Hornchurch robot wars youngster enjoys record-breaking debut

10:03 24 April 2014

Gareth Anstee, 19 with his robot Distopia

Gareth Anstee, 19 with his robot Distopia


A 19-year-old has been busy breaking records as he and his trusty robot dismantle competitors across the country.

Gareth's featherweight robot, DefectorGareth's featherweight robot, Defector

Roboteer Gareth Antsee, of Hornchurch, progressed further than any other newcomer in history when he took part in the Gadget Show Live RoboChallenge at the weekend.

The mechanical engineering student came fourth in the world’s top featherweight competition with his robot Defector, seeing off challengers from Australia and Portugal in the process.

Though he did not leave as champion, Gareth is delighted to be involved in the tour, which he has dreamed of joining since watching Robot Wars on television as a child.

“I was always looking to get involved,” he said. “I went to an event in 2004, which I found footage of on YouTube five years later. The guy who uploaded it was one of the roboteers, who represented Hornchurch on the show, and I got in contact with him.

“The company, Roaming Robots, bought the Robot Wars brand last year. Now we are hoping to get it back on TV, there’s a few companies interested in it.”

As a youngster, Gareth would build custom remote-control cars “just to see if he could do it”, and last year splashed out on his first machine, former show favourite and 2011 UK Heavyweight champion, Ripper.

He admits the hobby can be an expensive one, but the former Campion School student believes the thrill of the battle is worth it, despite his pre-show nerves.

“You have to make sure the robot is in working order,” he said. “I get videos of the competitors and see what their weaknesses are. It’s as much in the driving and tactics as the robot itself. My robot has really weak body armour really, and it was taking on the most powerful spinners and it beat them.”

Gareth’s mother, Pauline, said her and his father, Steven, were proud of their son and hope he can go further.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:15
Fly-tipping in Little Gerpins Lane

Fly-tippers blocked Little Gerpins Lane, in Upminster, with rubbish, just one minute away from Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre.

Yesterday, 16:31
Police are appealing for information

A terrifying late-night attack left two teenagers in hospital after they were hit by a car and then assaulted by three men who got out of it.

Yesterday, 16:17
View of London City Airport from the sky Picture: Andrew Holt

Campaign groups have expressed their opposition to the decision to allow a 30per cent increase in planes to fly over parts of Havering.

Yesterday, 15:46
Elm Park Merry Minon Christmas celebration. Elexis Woodhall, seven with minons

Minions worked to ensure festive fun was had by all in Elm Park on Friday.

Yesterday, 15:19
The Rubettes Featuring Alan Williams

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as the nights get darker, gifts are being bought and the radio is full of classic hits.

Yesterday, 13:14
Scargill Infant School pupils with K-9 staff

Animal-loving youngsters were taught how to look after their pets when a dog rescue charity visited their school.

Yesterday, 13:02
Junior doctors have voted in favour of strike action (Pic:PA)

Junior doctors voted in favour of strike action over contract changes proposed by the Health Secretary.

Yesterday, 07:00
Queen's Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford

Medical staff working in Havering and Redbridge were the victims of more than 400 physical assaults over the past 12 months.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder