Robot Review: Vulture (S10E03)

Vulture were another of the new robots to enter into this war, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the warzone. Not content with just the one weapon to attack competitors with, Vulture went ahead and combined two weapons into one. A 6000rpm vertical spinning blade on a pivot that turned it into an axe made up this custom, hybrid weapon, giving it two routed of attack. The robot runs at a respectable 16mph and has a front wedge-like scoop to draw opponents up to the blade as it comes down. The robot, however, is brand new, and that means it has yet to be battle tested.


And what better way to test it than against robots that share similar traits? Apex have a spinner, whilst Terrorhurtz have a powerful axe. Both powerful robots, and a tough test.

The start of the fight is fairly tame for Vulture, with Terrorhurtz and Apex taking more of an interest in each other than in their other opponent. They still stay in an around their competitors, trying to jump in wherever they have the opportunity to try and bring the disc down. On initial observation, it’s clear to see that the axe part of the weapon is quite slow to fire, making it more of an arm than an axe. They do strike their first hit when Terrorhurtz back into them, so at least we know the weapon works.

Grinder.PNG
Grinder

After this, Terrorhurtz start to go after Vulture, and bring it down time after time, bashing against the steel armour that Vulture is clad with. Vulture can barely get the weapon to reach Terrorhurtz, but that doesn’t matter when Terrorhurtz strike a hit right below Vulture’s weapon mechanism, jamming the axe and getting the two robots stuck together.

They push backwards and forwards, but Terrorhurtz have more power and get Vulture over the flame pit, where Apex decides to join the party. Shunt tries to free them, and when the robots finally break apart, Vulture have not come off well. One of the wheels has locked and they’re going in circles. The weapon still works, because other robots keep driving into it, but other than that, they’re stranded.

Because they can only move in circles, the decision is made by the judges, and Vulture is counted out.


So, a Robot redemption the Vulture team must face. But who are they coming up against? Another newcomer, in the shape of Bucky The Robot. Yes, the wacky biter bot was next on the list of Vulture’s competitors.

To say Bucky are slippery customers would be putting it lightly. Early on Vulture continuously try to get the spinning disc down on their opponent but the arm isn’t actually long enough for them to reach Bucky’s main body. So now they’re basically stuck pushing them. The good news is Bucky can’t do too much to them either… Except when Vulture screw up themselves. Trying to get around Bucky, Vulture drive over the floor flipper and are tossed over. They can self-right with the arm, but in doing so find themselves in Bucky’s grasp.

Vulture get taken on a quick trip to Dead Metal, but nothing too bad comes out of it. With neither robot able to cause the other damage, the arena hazards are proving the trickiest obstacles, and Vulture very almost slide straight down the pit at one point. To add to their misery, the weapon also stops working, leaving them as a push bot.

But not to fear! Because they can get around Bucky’s awkward shape and push them about no problem. And that, in the end, is how they win it, by pushing Bucky around and onto the floor flipper, where they are unable to self-right. Perhaps not the greatest fight ever, but Vulture won’t care seeing as they’ve survived.


The reward for survival is a place in the semi-finals, but that means a fight against Terrorhurtz once again. The axe of doom and mayhem took them out in the melee, so Vulture have their work cut out reversing their fortunes.

Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz are in no mood to go easy on them. We already know Vulture’s weapon can barely scratch Terrorhurtz’s armour and that leaves Vulture running away, essentially. But Terrorhurtz rain down the blows right from the start. One hit lands on their side and another on the wedge, but then one strike hits their top armour, tearing it off the robot.

Forceful Disassemblement
Pillow fight

The weapon’s mechanism is next to be targeted, and one blow on that is enough to destroy the weapon completely. There are some more superficial hits sustained but the next vital piece to go on the robot is one of the wheels. Amazingly, Vulture are still moving, just about.

Terrorhurtz and Vulture, not for the first time you’ll recall, get lodged together again, this time requiring the aid of Matilda to separate them, even though that results in Vulture being flipped over. I have no idea how they’re still going out there, but they continue to take hit after hit and just keep driving.

Having landed so many good hits, Terrorhurtz run out of gas for their weapon, so it becomes a pushing match, something Vulture used to their advantage in the previous fight. Not so much this time; The major results are the Fog of War being triggered twice in a row, with Vulture ending up with Dead Metal after the first time and on the flame pit the second. They do manage to go the whole 3 minutes, but end the fight pretty much pushed in a corner.

Unsurprisingly, they aren’t victorious.


Now, normally a defeat in the semi-final would bring you one final fight in the 3rd place playoff, to see if you get into the 10 way melee. Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz gave them such an ass whooping that they can’t actually repair the robot in time, and have to forfeit.

ws 2.jpg


So how did Vulture do? Well, the robot certainly had a wacky design, and one that looked like it could be a powerful competitor if all the elements came together well. unfortunately the weapon, as good as it looked, just didn’t quite cut it (Or anything else for that matter), and the robot was too prone to breaking down. Of course a large part of this was Terrorhurtz’s fault, and Vulture did show that they have the capability with their win over Bucky. Had they repaired the robot in time, I think we would have seen them beat Track-tion and get into the 10 way. Maybe next time.

