Robot Wars is back on this Sunday, July 24. Here are the 8 robots competing in the inaugural heat
After 12 long years, and the pouring outcry of fans from both Europe and America, the BBC 2 staple for 7 long seasons – Robot Wars – is back on. It will be making its grand return to the UK’s TV screens on July 24th.
The new series has a new arena, four returning House Robots, all of whom have been rebuilt to match up with the new standard of competitors today, and 40 teams from Robot Wars past to duke it out in 5 heats featuring 8 robots each. These 5 heats will have one winner, followed along with one WildCard leading up to the Grand Final.
The inaugural heat of the new 2016 season has been labeled as the Heat of Death by many due to the very impressive array of teams from Robot Wars past, along with many highly effective modern designs that are up to date with 2016. Four of these teams have also competed in the BattleBots reboot this year and last year.
Let the Wars Begin as we look at the 8 robots in Heat A.
Team: Make Robotics
Starting off with a BattleBots 2015 veteran, an active competitor since 1998, Robot Wars All-Star, and former heat winner, Behemoth is one of the many household names that Robot Wars was able to make.
Make Robotics is also the team behind Radioactive in the 2015 BattleBots competition, making it to the Top 16 with that bot.
Behemoth started off as a very basic flipper bot in Series 2 of Robot Wars in Heat D, a heat that another robot, Razer, would also make its famed debut. Behemoth would trump Elvis and Inquisitor to win it’s debut heat, and would make it all the way to the Arena Stage of the Semi Finals, where it would lose to eventual 4th place holder, Killertron.
Behemoth would then make it to its Heat Final in Series 3, losing to Pitbull, and would place second in the first World Championship after losing to Razer in the final. Behemoth would then make the Heat Final in Series 4 before hitting quite the lull from Series 5-7, never making it farther than the Heat Semi-Final.
Amidst all this through, Behemoth would be the inaugural Challenge Belt Holder, along with winning the Series 7 House Robot Rebellion with Gravity. After that Behemoth would have quite the career in the Roaming Robots and Robot Wars Live circuit, being a regular at these events, even making it to the finals of a number of major events.
Behemoth is running the same classic design that’s been slowly upgrading while remaining similar since Robot Wars Series 5. Its armed with that primary plow flipper that can self right, push others to the arena hazards or Corner Patrol Zones (CPZ) where house robots lurk, and of course flip others over.
Behemoth is driven by Make Robotics captain Anthony Pritchard, who is a major player in the UK robotics scene and one of the best drivers in the game. Expect Behemoth to easily go into the second round and possibly even take the heat with the benefit of its veteran experience.
Team: Team Mute
Next up is a team many don’t realize was behind one of the most impressive new flippers of Robot Wars Extreme and Series 7: Mute.
Team Mute has a late but potent lineage in the Robot Wars Universe. Mute has been around since Robot Wars Series 4 but wouldn’t qualify for any major competitions until Robot Wars Extreme 2 when they showed up to the New Blood tournament with Mute and the Featherweight Championship with Micro Mute.
Micro Mute would go on to the Featherweight Finals, while their main flipper, Mute, would go all the way to the New Blood Grand Final, placing second overall to the eventual Series 7 Runner-Up, Storm II.
Mute would go on to win it’s Series 7 Heat, beating Behemoth and Judge Shred III on the way to the Series Semi Finals, where it would lose to Firestorm in Round 1. The team currently holds a 8-4 record between Mute (7-2) and Micro Mute (1-2), coming into Robot Wars 2016 with their new bot Bonk.
Bonk is the robot the team has been using on the live circuit for quite a while and is armed with a very powerful hammer. Bonk has been Andrew Emmett and Team Mute’s signature robot since 2013, where it debuted in the Winter Tour and unfortunately lost in it’s debut round.
Bonk has gone through numerous upgrades since then and can possibly be a deadly hammer in this competition with the use of its CO2 system, which can keep Bonk rooted to the ground no matter how powerful the hammer shot might be.
Team: Team Carbide
If you feel like you have seen this robot before you’re definitely not alone and you’re not going crazy. Team Carbide is currently competing in BattleBots 2016 with a robot that looks familiar by just the slightest.
Despite the team being the holder of two of the most impressive spinners in the UK, their roots are with crushing bots. Before Team Carbide had the the new title to match their bots, they were a mainstay crusher team in Robot Wars as Team Tiberius with their main robot of the same name, with co-designer Sam Smith being a member of both teams.
Tiberius is arguably the second most dominant crusher in Robot Wars history behind Razer and was very well armored. It made it far into heats, including the Series 7 Heat Final. Tiberius also won the Robot Wars Extreme University Challenge and overall holds a 7-4 Record in Robot Wars.
The machine would still live on in the Live Event era as Tiberius 4, being a mainstay in the Live Circuit until 2013 when it was sold to Team Storm and was repackaged into a new robot which ironically also fought in BattleBots 2016 as Photon Storm.
Carbide is based off Sam Smith’s dominant Featherweight robot, NST, which has won the UK Featherweight Championship back in 2012 and won the Annihilator in 2015.
Carbide also shares some similarity to Tombstone and aims to be just as deadly by using it’s spinner bar, which weighs in at 25kg and spins at 2300 RPM. This robot is considered a favorite to win this Heat.
Team: Team Cold Fusion
Much like Team Mute with Bonk, Kill E Crank E is the result of an All Star Team taking a 180 with their machine, going from a saw blade robot to this robot that shares a lot of similarity to powerful spinner robots like T-Bone and S3.
Coincidentally being placed in the same heat as Razer and Behemoth, both bots that it competed with back in Robot Wars Series 2, Team Cold Fusion has been fighting since 1997 during Robot Wars Series 1, placing second with their bot, Bodyhammer, in that event. Bodyhammer would then fail to make it out of the Gauntlet in Series 2, its last appearance as it would be replaced by the successful Pussycat in Series 3 onwards.But Bodyhammer’s legacy still partly remains, as the wheels used for Kill-E Crank-E are the same wheels Bodyhammer used.
Pussycat would be a Robot Wars Staple, winning 2 Heats and making it to the Series 3 Heat Final. Pussycat would also win the Series 7 All Stars event, the Extreme 1 Annihilator, and be in the Extreme 2 Iron Maidens Finals. Overall, along with the team’s Featherweights, Katnip & Kitty, Team Cold Fusion currently holds a 37-14 record between the four robots.
Kill-E Crank-E is captained by Series 4 veteran Robin Herrick out of Scotland. Kill-E Crank-E is armed with interchangeable pincers and a spinning disk that spins at 450 RPM, as seen in Live Events it has competed in. It’s the widest robot in the competition with its tubular design and is invertible, being able to continue the fight even if it’s flipped over.
Team: Team Nuts
Looking at the first and only newcomer in this event, we have one of two thwack-bots in this competition and the only minibot team in this heat, Nuts.
A regular on the Live Event scene since early 2015, Nuts’ best appearance so far was in late 2015 when Nuts competed in the Robot Wars Live World Championships, qualifying with it moving on to the second round alongside Iron Awe. Nuts then went on to beat Thunder Child and Apex in its second round before finally losing in the Quarterfinals against a competitor we’ll be seeing in a future episode this Robot Wars season, Thor, by knockout.
The team is the newest of the 8 here to the sport of robot rombat, only starting in the Heavyweight class since early 2015. Nuts itself boasts a two chained thwack system and two minibots designed to wedge under opposing robots so their thwack system can be put to full effect. Expert driving by those minibots will be crucial if the flamboyantly dressed team wishes to move on in competition.
Team: Team Razer
In the same way that the poster boy of BattleBots is the sleek and deadly Nightmare, Robot Wars has its own sleek and deadly icon in the Series 5 Robot Wars Champion: Razer.
