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"A first for British Robot Wars! Here, we have – long-awaited, I might add – a clusterbot."
Julia Reed introduces Gemini in Series 4

Gemini was the first clusterbot to appear in Robot Wars, competing in Series 4-5 and the first series of Robot Wars Extreme. Built and entered by Team Mace, it was not as successful as the team's previous robot, Mace, reaching the Heat Final in Series 4, being eliminated in the second round in Series 5, and losing both its All-Stars and Mayhem battles in Extreme 1. However, Gemini won the Series 4 Pinball Warrior Tournament, as well as the 'Best Design' and 'Most Original Entry' awards in the same series.

Gemini was unable to enter Series 6 as a result of rule changes disallowing the soda stream bottles it used to power its flipping arms. With Team Mace being unable to fit suitable CO2 canisters without pushing the robot over the weight limit, it was not entered, and retired completely from Robot Wars shortly afterwards.

DesignEdit

Geminitogether

Series 4 appearance

Gemini arena

Gemini in the Series 4 arena before the Heat Final; note the red stripe on top of the right-most half's flipping arm

Gemini was a two-part clusterbot, with each half armoured in Kevlar and fiberglass and equipped with gyro stabilisers and a pneumatic flipping arm capable of hoisting 250kg. Both halves entered the arena joined together, attached by a rear 'Hook and Loop' mechanism with metal hooks on each half which latched onto rings on the other half. Upon the start of a battle, the Gemini twins would pull apart and operate as individual robots, which would allow them to attack independently or team up to dispose of fellow opponents. Each twin was painted black and red, with red wheels, silver flipping arms and yellow logos; in Series 4, one half also featured a red stripe on top of its flipping arm to distinguish it from the other.

Gemini turner

Gemini's appearance in the Celebrity Special, under Anthea and Wendy Turner

For its appearance in the Series 4 Celebrity Special, Gemini was paired up with Anthea and Wendy Turner, with each half adopting eyes and wigs specifically for this special.

Gemini

The Series 5/Extreme 1 Gemini in the arena

In Series 4, Team Mace found that the Gemini twins had a tendency to wheelie, causing their front ends to lift whenever they accelerated too quickly. Although both twins could easily self-right, they were vulnerable whenever they were left in this position, so for Series 5 and Extreme 1, wheelie bars were added to the back of both Gemini halves in order to keep them from flipping onto their backs. However, they failed to resolve this problem in combat, and created a serious design flaw in that they prevented either Gemini half from self-righting or rolling back onto their wheels, usually leaving them beached on their backs whenever they fired their flipping arms. This directly contributed to Gemini's losses to Napalm and Reactor 2, despite having fought strongly in both these battles.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 4Edit

"...but Gemini, Killalot's a Leo, and lions rule our jungle!"
Jonathan Pearce after assessing Gemini's statistics
Tornado,gemini kater killer

Tornado rams Kater Killer into one half of Gemini (top-right)

Seeded eighth in recognition of its predecessor's performance in the Third Wars, Gemini made its Robot Wars debut in Heat F of the Fourth Wars. In its first-round battle, it faced newcomer Tornado and fellow series returnee Kater Killer.

"Watch for the split – there, straight away, the twins break up! Sisters of mercy, or daughters of doom, Gemini?"
— Jonathan Pearce as both halves of Gemini split up

Immediately, both halves split up, with one half darting straight at Tornado, and the other driving towards the centre of the arena. Gemini played little part in the eliminator until the red half bumped into Kater Killer, and was knocked onto its back after Tornado shoved Kater Killer into it. The unmarked half lifted its front while trying to attack Kater Killer head-on, before the red half flipped Kater Killer over as Tornado pushed the latter into it. With Kater Killer unable to self-right, both halves of Gemini left Tornado to shove and re-right Kater Killer, after which the red half threw Kater Killer over again into Shunt's CPZ. While Sir Killalot attacked the immobile Kater Killer, Gemini proceeded to fight Tornado, with one half flipping Tornado before the latter shoved both halves around the arena.

"...the Gemini bots are spinning madly all over the place! This is bamboozling, bewitching stuff from Gemini!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Gemini tussles with Tornado

The red half threw Kater Killer away from Sir Killalot as Tornado rammed the unmarked half into him, before one of the halves flipped Tornado back upright just before the latter drove itself into the pit. Unseen on the televised edit, Gemini then attempted to flip Tornado out of the pit, and continued to flip it after the pit was raised to let Tornado rejoin the battle.[1] Needless to say, Gemini and Tornado qualified for the next round, although Team Mace revealed afterwards that the flipping arm for one of the halves would not fire for the duration of the eliminator.

