Rules from the fifth UK Robot Wars tournament.

Robot Wars Series 5 Rules


1.0 The Organisers, at their sole discretion, reserve the right to alter or change these specifications at any time.

1.1 General Construction

1.1.1 Interchangeable body panels or weaponry is allowed between bouts providing this can be done within a 20-minute time-scale. Interchanging of such panels or weapons cannot be done during bouts.

1.1.2 Limited time will be allowed between bouts to make repairs, adjustments, changing of batteries etc.

1.1.3 Any on-board equipment that could require attention during the program recording - e.g. recharging of pressure reservoirs; charging batteries; changing receiver (RX) crystals - should be easily and quickly accessible.

1.1.4 All Robots in Middle and Heavyweight classes must have a cradle in which it can sit with the drive wheels or tracks supported off of the ground. The cradle must allow the Robot's drive to be demonstrated on the workbench without the robot moving. (Wheels should not be fitted to the cradle).


  1. (Rule dropped due to new arena design)
  2. All Robots in Middle and Heavyweight classes must be able to be restrained by a clip that will pass through a 25mm (1") hole. (See Technical Sheets No.2)
  3. This can take the form of a screw-eye; U-bolt or similar fitting.
  4. It should be positioned at the nearest lowest centre rear of the Robot away from any weapons or drive lowest centre rear of the Robot or at a position that can be safely reached by a technician.
  5. If the proposed Robot design makes such a fitting impossible, contact the Organisers before starting work.

1.2 Safety

1.2.1 Robots will be inspected for safety and reliability before being allowed to compete.

1.2.2 The Organisers reserve the right to ban or disqualify any robot that in their opinion is/could be unsafe and cause injury to personnel, or unacceptable damage to the television studio, set, equipment or battle arena.

1.3 Style

1.3.1 Robots can be built using wheels, tracks and legs ("Walkers").

1.3.2 Other styles or methods may be considered, but contact the Organisers before starting work.

1.3.3 Flying Robots that use exposed rotating airfoils are banned.

1.3.4 'Cluster Bots' - robots consisting of two or more components - are allowed. They must enter the arena as a single object and if 50% or more of the Cluster Bot is immobilised, the robot will be deemed to have lost that battle.


2.1 Weights

2.1.1 Weight Classification

  • Antweight: 0 to 150 grams
  • Featherweight: 1kg to 12kgs (2.2lbs to 26lbs)
  • Lightweight: 12kgs to 25kgs (261bs to 55lbs)
  • Middleweight: 25kgs to 50kgs (551bs to 110Ibs)
  • Heavyweight: 50kgs to 100kgs (110lbs to 220lbs)
  • Extreme Weight: l00kgs to 200 kgs (2201bs to 441lbs)

(Please contact the Organisers before building an 'Extreme weight robot)

2.1.2 Legged Robots ('Walkers') can weigh up to 200kgs/4411bs in the Heavyweight class.

2.1.3 Total weight is measured without consumables e.g. gases, fuel - and does not include safety bars, straps, guards or similar equipment used to immobilise moving arms/weapons, or for protection, and which are removed before battle. (Please note that batteries will not be considered as consumables).

2.1.4 If interchangeable panels and/or weapons are used, the weight is measured with the heaviest set-up in place.

2.2 Dimensions

2.2.1 Overall length must not exceed 2 meters. Overall width must not exceed 1.4 meters.

2.2.2 Legged robots ('Walkers') may exceed these dimensions, but check with the Organisers before starting work.

2.2.3 There is no maximum height for a robot. (This will be dictated by design and weight constraints).

2.2.4 Length and width is measured to the extremities of the robot, i.e. includes any overhanging bodywork, weaponry or protrusions.

2.2.5 Providing the robot starts a bout with weaponry or other devices in a retracted position, the length and width is measured with these in this retracted position.




  1. Motive power for the drive and/or weapons may be electric, internal combustion (IC), hydraulic or pneumatic.
  2. A combination of engines - e.g. electric drive and IC weapons, or an IC engine driving a hydraulic pump - is allowed.
  3. Other types of engines may be considered, but contact the Organisers before starting work.


  1. All Middleweight and Heavyweight robots must be fitted with on-off switches that operate both radio receiver and drive/weapon circuits; in practice totally removing all power from the robot.
  2. If there is more than one switch, these must be positions adjacent to one another.
  3. The main power switch MUSE be of the type with a removable link, which must NOT be in place unless the Robot is in the arena or is being worked on. (See Technical Sheet No. 4).
  4. The switch/link must be positioned in a visible part of the robot's bodywork, fitted away from any operating weaponry or drive and this position must be clearly marked.
  5. The switch/link may be fitted under a cover, but the cover must be able to be opened without the use of tools.
  6. If the Robot uses an IC Engine(s), the 'Power' switch can take the form of a 'Kill' switch, clearly labeled.

3.1.3 If the proposed robot design (e.g. a completely revolving body) could make conforming to some or all of Regulations 3.1.2 impractical, contact the Organisers before starting work.

3.2 Electric

3.2.1. Working voltages must not exceed 36V DC (mean voltage) or 36V RMS AC.

3.2.2. All power connections (connections carrying a heavy current) must be of an adequate grade and adequately insulated. Cables must be routed to minimise the chances of being cut.

