James Baker

James's Articles

Can a little girl really build fighting robots?
September 2018
April is 11 years old and has been designing and building heavyweight fighting robots for two years.

GlitterBomb: The Greatest Robot We’ve Never Fought
January 2018
It’s Series 2 of the UK’s Robot Wars and Team GlitterBomb has been asked to evolve their robot and bring something new or improved.

Robot Wars, Girls, and Glitter
June 2017
When a nine year old girl designs your combat bot for Robot Wars.

Robot Wars Returns! — From a Decade in Storage to the Modern Arena
March 2016
Can I realistically get a working robot into the studio for the first day of filming? Maybe... Let's investigate the options.

Old School Lathes
March 2014
This is not your typical product review. I’m not going to tell you about a brand new product, a cutting edge piece of technology, or a product that will revolutionize the way we all work. I’m not even reviewing a single product. Instead, I am going to look at the subject of old lathes and why you should buy one.

BUILD REPORT: The Great Outdoors: Combat Robots vs. Mother Nature
September 2011
Robots fight. We all know this, and it is why we read this section of the magazine. However, where, and when

BUILD REPORT: Building Combat Arenas: A Guide to Staying Safe
March 2011
Combat robots are dangerous; we can all agree about that.

PARTS IS PARTS: Let’s Roll — Wheels for Combat Robots
September 2010
It does not matter how powerful your robot is, if you cannot transfer that power to the floor. Wheels are the single most important part of your robot because without them doing their job properly, the effectiveness of every other capability is reduced.

Crossfire — From Broken Robot to Breaking Robots
April 2010
A veteran of televised robotic combat, the heavyweight robot “Edgehog” was still on frontline service when it entered the 2008 UK live event season.

Outside the Box
March 2010
Project Zoidberg was conceived when a motor delivery for one of our other robots arrived at my teammate’s house, containing a surprising ‘extra’ component. The sender had accidentally packed a pair of Team Delta18V Dewalt ‘power drive’ gear motors. These powerful, drill-based units looked too nice to send back, so a deal was arranged.

Free Strength
September 2008
Fighting robots need to be strong. They also have to fit within a weight limit. This leads to a trade-off between building something capable of taking the forces we impose upon them and the amount of weight we have available for structures.

Electronize Speed Controllers
October 2008
When first venturing into combat robot building, I, like most, began with RC car speed controllers. It quickly became apparent that even the most highly rated controllers were not robust enough to handle the power demands of the 30 lb class.

Savage - Part 1
October 2008
When building a robot for someone else, I always listen to their design brief, put together a concept, and build to that design.