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Design and Construction



In May '97 Hender Blewett was considering various options for his A-level Technology project. At a loss for inspiration, he was just about stuck when, as if by fate, a letter arrived on the desk of the Head of Technology, Peter Kinsey. This letter was the key to what was to become an epic venture. It contained information about Robotwars in the US and an application form for the up and coming British Robotwars TV series. Hender was excited by the prospect and a team of three of the finest minds in Bodmin was quickly formed to challenge the rest of Britain in a battle to the death.

Originally, the robot was called 'Road Rage', but a sensitive article in a tabloid newspaper during the production of the series led to the BBC's suggestion that the robot be named more benignly - hence 'Roadblock'. However, the name became ironically appropriate in the competition as Roadblock demonstrated power and torque superior to any other competitor or house robot.



British Robotwars Series 1 ('98)



Qualified in The Gauntlet and Sumo. Combat victory in the Semi-final, Final and Grand-final.

Design and Construction

The chassis of the robot is based around an electric wheelchair running off two gel cell batteries (2 X 12V). The original control box was modified to suit the application and provided a very versatile method of control. The blade is powered by a 25cc two-stoke strimmer engine which gave in excess of 6600 rpm. Nice. Initial tests proved that hardened steel blades were more manly than the carborundum equivalent, so we obviously opted for steel immediately. The robot was built within 3 months of the application and was running after 2 and a half. We needed to test Roadblock's overall strength, and it had more pulling power than Chris and Hender on a Saturday night (!). Seriously though, it had no problems in towing Hender's car around the car park. The road signs were 'donated' previously, and formed the basis of our robot's theme and bodywork.

Back wheel and motor assembly on chassis.

Rear view showing strimmer engine mounting.



82.5 kg


145cm X 110cm X 40cm


5 mph

Turning circle


Ground clearance

1 cm


24v electric wheelchair motor

Energy source

2 X 12v gel cell batteries


200 yrd sign wedge and rear circular saw

6600rpm... Ouch!

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