- "Big Nipper is a powerful crusher/gripper robot, with the ability to pick up an opponent weighing up to 300kg and carry it around the arena. Big Nipper's powerful brushless motors have resulted in four tonnes of crushing power, and, for its interchangeable vertical spinner, a 20kg spinning disc which can reach 4000rpm in just five seconds."
- — The Robot Wars website on Big Nipper
Its best performance came in Series 7, when it reached the Heat Final before losing to The Grim Reaper on a Judges' decision. In its other televised appearances, Big Nipper was defeated in the first round by Razer in Series 5, and was eliminated at the Head-to-Head stage in Series 8 after failing to score enough points to qualify for the Heat Final.
- "We like the idea of a crusher, but we wanted to build something different, so we thought if it could pick the robots up, it would be a good idea."
- — Graeme Dawson explains the concept for Big Nipper
Big Nipper was a low, invertible box-shaped robot notable for its unique lifting weapon. This weapon combined a traditional lifter with a set of horizontal crushing claws, the design of which resembled the mandibles of a stag beetle, and was designed to operate even when the robot was inverted. In its initial Series 5 form, Big Nipper featured a four-wheel drive system and a top speed of 10mph, while the weapon was a simple front-mounted lifter with the titanium spiked claws attached to the end. It was painted grey with its name painted on the top panels in black, a colour scheme which it would maintain with minor changes until Series 8.
- "Our weapon system is not so simple to explain but it is basically a very large lifter with a crusher mounted on it."
- — Mark Lumb
For Series 7, Big Nipper underwent a comprehensive redesign, with the robot featuring a more compact chassis, eight-wheel drive, and a drastically-altered lifting mechanism. This mechanism took the form of a centrally-mounted arm which could enable the robot to self-right, with the crushing claws being attached to the end of the arm as before. The combined lifter/crusher had a lifting capacity of 200kg in this incarnation, while the crushing claws were estimated to have a force of 1.5 tonnes. Big Nipper's weapon was powered by a single motor, with an electromagnetic clutch which enabled it to alternate between lifter and crusher modes. However, this arrangement prevented the weapon from being able to lift and crush simultaneously. To help identify whether the robot was running upright or inverted, Big Nipper's name was written in blue (top) and red (bottom) logos on its lifter/crusher arm.
Due to the weight distribution placed on its weapon, Big Nipper usually displayed a tendency to lift its back end up whenever it used its lifter/crusher. This had the added advantage of placing all of the robot's weight on its bottom-front wheels, which gave it large amounts of grip to push opponents across the arena when required. However, this characteristic also made Big Nipper easier to flip – especially from the rear - while the top wheels remained vulnerable to overhead attacks.
In 2016, Big Nipper underwent several changes ahead of its appearance in Series 8, notably the addition of interchangeable weapons, lithium polymer batteries and brushless motors. The robot itself was now painted black, orange and silver with blue LED lights, while its armour now consisted of 7-10mm Grade 5 titanium salvaged from a scrapyard. In addition to its signature lifter/crusher – now with four tonnes of crushing force and a quoted lifting capacity of 300kg – Big Nipper was also equipped with a second weapon, adding a 20kg vertical spinning disc to the end of the moving arm. The disc has two large teeth, and can spin up to 4000rpm (4200rpm according to Graeme Dawson) in just five seconds. Big Nipper's top speed was doubled to 20mph, while its weight was also increased to 110kg.
Although it did not enter Series 6, Big Nipper successfully qualified for Series 5 and 7 through attending the qualifiers; in Series 7, it fought Araknia, Ewe 2 and eventual series champion Typhoon 2 in its qualifier battle. While it ultimately lost to Ewe 2, all four robots received places in the Seventh Wars regardless.
Big Nipper was selected for Series 8 by open application, although when it applied for Series 9, it was initially not selected to compete. Big Nipper was later selected as a reserve for the series, but went unused, alongside fellow FRA UK champions TR2 and Gabriel. Team Titanium still appeared in the series when they helped Team Conker fix Crackers 'n' Smash.