Expectation v Result (4th – 4th): +0
Accidental attacks: +1
Going round in circles: -2
The defeater of dreams (And Bucky The Robot): +8
Hit so hard they had to forfeit their chance in the 10 way to an after school club: -4
BONUS: Design Level 1000: +2

Robot Rating (Vulture): 5/10

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.

 

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Robot Review: Bucky The Robot (S10E03)

OK so I’m not very good at keeping to a schedule, but seeing as we have two weeks until the next episode, this just helps to pass the time. So bear with me for the next couple of days as I finish off the Robot Reviews for Bucky The Robot and Vulture, and then we can get into the recap of yesterday’s episode.


So, Bucky The Robot. Other than having a cool name and bringing Dara O Briain’s love interest a mascot along with them, Bucky is also a very unique robot. We all know about crusher robots, but I think a biter bot is something just that little bit more left field. Add to that the fact that the robot actually looks like a pair of false teeth on wheels, complete with decorative winding mechanism, and Bucky brings the weird and the wonderful out of robot wars. The idea of the false teeth is to clamp down on a robot so that they can be dragged into arena hazards, with less focus on actually causing damage. And, thanks to the way the robot is built, it looks like a pain in the ass to get control over if you’re another robot.


Bucky’s first taste of action in Robot Wars came in a melee with the ultra high-tech flipper Rapid and school club project Track-tion. So more of the weird and the wonderful.

Watching Bucky amble around the arena was quite an enjoyable experience, with the clunky opening and closing of the false teeth very entertaining. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do them much good in terms of actually fighting. Not once do they actually manage to get a clamp on one of their competitors. Equally, nobody manages to get anything on them.

Track-tion soon goes out of the arena, leaving just Bucky and Rapid. Rapid easily slides under Bucky, but struggles to get enough of a handle on them to flip them over. That changes, however, when they get Bucky to the edge of the arena, and finally flip them over. Bucky goes half over the arena, hanging on quite literally by their teeth. And by firing the jaws repeatedly, they actually manage to wriggle themselves back in!

Eating The Arena
Eating the arena

Much of the rest of the battle follows the same pattern- Rapid getting underneath and pushing Bucky around, without any reply. Even Matilda got involved at one point, hitting Bucky with the flywheel. But, in the end, it was the arena floor spikes that finished Bucky off, tipping them over. With their jaws unable to flip them back over, Bucky were stranded, and counted out of the fight.


Next up, Robot Redemption. Bucky came up against one of the other new robots for the series, Vulture, looking for revenge.

It’s an interesting start to proceedings, because neither robot can actually get a hold of each other with their weapons. Vulture’s axe blade can’t reach Bucky and Bucky can’t get underneath Vulture to clamp down. Prepare for frustration to the extreme.

But that would assume everything stays as it is. Vulture, perhaps because they don’t fully know how the arena works, drive over the floor flipper and get sent flying over. As they recover, that gives Bucky the perfect opportunity to finally get a clamp in, for the first time this episode!

False bite
Bite me

They push Vulture into Dead Metal, but then the tables turn and they find themselves being attack by Dead Metal, but manage to get out of there as quickly as possible. So the chase continues, and then the pushing and shoving ensues, but no robot is any closer to actually besting the other. Vulture’s weapon dies, but Bucky can’t gain an advantage from it. Vulture have the greater pushing power.

And it’s that pushing power that does over Bucky in the end. Vulture push Bucky over to the floor flipper, which flips them onto their side. Much like the melee, Bucky have no way of self-righting. For the second fight in a row, it is their downfall, and they are going home.


So how did Bucky do? Well the robot certainly sported a crazy design, with a crazy idea for a weapon and if it worked, then it would have been amazing. Unfortunately, Bucky just couldn’t pull it off. For a weapon like that, they have to have perfect control over their competitors, and Bucky just didn’t have that. They couldn’t get under either Rapid or Vulture and that left them vulnerable, and the lack of a self-righter was their ultimate downfall. Still, they were a lot of fun, and it’s good to see new and interesting designs on the show. Plus, we all know Dara is a fan…

Friends for life
Dara x Bucky 4eva

Expectation v Result (Bottom 2 – Bottom 2): +0
No clamp, no hope: -1
Death by arena spikes: -2
Eating the Vulture: +2
The self-righting problem to end all problems: -2
BONUS: Eating the arena side wall: +3
BONUS: Dara x Bucky 4eva: +3

Robot Rating (Bucky The Robot): 3/10

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.

 

Robot Review: Apex (S10E03)

Also known as “The Best Worst Performance By Any Robot Since The Reboot”


Apex came into the 10th Wars with a ‘go big or go home’ kind of attitude, perhaps in part to try and make up for what was a disappointing showing in the 9th wars, where they got knocked out by the first hit. What is the best way to gain revenge for an early exit? A bigger, crazier, more powerful weapon of course.

A small yet nifty robot at 18mph, Apex was an almost triangular shaped robot with two wedged points defining the front of the robot. But the body of the robot is only a small part of the story, because the main part of Apex is of course its horizontal, overhead spinning weapons. There are two of them this series, with the solid bar spinner coming in at almost 40kg, and an asymmetric spinning bar that weighs not that much less. With the bars able to get up to 1800rpm, that makes them a venomous pair of weapons and not ones anybody would want to get up against at full speed. However, one of Apex’s problem points, the bar does take a while to actually get up to full speed.


