- "The conspiracy is true, ELVIS was abducted by rock 'n roll loving aliens, but not looking forward to singing Love Me Tender to Yoda for the rest of eternity he escaped and returned to earth in one of their super hi-tech flying saucers. Feeling a bit groggy after the long space journey, instead of trying to revitalise his singing career he took advantage of the stolen alien technology and decided to enter RobotWars.....or something."
- — The Elvis website
Elvis was a heavyweight robot that competed in Series 1 and 2 of Robot Wars. It had a mixed run of success, being eliminated in the Gauntlet stage in Series 1, but reaching the Arena Semi-Final stage in Series 2, where it lost to Behemoth. The robot was named after the famous musician Elvis Presley.
- "For Neil Lambeth and John Ebdon, the most important aspect of their robot Elvis was fun. ... They struck on the idea of a UFO motif, which originally was to have had an alien driver in the cockpit. However, Neil and John were still not convinced. They eventually had the brilliant notion of having Elvis Presley as the UFO pilot. (You may be aware of the theory that Elvis did not die, but went to live on another planet.)"
- — The Robot Wars Technical Manual
Elvis was a cone-shaped robot armed with a lifting ramp that could lift 50 kg, and a 12-inch circular saw on the back. In all of its appearances, it featured a toy head of its namesake, Elvis Presley, on its top, which was enlarged for Series 2. In Series 1, it had a sparkling black shell (which represented the outfit Elvis himself wore during his early years as a musician) and was armed with a pneumatically-driven rivet ram, with a spiked tip. For Series 2, a new paint scheme was adopted, predominantly white and black and decorated to resemble the jacket worn during Elvis' 'Vegas stage, as the team and Craig Charles described it.
In both series, Elvis' body could be raised and lowered to give it an adjustable ground clearance, although it was made considerably lower for Series 2.
- "Apart from presenting a splendidly bizarre sight, the comical design of Elvis has a practical application which is worth bearing in mind: not only is a curved surface hard to grab and hold, it also deflects blows very nicely.)"
- — The Robot Wars Technical Manual
At 83.0kg, it also weighed four kilos over the original Heavyweight limit in Series 2.
- "...and the pretty paintwork is wrecked!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Elvis is cut into by Sergeant Bash
In its Gauntlet run Elvis attempted to go over the ramp, but its low ground clearance resulted in it getting stuck. Being stuck on the ramp, it was unable to move as its shell and paintwork was then ruined by Sergeant Bash's circular saw which then shattered, being made from hardened steel.
- "...he's going to need some Blue Suede Shoes to get out of there! Oh you hounddog, Sergeant! Leave him alone!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as time ran out on Elvis' gauntlet run, and Sergeant Bash's saw breaks
Its distance of 2.75m placed it sixth overall in its heat, resulting in it being eliminated.
- "Good Heavens, its Jacques Villeneuve, except he's World Champion and you're not."
- — Jeremy Clarkson to Neil Lambeth after their bad performance in the Gauntlet
- "OK, Here is my explanation (excuses) of why ELVIS turned out to be rather crap. First day of filming. Ooops, it's to big to fit in the car. No problem, get a courier van to take it to Docklands (about 4 miles from the workshop). Turns up about 3 hours later, morning wasted. Still some things to do, so I start working straight away, have an accident with an angle grinder and take a chunk out of my finger. Spend 4 hours in A & E, afternoon wasted. Not in a particularly good mood. Second day of filming. Everything is going ok. Take Elvis out for a first fully loaded test drive. Well organised transmitter control won't let me, as I am on the same frequency as 4 other people. Compete in the Gauntlet. How do I drive this thing? Get knocked out of the Gauntlet. Go home. Definitely not in good mood. Third day of filming. Catch up on lost sleep."
- — The Elvis website on their Series 1 experience
- "At the preliminary meeting, one month before the actual event we hit our first problem, we were 5kg's overweight and I still had more stuff that I wanted to put on. Apart from that, the meeting went well, I even drove over the ramp that I got stuck on so dismally in the first series. That left me with a small dilemma, do I leave the robot as it is (almost finished, but rather prone to wedge attacks as the shell is about 50mm above the ground, which it needs to get over uneven surfaces without grounding) and just grind off any non essential bit to loose the weight, or do I redesign the chassis to enable me to fit a lifting mechanism to adjust the ground clearance (so I can lower it to defend against wedge attacks or raise it to move) and hopefully loose some weight in the process. So with one month to go, what do I decided to do?. Yes in my infinite wisdom I decide to redesign the whole chassis, bring on the late nights in the workshop. One month later and yes Elvis 2 is finally finished (sort of), the day before the actual event. The only problem is, like last year we've had hardly any time to practise driving. Also i've only got the one decent transmitter, so i'm trying to control six functions on the robot without a clue what does what."
