Robot Wars S07E07 Part 1: Going Down

I’ve never gone through more than 6 episodes of a series (Thanks BBC), but with the 7th wars we can delve even further with Heat G. I liked having the heats denoted by letters, maybe they should look at bringing that back for the new series(?) We’ve been through some great episodes so far, and some great robots too. With heat winners like M2, Gravity and The Grim Reaper doing it for the legion of flippers, reigning champions Tornado and vertical spinner X-Terminator have brought things back for the rest of the pack. This time around we have 13th seeds S.M.I.D.S.Y., Cygnus X-1, Atomic, Terror Turtle, Hellbent, I Bot One Beta (What a name), Mean Streak and Araknia. Even with S.M.I.D.S.Y. being seeds, the heat looks wide open for just about anyone to take. Except Terror Turtle, because Terror Turtle was never going to win, was it?

Our first melee concerns the 13th seeds S.M.I.D.S.Y. (Awkward name is awkward), Atomic, Cygnus X-1 and Terror Turtle. Sounds like an intergalactic nuclear war is about to commence.

Let’s start with the seeded robot, S.M.I.D.S.Y., an acronym for “Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You”. Despite being seeded 13th, this robot has a record of never having made it out of the heats, which is maybe more of an indication as to how messed up the 7th wars seeding was. I’m quite glad it got scrapped for the newer series. The robot itself is almost a classing box wedge robot, with its 4 wheel, box chassis sporting a thin wedge at the front to get underneath opponents. The wedge doubles as a lifting mechanism, but history has told us S.M.I.D.S.Y. doesn’t tend to rely on it, preferring instead to use brute force a la Tornado. There’s also a small disc at the back that nobody cares about.

Next we have Atomic, a robot making its return having sat out the 6th wars. Playing on its name with the hazardous nuclear labels and bright yellow and red paintwork, Atomic’s main weaponry is a lifting scoop, which has a wide berth to capture robots and then tip them over. It’s not a fully fledged flipper, but it is definitely effective. It’s now slow either at 12mph. Can they cause an upset?

Thirdly we have Cygnus X-1, which sounds like it could be an intergalactic space craft. It looks like one too with its sleek, silver paint job. A full pressure flipper, Cygnus X-1 is kind of like the step up from S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Atomic in terms of weaponry, but that doesn’t mean it will be more effective. More still, the shape of Cygnus means that it very well could be flipped over in such a way that the robot comes to rest on its side, where the flipper wouldn’t be able to self right it.

Finally we have Terror Turtle. It’s a robot shaped like a turtle, if you hadn’t guessed. It has a 9kg spinning disc as a weapon, but it can only move at a speed of 5mph and, even though it is invertible, the wheels are heavily exposed and the entire thing is made of fibreglass. Safe to say it isn’t favourite for the heat.

Your house robots for this battle are Dead Metal and Shunt. Ah, the good old days. Let the robot party begin!

The fight started really as everyone on Terror Turtle, with both S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Atomic both going for them. Atomic got there first, got in behind the robot (Which couldn’t get away because it has the speed of an actual turtle), and flipped them over. Terror Turtle is invertible, fine, but to be flipped so early on is an ominous sign.

In the midst of the flames

Terror Turtle, in trying to get away from Atomic, drives into Cygnus, which itself is just aimlessly driving around away from the action. S.M.I.D.S.Y. comes in with a follow up attack, but it just ends up pushing the turtle away. S.M.I.D.S.Y. leave the turtle for a moment to concentrate on Cygnus, mentally pushing them backwards towards the arena side wall, where Atomic comes in with a sucker punch and flips Cygnus against the side wall and the angle grinder. Cygnus is now on its side, and it can’t self right.

Everyone has now piled into that corner. S.M.I.D.S.Y. actually uses the disc to do minimal damage to Atomic, but it creates some nice sparks. Terror Turtle is pushing its luck by joining the action, but it might as well try whilst it can.

Car crash
Car crash

Cygnus is pretty much done if it can’t right itself, and right now the chances of it righting itself without outside help is practically zero. Meanwhile, Terror Turtle are about to pay the price for their foray into the action, as S.M.I.D.S.Y. push them towards the arena side wall before Atomic steal in, get underneath, and take them out of the arena altogether! Terror Turtle has now gone from endangered, to extinct.

Now, S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Atomic could just leave it there and go through, but S.M.I.D.S.Y. decide to start pushing Cygnus towards a different part of the arena side wall, and Atomic follows in behind… And flips S.M.I.D.S.Y.! They bounce off the wall but just about stop themselves from going over, but now they’re beached too. Shunt joins in, because the house robots need some representation, and has a go at Atomic. When that fails, they move onto S.M.I.D.S.Y., which has just freed itself, and land a blow right on the top of the machine.

Refbot finally comes in, amongst the madness, and starts to count down Cygnus. The end is in sight for this melee. Cygnus is trying its last tricks, but the flipper just isn’t powerful enough to get them back over. Whether it isn’t high enough pressure, they’ve run out of gas or whatever else it could be, it just isn’t happening. Cygnus will join Terror Turtle out of the competition. Meanwhile, Atomic and S.M.I.D.S.Y. are still going at it. There’s no need, but they do it anyway.

