- "Named after the terrifying dog of the underworld! He has a steel head ram and clubbing tail, stainless steel claws, plenty of bite!"
- — Jonathan Pearce in Series 3
Cerberus was a competitor robot that fought in Series 3-4 of Robot Wars, and both series of Robot Wars Extreme. It reached the Heat Final of The Third Wars, and also represented Cyprus in The First World Championship and the Commonwealth Carnage.
Cerberus' biggest claim to fame is its 10-second defeat of Griffon in The Third Wars. This stood as the shortest battle record from The Third Wars until the Seventh Wars, and to date stands as the record for the fastest pitting victory in the show's history.
The robot was named after and designed in reference to the three-headed hound Cerberus, guardian of the underworld in Greek mythology. It was a particular favourite of pit reporter Philippa Forrester for its shiny coat and artistic design, for which it was nominated for the Best Design Award in The Third Wars.
Cerberus was a bulky reverse wedge-shaped robot modeled on a dog, with a chrome-plated steel head, stainless steel claws and spiked tail resembling a wedged battering ram. It initially featured Kevlar armour and a tungsten-tipped circular saw in Series 3, the latter similar to the weapon used by Series 1 champion Roadblock. However, the saw had to be removed before Cerberus was due to fight, as the weapon was made of hardened steel which was prohibited by the rules and resulted in Pussycat's disqualification immediately prior to Cerberus' heat. Instead, Cerberus used its pushing power and front and rear spikes as its primary weapons, although its high ground clearance and initial lack of self-righting mechanism would result in its defeat against Thing 2. Cerberus was originally built at a cost of £800 over eight weeks, and became a personal favourite of Philippa Forrester throughout its appearances, as a result of its glossy finish and gold - later grey or silver - colour.
For Series 4, Cerberus was altered to feature titanium armour salvaged from a scrapyard instead of Kevlar, and its weapon was changed to a front crusher using the head and spikes as well as a low-mounted lifting blade mounted between the front spikes. However, this revised weapon put Cerberus over the weight limit, so it was forced to have its head removed prior to entering the arena, severely reducing the effectiveness of the crusher. Cerberus was rebuilt over eight weeks for Series 4, at a cost of £350.
Despite failing to qualify for either Series 5 or 6 (see Qualification), Cerberus entered the first series of Extreme with its crusher weapon intact, and two side arms which acted as the robot's self-righting mechanism, rectifying the issue that saw it defeated by Thing 2 and V-Max in previous series. Its top speed was also increased to 18mph.
For it last appearance in the Extreme 2 Commonwealth Carnage, Cerberus' srimech was removed, and the robot's glossy coat was abandoned in favour of a duller finish. However, its age and lack of offensive weaponry contributed towards its defeat in its only battle in the Commonwealth Carnage.
Cerberus entered Series 3 in the same manner as all other competitors, and then automatically qualified for Series 4 as a seeded machine.
Equipped with its self-righting mechanism, Cerberus attempted to enter Series 5, but lost its qualifier battle to newcomers Tip-Top, and failed to qualify for that series.
It later reappeared for the Series 6 qualifiers, but was easily defeated by Bulldog Breed in its qualifier battle, which attempted to throw it out of the arena on several occasions before the battle was ended early to prevent Bulldog Breed from damaging the arena. After its Series 6 qualifier, Cerberus' self-righting mechanism was removed, and did not attempt to take part in any other series after this, barring its Extreme 2 Commonwealth Carnage appearance.
Much like Diotoir and Behemoth, Cerberus encountered considerable bouts of misfortune throughout its main series appearances. In Series 3, it was forced to remove its primary weapon, the hardened steel saw, due to Pussycat's disqualification in the previous heat for the same reason. Although Cerberus still reached its Heat Final without its saw, it suffered a relatively easy defeat against Thing 2 as a result of its lack of weaponry. In Series 4, having added a new steel tongue to act as a crusher with the head, the Cerberus team was informed that the new weapon pushed Cerberus over the weight limit, and they had to remove Cerberus' head in order to ensure it met it. Again, the lack of potency in this altered weapon contributed towards Cerberus's defeat by reserves V-Max in the first round.
