- "Big, bad, and ready to sting!"
- — Robot Wars: The Official Handbook
Jellyfish was a robot which competed in Series 9 of Robot Wars, built by Dave Lawrie who competed in the previous series as part of Team Nuts. After initially falling in the first round, it was reinstated following the withdrawal of Rapid, and collected a victory over Sabretooth, despite not qualifying for the Heat Final. An improved version of the robot, Jellyfish and Ice Cream, applied for Series 10, but was not selected to compete.
Jellyfish was armoured in HDPE plastic, and sports a comical design, featuring googly eyes and colourful spots. The design is loosely based on a jellyfish, hence the name. Its weapon was a horizontal clamp, partially inspired by that of BattleBots middleweight Huggy Bear, also adhering to the restrictions of the team's available parts, which included a power source of sealed lead acid batteries. Jellyfish runs on a two-wheel drive system, but has a high ground clearance at the rear. Depending on its setup, Jellyfish weighs between 85-95kg.
Before building Jellyfish, Dave Lawrie, as shared on his team's Facebook page, prepared a checklist of requirements for his robot, with the goal of making it simple, inexpensive, and good for TV. Jellyfish met these requirements, having been constructed using readily available parts.
Jellyfish and Ice Cream was not selected for Series 10.
- "A group of jellyfish is called a smack. We're coming to Robot Wars to lay the smack down!"
- — Dave Lawrie
Jellyfish competed in Heat 1, fighting Nuts 2, Rapid and Terrorhurtz in its Group Battle. However, despite encountering no issues in testing prior to the battle, Dave Lawrie quickly noticed that Jellyfish was suffering from radio interference issues in the arena, and proved challenging to drive.
- "Upon "activate!", Jelly barely responded to my transmitter. Sometimes he drove without input, sometimes he caught my signal, sometimes he stopped completely. Add in the 3 other machines trying to write us off and it simply became a battle of survival."
- — Dave Lawrie explains Jellyfish's control problems on Den of Geek
When the battle began, it was immediately scooped under and thrown against the wall by Rapid, before being collected by Terrorhurtz. Jellyfish lingered close to the wall as Rapid pushed it over the Flame Pit, with Terrorhurtz getting underneath and axing it close to the Arena Tyre.
- "Come on, Jelly!"
- — Gemma Lawrie as Jellyfish is attacked by Terrorhurtz
Again, Rapid got underneath and pushed Jellyfish around the arena and into Terrorhurtz, before flipping it again. Jellyfish withstood an axe blow from Terrorhurtz as it escaped the empty CPZ, before attacking two of Nuts 2's minibots. It was then pushed into another CPZ and flipped over by Rapid once again, where it lost an eye and was left unable to drive inverted. After some time, Jellyfish was counted out, and initially eliminated alongside Nuts 2.
- "I have no problems losing fights or being knocked out by superior machines but I'd rather go home in many pieces than get picked off because I couldn't drive properly. Such is life, I guess. No excuses, the best machines progressed."
- — Dave Lawrie
However, following Rapid's withdrawal due to damage sustained in its battle against Aftershock, Jellyfish was reinstated to take its place in the Head-to-Head stage, as a result of it outperforming Nuts 2 in the aforementioned Group Battle. With Rory Mangles and Alex Shakespeare from Team Nuts joining the team in the pits and control room, and two protective plates attached to its top panel, Jellyfish faced Terrorhurtz again for its first Head-to-Head battle. In the opening seconds, it embraced Terrorhurtz as the latter rammed and axed it, losing its eyes and protective plates in the process, before being steered round and slammed into the wall.
- Nick Lynch: "Oh no, he's not dead already, is he?"
- John Reid: "One more hit."
- — Team Hurtz notice Jellyfish’s immobility
These attacks immobilised Jellyfish almost immediately, which was counted out as Terrorhurtz axed it one more time. Jellyfish scored no points as a result of this defeat, and sustained damage to its speed controller as well as having the magnets in one drive motor shattered by the force of Terrorhurtz's axe.
- "I can’t even find where the axe actually hit it. So, we'll have to do a diagnostic."
- — Dave Lawrie assesses the damage done to Jellyfish
Jellyfish, assisted by Team Nuts, needed to find the damage caused by Terrorhurtz, which was not immediately obvious. Once this repair was made by installing a spare speed controller offered by Team RPD, Jellyfish was ready to battle Sabretooth in its second - and last - Head-to-Head.