For their initial melee, Apex got drawn with the notoriously spinner resistant Terrorhurtz and newcomers Vulture. Not the easiest fight to try and re-establish yourself, but not an impossible task.

And yet, in the first phase of play Apex went straight for Terrorhurtz. The asymmetrical bar, having not got up to full speed, stuck Terrorhurtz, but all of the energy went back into Apex causing it to fly off the ground, and one of the nuts connecting the weapon to fly off Apex. So now, they have no working weapon. Again.

Bolt From The Blue.PNG
Bolt from the blue

So now all Apex can do is run away, get whacked by Terrorhurtz’s axe and run away some more. They do take a moment to hit the pit release button, giving us the almighty Fog of War, but it doesn’t really help them. The only help they get is when Terrorhurtz get their axe stuck in Vulture, and Apex uses that opening to drive into the mass of conjoined robot and create a glorified pile on. Apex without a weapon isn’t exactly the most useful robot in the arena.

Amazingly, Vulture happen to die before Apex, but it’s not much of an existence when the entire rest of the battle is just Terrorhurtz battering Apex’s weapon into a completely new shape. Perhaps it isn’t surprising then when the robot eventually comes to a stop just by the arena spikes, with smoke calmly venting out of the robot.


But hey, there’s still the Robot Redemption to go, right? And Apex have a robot they felt they could probably beat in Track-tion to face. For this, the even heavier bar spinner was attached to combat Track-tion’s new scoop.

But nothing ever quite goes to plan, does it. Track-tion’s lack of mobility allows Apex to get the bar up to full speed, and they go on the attack. The bar hits Track-tion’s scoop and Apex bounces off. But now the robot is off balance, and with the force of the spinning bar so powerful, Apex completely loses control, the bar shearing its supports and violently disassembling itself from the robot. Apex flies one way into the arena side wall, whilst the bar launches itself so hard in the other direction that it wholly obliterates the protective glass around the arena as it goes through, before slamming into the floor outside the arena, where it finally comes to rest.

Shreddies
HADOUKEN

The audience, team members and judges all collectively jump back in shock, their lives briefly flashing before their eyes. But when all comes to rest, and cease is called, Sir Killalot does the noble thing and dumps Apex in the pit for their crimes against the arena.

What the hell
Me too Craig, me too

So, how did Apex do? Well, It was exciting at least. I mean, I’ve never seen such a violent self-destruction of a robot in Robot Wars… Ever. Apex is so ridiculously powerful, with the heaviest bar spinners, if something was going to go wrong, it was going to be spectacular. And my God, that was spectacular. I think if Apex ever enters another arena again, the arena is going to need twice the amount of protection. The robot genuinely scares me.

Expectation v Result (3rd – Bottom 2): -3
One hit and the weapon stops working: -2
One hit and the weapon quite literally tears the robot apart: -5
BONUS: The Curse of Craig Danby strikes again: +5

Robot Rating (Apex): -5/10 (Because it’s worth it).

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.

 

 

Robot Wars S10E03 Part 3: Throwdowns & Forefits

I had a rather horrific migraine yesterday, and I’m still somewhat feeling the effects of it today, so don’t expect me to write the most coherent article you’ve ever seen. Might also take me about 7 hours to finish it.

Regardless, the show will go on. Although, having just seen Apex shit itself in half, I’m not sure what other surprises we could see in this episode that would top that. With Terrorhurtz and Rapid tearing it up, they’re likely the place to go to see the real action.


Semi-Final 1: Rapid v Track-tion

SF1 S10E03

Here’s one that could cause an almighty upset. Rapid were so impressive in their opening melee, and even threw Track-tion out of the arena in that battle, that anything other than a Rapid victory would be a massive shock. But hey, Track-tion just saw off Robot Wars’ biggest bar spinner, so anything is possible.

Your house robots are Shunt, and Matilda! Not that they have anything to do in this battle, whatsoever. Set your watches, because you’re about to witness one of the shortest battles in history.

Track-tion are once again nervous out of the starting blocks, and Rapid take advantage of that my driving up to them, driving under them, and then tossing them straight after the arena! SIX SECONDS! Track-tion didn’t stand a bloody chance.

Celebration
Celebration

Rapid, well aren’t they on a roll. The machine looks fierce, and long may it continue.


Semi-Final 2: Terrorhurtz v Vulture

SF2 S10E03

Terrorhurtz, who were also a dominant force in their melee, come back up against one of their former conquests in Vulture. Vulture struggled to get the disc to damage Terrorhurtz’s armour last time out and were instead the recipient of some hefty attacks. The question for them is how much they can use that weapon, given the fact that it died midway through their fight with Bucky. For Terrorhurtz, can they continue the run?

Your house robots this time round are Dead Metal and Matilda. Will they have things to do in this fight? Let’s find out!

Terrorhurtz go on the attack straight away, landing a hard hit on Vulture, enough to throw some sparks into the air. Vulture retaliate by running away, trying to get around the side of the robot where the axe can’t hit them. But it doesn’t quite work out, when Terrorhurtz back them into the corner, then hit them so hard it sends the armour reinforcement Vulture had strapped to the armour flying off.

