- "A flipper arm can dispatch robots with a 'bolt' of compressed air power"
- — Jonathan Pearce's introduction
Bolt from the Blue was a robot that competed in Series 4 of Robot Wars. It reached the second round of its heat, losing to Firestorm 2 on a judges' decision after an uneventful battle which saw neither robot inflict any effective attacks on each other. Team captain James Proctor was understood to be displeased with this decision after the battle.
Bolt from the Blue did not return for any other series of Robot Wars following its defeat.
Bolt from the Blue was a black and silver wedge-shaped robot armed with a pneumatic flipping arm powered by compressed air and capable of lifting half a tonne. The robot was powered by wheelchair motors which gave it a top speed of 10mph and enough power to pull a small truck, which the team claimed Bolt from the Blue achieved several times during testing. It also used mechanical speed controllers instead of electrical ones in order to improve reliability.
Bolt from the Blue featured an exceptionally low ground clearance which made it difficult for other robots to flip and push it. However, it had a poor offensive capability, and an extremely limited supply of compressed air for its flipping arm, which only allowed five or six flips per battle according to James Proctor.
At the Series 4 qualifiers, Bolt from the Blue fought Iron Awe. Iron-Awe was suffering from control problems, but won the battle when a blow from their axe immobilised Bolt from the Blue. Bolt from the Blue was given a discretionary place to compete in the series.
In its first round battle of the Fourth Wars, newcomers Bolt from the Blue was placed up against Ming 2 and the number 21 seeds Diotoir. In the battle, Ming 2 immediately got in underneath Diotoir and flipped it straight away, before Bolt from the Blue pushed Diotoir over the flame pit, the seeded machine was unable to self-right due to its flipping arm being disabled even before the battle. Ming 2 then tried to push Bolt from the Blue onto the flame pit as well while Diotoir caught fire, but Ming 2 could only steer the newcomers into the arena side wall, at a very low speed. Cease was soon called and Bolt from the Blue was put through to the next round of the heat along with Ming 2.
- "It doesn't stand a chance, this robot! It's gonna get battered!"
- — Craig Charles as he passes Bolt from the Blue before the second round
In the second round, Bolt from the Blue had an unfortunate draw as it was placed up against the number 5 seeds Firestorm 2, in arguably one of the most boring battles in Robot Wars history. In this battle, the two competitors spent much of the battle pushing each other around, each being unable to flip the other due to their near-identical designs. The quicker Firestorm 2 machine rammed Bolt from the Blue several times, doing nothing in terms of damage or pushing Bolt from the Blue around at all. Bolt from the Blue eventually lifted up Firestorm 2 when the previous Grand Finalists beached themselves on its wedge, but Firestorm 2 then landed back on its wheels. This used up Bolt from The Blue's fourth and penultimate flip of the fight. The pit of oblivion then opened while Firestorm 2 drove right over Bolt from the Blue's wedge. The battle eventually ended in a judges' decision.
- "That was more like Torvill and Dean than mechanised mayhem - the audience aren't cheering, they're throwing flowers...lets look at the - highlights? - of that battle"
- — Craig Charles as cease was called.
The decision went against Bolt from the Blue due to its lack of aggression in the battle.
- "We were robbed, if I (sic) do say so myself. Our weapon didn't break- it ran out of air, we could only use it 5/6 times. Plus we were 15/16 yrs old, and they were university engineering graduates."
- — James Proctor takes the loss very badly.
|BOLT FROM THE BLUE - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat C, Eliminator||vs. Diotoir (21), Ming 2||Qualified|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. Firestorm 2 (5)||Lost|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 1
|Series||Bolt from the Blue Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
- Bolt from the Blue was the only robot to have qualified for the main competition that came from Cumbria
- It was one of the six robots to be made as a steel counter for the Robot Wars board game.
- In 2017, Proctor's wife used Reddit to share an image of a Bolt from the Blue cake that she presented to him, mocking his 'bitterness' regarding his loss to Firestorm 2.