- "The yellow and black bubble!"
- — Jonathan Pearce on Dreadnaut's Series 2 version.
Dreadnaut (sometimes incorrectly spelled Dreadnaught or Dreadnought) was an intricately designed dome-shaped robot from the first four series of Robot Wars. It was designed to look like a small tank, similar to the Dreadnaut tank from the PlayStation 1 game Future Cop LAPD. The yellow and black fibreglass shell was abandoned after being seriously damaged by Sir Killalot in Series 2, therefore replaced with the silver one from Series 3 onwards and an upgraded forklift motor. In Series 1, it ran off a starter motor from a Morris Marina and had directional change relays added in Series 2, costing £200 as a result. In Series 4, the chassis was rebuilt and had slower but more powerful lifting forks.
Throughout its time on Robot Wars, the robot was armed with hardened steel lifting forks. In the first series, they were tiny red prongs, but these swiftly gave way to thick steel lifters that were capable of gouging welts in opponents as well as lifting 70kg, just like its battle with Psychokiller demonstrated.
In Series 4, Dreadnaut was seeded 29th for reaching the heat final in Series 3, and was known as Dreadnaut XP-1 (Experimental Prototype 1). Dreadnaut never made it past a Heat Final, but was still a good contender, never going out in the first round and completing the Gauntlet twice. However, it suffered reliability problems throughout its time in the wars, suffering five across three wars.
Dreadnaut was bought by the Cookie Monsters, Chompalot's team, after Robot Wars finished.
In the First Wars, Dreadnaut fought in Heat C. Despite the robot only having a top speed of 5 mph, Dreadnaut zoomed through the Gauntlet and completed its run superbly, placing it second on the leaderboard overall. However, it then caught fire after slamming the arena barrier at the end of the run. There was debate about whether or not Dreadnaut would be able to continue, and Plunderbird 1 would be reinstated, but Dreadnaut recovered just before the Trial stage was ready to commence and Plunderbird 1 was eliminated from the competition. In the trial, which for this heat was Football, Dreadnaut started very sluggishly, and couldn't reach the ball to gain possession at all. Then, as Robot The Bruce scored the first goal, Dreadnaut suddenly became immobilised again, in the middle of the arena. Draednaut had the ball run into it, thanks to the lack of control from the remaining robots. After Wedgehog scored, W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. madly drove into the post of the goal, with both W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. and Dreadnaut immobilised, Cruella was left to score with ease. With the last two robots left, both being immobilised, cease was called and the judges had to choose which robot should go through. Despite being immobilised for longer, Dreadnaut was put through to the arena stage of the heat as it had more possession of the ball, even though this was mainly due to other robots hitting Dreadnaut with the ball. In the heat semi-final, Dreadnaut was put up against Wedgehog. In the battle, the two robots came together, but after just a few bumps and bashes from both machines, Dreadnaut suddenly stopped and caught fire again, Dreadnaut was deemed immobilised, eliminating it from the competition.
Dreadnaut returned for the Second Wars, with new thicker lifting forks. It started its gauntlet run by charging into the wall, but only managed to dislodge one brick, but after a further strike it managed to knock most of the wall down. Dreadnaut then turned and took the house robot route, neatly dodging Shunt and then Sergeant Bash. Dreadnaut then managed to drive around Matilda and with a burst of speed made it to the end zone. Dreadnaut then went into the Trial, which was the Joust. Dreadnaut quickly drove up the ramp and got to the centre before Matilda, both robots came together and Dreadnaut was almost pushed off the platform. Matilda reversed and shoved Dreadnaut off the platform, but it had covered enough ground to go through to the Arena, where it faced newcomers Oblivion. Unfortunately, whilst putting Dreadnaut's shell back on, the team accidentally knocked out the power key, which was later found on the arena floor. The house robots immediately started to destroy Dreadnaut as soon as its immobility became known. Dreadnaut was burned, flipped and axed, with Sir Killalot breaking a piece of armour off and cutting the forklift bar in two with its pincers.
- "Dreadnaut? Deadnaut!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Dreadnaut is shifted from the spike it was stuck on.
Dreadnaut would make an appearance in the final heat of the third series, meeting Psychokiller first. Until Psychokiller lost its weapon the robots didn't make much contact, but pushing it onto the flame pit was enough to immobilise it. In the second round it was drawn against another new robot to the competition Rattus Rattus, which, most likely due to the damage sustained in its previous battle, broke down right at the start of the fight and didn't move at all. Dreadnaut pushed it around the arena with its lifting forks, before leaving it at the mercy of the house robots. However, in its final battle it encountered problems of its own, and though Trident's axe failed to cause much damage against the fibreglass shell, Dreadnaut gradually slowed down, before breaking down about halfway into the battle. Ironically however, while Dreadnaut sat immobile, the house robots ignored it and began to attack Trident's gleaming armour instead, until cease was called.
Dreadnaut XP-1, the number 29th seed, participated in Heat G. Its first round melee pitted it against newcomers Warhog and returning team Darke Destroyer 2. Despite having its forks buckled, Dreadnaut XP-1 survived the clash with Warhog, who was eliminated. However, after Warhog was immobilised, Sir Killalot then grabbed Dreadnaut XP-1 in its pincers again, swinging it around and causing its entire armour shell to come off. In the second round, Dreadnaut was almost immediately flipped over by Thermidor 2 and almost Out of the Arena within the initial charge. Dreadnaut couldn't self-right and was promptly set upon by all of the house robots, suffering major damage to its armour and underside from Shunt and Matilda in the process.
|DREADNAUT - RESULTS|
|The First Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Arena Semi-Final
|Heat C, Gauntlet||Completed (2nd)||Qualified|
|Heat C, Trial (Football)||Most touches (4th)||Qualified|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. Wedgehog||Lost|
|The Second Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Arena Semi-Final
|Heat C, Gauntlet||Completed (1st)||Qualified|
|Heat C, Trial (Joust)||5.4m (3rd)||Qualified|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. Oblivion||Lost|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat P, Round 1||vs. Psychokiller||Won|
|Heat P, Round 2||vs. Rattus Rattus||Won|
|Heat P, Final||vs. Trident||Lost|
|DREADNAUT XP-1 - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
29th Seed, Heat Semi-Final
|Heat G, Eliminator||vs. Warhog, Darke Destroyer 2||Qualified|
|Heat G, Semi-Final||vs. Thermidor 2||Lost|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 4
- Series 1: Heat, Arena Semi-Final
- Series 2: Heat, Arena Semi-Final
- Series 3: Heat Final
- Series 4: Heat, Round 2
- Series 5-7: Did not enter
- Dreadnaut is one of 23 robots to have completed The Gauntlet, and, along with Mortis, Nemesis and Roadblock, is one of four robots to have completed it twice.
- Dreadnaut is one of the most infamous robots in terms of reliability.
- From five breakdowns, three of them were in Series 1, making it the only machine to break down in every single round of a series.
- The remaining two breakdowns were in each of its Series 2 and 3 losses, meaning that its four loss record only recorded one knock-out (against Thermidor 2).