- — The Elvis website
Elvis returned for Series 2, entering Heat D. It started its Gauntlet run by raising its lifter and lowering its body, driving towards and trying to knock down the wall of bricks with its lifter. However, Elvis did not have the power to break through the wall entirely, although it still managed to travel further than Bodyhammer, allowing it to qualify for the Soccer Trial.Here, Elvis started slowly, as Sergeant Bash set it on fire and Razer scored the first goal.
- "Ooh! Hot stuff for Elvis, from the Sergeant... Elvis is on fire!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, clearly delighted at the scene.
It lifted Milly-Ann Bug in the second round, allowing Behemoth to possess the ball and score the second goal as Milly-Ann Bug had its hair set alight by Sergeant Bash. Inquisitor scored next, then both Dead Metal and Sergeant Bash decided to attack an immobilised Milly-Ann Bug. This House Robot intervention allowed Elvis to steer the ball away and towards the goal, and nudge it over the line despite both Sergeant Bash and Dead Metal trying to stop it.
- "Elvis is smokin'!"
- — Pearce
This allowed Elvis to reach the Arena stage, where it fought Behemoth in its Semi-Final.
- "We needed to sort out the steering on Elvis so we took it back to the workshop the night before the Arena to put it right. The main problem was one of the drive belts was sliping, which made it almost impossible to go in a straight line. As soon as we fixed this I took it for a test drive, which proved very successful. The next problem was to add another transmitter so I could concentrate on driving and John could operate the weapons. The transmitter that I used at the preliminary meeting was an old 2 channel, 27 Mhz AM set which is rather prone to interfearance, but it worked absolutely fine then so I hoped it would be ok. I thought i'd connect it up in the morning as we were bound to have a few hours before we were called to compete, so off to bed."
- — The Elvis website on the problems before the battle
It was slow getting into action, but used its lifter to deflect Behemoth's attack and its saw to cause sparks to fly from its opponent's scoop. Eventually, Behemoth lifted Elvis, and pushed it into the PPZ where it was set upon by the House Robots. Following damage from Matilda, Shunt and Dead Metal Elvis was immobilised, and again had its body and head burnt by Sergeant Bash's flamethrower.
- "Well, he did like his burgers 'flame-grilled'..."
- — Jonathan Pearce, on Elvis being attacked by Sergeant Bash
However despite being eliminated, Elvis' head still remained in one piece. Needless to say, it was eliminated.
- "So after running behind schedule for the past three days, as soon as we arrive at the venue in the morning we get called to compete. As fast as possible I shove in the 27 Mhz reciever, a quick test on the bench and everything still works fine, into the arena we go, feeling confident that we might actually do something intresting this time. The contest begins and I have absolutly no control over Elvis at all. Oh B@@@@@ks. It's time to play with the friendly house robots."
- — The Elvis website
At the end of Series 2, Elvis was nominated for the Best Design Award. However, it lost out to Razer.
|ELVIS - RESULTS|
|The First Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat F, Gauntlet||2.75m (6th)||Eliminated|
|The Second Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Arena Semi-Final
|Heat D, Gauntlet||3.7m (5th)||Qualified|
|Heat D, Trial (Football)||Scored 4th Goal (4th)||Qualified|
|Heat D, Arena Semi-Final||vs. Behemoth||Lost|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 1
NOTE: Elvis's Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included
|The First Wars||Heat, Gauntlet|
|The Second Wars||Heat, Arena Semi-Final|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|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|
- Elvis was the first machine to redeem itself in the Gauntlet, succeeding in passing the stage in Series 2, having failed in Series 1. However, its run of 3.7m was one of the worst in Series 2 and it placed fifth.
- When the team took Elvis to the initial checks for Series 2, they discovered Elvis was slightly over the weight limit, which led them to rebuild the entire chassis, a job they only finished the day before filming started.
- Elvis is one of two competitor robots who appear in The Sopranos episode Mergers and Acquisitions; the other is ORAC, who appeared in the next heat of Series 2. The viewers can also catch a glimpse of Sergeant Bash and Matilda.
- Best Design Award - Robot Wars: The Second Wars