Gemini vs The Creature

Gemini double-teams The Creature

In the second round, Gemini faced The Creature. As before, both halves split up straight away, with the unmarked half driving underneath, flipping and dislodging part of The Creature's fibreglass outer shell. The red half struggled to line up a flip on the now-immobilised Creature, before successfully throwing it a full 360-degrees into the wall. Both halves of Gemini surrounded The Creature, with the unmarked half flipping it against the wall before it and the red half threw it out of the arena in unison. In doing so, Gemini became only the second robot to throw another out in the show's history, and progressed to the Heat Final.

"...well, it's never all over until the fat lady sings... and the fat Creature is singing now! Out of the arena – look at that – both of them, flipping it up and over! Tremendous attack from the Gemini!"
— Jonathan Pearce as both halves of Gemini dispatch of The Creature
Gemini immobilised

Tornado rams one half of Gemini towards the spike

Gemini vs tornado

The surviving half of Gemini flips Tornado

There, it faced Tornado again. In the opening seconds, Gemini split up, with the red half pursuing Tornado across the arena before the latter got underneath and forced the unmarked half onto its back. The unmarked half threw Tornado away as it was being pushed a second time, but was rammed into Refbot seconds later, then into – and alongside – the wall by the newcomer. It drove away after being left beside a wall spike, but was pushed into the wall again by Tornado, and – despite the red half's attempt to assist – impaled on the spike after two successive rams. This immediately left the unmarked half of Gemini stranded, with the red half being swiftly pushed into the wall as well by Tornado. At some point, the red half of Gemini flipped Tornado onto its back, but sustained a puncture as it attempted to flip the unmarked half off the spike and was rammed by Tornado again. It proceeded to flip Tornado back upright, before pushing the unmarked half off the spike and flipping it. However, the unmarked half had become completely immobilised, and sat motionless as the red half flipped Tornado over a few more times.

"...and the twins helping each other out there as well... trying to breathe life into its twin sister there. But is it too late? They were warned! If part of a clusterbot is immobilised for more than 30 seconds, they would be dead and out of it!"
— Jonathan Pearce reiterates the 50% immobilisation rule as the remaining half of Gemini attacks Tornado

Despite the red half successfully immobilising Tornado through its attacks, the 50% immobilisation rule meant that Gemini as a whole was deemed immobile. As a result, it was eliminated from the main competition of the Fourth Wars; it was revealed afterwards that the impact with the arena spike had knocked a battery terminal loose from inside the unmarked half.

"Gemini in the pits, dark horses to win the Pinball Warrior challenge..."
— Jonathan Pearce during Gemini's Pinball Warrior run
GeminiPinball

One of the Gemini twins clears the see-saw

Gemini later reappeared for two events held as part of the Fourth Wars. In the Pinball Warrior Tournament, both halves separated seconds into its run, with the red half ploughing through one set of barrels as the unmarked half darted past Sergeant Bash to hit his 50-point target. The red half simultaneously rammed into Sergeant Bash before triggering the multi-ball release, and was intercepted by Sir Killalot just as the unmarked half pushed the sphere across the arena.

"...this is a great run by Gemini! Perhaps built for the Pinball Warrior Tournament..."
— Jonathan Pearce as both halves of Gemini made rapid progress

Seconds later, the red half cleared the car doors and hit the other 50-point target, with the unmarked half making a successful run up the see-saw ramp in the meantime.

"...and a completed run, that's a rarity...!"
— Jonathan Pearce as the unmarked half of Gemini clears the see-saw

Both halves of Gemini proceeded to attack Dead Metal and Matilda in an attempt to hit each of the remaining targets, which they succeeded in doing before time ran out. By the end of its run, Gemini scored an exceptionally high score of 255 points, which was enough for it to displace Spawn of Scutter from the top of the leaderboard and win the Pinball Warrior Tournament outright.

