Rex Garrod (10 September 1943 – 8 April 2019) was an inventor and roboteer, notable for building the radio controlled car which starred in Brum and co-presenting The Secret Life of Machines. He also entered several successful robots into the early series of British TV series Robot Wars.
Early and personal life
Garrod grew up in Mickfield, Suffolk. He was a speedway driver for the Ipswich Witches (1971) and Scunthorpe Scorpions (1972–74). He and former motorcross racer Dave Bickers then moved into special effects.
Brum was a British television series which ran intermittently between 1991 and 2002. It told the story of a small car called Brum, which in reality was a giant remote control car. Garrod is credited with both designing and building Brum. He also made devices on the children's programme Teletubbies.
Garrod was Team Leader of Team Cassius, a team of roboteers which entered several robots into Series 1, 2 and 3 of Robot Wars. In addition to the performances of his robots, he was known for his generosity in helping other teams fix their competitors.
In Series 2, Team Cassius entered 5th seeded "Cassius", a wedge-shaped robot armed with a front-pivoted flipper. Cassius was the first competitor in the show's history to "self right" (i.e. to turn itself over when it was upside down), and as such Garrod is often credited with inventing the so-called "srimech". Cassius also reached the Grand Final, but lost to Panic Attack.
In Series 3, Team Cassius entered 2nd seeded "Cassius 2", a similar robot to its predecessor "Cassius", which lost to Series 4 runner-up Pussycat in the 2nd round of the heats. His team then quit and never returned to the show, as their complaints about insufficient health and safety precautions were not listened to by the producers.
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