Robot Wars (TV series)

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This article is about the British television series. For other uses, see Robot Wars.
Robot Wars
New Robot Wars logo.jpg
Genre Technological game show
Created by Tom Gutteridge
Steve Carsey
Directed by Stuart McDonald
Presented by Jeremy Clarkson (1998)
Craig Charles (1998–2004)
Dara O'Briain (2016–)
Starring Philippa Forrester (1998–2000, 2002–03)
Julia Reed (2000–01)
Jayne Middlemiss (2003–04)
Angela Scanlon (2016–)
Voices of Stuart McDonald (Voice of the Robots)
Narrated by Jonathan Pearce
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 7 (Domestic)
2 (Extreme)
No. of episodes 124 (Domestic)
31 (Extreme)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes (1998–99)
45 minutes (1999–2003)
60 minutes (2003–04, 2016–)
Production company(s) TV21 (1998–2001)
Mentorn (2001–04, 2016–)
Distributor Passion Distribution
Original network BBC Two (1998–2003, 2016–)
BBC Choice (2001–03)
Five (2003–04)
Picture format 4:3 (1998–2001)
16:9 (2001–04, 2016–)
Original release 20 February 1998 (1998-02-20) – present

Robot Wars is a technological game show that was first broadcast on BBC Two from 20 February 1998 until 23 February 2001, then on BBC Choice from 8 October 2001 until 7 February 2003 and finally on Channel 5 from 2 November 2003 until 28 March 2004. The show was originally presented by Jeremy Clarkson before Craig Charles succeeded from series 2 to the show's original ending. Philippa Forrester co-hosted the show in five of the eight original series; the fourth UK series and first "Extreme" series were co-hosted by Julia Reed and the seventh series by Jayne Middlemiss. Jonathan Pearce provided commentary during the show's run.

Additional series were filmed for specific sectors of the global market, including two series of Robot Wars Extreme Warriors with U.S. competitors for the TNN network (hosted by Mick Foley with Rebecca Grant serving as pit reporter), and two of Dutch Robot Wars for distribution in the Netherlands. The fourth series of the UK Robot Wars was brought to the United States on TNN as Robot Wars: Grand Champions in 2002, and hosted by Joanie Laurer.[1]

In 2003, the roboteers themselves formed The Fighting Robot Association and with their associated event organizers, carry on participating in competitions for new audiences. In 2013, Roaming Robots purchased the rights to the Robot Wars brand from Robot Wars LLC and now operates their travelling robotic combat show under that name.[2]

The series involved teams of amateur and professional roboteers who built their own robots to fight against each other in both friendly and tournament matches, whilst also arena hazards and more poweful "House Robots", which were not bound by the same weight or weapon limits as the contestants. Earlier series included assault and trial courses for competing robots before they were ceased from the first "Extreme" series onwards.

With a peak audience of 6 million viewers in the UK during the late, 1990s[3] the format went on to become a worldwide success, showing in 45 countries including the US, Australia, Canada, China, India, Germany and Italy. In 2003, it was dropped by BBC Two and Mentorn announced it was making 22 episodes for Channel 5, concluding with the World Championships.

Its merchandising was commercially successful; being one of the most popular selling toy ranges in 2002, it included a mini arena, pullback toys and radio-controlled versions of Shunt, Matilda and Sir Killalot.[4]

In January 2016, the BBC confirmed that it would be rebooting the show for a six-part series.[5] On 3 February 2016, BBC Press Office confirmed via Twitter that Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon will host the new series, and that the original series veteran Jonathan Pearce would return to commentate.[6]


Original Robot Wars logo

Robot Wars was the brainchild of Marc Thorpe, a designer working for the LucasToys division of Lucasfilm.[7] In 1992, Thorpe had the initial idea for robot combat sport after unsuccessfully attempting to create a radio-controlled vacuum cleaner.[8] In 1994, Marc Thorpe created Robot Wars and held the first competition at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Approximately one month prior to the event, Thorpe formed a partnership with New York-based record company Sm:)e Communications, later Profile Records, who provided additional funding.[7]

Between 1995 and 1997, three further Robot Wars events took place in America and, in 1995, Profile Records partnered with production company Mentorn to produce and televise a Robot Wars event in the UK. Mentorn acquired the worldwide television rights from Profile in 1995 after Tom Gutteridge (the head of Mentorn) had seen an amateur tape of a San Francisco event.