CelebKillertronvsGemini

A Gemini twin flips Killertron over

Gemini also made an appearance in the Celebrity Special, paired with TV presenters and journalists Anthea and Wendy Turner. In its first-round battle, it faced former fourth-place finisher Killertron and boxer Chris Eubank. Both halves of Gemini hesitated before splitting, with the red half driving towards and into Killertron. This half proceeded to flip Killertron onto its side – but not completely over – with the other half also doing the same as the latter was set alight over the flame jet. Both halves of Gemini continued flicking Killertron around – shedding their wigs and eyes in the process – with the unmarked half tipping itself over following an unsuccessful flip. The unmarked half was re-righted by Matilda, who simultaneously turned Killertron over, with the red half finally flipping Killertron over after the House Robot re-righted it. With Killertron struggling to drive properly, the unmarked half of Gemini lifted and carried it over the flame jet once again, before proceeding to flip Matilda onto her side. Meanwhile, the red half attempted to get underneath Sergeant Bash, and was grabbed by Dead Metal towards the end, although both competitors survived to a Judges' decision anyway. The decision went in favour of Gemini and the Turner sisters, putting them through to the second round.

CelebGeminivsDiotoir

One part of Gemini flips the flaming Diotoir

CelebGeminivsDiotoir2

Both halves of Gemini are pitted

There, they faced Diotoir and Vic Reeves. Immediately, both halves of Gemini split up, with the red half driving up Diotoir’s front and knocking its spectacles off before flipping it over onto the unmarked half. The unmarked half promptly flipped the flaming Diotoir back upright, with both halves taking turns to flip Diotoir over twice more, despite the Turners' calls to leave the Irish machine on its back. The red half flicked Diotoir over again as the latter was being attacked by Sergeant Bash, before the unmarked half threw itself over in an attempt to line up another flip. This half successfully self-righted, losing one of its eyes in the process, but eventually lost full mobility after its removable link became dislodged. The red half of Gemini, meanwhile, was pushed into a CPZ by Diotoir, and also became immobilised near the closed pit – however, it drove away towards the centre of the arena seconds later. Eventually, both halves of Gemini were left completely immobile and attacked by the House Robots – the unmarked half was immediately pitted by Sir Killalot, while the red half was thrown by the Floor Flipper before being pitted by Shunt. In spite of their strong start, this eliminated Gemini and the Turner sisters from the Celebrity Special.

"It's gonna take more than some loo roll and some sticky-back plastic to stick Gemini back together...."
Craig Charles announces Gemini's elimination from the Celebrity Special

In addition to its Pinball Warrior victory, Gemini also received the 'Most Original Entry' and 'Best Design' awards in the Fourth Wars, both in recognition of its pioneering clusterbot design.

Extreme 1Edit

"Twice as nice, or double jeopardy?"
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Gemini in the Extreme 1 All-Stars
Razer vs gemini

Razer grabs one of the Gemini halves

Razer vs Gemini

Razer is toppled while holding one of the Gemini twins

Gemini made two appearances in the first series of Robot Wars Extreme, each with and without the newly-introduced wheelie bars. Sans wheelie bars, it first fought in the All-Stars Tournament, where it faced the then-reigning World Champion Razer in its heat. Both halves split up, but one was immediately rammed and grabbed by Razer, and had its armour pierced as the latter dragged and pushed it around. The other half of Gemini tried to flip Razer, but missed, while the half attached to Razer was lifted and fired its own flipping arm in an attempt to break itself free. Two flips from the free Gemini half eventually resulted in Razer and the seized half being flipped over together; the latter eventually toppling back onto its wheels after its twin flipped Razer again.

"...oh look! They tumble together, there. You've ever seen fighting crabs on a beach? That's what they look like, tumbling over together!"
— Jonathan Pearce as one of the Gemini twins flips Razer and its other twin over

The freed half of Gemini was nudged by Matilda, before dodging Razer again as the latter attacked the other half, gripping it by its flipping arm. Again, one half of Gemini flipped the other and Razer together, disrupting Razer's attempt to self-right while allowing the attacked half to break free and right itself. However, Razer pursued and bumped the same half it tried to hold earlier, eventually grabbing and piercing through its right-hand wheelarch and tyre after the affected half inadvertently drove into its twin.

"...oh, and there is the damage! Listen to the popping of the tyre, like a balloon popping, there!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Razer punctures the tyre of one of the Gemini halves

Eventually, Razer let go, and both halves of Gemini drove around and away from the World Champion before luring it onto the flame jet. 'Cease' was called shortly afterwards, and the battle went to a Judges' decision.

