Ironside3 (spelt on the TV show as Ironside 3, or Ironside-3 on the website) is a heavyweight robot from Team Outlaw which competed in Series 8 and Series 9 of Robot Wars. In its first appearance it reached the Head to Head stage in its qualifying episode, but was unable to progress after failing to score enough points to secure a place in the Heat Final. However, its return in Series 9 saw Ironside3 reach the Grand Final after beating Pulsar in the Heat Final.
Although Ironside3 is the third member of the Ironside series of robots, it is the first heavyweight. The original Ironside was an octagonal, two-wheeled featherweight, while Ironside 2, also a featherweight, was originally armed with a spinning disc, allowing the robot to be invertible, before the weaponry was adapted to become a spinning bar, like the weapon of Ironside3. The robot was built within a month.
Ironside3 is similar in design to 6 Million Dollar Mouse, armed with a one metre 35kg spinning bar, which spins at 1500rpm for devastating damage. Besides its spinning bar, Ironside3 is also armed with a srimech bar, lifting the robot sideways, similar to the srimech of Hypno-Disc and 13 Black, although with a more triangular shape. However, the srimech is extremely slow, and failed to right the robot in its only opportunity.
The robot is made from 5mm HARDOX steel, and is unpainted, keeping the traditional 'HARDOX brown', with the robot's name painted on top. Ironside3 entered its first battle completely untested.
- "Nothing can damage us, we're worried about the mechanism falling apart when we hit something!"
- — Trevor Wright
Ironside3 returned for Series 9 with a new motor which allows the weapon to spin up much faster. Two blades can now be used interchangeably, including a flat blade, and a 'cutting-edge' blade.
The self righting mechanism is powered by a 900 motor, coupled to a banebots gearbox and a brass worm gear. It is four times faster than the Series 8 model and capable of fully self righting in five seconds, producing much more torque in the process. Ironside3 features a vertical beam on its right-hand side so it always lands in an optimal position to self-right. The new colours used on the spinning bar are an homage to the RAF, and spikes were added to the front of the robot.
By the end of Series 9, Ironside3 had acquired a famous rivalry with fellow spinner Pulsar. Across two series of Robot Wars, the two robots fought an unprecedented five times, making them (along with Razer v Tornado and Panic Attack v Firestorm) one of the most substantive rivalries in Robot Wars in a short span of time. Similar to other famous rivalries like 101 and King Buxton, the rivalry was manufactured by the producers and the roboteers got along very well behind the scenes.
- "We get on with Ellis and his family so to say there is bad feeling between us is not true."
- — Trevor Wright
The rivalry was initiated during the Series 8 Group Battles, where Ironside3 immobilised Pulsar in a single hit. The rivalry first caught the attention of fans when the (newly reinstated) Pulsar fought Ironside3 in the Head-to-Head stages. Pulsar’s spinning drum threw Ironside3 over and into Sir Killalot’s CPZ, where the judges failed to end the battle despite Ironside3 being immobilised. Ironside3 proceeded to recover (with assistance from the house robot) and eventually pitted Pulsar. The judges controversially disregarded the entirety of the battle after Ironside3’s recovery, awarding not two but the full three points to Pulsar. Despite a judges’ decision being made, the decision was that the battle should never have proceeded to the judges. This ultimately cost Ironside3 a place in the heat final, as both Gabriel and Pulsar had scored the necessary six points to Ironside3’s five. According to Trevor Wright, an internet reviewer later gave Ironside3 an "unluckiest robot" prize.
Much like several other competitors, Pulsar and Ironside3 were drawn together in the heat stage of Series 9. Both teams felt that the producers had done so deliberately to perpetuate the rivalry. Once again, the battles were marked with controversy. After a Group Battle where both robots qualified, the two fought in their second Head-to-Head encounter. Ironside3 lasted the full time with full mobility, whilst Pulsar lost drive on one side. At this point, the judges started the countdown timer on Pulsar, but when Pulsar was able to attack Ironside3 in its restricted mobility the timer was cancelled as Pulsar used its gyroscopic movements to show mobility. However, the timer was not cancelled in Ironside3’s booth, and the team believed Pulsar was being cancelled out to an Ironside3 knock-out victory. As such, they refrained from landing further attacks to spare themselves and Pulsar further damage. The decision went to the judges and they opted for Pulsar unanimously, but when the mistake was discovered with the Ironside3 timer, the judges deliberated and concluded that it would be unfair to overturn a Pulsar victory but also unfair to punish Ironside3 for doing the right thing, so both teams were awarded two points. The Daily Express even ran an article on the rivalry following the episode, which both teams repudiated as an exaggeration.
