Monday 18 June 2018

Robot Wars returns with satirical metal warrior, Donald Thump

The team have listed “a mild susceptibility to fake news” as one of the machine’s key weaknesses.

Donald Thump.
Donald Thump.

By Francesca Gosling

US president-inspired robot, Donald Thump, is about the get a serious beating as the new series of Robot Wars comes crashing onto screens.

The satirical machine aims to “make Robot Wars great again” when it makes its debut on the popular game show alongside its designer, 23-year-old junior doctor James Davies.

Keeping an eye on the pair will be Davies’s father, Allan, acting as Thump’s own personal secret service bodyguard.

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The bright yellow robot, adorned with facial features and a mop of straw hair, includes a vertical spinning bar weapon and weighs 110kg, with a top speed of 15mph.

While he is fated to lose an eye in battle, Thump’s team have cited his key weaknesses as “extremely flammable hair” and “a mild susceptibility to fake news”.

Davies said: You have never seen a robot like this before. It is one of the greatest. It is so powerful. It has got wheels. It has got spinners, weapons and metal. It has all the bits.”

Explaining his hobby to presenter Dara O Briain, he said: “I do it to distract myself from medicine, it is very different to the day job.

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Donald Thump is fated to lose an eye in battle.

“It is a nice release to do something that involves hitting a hammer and having creative fun, where nothing can go that badly wrong if you mess it up. Unless you cut your arm off… with a rotor.”

The Sunday night show will see a return from last season’s doomed Behemoth and team captain Ant Pritchard, as well as previous victors Apollo, Sabretooth, Apocalypse and The Swarm.

This series will also bring viewers new challenges, including the Ten Robot Rumble tournament and The Fog Of War.

Co-host Angela Scanlon said: “Winning Robot Wars is the stuff of dreams for many of the competitors having watched the show as kids.

“One competitor has postponed university exams to focus on building machines, they invest lots of money in some cases and endless hours bringing these creations to life.”

Robot Wars returns to BBC Two at 8pm on Sunday.

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