Gutteridge and one of his producers Steve Carsey created a television format based on the Robot Wars concept. They produced a live event opposite BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, London and hired Derek Foxwell to build 3 combat robots to take on three American robots. The Controller of BBC Two, Michael Jackson, attended the event, which was not filmed, and he promised to commission a series. However, it wasn't until 1998 that a subsequent Controller of BBC Two, Mark Thompson, fulfilled Jackson's promise and actually commissioned 6 episodes. Gutteridge and Carsey were producers and Foxwell was the technical supervisor and senior technical consultant. He drafted the rules and regulations and was in charge of the pit area and the technical team, which scrutineered the robots, got them on and off stage and helped the contestants prepare and repair their robots. Irvine, initially a member of the technical team, served as one of the judges.

Profile sought no input or consent from Thorpe before doing this, and this aggravated the already troubled relationship between Thorpe and Profile Records and indirectly spurred legal disagreements surrounding the ownership of the Robot Wars concept. The legal proceedings surrounding these would last until 6 February 2002.[8] Mentorn used Thorpe as a Consultant on the series, however, and the initial series of Robot Wars in the UK was broadcast over six weeks in February and March 1998. It was an immediate hit, with more than 2 million viewers, and a further 18 episodes were commissioned by the BBC that year. 154 episodes were produced in total, and the show was seen in 26 countries. Two series were produced in the US for the TNN (now Spike) network, and a version was also shown on Nickelodeon. Series were also produced in many European countries. Although the series had various directors and producers, all were produced in the UK by Mentorn, and executive produced by Tom Gutteridge and Steve Carsey. The initial series were staged in various film studios around London. But the stage and pit area became too large to fit into any of the conventional studios, so filming was later moved to an aircraft hangar at RAF Newton.

Battle rules[edit]

A robot could lose a match in several ways during the knockout format of the show:

  • A robot that was immobile for 30 seconds could be counted 'out' and turned over to the house robots for further ‘punishment.’ Beginning with Robot Wars Extreme 1, the Refbot counted down the final 10 seconds.
  • A robot flipped out of the arena lost the battle.
  • A robot that fell or was pushed into the ‘Pit of Oblivion’ was instantly out of the battle (from series 2 onwards).
  • If none of the above conditions were satisfied, a panel of three judges scored the competitors on style, control, damage, and aggression. The judges for the First and Second Wars were Adam Harper, Eric Dickinson and Professor Noel Sharkey. The other judges over the shows run were Professor Martin Smith, Dr Myra Wilson and Mat Irvine.

Although the format changed several times over the years, these rules remained the same across all series and competitions.


