The University of Greenwich’s 2016 Robot Wars competitor ‘Trolley Rage’ is inspiring young people to take up engineering.
In the popular BBC 2 TV series Robot Wars, teams of 'robot fighting' enthusiasts see their creations battle it out over a series of rounds in a huge purpose-built area, each aiming to become the latest champion.
Sadly, the University of Greenwich’s first creation, Trolley Wars, was destroyed by 2016’s series champion during competition heats. However, the team, made up of Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Simeon Keates, Dr Raj Bhatti, second year mechanical engineering student Gareth Anstee and 11-year-old budding engineer Lucian Keates, vowed to rebuild.
Work is now underway for an even more robust robot, which the team plans to take to Robot Wars Live contests across the country later this year. Aside from winning, the Greenwich team’s goal was to design a robot that could demonstrate how simple, cheap and sustainable they can be to build. "With Trolley Rage we concentrated on using as many recycled components as possible,” says Professor Keates. “We cut down disused shopping trolleys for the body, took the motors out of a very old wheelchair and created the robot's weapon from an abandoned hand axe."
Designing and building robots, and challenging competitors, is at the heart of Professor Keates’ outreach campaign to inspire more young people to take up engineering as a career.