This 19-year-old "Robot Wars" star picked up all his engineering skills from YouTube tutorials


Robot Wars

BBC/Mentorn Media Scotland/Andrew Rae

"Robot Wars" robot "Sir Killalot."

A new breed of YouTube of engineer will be revealed when the BBC's cult entertainment show, "Robot Wars," returns on Sunday night in the UK.

"Robot Wars" was a cult British television hit in the 2000s, which featured homemade robots battling each other and supercharged "House Robots" in a purpose-built arena.

Executive producer Andrew Robertson said that since the original series, the internet has empowered people to build fighting machines, capable of killing people, in a way that was not possible a decade ago.

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"These young guys building these robots have grown up in a world with access to information and technology that we didn't have," he explained.

Alongside this, advances in lithium batteries have also freed up competitors to focus more on the power of the weapons on their robots.


Robertson highlighted one robot on the new "Robot Wars" series, which is returning after a 12-year hiatus from British television, that has been designed to spin at 9,000 revolutions a minute.

Named "Pulsar," it was built by 19-year-old self-taught engineer Ellis Ware. He "learnt everything from YouTube tutorials," according to Robertson, and has been developing robots since he was 4-years-old.

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Ellis Ware/BBC/Facebook

Ellis Ware.

Ware also runs robot-parts company, Ranglebox, out of his bedroom and said entering "Robot Wars" had always been an ambition.

"From being a three-year-old watching the original show until now, it is something I have always wanted to do. It is a dream come true," he told the Herald Scotland.

"Pulsar" is so powerful that it is one of the reasons Robertson and his production team have had to encase the "Robot Wars" fighting arena in bulletproof glass when filming in Scotland.


"If you don't have that, then people will die," he said, adding that "Pulsar" sounds like a "jet engine when it starts up. It's the most incredible noise that sends shivers up your back."

Ware, who will appear in the fifth episode of the series, is not the only competitor to learn their trade in their bedroom.

"The young guys are incredible. The world is changed and they're making stuff with 3D printers, which for them is just standard," Robertson said.

"It is genuinely inspirational to watch these guys develop things constantly in the spirit of great old-fashioned British engineers like [Isambard Kingdom] Brunel."

"Robot Wars" first hit British television screens in 1998 and was initially presented by "The Grand Tour" host Jeremy Clarkson. It went through a number of evolutions, including a brief move to Viacom-owned Channel 5, before bowing out in 2004.


Robertson said the advances in technology meant it was ripe for revival. Each show will feature nine battles and there will be a significant focus on the engineering behind each robot.

The infamous "House Robots" have also been totally rebuilt for the new series, including "Matilda" and "Sir Killalot." Some are double the size of the originals and had to be redesigned, otherwise they would have been pushed around the arena like "an old boxer" by the new competitors.

Robertson said the response to the show's return had been "amazing," adding that he hopes it does not let fans down.