Razer’s legacy is one that even the most casual Robot Wars fans will remember and one that truly brings on the nostalgia when its name is spoken. Ever since making its Robot Wars Series 2 debut in 1998, Razer has been the best crushing robot in Robot Combat history, winning Robot Wars Series 5, and the first two Robot Wars World Championships.
Its accolades only continue, as Razer also won the Robot Wars Extreme 1 and Extreme 2 All-Stars tournaments, the Robot Wars Series 4 Southern Annihilator (where it famously destroyed house robot Matilda), the Series 3 International League and Pinball Tournament, and 3 “Best Designed” Awards.
Overall Razer runs itself up an absolutely astonishing 41-6 record in combat, and 45-9 if you include its BattleBots record, where it won the BattleBots Long Beach 1999 Gigabot Rumble.
Razer has been upgraded heavily from the inside for this new Robot Wars competition. The Razer Team has been fighting since 1998, developing extensive driver expertise. If Razer can overcome past technical issues it will surely make a solid run for the Heat title.
Team: Team Terrorhurtz
The super stacked heat of death only continues as we take a look at yet another robot with many claims to fame, along with being a fellow Series 6 Grand Finalist with Razer..
Team Hurtz is perhaps the best team in Robot Combat history to make use of the hammer/axe style weapon, a style that many fans look at as obsolete in 2016. But after BETA, another robot from Team Hurtz, having an absolutely stellar performance in BattleBots so far, those fans have been proven wrong. If Terrorhurtz is still as good as it was from 2002-2006, they’ll be proven doubly so.
Team Hurtz’ legacy begins in Robot Wars Series 2 like Razer and Behemoth. With the very nippy KillerHurtz, the team would be a mainstay in Robot Wars from Series 2-4 and BattleBots from the Long Beach 1999 Tournament all the way to Season 4.0, putting up a 16-13 record overall on the two shows.
Terrorhurtz and BETA would be the go-to bots for Team Hurtz. As of right now, BETA is only 1-0 due to “The Curse” but Terrorhurtz has been the most successful robot in the team’s 18 year history, placing fourth in Robot Wars Series 6, winning the Extreme 2 Challenge Belt Tournament, the 2004 Roaming Robots Winter Tour, and the 2009 Roaming Robots UK Championships making it the second robot since Chaos 2 to retain the UK Title. Terrorhurtz is 9-5 in Robot Wars.
Terrorhurtz is now in a new forward shape but still features the deadly axe. Terrorhurtz has been known for it’s very durable armour, the same that is used on BETA, and it will play a major factor in a heat against many hard hitters such as Carbide and Razer. If the defense can hold up, it will overcome the rest of the heat.
Team: Team General
With veterans of robots like Terrorhurtz and Razer in this heat, our last veteran and competitor is a bit of a wildcard to be considered a true veteran. Despite competing in Series 2 and 3, this is Team General’s first time in the main UK championship.
Back when Robot Wars ran smaller class tournaments for the first time back during Robot Wars Series 2, the Welsh Team known at the time as Team Spartacus was competing in the Robot Wars Series 2 Lightweight Championship with a robot of the same name, using a gripping beak up front.
The General team would come back the next year for Robot Wars Series 3 competing with the first version of The General, which was a 4 wheeled plow bot that would exclusively compete in the Robot Wars soccer event. The General would beat Spectre in the first round, going to the Grand Finals against Gnasher, Velocirippa, and the eventual champion, Evil Weevil.
The team also had a Lightweight version of The General called Hazzard to compete in the Series 3 Lightweight Tournament before it was canceled. The General would then try to qualify for Series 4 along with it’s other bot Slicer, but both failed to make it. The team now finally gets its shot in the UK championship.
The main weapon on The General of course is that big flywheel on the front, along with the rammer on the back. The main issue with this design is the fact that its wheels are completely exposed due to their massive size. It’s unknown how good the driving for General will be and we will have to see if it can hold up in its Round 1 fight in a very stacked Heat A.