Forceful Disassemblement
Forceful Disassemblement

That’s just the start, because Terrorhurtz are quick to continue the attack, landing another hit on the armour and then one on the weapon mechanism itself. Vulture have no response to the onslaught, and do their best to just get out of there. Terrorhurtz continue to rain down the axe blows, and the one that landed on Vulture’s weapon not only made for a good hit,  it disabled the weapon completely.

All Vulture can do it run. They have no weapon, and their armour is being pummelled by Terrorhurtz at every opportunity. They’re sitting ducks in the arena, and there isn’t too much they can do about it. Terrorhurtz get Vulture into a corner again, and then the next axe blow strikes one of the wheels! They’re tearing Vulture apart, one part at a time.

Recoil
Recoil

Terrorhurtz try to capitalise on their situation, but their next axe blow not only lands, it gets stuck in Vulture, and the axe won’t come back out. Not the first time it’s happened in this heat. Matilda comes across and tries to force them apart, but it’s quite a tough situation. Finally Matilda has enough of it, and uses the tusks to flip Vulture all the way over. Vulture can self-right, but it has at least detached the two robots.

After that, it’s back to business as usual. Vulture are going in circles, and have no spinning weapon, so for Terrorhurtz it’s a fairly easy target. Vulture do their best to get away, but Terrorhurtz are forever advancing on them, and wearing them away.

Striking Fear
Striking fear

But then, Terrorhurtz stop using the axe. And now it’s a push and shove contest. Can Vulture get back into it?

It all gets very tactical, with both robots zipping around each other and looking for an opening. Well, Terrorhurtz is zipping around, Vulture still has just one working wheel. Eventually though Vulture manage to crawl their way over to the pit release button, and down comes THE FOG, OF WAR! As aesthetically fun as the Fog of War is, it also has a more sinister purpose as Vulture find out when they’re nearly snagged by Dead Metal in the ensuing chaos. But then the button gets hit again, And Fog of War comes down, AGAIN!

This time is just as lethal for Vulture, who end the Fog of War stuck on the flame pit. After being trapped for a few seconds, they manage to get themselves off. Time is now very much up, and the clock counts down, but both robots have survived! And now we must await a decision from the judges.

So, who won? Vulture or Terrorhurtz? Well, it probably wasn’t the hardest decision. Terrorhurtz caused all of the damage and were the most aggressive. They ran out of CO2 for the axe about half way through which evened it up slightly, but Vulture were always going to struggle with no weapon and only one working wheel. Terrorhurtz through to the heat final!


3rd Place Playoff: Vulture v Track-tion

Vulture, like Track-tion, drop out from the Semi-Finals and into the 3rd place playoff. Whoever wins the playoff also wins a spot in the 10 way melee to determine the wildcard.

Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz gave them such a beat down that they can’t actually repair their robot in time for the 3rd place playoff, and become the first robot to forfeit this series. Which means, against all the odds, Track-tion are in the 10 way melee!


Heat Final: Terrorhurtz v Rapid

Final S10E03

So here we are, the heat final. Whilst this was a very open heat on paper, both Rapid and Terrorhurtz have blitzed the opposition and very much deserve to be in this final. It’s going to be a meeting of the great powers as axe takes on flipper; Terrorhurtz can self-right, but they only have a limited supply of gas to power that axe. Rapid meanwhile have a very powerful flipper, but questions still loom over their reliability.

Your house robots for this battle are Dead Metal and Shunt! With a pace in the grand final up for grabs, let’s get this battle underway!

Straight away, it’s clear that Rapid have the lower ground clearance of the two robots, which is crucial for them given they have a flipper to operate. Rapid do get underneath Terrorhurtz, but instead of trying to flip them there and then, they instead use their leverage to push them onto the floor flipper, which does the work for them. Terrorhurtz self-rights, but Rapid are right back at it, and use the floor flipper as a hazard for a second time.

A duel of hazards
A duel of hazards

Terrorhurtz are desperate to self-right, because Rapid have quite a handle on them at the moment. Rapid continue to slowly push them towards the edge of the arena, knowing full well that they could toss them out, but Terrorhurtz manage to right themselves just in time. Rapid still manage to get them into the corner of the arena, with the only thing in Terrorhurtz’s favour being the extra armour panelling on Rapid coming loose.

Not content with one corner, Rapid gather up Terrorhurtz and push them into the other corner of the arena, a corner in which Dead Metal is more than happy to take Terrorhurtz as prey. For Terrorhurtz, they’re lucky to escape without any damage. Still, Rapid are well on top, pushing them around. They’re not using their flipper though, trying not to waste flips until they can get Terrorhurtz into the right position to flip them out.

But, as they’re trying to win the war of brute force, Terrorhurtz finally manage to get the axe down and land a hit on the edge of Rapid’s flipper. And again, another hit that this time completely removes the extra armour. But Rapid don’t give up the advantage for long, and once again push Terrorhurtz into Dead Metal. Terrorhurtz get away but leave themselves in a vulnerable position, and Rapid finally get their first flip in, and only narrowly fail to get Terrorhurtz out!

Living on the edge
Life on the edge

The thing is, when Rapid fire their flipper, it takes a while to come back down, so now Terrorhurtz are on the chase, but they miss with their axe swing. Now Rapid are back in, and flip Terrorhurtz into the arena side wall, where they bounce off. More chasing happens, until Rapid chase Terrorhurtz back onto the floor flipper once again. Terrorhurtz may get tossed over, but they do get an axe blow in before that happens.

