- "With Coyote, we're not just here to destroy, we're here to scare!"
- — Rachel Gibson during Coyote's Series 9 VT segment
Coyote was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 9 and 10 of Robot Wars. It was built by Jamie McHarg, previously a member of PP3D Robotics. In its first appearance on the show, it qualified from its Group Battle but was unable to win any of its Head-to-Head battles. In Series 10, it finished fourth in its heat after being defeated by Thor twice and losing its Third Place Playoff to Expulsion. Coyote is named after the small North American canid, and in combination with its minibot Roadrunner, references Looney Tunes.
- "Coyote is a mean, menacing dog from hell."
- — Jamie McHarg
Coyote was driven by two wheels with large tyres. At the front, it was equipped with an overhead clamp with orange LED 'eyes', which works in conjunction with two lifting jaws, flush to the ground. This large weapon took up half of the robot's entire weight.
- "The front jaws can move independently of each other, allowing Coyote to achieve a large bite span. The jaws are driven by electric actuators rated to roughly 750-1000kg, though with leverage ratios and mechanical disadvantage, this is less at the jaws. The front weapon assembly is constructed mostly out of 10mm Hardox, and itself weighs around 50kg!"
- — Coyote Facebook Page
At the back of the robot was a chainsaw, making Coyote the first UK competitor to use the weaponry since Series 4. This weapon was driven by a Scorpion 4025-1100kV electric brushless motor running at 22.2V on a 9:1 ratio, giving the chainsaw a top speed of 3000rpm. Like Matilda, Coyote's chainsaw tail could also move up and down. Coyote's back panel was also inspired by Dead Metal.
- "The chainsaw tail may seem token, but there is method in the madness. While an ineffective weapon from the original Series 2 onwards, now that more robots feature HDPE and other plastics, a chainsaw actually stands a chance of doing some damage, albeit minor."
- — Coyote Facebook page
Coyote's chassis was constructed from Team Danby's past middleweight Tanto Jr, and also reused some components from the same machine, such as Tanto Jr's anti-spinner wedge which would later be used as an interchangeable weapon by Coyote in Series 10, for matches where it required a defensive weapon. In this form, it created an actuated lifting scoop, the back end of which was angled upwards to stop spinners from connecting with the main body of Coyote.
- "Tanto Jr, an old middleweight robot was put up for sale by Jamie's friend and Scot-Bots cohort, Tony. As it already had a working heavyweight-grade drive system, we bought it to help us get our first foot off the ground in terms of building a robot for Robot Wars!"
- — Coyote Facebook page
A new chassis was built for Coyote in Series 10, following the destruction of the previous version at the hands of Carbide. The new Coyote heavily used pipework for its outer frame, consisting of 22mm copper pipe containing 20mm mild steel bars. Coyote's weaponry was now made from mild steel, replacing the HARDOX used by the previous model.
- "This time, they were cut out of mild steel instead of Hardox, reason being that if we suffered more Carbide levels of damage, it's easier to bash mild steel back into shape with a big hammer at an event with limited tooling than it would be with Hardox."
- — Coyote Facebook page
In Series 10, Coyote was also accompanied by a minibot, Roadrunner, a birdlike sit-and-spin thwackbot, designed purely to serve as a distraction while the main body of Coyote aims to grab opponents, and to activate the Arena Tyre. Roadrunner was invertible, and was particularly light at an intended 10kg, meaning that Coyote generally had to battle without its chainsaw in order to use Roadrunner, as Coyote was otherwise 107kg.
Coyote qualified outright for Series 9 through open applications. As Series 10 reduced the number of competitors from 40 to 30, Team Coyote narrowly missed out on the initial selection when the upgraded Coyote applied, but was chosen as one of five reserves to attend filming. When it was declared that Deadlock would not be finished in time for its Group Battle, Coyote filled its place, becoming the third reserve and penultimate robot to join the cast of Series 10.