# Competition Format The Heats The Semi-finals The Final Side-Events Specials
Series 1 Six Robots in six Heats. The winners met in a single melee fight to determine the champion. All six robots took on the Gauntlet with one eliminated. The remaining five took part in a trial with a further one eliminated. The final four took part in one-on-one Arena battles in a knockout format. There was no Semi-Final held The Final was held as a melee at the end of the final heat.
Series 2 Six robots in twelve heats. The winners of each heat went into one of two semi-finals. Two robots from each semi-final reached the final show. All six robots took on the Gauntlet with one eliminated. The remaining five took part in a trial with a further one eliminated. The final four took part in one-on-one Arena battles in a knockout format. All six robots took on the Gauntlet with one eliminated. The remaining five took part in a trial with a further one eliminated. The final four took part in one-on-one Arena battles in a knockout format. Arena battle knockout of two rounds. The Making of Robot Wars; The Grudge Matches; The Best of the Second Wars
Series 3 Eight robots in sixteen heats. The sixteen heat winners reached one of two semi-finals. Two robots from each semi-final reached the final. Arena battle knockout of three rounds. Arena battle knockout of two rounds. Arena battle knockout of two rounds. 'Pinball Warrior', 'Football', the 'Middleweight Melee' and 'Walker Battles' The International League Championship and the First World Championship
Series 4 Six robots in sixteen heats. The sixteen heats winners reached one of two semi-finals. Two robots from each semi-final reached the final. Three-way Arena melee first round before two Arena knockout rounds. Arena battle knockout of two rounds. Arena battle knockout of two rounds. 'Pinball Warrior' and 'Sumo Basho'. Celebrity Special; Tag Team Terror; the Northern and Southern Annihilators and the War of Independence.
Series 5 Eight robots in twelve heats. The twelve heat winners reached one of two semi-finals. Two robots from each semi-final reached the final. Arena battle knockout of three rounds Arena battle knockout of two rounds, with the three losers of the first round having competing in a second-chance three-way melee for a place in the second round. Arena battle knockout of two rounds Forces Special and the Second World Championship
Series 6 Eight robots in twelve heats. The twelve heat winners reached one of two semi-finals. Two robots from each semi-final reached the final. Arena battle knockout of three rounds. The first round as a four-way melee with two qualifiers. Arena battle knockout of two rounds, with the three losers of the first round having competing in a second-chance three-way melee for a place in the second round. Arena battle knockout of two rounds UK vs Germany, broadcast on BBC Two
Series 7 Eight robots in sixteen heats. The sixteen heat winners reached one of two semi-finals. Two robots from each semi-final reached the final. Arena battle knockout of three rounds. The first round as a four-way melee with two qualifiers. Arena battle knockout of two rounds. Arena battle knockout of two rounds Qualifying bouts for the World Championships and fights from other weight classes All-Star Tournament; Annihilator and the Third World Championship, all broadcast on Channel 5

There were also two series made for the UK, Robot Wars Extreme, which did not focus on a single championship.

Extreme 1 Events These tournaments and themed battles continued over the entire series
All-Star Tournament Six Robots in six Heats. The winners met in a single melee fight to determine the champion.
Annihilator Six-way battles with one robot eliminated per round.
Challenge Belt Where robots would try and defend their honor for the challenge belt.
Mayhems Three-way battles to progress to the series annihilators.
Tag Team Terror Two robots team up and fight tag-team style.
Vengeance Battle This allowed robots with unfinished business or grudges to settle things once and for all.
Wildcard Warriors Newcomers take on established robots.
Extreme 2 Added Events This series followed one theme over each episode
New Blood A new robot tournament.
Iron Maidens Women took control.
Robot Rampage A tournament with the weight restrictions lifted.
University Challenge All robots were entered by Universities.
Commonwealth Carnage All robots were from teams based in the Commonwealth.
European Championship All robots were based in Europe.


Craig Charles presented Robot Wars from its second series until the show's cancellation in 2004.

The first series of Robot Wars was presented by Jeremy Clarkson and co-hosted by Philippa Forrester. In keeping with his edgy persona established on Top Gear, Clarkson frequently made tongue-in-cheek jokes about competitors and their robots, such as remarking that a contestant robot called "Skarab" looked like "cheese on toast".[9] Clarkson left Robot Wars after the first series and was replaced with Craig Charles.[10] Charles, well known as playing the character Dave Lister in the science fiction-themed sitcom Red Dwarf,[11] was seen as taking the programme and its contestants more seriously than Clarkson, and was more enthusiastic while presenting it.[9] Charles would close each episode with a four line poem ending with the words " Robot Wars". Charles presented Robot Wars until it ceased production in 2004.

