After two rather entertaining battles that made up the initial melees, Heat G is really starting to come together. Seeds S.M.I.D.S.Y. have managed to get their way into the second round, along with Atomic, Hellbent and Mean Streak. But, of course, this is the point at which we take a break from all that and go to our special event, which this time is a World Championship Qualifier.
This battle is actually Ireland v South Africa, which makes it sound more like a rugby matchup than anything. In the corner for South Africa we have everybody’s favourite crab bot, Crushtacean. Crushtacean is of course novel because of the way the weapons are controlled. The two crushing crab claws are controlled by a set of motion gloves- if the gloves are closed, the claws close too. As for the actual robot, Crushtacean is a silver dome, which can run both ways up on a 2 wheel drive system, but has a rather large ground clearance in doing so. The robot is fast at 20mph. Can it crush its way to victory?
For The Republic of Ireland we have Topbot, which is something strikingly different to Crushtacean. A yellow and red art exhibition, Topbot can’t quite escape looking like a cheese grater. It has a rather hefty looking flywheel that weighs 30kg, so 30% of the entire robot. It is also invertible, with 4 wheels on both sides of the robot. I don’t know exactly how fast that flywheels spins at, but it looks like it could cause some real damage if it connected with something. Frightening. World’s deadliest cheese grater.
Your house robots for this intercontinental showdown are Sgt. Bash and Mr Psycho. What a line-up. Let’s get down to the fight!
Crushtacean is fastest out of the starting gate, going straight for Topbot and grasping them between the claws with enough purchase to shove them into the CPZ corner, where Topbot can’t really do anything. Eventually, Topbot do manage to escape the crab’s grasp. But as the battle unfolds, Topbot cant’ really seem to get any real contact on a slippery Crushtacean. But, likewise, Crushtacean aren’t really doing anything now. And Topbot’s disc has started getting up to speed.
Now, I don’t know if Topbot was being controlled with a potato, but apparently they thought it was a good idea to drive the robot straight into the arena side wall. Now I said the disc looked hefty, and it is hefty enough to actually smash the side wall into a few pieces. Crushtacean cleans up quite nicely, grasping hold of Topbot and pushing them away from the wreck zone.
Crushtacean continues to push Topbot around like a trolley through a supermarket, before pushing them into a different section of the arena side wall. This time it doesn’t break, fortunately. But regardless, Crushtacean are well on top.
Crushtacean’s next move is to manoeuvre Topbot into the pit release button… Eventually. Infact they more take the pit release button apart than just press it, such is the problems with the way the thing is constructed. Now Crushtacean has just one aim, and that is to get Topbot down the pit. And so they push them, slowly, until they’re right on the edge. With one final push, Topbot go falling into the great chasm that is the pit. And so, they are out.
Crushtacean are flying the flag for South Africa all the way into the 3rd World Championship.
Back to the main event.
We know that Hellbent, Atomic, Mean Streak and S.M.I.D.S.Y. have made it through, and the first second round matchup sees the seeded S.M.I.D.S.Y. come up against Mean Streak. It’s the wedge lifter versus the dual spinner. Which one will come out on top? Will the seeds survive?
Your house robots are unchanged from the last fight, with Mr Psycho and Sgt. Bash retaining their place in the CPZs, looking for trouble. Let’s begin!
Both robots charge head on at each other, but as S.M.I.D.S.Y. have the low wedge with zero ground clearance, they can get underneath Mean Streak, which sails over the top of them. Mean Streak land a couple of hit with the disc in retaliation, but it does minimal damage to S.M.I.D.S.Y., although it does produce some nice sparks for effect. The two robots are similarly shaped, so when they both try to reach around each other to make contact with their weapons, they just end up going round and round in circles with each other.
When they finally separate, S.M.I.D.S.Y. start pushing Mean Streak around, trying to get them into a compromising position, but Mean Streak are fighting back, as much as they can. But they’re not doing any of the aggression themselves. Eventually S.M.I.D.S.Y. lets them go, but only when they are in the vicinity of Sgt. Bash. Bash is waiting to pounce, and is almost able to snatch S.M.I.D.S.Y. first. But soon They find Mean Streak in their CPZ, under siege by S.M.I.D.S.Y.
Sgt. Bash take a few bites at Mean Streak, before S.M.I.D.S.Y. comes along and takes them away, once again pushing them across the arena floor. This time they end up in the opposite CPZ, where Mr Psycho is on hand to deliver one hell of a hammer blow to Mean Streak, who are quick to get out of there as quick as possible.
But, in trying to get away from Mr Psycho, Mean Streak end up over the pit as S.M.I.D.S.Y. hit the button. It’s a close thing, but they do manage to get themselves away just in time. This allows S.M.I.D.S.Y. to come back in and push them over the CO2 jet, whilst Bash comes in for a bit of fun too. S.M.I.D.S.Y. start to lift Mean Streak, which is now in real trouble.
And S.M.I.D.S.Y., channelling all the might of its machine, uses the lifting scoop and slowly, slowly begins to tip mean streak over. It’s agonising, and at one point it looks like they’ve lost their grip. But then, with one almighty shove, Mean Streak are on their side against the arena side wall, and immobile.
Refbot comes in and starts to count them down, ending the Mean Streak. The counter hits 10 and they are officially counted out, leaving Mr Psycho to the cleanup job. The claw goes right through Mean Streak as Psycho hoists them up, then dumps them back down onto the floor flipper to watch them fly- and they almost bounce all the way out of the arena.
Well, if Mean Streak were going to go, at least they went out with some flair. S.M.I.D.S.Y. are through.
So now we know the first of our heat finalists, with the 13th seed S.M.I.D.S.Y. going through. But who will join them, Hellbent or Atomic? Find out next time…