Coyote immediately made its way over to Ms Nightshade and tried in vain to push it backwards, before Apollo came in and hurled Ms Nightshade skyward, with it landing on top of Coyote. Coyote was then pursued by Apollo, which only managed to flick Coyote up slightly.
- "Apollo on the drive - this is to end the Coyote bark."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Coyote comes under pressure from Apollo
After nudging Rusty, Coyote was once again in the sight of Apollo, which rolled it through the air and into the CPZ with a flip. After this, Coyote remained in the CPZ for a period, capable of only spinning in circles. Coyote was thrown once more before Rusty was declared immobile, which confirmed Coyote's progress to the Head-to-Heads with Apollo.
- Angela Scanlon: "Coyote through to the Head-to-Heads!"
- Team Coyote in unison: "Phew!"
- Angela Scanlon: "That is the reaction I think that I would've gone with, because it wasn't spectacular."
- Jamie McHarg: "It wasn't, no. There's a few things to improve on and work on, but it's just a massive relief to get through that."
- — Reaction as Coyote qualifies from its Group Battle
Before Coyote's first Head-to-Head battle against Crackers 'n' Smash, the team made the decision to remove their chainsaw for future fights due to damage the weapon sustained in its Group Battle.
- "Chainsaw's a bit of a write off at the moment. Sadly, it's quite bent and quite broken - so we'll sacrifice that."
- — Jamie McHarg
Coyote moved to its left to clamp down onto Smash and drove it into the arena side gate, before turning and moving it into the claws of Dead Metal. After taking damage from the House Robot, Smash came in with a ram on Coyote and attempted to force it into Dead Metal, although Coyote spun away and Smash was caught once again. Coyote then decided to activate the Arena Tyre, which called Dead Metal into the action, and Smash was placed onto the Flame Pit. Smash then moved away and drove over the top of its teammate, Crackers, which finally got involved and slipped underneath the side of Coyote. Smash took its turn at pressing the Arena Tyre, which signalled Rogue House Robot mode again. This time, it was the turn of Matilda to attack, and Coyote was forced to weather a hit from the House Robot's flywheel on its jaws.
- "And here comes Matilda with a flywheel tail to have a go at Coyote. Can they withstand this sort of punishment?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
After this, Coyote struggled for movement on its right-hand side, and a flurry of bumps and rams from Crackers 'n' Smash left Coyote motionless in the CPZ. Suddenly, Smash drove itself over the Flame Pit, where it failed to move away from, with Crackers left as the only mobile robot at the end of the countdown. With Coyote's immobilisation confirmed, it ended its first Head-to-Head battle with a loss.
Post-fight, Jamie McHarg noticed the damage inflicted by Matilda, with focus also turning towards Coyote's second Head-to-Head battle against reigning champions, Apollo. Unable to flatten their jaws in time for the fight, the team instead sharpened the jaws to inflict ramming damage.
- "We found in the Group Battle with Apollo that the jaws were actually really good at getting under their front flipper blade, so that was going to be our main tactic, but Matilda's put paid to that slightly, so we need to get a big hammer out, give it a bash and get the grinder out just to make sure it's nice and razor sharp for them."
- — Jamie McHarg
Coyote failed to move out of the starting gates, immobile on one wheel, and spun around until Apollo engaged with it, where a flip sent Coyote onto its back and into Sir Killalot's CPZ. Coyote was shunted out of the danger area by the House Robot, but once again was only able to move inside its own circumference. Another Apollo flip saw Coyote land right-side up, but its top jaw was snapped in the process.
- "And Coyote is whimpering."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Coyote sustains damage to its jaw
Coyote found itself stuck between Apollo and Sir Killalot for a period, before it was stacked up against the arena gate, and with Coyote unable to move, Apollo followed up with another flip, which sent Coyote over the arena wall and down into the trench.
- Angela Scanlon: "Okay, so what's the plan now? Are we going to be able to patch it back together?"
- Jamie McHarg: "We hope so, because we're fighting Carbide next - so it might be its final farewell!"
