Gabriel is a heavyweight robot that competed in Series 8 of Robot Wars. It reached the Heat Final in this series, losing to eventual Grand Finalist Pulsar on a close Judges' decision. Different members of Team Saint entered Series 9 with Cherub, while Gabriel remained an unused reserve, only competing in whiteboard matches.
The robot's name is derived from the angel Gabriel, sent by God as a messenger to other biblical figures. This is reflected in Gabriel's white colour scheme and Craig Colliass' reluctance to attack defeated robots, with Team Saint claiming that they want to represent one of the 'good guys instead of a bad guy’.
Gabriel is the largest robot in the history of the TV series. It is a two-wheeled thwackbot armed with a variety of interchangeable blades and weapons, which it swings overhead by overturning the robot. Like most torque-reaction thwackbots, it is an axlebot. Its weapons include the team’s signature sword, which Dara Ó Briain remarked was his favourite, a pickaxe, a battleaxe, and a sledgehammer, though only the sword and battleaxe were used tn the televised show. In Series 9, Gabriel also used a new mace weapon on the end of its polearm, which it used in a whiteboard match. The robot is armoured in 25mm of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), with a 6.2mm steel armour plate.
While Series 8 has an active weapon policy, Team Saint demonstrated that Gabriel is able to operate its drive and weapon independently of each other. As such, the robot is able to move without swinging its weapon and swing its weapon without moving, despite relying on torque reaction.
Gabriel is the successor to a smaller barrel-shaped thwackbot called The Saint, from which the team derived their name and the naming scheme for their robots. The Saint is armed with a narrower swinging sword, and is still active today, occasionally fighting alongside Gabriel at live events.
Gabriel's large wheels, wide body and exceptionally high ground clearance also make it very difficult for other robots to push, grab or flip it. Its thick HDPE armour makes the robot's wheels flexible and fairly resilient to spinning weapons, while angled sections on each wheel help prevent Gabriel from getting stranded when it is knocked onto its side.
Gabriel competed in Episode 5, where it fought Crazy Coupe 88, Infernal Contraption and Beast in its first round melee. Gabriel initially attacked Crazy Coupe 88, but after it was flipped by Beast, it switched its attention towards Infernal Contraption, striking at the exposed wheels. Gabriel missed an attack on Beast while Crazy Coupe 88 was immobilised, but successfully swung onto Infernal Contraption again. Gabriel qualified for the next round with Beast when Infernal Contraption drove into the pit.
- "You got beaten by a robot built by the dad from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!"
- — Dara Ó Briain to Crazy Coupe 88's team, describing Craig Colliass
In the second round, Gabriel faced Chompalot. The team were confident going into the battle, believing that Chompalot's jaw would not reach the body of Gabriel, and considered switching their weapon to a pickaxe, but kept the sword in the end.
- "We believe that Chompalot is fairly weak on the upper panels, and we're fairly confident that he can't actually get the beak high enough up to actually crush us at all, so we can get up close and personal, and really whack it good and hard!"
- — Craig Colliass
When the battle started, Gabriel landed a blow with the sword, but the team's confidence that Chompalot could not grab Gabriel's body proved to be misplaced, and Chompalot grabbed hold of Gabriel's body. However, this also meant that Chompalot's wheels were off the ground, and Gabriel pushed it into Dead Metal, where it was overturned. The House Robot inflicted damage, but Team Saint did not want their opponent to sustain severe damage, and Gabriel caused major damage to Dead Metal in order to cease the punishment, which was cut from television. Gabriel struck the side of Chompalot, where armour was missing, and this immobilised Chompalot on one side. Gabriel landed further blows onto the top of Chompalot, and when the dragon was thrown by the floor flipper, Gabriel had won the battle by knockout. Despite Gabriel's best attempts, however, Chompalot suffered severe damage after its batteries ignited, forcing it to withdraw from the competition.
- "We and everyone felt for Debs and Simon when their robot went up in flames. It certainly wasn't what we wanted, people didn't see but Gabriel had stopped hitting Chompy and was bludgeoning Dead Metal to try and take the fight away from them. We really did do damage to DM and after that we were politely asked not to attack them the house robots in the Beast fight!"