Countdown to the end
Countdown to the end

So Cygnus are out, Atomic and S.M.I.D.S.Y. through. But in their tussle, S.M.I.D.S.Y. have stopped moving altogether, and Atomic gladly push them over the pit, hit the button, and watch them descend into their doom…

Still through though.

Cygnus, poor Cygnus, are then pushed onto the drop zone, which unleashes the power of a falling TV onto them. The TV came off worse.

So, second melee. Can it live up to the action of the first melee? Well to see if they can step up to the plate, we have I Bot One Beta, Hellbent, Mean Streak and Araknia. This one sounds more like a horror dungeon than futuristic nuclear war, but it still has some fun and creepily named robots.

First to enter the arena is Araknia. It’s probably no surprise to learn that the robot is based off a spider. Not in the shape of the robot itself, but by having a giant spider painted onto the bodywork. It’s invertible, which is always useful, and runs on just a two wheel drive system featuring slightly exposed wheels. The weapon is a spinning bar on the front of the robot, which contains rare earth magnets at the tips to try and shred the armour of opponents. The armour is a combination of Carbon Fibre and fibreglass, which probably isn’t the most confidence inspiring material that could have been chosen. That, and it weighs just 77kg.

Next we have Mean Streak, which itself seems to be built like a blue and white rock. A bulky, smooth box shaped robot, Mean Streak is armed with a pair of small flywheels which spin at 3000rpm, whilst the robot itself is invertible and can run at a top speed of 15mph. The discs have titanium cutting teeth to try and tear through an opponent’s armour, but the flywheels are perhaps a little small. Only time will tell if they’re up for the job.

Thirdly we have Hellbent, the first axe of the episode! Looking like it had grave digging at 6 and Robot Wars at 8, Hellbent turns the spooky up to 110%. It’s probably the decorative skull that does that. A cut-off box wedge design that makes it a little quirky, Hellbent has two lifting spikes at the front of the robot, and of course that silver, shiny axe mounted on top. It looks mean, but the team are inexperienced and this is the first time the robot has seen proper action.

Finally we have I Bot One Beta. I don’t know what possessed them to come up with that name, but I can already tell I don’t have the patience to continually keep writing it out every few lines. The robot comes from Germany, which means I’m going to continually compare it to Tsunami. Doesn’t read well for IBOB in that case. Still, the robot has two 10kg bar spinners on either end as weapons, going at 3000rpm, which could be menacing to the other robots out there. It’s also invertible, as are 2/3 other robots here.

Your house robots are OG Sir Killalot and Psycho’s psycho pet dog, Growler. A nasty duo if ever there were one.

Everyone is tentative to start, but Hellbent land the first blow by turning Mean Streak over. However, with Hellbent being the only robot there not invertible and also the only robot with a lifting weapon, they might find success here somewhat limited. So instead the go in with the axe, but it ends up in Mean Streak’s wheel housing.

Everyone takes this as an opportunity to jump on everyone else. Araknia are now spinning around because their weapon isn’t actually doing anything yet, and IBOB are just in there for a laugh. Hellbent, continuing their pursuit, finally manage to land a solid blow on Mean Streak, which is then attacked by Araknia. Damage is done by Araknia, finally putting the weapon to use.

Strike One
Strike One

Hellbent leave Mean Streak and instead go chasing after Araknia, catching up when the spider runs into Refbot and then launching a hammer blow with the axe, which practically caves in Araknia’s top armour panel. Hellbent go in again and again and again, merciless in their destruction of Araknia. They then get underneath and flip them over- although Araknia should be invertible, in reality the weapon is actually pushing them off the floor, and they can’t get any traction with the wheels. IBOB meanwhile has all but disappeared back to Germany, it’s so out of the fight.

Whilst Hellbent chase down IBOB, Mean Streak is taking its revenge against Araknia, using the flywheels to put deep scores into the spider’s armour. Araknia this time can’t do much to retaliate, although they have at least found the ability to drive again. Over in the other corner, Hellbent land a good blow on IBOB, and push them all the way into the arena side wall. That seems to kill the robot, which is somewhat unfortunate given they hadn’t actually done anything in the fight as of yet.

Sir Killalot starts to play around with IBOB, whilst Hellbent goes back in on Mean Streak, but struggles to hit anything other than the wheel housing again. Araknia then drive into Hellbent, the result of which is the entire top armour panel (Though it’s on the bottom now because they’re upside down) spontaneously falling off. Not good whichever way you look at it.

Spilling your guts
Spilling your guts

As it stands, IBOB is being counted out, Araknia has half a robot left and Hellbent has been utterly dominant. Mean Streak has survived more by virtue of not being made of cardboard. That hasn’t stopped Hellbent putting holes into them, but they have at least survived. Araknia… Well they’re now over a flame jet, and kinda on fire. Chargrilled spider anyone?

It was at this point my YouTube crashed, so let’s leave it there. We already know who’s through.

Atomic and Hellbent both dominated their melees, whilst S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Mean Streak tagged along for the ride. We’ll see them back in the second part to this, but until then…


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