Latest posts by Senor Weaselo (see all)
- BattleBots Beat: Last Chance Saloon – September 20, 2018
- BattleBots Beat: Building Bracket Bona Fides – September 13, 2018
- BattleBots Beat: We Are the World, We Are the Fighting Robots – September 6, 2018
Evening all. If anyone wants to know who I’m picking this week on BattleBots, I’ve got Razorback over Ghost Raptor, Warhead over Complete Control (which they’re showing an audio clip of which is making me nervous), Son of Whyachi over Poison Arrow, and Tombstone over Escape Velocity, and if you need more info about the last episode you can read last week’s post. Everything got shuffled around due to the president’s town hall meeting, so last week’s intended episode will show this week. This sucks for me as once again I’ll be unable to watch tonight due to other engagements.
So, what can I talk about in this space that I haven’t covered already? Well, this Sunday another robot combat show important to my childhood/adolescence makes its return on BBC2—obviously I don’t live in Britain so I’ll have to figure out ways to watch it that are perfectly legal please don’t arrest me. The robot fighting show on the other side of the pond, Robot Wars, makes its return to television because if some fighting robots are good, more is a lot better. 40 robots—with a slightly extra weight allowance like BattleBots, from the old 100 kg (220 lbs) to 110 kg (242.5 lbs)—have made their way into a revamped War Zone to take on new hazards and upgraded House Robots in an attempt to be Britain’s best.
Oh yeah. The cool thing about Robot Wars is instead of arena hazards like hammers and saws like the BattleBox, there’s fire and larger robots intent on wrecking someone’s shit and they don’t particularly care who or what once something strays into their corner.
Four of the old House Robots have been reborn after the end of the show’s seven-season run started to show their age, so before we take a look at some of the competitors, let’s take a look at them, shall we? Here’s a video. Most notable is the absence of the turret-mounted flamethrower of Sgt. Bash and the Refbot, whose job was to make sure the House Robots stayed in their corners and to also count out incapacitated competitors, giving the House Robots free rein to attack.
This is Shunt. Shunt’s gotten bigger and beefier and that old “diamond-edged” axe (which was mainly just to sound cool) has a titanium tip now with over a ton of force. A metric ton, since we are in the U.K.. As the lightest House Robot, he took more than his fair share of attacks from competitors (flipped 11 times in seven years, more than the others), but being upped to 327 kg from his old days at 105 should mitigate that at least a little—the House Robots were thought invincible in the first couple seasons, but with technological advances they are in no way that even with these upgrades. Shunt was used in sumo competitions in the old series as the designated pusher-bot thanks to those two bulldozer scoops, which can now lift up to 350 kg, and his sheer torque, now able to tow a moving van.
Part lobster, part scorpion, part junkyard, Dead Metal returns too. He too is bigger (now 343 kg, from 112 kg), faster (up to 13 mph), and stronger (those pincers will hold 300 kg in place). Dead Metal went through the biggest transformation during Robot Wars’s original run, from the saw arm swinging down a little like a scorpion’s tail to an actuator slowly bringing it back and forth like a head coming to devour its prey, his most well-known configuration. Only one robot ever flipped Dead Metal and it wasn’t until the seventh season, impressive considering he was one of the four robots patrolling from the start. The saw is wider and now spins at 4000 rpm (up from 3000), and if I know Dead Metal, it will continue to make beautiful sparks. And as they say, when sparks fly, robots die.
My favorite of the House Robots has always been the Matriarch of Mayhem, Matilda. Unfortunately for her, the triceratops-looking robot was often roboteers’ favorite of the House Robots as well, and she was flipped more than her share of times, and Razer did, um, how do I put this… eh, just watch what happens. (According to Vinnie Blood of Team Razer, the producers let them.) This led to Matilda’s upgrade from chainsaw to flywheel, which was so destructive that nobody messed with her anymore, lest this happen (Razer was once again involved), occasionally dishing out shots strong enough to take competitors out of the arena. And now, like the others, she’s gotten stronger, up to 350 kg, sped up to 14 mph, and that flywheel now weighs 35 kg and spins at 1500 rpm. The front tusks now can do some real flipping, able to lift up to 1500 kg, finally making her face as lethal as her backside.
If you think of Robot Wars and the House Robots, you think of the de facto leader, their knight of the realm, Sir Killalot. You think of him spinning on his tracks, defeated robot in his grasp, until the force releases that helpless collection of metal and electronics somewhere around the arena. The largest from his appearance in the second season until the even more massive Mr. Psycho debuted in the Sixth Wars, Killalot’s old weight of 520 kg would have still made him the largest of this returning quartet. But as the biggest and hopefully baddest of the un-retired robots, he’s gotten his own updates, heavier (now up to 741 kg, still lighter than Psycho was but by a negligible 9 kilograms), faster (up to 10 mph), and those jaws open even wider, can lift 300 kg, and have 2.5 metric tons of crushing force. I guarantee that someone comes after Killalot in the first episode.
Now onto some notable competitors.