There’s no doubt, looking at it, that Rapid is one of those robots that’s trying to be the absolute best it can be. There are robots like Nuts and Jellyfish which are fun, which are interesting in design and something different, then there are robots like Rapid. Rapid cost £25,000 and aiming to be something of an engineering marvel that can wipe the floor with everyone. Now robots trying to be the very best are usually one of a spinner or a flipper, and Rapid is the latter. Rapid is actually the only flipper in this heat altogether, which leaves it in its own little corner trying to defeat the plethora of spinners, axes and flails.
Rapid certainly looks sleek. It looks simple- it’s a wedge with a rather large flipper, and that’s about as much to it as you need. Even the dull silver paint job is simple. But the big question is can Rapid live up to its expectation? You don’t pour that much money into a robot and not expect it to win. But the arena is an unforgiving place, and there are never any guarantees.
Rapid found themselves in the first heat, facing off against Terrorhurtz, Nuts 2 and Jellyfish. Looking at that line-up on paper, you’d think that only Terrorhurtz would pose any real danger.
And Rapid looked like proving themselves almost straight away, getting underneath the rather light (By Robot Wars standard) Jellyfish and tossing them into the air. No real harm to Jellyfish, but a real show of intent. And Rapid kept pestering Jellyfish, even if they weren’t flipping them every single time, but they would not let them go.
Jellyfish almost couldn’t get rid of them. The only time Rapid did take a different turn was when they got one of Nuts’ flails stuck in their flipper, and they had to take the flailing robot for a ride across the arena. But then it was back to Jellyfish, and one final flip that took the wacky robot pretty much out of commission. The only problem on Rapid’s end was the bashing they then took from Terrorhurtz. But that didn’t matter too much, because Rapid were through.
So now Rapid are into the head to heads. So far so good. Except now they’re having to come up against Aftershock, which had utterly obliterated Crank-E in their first melee. This was the real test of Rapid’s potential. Beat Aftershock and you could probably beat almost anyone.
And they started out well against Aftershock, getting underneath practically straight away and getting a flip in, though Aftershock managed to right themselves. But it was good aggression and intent for the future. Unfortunately, that was going to be the only good attack, as one of Rapid’s little problems came back to bite them in the ass. Even from the first battle, it was clear to see that once Rapid had fired their flipper, it took a good few seconds for it to close again. That’s how they managed to get one of Nuts’ flails stuck inside them at one point, they practically ate it. But with no flipper, there’s no attack. So when Rapid come into a head to head assault with Aftershock again, they take the full force of the disc on the open flipper.
And now Aftershock has the advantage it needs.
Rapid are a sitting duck. They’re trying to get back into it but the flipper is now bent out of shape, and so any time they face Aftershock, they come off second best. Eventually one hit from Aftershock is so powerful it turns Rapid over. Rapid tries to self right, which not only fails in its objective, but it breaks the flipper. So now they’re beached completely. Game over for this fight.
So fine, Rapid didn’t win that time round. But there’s still two more fights to claw it back, right? Well, no. Because Aftershock have done such a number on Rapid that they’ve broken beyond the point of repair. Well, at least within the 2 hour time window they have to fix the robot. The problem supposedly stems from the gearbox, which is jamming up one of the wheels. The problem is that the gearbox is housed so far deep in the robot, they can’t actually get to it without completely disassembling everything… Which can’t be done in 2 hours. So Rapid, after just one H2H, are out of the competition.
So, how did Rapid do? Well they started off impressively, taking the melee by storm and flipping Jellyfish all over the arena. But things came unstuck in the first head to head against Aftershock, where they ended up not only defeated but damaged beyond repair. And, for all of Rapid’s undoubted potential, to spend £25,000 on a robot and have it eliminated because your gearbox is buried too deep inside, it’s a pretty crap way to go out. Rapid is basically the new Mortis- costly, over engineered and unable to live up to its potential. But this is just one series; If they come back, maybe they’ll have a real shot at it.
Expectation v Result (3rd-5th): -1
Harassed Jellyfish to the point of failure: +6
Made it through to the head to heads: +2
Had its ass handed to it by Aftershock: -2
£25,000 robot and yet eliminated because they couldn’t reach their gearbox: -1
Robot Rating (Rapid): 4/10
Full Robot Review rankings from this series and the last series can be found here:
( https://robotwars2016.wordpress.com/robot-review-rankings/ )
Each review rating is hyperlinked to the article about that robot- simply click on the robot’s name to be navigated to their article.