time introduced as an "aesthetics consultant" or something.

 

There's definitely something up with this. The production team have obviously gone round saying "oh come on, you must know some women? You'll get more screen time if you bring a tame one!". I'm all for increasing female participation in this stuff but unfortunately it's one of those cases where it just comes across as patronising.

 

Not even worth the post this is written in though, like.

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I thought the judges were up to Vince McMahon style shenanigans last night to pep up what would have been an otherwise dull show.

 

That robot with the huge wheels and axe was hard to take out but pretty ineffective.

 

Another episode another shot of women bringing thru tea, plates of sandwiches and working on aesthetics. It really jars, they seem bothered about lack of female representation on the show but aren't at all bothered by the exclusively white crowd sat there. I hope next year for a gay and ethnic minority being shoehorned into every team too. The gay person can make the robot more fabulous.

 

Sounds like I'm down on the show, not really, I love have it back and its perfect Sunday 8pm fare.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Gotters said:

I thought the judges were up to Vince McMahon style shenanigans last night to pep up what would have been an otherwise dull show.

 

That robot with the huge wheels and axe was hard to take out but pretty ineffective.

 

Another episode another shot of women bringing thru tea, plates of sandwiches and working on aesthetics. It really jars, they seem bothered about lack of female representation on the show but aren't at all bothered by the exclusively white crowd sat there. I hope next year for a gay and ethnic minority being shoehorned into every team too. The gay person can make the robot more fabulous.

 

Sounds like I'm down on the show, not really, I love have it back and its perfect Sunday 8pm fare.

 

 

 

I cant wait to see the glitterbot piloted by @noob :wub:

 

I still think the arena could do with rejigging, put the hazards into the corners and ditch the house robots. those arena hazards were really only there for the first seasons where the robots were just remote controlled cars inside a bit of plate metal and had bugger all destructive power, it's a hangover from the bad days of trials.  I would prefer the destruction to be caused by robot on robot violence between the competitors.

 

I did enjoy the robot that caught fire last night, thats the kind of thing you want from a fight!

 

 

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