For some, Sunday evening means taking care of those last few jobs left over from the weekend, for others it means having some quiet time before the working week returns ... but for one man, this weekend, it means war!
Shane Swan, 47, of the East Kirkby area, will be appearing on TV sets across the country tomorrow (Sunday) as a team captain of S.Tek on Robot Wars, due to be screened on BBC Two at 8pm.
Shane will be pitting his team’s robot, Push to Exit, against five others for a place in the grand final.
This is the 10th series of Robot Wars, which sees amateur robot fighting fans battle it out over a series of rounds in a purpose-built arena to be crowned champion.
It is Shane’s third time as a contestant, having taught himself – with a little help from the internet and friends – how to build a battling bot.
The impetus came from merely watching Robot Wars with his family and responding to a call at the end of the show for entries.
“The application form came back and it just kicked me up the backside to learn something,” he said. “The very first robot I built was useless, but you learn from that.”
This is Push to Exit’s second appearance on the show, having undergone upgrades.
A ‘flipper’ robot, it is based on one with which Shane finished runner-up in the Fighting Robots UK Championships of 2011.
“It can pull a Land Rover,” said Shane. “It’s very, very powerful. The flipper will lift a Ford Fiesta.”
All robots have a weight limit of 110kg, which means to its competition Push to Exit stands ready to turn their world upsidedown.
“If you design it to lift a car, it will flip a 110kg robot easily,” Shane said.
Completing Shane’s team will be Stephen McCullagh and Anthony Murney, two Ireland-based Robot Wars YouTubers.
Thirty teams have made the cut for this year’s show, presented by Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon. Shane said he felt ‘privileged’ to be among them.
On the potential of seeing a robot he and others have put together over weeks or maybe months turned into scrap in matter of minutes, he said ‘you prepare yourself for the worst’ meaning ‘anything else is bonus’.
“You have got to prepare for the worst, because that is what can happen,” he said.
He added: “I truly believe every time I get in the arena I’m going to win. I really believe that. I have faith in my robot and its design.
“When you lose you have to take it on the chin and move on and work on what went wrong and make it better.”