Bodyhammer (also referred to in Series 2 as The Bodyhammer) was the first entry from the Cold Fusion Team, which competed in Series 1-2 of Robot Wars. In Series 1, it reached the Grand Final and survived to the end of the battle, losing the Judges' decision to Roadblock. However, it was eliminated from the Gauntlet stage in Series 2 after covering a distance of only 3.0m during its run. After this, Bodyhammer was retired and replaced for Series 3 with Pussycat.
Following their appearances, both models of Bodyhammer resided in the late Alan Gribble's workshop - alongside the chassis of Pussycat's Series 3 and 4 models - although the original model's shell, wheels and many of its internal components were still left in the possession of Robin Herrick. Herrick would later build and enter two new robots for the rebooted series; Kill-E-Crank-E in Series 8, and Crank-E in Series 9.
- "A copper-coloured cone; looks a little bit like a coal scuttle. Powered by four 18V domestic drill motors. Weighing in at 78.9 kilograms, quite heavy, but also quite nippy at 9mph."
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Bodyhammer in Series 1
Bodyhammer was a tall, conical robot with two-wheel drive and a flat-sided front, whose weaponry and armour varied considerably between series. In Series 1, it was armed with a small front-mounted hammer, and featured a chassis and bodyshell made out of tough polypropylene-glass composite material. This material was supplied by team member Andrew Dayton-Lovett – an expert in thermoplastic composites – with the shell being covered in stainless steel sheeting. Bodyhammer's steel layer was heat-treated, with the oxidisation process giving it a distinctive copper colour. The robot's colour and shape resulted in Jonathan Pearce likening it to a 'coal scuttle' throughout its appearances in this series.
The Series 1 incarnation of Bodyhammer also featured a top speed of 9mph, and displayed excellent acceleration and pushing power as a result of its four 18V drill motors. However, its hammer proved unreliable, resulting in it being removed following its Gauntlet run and converted into a twin-pronged ramming spike for its Arena battles.
After being rebuilt over three months, a brand-new model of Bodyhammer returned for Series 2, sporting a black and yellow paint scheme. The hammer used in Series 1 was exchanged for a reciprocating spike powered by a garden strimmer - curiously referred to by Pearce and the original Cold Fusion Team website as a 'flipper' - and a 6-inch circular saw, both concealed within the robot's front wedge. This incarnation of Bodyhammer also featured a lightweight plywood chassis and a shell made out of 5mm military-grade steel (quoted as 3mm on the original Cold Fusion Team website); the latter was formed and welded by an engineering fabricator in Bath. Its paint scheme varied in between appearances, with the robot sporting different patterns for its main series appearance and the Internet Insurrection Grudge Match.
Powered by a 24V battery, the Series 2 Bodyhammer's top speed was increased to 15mph, while its ground clearance was reduced from 1.5cm to only 5mm. However, the latter change often resulted in it getting stuck on arena hazards such as the Ramrig, or underneath other robots if it attempted to drive under them, as demonstrated in the Internet Insurrection.
- "Now, I think Robin Herrick and his team of nuclear engineers are going to be difficult to beat with Bodyhammer..."
- — Jonathan Pearce expresses confidence in Bodyhammer as it begins its Gauntlet run
Bodyhammer debuted in Heat E of the First Wars, and was the third robot in that heat to make its Gauntlet run. It immediately drove off the turntable to take the left-hand route, negotiating through the maze quickly despite bumping into the railings a few times. Avoiding the first grille, Bodyhammer cleared the maze and nudged the landmines away for a run towards the arena spikes, only to veer left onto one of the other grilles. It hesitated before turning round and darting past the spikes into the end zone, slamming into the railings and impressing Jeremy Clarkson in the process. Bodyhammer's run was quick enough for it to finish third overall in the results table, allowing it to qualify for the Trial stage.
In the Labyrinth Trial, Bodyhammer competed without its hammer, and darted off the start line to take the left-hand route. It steadily negotiated through the route into the middle zone, catching up with, bumping and pushing REALI-T into the railings as it did so. Bodyhammer backed away and tried to drive through the middle passage, only to turn left into one of the railings. After briefly hesitating, it recovered to confront Shunt near the end zone, but struggled to get past him or Sergeant Bash as it kept spinning and bumping into the railings. Bodyhammer attempted to push Shunt against the railings before retreating into the right-hand route as Sergeant Bash tried to block it. With time running out, it achieved the fourth furthest distance out of the five remaining competitors; enough for Bodyhammer to progress to the Arena stage. Curiously, the results table showed it as having finished second overall, behind Full Metal Anorak, instead of fourth.
- Philippa Forrester: "Bodyhammer! Where's your hammer?"
- Andrew Dayton-Lowett: "Well, we had a small problem..."
- Philippa Forrester: "What did you change it for, then?"
- Robin Herrick: "The weapons pod is now a destructor instead."
- Philippa Forrester: "Okay... I hope it works!"
- — The Cold Fusion Team report Bodyhammer's weapon modification to Philippa Forrester
In its Semi-Final, Bodyhammer faced Torque of the Devil. Before the battle began, the Cold Fusion Team encountered reliability issues with its hammer, and converted it into a ramming spike before taking it into the arena.
- "Well, they’ve been my tips throughout, but I wonder if that will make a difference for this Semi-Final."
- — Jonathan Pearce shortly before Bodyhammer’s battle with Torque of the Devil
At the start, Bodyhammer sped quickly across the arena, manoeuvring around and ramming into the side of Torque of the Devil. It proceeded to push Torque of the Devil around three times, the third attack leaving its opponent stranded on the side bars. With Torque of the Devil unable to move and weathering attacks from the House Robots, Bodyhammer drove away, only to bump into Torque of the Devil again after Shunt freed it. Eventually, it pushed Torque of the Devil back onto the side bars, ramming Dead Metal in an attempt to stop the House Robot from attacking. With one last ram, Bodyhammer left Torque of the Devil immobilised in the corner, progressing to the Heat Final as a result.
- Jeremy Clarkson: "You were aiming for [Torque of the Devil's] back, where its cutting blade was!"
- Robin Herrick: "I was aiming for the side – I need a bit more practice."
- Jeremy Clarkson: "You do not need more practice, that was a masterful display!"
- — Jeremy Clarkson praises Robin Herrick's driving skills in the post-battle interview
In the Heat Final, Bodyhammer faced REALI-T. Still equipped with the spike, it hesitated to move from its starting position before darting left and chasing REALI-T. Bodyhammer then bumped into Dead Metal, and after driving into his CPZ bumped into REALI-T and Matilda in rapid succession. As REALI-T rammed into Matilda's side, Bodyhammer pushed both robots around the arena, eventually slamming REALI-T into a spiked pyramid. It escaped the CPZ just before Matilda came to attack REALI-T, before briefly stopping in the middle of the arena, dodging Sergeant Bash and driving itself onto the edge of a grille. Bodyhammer was stranded as a result, and was pushed fully onto the grille by REALI-T. However, instead of being eliminated, it was pushed back off by Shunt - despite REALI-T's attempt to stop him – and drove away to bump into Matilda once again. Bodyhammer bashed into the side bars and floor spikes before dodging Matilda, and stayed out of danger as REALI-T became stranded on the side bars. It pushed REALI-T fully onto the bars, and spun round in victory shortly after 'cease' was called.
With this, Bodyhammer progressed to the Grand Final, broadcast at the end of Heat F. There, it fought Roadblock, Recyclopse, Robot The Bruce, Cunning Plan and T.R.A.C.I.E., in a six-way melee to determine the inaugural UK Robot Wars champion. Once 'Activate' was called, it drove straight past T.R.A.C.I.E. and Recyclopse, before pushing Cunning Plan sideways and ramming into Roadblock. Bodyhammer backed away following a nudge from T.R.A.C.I.E., before bumping into Robot The Bruce and the side bars in rapid succession. It was then pushed sideways into Roadblock by Recyclopse, and bumped into T.R.A.C.I.E. and Cunning Plan shortly after the pair immobilised each other. After being pressured by Robot The Bruce, Bodyhammer proceeded to slam into Recyclopse, before getting underneath and pursuing Robot The Bruce in two separate attacks.
Later on, Bodyhammer avoided being scooped up by Roadblock, and drove away as the latter turned Robot The Bruce over. For the remainder of the battle, it attempted to avoid Roadblock before the latter got underneath and pushed it around the arena. 'Cease' was called, and the Grand Final went to a Judges' decision. The decision ultimately went against Bodyhammer, meaning that it lost the battle – and the first UK Championship – to Roadblock.
- "Since the last war, we got a new shell, we got new weapons, we got new motors, we've got a new chassis; in fact, not very much is the same. And we're ready to do battle."
- — Robin Herrick introduces the Series 2 build of Bodyhammer
Seeded third following its performance in the First Wars, the newly-rebuilt Bodyhammer returned for the Second Wars, competing in Heat D. It was the third robot in that heat to attempt the Gauntlet, and began its run by turning and driving quickly towards the right-hand route. It sped and turned towards the Ramrig, but was lifted off the floor and pushed by one of the Ramrig’s spikes as it tried to straighten itself up. As a result, Bodyhammer was left stranded as the Ramrig dragged it back, and activated both of its weapons in an attempt to shake itself free as Sir Killalot closed in.