- "You've Been Nipped!"
- — The Big Nipper team's slogan for Series 5
Big Nipper made its Robot Wars debut in Heat K of the Fifth Wars, facing the fourth seed – and double World Champion – Razer in the first round. In the opening seconds, both robots drove into each other, with Big Nipper driving up Razer's wedge and breaking one of its self-righting wings off its mount. However, it could not grab hold of Razer, and backed away before bumping into the latter's side. Big Nipper dodged Razer as it attempted to attack, but was caught, and had its top armour pierced by the latter's beak. Razer continued pushing, piercing and spinning Big Nipper around until it let go, only to grab Big Nipper again a few seconds later and lift it into the air.
- "Well, if you crush a beetle, it rains and rains and rains, and punishment raining down on Big Nipper now from Razer..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Razer pierces and lifts Big Nipper
With one of its claws bent, Big Nipper was carried towards and held over the Flame Pit by Razer, but used its weapon to make contact with the floor and break free. It attempted to drive away, but drove up Razer's wedge again while doing so, and was pushed back over the Flame Pit as Razer gripped it by the lifter. Big Nipper lifted itself to manoeuvre away from the Flame Pit, eventually managing to grab hold of Razer's beak as the latter pushed it around and against an angle grinder.
- "Well, the Nipper... is... big on resolve, if nothing else... and this is a very good and therefore very surprising first battle for Razer. I thought they'd stroll this, against the new boys..."
- — Jonathan Pearce, impressed with Big Nipper's staying power
Big Nipper tried to push Razer back, holding onto its beak again, with the two robots pushing each other close to a CPZ as Dead Metal and Shunt entered the fray. Razer eventually grabbed the space in between Big Nipper's weapon and front-left wheel, pushing it across the arena into Shunt's CPZ. Shunt axed Big Nipper's top armour several times as Razer attempted to bite into its wheel. These attacks left Big Nipper immobilised, and it was soon counted out by Refbot before Shunt axed its top panel one last time.
- "'You've Been Nipped?' You have been... nipped in the bud, more like, for Big Nipper!"
- — Jonathan Pearce notices the Big Nipper team's slogan as their robot is counted out
- Jayne Middlemiss: "Why did it take you two years to come back?"
- Graeme Dawson: "We decided to build a proper robot this time."
- — The Big Nipper team explain to Jayne Middlemiss their absence from Series 6
Following a comprehensive redesign and a one-series hiatus, Big Nipper returned for the Seventh Wars, competing in Heat B. In its first-round battle, it faced Extreme 2 Annihilator Champion Kan-Opener, former Series 3 competitor The Grim Reaper and Extreme 2 Tag Team Terror co-runner up Barbaric Response. Immediately, it attempted to pursue The Grim Reaper, only to ram into and underneath Kan-Opener as all four competitors converged. Big Nipper concentrated on attacking Barbaric Response, but was flipped by the latter, and proceeded to push and lift The Grim Reaper. In turn, The Grim Reaper flipped it completely over and lifted it, but Big Nipper responded by grabbing The Grim Reaper by the flipper and pushing it into the wall. Eventually, the two robots separated, exchanging shoves, lifts and flips between themselves as Kan-Opener and Barbaric Response were left stuck together.
- "That's a good little duel going on in there between the two of them, evenly matched. That's okay, the Big Nipper is invertible..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Big Nipper jostles with The Grim Reaper
In the process, Big Nipper lifted and pushed The Grim Reaper into the wall close to the Flame Pit, lifting its own rear end off the floor while doing so. It was briefly rammed by Growler while dodging a flip from The Grim Reaper; with the House Robot briefly trapping it between himself and Mr. Psycho. Undeterred, Big Nipper pushed Barbaric Response and Kan-Opener against the wall, the latter two still unable to separate themselves, and attempted to crush through Barbaric Response's flipper, but without success. It narrowly avoided the pit twice as it drove up Barbaric Response and was flipped once more by The Grim Reaper, but escaped, and rammed into The Grim Reaper yet again. Big Nipper was flipped one more time by The Grim Reaper, before both robots ended the battle with their weapons locked together. The subsequent Judges' decision ruled that Big Nipper and The Grim Reaper would go through, as a result of their aggressive and sustained performances.
In the second round, Big Nipper faced Jackson Wallop. Before the battle began, the team expressed confidence about its chances of winning, noting that Jackson Wallop's spinning weapon was mounted too high for it to reach and damage Big Nipper's body. In the opening seconds, both robots slammed into each other, with Big Nipper pushing and chasing Jackson Wallop towards the wall. Backing away over the Flame Pit, it stayed away from Jackson Wallop as the latter hit Refbot, the wall and the pit release button, before pushing it into an angle grinder and forcing its claws underneath. Big Nipper released Jackson Wallop, before catching and pushing it towards Shunt; in the process, however, it momentarily stopped, allowing Shunt to strike its top armour a few times with his axe. Unscathed, it proceeded to push and drag Jackson Wallop around with its claws, dislodging one of the latter's tyres as it did so.
Big Nipper finally let go of Jackson Wallop as it manoeuvred the latter towards Shunt again, where Jackson Wallop was left spinning in circles and vulnerable to attacks from Dead Metal. Once Dead Metal finished causing damage to Jackson Wallop, Big Nipper proceeded to grab and push it into an empty CPZ, with Jackson Wallop’s weapon damaging and getting caught in the entry gate panel. With Dead Metal eventually dragging, pushing and pitting Jackson Wallop, Big Nipper was declared the winner, and went through to the Heat Final.
- "It's strange, Craig. Big Nipper have crept through almost unnoticed..."
- — Jonathan Pearce prior to the Heat Final
There, it faced The Grim Reaper, the second time in which both robots fought together in the arena. Immediately, Big Nipper drove into The Grim Reaper and spun round, initially struggling to get its claws underneath before lifting The Grim Reaper and pushing it into a CPZ. It pushed The Grim Reaper again as both competitors avoided Sergeant Bash, all while carrying it across the arena until The Grim Reaper fired its flipper and rolled off its claws.
- "Big Nipper is a kilo heavier than Grim Reaper... and is certainly starting this very well!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Big Nipper carries The Grim Reaper on its claws
The Grim Reaper flipped Big Nipper over twice in response, the second flip momentarily leaving it propped up against the wall in Cassius Chrome's CPZ. Both competitors locked together as Cassius Chrome intervened, with Big Nipper being pushed out sideways and pinned against the wall by The Grim Reaper. Big Nipper was simultaneously rammed by Cassius Chrome and flipped forwards by The Grim Reaper, getting caught by the latter's flipper in the process. It used its own weapon arm to lift itself and open The Grim Reaper's flipper up, although it was momentarily sandwiched between the latter and Cassius Chrome before the two competitors separated.
- "...Big Nipper holding onto the arena side wall... like a wrestler holding onto the ropes..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as The Grim Reaper puts Big Nipper under pressure
Seconds later, Big Nipper was flipped onto Cassius Chrome by The Grim Reaper, then over the Flame Pit and against the wall. After these flips, it drove away, and recovered to simultaneously lift and push The Grim Reaper back into the now-vacated CPZ. In doing so, Big Nipper turned The Grim Reaper onto its back against the wall, but was blocked by Sergeant Bash as The Grim Reaper righted itself and both competitors tried to drive out. As soon as they escaped, Big Nipper reversed into an angle grinder, then pushed The Grim Reaper into Sergeant Bash's CPZ a second time before lifting it again. For the remainder of the battle, it dodged The Grim Reaper, before lifting and pushing it into the wall one last time just before 'cease' was called.
- "Pensive... dogged... wasteful! Big Nipper... I think is on top – not physically. I think they ended in the ascendancy, Judges. What do you think?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Big Nipper makes its final attack on The Grim Reaper
The Heat Final went to a Judges' decision, which after an extremely close battle, went in favour of The Grim Reaper due it being marginally more aggressive. This marked Big Nipper's elimination from the Seventh Wars, although both Craig Charles and Jonathan Pearce believed that it had finished the battle stronger.
- "Poor old Big Nipper, couldn't get his jaws, around the grimmest of reapers, on Robot Wars!"
- — Craig Charles' sign-off for Heat B, referencing Big Nipper's elimination
With Robot Wars being revived after twelve years off the air, Big Nipper returned for Series 8, upgraded and with its interchangeable weapon setup. Competing in Episode 3, it fought TR2, Or Te and Supernova in its Group Battle, the first time in which it used its new disc weapon in combat.
At the start, Big Nipper weaved and drove towards Or Te, slamming and pushing it into Supernova's disc. This attack knocked Or Te's link loose, immobilising it, with Big Nipper backing away and momentarily driving over the Floor Flipper. It and Supernova then drove into each other disc-to-disc, sending sparks flying; a second successive hit from Supernova knocked Big Nipper back as it retreated and pressed the pit release button. Unable to activate the pit, Big Nipper chased after TR2 and Supernova, eventually hitting the latter's disc twice more before TR2 scooped Supernova up with its flipper. It proceeded to slam into the side of TR2, but skidded sideways as it tried to turn, and almost backed itself into the pit. With three of its bottom wheels still on the floor, Big Nipper drove itself away, and progressed to the Head-to-Head stage after Supernova was angled by TR2 and ended up careering into the pit itself.
During the Group Battle, Big Nipper sustained severe damage to its disc weapon; both the arm and weapon shaft were left bent following the collisions with Supernova, causing the disc itself to seize up. As a result, Team Titanium elected to swap the disc for its claws ahead of its first Head-to-Head battle, against TR2.
- "No one in charge, apparently, for Big Nipper."
- — Jonathan Pearce before Big Nipper's Head-to-Head against TR2
Immediately, Big Nipper slammed head-on into TR2 with its claws, backing away as it attempted to slip them underneath the latter's flipper. However, as it spun round, it exposed its side to TR2, allowing TR2 to push and throw it into the wall. Big Nipper sped away, but was collected by TR2 as it spun a second time, and launched into the wall and Dead Metal's pincers. It backed away and bumped into the wall as it escaped, but lifted itself over, allowing TR2 to nudge and flip it twice into Dead Metal's saw. Sparks flew as the saw hit Big Nipper's armour and claws - almost severing its removable link at one point - before Dead Metal spun Big Nipper away as it tried to lift him. Again, Big Nipper slammed head-on into TR2, but was unable to use its claws effectively as the two competitors spun round and attempted to get underneath each other. Eventually, the pit descended, with Big Nipper skidding towards and over the edge while driving away from Dead Metal's CPZ. Unable to escape, it was pushed in by TR2, and scored no points as a result of its first Head-to-Head loss.
- "And the last moments of this... but Big Nipper are sure to go now! And down they go, and in the end, they made it easy for TR2!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Big Nipper is pitted
For its next Head-to-Head, against King B Remix, Big Nipper reverted to its disc, with Team Titanium being especially confident going into the battle.
- "He's going home in a bin bag!"
- — Graeme Dawson
At the start, it drove after King B Remix while the latter activated the pit, only to be slammed a few times by King B Remix and getting speared by an arena spike after driving over it. This allowed King B Remix to get underneath Big Nipper and push it towards the pit as the spike retracted, with Big Nipper almost driving disc-first into Dead Metal as it escaped.
- "Get it started, get it causing damage! This is what we want to see... and I think it IS causing damage now!"
- — Jonathan Pearce comments on the inactivity of Big Nipper's disc, just before it damages King B Remix
However, Big Nipper responded by clipping one of King B Remix's wheels, sending small chunks of plastic flying, before manoeuvring around the Floor Flipper and tearing into its back panel. The two robots pushed each other close to the pit release button and into an empty CPZ, with Big Nipper tearing more pieces of plastic off of King B Remix before throwing it into the air twice with its disc. The second hit knocked King B Remix's link loose, immobilising it, with Big Nipper celebrating by spinning around in the centre of the arena and lifting its disc arm, then itself.
- "We really did want to do some damage to him, but his link came out before we got the chance to do the damage, really!"
- — Glyn Dawson on Team Titanium's victory
Having scored three points as a result of this knock-out victory, Big Nipper jumped to joint-second in the Head-to-Head table, equal on points with its final opponent, Dantomkia. A potential victory in this battle would enable it to qualify for a place in the Heat Final, along with points leader TR2.
- "Hopefully with the mild steel he's got we should be able to get a good grip. Hopefully we'll trash him!"
- — Glyn Dawson evaluates Dantomkia's armour ahead of Big Nipper's final Head-to-Head
At the start of the battle, both robots drove past each other almost immediately, with Big Nipper proceeding to drive up Dantomkia and allowing the latter to throw it off the floor. Big Nipper was then shoved into Sir Killalot's CPZ by Dantomkia, with the House Robot cornering and pushing it away as it sped into Dantomkia again. Dantomkia threw Big Nipper onto its back, but Big Nipper self-righted, only to drive itself into Sir Killalot's CPZ again seconds later.
- "Killalot has them slammed. Killalot has them pinned. Killalot has them pinched. Killalot has them raised. He signals to the crowd - will it be thumbs down from the crowd?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Sir Killalot holds Big Nipper in his claw
Sir Killalot picked Big Nipper up by its disc arm, holding it aloft up to the height of the polycarbonate panels, before dropping it over the Flame Pit. Big Nipper darted away, dodging Dantomkia before slamming into it disc-first. It drove round and attempted to damage Dantomkia's flipper with a second slam, but Dantomkia pushed it back into Sir Killalot, although Big Nipper was able to escape this time. Seconds later, Big Nipper charged into Dantomkia again, ripping its flipper plate off with the disc, but was in turn pushed into Sir Killalot's CPZ a third time, and momentarily pinned against the wall by Sir Killalot himself. It escaped after Sir Killalot accidentally got his lance stuck through the wall, and after being inverted, bumped into Dantomkia and righted itself over the Flame Pit. This allowed Dantomkia to push and flip Big Nipper against the wall and into the polycarbonate panels; Big Nipper was then pushed and sent spinning out of control into Dead Metal's CPZ. However, it escaped Dead Metal's grasp, and caused more damage to Dantomkia's flipper with another head-on slam.
- "Oh, big slam, that! Massive slam! Bang! Smash! Crash, go the hopes and dreams!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Big Nipper damages Dantomkia in the closing stages
The two competitors bumped and chased each other around the arena in the closing seconds, with Big Nipper being pushed and slammed into Sir Killalot's CPZ again by Dantomkia just as the airhorn sounded. 'Cease' was called, and the battle went to a Judges' decision. After a close clash which was particularly praised by Dara Ó Briain and Sethu Vijayakumar, the decision went unanimously in favour of Dantomkia, again leaving Big Nipper with zero points. With this, it finished third in the Head-to-Head round with a total score of three points, and was eliminated from Series 8.
- "We ended up going too close to Sir Killalot a lot of times, so I think that made us lose, really."
- — Graeme Dawson summarises Big Nipper's loss to Dantomkia
|BIG NIPPER - RESULTS|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
Heats, Round 1
|Heat K, Eliminator||vs. Razer (4)||Lost|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat B, Round 1||vs. Barbaric Response, Kan-Opener, The Grim Reaper||Qualified|
|Heat B, Round 2||vs. Jackson Wallop||Won|
|Heat B, Final||vs. The Grim Reaper||Lost|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
Round 2, Third Place
|Episode 3, Group Battle||vs. Or Te, Supernova, TR2||Qualified|
|Episode 3, Head-to-Heads||vs. TR2||Lost (0 points)|
|Episode 3, Head-to-Heads||vs. King B Remix||Won (3 points)|
|Episode 3, Head-to-Heads||vs. Dantomkia||Lost (0 points)|
- Wins: 4
- Losses: 4
|Series||Big Nipper Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Heat Final|
|Series 8||Round 2, Third Place|
|Series 9||Unused reserve|
Robot Wars Live EventsEdit
Although a regular and competitive entrant at live events, Big Nipper made only one appearance at a Robot Wars-branded live event, at the 2013 event in Widnes. There, it fought in the main competition, fighting Turbulence, Maelstrom and Rattler in its heat. After only managing to turn Rattler over once, and spending much of the battle getting flipped around by Maelstrom, Big Nipper lost the heat on a judges' decision, and was eliminated early on from the competition.
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Following Robot Wars' initial cancellation, Big Nipper achieved considerable success in live events held during the show's hiatus. While maintaining a similar appearance to its Series 7 form, it underwent a series of upgrades and modifications to its wheels, internals and armour. Notably, it used Magmotors for its drive and weapon systems – increasing its pushing and lifting/crushing power considerably - and adopted aircraft-grade titanium armour to withstand attacks from opponents such as Terrorhurtz and Tiberius. At various stages, Big Nipper used the same kind of motors which powered Razer, and also had an interchangeable scoop used to fight against robots armed with spinning weapons.
With these changes, Big Nipper won several live events held between 2004 and 2014, including events hosted by Roaming Robots and Robots Live! Its most significant achievement came in 2007, where it defeated Terrorhurtz to become that year's FRA UK Heavyweight Champion. This feat was repeated in October 2012, with Big Nipper becoming the fourth robot to win the UK Championship twice. Big Nipper also finished third in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 FRA UK Heavyweight Championships, with its most recent result being fourth place in the 2014 UK Heavyweight Championship.
After a three-year break, Big Nipper returned to the live events circuit in April 2017, with additional upgrades to its tyres, weapons and drive systems. That month, it competed at the Robots Live! event in Burgess Hill and at the inaugural Extreme Robots event in Manchester, participating in several battles with varying degrees of success.
Team Titanium have also built and competed in live events with the following featherweight robots:
- Little Flipper 2: A wedge bot armed with a flipper, featuring a crescent moon painted on one side.
- Little Flipper 3: A low wedge-shaped robot armed with a flipper, which won the 2011 UK Featherweight Championships.
- Little Hitter 1: Formerly known as Blue, a box-shaped robot with a front wedge and an axe, which won the 2004 UK Featherweight Championships.
- Little Hitter 2: A wedged box-shaped robot armed with a axe, which won the 2004 UK Championships.
- Little Hitter 3: Another wedged box armed with a axe, with a more angled body.
- Little Spinner 2: Also known as Buzzbar, a invertible blue T-shaped robot armed with a yellow undercutting blade.
- Little Spinner 3: A blue circular-shaped full-body spinner with yellow side stripes.
- Little Spinner 4: A silver circular full-body spinner with large silver blades.
- Little Nipper: Not to be confused with the unrelated antweight competitor, a four-wheel drive vertical crusher which competed in the 2015 World Championships.
- Despite having a similar name, Big Nipper was not related to the antweight competitor, Little Nipper.
- Big Nipper is one of five robots to have won the UK Championship twice, doing so by winning the 2007 and 2012 FRA UK Heavyweight Championships during the show's hiatus. The others are Chaos 2 in Series 3-4 of the original Robot Wars, and Terrorhurtz, Iron-Awe 5 and Eruption in other FRA-sanctioned competitions.
- In Series 7, Jonathan Pearce stated that Big Nipper had an interchangeable scoop along with its lifter/crusher; however, this weapon was never actually used for any of its televised battles in that series.
- In Series 7, Big Nipper also featured a mascot in the form of a soft toy crab, which was seen on top of the robot while it was in the Pits, but not mentioned.
- In 2007, Big Nipper received an Honorable Mention in The Combat Robot Hall of Fame, in honour of its lifting/crushing weapon, durability and performances in live events held during Robot Wars' hiatus.
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/Team.titanium.bignipper/posts/1878134005750397
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/Team.titanium.bignipper/posts/1965931886970608?comment_id=1965932640303866
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuA10cME41w
- ↑ http://runamok.tech/hall_of_fame.html