- — Thoughts concerning the final Head-to-Head battle after a second consecutive defeat
Pointless after two Head-to-Head battles, Coyote was already eliminated, but it still had one final battle against Series 8 runners up Carbide. With Coyote's jaw repaired from its previous fight, Team Coyote entered the arena in hope of ending their Head-to-Head campaign with some points on the board.
Coyote charged across the arena floor straight away but shot past Carbide in doing so. After turning around, Coyote was met with a head-on blow from Carbide which sent it reeling towards Sir Killalot. As Coyote attempted to escape the CPZ, Carbide came in with another attack that buckled the armour protecting the right hand wheel, which allowed Sir Killalot to pick Coyote up and hold it over the Flame Pit.
- "Oh dear - and Coyote had started so well!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Coyote is held aloft by Sir Killalot
Coyote twitched after being dropped down onto the arena floor before being met with another scintillating Carbide slam which ripped the wheel from Coyote's left side off. Coyote was now left motionless, but this did nothing to halt the Carbide assault, as further damage was carried out while Coyote was being counted down. Coyote was then thrown by the Floor Flipper before finally being put out of its misery by the sounding of cease. This saw Coyote end its Head-to-Head campaign bottom of the table with zero points.
- Jamie McHarg: "Total annihilation would be best to describe what's happened here."
- David Moulds: "It's kind of like modern art now, isn't it?"
- Jamie McHarg: "Yeah, I'll sell it for a fortune to fund the next robot!"
- — The opposing team members share a laugh after Coyote's defeat to Carbide
- "We felt a bit vulture-like at times as we occasionally observed the Deadlock pit bench to see what the robot was looking like. It always seemed to be a mix of promising signs (their drive or arms working) and the robot being in bits. Again it’s a very technologically interesting robot, and one we would love to see working but, in the end, they too couldn’t get done in time and we were drafted in to replace them. We bid farewell to our reserve pit neighbours Hobgoblin and hoped they would get called up too."
- — Coyote - Robot Wars Facebook page
A rebuilt Coyote returned in Heat 5 of Series 10 as a reserve, filling in for Deadlock, which withdrew due to being incomplete at the time of recording. In its Group Battle, it fought fellow Series 9 returnee Expulsion and Series 8 Grand Finalist Thor. It entered the arena equipped with its lifting forks, and rear chainsaw.
- "For the meleé, we opted for the chainsaw as the robot was already configured and weighed with it in place. We also thought that since Expulsion had some plastic armour that we may have a chance to use it. In short, we didn’t. It became damaged early on in the match from non-direct impacts, so I’m finally accepting that it’s completely useless"
- — Coyote - Robot Wars Facebook page
Immediately, Coyote charged into Expulsion, knocking the latter off its wheels and pushing it into the wall. This left Expulsion stranded on its side; however, Coyote was caught by Dead Metal as a result, the House Robot spinning and pushing it onto the Flame Pit before slicing through its outer pipework. Coyote backed away as soon as it was released, only to get itself stuck on the partially-opened pit. The pit was soon raised to let it escape, but with Thor activating ‘Rogue House Robot’, Dead Metal spun Coyote round as she left her CPZ to attack the competitors. Coyote was then pushed into the wall by Thor, but drove away, dodging Thor before driving head-on into the latter and sustaining an axe blow to its top jaw.
- "We didn’t expect to knock it out with one impact, so ended up duelling with Thor for almost three minutes anyway. We thought our forks would stand a good chance of getting under Thor but every single head to head impact resulted in Thor edging us out. Combined with Jason’s driving, it really didn’t leave us with much we were able to do."
- — Coyote - Robot Wars Facebook page
It spun away to escape, but was repeatedly rammed and pushed around by Thor, sustaining more damage from Thor’s axe. Eventually, Coyote spun round and pinned Thor against the wall, grabbing its front wedge and dragging it back while losing one of its own pipe sections. The two competitors separated, with Coyote hesitating before Thor again pushed and axed it twice more. Each time, Coyote swerved out of the way; it eventually slammed head-on into Thor, and pushed the latter over the Flame Pit after getting scooped up by its wedge. It proceeded to push Thor towards the Arena Tyre – triggering ‘Rogue House Robot’ again – and grab one of Dead Metal’s pincers in response to her attacks. Both competitors soon resumed their attacks; a head-on slam broke Coyote’s top jaw, with Thor proceeding to push Coyote over the Flame Pit before Coyote pushed it back. Coyote was almost thrown onto its side by the Floor Flipper as it retreated, and sustained more axe blows from Thor while driving itself into an arena spike.
