Griffon in Series 3
|Team||University of Reading|
|Team Members|| Oliver Steeples|
|Dimensions||0.12m x 1.27m x 0.77m|
|Power||2 x 750W motors|
Robot statistics correct as of its most recent appearance on the show
- "The removable video cassette recorder, with the two front prongs."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Griffon was a low box-shaped robot with a 4-bar lifting arm powered by linear actuators that competed in Series 2 and 3 of Robot Wars. The robot was made from polycarbonate and based on the highly successful American robot Biohazard, although Griffon itself was never really very successful. Despite being relatively low, it was quite strong, being fast at 19mph and able to flip Sergeant Bash during the Internet Insurrection, a side competition for roboteers who thought they had the best website, which Griffon won. It also demolished a garden wall in testing and upgraded for Series 3 with two extra central wheels for extra manoeuvrability, a different gear ratio and, more importantly, the lifting arm which could now lift 300kg. The original version of Griffon costed around £1200.
Driver of Griffon, Oliver Steeples, previously entered in Series 1 with a featherweight robot called Cunning Plan, which reached the Grand Final. Despite this, Griffon was unseeded for Series 2 because it was originally a reserve robot and was only able to compete after Reckless Endangerment pulled out of the main competition.
- "Originally I was a reserve due to the fact that my robot wasn't very good at the preview due to the fact that I had my degree final exams just previously and didn't get a lot of info about what was happening. However on Saturday 15th I got a call saying to be ready for Monday 17th at 11am for the start of filming (Reckless Endangerment had failed to get itself working)."
- — Oliver Steeples on his official website.
Oliver Steeples returned with Griffon for Series 4, but failed to qualify for the main competition. After this, Oliver retired from Robot Wars due to the fact that his heavyweight robots took "too much time and money" to maintain, but competes to this day in the Antweight class. One of his antweights, Mini G, took design cues such as the four-bar lifter weapon from Griffon.
- "He said he enjoyed watching Oliver make an idiot of himself in the first wars"
- — Jonathan Pearce on Ben Steeples
Griffon was originally a reserve robot for the Second Wars after failing to qualify, but was brought in at the last minute after Reckless Endangerment pulled out of the competition. Griffon began in the Gauntlet stage of the heat by driving forwards onto the arena spikes, stopping, turning around and heading for the route with Matilda. Shunt immediately came after Griffon, and Matilda also lifted the competitor with its tusks. The House Robots prevented Griffon from moving any further for the duration of the run. Cease was then called, and Griffon had only covered a pitiful distance of 3.4 metres, finishing sixth overall on the leaderboard, therefore being surprisingly eliminated from the competition.
Griffon later returned in the Internet Insurrection battle, that took place at the end of the Second Wars, during the Grudge Match Special. In this battle, Griffon was placed up against previous Grand Finalists Bodyhammer, BattleBots legend Killerhurtz and Adam Clark's Corporal Punishment. Griffon started impressively, by driving into the PPZ, lifting up house robot Sergeant Bash and successfully toppling the Sergeant. Shunt then flipped Killerhurtz and Corporal Punishment became stuck underneath Sergeant Bash's spikes. Bodyhammer then charged at Griffon, but missed and became stuck under Dead Metal. Griffon was then lifted up by Matilda's tusks and blasted with her spark shooter just as time ran out. With Griffon being the only mobile robot at the end of the fight, it was declared the winner.
- "All I wanted to do this time was to take over a house robot, sorry blokes, maybe better time next year"
- — Oliver Steeples "to the house robots"
- "We entered last year, didn't do too well...at all"
- — Oliver Steeples upon Griffon's Series 3 appearance
In the Third Wars, Griffon showed much more potential in the main competition, now that the trials were abolished from the heats. Griffon was placed up against fellow Series 2 Gauntlet drop-outs Daisy Chopper in the first round of the heat. In the battle, Daisy Chopper's blade hit Griffon to no effect, so Griffon flipped it, also to little effect. Griffon shoved Daisy Chopper around to rack up a small amount of points. Griffon pushed the giant robot into Sergeant Bash, but it escaped. Griffon levered Bash against the side wall but failed to flip the house robot over. Griffon prised Daisy Chopper's tyre away from the wheel, severely cutting its manoeuvrability. Griffon then pushed Daisy Chopper into Dead Metal, the latter retaliating by hitting Griffon with its blade. Daisy Chopper again escaped the house robots, so Dead Metal attacked Griffon instead. Dead Metal sliced into Griffon's lifting arm until time ran out. The judges decided that Griffon would go through, but the Daisy Chopper team argued against this and the judges had a rethink, but still put Griffon through (albeit on a 2 to 1 split decision this time). In the second round of the heat, Griffon was drawn up against another newcomer: the Cyprian machine Cerberus. Unfortunately, Griffon broke down straight away in this battle, and never moved off the mark, allowing Cerberus to easily push Griffon into the Pit of Oblivion in just ten seconds, eliminating Griffon from the competition. This was Griffon's final appearance in Robot Wars as Oliver Steeples retired from heavyweight combat shortly after this.
|GRIFFON - RESULTS|
|The Second Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat C, Gauntlet||3.4m (6th)||Eliminated|
|Internet Insurrection||vs. Bodyhammer, Killerhurtz, Corporal Punishment||Won|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat N, Round 1||vs. Daisy Chopper||Won|
|Heat N, Round 2||vs. Cerberus||Lost|
|NOTE: This battle broke the Shortest Battle Record at 10 seconds.|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 2
- Series 1: Entered with Cunning Plan
- Series 2: Heat, Gauntlet
- Series 3: Heat, Round 2
- Series 4: Failed to qualify
- Series 5-7: Did not enter
- Griffon was the only substitute robot used in Robot Wars that came from a team that had already competed on the show before.
- Griffon was the first robot to successfully flip a house robot that wasn't Matilda (Sergeant Bash).
- Griffon was the only Grand Finalist to (originally) fail to qualify for the main competition of the following series.
- Griffon's encounter with Cerberus proved to be the shortest battle in UK Robot Wars at 10 seconds. This record wasn't broken until the Seventh Wars, but it still stands as the quickest battle not involving a robot flipped Out of the Arena.
- Due to originally being a reserve, Griffon became the only ever robot to not be seeded, despite reaching the Grand Final in the previous series (excluding those from Series 2, as there were no seeds in Series 3).