Lewes team takes on Robot Wars challenge

Lewes-based team Terror Turtle will appear on the BBC's new series of  Robot Wars SUS-160108-164700001
Lewes-based team Terror Turtle will appear on the BBC's new series of Robot Wars SUS-160108-164700001

A team from Lewes will take on a host of mechanical menaces when they appear on the relaunched series of Robot Wars.

The Lewes-based team and their robot will appear in the fourth episode of the BBC Two show following its recent return with new hosts Dara O’Briain and Angela Scanlon.

Charles Hoile, John Frizell, Jme Anderson and  Jonathon Swan with their robot Terror Turtle SUS-160108-164647001

Charles Hoile, John Frizell, Jme Anderson and Jonathon Swan with their robot Terror Turtle SUS-160108-164647001

Throughout the competition the team will pilot Terror Turtle, a clusterbot which splits into two controllable sections during battles.

The main machine is driven by wheelchair motors and armed with a spinning 9 kg steel disc while its smaller companion, known as The Hatchling, is designed to cause a nuisance of itself by ramming into other robots – diverting and distracting the team’s opponents.

An upgraded veteran of the original Robot Wars, the main turtle was built by Greenpeace campaigner John Frizell, 68.

He said: “People sometimes forget that turtles are predators, but this one will take a bite out of you if it gets a chance.”

The Hatchling was built by Lewes jeweller, Jonathon Swan, 62, and his apprentice Jme Anderson, 26.

“We didn’t have to worry about being turned turtle,” said Jonathon. “These machines run just as well upside down as they do right side up.”

Jme said: “We had a month to build the Hatchling, most of that was spent designing it and testing the electronics and drive. With ten days left we had a Sussex firm laser cut 18 pieces of steel to our specifications and 3 days later it was welded up and ready to go.”

The team was joined for the recording by Charles Hoile, 22, an engineering student from the University of Brighton.

The team say they are already designing a new and more powerful turtle for the next series of the show.

Episode four will air on BBC Two at 8pm on Sunday, August 14. Previous episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.

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