Twice a year, in the depths of the Leeds University Student union, a brutal competition of fighting prowess and endurance takes place in front of a cheering crowd. Thankfully, the combatants aren’t desperate Leeds students but robots designed and built with the sole purpose of destroying their opponents. Naturally, Labman jumped at the opportunity to sponsor such an event after summer intern Will, who helps run the event, set his sights on taking it to the next level. Labman took a healthy contingent of employees to the latest competition and had an absolute blast.
Students and staff of the university had been building their 5kg creations for months and were eager to prove their effectiveness as the 19 competing robots were drawn against each other in a series of 3-minute fights. The winning robot in each was the first to immobilise its opponents by whatever means necessary or, if the fight ran for the full three minutes, the one who had most impressed a panel of judges.
Some highlights of the night included a theatrical entrance by future Labman employee Josh and his robot “Cubiod” in which the robot was intentionally dropped down the stairs on the way to the arena, the pun filled of antics of team “Thomas the Dank Engine”, and a chaotic fight where several robots had to be removed from the arena with a dust pan and brush.
Those familiar with the British TV show Robot Wars will know the appeal of robot combat, but the Leeds Robot Fighting League (and the sport of robot combat overall) is more than just entertainment. It’s an opportunity for engineering creativity to be expressed and for great ideas to be put on show. It’s not an accident that Labman’s recruitment team were keen to meet the robot builders during the visit; the Leeds robot fighting league has been and will continue to be a great way of finding talented placement students and graduates.