Auckland family to compete in world robot fighting championship

An Auckland family has built a deadly battle bot for the world robot fighting championships in China this weekend.

They're chasing glory in a brutal cage fight, live-streamed around the world for thousands of bloodthirsty fans.

A small garage workshop, in Auckland's Blockhouse Bay, is home to a 21st Century gladiator.

Battle robot "Death Toll", weighing in at 110kg, is designed to annihilate its enemies.

"We put it into an arena - a bulletproof arena with other opponents - and they've just got to beat each other up, until one of them dies," said team leader Jack Barker.

The Barker family is one of 40 teams competing at the world championships in Hainan.

Each robot is unique and weapon systems are controlled remotely.

The sport has a huge cult following and organisers are expecting 30,000 viewers on the live-stream.

"The total cost for this robot comes to 30k, so it's quite an expensive thing to do, especially considering we're now going to watch it get smashed up by other robots," said Mr Barker.

The Kiwi team includes three helpful engineers, who've made the whole thing in six weeks at the Barker's home.

It's an impressive set-up, using aircraft aluminium and lithium batteries to power the deadly machine.

Its spinning weapon runs at 6000 RPM and while it might not be flashy, it does the business.

"The main thing about the spinner is it lets you put as much energy into one mechanism as you can, unlike, say a swinging axe, where you get to spin it once and that's all the power you'll get," said mechatronics engineer Shane De Rijk.

The pedal hits the metal on Saturday and the team is conscious that, after all its work, just one mistake could cost them everything.