It’s been said that art imitates life, but every once in a while, the reverse happens. Case in point, last year’s sci-fi action film Real Steel depicted a reality wherein boxing robots battle each other in the ring, essentially replacing human boxers. Hugh Jackman starred as a former boxer who piloted one such machine, and while the film was a modest success at the box office, its premise has proven oddly prescient.
Syfy has officially announced the upcoming debut of Robot Combat League, a new reality series which pits – yes, you guessed correctly – robot against robot in tournament-style showdowns. WWE wrestler Chris Jericho will host the show.
Here’s a bit more detail on its format, straight from the Syfy press release:
The idea of robots in battle has captured the imagination for generations. Now, through ground-breaking engineering, the fusion of a human’s fighting spirit with a powerful robotic machine built for destruction has become a reality. This extraordinary new series will feature twelve teams consisting of a fighter (a “robo-jockey”) and a robotics engineer (a “robo-tech”) from myriad backgrounds including a race car driver, an Olympic athlete, a National Guard helicopter pilot along with a mix of professional fighters and software engineers. Each team is paired with its own unique robot and will fight in a first-of-its kind competition using a high-tech exo-suit that translates their movements to their robot. Each fight consists of three rounds of intense action, with the winning team advancing in the competition.
Since human fighters are not required in this particular competition, Jericho will instead set up each fight and provide commentary of the ensuing battle. Meanwhile, his robotic co-stars, were designed and built by Mark Setrakian, whose work has been features in films like Men in Black, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Hellboy.
The concept of battling robots has been around since at least the mid-1960s, with the release of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. However, this latest project takes that concept to the extreme, and it’s subsequent success or failure should prove an interesting litmus test for similar future projects. Without a doubt, a certain audience will love the prospect of watching machines give each other a beatdown, but whether or not that target audience will stick around long enough to make the show a hit is the real question.
Will you be watching Robot Combat League? Let us know in the comments.
Robot Combat League will premiere on February 26 at 10pm ET on Syfy.