- "A first for British Robot Wars! Here we have, long awaited I might add, a clusterbot!"
- — Julia Reed introduces Gemini
Gemini was the first heavyweight clusterbot to appear in Robot Wars. It was built and entered by Team Mace in Series 4 and 5, as well as the first series of Robot Wars Extreme, but did not enjoy as much success as its Series 2-3 predecessor, Mace. Gemini reached the Heat Final in Series 4, but was eliminated in the second round in Series 5 and lost both of its All-Stars and Mayhem battles in Extreme. Despite this, it convincingly won the Series 4 Pinball Warrior Tournament, as well as that series' Best Design and Most Original Entry awards.
Gemini was unable to enter Series 6 because of changes to the rules that disallowed soda stream bottles like Gemini used. The team were unable to fit suitable CO2 canisters without pushing Gemini over the weight limit, so did not enter.
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 lifting arms and yellow logos, as well as a red or blue strip on top of the flipping arms in Series 4.
For its appearance in the Series 4 Celebrity Special, the Gemini halves were paired up with Anthea and Wendy Turner, and adopted eyes and wigs specifically for this special.
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, 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.
The 8th seeds Gemini caused quite a stir when they first appeared in the arena. In the first round of the Fourth Wars, the clusterbot went up against Kater Killer and newcomers Tornado. As battle was commenced, the Gemini twins split apart. Most of the battle consisted of Tornado ramming Kater Killer around, but both of the twins got good flips in on Kater Killer and Tornado, and one of the flips immobilised Kater Killer, as it couldn't self-right. Tornado later drove itself into the pit, but it and Gemini had already qualified for the next round.
In the second round, Gemini went up against The Creature. This battle heralded Gemini's strongest performance, where the two of them hurled The Creature around the arena, the enormous flips soon forced the outer shell to slowly break up and off The Creature. The Gemini halves then ganged up on The Creature and fired their two flipping arms simultaneously to throw The Creature from the arena, making it the second robot in the show's history to flip another robot out of the arena.
However, in the Heat Final, Gemini went up against Tornado again. This ended the clusterbot's great run in the main competition as Tornado isolated one of the twins, eventually ramming it onto an arena spike. The twin particular twin then became immobilised, it later turned out that the arena spike knocked a battery terminal, and the rule of clusterbots meant that Tornado had won the battle as both twins have to keep moving for the whole battle, or else they are declared immobilised. This defeat made Gemini the highest seeded robot in Series 4 that made it to the semi-finals the previous year to not make it in Series 4.
Gemini also competed in the Pinball Warrior Tournament. Both halves split up immediately and managed to score almost all of the obstacles and targets on the course, attaining a score of 255 points. This was enough to secure Gemini overall victory in the Pinball Warrior standings.
Paired up with Andrea and Wendy Turner, Gemini later returned to fight in the Celebrity Special, one of the Christmas specials broadcast during the run of the Fourth Wars. In the first round, it went up against Killertron, which was being driven by Chris Eubank. The Gemini twins did well in flipping Killertron up into the air several times. They could both dodge away from the axe blows of the considerably more sluggish Killertron machine. Killertron was flipped around a lot during the battle, and was barely moving by the end of the fight, but survived to a judges' decision. The judges went in favour of Gemini, putting the clusterbot through to the second round.
Here, Gemini went up against Diotoir. Both twins of Gemini flipped Diotoir around a lot throughout the battle, and looked on top for the whole battle. However, the original Gemini team took back the controls of Gemini mid-way through the fight, and despite the calls of the Turner sisters to leave Diotoir on its back, the Gemini twins then righted Diotoir, but then Gemini broke down due to the removable link system in each twin dislodging one by one. This was down to the force of each flipper, leaving Diotoir to progress through and Gemini to be surprisingly eliminated from the competition.
As well as its Pinball Warrior victory, Gemini also won awards for Best Design and Most Original Entry during Series 4, both of which were attributed to its clusterbot design.
