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Griffon

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Griffon was a robot that competed in Series 2 and 3 of Robot Wars. It did not enjoy great success in the main series, being eliminated at the Gauntlet stage in Series 2 and in the second round in Series 3 after being pushed into the pit by Cerberus in the space of ten seconds. However, it won the Internet Insurrection grudge match in Series 2 after turning Sergeant Bash over with its lifting arm.

Griffon's team captain and driver, Oliver Steeples, previously entered Series 1 with the featherweight 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.[1]

Oliver Steeples returned with Griffon for Series 4, but failed to qualify for the main competition. After this, he retired from Robot Wars as 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 from Griffon, such as the four-bar lifter weapon. Steeples still owns the internals of Griffon, as well as its lifting arm, although the robot itself has now been disassembled.

DesignEdit

Griffon

Series 2 appearance

"Griffon looks like a moving video cassette recorder. Look for the fast-forward button- at 19mph, no one can match that thrust! Its lifting arm is powered by linear actuators- to you and me and you Craig, that means electronic pistons!"
Jonathan Pearce

Griffon was a low box-shaped robot made out of polycarbonate and armed with a four-bar lifting arm powered by linear actuators. The robot's dimensions, shape and weapon gave it a great resemblance to highly successful American robot and multiple BattleBots heavyweight champion BioHazard, while Griffon also boasted a top speed of 19mph and a tough construction.

During Series 2, Griffon suffered from interference and poor steering and traction along the arena's wooden floor panels, caused by too much friction being placed against the wheels. Oliver Steeples solved both problems by replacing Griffon's electronic speed controllers with mechanical ones to resolve the interference problems, and adding screws to Griffon's wheels to improve its traction and steering.

The original Series 2 Griffon cost around £1200, and was upgraded for Series 3 with two extra central wheels for improved manoeuvrability, a different gear ratio and upgrades to its lifting arm which enabled it to lift 300kg. The robot had also demolished a garden wall in testing.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 2Edit

"He said he enjoyed watching Oliver make an idiot of himself in the first wars"
— Jonathan Pearce on Ben Steeples
Griffon gauntlet

Griffon in the Gauntlet

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 3.4 metres, finishing sixth overall on the leaderboard, therefore being surprisingly eliminated from the competition.

Internet insurrection

Griffon flips over Sergeant Bash

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"

Series 3Edit

"We entered last year, didn't do too well...at all."
— Oliver Steeples on Griffon's Series 2 performance
RW3GriffonLiftDaisyChopper

Griffon lifts Daisy Chopper

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.
GriffonTiltBash

Griffon tries to turn Bash over again

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).
Griffon pitted quickly

Griffon is pitted within 10 seconds

In the second round of the heat, Griffon was drawn up against Cerberus. However, Griffon barely 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 battle would stand as the quickest battle for many years. This was Griffon's final appearance in Robot Wars as Oliver Steeples retired from heavyweight combat shortly after this.

ResultsEdit

GRIFFON - RESULTS
Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Gauntlet
Heat C, Gauntlet 3.4m (6th) Eliminated
Grudge Matches
Internet Insurrection
Internet Insurrection vs. Bodyhammer, Killerhurtz, Corporal Punishment Won
Series 3
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/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 1

NOTE: Griffon's loss in the Gauntlet is not included

Series RecordEdit

Series Griffon Record
The First Wars Entered with Cunning Plan
The Second Wars Heat, Gauntlet
The Third Wars Heat, Round 2
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify
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

TriviaEdit

  • Griffon was the only substitute robot used in Robot Wars that came from a team that had competed in a previous series of the show.
  • Due to originally being a reserve for Series 2, Griffon became the only robot not to be seeded after reaching the Grand Final in the previous series, excluding the Grand Finalists from Series 2 and Series 7 as the seeding system was absent from Series 3 and Series 8-9 respectively.
  • Griffon was the first robot to successfully flip Sergeant Bash over, and the first to flip another House Robot other than Matilda.
  • Griffon was the only Grand Finalist from the previous series to originally not be selected for the main competition of the following series until TR2 had the same misfortune in Series 9.
  • For some time, Griffon's Series 3 battle with Cerberus held the record for the shortest battle in UK Robot Wars, at only ten seconds. This record was not broken until the Seventh Wars, but still stands as the quickest battle not to involve a robot being flipped out of the arena.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Oliver Steeples' official website

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