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Here We Go Again!

For those who don’t know us, our PiWars team is a father/son combo, Andy and Harry. We have built a series of robots called KEITH (Kinetic Electronic Interactive Tracked Hardware).

We entered the first Piwars in 2014 when Harry was a keen but inexperienced 15yr old coder with athe first version of KEITH.


Having had a huge amount of fun and some success we entered again in 2015 with KEITH Evo, a larger and much better built robot. We won the ‘A4’ size category coming second overall to the ‘A3’ winner and legend that is Brian Corteil.


The 2017 competition was contested using KEITH 3 (Mostly Harmless). A good looking beast, KEITH 3 didn’t perform as successfully as KEITH Evo despite being stronger, faster etc. He didn’t disgrace himself, but clearly the competition had stepped up!


Harry then went off to university in Sheffield to study Systems & Control Engineering. As a result, the 2018 and 2019 competitions passed us by without a return of KEITH. Harry then got involved with a team of other roboteers and they gained an entry to PiWars 2020 with a new robot, Sheffbot. As his dad, I thought I had got clean away with any involvement other than a bit of driving so I volunteered to be a marshal/judge in order to watch the team perform from afar.

As everyone knows, a virus arrived and properly messed things up. When our wonderful PiWars organisers decided to take things into a more virtual world for March 2021 with ‘PiWars at Home’, Harry promptly entered. My role has immediately gone back to being the spanner-man and anything that does not involve coding or complicated maths… Interestingly, though, I’ve not been asked for any money - yet

There was then much discussion over a few beers (the joys of a 21yr old son!) about what approach to take for the competition:

We knew we didn’t want to use a commercial robot chassis and building a new one from scratch, in the style of the earlier KEITHs, is not a practical option - unless someone wants to buy us a laser cutter (pretty please). So, after much soul-searching, we decided to update, up-cycle, re-purpose and otherwise sacrifice our prize-winning robot from PiWars 2015, KEITH Evo. The next installment will start to describe the processes for bring KEITH Evo up to date and making him competition ready. But what will we call him?…

Family Portrait Family Portrait

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