But after this, have the tables turned? Because the next phase of play sees Terrorhurtz take the upper hand. Rapid run into trouble- a trouble called Dead Metal- who manage to inflict some saw based misery, before Terrorhurtz come in and land a hard blow to Rapid’s rear end. Terrorhurtz almost get tangled in it, but just about escape.

Except, they escape right into Rapid’s clutches. Now with all control taken away from them, Rapid can finally drive them all the way over to the side of the arena and do what they’ve wanted to do all fight, and toss them out of the arena!

Falling down a hole
Falling down a hole

And so there we have it, Rapid in the Grand Final! It’s been a much needed improvement for them since the 9th wars, and now they look more than capable of going all the way. For Terrorhurtz, they now find their way into the 10 way melee, where they face a battle against some great robots to see who will get that wildcard.

All in all, the Grand Final is shaping up very nicely indeed.

 

Robot Wars S10E03 Part 2: Self Destruct Mode Activated

Also known as: “The Curse Of Craig Danby Strikes Again… Again”

We’ve seen the weird and the wonderful go through their first battles, with varying results. Rapid look much improved, and a lot more reliable, whilst Terrorhurtz is bringing the rain like its S6 all over again. Whilst it perhaps makes sense that the robots with previous experience would get through, Bucky The Robot has proved to be a slippery customer, whilst Vulture’s design looks promising. For Bucky, Vulture, Apex and Track-tion, they all now have to go through the redemption knockout to decide who will go through to the semi-finals, and who will go home completely.


Redemption Knockout 1: Track-tion v Apex

RK1 S10E03

Here’s an interesting battle. Apex didn’t really get going in their melee, with the robot suffering an axe blow from Terrorhurtz early on that immobilised the bar spinner, but they have a robot that on paper should tear up the competition. So who better to test it on than a bunch of school children, and their robot that didn’t really get going either, before they were launched out of the arena by Rapid. Track-tion do have an upgrade, however, with Vulture lending them a front wedge to try and deflect the blows from Apex. One goes through, one goes home. So at least one of them is going to come out with a first victory.

Your house robot for this encounter is the almighty lord of carnage himself, Sir Killalot, with the equally as deadly Dead Metal by his side. Battle!

If you’ve watched this fight, you know what’s going to come next. If you didn’t, well let’s just say things didn’t last for very long. Track-tion, whether because they couldn’t or more likely because they didn’t want to, barely moved once battle began. This gave Apex plenty of time to get their heavy, regular shaped spinning bar up to speed. They move forward, and briefly hit Track-tion before moving backwards.

And then, by the power of the Robot Gods, all hell breaks loose.

Apex, with the bar now well up to speed, can’t take the power of its own weaponry and spectacularly disassembles itself, shredding itself to pieces with the bar flying off the robot with such force, it smashes through the protective glass on the side of the arena! The actual robot itself is flung through the air and all the way to the other side of the arena, where they hit Killalot’s CPZ like a cannonball.

Riptide
RIPTIDE
Casualties of war
Aftermath
Aftermath
Casualty of war

I think it’s clear enough to say that Apex haven’t survived their own self-destruction. The robot is in pieces and even if the main body did work, it has no weapon. So, as cease is called to fix the arena, Killalot picks them up and puts them down where they belong, in the pit.

Disposable
Disposable

Bye bye Apex. See ya next year.


Redemption Knockout 2: Bucky The Robot v Vulture

RK2 S10E03

Onto the next one, then. Two robots that are looking for redemption, who hopefully won’t tear themselves to pieces quite so easily, are Vulture and Bucky The Robot. Both feature interesting, wacky designs with new or unusual weapons and a generally epic look about them. Unfortunately, one of those robots will be going home.

Your house robots for this battle are Dead Metal, and the madam of mayhem, Matilda! Let battle commence!

As the battle begins, it’s fairly obvious that the battle is going to be… different. Neither robot can really get a handle on the other, because of their weird shapes and designs. Vulture tries to make the first move by bringing the axe spinner down on Bucky, but it doesn’t have the reach for the disc to actually penetrate. Bucky try to bring the jaws down, but they can’t get underneath Vulture. It’s a tense fight.

But with every fight, there’s always the chance for the unexpected. Vulture are the reason for the unexpected this time, as they drive over the floor flipper and get tossed through the air. As they recover, they land on top of Bucky, and now the jaws can come down!

False bite
False bite

With Vulture in their jaws, they manoeuvre them into the path of Dead Metal, who brings his own saw down on the robot. But the tables soon turn when Bucky lets go, and now they’re the ones being hunted by Dead Metal. Fortunately for Bucky, they’re a bit big to handle easily, but Dead Metal still gets a few hits in before Bucky escapes. Whilst this is happening, the pit gets activated, adding yet another hazard to the arena.

As the battle rages on, Vulture once again steal the limelight when their weapon suddenly decides to give up on them, emitting a plume of smoke in the process. This gives Bucky an advantage, but Vulture are in no way out of it. And they take what they have and try to turn it into an advantage. They use their wedge to push Bucky towards the floor flipper, which flips them onto their side!

