Robot Combat League brings the mechanical beatdown

Posted by Shane McGlaun

A long time ago, I used to watch a show called Robot Wars that featured  little remote-controlled 'bots.

Now these robots were small and looked more like remote-controlled toys fitted with spinning saw blades and flippers than real 'bots. Personally, I always thought it would be cooler if the robots were bigger and capable of taking each other on more effectively.

Recently,  Entertainment Weekly confirmed that that SyFy is set to air a new TV show dubbed "Robot Combat League" that, yes, sounds just like Real Steel. The series will be hosted by former WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and the robots are much more Real Steel style than Robot Wars offered.

According to EW, there will be 12 teams, each fighting an eight-foot tall robot weighing around 1,000 pounds. All of the robots will be humanoid meaning they will have arms, legs, and a head. Granted the heads may not be entirely human-like, as the cool red robot the picture above features has an axe for a head.

SyFy president Mark Stern said, "It has always been our desire to update and do 'Battle Bots' for the new century."

Robots for the show were created with the assistance of Mark Setrakian, who is a robotics expert that has worked on numerous Hollywood movies, including Men in Black and Hellboy.

"Setrakian created a robotics system that can mimic a human's actions and movements. We've had robots decapitated, we've had robots cut in half. It was truly spectacular," Stern added. 

The control system for the robots is supposed to mimic the moves of the shadow boxer controlling the fight. The show will feature a fighter and an engineer on each team from mixed backgrounds, with some of the personnel including a racecar driver, Olympic athlete and MMA fighter Amanda Lucas (the daughter of Star Wars creator George Lucas).

It's unclear exactly when this robot fighting competition will begin, but Entertainment Weekly confirms SyFy wrapped up production of the first season last week.