- — Craig Colliass
Gabriel's next opponent was the powerful bar spinner, Ironside3. Gabriel was equipped with its battleaxe weapon, in order to try and jam up the spinning bar. Gabriel started the battle tentatively, hoping to clash battleaxe-to-bar, but sustained damage itself. Gabriel sustained three blows to its large wheels, and was caught by Sir Killalot, which burnt it over the flame pit. When freed, Gabriel's axe pole was bent by Ironside3, and still failed to land a single hit on Team Outlaw's machine, sutaining more damage as it was pushed back into the grip of Sir Killalot, although it buried its axe into the House Robot. Reflecting away from another Ironside3 blow, Gabriel's axe became stuck in the grid of the flame pit, and could not pull itself out without assistance from Sir Killalot.
- "And suddenly it looks like a giant, white, dying swan!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Gabriel still lingered over the flame pit, and took another huge hit from Ironside3. Gabriel had lost pieces of rubber from its wheels, and the damage sustained throughout meant that the unanimous Judges' decision was given to Ironside3. Craig Colliass revealed after the battle that Gabriel's weapon was rendered useless, as a blow from Ironside3 broke one of Gabriel's torque limiters, preventing the robot from gaining the speed to flip itself over.
Due to Pulsar's position on six points and Ironside3's five points, Gabriel needed to defeat Beast via knockout in order to qualify for the Heat Final, which was unclear on television due to the order of the Ironside3 vs Pulsar and Beast vs Gabriel battles being switched, despite Dara Ó Briain and Jonathan Pearce stating that Gabriel required a knockout win to progress, and could not go to a Judges' decision. Gabriel reverted to its signature sword.
- Dara Ó Briain: "Why do you think the sword will work well here?"
- Craig Colliass: "I think the sword should work well, because the robot we're fighting has got exposed tyres, and we're hoping to actually, sort of do a bit of sushi on them!"
- — Tactics to score the necessary knockout
Beast had already entered the battle without a functional weapon, and Gabriel immediately rained blows down onto the top of it. These repeated attacks had immobilised Beast on one side, so Gabriel pressed the pit release, and launched more gentle attacks onto Beast. Team Saint sensed that they had already won the battle by knockout, and held back, Gabriel posing by holding its sword aloft.
- Craig Colliass: "Do you want us to hit your robot?"
- Team BEAST: "Yes, hit it!"
- — Team Saint are encouraged to cause more damage
Gabriel launched a few more attacks, but then held off once again, not wanting to inflict further damage onto Beast. Gabriel nudged Beast towards the pit, but could not push it in, so span in circles as cease was called. Although the match had lasted the full three minutes, the Judges declared that Beast was immobile during the fight, and Gabriel was awarded the full three points, awarding it a place in the Heat Final.
- "We felt that Beast had actually been immobilised, and it didn't seem proper for us to continue any gratuitous violence!"
- — Craig Colliass
In the Heat Final, Gabriel fought the reinstated Pulsar for the first time. It struggled to land a blow on the compact drum spinner, and Pulsar struck the sword of Gabriel to throw it over. Gabriel took control of the fight after this, missing with most attacks, but landed two blows on Pulsar, one of which directly striking the wheels. However, Pulsar caused damage to the wheels of Gabriel, and threw it over again. One wedge attack turned Gabriel onto its side, which caused Gabriel to miss its chance to attack a briefly immobile Pulsar. Gabriel was spun into Sir Killalot, where it also pressed the pit release button inadvertently, also striking the House Robot. Pulsar suddenly stopped moving, at which point Gabriel hammered it repeatedly. Although Pulsar regained movement, Gabriel took advantage of the same situation straight afterwards. In the late stages of the battle, Gabriel sustained damage to its wheels from the mobile Pulsar, and part of it was thrown towards a camera. Gabriel drove over the floor flipper and was thrown backwards by it, when cease was called.
The Judges' decision was unanimously called in favour of Pulsar, but Gabriel remained in contention for a wildcard position in the Grand Final along with Behemoth, Thor, Dantomkia and Storm 2. When the Judges chose Thor, Gabriel was eliminated from the competition.
To entertain the crowd in an untelevised fight, Gabriel fought a whiteboard match against Behemoth, driven by Team Saint's youngest member, Toby. Although Gabriel was launched onto its side by Behemoth, and Gabriel lost power to one of its wheels during the battle, when the crowd decided the victor of the match, the resulting cheer awarded the victory to Gabriel. A clip of the battle was used in some opening sequences of the show. Gabriel was too damaged to participate in any further whiteboard matches.
