Dr Lucy Rogers named as judge for Robot Wars return

9 Mar 2016

Dr Lucy Rogers speaking at Inspirefest 2015. Image via Conor McCabe Photography

Ahead of the launch of the new series of Robot Wars, the team of judges who will decide the fate of the robotic destroyers has been announced, and it includes engineer and author Dr Lucy Rogers.

The return of Robot Wars – a show in which teams of makers build and control a robot that fights it out with other robots in an arena – has gotten many former youngsters excited since it was announced back in January.

Expected to return sometime this June, the show already has its new hosts confirmed as the Irish duo of Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon, who will hope to see the show return to its former glory. The original series was discontinued in 2004.

This week, the judging panel was also announced, and it includes Inspirefest 2015 speaker Dr Lucy Rogers.

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Rogers said she was recommended for the role by fellow Inspirefest speaker Dr Sue Black, founder of Techmums and one of those included in our recent Women Invent 100 list.

Speaking of what she hopes the return of the series will bring, she said that this is the type of show that could have a huge impact on a child who might want to get into engineering and robotics.

“It does bring that spark, and if that’s the sort of thing to get someone involved, then that’s absolutely great,” she said.

Joining her on the panel will be Irish computer scientist and robot enthusiast Noel Sharkey, marking his return to the series, as well as robotics expert Prof Sethu Vijayakumar, director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.

Rogers said that Sharkey has told her that he still, to this day, is approached by robotics and AI researchers who say the original Robot Wars inspired them to get into the field.

From her perspective, though, she’s looking to see some really original robots come from the younger generations who can come at it from a fresh perspective: “I’d love to see more children’s teams entering, in fact, especially those with some wacky, weird ideas.”

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Get your Early Bird tickets now.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic