- "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
Big Nipper is a competitor robot that fought in Series 5, 7, and 8 of Robot Wars. It lost in the first round to Razer in Series 5, but made the Heat Final of Series 7, losing to The Grim Reaper on a Judges' decision, where the team were known as Team TMT. It re-entered Robot Wars in Series 8, reaching the Head to Head stage but failing to score enough points to secure a place in the Heat Final.
Big Nipper received an Honourable Mention in The Combat Robot Hall of Fame in 2007.
- "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
Big Nipper was a flat, grey eight-wheel driven (four-wheel drive in its debut) box robot with strong armour, the ability to self-right and a unique lifting arm as its primary weapon. Mounted on the lifting arm was a pair of crushing claws, making it resemble a stag beetle. In Series 5, they were simple titanium spikes mounted on a simpler lifting mechanism and the robot could reach 10mph.
- "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
The lifter is a unique weapon, capable of lifting 200kg. Due to the weight distribution, Big Nipper usually lifted its own back end up as well, but this had the added advantage of placing all the weight on the front wheels which gave it a huge amount of grip to push the opponent where the team directed it. However, this also made it easier to flip, and left the top wheel exposed to overhead attacks. Big Nipper's weapon system was powered by a single motor, with an electromagnetic clutch that switched between activating the crusher and lifter, meaning that the weapons could not be used simultaneously. Although never tested, it is estimated that the crusher had 1.5 tonnes of pressure.
In 2016, Big Nipper replaced its gray metal colour-scheme for a painted orange and black scheme. It was primarily built from titanium salvaged from a scrapyard. It increased its top weight by 10kg, doubled its top speed, and features a new array of interchangeable weapons. The claws remained an option, now with four tonnes of crushing power, as well as a new 20kg vertical spinning disc which could be applied, which spins at up to 4000RPM in just five seconds.
Big Nipper was given a very unlucky draw in Series 5, coming up against the 4th seeds Razer in the first round of the heat. However, Big Nipper started better, driving up Razer's scoop and breaking one of the self-righting wings. Unfortunately, Big Nipper couldn't evade Razer for long and Razer quickly got its beak through the top of Big Nipper. Big Nipper escaped, but was quickly caught again and lifted into the air. Razer dropped Big Nipper over the flame pit, and bending one of Big Nipper's claws out of place. Razer pushed Big Nipper into Shunt's CPZ, where the house robot axed the top of Big Nipper, immobilising it completely. The Refbot then counted Big Nipper out, eliminating it from the competition.
- ""You've been nipped"?! You have been nipped in the bud, more like, for Big Nipper."
- — Jonathan Pearce mocks the phrase on the Big Nipper team's shirts as their machine is counted down.
- "An improved version of an old machine once beaten by the great Razer in the fifth wars."
- — Jonathan Pearce on Big Nipper's past loss.
Big Nipper returned for Series 7 with a thicker body. In its first melee, it was against The Grim Reaper, Kan-Opener and Barbaric Response. Barbaric Response began by rushing in and tossing Big Nipper across the arena slightly. The Grim Reaper then came in and also flipped Big Nipper, but the invertible machine ran back into the action immediately. Big Nipper raised The Grim Reaper onto an angle grinder, before assailing Barbaric Response unsuccessfully. The Grim Reaper and Big Nipper continued their duel until cease was called, with all four robots still mobile. The judges then decided to put Big Nipper through to the second round of the heat along with The Grim Reaper.
Big Nipper's team were not afraid of their second-round matchup, as it was noted that Big Nipper's height was lower than its opponents weapon. Big Nipper unfazed by Jackson Wallop's weapon as a result, was able to shunt its opponent into the arena walls repeatedly, stopping its spinner each time. Big Nipper made a conscious effort not to raise its lifter, as this would give Jackson Wallop a chance to make contact with its weapon. Big Nipper used its claws to destroy a tire on Jackson Wallop and pushed it into Dead Metal's CPZ, who sawed into it, and eventually pitted Jackson Wallop, putting Big Nipper through to the next round.
In the heat final, Big Nipper met The Grim Reaper once more. It was able to get straight underneath The Grim Reaper and lift it, pushing it into the arena wall. After this, however, The Grim Reaper escaped and flipped Big Nipper several times. Big Nipper's invertibility meant it could continue driving, but The Grim Reaper was leading the battle at this point. However, Big Nipper made a late comeback, and slipped underneath The Grim Reaper, pushing it into a CPZ. Big Nipper's assault didn't end, and Big Nipper carried The Grim Reaper over to the arena wall on the opposite side, where cease was called. In one of the closest heat finals in Robot Wars history, the Judges voted for The Grim Reaper due to its higher aggression, eliminating Big Nipper from the competition, to the disagreement of Craig Charles and Jonathan Pearce.
- "Poor old Big Nipper, couldn't get its claws, around the grimmest of reapers, on Robot Wars!"
- — Craig Charles
Big Nipper's first move in the battle was to follow the movement of Or Te, but Supernova knocked out Big Nipper's opponent before its own disc had even made contact. Big Nipper was followed by Supernova, with their spinning discs clashing, the latter winning out, knocking Big Nipper backwards, so it pressed the pit release button, yet strangely the pit did not descend. Big Nipper clashed spinning weapons with the now toothless Supernova, but an attempt to push TR2 into the now-open pit nearly sent Big Nipper skidding into the pit itself - three of its four wheels luckily stayed grounded, and Big Nipper escaped, qualifying for the next round with TR2 when Supernova fell into the pit.
For its first head-to-head match, Big Nipper switched to its claws for the battle with TR2, the reason being that their disc shaft had bent in the opening melee. Big Nipper was thrown into the wall by TR2, and then flipped into the clutches of Dead Metal, which sliced into its top armour, nearly severing the safety link. When the pit was opened, Big Nipper drove right onto the edge of it again, escaping from TR2. This time, Big Nipper could not drive away, and was pushed in by TR2.
Big Nipper next faced King B Remix, and returned to its spinning disc armament, with much confidence.
- "He's going home in a bin bag!"
- — Graeme Dawson
Although it did not start perfectly, being slammed by King B, and being impaled on an arena spike after driving there themselves, and was pushed towards the pit, Big Nipper turned the battle around when it started tearing into the rear panel of King B Remix, throwing pieces of plastic across the arena floor. Two heavy hits threw King B into the air, removing its safety link. Big Nipper celebrated by spinning in the centre of the arena with its arm raised.
- "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 their win
Big Nipper had a chance to qualify for the Heat Final if they could defeat Dantomkia.
- "Hopefully we'll trash it!"
- — Glyn Dawson evaluates Dantomkia's armour
It was flipped several times in the opening stages, gradually nearing Sir Killalot, which held Big Nipper above the flame pit. On a slam, however, Big Nipper ripped the end of Dantomkia's flipper off, despite being pushed back into Sir Killalot, which trapped Big Nipper before becoming stuck in the arena wall. Big Nipper's disc appeared to stop, and it was thrown into the air by Dantomkia. Avoiding Dead Metal, Big Nipper finally got its disc spinning again, ripping armour from Dantomkia and putting a bend in the flipper arm. Cease was called when Big Nipper was pushed into the arena wall, and the Judges were required to call a winner, unanimously voting in favour of Dantomkia, eliminating Big Nipper on a final score of 3 points.
|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||Not selected|
Robot Wars Live EventsEdit
Despite being a competitive robot in live events, Big Nipper has only fought in one of the newly branded Robot Wars live events. It fought at the Robot Wars live event which was held at Widnes in May 2013. It fought in the main competition where it lost its heat on judges decision against Turbulence, Maelstrom and Rattler after it only managed to overturn Rattler once and spent the entire fight getting flipped around by Maelstrom.
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Although keeping the same shape as Series 7, Big Nipper underwent a series of internal changes to the wheels, motor and armour after the original Robot Wars ended. It utilised the same motors as Razer, and during a change to the magmotor, the team replaced the top armour with thicker titanium to protect from machines like Terrorhurtz and Tiberius.
With these changes, Big Nipper managed to win several smaller competitions. In the 2006 UK Championship, Big Nipper lost one battle to Hades, but escaped the heat by pitting Edge Hog, winning against Weird Alice, and then defeated Hades in a rematch. In the quarter-finals, it was immobilised by Scorpion, but fought its way to third place. It also finished third in the 2004 & 2008 UK Championships.
Notably, Big Nipper managed to defeat Terrorhurtz in the final of the Fighting Robots Association UK Championships hosted by Roaming Robots in 2007. On the 21st October 2012, Big Nipper became the 2012 FRA Heavyweight champion, making it the fourth robot to claim the title twice after Chaos 2, Terrorhurtz, and Iron Awe 5.
The team also compete or have competed with the listed featherweight robots below:
- Little Flipper 2: A wedge bot armed with a flipper with a moon painted on one side.
- Little Flipper 3: A low wedge robot armed with a flipper, which won the 2011 UK Championships.
- Little Hitter 1: Formerly known as Blue, a box with a front wedge and armed with an axe which won the UK Featherweight championship in 2004.
- Little Hitter 2: A wedged box armed with a axe, which won the 2004 UK Championships.
- Little Hitter 3: wedged box (only more angled) armed with a axe.
- Little Spinner 2: Also known as Buzzbar, a invertible blue t-shaped box armed with a yellow under cutting blade.
- Little Spinner 3: A blue circular robot with yellow lines on the sides that is a full-body spinner.
- Little Spinner 4: A silver circular full-body spinner with large silver blades.
- Despite the naming similarity, Big Nipper was not related to antweight competitor Little Nipper.
|Honourable Mention in The Combat Robot Hall of Fame|