In the first round of the Third Wars, Cerberus fought veterans Killerhurtz. It spun and rammed Killerhurtz front-on, and received a couple of axe blows to its head and armour as it pushed Killerhurtz across the arena. Killerhurtz then pierced a hole through Cerberus' rear armour, before both robots drove tentatively around each other and Killerhurtz inexplicably drove itself into the pit while trying to make another run on Cerberus.
Unseen in battle, Killerhurtz's last axe blow had also punctured Cerberus' battery, although this damage was not enough to stop Cerberus from progressing to the next round.
There, Cerberus faced against another experienced robot in Griffon, from the University of Reading. The battle was swift, with Cerberus starting by spinning around as Griffon moved forward and seemed to have minimal mobility. Cerberus captialised on this by pushing Griffon towards the pit with its front claws and allowing it to drive in itself, ending the battle in just ten seconds. Prior to Series 7, this was the shortest ever battle in any series of Robot Wars.
- "Cerberus, the London team. Glossy, shiny, don't forget, has that steel head RAM to push Griffon into the pit... straight away!"
- — Jonathan Pearce summarises the entire battle with Griffon
In the Heat Final, Cerberus faced Thing 2. Both robots darted towards each other straight away, dodging and circling before Thing 2 got underneath Cerberus' high ground clearance. Cerberus spun and backed onto the Flame Pit, and kept spinning until it rammed Thing 2 head-on, knocking its decorative ball off and using its head to clamp Thing 2 as it pushed it into the wall. It spun against the wall again, and used its ramming tail to get under Thing 2 again and push it as Thing 2 attempted to get underneath it again. Cerberus drove over the Flame Pit again as Thing 2 gave chase, with Thing 2 being thrust on one wheel as it careered into Matilda's CPZ. Both robots escaped from Matilda and continued driving round each other, until Thing 2 got underneath Cerberus' rear tail and tipped it over, breaking the linkages connecting the tail to Cerberus's chassis in the process. Inverted and unable to self-right, Cerberus was eliminated once 'cease' was called, after a close and tenacious battle.
- "Cerberus, up and over... and the dog from Hades is showing its underbelly and it wants a little bit of a tickle! And it wants respite and relief because Cerberus has been dogged to death, by Thing 2!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, after Thing 2 flips Cerberus
Cerberus also represented Cyprus in The First World Championship, which took place and was filmed at around the same time as the Third Wars. In the first round, Cerberus was due to face American entrant Mauler, but progressed to the Quarter Finals by default after Mauler's weapon was deemed too powerful and too dangerous by the producers, resulting in Mauler's instant disqualification.
- Philippa Forrester: "Can you just tell me, are you slightly relieved?"
- Theo Kaccoufa: "Of course we're relieved! Did you expect we're lunatics or something?"
- — Interview after Mauler was disqualified
- "There's always next year, we'll come back for a visit, you know, slap a few robots around ... We'll be better equipped next year: bigger claws!"
- — The Cerberus team optimistic for the next wars despite defeat
Some time after The First World Championship had been filmed, Cerberus also fought an unaired battle against Behemoth. It is known that Behemoth lifted Cerberus against the arena wall, but the context and outcome of the battle remain unknown, as the battle was only revealed to exist through a CD-ROM given away with the Robot Wars Magazine.
At the end of the series, Cerberus was nominated for the 'Best Design' award, however, it lost out to Razer, the winner of the award from the previous series.
- "Are they stronger this time around? Don't let them off the leash House Robots!"
- — Jonathan Pearce during his run-down of Cerberus's past performances
- "The beast that guards the gates of hell rolls over, and gets its tummy tickled!"
- — Craig Charles at the end of the fight
- "This beast is Cerberus, and he's ready to tear the opposition to pieces! We are the most dangerous machine, we are so dangerous, they keep us in a cage!"