- "The flipper, no use there on the Ramrig – oh, look at Killalot! In comes his lance... scratching, mutilating..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Sir Killalot attacks Bodyhammer
Sir Killalot proceeded to bump and prod Bodyhammer with his lance, scratching its front end and freeing it in the process. However, Bodyhammer swiftly turned and got itself stuck on the other side of the Ramrig, before being rammed into the circular saws by Sir Killalot's lance. Sparks flew as the saws made contact with its bodyshell, and Bodyhammer went no further as time ran out.
Having covered a distance of only 3.0m, Bodyhammer ultimately finished last out of the six competitors, and was eliminated from the main competition of the Second Wars.
Bodyhammer later returned for the Internet Insurrection, a one-off battle broadcast as part of the end-of-series Grudge Matches special. There, it faced Griffon, Killerhurtz and Corporal Punishment, and immediately encountered problems as radio interference prevented it from moving properly in the opening moments.
- "It wasn't until about 10 seconds into the grudge match that Andrew had the bright idea of sticking the antenna out of the side of the box and then we were off and running!"
- — The original Cold Fusion Team website
After the Cold Fusion Team stuck their transmitter antenna out of the side of their control booth, Bodyhammer regained normal mobility, and eventually approached Griffon as the latter turned Sergeant Bash over. Bodyhammer proceeded to help Griffon and Killerhurtz surround and pin Shunt against the railings, before getting underneath Matilda. It rammed into Shunt's side again, before getting caught by and pushing Dead Metal around. Bodyhammer bumped into Matilda once again, before driving itself underneath Dead Metal in the closing seconds, immobilising both robots at once. Bodyhammer survived to a Judges' decision, ultimately losing the decision and the Internet Insurrection to Griffon.
- "The Grudge Match didn't look that good on tv – rather disappointing for us. David [Gribble] gave a superb display of driving, giving the house robots the run-around and, at the end, wedging Dead Metal in the air with its pincers waving uselessly. The commentary overlooked the object of the match which was an agreement between the contestants to give the house robots a thrashing. Which I think we did quite nicely!"
- — The original Cold Fusion Team website
The Internet Insurrection marked Bodyhammer's last appearance in Robot Wars, with the Cold Fusion Team subsequently entering the Third Wars with its successor, Pussycat.
|BODYHAMMER - RESULTS|
|The First Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat E, Gauntlet||Completed (3rd)||Qualified|
|Heat E, Trial (Labyrinth)||Fourth Furthest (4th)||Qualified|
|Heat E, Semi-Final||vs. Torque of the Devil||Won|
|Heat E, Final||vs. REALI-T||Won|
|Grand Final||vs. Cunning Plan, Recyclopse, Roadblock, Robot The Bruce, T.R.A.C.I.E.||Lost|
|The Second Wars - UK Championship|
3rd Seed, Heat, Gauntlet
|Heat D, Gauntlet||3.0m (6th)||Eliminated|
|Grudge Match Special|
|Internet Insurrection||vs. Corporal Punishment, Griffon, Killerhurtz||Lost|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 2
NOTE: Bodyhammer's Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included
|Series||Bodyhammer Series Record|
|The First Wars||Grand Final|
|The Second Wars||Heat, Gauntlet|
|The Third Wars||Entered with Pussycat|
|The Fourth Wars||Entered with Pussycat|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Entered with Kill-E-Crank-E|
|Series 9||Entered with Crank-E|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
- This Series Record refers to Bodyhammer's team captain Robin Herrick only.
- Bodyhammer's driver in Series 2, David Gribble, competed in Extreme 1 and Series 5 with Pussycat.
- Pussycat itself also competed in Extreme 2 and Series 7 with none of Bodyhammer's team members present.
- Bodyhammer is often perceived by fans as the unofficial First Wars runner-up, due to it being the only robot still mobile at the end of the Grand Final along with champion Roadblock, alongside it receiving the second-highest seeding in Series 2 out of the returning heat winners.
- Bodyhammer was the first of eleven seeded robots to lose in the first round of the UK series.
- Bodyhammer is both the highest-numbered seed to be eliminated in the heats (along with Razer), and the highest seed to lose in the first round.
- Bodyhammer is one of four Grand Finalists to have an even win/loss ratio, alongside Rosie the Riveter, The Revolutionist and Tyke.
- Bodyhammer is one of twenty-three robots to have completed The Gauntlet.
- However, it is also the only robot to have completed it in one series, before failing to complete it and being eliminated by it in the following series.
- In both series it competed in, Bodyhammer was the third robot in its heat to attempt the Gauntlet.