NOT MANY family holidays include competing in 'megadeath' battles between 110kg robots, but the Colliass family wouldn't have it any other way.

Inventor Craig Colliass, from Grove, and three of his children will appear in tomorrow's episode of Robot Wars, where their axe-based bot Gabriel 2 will go head to head with some of the toughest machines in this year's competition.

The 57-year-old said: "I started building a robot for the original series but by the time it was done the series had ended.

"From there, as a family we started taking them to live matches throughout the UK and the children love it.

"It's hard because the robots aren't toys and you don't want to be giving a welder to a 12-year-old but as the children get older there is more they can do."

He added: "We went up to Glasgow for the filming and it was lovely, we think of it as a family holiday. Everyone is so friendly and it would be hard to find a more interesting and intelligent group.

"It's strange, it is carnage in the arena by as soon as it's over everyone is helping each other get the robots back into shape."

The family are veteran competitors, in previous years Mr Colliass' sons Mark, 27, and Zach, 19, took part with the original Gabriel and Cherub, but this time he is joined by 12-year-old twins Rosie and Sarah, as well as old pro Toby, 14, who has competed in all three series of the show's modern comeback.

Toby, who attends UTC Oxfordshire in Didcot, said: "Growing up in a house of robots was pretty amazing. I feel like it has set me up for life, as when I'm older I really want to be an engineer."

The Robot Wars judges have called Gabriel 2 one to watch, with Dr Lucy Rogers saying: “If team captain and driver, Toby, can keep up the tactical aggression he showed [last year] but with a robot with a vastly stronger weapon in Gabriel 2, they could be very effective this series.”

The father-of-eight is tight lipped about how the team got on, but revealed: "I think it's one of the best episodes they've done. It's been called the megadeath episode because they've put a lot of the most successful robots in one heat to make it interesting and ensure it isn't the same people who make it to the final each time."

In the second heat of the new series Eruption, Aftershock, Crackers N Smash, Gabriel 2, Big Nipper and last year's champion Carbide all take to the arena in pursuit of Robot Wars glory.

The robots will have to fight through the brutal group battles and knockout rounds to guarantee themselves a place in the grand final.

The show airs tomorrow on BBC 2 at 8pm.