Joke bots take to the ring

John Espin setting up camera’s to video the next robot fight for his Youtube page. Photo: Sharnae Hope.

Beef brewing between two aggressive friends can now be solved with one plastic fist to a robots head.

Te Puke man John Espin has invented a new fighting sport called Stupid Robot Fighting, and is encouraging people to take to the ring and let their junk robot do all the work.

The project involves two robots made entirely out of junk connected by wire or hot glue.

The robots are attached to an octagon frame and are controlled by pushing and pulling on poles attached to the robot’s limbs and head.

All the robots look slightly different in terms of size and what junk is used, but John insists “every robot must have angry eyebrows”.

“Stupid Robot Fighting League is a bit crazy and a bit silly, but a whole lot of fun,” he says.

“It’s more physical than you think, it’s three two-minute rounds, and each round starts with a taunt that the operator has to deliver in a threatening manner, which has been written by the other team.”

Participates also have to wear a lab coat, glasses and gloves.

Anyone taking part in a fight can make their own robot to fight or choose from the wide range of robots John has, such as Optimus Rufus, El Minion and Suckalucka.

John’s favourite items to use are children’s toys as they make a lot of noise and are nice and colourful. Sturdier items like parts of vacuum clears and oil cans also really pack a punch.

“I originally started out with cardboard prototypes, which gave me shape and then wooden prototypes which gave weight,” says John.

“As I’ve made more and more robots I’ve figure out what sucks and what creates some real damage.”

John started the project in January this year and is now seeing interest grow, with many events and companies wanting to take part in the project.

“We actually use the robots to advertise on and companies can have their own robots that are branded with their stickers.”

On top of the success of Stupid Robot Fighting, his latest project will also hit a giggle nerve - but this time with ugly sweaters.

Ugly Sweater Fighting is only at the prototype stage, but the plan is to join together two sweaters over the top of cans and attach hats together to make a robot face.

“It’s all about the strength of the sweater,” says John. “It’s just the whole bouncy-ness of them that I think will be quiet amusing.”

To keep up to date with John’s crazy ideas, subscribe to his YouTube page Stupid Robot Fighting League, or his check out his website at: