A STUDENT who has been obsessed with robots since he was a toddler has won the latest series of a TV show devoted to robo-fighting.

Michael Oates, a Durham University student, was part of the team that claimed victory in the final of the BBC show Robot Wars, which aired on Sunday.

The 19-year-old has been building robots with has dad Adrian, the other half of the winning team, since he was six.

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The TV show, which ran between 1998 and 2004 and restarted in 2016, sees contestants fight robots they have designed and built.

Michael, originally from Warrington, said: “It was very strange. It happened six months ago but watching it back was great. Very exciting, but a bit surreal.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years. I started building my first robot when I was about six after watching the original series. My parents say I was glued to it when I was two or three.

“Just as the show ended I started building my own robot. When we got a phone call to ask if we wanted to be in a new series it was a very easy answer.”

Their winning robot Eruption, which they originally built in 2011, weighs in at 109kg and has a top speed of 12.6mph.

The “flipper”, designed to defeat other robots by getting underneath them and flipping them, also has weapons including a vertical spinning disc and crushing claw.

The engineering student said: “To the untrained eye, it looks more or less the same robot but internally there’s not much left of the original. In our first appearance on the show in 2016 it was our worst performance because it was much harsher than any of the events we had been to.

“It was a real eye opener so we went away and made some massive improvements.”

On Sunday, Eruption beat previous champion Carbide, in a repeat of the final of the last series.

The second-year student, who goes to Grey College, said: “After the final of series two we were totally trashed.

“That was the worst beating we have ever taken. It was filmed just before Christmas and it took us until the end of March or April to get it going. That was doing full time over Christmas and coming home at weekends to get it done.

“It would have been easier to say what had survived than what didn’t. It probably helped us in the end because we had to rebuild everything and we rebuilt a lot of things a bit better. At the time it was a lot of work in a cold garage.”

The team is hoping to continue taking part if the series continues.

He added: “I love it as much as when I did back when I first started watching so I have no intention of stopping. When I first saw it I was instantly drawn to it and that excitement has never worn off.

The show is available to watch on BBC’s iPlayer.