This year’s Robot Wars Grand Final is set to be the most vicious yet on BBC2, with a flying shard of robot metal almost smashing its way through the arena’s bulletproof glass.
Executive producer Andrew Robertson revealed that while the teams were making running repairs to their robots, the programme makers were racing again time themselves to ensure the arena was fixed in time to compete.
“This time that we’ve been repairing the arena between fights because the robots are visibly more dangerous,” he said. “Last time I think they smashed the arena once; this time we smash it six or seven times and in the final show you’ll see the most amazing damage done yet!
“It’s an extraordinary moment that just shows how dangerous the robots are,” he added.
This Sunday’s final sees finalists Carbide, Ironside 3, Aftershock, Concussion and Eruption compete for victory alongside a special “wild card” robot chosen from the best runners-up.
But it’s the arena itself that’s in the spotlight, after pictures (above) emerged showing shrapnel from robot Aftershock punching through the ‘bulletproof’ wall.
Robertson explained that the arena wall is made up of two layers of 9mm polycarbonate with an air gap in the middle designed to withstand super-heated flying debris.
“The bulletproof arena is not a casual boast; it has to be that hardened,” he explained.
“The most dangerous bits are the tiny fragments like a bolt. A steel bolt that can hit at 200mph is incredibly dangerous as you can imagine. The outside layer is double layered – they can go so fast that if they go through the first layer, the air in between slows and cools it down before it hits the next layer. It could melt the first layer because of the potential speeds they can go at.”
The Robot Wars 2017 Grand Final airs at 7pm this Sunday 16 April on BBC2