In comparison to Charles' background in science fiction, Philippa Forrester was best known as co-host of the science and technology programme Tomorrow's World.[12] Her role on Robot Wars was as the pit reporter[13] who would speak to contestants about their robots before and after battles. Forrester was pit reporter for six of the show's nine series; Julia Reed took the role for Series 4 and Extreme 1 since Forrester was unable to participate in the programme due to pregnancy, but Forrester returned for Series 5, Series 6 and Extreme 2. When the programme moved to Channel 5 for the seventh and final series, Forrester did not return for unknown reasons, so Jayne Middlemiss took over the pit reporter duties.[10]

Jonathan Pearce was the show's commentator throughout its entire run. He commentated in the same loud and enthusiastic manner as his football commentaries.[14]

In 2016, twelve years after the final series aired, Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon were announced as the hosts of its 2016 revival, with Jonathan Pearce returning as commentator.

House robots[edit]

House Robot First Competed Weight/kg Speed/mph Height/cm Length/cm Width/cm Power Weaponry Strengths Weakness Method
Cassius Chrome Seventh War 250 20 85 130 100 2x24V magnetic drive motors Two rotary driven interchangeable "fists" and front shovel. Fastest House Robot Requires attack time, high ground clearance High speed ramming
Dead Metal First War 112 12 70 160 100 Battery driven motors Hydraulic pincers and 3000rpm circular saw Synergy of Weapons Reliability Grabbing a competitor robot and engaging the saw
Growler Sixth War 375 17 76 152 130 Six Batteries and Two Electric Motors 3000psi Front Jaws Speed and sheer destructive power Unpredictable Grabs with jaws to push
Matilda First War 116 8 66 140 66 Battery driven engine Pneumatic tusks and rear chainsaw or 27kg vertical flywheel Tough Exo-skeleton Lacks self-control Lifts with tusks or hits with rear weapon
Mr. Psycho Sixth War 750 8 150 163 145 12 Battery 30kg Hammer and Grabbing Claw of 5 ton force Biggest House Robot High Battery Usage Hammer strike or Claw grab
Refbot Fourth War 120 7 130 140 90 Battery Power Front and Rear Scoops; Electric Countout; Fire Extinguisher and Coloured Card non-competitive non-competitive N/A
Sergeant Bash First War 120 8 90 140 90 Four Batteries Propane fueled flamethrower and Front Hydraulic Pincers Long-Range Weaponry Limited Fuel Capacity Engage Flamethrower or Grabbing with jaws
Shunt First War 105 10 70 130 110 "Prototype Cold-Fusion Engine Front ramming plough, rear lifting scoop & pneumatic diamond edge axe High Pushing Power Lightest and has no side self-righting mechanisms Hit with axe or push
Sir Killalot Second War 281 5 130 120 120 Petrol Engine Rotating drill lance and hydraulic claws Heavy with powerful weaponry Slowest House Robot Spike with lance / Grab with claw

Arena and hazards[edit]

The arena was approximately 32 feet by 48 feet. For Series 1 to 3 the Arena was not enclosed as such as the audience were raised above the arena. For Series 4 the battle zone was enclosed in a huge clear plastic box 20 feet high. There were assorted hazards in the arena that changed from one series the next:

The Patrol Zones[edit]

The First Wars only - Four large squares in the corners of the arena marked with striped tape, each occupied by one House Robot and a hazard. Once a competitor robot entered one of these zones, it was open to attack by the House Robot within. The Patrol Zones were much like the CPZ's that appeared in later series but were much larger.

Arena Sidebars[edit]

The First Wars Only. These were parts of the arena side fence that were on the floor. These trapped robots and potentially immobilised them if they could not drive off.


Grille floor panels that, like the arena sidebars mentioned above, were designed to trap robots and not allow them to drive off. Proved much more effective than the sidebars.

Floor Spikes[edit]

The First Wars to The Third Wars - These were pneumatic spikes located in several positions on the arena floor that came up whenever a robot drove over them. They trapped robots and on occasion flipped them. They were removed for series 4 after causing many upsets during The Third Wars where robots currently winning battles would be overturned and then lose. This most notably happened during Heat B when Behemoth was flipped, couldn't self-right and its opponent Pitbull won by default.

The Corner Patrol Zone/CPZ[edit]

The Second Wars only – A narrow band around the perimeter of the arena that replaced the Patrol Zones. A competitor robot that entered this area was open to attack by any or all of the House Robots stationed there.

