Stars of Robot Wars inspire young battlers - primary school pupils design robots for arena showdown

Year Six pupils are preparing to do battle after being inspired by a visit from two of the stars of BBC’s Robot Wars.

Robot engineer John Findlay spent last Wednesday with pupils at Sleaford’s William Alvey School as part of an end of term project.

Robot Wars engineer John Findlay, with Matilda, Ripper and William Alvey pupils.

Robot Wars engineer John Findlay, with Matilda, Ripper and William Alvey pupils.

He brought along legendary ‘house robot’ Matilda, which he built for the show’s live tour and educational visits, along with his 2011 champion Ripper, which can lift a car. He did demonstrations for the children, flinging plastic bottles over fences with their ‘flippers’.

Teacher Sian Lee explained, following the end of SATS exams, the Year Six children can have a go at one of three major projects: an art project, a lavish drama production and a science project.

She said: “I thought we could do a Robot Wars style project to inspire some future engineers, getting them involved in creating their own robots from scratch. It combines ICT, DT and technology skills and should be something they will remember.”

She said the 28 children lucky enough to join in have been so excited about meeting the robots and making their own to do battle in an arena that John will bring back with him on the evening of July 18.

She said: “They have so far designed their own robots and started making them with Mr Findlay.

“They want to be commentators and be just like the TV show. They have been very creative.”

John said he did have to tone down some of the ideas to make them less lethal than machine guns and flame throwers. “I’m really looking forward to coming back and seeing what they create for the robots,” he said. “One pupil has already said he is going to invent a robot that can beat Ripper, so I will be looking out for that.”

Families will be invited along to see the children’s creations and John will be showing off his robots too.

Tyler Brooks commented: “I enjoyed building the robot kits because I have wanted to be an engineer since I was 3!”

Henry Suffield added: “It was the best day of my life.”

Callum Logan said: “I was amazed by how big the robots were - they look so small on TV.”