8-Foot Tall Boxing Robots Take To The Ring In New SyFy Show


A fan of Robot Wars as a kid? Syfy might have you covered. According to Entertainment Weekly, US cable TV channel SyFy has already green-lit and shot the entire first season of a new show entitled 'Robot Combat League' in which eight-foot-tall humanoid robots battle it out in the ring until one is 'defeated'. Presumably meaning when all that is left in the ring is a pile of contorted metal, electronic innards and pools of hydraulic fluid...

A more innocent time...From Entertainment Weekly, SyFy president Mark Stern says; “It has always been our desire to update and do Battle Bots for the new century. Can we do Real Steel? Are we at a place where you can do real bipedal robots? Every time we tried to do it, [the project] was stymied by the technology.” Reportedly bringing on help building the eight-foot-tall battling robot machines from robotics expert Mark Setrakian, it's a concept the network now believes can and does work for TV. “Up until we actually saw them in ring fighting, we didn't think it would work,” Stern says.

It's the next-generation of robot combat, but also one that bears a striking resemblance to last year's Real Steel (set in the 'near future' might we add), where an ex-champion boxer (Hugh Jackman) and his son re-build a discarded old robot to fight in the ring. Also like in the film, the robot fighters themselves aren't autonomous; instead relying on the movements, ducks, dodges and punches of a human 'shadow boxer' to translate into crunching robot power.

“We've had robots decapitated, robots cut in half. It was truly spectacular.”

The show is hosted by WWE wrestler Chris Jericho (step aside Charles and Pearce) and debuts in the US late February 2013.

Richard Birkett