High school dropout builds fighting robot in bedroom and goes on TV
BI Chinese station reported on August 8
Come learn about Ellis Ware. Will dropped out of school at 15 and became a self-taught engineer four years later.Using cutting-edge technology, he developed advanced fighting techniquesrobot.
Later this month, Will will take his robot to the BBC’s “Robot Wars”.
The product he developed was dangerous, so the producers of the show needed to install bulletproof glass around the fighting arena to keep the audience in the studio safe.
Will told BI: “I’ve always been interested in machines and have dismantled RC cars. My dad has always been hands-on, and my uncle worked with radar. So my blood runs. genes like that.”
Will grew up in Spain. He became interested in “Robot Wars” after seeing previous online videos and short clips of other robot fighting competitions.
In 2011, Will decided to build his own robot with the help of his parents. In the last years of his teenage years, he devoted most of his energy to the project.
His first robot was primitive. However, he still took the robot to the UK for the competition. Within minutes of being in the game, the robot fell apart. Will wasn’t discouraged, though.
“This is just the beginning,” he says. Will, who currently lives in Shropshire, has designed about 10 robots of varying weights. He has participated in underground robot fighting competitions in the UK, including “Robots Live” and “Roaming Robots”. In addition, he also won the “Mad Metal Machine” competition in Germany.
For Will, material on YouTube, online discussion boards, and networking within the bot community are all valuable. He uses these learning materials for self-study at home. Ultimately, practice makes his work perfect.
“The website and information are very useful, but you need to put what you learn into practice. You only learn how to develop a great robot after you’ve built a few not-so-good robots. You need to get your hands dirty. If Something doesn’t work well, and you need to figure out why at all costs, and then fix it. It’s an accelerated learning process.”
Contestants in Robot Wars will be given nine weeks to design and build their own fighting machines. Will’s challenge was even greater, as he had never built a robot heavier than 100kg before. However, he said, “not trying was never one of the options I considered.”
The parents’ garage became his workshop, and the real technical work was done in Will’s bedroom. Here he designed the complete robot in 3D using the CAD software Autodesk Inventor.
The robot armor, called Pulsar, is cut with a hydraulic knife, equipped with the latest lithium battery technology and brushlessmotor. Some of these technologies are very advanced in the design of fighting robots, Will said.
The most amazing thing about Pulsar is the weapon system. Its flywheel can rev up to 220 mph (354 km/h) and is “deafening” when accelerating.
Robot Wars executive producer Andrew Robertson has seen many weapon designs, but Pulsar impressed him. “The noise is unbelievable and creepy.”
Robertson said that Pulsar’s “teeth” shredded other robot armor faster than bullets. Therefore, the arena had to be isolated with special glass.
Designing fighting robots is a “very expensive hobby,” Will admits. The cost of Pulsar came to $8,000, more than half of which came from Will’s own funds and the rest from local sponsorships.
In addition, Will slept only 9 hours out of 75 hours in the days before the show began recording.
His robot will appear in the fifth issue of Robot Wars. The episode will be broadcast on BBC2 on 21 August. At that point, we’ll know if Will has won.
For Will, though, the contest was secondary. “I like the process of making. The competition is very interesting, but it also brings a lot of pressure.” (Compiler / Li Wei)
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