I miss Robot Wars and BattleBots – the shows that brought exciting clashes between remotely controlled devices of destruction (and occasionally self-destruction) to TV. But seldom did they take on any sort of anthropomorphic form like in Real Steel – most were squat devices on wheels with spinning hammers or pneumatic spatulas.
Well, now Syfy has taken a step towards real fighting robots with Robot Combat League, a weekly series hosted by the WWE’s Chris Jericho and will feature eight-feet tall, state-of-the-art humanoid robots controlled by human “robo-jockeys”, competing tournament-style. The show will debut on February 26th at 10pm ET.
The idea of robots in battle has captured the imagination for generations. Now, through ground-breaking engineering, the fusion of a human’s fighting spirit with a powerful robotic machine built for destruction has become a reality. This extraordinary new series will feature twelve teams consisting of a fighter (a “robo-jockey”) and a robotics engineer (a “robo-tech”) from myriad backgrounds including a race car driver, an Olympic athlete, a National Guard helicopter pilot along with a mix of professional fighters and software engineers. Each team is paired with its own unique robot and will fight in a first-of-its kind competition using a high-tech exo-suit that translates their movements to their robot. Each fight consists of three rounds of intense action, with the winning team advancing in the competition.
In his role as host, Jericho will set up each week’s fight and provide viewers with a play-by-play commentary of the fighting action. Jericho began wrestling at age 19 and is one of the most popular champions in the history of the WWE. In 2001 he was crowned the first ever WWE Undisputed Champion and has been named one of the top five most charismatic performers of all-time. Jericho was also a popular contestant on season 11 of Dancing With the Stars and is the lead singer of the #1 charting hard rock band, Fozzy. The two-time NY Times best-selling author grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, and now currently resides in Tampa, FL.
The robots of the Robot Combat League were designed and created by robotics expert, Mark Setrakian, a leader in the sport of robotic combat. In his distinguished career, Setrakian has developed life-saving robotic systems, and pioneered cutting-edge creature effects, animatronics and control technology for such films as Men In Black, The Grinch and Hellboy. Setrakian combines a keen study of biology with innovative engineering to create robots with uncanny organic movement, earning his reputation as the man who brings machines to life.
Robot Combat League is produced by Smart Dog Media, with Craig Plestis serving as executive producer.
I, for one, will blame Syfy’s Mark Stern for bringing the Robot Apocalypse… 🙂