- — Theo Kaccoufa
Despite not appearing in either of the corresponding main competitions, Cerberus competed in both series of Robot Wars Extreme. In the first series, it exclusively competed in the Tag Team Terror tournament, paired with Thermidor 2. The pair had an easy victory in the first round, where they were drawn up against S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Sumpthing. Despite Cerberus suffering from problems with its main weapon, S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Cerberus had a ponderous pushing match. S.M.I.D.S.Y. sliced into the tail of Cerberus with its new spinning disc, but lost control and drove into its teammate Sumpthing, then charged out again and slammed into the angle grinder at the opposite end of the arena, as it was stuck in forward drive. Thermidor 2 then came out and quickly dispatched Sumpthing by flipping it over, using Cerberus as a chock. Sumpthing and S.M.I.D.S.Y. were then counted out and Cerberus and Thermidor 2 were put through to the second round, however, the main weapon of Cerberus was badly damaged.
Unable to repair its crushing claws, the Cerberus team removed it for the Semi-Final battle, where Cerberus and Thermidor 2 were placed up against The Steel Avenger and Suicidal Tendencies. However, a lot of accidental in-fighting occurred between Cerberus and Thermidor 2. Cerberus was left out for most of the battle, until all four competitors came out to fight. Suddenly, Thermidor 2 lost power completely and stopped moving, as it was over the flame pit. The lobster was soon counted out by Refbot, leaving Cerberus to fight the cause alone. Although it didn't go on the offensive much, Cerberus still managed to hang on to a judges' decision as it used its agility to avoid the weaponry of its opponents for the rest of the battle, but Thermidor 2's immobilisation easily put the team at a disadvantage, and they were indeed eliminated from the competition as a result of the judges' decision.
- Philippa Forrester: "The last time I saw Cerberus [in Series 3], I know it was a little while ago, it looked beautiful, it's all dull and lackluster, is he not on top form?"
- Theo Kaccoufa: "He's a bit tired"
- Philippa Forrester: "For those of you who don't remember, this robot used to be so shiny and beautiful"
- Theo Kaccoufa: "Yeah, but, all of those other robots scratch him, and they hurt him, so he decided "why should I look pretty?""
- — Cerberus' pre-first round interview
- "SEND IT UP!!! SEND IT UP!!!"
- — Chants from the Cerberus team after Cerberus goes into the pit
|CERBERUS - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat N, Round 1||vs. Killerhurtz||Won|
|Heat N, Round 2||vs. Griffon||Won|
|Heat N, Final||vs. Thing 2||Lost|
|The First World Championship|
Representing Cyprus, Quarter-Final
|Eliminator||vs. Mauler (USA)||Won (by default)|
|NOTE: Mauler was disqualified after the judges ruled that its weapon was too dangerous to use in the arena, so Cerberus won by default|
|Quarter Final||vs. Diotoir (IRE)||Lost|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
18th Seed, Heat, Round 1
|Heat P, Eliminator||vs. Terror-Bull, V-Max||Eliminated|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Tag Team Terror|
with Thermidor 2, Round 2
|Round 1||vs. Sumpthing & S.M.I.D.S.Y.||Won|
|Round 2||vs. Suicidal Tendencies & The Steel Avenger||Lost|
|Extreme Series 2|
Representing Cyprus, Round 1
|Round 1||vs. Panic Attack (WAL), Terror Turtle (CAN), Crushtacean (RSA)||Eliminated|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 5
- NOTE 1: Cerberus' default victory over Mauler is not counted as a win.
- NOTE 2: Cerberus' unaired battle with Behemoth is also excluded.
|Main Series||Cerberus Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Heat Final|
|The Fourth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Sixth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
- Cerberus was the only machine to represent Cyprus in any series of Robot Wars.
- Cerberus held the record for the shortest ever battle in Robot Wars, with its Series 3 battle against Griffon lasting ten seconds. This stood as the shortest battle until the Seventh Wars, and remains the shortest battle not to involve a robot being thrown out of the arena.
- Cerberus was one of six robots from the original line-up for the Fourth Wars to be excluded from the Robot Wars Battle Cards.
- Strangely, despite adding a self-righting mechanism for Extreme 1, Cerberus's weakness was listed as "No self-righting mechanism".
- Cerberus had a brief cameo on the sitcom Spaced in the episode "Mettle."
- Best Design Award - Robot Wars: The Third Wars