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The Rowden Robot Wars Hackathon

James Birchall
James Birchall 25 Oct 2021
Operational Engineering
Killer Robot

Ever seen a cake tin spinning at 5000 rpm? Perhaps a set of spinning blades surrounded by red polka-dot fur?

At Rowden, we believe in building knowledge through practical experience. So every week we open up our lab to use as a hackspace - whether people want to use a 3D printer, a laser cutter, or get to grips with a lathe or milling machine, we love getting the teams into the workshop to learn (and to visciously compete with eachother).

This year’s hackspace challenge was Robot Wars. Teams were given a base robot platform and remote control, plus a budget and tools to arm, or indeed armour, their robot as they saw fit.

Fur Robot


I can’t work out whether I’m more proud or terrified of the results, but they’ve certainly been effective on both counts, so much so that a lot of effort had to be directed into building an area that was fully robot-proof.

I'm talking thick plexi-glass sides, skirting, and a wire mesh ceiling to protect roboteers from being hit by any projectiles!

Glass Roboto

[^Yes, this is a robot, just hiding under cake-tin armour, that rotates fast enough to shake the entire arena….]

With the final fast approaching, teams are putting the final decorative touches to their robots, whilst I try not to be too mean arranging the arena hazards, it’s going to be a good one….

Tune in next week for the results (Craig Charles won't be there to commentate, but I'm going to give it my best shot).

Robot Challenge