Both teams defeated Wyrm and Supernova to reach the Heat Final, where Ironside3 won via knockout. The rivalry currently stands at two victories for Ironside3, one victory for Pulsar, one battle where both progressed, and one battle where no decision was made, having originally awarded the win to Pulsar.
Ironside3 appeared in Episode 5 where it faced Chompalot, Pulsar in its first round melee, as well as the team's third battle with Thermidor 2. Ironside3 was dominant in the battle, getting its spinner up to speed, and immobilising Thermidor 2 in a single blow, quickly avenging the Heat Final loss by Mighty Mouse to the lobster. Ironside3 also struck the back of Pulsar with its bar, also immobilising another robot on one side. Ironside3 turned its efforts to the only fully mobile robot, Chompalot, ripping a panel from the side of it and bending its chassis. The pit release button was pressed by Ironside3, which kept its distance until cease was called. Ironside3 was put through to the next round, alongside Chompalot.
Ironside3 first fought Beast in the head-to-head stage, having tightened the drive belt for its spinning bar to allow for an even faster spin-up. Ironside3 had a relatively easy time in the battle, fleeing from Beast in order to spin up its weapon, before immobilising Beast on one side within three blows. It then landed an accurate blow to Beast's mobile tyre, fully immobilising the machine. Ironside3 landed two more blows, and then celebrated its win by spinning on the spot.
In its next Head-to-Head, Ironside3 fought Gabriel. Team Outlaw talked to Professor Noel Sharkey about how to deal with such an awkward design, which had applied a battleaxe in order to jam the spinning bar of Ironside3.
- "We're not sure what the wheels are made of, in which case, we're not sure whether we'll go straight through it, or if we'll crack it!"
- — Adam Lewis
After gaining full speed on its weapon, Ironside3 launched a series of attacks onto Gabriel, removing tyre tread from its wheels, and throwing it into Sir Killalot. Ironside3's next attack bent the pole on which Gabriel's battleaxe was positioned, and another blow caused recoil damage.
- "That mighty, destructive power of Ironside3's spinning bar doesn't seem to be causing that much trouble, because of the... the wobbliness of Gabriel!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Ironside3 caused more damage to Gabriel's wheels, and threw it over, back into Sir Killalot. Ironside3 launched Gabriel through the air, and onto the flame pit, having broken one of its torque limiters over the course of the battle, meaning Gabriel could not attack in retaliation. After three final blows, cease was called. Ironside3 won the resulting Judges' decision unanimously, but was awarded only 2 points as it had failed to score a knockout.
- "That looked like it went pretty seamlessly for you guys!"
- — Angela Scanlon
Ironside3 went into its match against the reinstated Pulsar with five points, second to Gabriel's 6 points, meaning a victory would be necessary for Ironside3 to progress. The two spinners collided in the centre of the arena, and Ironside3 was thrown over by Pulsar's drum. Ironside3's srimech was extremely slow in activation, and Pulsar damaged the top of Ironside3, and pushed it into Sir Killalot. Ironside3's srimech was fully extended when it was grabbed by Sir Killalot, which ironically dropped Ironside3 back onto its wheels. Ironside3 had lost the removable link that powered its weapon, but still seemingly had the advantage, as Pulsar had stopped moving on one side when both competitors collided. Ironside3 pushed a now completely immobile Pulsar into the pit, but drove itself down in the process.
- "Slowly, slowly, inch by inch, oh they've taken themselves out!"
- — Jonathan Pearce on Ironside3's bad driving
The Judges were called upon to make a decision, and they ruled that because Ironside3 had been immobile for over ten seconds towards the beginning of the fight, the victory would be awarded to Pulsar via knockout. This meant that Ironside3 did not have enough points to progress to the Heat Final.
- "They didn't really give us a fair chance to actually self-right... we happened to land on our wheels, and nobody called cease, so we carried on, but that's the way it goes, I suppose!"
- — Trevor Wright
- "They're back with an upgraded robot and a steely resolve to win."
