Our History

The Origins of FightFest

FightFest has its roots as a recruiting tool for Labman Automation. Ed and his colleague JT pitched an idea for a robot fighting event that would allow students to get hands on experience in engineering by building and fighting with robots. Designing a large, safe and robust arena was a vital first step. The Labman team worked with Adam@Immersion Engineering through Covid to achieve this and were excited to put on a pilot event in May 2021!

Steel Barrier that froms part of the FightFest Arena
Steel Barrier that froms part of the FightFest Arena

FightFest @ Labman

Following the success of the pilot event, Labman hosted the first public FightFest event for both hobbyists and students in July 2021 with 16 teams competing.
During the next year the team, partnered with Accu. Working to build the event in both scale and scope. FightFest 2022 livestreamed for the first time creating great content enjoyed around the world.
2023 saw Labman, partnered with Accu, hosting 27 teams for our biggest FightFest event to date. The fights were epic and the competition was greatly enjoyed.

Replicas of Shunt, Dead Metal and Sgt Bash, the house robots from Robot Wars at Labman Automation
Replicas of Shunt, Dead Metal and Sgt Bash, the house robots from Robot Wars at Labman Automation

FightFest
Reborn!

2024 brings in a new season for FightFest.
With Labman no longer hosting the event, Ben and Ed decided to takeover. They are keen to ensure that the UK featherweight scene has a big event to look forward to. They, partnering again with Accu, are working hard to bring about the new championships, and are hoping to host teams from around the world in the coming years.

Ben, one of the organisers of FightFest, running the livestream for the 2022 event.
Ben, one of the organisers of FightFest, running the livestream for the 2022 event.

Meet the Organisers

Ed Hodges, founder of FightFest and a project leader at Labman Automation
Ed Hodges, founder of FightFest and a project leader at Labman Automation
Ed Hodges

Founder / Organiser

Ed started his foray into the world of fighting robots in 2018 when he founded the Loughborough Fighting Robot Society in his second year at uni. Labman recruited Ed for a year in industry, during which time he worked on establishing FightFest and returned to Labman after completing his degree just a week before the first FightFest event!

Ed has always sought to drive UK combat robotics forward by encouraging high quality engineering and unique designs.

Ben Svacha, Organiser of FightFest and a project leader at Labman Automation
Ben Svacha, Organiser of FightFest and a project leader at Labman Automation
Ben Svacha

Organiser

Ben was introduced to the robot fighting scene after joining Labman in 2020. He has always had interest in co-ordinating and running events and volunteered for the pilot and 2021 events, before taking an active role as an organiser from 2022 onwards. Ben is looking forward to growing FightFest and continuing to offer a high quality championship for roboteers.