During the first series of Extreme, Gemini first fought in the All-Stars Tournament, facing reigning World Champions Razer in the first round. The twins started well, managing to flip Razer a few times while Razer caused considerable damage to them, piercing several holes through their armour and popping one of the twins' tyres. Razer then grabbed one of the Gemini halves, just as the other flipped both machines together, with Razer self-righting just as 'cease' was called in the televised version of the battle.
Unseen on the broadcast version, however, Razer then drove over the Floor Flipper, which fired, launching it into the air and trapping it under the mechanism. Razer escaped, but had its drive disabled on one side by Gemini, then its hydraulic fluid bag burst after one of the Gemini halves fired its flipping arm in its grasp. Razer's beak was disabled, and the robot immobilised. However, since the Floor Flipper was not meant to be used on mobile robots during the original series, this footage was never shown on TV, and the Judges intervened, making their decision based on the battle up to the moment where Razer was flipped by the Floor Flipper. They voted in favour of Razer, eliminating Gemini from the competition.
Gemini also fought in a Mayhem battle, which served as a qualifier for the second Annihilator. They went up against Napalm and Wild Card Warriors competitor The Spider. The Gemini halves split up with one attacking one robot each, but The Spider became immobilised on the Flame Pit fairly quickly, so both concentrated their attacks on Napalm. Napalm was flipped over by one of the twins, but shortly after The Spider had been counted out, one of the Germini twins beached itself on its wheelie bar after trying to flip Napalm again. The other half tried to right it, but missed, and got itself beached on its own wheelie bar, allowing Refbot to count out both halves of Gemini at once. Shunt came in and pitted one of the twins along with Napalm, with Gemini losing.
Gemini returned for the Fifth Wars as the eighteenth seed, fighting Ruf Ruf Dougal in the first round. Gemini constantly surrounded Ruf Ruf Dougal, giving it no chances to attack, althought the anti-flipper flywheel underneath Ruf Ruf Dougal made it very hard for Gemini to get a KO flip in. The steam vents blew away the dog's kevlar coating, and not too long afterwards, it broke down. Once it was immobilised, a Gemini twin could slip underneath, turn around, and use the flipper as if it were front-hinged to overturn its defeated opponent. Sir Killalot disposed of Ruf Ruf Dougal, placing it outside of the arena.
This put Gemini through to the second round, where it went up against Reactor 2. The Gemini clusterbots dominated the first half of the battle, flipping Reactor 2 multiple times. However, Gemini started to lose Co2 power as the match went on, and after being flipped by Reactor 2, one of the robots got stuck on their own innovation brought in for Series 5 - its wheelie bar. The bars were meant to stop Gemini from tipping back as it drove forwards, but instead this prevented the robot's own self-righting, and as a result, the twin had become vulnerable. The other half of Gemini attempted to flip its partner back over, but instead flipped itself over upon missing, and could not self-right either. With both twins stranded, Reactor 2 had won. This would be Team Mace's last appearance in Robot Wars.
|GEMINI - RESULTS|
|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|
|Round 1||vs. Killertron||Won|
|Semi Final||vs. Diotoir||Lost|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Round 1||vs. Razer||Lost|
|Mayhem Qualifier||vs. Napalm, The Spider||Lost|
|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: 4
- Losses: 5
|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 2||Did not enter|
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Although Gemini has retired competitively, and the two halves of the robot reside with two different members of Team Mace across the country, a single Gemini twin was displayed alongside Mini Mace at a charity event organised by Brian Fountain, at a local Tesco supermarket in 2016.
- Gemini is one of only seven robots to score more than 200 points in a Pinball tournament. The other robots to have achieved this are Roadblock, Killerhurtz, Spawn of Scutter, Panic Attack, King B3 and Razer.
- Gemini is one of two robots to win two different awards, the other being Plunderbird. Gemini won Best Design and Most Original Entry. Unlike Plunderbird, however, Gemini won both awards in the same series.
- Gemini, and 3 Stegs to Heaven are the only robots to never win a heat, to come from a team with a previous record of consecutive series semi-finals. Coincidentally, both of these robots were the number 8 seed in their first loss.
- Gemini is one of the few robots to have been seeded in all of their main competition appearances