Robot Review: Cobra (S09E02)

If you noticed the small change to this blog, then bravo. I don’t like it, but it’s a placeholder until I get around to actually revamping this place and making it look vaguely decent. The logo needed some form of personalisation and Microsoft Paint was my friend. Just roll with it.

Yes, I’m still on Week 2. All going to plan, I should have finished week 2’s reviews by the time episode 5 rolls around. So that’s 5 reviews in 4 days. What could go wrong?

Today the focus is on Cobra, an interesting robot coming all the way from Belgium to cause havoc in the arena. I have to admit, at first I kind of dismissed Cobra for a variety of reasons. For one, I’ve never held up much hope for crusher/grabber robots like Cobra, or Draven for that matter. They just haven’t seemed to work very well for me. Then you factor in the fact that it was sharing a melee with Behemoth and Eruption, suddenly it’s not looking quite so hopeful. But as always, in Robot Wars you never know.

In terms of the robot itself, Cobra pretty much lives up to its name. Other than being on 4 wheels and a flat box shape for the majority of the robot, Cobra does have the head of a Cobra at its front end, which is what doubles as the grabber. Cobra is a bit of a speed demon at 20mph, but by no means the fastest robot we’ve seen in the competition. The striking orange and black paint job gives a nice visual, though I’m not convinced by the flower crown hung around the snake’s neck.

As I said before, Cobra came up in a melee against Eruption and Behemoth. Hobgoblin made up the final participant, and led to a number of challenges for Cobra. Nobody wanted to go near a spinner if they can help it, and neither Behemoth or Eruption were really robots you could grasp hold of. On the plus side, Cobra could run both ways up, so that at least nullified the flipper’s effect somewhat.

Cobra started off with the speed you would expect, attacking Behemoth by ramming them side on. That was the kind of attacks that Cobra went with in the end- instead of using the snake to bite, they used it as a battering ram. Speed goes hand in hand with battering ram power, but Cobra still had to fear the weapons of Behemoth and Eruption. Hobgoblin not so much seeing as they died within the first 30 seconds.

Eruption struck the first blow on Cobra, flipping them over. But Cobra can run both ways up, and it did exactly that. It’s a weird mechanism, as the head of the snake scrapes along the floor and lifts 2 wheels off the ground. So whilst upside down, it’s only 2 wheel drive. In order to right themselves, Cobra use the floor flipper! Unfortunately this sends them into Eruption, who flip them back onto the floor flipper, which sends them flying again. What a sequence.

Cobra certainly weren’t afraid of getting involved. At one point they hit the pit release button, which activated the pit, and then in the next sequence they drove into and got caught by Sir Killalot, who roasted them over the fire for a bit.

Killalot and Cobra
Killalot’s plaything

But Cobra, for all their aggressive driving and attacks, are really the focus of everyone else’s assaults. Eruption especially seem to be having a field day with them and the large ground clearance of the robot. That, and they’re hardly doing any damage, nor are they particularly controlled having gone half the fight the wrong way up. However, they survive until the end, and that leads us to a judges’ decision. Cobra, Eruption or Behemoth.

And in the end, the judges go with Eruption and Behemoth. Cobra are, sadly, out.

So how did Cobra do? Well they weren’t completely outclassed or destroyed, and to take a 4-way melee to a judges’ decision was mightily impressive. They showed glimpses of what they could do too with their ramming attacks and aggressive driving. However, the weapon did nothing, they spend most of the fight upside down and they ran into Killalot once too often. I think the judges’ decision was correct.

Expectation v Result (Out in Rd1-Out in Rd1): 0
World’s most mobile battering ram: +2
Floor flipper acrobatics: +2.5
Survived all the way to a judges’ decision: +2
Sir Killalot’s plaything: -1
One too many flips from Eruption: -1
Belgium: +1

Robot Rating (Cobra): 5.5/10

Full Robot Review rankings from this series and the last series can be found here: )
Each review rating is hyperlinked to the article about that robot- simply click on the robot’s name to be navigated to their article.


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