As an unused reserve, Gabriel never fought on television during the series, with Craig Colliass dedicating his time to repairing Cherub. However, the huge Gabriel was still clearly visible in the background of every episode, making many cameo appearances in the pits throughout the series.
Gabriel would also take to the arena to fight another whiteboard match against Behemoth, where it used its new mace weapon. It immediately brought this weapon into play on the top of Behemoth, although the bulldozer pushed back, and lightly flipped Gabriel after sustaining another blow. Gabriel continued its assault while Behemoth mostly missed with its flipper, only managing to cast Gabriel's weapon aside. Gabriel turned itself onto its side and was flipped into the arena wall. The two fought in the corner, then battled in the centre of the arena, only landing light attacks on each other. When Behemoth missed with a flip, Gabriel drove under the scoop, and pushed Behemoth back.
After this attack, Behemoth flipped itself over and was forced to self-right. Gabriel continued to fight while Behemoth struggled to exit the flame pit. Later into the battle, Behemoth used its scoop to catch the weapon of Gabriel mid-attack, and turn the robot over, almost toppling over itself. In response, Gabriel used its fairly crooked weapon to sneak under the weapon of Behemoth, and push back. Behemoth lifted Gabriel and pushed it into the Arena Tyre, causing the pit to descend, as no House Robots were present. Behemoth capitalised immediately and charged Gabriel into the pit, although Behemoth fell in at the same time.
As the two robots fell into the pit at the same time, it is unknown whether Behemoth could be considered the victor, so the battle has no official winner. After 'cease' was called, Gabriel used its large wheels to drive out of the raising pit prematurely, and it pushed Behemoth back onto its wheels.
|GABRIEL - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
|Episode 5, Group Battle||vs. Crazy Coupe 88, Infernal Contraption, Beast||Qualified|
|Episode 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Chompalot||Won via KO (3 points)|
|Episode 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Ironside3||Lost (0 points)|
|Episode 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Beast||Won via KO (3 points)|
|Episode 5, Heat Final||vs. Pulsar||Lost|
|Whiteboard match||vs. Behemoth||Won|
|Whiteboard match||vs. Behemoth||No winner declared|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 2
NOTE: Whiteboard matches are not included
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Heat Final|
|Series 9|| Unused reserve|
Entered with Cherub
Robot Wars Live EventsEdit
Gabriel, along with Team Saint’s other heavyweights The Saint and Cherub, are regular competitors at the live events, with the team in attendance at all events. Of the three robots, Gabriel enjoys the most success currently, with a mixture of wins, although Saint had previously earned the title of Tag Team Champion in 2014.
Gabriel’s biggest success was at the Robot Wars World Championship 2015, where it placed third. It passed the first round through a Judges’ decision over Luzifer, qualifying on aggression alongside Dystopia which pitted Toon Raider to take the other place. Gabriel won its second round match on a Judges’ decision, based on aggression and damage caused to Tough as Nails after the latter had already pitted Beast. Gabriel fought a close match with Gravity in the quarter-finals, sustaining flips but also attacking with its sword. Eventually, Gravity flipped itself over, and did not have enough power to fully self-right, leading to a third win via Judges’ decision for Gabriel, as Gravity was not counted out in time. Gabriel was finally eliminated after a close match with Thor, where Gabriel received more damage and lost its fourth Judges’ decision.
Outside Robot WarsEdit
After Series 8 ended, Gabriel fought at the 2016 FRA UK Championships in Stevenage, which took place in October 2016. Despite losing in the quarter-final stages to Toxic 2 on a Judges' decision, it won its losers' melee against Nuts and Dystopia before proceeding to win the 2016 UK Championship outright.
In addition to Gabriel, the team have also fought on the live event circuit since 2007 with different versions of their first robot The Saint. The first version was a thwackbot with a horizontal pickaxe which would strike opponents with by The Saint spinning on the spot. The current version of The Saint is the second one, which still fights today. The team have also fought with a number of featherweights; Gabriel (not to be confused with the team's heavyweight) which was an axlebot with a grinding blade on the end of the arm, Seraphim which also resembles Gabriel in appearance, and Mechatron, a four-wheel driven pushing robot.
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnofficialRobotWars/permalink/586775824935520/?comment_id=586797388266697&reply_comment_id=587452404867862
- Team Gabriel Facebook page
- Team Saint Facebook page
- Gabriel on the Robot Wars website
- Team Gabriel interview on YouTube