Unseen on the televised broadcast, however, the battle continued after this point, with Razer driving onto and being thrown by the Floor Flipper.[2] Gemini proceeded to disable Razer on one side after the latter landed inside the Flipper mechanism and escaped, before the latter grabbed one of its halves again. In an attempt to break itself free, the affected half of Gemini fired its flipping arm, bursting Razer's hydraulic fluid bag and immobilising it completely. However, as the Floor Flipper was not intended to be activated on mobile robots during the original series' run, footage of this part of the battle was cut, and the Judges made their decision based on the fight up to the moment when the Floor Flipper activated. With this, the decision went in favour of Razer, eliminating Gemini from the All-Stars Tournament.

The Spider vs Gemini

One half of Gemini throws itself over while trying to flip The Spider

MayhemNapalmGeminiSpider

Both Gemini halves are counted out

With the wheelie bars fitted, Gemini also competed in a Mayhem battle, where it, Napalm and The Spider fought each other for a place in the second Annihilator. Separating immediately, both halves pursued The Spider as the latter attacked Napalm, but failed to flip it, with one half flipping itself over onto its wheelie bar twice in succession. The second flip left it stranded on its back while the other half struggled to line a flip on The Spider, which pushed Napalm into the wall before driving itself onto the Flame Pit. Eventually, both halves of Gemini attempted to flip Napalm, but as before, one half missed and threw itself onto its back, while the other succeeded in throwing Napalm onto its side. However, in an attempt to free its twin, the other half of Gemini threw itself onto its back as well, leaving both stranded on their wheelie bars and with their flipping arms seemingly stuck open.

"So, Gemini... wobble, wibble, wobble, wibble, wobble! Is it going to be... Napalm, with victory on a plate?!"
— Jonathan Pearce as both halves of Gemini are counted out
Napalm vs Gemini

Part of Gemini rests in the pit along with Napalm

As a result, they were counted out by Refbot, with one half eventually being pushed back onto its wheels by the now-victorious Napalm. The other was also re-righted shortly afterwards, with its twin proceeding to flip Napalm onto its side before Shunt pushed both robots into the pit. The remaining twin then tried to flip Shunt, but threw itself onto its back again while doing so. Ultimately, Gemini lost the Mayhem battle – and its chance to qualify for the second Annihilator – to Napalm.

Series 5Edit

Gemini vs Ruf Ruf Dougal

Part of Gemini lifts Ruf Ruf Dougal up

Gemini returned for the Fifth Wars as the eighteenth seed; in its first-round battle, it fought series newcomer Ruf Ruf Dougal. Both halves split up as usual in the opening seconds, and surrounded Ruf Ruf Dougal almost immediately, although without getting underneath it. Each proceeded to push and flip the newcomer up – but not over as a result of the latter's stabilising flywheel – before one half of Gemini was pushed back across the arena and into an angle grinder by Ruf Ruf Dougal. The other half of Gemini proceeded to pin Ruf Ruf Dougal there, blocking the latter as Sir Killalot came in to attack. Gemini eventually surrounded Ruf Ruf Dougal as the three individual robots finally met again in the centre of the arena, and after the latter had one of its ears blown over by a CO2 jet.

"Gemini – nagging, and worrying... they look like two little fleas in the dog fur out there!"
— Jonathan Pearce as both halves of Gemini put pressure on Ruf Ruf Dougal
Gemini vs Dougal

The twins surround Ruf Ruf Dougal...

Gemini vs RRD

...before one finally turns the newcomer over

After this, one half almost threw Ruf Ruf Dougal onto its side, with the other driving itself underneath and preventing the latter from landing back onto its wheels. One of Gemini's flipping arms proceeded to flick part of Ruf Ruf Dougal's fur away, before the latter half dragged and lowered it back onto the arena floor. Another flip from Gemini knocked Ruf Ruf Dougal's removable link out, disabling it and allowing both halves to rip more of its fur off. One half finally got underneath and turned Ruf Ruf Dougal onto its side against the pit release button, allowing Sir Killalot to grab, lift and dump it out of the arena. Gemini was therefore victorious, and progressed to the second round.