The Pit of Oblivion[edit]

The Second Wars onwards - The Pit of Oblivion was a 4-foot square hole in the arena floor painted black on the inside, and partially filled with old tyres into which a robot might drive, fall or be pushed, instantly eliminating said robot. In The Second Wars, pits were added to both lanes of The Gauntlet. For The Third Wars the Pit was open during the first two rounds of each heat, then covered during the heat final and following matches. In The Fourth Wars, the Pit was redesigned as a yellow and black chevron tape outlined area that would descend at some point during the match to form a pit. From its very first appearance in The Second Wars the Pit included a small pyrotechnic "explosion" that formed a large ball of white smoke. This would activate when a robot fell into the Pit, primarily used to show that a competitor had fallen in. This was changed to a small firework explosion for The Third Wars but the smoke returned for The Fourth Wars and remained until the end. From Extreme 1 onwards there was a device on the arena wall that competitor or house robots could use to activate the pit opening. In Extreme and The Fifth Wars that device was a tyre. For The Sixth Wars the tyre was replaced by a metal bumper. The tyre returned in Extreme 2 and remained for the remainder of the shows' run.

Flame Pit[edit]

The Second Wars onwards - A large square grill located close to the right bottom corner of the arena. Used to set fire to flammable robots and damage electronics.

The Corner Patrol Zones/CPZ[edit]

The Third Wars onwards - the House Robots were now confined to the four corners of the arena much like in The First Wars. Which house robot was used in which battle was defined by a rota system but would also sometimes depend on if a house robot was being repaired. In The Fourth Wars, the house robots switched to a rota system of Shunt, Matilda, Sgt.Bash, and Dead Metal. Sir Killalot consistently appeared every round. From Extreme 1 onwards only two house robots were allowed in the arena at a time, and this moved in a rota through all of the machines. However some House Robots didn't appear in a show or on some occasions missed several shows before making an appearance.

The Floor Flipper[edit]

The Third Wars onwards - This was a powerful pneumatic flipper that can toss a robot across the arena. When originally introduced it just looked like a part of the arena floor. For The Fourth Wars the flipper was given yellow/black paint scheme similar to the redesigned Pit of Oblivion. From Extreme 1 the power of the flipper increased, allowing it to hurl even the heaviest robots into the air, and flip featherweight robots out of the arena.

Angle Grinders[edit]

The Third Wars, Extreme 1 onwards - Abrasive grinding wheels built into the arena railings. The grinders were replaced with small pneumatic spikes in The Fourth Wars but brought back from extreme 1 onwards.

Flame Jets[edit]

The Fourth Wars onwards - 3 of these were located around the arena. Two at the front in between the CPZ's and one on the left of the arena towards the centre.

Pneumatic Spikes[edit]

The Fourth Wars only - As mentioned above they replaced the Angle Grinders but proved rather ineffective so were removed after one series.

CO2 geysers[edit]

Extreme 1 onwards - Designed to cause internal damage to robots but more useful for putting out fires.

The Drop Zone[edit]

Extreme 1 onwards - A square on the arena floor where heavy objects (television sets, ocean buoys, refrigerators, washing machines, etc.) fell from the top of the arena. It first appeared in series 6; although the spot where the object would fall, a black square with a yellow 'X' shape across it first appeared in The Fifth Wars and Extreme 1. Viewers did not know the purpose of this at the time. It is believed it was due to be used in Extreme 1 but technical difficulties meant it was abandoned.

The Disc of Doom[edit]

The Sixth Wars only - A circular spinning panel set into the arena floor activated by a buffer similar to the pit release. This hazard was used to disrupt a robot's driving and worked well on lighter competitors but proved in-effective against Heavyweight robots. It first appeared in The Sixth Wars but was removed for The Seventh Wars.

Arena legal dispute[edit]

In early 2004 the Robot Wars arena was purchased from the television production firm Mentorn by a company called Robot Arenas Ltd., based in the UK, an organization set up by a past competitor in Robot Wars to continue the sport of robot combat in the UK.

