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Floats like a butterfly

As the Third Wars of the BBC television series Robot Wars takes to our screens, there is one class of fighting robot that has yet to enter the now familiar arena. Despite having a rapidly increasing fan and owner base, these robots have been ignored by the general public - but not for much longer. Fear for your hands, the Antweights are coming!
Antweight robots are basically very small fighting machines, following in the same vein as their heavyweight brothers. To qualify as an Antweight, the robot must be less than 150 grammes in weight and must physically fit inside a 4 inch cube. Aside from this, pretty much anything goes. Ants can have any type of weaponary including flame throwers (something regarded by safety experts as too dangerous for the heavyweights to have) and can be made of household objects just as easily as they can from bought parts.
There are currently about 20 antweight robots in existence or being built now. The weapon systems range from flails and scoops to cutters and axes. 

Current Antweights

Antweight Weapon
Pants Righting arm / Axe
Cannon Fodder Silver flail
Dozer Shovel
Odessey Lifting scoop
Type 0 Walker - no weapon
TyrAnt Scoop
Toecutter Scoop
Scorch Flame thrower
Flipper Pneumatic flip
Grassbox Shovel
Because of the weight problems (and to prevent 'indestructible robots') metallic armour is not allowed, so the robots have been made from card, balsa wood and plastic. There is more of a challenge than heavyweights from the angle that it is notoriously difficult to fit any weapons into something so light. By the time you have radio control and drive motors, most of the 150g is gone.

There is another side to ants as well. In RW, people build a machine and then wait for someone to provide them with an arena to fight in. With ants, the arenas can be built as well. These can range from a simple 1 metre square piece of MDF to a multi-level, electronic toy fest. And you can challenge anyone to fight on any arena. Right here - right now!

One round of the Antweight World Series, the only current competition, has already been held and video and results from that event can be found on RobotWars101.

A future event is now being planned for early 2000, with an increased line-up and more arenas. The joy of watching your creation be thrown off a table top only or cut through the body armour of another has to be experienced to be believed. It's just fun! But don't under-estimate the little buggers. A friend of mine was worried I was about to push his coffee off the desk with Pants (my own antweight). He put his hand infront just as I released the axe....and still has the scar to prove it. These things are dangerous in ways you don't expect.

Anyone can build an ant. Rules can be found on this very site and once you have some radio gear, then you can trawl the house and bins for inspiration. But, if you want to take part without having to build, mail us here at RobotWars101 to have an antweight or arena custom built for you. Go on, you know you want too!

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