Gemini on its back

Gemini after being defeated by Reactor 2. Note the wheelie bar holding the nearest twin off the floor and on its back

Dead Metal Gemini

Gemini and Dead Metal fall in the pit

There, it faced Series 4 returnee Reactor 2. Both halves of Gemini split up and surrounded Reactor 2 immediately, weathering the latter's attacks as they attempted to get underneath and flip it over. After receiving a few axe blows and lifts, they finally forced Reactor 2 close to the far wall, with one half flipping and sending it rolling onto its side.

"You see, they can… just irritate... and annoy, but unless they attack together like that – were they impotent? The answer... when they do attack like that, they can cause real peril!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Gemini pursues and flips Reactor 2

As soon as Reactor 2 self-righted, Gemini chased it into Shunt's CPZ, then the Flame Pit, but Reactor 2 escaped while both halves attempted to leave it trapped there. Each half attempted to flip Reactor 2 again several times, but missed, until one rolled Reactor 2 a full 360-degrees near the closed pit. More missed flips ensued, with one half of Gemini throwing itself onto its back as it and its twin surrounded Reactor 2 again. The other half was promptly flipped by Reactor 2, but self-righting successfully, and proceeded to help its stranded twin right itself despite Reactor 2 attempting to intervene. Reactor 2 responded by flicking one half of Gemini onto its back, then the other, which was left stranded on its wheelie bar after its CO2 supply became depleted and it was unable to throw itself back onto its wheels. Both halves of Gemini were pushed aside by Reactor 2 before being counted out by Refbot; one was eventually pitted by Dead Metal. With this, Gemini was eliminated from the Fifth Wars, in what became its final appearance in Robot Wars.

ResultsEdit

GEMINI - RESULTS
Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
8th Seed, Heat Final
Heat F, Eliminator vs. Kater Killer, Tornado Qualified
Heat F, Semi Final vs. The Creature Won
Heat F, Final vs. Tornado Lost
Pinball Warrior Tournament
Champion
Pinball 255pts 1st
Celebrity Special
Round 2
Round 1 vs. Killertron Won
Semi Final vs. Diotoir Lost
Extreme Series 1
All Stars
Round 1
Round 1 vs. Razer Lost
Other Battles
Mayhem
Mayhem Qualifier vs. Napalm, The Spider Lost
Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
18th Seed, Heat Semi-Final
Heat D, Eliminator vs. Ruf Ruf Dougal Won
Heat D, Semi Final vs. Reactor 2 Lost

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Both Gemini twins without armour.
  • Gemini in the pits in Series 5.
  • One of the Gemini twins without armour.
  • The other Gemini twin, fully-armoured.
  • Team Mace with Gemini during Series 5.
  • Wins: 4
  • Losses: 5

Series RecordEdit

Main Series Gemini Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Entered with Mace
The Third Wars Entered with Mace 2
The Fourth Wars Heat Final
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 2
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered
Series 2 Did not enter

Appearances in MerchandiseEdit

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Gemini in 2016

One half of Gemini at Brian Fountain's charity event

Following Series 5/Extreme 1, Gemini was retired from robot combat, with each half of the robot residing with two different members of Team Mace in different places across the UK. In 2016, the half owned by Brian Fountain was displayed along with Mini Mace at a local Tesco supermarket, as part of a charity event organised by Fountain himself.

TriviaEdit

  • Gemini is one of only seven robots to score more than 200 points in a Pinball Trial or side competition. The other robots to have achieved this are Roadblock, Killerhurtz, Spawn of Scutter, Panic Attack, King B3 and Razer.
  • Gemini was one of two robots to win two different awards, the other being the Plunderbird series. Unlike Plunderbird, however, Gemini won both its 'Best Design' and 'Most Original Entry' awards in the same series.
  • Gemini and 3 Stegs to Heaven are the only robots originating from a team with a previous record of consecutive series Semi-Finals to never win a heat. Coincidentally, both of these robots were seeded eighth at the time of their first heat losses.
  • Gemini is one of only three robots to compete in multiple series and be seeded in each of them, the other two being Spawn Again and Wheely Big Cheese. However, it is the only one of the three to not win its heat in any of its appearances.
  • Gemini's defeat against Tornado made it the highest seeded robot in Series 4 which was a previous series Semi-Finalist not to reach the Semi-Finals in that series.

HonoursEdit


ReferencesEdit

  1. Tornado - Robot Diary - Series 4 (Team Tornado website)
  2. Team Mace - Gemini vs Razer (All Stars) (YouTube video description)

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