- — Angela Scanlon introduces Ironside3 before its Group Battle
Ironside3 moved away into space early on to gets its bar up to speed, before landing a blow on Crushtacean which ripped a chunk of its armour away and left it immobilised on the Flame Pit. Ironside3 was then rammed by Pulsar, which followed through with a charge after immobilising Apex. With Crushtacean and Apex immobilised, Ironside3 spun around in a victory dance, and its progression through to the Head-to-Heads with Pulsar was soon confirmed, as cease was called on the battle.
- "Hugely impressive, Ironside3 - very, very good."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Ironside3 was safely through, but it had sustained damage from Pulsar during the Group Battle, as its bar spinner was clashing with the robot's surface, which needed to be repaired. Ironside3's first Head-to-Head battle was also against Pulsar - with Trevor Wright wary of his opponent after Ironside3's defeat to Ellis Ware's machine in the last series.
- "I'm not quite sure how we're going to approach this one. Probably very slowly, very gingerly, very measured."
- — Trevor Wright before Ironside3's first Head-to-Head battle against Pulsar
Ironside3 immediately found itself under pressure from Shunt as it moved into the House Robot's CPZ while trying to get its weapon up to speed. Ironside3 continued its shaky start as it missed Pulsar's side with a drive and followed through onto the Floor Flipper, where it was thrown up into the air. Ironside3 landed back on its wheels but was quickly under pressure again as Pulsar came in with a ram that slammed Ironside3 into the Arena Tyre and descended the Pit. Ironside3 was then thrown into Sir Killalot's CPZ after a head to head blow, and Pulsar - with its drum deliberately stopped to prevent overheating - halted Ironside3's bar with another drive.
- "Good tussle, this. Very good tussle."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Ironside3 continued to retreat from the aggressive Pulsar and was thrown by the Floor Flipper for a second time, and Ironside3's weapon then came to a stop. Pulsar moved perilously close to the Pit as the battle developed into a pushing match, before Pulsar lost drive on one side. Pulsar was forced to self-right after being dropped onto its back by Sir Killalot, while Ironside3's bar had started to spin again, and it used its weapon to strike Pulsar. Ironside3 started to spin around in victory as Pulsar spun up its weapon again in order to use the gyroscopic effect to help give Pulsar better mobility. Louise Hemstock then noticed that the countdown timer had started in their booth, and instructed Adam Lewis to display Ironside3's mobility while Pulsar was being counted out.
- "Now, there seems to be confusion here. Ironside3 think Pulsar's has been counted out but Pulsar is still mobile. Cease has not been called - the fight is still on."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Unbeknown to Team Outlaw, the judges had cancelled their timer after Pulsar displayed enough activity to count it as mobile, but the abandonment of the countdown was not translated to the Ironside3 booth, which lead them to believe that Pulsar was counted out. Because of this Ironside3 did not attack Pulsar in the remaining time in the battle, and the battle went to a Judges' decision.
- "Passions will rise high either side for this Judges' decision - I would not like to be in their shoes."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Not shown on television, the judges unanimously decided that Pulsar had won the battle, earning it two points. However, at this point Team Outlaw revealed the technical fault of their countdown timer, and the judges decided to reach a compromise which saw both robots awarded two points each, with no official victor, a compromise which Team Outlaw were satisfied with.
- "I pressed the button and it cancelled on our screen - the countdown. But I've been up there and you got countdown continued. So, it wasn't fair, so what we're going to do is we're going to award both teams two points."
- — Noel Sharkey explains the judges' ruling to Trevor Wright and Adam Lewis
Ironside3 started the battle by moving away from Wyrm before its weapon was up to speed. Ironside3 then moved towards its opponent and connected with a blow which ripped Wyrm's front wedge off. A side attack on Wyrm while it was in Shunt's CPZ left one of Wyrm's side panels and a wheel hanging off before the next attack from Ironside3 knocked it off completely.
- "That's a wheel off, but he's still going!"
- — Louise Hemstock
Now on three wheels, Wyrm continued to limp around, with one more hit rendering Wyrm immobile. Ironside3 then darted over the Pit, where it got itself stuck for a short period, before it got itself free and then knocked off another wheel from Wyrm. With Wyrm immobilised, cease was called, and Ironside3 picked up 3 points.
- Dara Ó Briain: "You went back a couple of time too often I feel. There was at least one little nibble you took, just, I think, therapeutically for yourself."
- Adam Lewis: "He's got the other side - it's okay! So hopefully just working on one side isn't too bad!"
- — The interview after Ironside3's successful knockout of Wyrm
In its final Head-to-Head battle, Ironside3 faced Supernova - a robot which it needed to beat to ensure its place in the Heat Final.