Sideline view
Sideline view

Bucky try to use their jaws to self-right, but they don’t have the power. The jaws just aren’t powerful enough to get them off their side, and they’re stranded. The clock counts down to the end of Bucky The Robot. They were great fun, but now it’s time to end.

But hey, at least Dara made a new friend, right?

Friends for life
Friends for life

Semi-Finals next. Can anybody beat the establishment, or will they continue to reign supreme?

 

Robot Wars S10E03 Part 1: The Weird And The Wonderful

I’ve recently realised, once again, how much of a mess the background to this blog is. I should probably change it, but I don’t have the first clue about designing things. The one person I know who does know how to design things is always at work… Designing things. Maybe I’ll change it, maybe I won’t. But if I do, rest assured it’ll be just as bad as it is now.


So, we’ve reached week 3 of Robot Wars the 10th Wars, which means we’re now at the official half way stage of the series. My God this has gone quickly. That’s the problem with having just 5 heats and a grand final, everything goes exceptionally quickly. But with the first two heats providing some exceptional battles, it’s been more than worth it so far. This heat, however, I wasn’t so sure about. After a heat with three different grand finalists, that was always likely going to be the case. There are still some experienced with Terrorhurtz, Rapid Apex all competing in the last wars, to varying degrees of success. But there are also three brand new robots that bring the weird and wonderful to Robot Wars, with Vulture, Track-tion & Bucky The Robot all bringing their own unique quirks to the warzone.

Now we know the robots competing, let’s get down to business.


Melee 1: Track-tion v Bucky The Robot v Rapid

Melee 1 S10E03

Bucky The Robot S10

Bucky The Robot, a wonderful living incarnation of a set of false teeth that comes complete with a mascot just to finish the team line-up. Robot Wars has always been a little crazy, from Granny’s Revenge to Ruf Ruf Dougal to Jellyfish, and Bucky The Robot continues that trend of showcasing wacky engineering. A ‘biter-bot’, the false teeth can clamp down on a competitor robot, either to pierce their armour or so that they can drag them into an arena hazard. The robot seems to lack in any strong armour, but a driving set of false teeth is such an awkward shape, it might just make them a pain in the ass to flip out. It would be kind of amazing to see a pair of false teeth win Robot Wars, it has to be said.

Track-tion S10

Suicidal Tendencies Track-tion is the first of this series’ inevitable school teams, and was built by a group of 12 and 13 year olds in their after school club, although they did have the help of Aftershock’s Will Thomas in the process. What they have come up with is a robot that greatly resembles a certain robot from the previous era. One of the only robots you see running on tracks (That isn’t Sir Killalot),, Track-tion brings a crushing claw into the arena as its weapon, and can exert 600kg of force on its opponents. Equally impressive, the robot can actually run both ways up. Not bad, not bad at all.

Rapid S10

Now this is not a robot new to Robot Wars. Rapid, the gold-plated, super engineered, ultra expensive robot that bombed out of the last series because they couldn’t reach their gearbox to repair it, are back and looking to right their early exit by changing not all that much. The robot is still as sleek and as polished as it was before (With the addition of a little bit of gold), and the flipper is still as powerful and well oiled as ever. The question now is how well the robot can stand up to the beating other competitors will give it, with the robot as complicated as ever.

With the competitors introduced, it’s time to introduce their additional companion in the arena. The house robot we get the pleasure of observing this time round, is none other than Jonathan Pearce’s long lost love, Matilda! Let’s begin!

The battle starts with Bucky opening the false teeth up ready to attack, before slamming them shut again- without anybody caught in them, I should add. Rapid, who are hanging back at the start, get involved when Bucky comes across them and drive backwards into the pit release button. Which of our wonderful creations do we get this time? THE FOG, OF WAR!

Bucky looks amazing amongst the fog, but it doesn’t do anything to mix up the competition. Track-tion, who has yet to actually do much in the battle, drive over the floor spikes, which bolt up and turn the robot over. But the good thing about Track-tion, as mentioned earlier, is that they are invertible. But it means the weapon system isn’t going to be any good anymore. They still try to get it in with Bucky, but then Rapid come across, steal them from under Bucky’s nose, and flip them straight out of the arena!

Out and out
Out and out

Now there are just two. Bucky momentarily get stuck on the flame pit, but escape just in time to drive up Rapid’s flipper. Rapid is so low to the floor, Bucky have no chance of getting underneath themselves, but they’re also such an awkward shape that Rapid can’t get a decent flip in either. Bucky don’t seem particularly afraid of Rapid, but it’s pretty much turning into a case of Rapid chasing Bucky around the arena.

It’s really quite entertaining, watching Bucky evade each attack like a slippery eel, driving up the flipper and then sliding back off to run away again. But Rapid will not give up, and eventually manage to get something that resembles success when they actually land a flip, and send Bucky over the side wall… Kind of. They send half of Bucky over the side wall. I’ll let the picture do the rest of the talking.

Eating The Arena
Eating the arena

But somehow, by biting against the arena, Bucky manage to get themselves free! And so the battle continues. But Rapid are well on top at this point, pushing Rapid around the arena like a car valet service. And Bucky, they have no response to this. All they can do is continue to try to evade capture. Rapid do manage to get a flip in, but then they land the killer blow by pushing Bucky onto the arena spikes, which do like they did to Track-tion and flip them over. Bucky, with no power left, can’t right themselves, and that is that.

