The Fighting Robots World Championships are taking place at RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire from August 24 - 28. Nottingham man Pete Lale's robot Dizzy Tilly - a cute little spinner - is taking part in the lightweight catergory. We caught up with Pete.
Q: When did you become interested in robot building?
A: We became interested in Robot Wars during series one. I was watching on TV with my son aged two (at the time) and the desire to build a robot was set into my heart, but the dream was still along way off.. After watching series two, three, four, five and by series six we were well into it, I'd been collecting bits and bobs all along the way. As a treat for Father's Day in 2001 my wife took us to see the robots at the Roaming Robots show at Newark where we joined and got all the real inside info I was lacking to make a robot. Later on that year my son Shane, our team captin and driver aged six, started fighting in the featherweight devision with his toy Matilda, a remote control toy house robot, and I was really pushed by the roboteers to build him a real robot.
Q: Tell us about Dizzy Tilly...
A: Dizzy Tilly is a featherweight full-body spinner powered by 24 volts, weighing 12 kilograms, spinning up to 2000-4000 rpm driven by 4x35 watt motors and a 600 watt motor driving the disc.
Q: How protective are you of Dizzy Tilly? How upset would you be if it was getting smashed to bits?
A: Well, as we're trying to build a robot that will destroy everthything that we take on, then it's only fair we accept that other robots are out to do the same. So, in the planning stages we try to design against being trashed. If it happens we get it wrong, but if we survive we've got it right and if it's trashed we just build it again, try not to get upset and just take it in our stride.
Q: Who makes up your team?
A: There's myself Pete the builder; Shane, captain and driver (8); Jessica, mechanic and pit crew assistant and driver weapons (13); and my wife Jackie who's part of the pit crew.
Q: How do you think you'll do in the championships?
A: We hope to do well and get a place, maybe even win but in this sport you can never tell what will happen.
Q: Will robots take over the world?
A: Not to the extreme of the Terminator films but then again you never know!
*To get tickets for the event on August 24 - 28 at RAF Newton, call 0870 264 3333.