- Dara Ó Briain: "Are you confident? Because you seem slightly nervous at the moment."
- Louise Hemstock: "We're alright - we're just thinking everything through, and we'll have a look when we move up to the arrows, see how everybody is looking and go from there."
- — Team Outlaw keep their cards close to their chest before the crucial Head-to-Head battle between Ironside3 and Supernova
Ironside3 quickly got its spinning bar up to speed and connected with a damaging first blow to Supernova, which left it with limited mobility. With Supernova unable to defend itself, Ironside3 targeted its wheels, and a barrage of attacks left Supernova immobilised on the edge of Shunt's CPZ. Supernova was then counted out and cease was called, confirming Ironside3's victory and securing its place in the Heat Final against Pulsar.
- "We've had some brutal fights and she's showing it! The belt's actually turned around. The pully's that damaged we can't repair it here - we need a lathe. So we just have to go in and fight the good fight."
- — Adam Lewis before the Heat Final
Ironside3 connected with the first blow, although it caused little trouble for Pulsar. Ironside3 moved away and got its bar up to speed again, before striking a hit to the left side of Pulsar.
- "Big hit from Ironside3. That may well have stilled the beating heart within the Pulsar."
- — Jonathan Pearce
This hit left Pulsar unable to move, and it was counted out after a final barrage of blows from Ironside3. This meant that Ironside3 had won the Heat Final, and progressed to the Grand Final as the winner of Episode 4.
- "I genuinely think we're probably the only two left standing out of all of it, and I'm just so happy to be at the top."
- — Adam Lewis to Angela Scanlon after Ironside3's victorious Heat Final battle
|IRONSIDE3 - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
Round 2, Third Place
|Episode 5, Group Battle||vs. Chompalot, Pulsar, Thermidor 2||Qualified|
|Episode 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Beast||Won via KO (3 points)|
|Episode 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Gabriel||Won via Judges' decision (2 points)|
|Episode 5, Head-to-Heads||vs. Pulsar||Lost (0 points)|
|Series 9 - UK Championship|
|Episode 4, Group Battle||vs. Apex, Crushtacean, Pulsar||Qualified|
|Episode 4, Head-to-Head||vs. Pulsar||No winner declared (2 points)|
|Episode 4, Head-to-Head||vs. Wyrm||Won by KO (3 points)|
|Episode 4, Head-to-Head||vs. Supernova||Won by KO (3 points)|
|Episode 4, Heat Final||vs. Pulsar||Won|
- Wins: 7
- Losses: 1
- Draws: 1
|Main Series||Ironside3 Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Robotic Soccer with Velocirippa|
|The Fourth Wars||Entered with Velocirippa|
|The Fifth Wars||Entered with Velocirippa|
|The Sixth Wars|| Entered with Mighty Mouse|
|The Seventh Wars|| Entered with Mighty Mouse|
Entered with Velocirippa
|Series 8||Heat Round 2, Third Place|
|Series 9|| Grand Final|
Entered with Meggamouse
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Entered with Velocirippa|
|Series 2||Entered with Mighty Mouse and Velocirippa|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Although Ironside3 has yet to compete outside of Robot Wars, only appearing as a static display at Robots Live! events, the featherweight Ironside fought exclusively at live events. Ironside 2, having competed in featherweight competitions across the country, competed in the UK Featherweight Championship in 2014, where its spinning disc was swapped for a spinning bar. Team Outlaw most commonly participate in live heavyweight combat with Meggamouse.
- Ironside3's weapon was the heaviest in Series 8, and the joint-heaviest in Series 9 alongside M.R. Speed Squared.
- Ironside3 became the first robot from a team that competed in the original series to reach the grand final of the revived series after winning a heat.
- The Ironside3-Pulsar rivalry became one of only three rivalries (after Team Scutterbots/Team Knightmare and Team 101/King Buxton) where both teams reached a semi-final by defeating the other.
- ↑ Private correspondence with Team Outlaw Facebook page
- ↑ Private correspondence with Team Outlaw Facebook page
- ↑ http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/784165/Robot-Wars-backlash-judges-error-outrage-Pulsar-Ironside-3-Dara-O-Briain-BBC
- Team Outlaw - Ironside3 Facebook page
- Ironside3 (Series 8) on the Robot Wars website
- Ironside3 (Series 9) on the Robot Wars website
- Team Mouse Facebook page