- "Oh, right in the neck!"
- — Angela Scanlon as Coyote takes an axe blow to its clamping jaw
Coyote backed away from the spikes and weathered a few more rams from Thor to survive for the full duration. The battle went to a Judges’ decision, which went against Coyote. With this, Coyote was consigned to the Robot Redemption stage, where it faced Hobgoblin for a chance to stay in contention. For this battle, the team opted to use Roadrunner for the first time, while removing the chainsaw from the main robot. Being friends with each other, Team Coyote and Team Hobgoblin wished each other good luck before the start
- "While we didn’t appear to sustain that much damage in the meleé, there were a lot of time consuming things that needed sorted. We had six hours before our redemption battle and thought that was plenty but, in the end, we were working almost right up until the last few minutes to be done! The armour needed remade, the chainsaw needed removed and the gap covered up, and the front jaw assembly was bent in a few places which needed some TLC. As we had already removed the chainsaw, we opted to enter Roadrunner for this fight; the anti-spinner wedge was designed more for horizontal than vertical spinners."
- — Coyote - Robot Wars Facebook page
In the battle itself, Coyote began by ramming straight into Hobgoblin, withstanding a collision with the latter’s ‘egg beater’ spinner, before pushing it around the arena. It and Roadrunner drove around Hobgoblin for some time, before Coyote briefly lifted Hobgoblin onto one side and attempted to push it numerous times, gradually causing Hobgoblin's drive belt to slip.
- "Open the pit, Coyote. Roadrunner, open the pit! Yes, he’s doing it! Go!"
- — Angela Scanlon as Roadrunner activates the pit
In the meantime, Roadrunner pressed the Arena Tyre, opening the pit in doing so. Coyote resumed its attacks on Hobgoblin, bumping, pushing and manoeuvring the latter around the arena. Eventually, it got its lower jaws underneath Hobgoblin, pushing and dragging it back. Coyote drove into Hobgoblin again, then Roadrunner, losing a small chunk of its pipework in the process, before pushing Hobgoblin into Sir Killalot. The latter attack fully dislodged one of Hobgoblin’s drive belts, which Coyote dragged and dropped on the arena floor as the two competitors separated. With Hobgoblin struggling for mobility, Coyote pushed it into the CPZ as Sir Killalot vacated it, leaving Shunt to come in and attack Hobgoblin as it fully lost drive. After ‘cease’ was called, it proceeded to attack and chase Shunt towards an entry gate, before being rammed into the wall by the House Robot. Nevertheless, Coyote emerged victorious, and progressed to the Heat Semi-Finals.
- "We’ve literally just found out we’re fighting Thor, and obviously we had them in the melee, and they gave us a bit of a tanking. So, we’re going to maybe alter our tactics slightly, just see how we get on, see if we can, err… put on a bit of a better show against them than we did in our previous fight."
- — Jamie McHarg ahead of Coyote’s Heat Semi-Final
There, it faced Thor for the second time, equipped with the lifting scoop instead of its lower jaws, and with most of its external pipework removed. Coyote dodged Thor several times in the opening moments, only to drive up Thor’s wedge and sustain an axe blow from the latter. It was pushed onto the spark jets by Thor, before being axed, chased and pushed into the wall by the latter. Coyote sustained a few more axe blows in the process, but recovered to ram Thor head-on and press the Arena Tyre after Thor axed it again and got caught in Dead Metal’s pincers. As a result, ‘Rogue House Robot’ was enabled, with Coyote driving underneath Thor as it self-righted after getting thrown by the Floor Flipper. It retreated to an empty CPZ as Matilda damaged Thor’s CO2 system, before the two competitors drove into each other again. Coyote was constantly manoeuvred around the arena by the now-weaponless Thor, almost getting thrown by Matilda’s tusks and the Floor Flipper in the process.
- "Coyote sense here, they could have an unlikely victory… and all of a sudden, Jason [Marston] looks concerned."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Coyote survives rams from the axeless Thor
At one point, Coyote got underneath Thor with its scoop, but was unable to lift it effectively. It resorted to ramming Thor again, only to lose more parts of its pipework as Thor rammed it into an entry gate in response. Coyote drove over the lip of the Floor Flipper and near the arena spikes, nearly getting flipped over by each hazard in the process. The two robots circled round and rammed each other once more, with Coyote getting pushed round a few more times before ‘cease’ was called. The battle went to a Judges’ decision, which unanimously ruled against Coyote as a result of it being unable to use its weapons effectively throughout.
- "Our disappointment at not being able to get under the front of it in the meleé led to us fitting the anti spinner wedge as its edge had been ground down nice and sharp, so we thought this would help us control the battle more. The bottom jaws have to be fitted upside down to fit the wedge but we can still attach the actuator making it an active wedge rather than a defensive addition. As it turned out, Thor could still get under it. Looking back at the fight, I think it was due to movement in the actuator allow the wedge to be lifted up slightly, rather than the full weight of the robot being on it pushing it into the floor."
- — Coyote - Robot Wars Facebook page
Following its loss, Coyote fought Expulsion again in the Third Place Playoff, for a chance to qualify for the 10 Robot Rumble, and maintained its anti-spinner wedge. This time, it started more tentatively, following Expulsion around as the latter drove over the spark jets. Coyote sustained a hit from Expulsion’s tool spinner, which tore part of one of its pipes off, before briefly pinning it against an entry gate. It bumped into the gate itself as Expulsion drove free, and momentarily stopped moving after turning away from the gate. Coyote pursued Expulsion again as the latter drove into Matilda and the walls, before slamming and pushing it across the arena.
- "He’s been tactically astute all the way through, Jamie – ooh, what’s happened here? The shovel’s working… but I think they’ve lost traction or something – they’ve stopped!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Coyote stops moving in the centre of the arena
As it turned away from a fleeing Expulsion, Coyote suddenly stopped again, lifting both of its weapons up – it shuffled back and forth, but soon lost drive completely in the centre of the arena. While Expulsion proceeded to attack – and was flipped by – Matilda, Coyote was counted out, and lost the playoff. As a result, it finished fourth in its heat, and was eliminated from Series 10.
- "There wasn’t much to the fight, they spent a lot of it crashing into the walls and our driving wasn’t that great either. Then it happened. We broke down in the middle of the arena inexplicably. The weapons still worked but absolutely nothing from the drive. We took it out of the arena, plugged the link in on the bench and everything worked – how odd! Testing on and off a few times worked fine, then it cut out again and we realised it occurred when the top jaw actuator reached the end of its travel. This baffled us as it never happened before and now it was misbehaving with regularity. A few ideas were mooted by other teams but they were based on things like back EMF and opto-isolation between the weapon and drive ESCs, things that would have affected it right from the start. It wasn’t until two months later when I was doing repair work on the robot that I found one of the actuator motor brushes cracked and in bits. Something no bigger than the size of my pinky nail taking out a 110g fighting robot! Tracing things back, we reckon it was sustained against Thor in the semi-final; the actuator motor got hit and broke off so we didn’t suffer breakdown there as the motor wasn’t working, but the shock would have gone through to the brush. We repaired it and tested it on the bench but not to full travel, then it was only against Expulsion that we had it at max travel. Just one of those things!"
- — Coyote's breakdown is explained
|COYOTE - RESULTS|
|Series 9 - UK Championship|
Round 2, Fourth Place
|Heat 5, Group Battle||vs. Apollo, Ms Nightshade, Rusty||Qualified|
|Heat 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Crackers 'n' Smash||Lost via KO (0 points)|
|Heat 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Apollo||Lost via KO (0 points)|
|Heat 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Carbide||Lost via KO (0 points)|
|Series 10 - UK Championship|
Heat, Fourth Place
|Heat 5, Group Battle||vs. Expulsion, Thor||Lost|
|Heat 5, Robot Redemption||vs. Hobgoblin||Won|
|Heat 5, Heat Semi-Final||vs. Thor||Lost|
|Heat 5, Third Place Playoff||vs. Expulsion||Lost|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 6
|Series||Coyote Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8|| Entered with PP3D (Jamie McHarg)|
Pilot only with Reaper (Calum Jones)
Withdrew with Pod (Tony Smith)
|Series 9|| Heat Round 2, Fourth Place|
Withdrew with Clyde Built (Tony Smith)
|Series 10||Heat, Fourth Place|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Coyote, as well as Rusty, is associated with Scot Bots, which educates Scottish youth about robotics. Both robots appeared at Glasgow Science Centre as part of the Science Lates: Get Curious event on April 8th, 2017, where Coyote debuted its new jaws and chainsaw.
Coyote's top jaw was listed on eBay in April 2017. When the auction ended in early May, the item sold for a final price of £122. Other parts of Coyote were later sold in Alex Brown's Charity Auction.
The Series 10 version of Coyote made its live circuit debut on January 8th in Dublin, at an event hosted by Mechatrons. In its first battle, it fought Iron-Awe 5. Despite Iron-Awe 5's flipper only achieving two flips before it stopped working, it was able to beach Coyote on the wall, and thus Coyote lost the battle by knockout. It then lost to ThunderChild in similar fashion - despite being freed later into the battle, Coyote was deemed to have been immobile for long enough to lose the battle by knockout. In three more battles, it was immobilised by Iron-Awe 7 after repeated flips, immobilised by Dozer after being slammed into the arena wall to break pipework from its chassis, and was also immobilised by King Buxton 20 in a whiteboard match.
Team member Jamie McHarg has fought on the live event circuit mainly with featherweights under his own team called Team Terminal Damage, which was later renamed to RogueTwo Robotics. McHarg has fought with the following robots:
- Carcinus: A black two-wheeled robot with electric jaws similar in design to the Series 6-7 version of Kan-Opener. This featherweight was built in 2009 mainly for Jamie's father Michael to drive at events.
- Critical Damage: A featherweight made from an inverted wheelbarrow painted in the colours of the Scottish Saltire flag.
- Drumroll: Jamie's most successful featherweight, equipped with a spinning drum. Drumroll has been fighting since 2007, finishing runner-up in that year's Tag-Team Championships paired with Gary Cairns' featherweight Hornet 2, and finishing fourth in the 2009 UK Championships. The version competing now is now known as Drumroll 2, which is invertible.
- Kaizer: A four-wheel drive rammer which was at one point fitted with a pair of lifting forks, similar to those of Series 2 champion Panic Attack. This robot has since been sold to Ceri Jenkins.
- Mobot: Originally built from a Scot-Bots kit, a two-wheel drive rammer named after British Olympic runner Mo Farah, constructed during the time of the 2012 Olympic Games, and named after his signature celebratory pose, pictured on the robot.
- Onyx: A two-wheel drive featherweight armed with an electric axe.
- Reaver: A four-wheel drive robot also built from a Scot-Bots kit. This robot is armed with a vertical pincer.
In 2013, Jamie McHarg also bought Robot Wars veteran Scar from another Glasgow-based team who had other Robot Wars robots Eric and Chimera and had the intentions of restoring it. However, he didn't have the time and so sold it again to Dave Lawrie in October 2015.
- Coyote is the only robot in Series 9 to have never had its weapon read out by the announcer. Instead the robot's introduction stated where the robot came from, which would be repeated as the teams entered the arena.
- Coyote - Robot Wars Facebook page
- Team Coyote Twitter
- Coyote's announcement trailer
- Coyote (Series 9) on the official Robot Wars website