The Robot Wars arena—valued originally at £11,000—was sold for scrap in 2005 for £250 by the new owners of the former RAF Newton air base, where the arena was housed. A suit filed against RAF Newton by Robot Arenas Ltd. found that RAF Newton had acted reasonably in the matter and owed no compensation to Robot Arenas Ltd.[15]

Competitors and results[edit]

Chaos 2 was the only robot to be British Champion twice, and the first to flip opponent robots over the fence and out of the arena.
UK Championship results
Series Winner Grand Finalists
The First Wars Roadblock Bodyhammer, Robot The Bruce, Recyclopse, Cunning Plan, T.R.A.C.I.E.
Series Winner Runner-up Third Place Fourth Place
The Second Wars Panic Attack Cassius Roadblock Killertron
The Third Wars Chaos 2 Hypno-Disc Firestorm Steg-O-Saw-Us
The Fourth Wars Chaos 2 Pussycat Stinger Hypno-Disc
The Fifth Wars Razer Bigger Brother Firestorm III Hypno-Disc
The Sixth Wars Tornado Razer Firestorm IV Terrorhurtz
The Seventh Wars Typhoon 2 Storm 2 Tornado X-Terminator
World Championship results
Championship Winner Runner-up Semi-Finalists
The First World Championship Razer (England) Behemoth (England) 101 (England) Diotoir (Republic of Ireland)
The Second World Championship Razer (UK) Drillzilla (USA) Manta (USA) Tornado (UK)
The Third World Championship Storm 2 (UK) Supernova (Sri Lanka) Crushtacean (South Africa) Tough As Nails (Netherlands)

The competing robots are listed in Category:Robot Wars competitors.



A Sir Killalot toy

Pullback friction toys were made of all the House Robots, with the exception of Cassius Chrome as the toys had stopped production when he was introduced for the final series. There were also pullback toys of Chaos 2, Dantomkia, Firestorm, Hypno-Disc, Panic Attack, Pussycat, Razer, Stinger, Tornado, Wheely Big Cheese and X-Terminator 2. Each came with an accessory.

There were remote controlled versions of Shunt, Matilda, Sir Killalot, and Growler. There also were smaller remote control battlers, which had "imobolisation spots" on the rear of the toy. Sgt. Bash, and the competitor robot Tornado were the only two made. These were smaller than the other remote control robots mentioned above.

There were customisable kit toys of the House Robot Matilda, and competitors Hypno-Disc and Panic Attack. A Sergeant Bash pitstop kit was prototyped but never released.[citation needed]

Minibots were a series of small die-cast replica robots. The range included all of the Series 5 House Robots along with competitor robots Chaos 2, Dominator 2, Firestorm III, Gemini, Hypno-Disc, Mega Morg, Panic Attack, Plunderird 5, Pussycat, Razer, Suicidal Tendencies, Tornado, Wheely Big Cheese, Wild Thing and X-Terminator 2. They had an interactive replica arena and two additional playsets.

Home media[edit]

Several VHS videos were released of the show. These included "The First Great War" a look at the making of Series 1, "The First World Championship" which was released exclusively on video at the time and the "Ultimate Warrior Collection" featuring exclusive access to the teams of Chaos 2, Hypno-Disc and Razer, along with footage of their battles. Along the same lines a "Ultimate Archive Collection" was released showing exclusive footage of the House Robots and their operators along with some of their greatest battles and most embarrassing moments.

The Ultimate Warrior Collection, Ultimate Archive Collection and First Great War were also released on DVD. The footage and content remained the same as the VHS releases.

