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The Fighting Robots Association

Fighting Robots are serious business if Robot Wars and BattleBots are anything to go by. Let’s not forget about all of the smaller divisions across the UK, usually based in university campuses. There are some rather big prizes for those who come first in the biggest competitions, but more importantly, it’s a feat of engineering which the world needs now more than ever. Okay, perhaps not necessarily creating Chaos II’s for our front lines… But we need people who can create robots now more than ever. If battle robots are to maintain their current status quo as being a niche, yet highly exhillarating division of robotics, I think it’s only fair to point out how people can get into these hobbies.

2016

When I was young, I really wanted to build a combat robot for Robot Wars. Be honest with me, if you’re a 20-something like I am, I’m sure you too had at least a slight inclination that Robot Wars was a hell of a cool show. We wanted to see robots flipped left, right and centre. We wanted to see the pit, we wanted washing machines dropped on bots. The flames, oh the flames!!! Ahem, excuse me…

Now that I’ve grown up, I’ve realised that I am still fond of engineering and robotics, although my life has veered me towards computing and technology surrounding our desktop companions. I’ve been intrigued by Arduino for ages, which I do believe is a great way to get into some amateur robotics, but still not quite the meat and bones that you need to really get into it. Of course, there’s only one thing you’d need: A body that encompasses everything to do with Fighting Robots. Perhaps a Fighting Robots Association?

fra-logo

The Fighting Robots Association (FRA) was set up in 2003, specifically to help people get into this niche hobby, as well as to help show when events are on. This means that if you’re looking to build your very first robot, then compete in a small UK based tournament – You’ve got your go to website. If you want to know information about existing robots, perhaps like Behemoth, then you’ve found a place to check them out. If you want to speak to others who have started making their own robots, or if you had a question specifically related to robot creation – Yep, they’ve got forums for it. These people make sure that fighting robots are safe to us humans and are thoroughly committed to robotics in general.

If you’re coming to this months GeekOut South-West meetup, do be sure to check out the info sheet I’m preparing for our theme this month: Robot Revenge. More information on the FRA, on how you can get into robotics and what the fighting robotics world is up to these days will be provided. I will also create a space on the website with all of our Infodocs, available for everyone to read. Think of this like our own infographic, in hopes that we can produce some meaningful, highly information information for geekdom. As always, share your thoughts on todays article in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

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6 responses

  1. Murray

    I always thought it’d make a great university based idea, like having fighting leagues in university towns and then have larger tournaments with universities across the country. It’s already done in a smaller scale with maze solving robots or line following robots, so why not scale things up a bit? :3

    Liked by 1 person

    January 9, 2017 at 1:47 pm

  2. I’m in my 20’s and Battlebots always had a huge appeal to me growing up. Unfortunately there was simply nothing like that available to be in my city. Boo! Thats great that they have the FRA in the UK, but there are still lots of folks not served here in the US.
    That’s why right now my ‘top secret’ project is bringing to market an affordable open source customizable simple sumo-bot kit. (Sumo being the closest you can hope to get to battlebots in many circumstances.)

    Liked by 1 person

    January 17, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    • The affordable part is the most intriguing! In the US, as far as I’m aware, there is the Robot Fighting League, although I do not know to what extent they have a role within the wider robotics scene – Do you know of them? :)

      All information is welcome here – If you make some serious headway with your customisable sumo-bot’s, I’d love to read about them and/or see some videos!

      Like

      January 17, 2017 at 10:24 pm

  3. Hi everyone,

    this group sounds really good, I am based in Bristol and have several heavy weight robots, it’s good to see more people in the Bristol area getting into it. It’s a shame I’ve just missed your meet up

    Liked by 1 person

    January 25, 2017 at 9:26 pm

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