FightFest - the ultimate robot fighting championship

Labman held the very first FightFest, the ultimate robot fighting championship!
Labman cultureEvents 19 min read

Katie SimpsonPublished 29th Jul 2021

Last week Labman held the very first FightFest, the ultimate robot fighting championship! Designed to be an incredible spectacle for our audience, a challenging and amazing experience for every competitor, and a chance for talented and creative engineers to get together at Labman, the first FightFest was everything we could’ve hoped for and more.

We welcomed teams from across the country to our HQ located on the edge of the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors. FightFest accepted a mix of student teams and professionals, with robots competing to immobilise their opponents for a chance to be in the final and win that all-important robot fighting champion status. If you ever had the pleasure of watching BBC’s Robot Wars in your youth you will understand the premise just fine; if not, enjoy the TV gold that is Robot Wars.

With teams across the UK joining us, we knew that this was going to be a day to remember. We had some seriously strong teams at the event from prestigious universities. Which have included Loughborough University, University of Leeds, Bristol University, and the University of Strathclyde.  Each of them brought an impressive robot to the arena. The robots competing were: TRAC (Bristol University), Drivetrain, Drumroll, Telekinesis, Kakute (Loughborough University), Conker 3, Explosion, Dullahan (University of Strathclyde), Amnesia, Robert the Robbit (Loughborough University), Placeholder 2000 (Leeds University), Grogbot (Loughborough University), Euphoria, and Virus.

The arena was specifically designed by Labman’s engineers for the robot fighting competition. Made out of a mixture of mild steel and Hardox steel, the arena was built to withstand some serious action. Labman bent this in-house using our incredible Amada HFE3i-1003 press brake, saving both time and money. The reinforced steel made up the iconic bumpers and the pit, making it more resilient against the wrath of the robots. Not that this stopped the full extent of the carnage, with two of the inner screens having to be replaced throughout the day due to the destruction caused. Safe to say, there were some moments that had everyone in the crowd ducking! The bulletproof arena was completed with a jaw-dropping, state-of-the-art lighting rig provided by the incredible TSL Lighting.

FightFest promised carnage, fire, and possibly axes, and did it deliver? Yes, it most certainly did. We saw some epic battles, which included some very tense university derbies. The day started off with a hair-raising flight from Conker 3 and Explosion and the excitement didn’t die down for the rest of the day. Several robots ended up in the pit, putting an end to their rounds, but we were also treated to some very dramatic endings. On multiple occasions, wheels were obliterated, and one robot burst into flames! The standard of robots that was brought to the competition was incredibly high - kudos to every team. We couldn’t have asked for much more action for this first event.

Here’s what the Event Organiser, Labman engineer, Jonathan Atkinson had to say about the event:

" FightFest 2021 was a huge success. I’m buzzing everyone had such a good time and that everything fell together so well. So many people pitched in with their time and expertise. It was only as slick as it was because of the crazy amount of skills Labman staff could contribute. I don’t think the idea of FightFest would have gotten off the ground at any other company, let alone have been executed as well as it was."

There’s a lot more footage, photos, and interviews from the event to come, so keep your eyes peeled on all of our social channels. If you want to enquire about being involved in the next event, whether as a competitor, a sponsor, or just to be part of the crowd witnessing the carnage, head to our FightFest page.

We had an absolute blast hosting the first FightFest and it was a huge success! With plans already starting for next year’s robot fighting championships, we’re only getting started! We’re planning on coming back bigger and better, with more teams, more robots, and bigger fights! Keep up-to-date with all the latest news about the next event on all of the FightFest social channels. Until then, Labman’s annual summer party, Labfest is up next!

Labman has a broad offering of internships and graduate positions available, so if a company that runs the next Robot Wars sounds like a place you would like to work, get in touch today to find out how to kick start your career at Labman.

We can’t wait to see you all next year!