Video games[edit]

Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem is the first game based on the show, released on Game Boy Color in 2000. It followed in 2001 by Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction on PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows and Game Boy Advance. After the first two titles sold over 250,000 copies, a third and final game, released on Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows and Xbox in 2002 called Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction.[4]


A huge array of other merchandise was produced due to the success of the show. Items available included mugs, glasses, mobile phone covers, toiletries, stationery, clocks, watches, bedding, curtains and clothing. Much of this merchandise is still highly collectable today.[citation needed] The show even produced an unsuccessful single, which peaked at number 51 in the UK singles charts in December 2000, called "Sir Killalot Vs. Robo Babe - Robot Wars (Android Love)".[16]



Series Start date End date Episodes
1 20 February 1998 27 March 1998 6
2 6 November 1998 5 March 1999 15
3 3 December 1999 21 April 2000 19
4 22 September 2000 23 February 2001 19
5 6 May 2002 27 May 2002 15
6 16 September 2002 4 October 2002 15
7 2 November 2003 7 March 2004 19
8 Spring 2016[17] 2016 6


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 8 October 2001 26 October 2001 15
2 13 January 2003 7 February 2003 16


Date Entitle
31 December 1998 The Making of Robot Wars
12 March 1999 The Grudge Matches
19 March 1999 The Best of Robot Wars
15 September 2000 International League Championship
27 December 2000 Celebrity Special
28 December 2000 Tag Team Terror
29 December 2000 Northern Annihilator
30 December 2000 Southern Annihilator
31 December 2000 War of Independence
16 November 2001 First World Championship
14 December 2001 Second World Championship
21 December 2001 The Forces
10 January 2003 UK vs. Germany
14 March 2004 Annihilator
21 March 2004 All Star Championship
28 March 2004 Third World Championship

US Robot Wars[edit]

A forerunner to the UK Series, The 1994 Robot Wars in San Francisco, California featured three different 'games' for each of three robot weight classes:

The FACE-OFF paired robots to battle through an elimination tournament. A robot won a match by immobilizing its opponent, either by damage or by pinning. If both robots were still mobile at the end of ten minutes, they both advanced to the next round of the tournament.
The MOB SCENE was a free-for-all melee fight amongst multiple robots. There were two Mob Scene fights: one for lightweight robots, and a never-repeated 'all weight classes' melee.
The ESCORT event had a single competitor robot escort a defenseless "drone" robot across the arena while a "house robot" attempted to attack the drone. The successful escort with the lowest time was declared the winner. The Escort event was contested only in 1994.

Weight classes for the first event were:

Lightweight: 10 to 40 pounds
Middleweight: 41 to 70 pounds
Heavyweight: 71 to 100 pounds

The competition format remained much the same through 1997. Additional safety regulations were implemented each year, match length was trimmed to 5 minutes, a 'featherweight' weight class was added, and weight allowances crept upward; by 1997 the heavyweight maximum was 170 pounds.

The 1997 judging criteria removed pinning an opponent for 30 seconds as an automatic win and required such immobilization techniques to be limited to one minute. The 1997 judging criteria also removed 'audience applause' for selection of a winner when a match ended with both robots still mobile. Robots were judged by a panel based upon a point system that took into account three factors: damage, aggression, and control. Of these three factors, damage was the primary criteria for determining a winner.

Nickelodeon Robot Wars[edit]

In 2002, the American television network Nickelodeon created Nickelodeon Robot Wars, in which children operated combat robots provided by American teams.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Robot Wars: Grand Champions". Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  2. ^ "Roaming Robots News". 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Robot Wars Activated on Xbox". Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  5. ^ "Robot Wars rebooted for BBC Two". Retrieved 2016-01-13. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "Robot Wars History". Marc Thorpe. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  8. ^ a b "Robot Wars History". Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  9. ^ a b "Robot Wars". SphereTV. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  10. ^ a b "The Presenters". Robots Rule. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  11. ^ "Dave Lister Biography". The SadGeezers Guide. Archived from the original on 2006-10-21. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  12. ^ "Philippa Forrester". BBC Radio Bristol. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  13. ^ "Philippa Forrester". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  14. ^ metrowebukmetro (2009-10-27). "Jonathan Pearce | Metro News". Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  15. ^ "Robot wars battle arena case decided". The Daily Telegraph (London). 8 February 2010. 
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links[edit]