Well OK, not quite. Technically Bucky weren’t immobilised before the 3 minutes were up, so we have to go to the judges! Let’s be honest though, it’s fairly obvious who the winner is, and it isn’t the pair of false teeth. Viva Rapid.


Melee 2: Terrorhurtz v Apex v Vulture

Melee 2 S10E03

Apex S10

First on the scene is Apex, a robot that promised so much last series and yet went out after just one hit, thanks to experimental techno-bot Pulsar. Now they’re back, they’re rocking their own experimental tech in the arena. The robot is a small, compact robot with twin front spikes at the front to help get under robots if the bar isn’t up to speed yet. Talking of the horizontal bar, their primary weapon, it is a monster. There are actually two of them, with one of the bars looking like a contempory art piece and the other looking like a jacked up wrench. But not only do they look the part, they have the stats to back them up. Both bars weigh upwards of 38kg, making them the heaviest in the competition, whilst also having the widest reach of any bar spinner at approximately 1.2m. The only drawback for them is the slow spin up time, which could limit the effectiveness of the weapon.

Vulture S10

Another new robot! Vulture is a robot that combines two different weapons into one, and would probably be more accurate if it was called Scorpion. The main weapon is a 6000rpm spinning disc that can cut through robots in much the same way as Dead Metal, and that weapon is attached to an overhead swinging bar, which can work like an axe. The robot has a front scoop to draw robots onto the weapon, and to stop other people from getting under them. The robot, however, is untested, and that could work against it.

Terrorhurtz S10

Ah Terrorhurtz, old hands at robot combat and yet, they’ve never gone all the way on a televised series. They have won championships outside of the TV wars, so we know that they’re capable. A robot tirelessly upgraded and reworked, it is built around a powerful, double headed axe that bludgeons robots to death, and armour tough enough that they stopped Carbide in S8. With this such an open wars, could Terrorhurtz finally go all the way?

But who is going to be patrolling the arena? Well one axe wasn’t enough, so now we have another one! Shunt is your house robot, and he’s ready to cause trouble. Battle!

The battle begins with all robots congregating towards each other, looking to get right into the action. Apex and Terrorhurtz crash into each other, and Apex crazy looking spinning bar is right back to a standstill without having had the chance to even spin up. Terrorhurtz then lands a good hit, showing that the axe might actually work properly this time around.

Terrorhurtz continue their assault, landing another hit right onto the spinning bar, which has given up working already. Vulture finally get involved in the action, but the disc only catches their opponents in passing, and not in any sustained contact. Then Terrorhurtz get a foothold on them, and start to push them around. Certainly, Terrorhurtz on top. Apex, who have no offensive weaponry, resort to hitting the pit release button, and out comes the fog of war again!

Terrorhurtz seem to have a thing about Vulture, probably because they have a working weapon. The axe keeps coming down, landing a hit here and there, but then one hit lands in the almost perfect place, right below the weapon system.

Perfect hit
Perfect strike

The thing is, the axe is now stuck in Vulture, and Terrorhurtz can’t get it out. So they best they can do is try a pushing match, which is easier said than done. It’s very much a back and forth based on who has traction at that point, and neither robot is getting anywhere. Terrorhurtz does however manage to swing Vulture around onto the flame pit, where they stay. Apex, who have been keeping themselves to themselves, decide to get in on the action and just drive into the mangled mess. They then get stuck themselves.

Pile on
Pile on

With nobody moving, Shunt comes in to break things up, though it takes a few goes to actually split the robots apart. When they do, it’s clear that Vulture is worse for wear out of the three. Their arm isn’t moving freely (Although the disc is), and the robot is now moving in circles. It’s fair to say, they’re pretty much done for. Unable to move freely, they are counted out.

Now it’s up to Apex and Terrorhurtz to battle it out, though Apex are still somewhat on the ropes with no working weapon. Terrorhurtz are the aggressors, chasing and pushing Apex around, and even trying to land a few hits. One hit misses, however, but is powerful enough to send Terrorhurtz flying over. Fortunately for them, they self right. And they go back on the charge, pushing Apex into the spikes.

Where Apex stop completely. Smoke begins to come out of the robot, and that looks like it’s curtains. Terrorhurtz are joining Rapid in the semi-finals! And well deserved too.
The question is, who is going to join them?

 

Robot Review: Aftershock (S10E02)

Seeing as I didn’t do one yesterday, today we get two Robot Reviews from Episode 2. I have of course watched Episode 3, and the recap for that will be coming in due time. But for now, Aftershock!

Grand finalists last wars, Aftershock came into this heat with a burning desire to right their wrongs and go one further than they did last time. And although they’re participating in the toughest heat in the series, it does give them the potential opportunity to gain revenge on a couple of robots that took them out in that grand final. Eruption and Carbide are potential targets, with other well known robots also in the firing line.

Aftershock, as a robot, has undergone some changes between the series aimed at making them more durable, and more powerful. Gone is the panelled armour that had to be taped back together, with the armour now one solid piece. The primary weapon is a 24kg, 2,400rpm vertical flywheel used to launch other robots across the arena and tear into their armour. There is another, 18kg bar spinner, mainly used against horizontal spinners… So basically Carbide. The 110kg robot has a top speed of 14mph, but the power of the disc can cause it to sometimes lose control.