3.2.3. Batteries must be totally sealed and not contain free-flowing liquid. (Whether electrolyte or otherwise).

3.2.4. Battery connections must be adequately insulated.

3.3 IC Engines

3.3.1 Fuel capacity is limited to 500m1 (17 fl.oz).


  1. Separate fuel tanks must be made of an acceptable type of plastic (e.g. nylon).
  2. If the tank is integral to the engine assembly and is metal, the cap must be plastic or a plastic 'pop off' seal fitted.
  3. The tank must be adequately protected from puncture.

3.3.3 All fuel lines must be of the correct type and held with the correct type of fittings. They must be routed to minimise the chances of being cut.

3.3.4 A return spring must be fitted to the throttle of all IC engines to return the throttle to 'idle' or 'off' in the case of servo breakage or failure. (This is in conjunction with any failsafes. See regulation 5.4.)

3.4 Hydraulic

3.4.1 Hydraulic pressure is limited to 3000 psi/204 bar/20.4 mps.

3.4.2 Hydraulic fluid storage tanks must be of a suitable material.

3.4.3 Hydraulic fluid lines and fittings must be to BS (British Standard) specification. The lines must be routed to minimise the chances of being cut.

3.5 Pneumatic

3.5.1 Pneumatic pressure is limited to 1000 psi/68 bar/6.8 mps.


  1. Pressure bottles/vessels/reservoirs must be of an acceptable type - i.e. commercially manufactured to contain gas at pressure and have a current valid test certificate. The pressure used must not exceed the manufacturer's specifications.
  2. If the reservoir is not of such a commercial type, it must be certified to confirm that it will safely contain the appropriate pressure.

3.5.3 Pneumatic lines and fittings must be to BS (British Standard) specification. The lines must be routed to minimise the chances of being cut.

3.5.4 All gases in pneumatic systems must be inert or non-inflammable - e.g. air, carbon dioxide (CO2), argon (Ar) or nitrogen (N2).


  1. All gas bottles/reservoirs and the values/regulators must be contained within the body of the robot to protect them from puncture.
  2. The bottle/reservoir must be securely fastened down and the valve/regulator - unless adequately protected by the bodywork - must have an adequate strap or cage over it.

3.5.6 A pressure relief/safety value must be fitted on the high-pressure side of the circuit set at 1000 psi. (A diaphragm valve may also be used).

3.5.7 The pneumatic system must be capable of being vented without removal of fittings.


4.1 All pyrotechnics (see 4.2); explosives; flames; firearms; corrosives; liquids; electronic devices - e.g. radio jamming, heat-guns, Tesla coils are banned.

4.2 Small, non-offensive pyrotechnics - e.g. flash puffs - May be allowed at the Organiser's discretion.

4.3 Devices using inflammable or combustion-supporting gases are banned.


  1. Untethered projectiles are not allowed.
  2. Tethered projectiles are allowed, but the tether may not exceed 2.5m (approx. 8 ft) in length, (measured from the centre of the robot to the tip of the projectile).

4.5 The speed of any rotating weapons - e.g. circular saws, carbon or steel cutting discs - must not exceed the manufacturer's specification. The manufacturer's specification must be available for inspection.

4.6 Rotating hardened steel blades that may shatter are not allowed.

4.7 Commercial blades - e.g. bayonets - must not exceed 2Ocm/8inches in length.

4.8 All sharp edges of weapons, including fixed weapons - e.g. spikes -and robot bodywork in general that is sharp, MUST be fitted with adequate protection that must be in place at all times except in the arena. (These guards are not included with the overall weight of the robot).


  1. Any moving or swinging arms - whether or not they hold sharp and/or rotating weapons -MUST be fitted with a visible locking pin that shows the arm(s) is securely locked into place.
  2. Locking pins must be painted red or have a red 'tag attached and MUST be in place at all times - except in the arena. (These locking pins are not included with the overall weight).

4.10 Self-contained weapons - e.g. IC powered cutting discs - must have a secondary restraint fitted in the event of the main fitting breaking way.

4.11 Lasers up to Class 2 (1mw) are allowed.


5.1 All Robots MUST use VHF frequency band 40MHz. (With the exception of 5.2 or 5.3 below.)

5.2 Feather and Lightweight Robots MAY use the VHF Frequency band 27 MHz FM. A quality set (i.e. one that uses interchangeable crystals) must be used.

5.3 The UHF frequency band 459 may be used - but inform the Organisers at the earliest opportunity.


  1. On Middle and Heavyweight robots all operating circuits that are deemed to be 'dangerous' (normally the drive and weapons) must have a 'failsafe' device fitted to each circuit.
  2. This MUST bring that circuit to a pre-set 'off' or 'zero' position if the transmitter (TX) signal is lost, to prevent further operation.
  3. The fail-safes may take the form of plug-in commercial devices; electronic circuitry incorporated into some receivers - e.g. PCM-type-or other devices - e.g. Vantec speed controllers.
  4. Whichever device(s) is selected it MUST operate to the Organiser's satisfaction before the Robot will be allowed to compete. (See Technical Sheet No. 1).

5.5 At least three pairs of transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) crystals of different frequencies must be available for each RC set up involved in running the Robot e.g. if two separate TX/RX sets are used, there must be six different pairs of crystals available.

Run Amok Combat Robotics homepage