A GRADUATE from Melksham has fulfilled a childhood dream by competing on the BBC series Robot Wars, and is already preparing for the next battle!
In the show, competitors build their own robots and compete against other robots. Team Tanto, captained by 22 year-old Craig Croucher took part in the filming of the new series of Robot Wars. Whilst they didn’t make the final cut in the main series, they were one of a few teams to be the first to battle in the new arena and with the new ‘house robots.’
This has not deterred the team however who have high hopes of making it into the next season’s series, if it is commissioned.
Craig, who has just graduated from Portsmouth University with a degree in applied physics, told the Melksham News, “Team Tanto consists of myself Jack Tweedy, Adam Hamilton and Matt Pearman who are from all over the UK.
“We came together as a group of young ‘roboteers’ who all came to know each other through the internet and smaller competitions. Robot Wars was an ambition for all of us since we were kids, so we really jumped at the chance at competing!
“Tanto is a 106kg robot, geared for 22mph, comprising mostly of wear-plate steel (Hardox) with the front forked wedges are 80mm thick Hardox, and the disc is 25mm thick, weighs 16kg and spins at around 4800rpm. We started with an older base robot purchased from our friends in Team Danby and we designed and built the drive and weapon setup over the course of around two months. The entire robot cost around £3,000 in total.
“The robot performed well considering how rushed we were, although our battle ended with Tanto losing its safety link after performing a backflip over another competitor! Nonetheless, our battles have made us really hopeful about the robot’s future and how well it could perform.
“The overall experience was incredible, even though we were only part of the unaired test episode. Meeting Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon was amazing and they were both really lovely about Tanto. The house robots are also a lot bigger than you’d expect. I wouldn’t say the one day drive up to Glasgow was a highlight, but definitely an experience!
“Making robots of this size is incredibly tough, especially when you’re building with military grade materials that aren’t easy to work with, but it’s so rewarding to have it in the arena at the end of it all, seeing it all develop from a CAD design to a real machine. Being a part of the production really was a dream come true for the team.
“We’ve already started upgrading in case a new series is commissioned, with all new electronics and weapon system. We’re hoping to make the robot much more potent, as well as looking even more exciting and original. The chances of a new series being commissioned are looking really good and we can’t wait to get back in the arena.”