To kick things off, Aftershock get a rematch with fellow finalists Eruption, along with tenacious clusterbots Crackers N Smash. It could be the perfect way to break in their new robot, or it could be the beginning of the end.

And it did start off near perfectly, with Aftershock tearing one of Crackers’ entanglement devices off to detrimental effect. The robot continued to show its power on the two clusterbots, until that power officially went one step too far. Pushing Smash onto the floor flipper as it fired, Aftershock’s disc got caught on the underside of the flipper, ripping material from under it and scattering it across the arena.

Arena Torture
POWER PLAY

Yet, somehow, cease was not called. Cue mass confusion from up above, with some claiming they should stop and some carrying on. Initially Aftershock continued on the warpath, buckling Crackers’ lifter into an unusable shape. But then came the inevitable. With Aftershock seemingly taking it easy, Eruption- who hadn’t even considered stopping- get in underneath. I think Aftershock saw what was coming and tried to get away but to no avail. Eruption made the flip, and Aftershock cannoned themselves off the arena side wall and out of the warzone completely!


Aftershock had a real chance at getting one over Eruption in that battle, but it wasn’t to be, so now they go into the 3rd place playoff against Gabriel 2, a robot that I just reviewed earlier. Although Gabriel can pack a mean punch, Aftershock have a robot capable of getting around the mace, and delivering their own blows.

And so that is how it was. Aftershock purposefully driving underneath Gabriel, looking to catch the disc on the underside of the robot, where all the internals were held, and having success whilst doing that. Of course, not all attacks were on target, though they did also score a few hits on those very bendy wheels.

Gabriel are not just packing a mace though, they’re also packing some nifty nylon rope in order to jam up Aftershock’s flywheel, and it very almost works. After trapping the robot under their robot, Aftershock rip it off and it gets tangled in with the disc, but on the wrong side to mess with the actual mechanism.

That was a close one.

And in the end, the pressure from Aftershock told, with one final hit on Gabriel knocking something loose, and sending them to an early robot grave, minus the mace (Thanks to Killalot). But for Aftershock, they now have a way back into the competition.


Aaaaand they’re facing Carbide. Well it was bound to happen at some point just because the heat is how it is, but now Aftershock have to come up against the robot that tore them to pieces so badly in the heat final that one side panel went through the arena protection. No pressure then.

Aftershock, running their bar spinner this time, go out in attack mode, looking to stop Carbide as soon as possible. And to their credit, they actually landed some hits early on, and absorbed whatever Carbide threw at them. But then Carbide came in with a big hit that landed on the side of Aftershock, and gone was the mobility in one of the wheels. Now they faced an uphill battle.

They carried on, of course, but there was now a rather large gash in the side of the robot to go with their lack of mobility. To their credit, Aftershock still landed a couple of hits on Carbide, but it was almost delaying the inevitable. The one big hit that disabled Aftershock’s weapon.

Warp
One hit and you’re out

With no weapon, Aftershock were essentially Carbide’s plaything for the next few seconds, until the robot gave out completely. The robot wasn’t destroyed like last time, but they’re still defeated.


But it’s OK! Because Aftershock can still reach the grand final from this position. They just need to beat Big Nipper in the 3rd place playoff, which will gain them entry to the 10-way melee, which could in turn get them into the grand final. But with two vertical spinners facing off against each other, it could be a tough fight.

And that is how it proved, with neither robot really able to get a good hit on the other one, the discs only just touching each other. Neither could get round the other’s side to get a hit in, and it looked like it was going to be going to a stalemate. Aftershock are going gyro crazy trying to get around too, like some manic jitterbug.

Naturally, however, a stalemate in Robot Wars barely lasts for long. And with a bit of separation between the robots, and some momentum in the run up, eventually we get the explosive contact we were all waiting for! Aftershock and Big Nipper go flying apart, and now it’s game on. Except for Aftershock, because their weapon has gone again. And now Big Nipper have the incentive, chipping away at Aftershock and sending them backwards with each hit.

And then, there’s the final blow. Big Nipper come in and shit Aftershock, tipping them over onto their ass. But with no working disc to right them, they are now beached. And that means, they’re out, and with no 10-way melee to go home too.


So, how did Aftershock do? Well, not as well as I would have hoped. Yes, they had a tough heat, and they showed early promise by torturing both Crackers N Smash and the floor flipper. They got tossed out by Eruption after some confusion, but seemed to pick up again by dispatching of Gabriel. Unfortunately, from there it was all downhill. Carbide got the better of them once again, but the more shocking battle was them blowing a chance to get into the 10-way, all because of a failing disc. They should have come 3rd, at least. But we got some explosive battles out of them, I’ll give them that.

Expectation v Result (3rd – 4th): -2
Arena terror, floor flipper edition: +4
Turning Crackers into a mangled biscuit: +2
The most acrobatic way out of the arena, ever: +2
Survive an entanglement, defeat a robot: +3
Death by Carbide’s hand: -2
Feeling the bite of Big Nipper: -2 

Robot Rating (Aftershock): 5/10

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.