Robots Live

By Alyson Orme, Edinburgh Napier University Student who carried out a placement within the Learning and Programmes department in 2013

Since February I have been working on the public events at National Museums Scotland as part of my Events Management university placement. Based in the Learning and Programmes department, I have been working on large scale events at the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight and the National Museum of Rural Life. Each event has a different theme, from Wartime Experience to Robots Live, so it is no surprise that I have had a very interesting experience!

The first big event that I was involved in was Wartime Experience at the National Museum of Flight in May. This gave me an insight into the wonderful world of wartime re-enactment. I also made my career debut as a model for the press activity for Wartime Experience  and it ended up in the newspaper!

Alyson Orme modelling 1940s fashion for Wartime Experience, National Museum of Flight on Sunday 12 May 2013

Alyson Orme (far right) modelling 1940s fashion for Wartime Experience, National Museum of Flight on Sunday 12 May 2013.

The next big event was Robots Live in June. I was excited to see some battles in the Robot Wars arena and have a go at riding a Segway scooter.  I also discovered that I am more scared of a robot dinosaur than most small children. It was a really good and sunny day and I enjoyed seeing the end product of something that I had been involved in from start to finish.

Tyrone the animatronic T.rex performing at Robots Live, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune

Tyrone the animatronic T.rex performing at Robots Live, National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

In July I became an equestrian expert at the Heavy Horse Show at the National Museum of Rural Life. My job was getting the right horses to the arena on time. This proved difficult at first, but by the end of the day the horses and I were on first name terms. As well as the public events at different sites, I have also enjoyed working at the RBS Museum Lates. I was involved in the Viking Lates in February and the Dino-Night in May. I loved working at the RBS Lates and seeing everyone’s themed costumes.  I also took full advantage of the many opportunities for animal handling at the RBS Lates during my placement.

Alyson Orme with a handling a hedgehog at a National  Museums Scotland event.

Alyson holding a hedgehog at an animal handling session event.

I have had the best time at the National Museums Scotland and met lots of great people who have made my placement really fun and interesting.  I don’t think anywhere else could have offered me the opportunity to work with so many crazy themes, meet people from all walks of life or hold so many small animals. I will be going back to University with lots of events management experience, obscure general knowledge facts and great memories.

A guest post by Karen of film and TV prosthetics company, Millennium FX

Tyrone will be meeting the visitors at Robot’s Live! at National Museum of Flight.  Keep an eye out for him and be careful that he doesn’t sneak up on you because you never can tell when he is feeling hungry. Tyrone is a familiar face at the National Museums Scotland, he made his Museum debut at the re-opening of the National Museum of Scotland in 2011.

Tyrone the T.rex at National Museum of Scotland

Tyrone the T.rex in his debut at National Museum of Scotland in 2011 – look out for him at Robots Live at National Museum of Flight on 17 June

Tyrone the animatronic T.rex gets ready for events by waking early in the morning and doing his stretches. He sings (or roars) in the shower, eats a light breakfast before brushing his teeth. His current favourite thing to eat for breakfast is a giant T-bone steak pie topped with a hearty spoon full of mushy peas dolloped right in the middle of the pastry top. . .he washes this down with a glass of thick gravy followed by a glass of milk.

Millennium Live is a company created by multi-award winning film and TV prosthetics house Millennium FX. They produce movie-quality special FX creations make live appearances that are spellbinding and unforgettable.  We hire our creatures and characters, build duplicates to order and create brand new characters for our customers.

Visit Tyrone and his friends at

 A guest post by Alan Young from Robots Live

Robots Live will be bringing their battling bots to the second annual Robots Live! event at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 17 June 2012.

It’s a great pleasure we have been invited back to Robots Live! at the National Museum of Flight. We’ll be bringing some of the mechanical monsters from television’s Robot Wars to fight it out live underneath the iconic Concorde. As well as the 100kg Heavyweight robots you’ve seen on the television, we’ll have their smaller relations the Featherweights, weighing in at 13.8kg.

We will also have the unique Boxing robots, standing at 1.82metres tall. These machines will stand toe-to-toe in an all out robot boxing match – there only two heavyweight boxing robots in the world.  Joining the combat robots will be our resident mechanoid ‘Sidewinder’ and his popular friend the Dalek. You can also have a go at driving a robot on our ‘Cyberball’.

Battleaxe robot making an appearance at Robots Live!

We’ve been running events since 2001, and built our custom fighting arena in 2007.  We’ll be bringing along the 8×8 metre arena complete with hydraulic pit. The arena stage is constructed out of steel sections and a 30mm thick wooden floor. Around this is a self-climbing trussing structure that supports the suspended polycarbonate screening: this makes sure no flying shrapnel (or robots!) can leave the arena.

Setting the stage for the battle arena.

Even though this is only a one day event, preparations begin weeks in advance: all the robots are serviced and any repairs done. As we are based about 300 miles away in the East Midlands, we will load the vehicles on the Friday and start the journey up to Scotland. We usually arrive at the National Museum of Flight around lunchtime, just in time to pop in to the excellent Aviator Café for some food. Once we’re all filled up we start with the set-up. It’s an excellent venue for us as the loading is very easy and we have the amazing Concorde as a backdrop. It normally takes around six hours to set up the arena with a crew of eight.

On the day of event we don’t normally get a moment to rest – between each show we’ll be busy fixing robots, charging the batteries, filling the gas bottles and talking to interested visitors. I have several roles during the shows. First, to ‘Tech Check’ all of the robots – this is a safety check on the robots to make sure they comply with the rules and regulations and that they have all of the safety systems fitted and working.

Whilst the show is on I will be ‘Arena Marshall’,  responsible for the loading of the robots into the arena but more importantly making sure they are armed up safely and at the end of the fight that they are dis-armed safely as well. Should there be any issues during a fight I will be on hand with a fire extinguisher! I will also be operating the sound and lighting, whilst driving some of the robots. For the last two years I have hosted the show as well, but thankfully this year we have our resident presenter, Ed Hoppitt,  coming along. He is the Team Captain of Team Storm, who are the current Robot Wars World Champions with their robot Storm 2.

Battling robots appearing at Robots Live! National Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

We’ll be running 3-4 shows during the day, each lasting around 40 minutes. Each show will be of the same format with two heavyweight fights, a featherweight fight and a boxing match, although each fight will be different, so well worth coming to as many shows as you can!

For more information on Robots Live you can visit our website; you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive behind the scenes information and pictures; and

A guest post by Andy Brown from Replay Events

Replay Events brought their retro video gaming to the second annual Robots Live! event at the National Museum of Flight, East Fortune on Sunday 17 June 2012.

Replay Events are a company who specialise in video gaming events and equipment hire and we will be providing a ‘robots’ themed videogames display for Robots Live!  at the National Museum of Flight.

Gamers in the Replay Lounge, which will be at Robots Live! at National Museum of Flight.

Running an event, even for just one day, takes a lot of preparation. All equipment has to be thoroughly checked and cleaned, all games have to be tested and spares need to be brought – some of the equipment we are asked to provide is over 30 years old! Depending on the size of the event, setup can take anything from a few hours to a few days and it isn’t unusual for us to work through the night to get things ready for a deadline.

Remember these? See them at Robots Live! at National Museum of Flight.

For the Robots Live! we will be bringing a selection of computers and consoles from the 1970s right through to the most recent consoles. We will be showing how robot games have evolved as the games machines have become more powerful over the years. There should be something for all ages with our display – parents will enjoy showing their children what games were like when they were at school, some of the latest consoles will be on display for avid gamers and the exhibition should evoke a few smiles as well as memories in even the most casual of gamers.