- "What it transpired had actually happened was Terrorhurtz hit us so hard that one of the chips popped off on the speed controller circuit board. That speed controller in turn was also providing power to the receiver, so John just hit a sweet spot! The removable link didn't even come out! Fascinating."
- — Dave Lawrie
Jellyfish required a knock-out victory in order to equalise Sabretooth and Terrorhurtz on points, and have a chance of securing a place in the Heat Final.
At the start, Jellyfish grabbed Sabretooth and pushed it around the arena, using its clamp to prevent Sabretooth from driving away effectively before Sabretooth hit its side with its drum.
- "And we know that Jellyfish would love to give it [Sabretooth] a big hug. Is there going to be a Jellyfish sting in the tail of Robot Wars?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Jellyfish assails Sabretooth
Jellyfish momentarily launched Sabretooth off its wheels as the latter drove up one of its sides, before steering it towards Sir Killalot's CPZ. Sabretooth escaped by driving over Jellyfish's top, with Jellyfish again pursuing Sabretooth as it got caught on the pit panel. After a brief hesitation, Jellyfish clamped Sabretooth again, spinning it around in circles and steering it close to the Flame Pit.
- "That's it! Jelly's having his cuddle!"
- — Gemma Lawrie as Jellyfish grabs Sabretooth again
Again, Sabretooth escaped by using its drum to launch itself on top of Jellyfish, but got stuck on one of its rear poles as Jellyfish pushed it back onto the pit panel. Both robots became stuck on the pit as a result, with Sir Killalot coming out of his CPZ to separate them as they struggled to drive free. Eventually, both Jellyfish and Sabretooth got stuck together again and moved no further as 'cease' was called, and the battle went to a Judges' decision. The Judges voted 2 to 1 in favour of Jellyfish, awarding it two points and fourth place on the Head-to-Head leaderboard. As a result, Jellyfish did not score enough points to progress to the Heat Final, and was therefore eliminated from Series 9.
- "I won a fight on Robot Wars. I am super proud of this fact and seeing my 2 points up on that board was life-affirming but it is certainly not something to gloat about. I managed to beat Sabretooth after the Aftershock damage had already taken it's toll. I was lucky and I'm sure the fight would have been a whole heap of different had both robots been at their finest, but particularly theirs."
- — Dave Lawrie
|JELLYFISH - RESULTS|
|Series 9 - UK Championship|
Round 2, Fourth Place
|Heat 1, Group Battle||vs. Nuts 2, Rapid, Terrorhurtz||Eliminated|
|NOTE: Following its first Head-to-Head battle, Rapid withdrew due to damage, and Jellyfish was reinstated.|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Terrorhurtz||Lost (0 points)|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Sabretooth||Won via Judges' decision (2 points)|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 2
|Series||Jellyfish Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Entered with Nuts|
|Series 9||Heat Round 2, Fourth Place|
|Series 10||Not selected|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Following Jellyfish and Ice Cream's unsuccessful application for Series 10, Dave Lawrie sold its components and decided to retire his former team, Die Gracefully Robotics, from robot combat. He has since formed a new team with Sam Elliot and Craig Croucher, who co-built Two-Headed Death Flamingo, a two-wheeled robot built on a budget of £1000. Armed with twin pecking 'heads' and side 'wings', Two-Headed Death Flamingo made its live events debut in October 2017, when it attended the Extreme Robots event in Gloucester with considerable success.
- The mascot on the team's shirts is a cartoon jellyfish called Bloop. Indeed, during promotional material on Dave Lawrie's Twitter he continually used #OneMachineGoesBloop to emphasise the mascot.
- Prior to Robot Wars, both Dave and Gemma had competed on the BBC gameshow Total Wipeout, where they first met.
- Jellyfish is the second robot in the main competition to place 4th in the Head-to-Heads while still having won a battle; the first being PP3D in Series 8. However, it was the only robot to do so upon being reinstated.
- This also made Jellyfish the only robot within Series 9 to place fourth in the second round despite winning a battle.
- Dave Lawrie's brother Tim appeared as part of Team Die Gracefully Robotics in only the team's introductory VT, unable to attend filming.
- Although Jellyfish and Ice Cream did not qualify for Series 10, footage from its application video was used in a trailer for the series.
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/diegracefullyrobotics/posts/1761007527547265
- ↑ http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/robot-wars/50629/robot-wars-what-its-like-to-be-a-roboteer-on-the-show
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/FlamingoRobot/posts/1593931024002934
- Die Gracefully Robotics Facebook page (defunct)
- Jellyfish on the Robot Wars website
- Two-Headed Death Flamingo Facebook page