Ka-Pow! was a heavyweight robot which competed in the pilot episode for Robot Wars: Series 8. In the pilot, it reached the Heat Final stage, where it lost to Turbulence. The robot was a joint effort between John Wilkinson of Team Toaster and Alan Wood of Team Onslaught.
Ka-Pow! was a classic wedge-shaped heavyweight robot, armed with a flipper. It was constructed using some components from Team Toaster's Techno Games entry, The Savage Toaster. In practice the only significant parts that were reused were the Toaster's Bosche GPA750 drive motors. Ka-Pow! was designed to be cheap and easy to repair after battles, so the armour and chassis were originally built mostly out of mild steel, with a plywood baseplate. It was built at a price of £1,500.
The version of Ka-Pow! that attempted to enter Robot Wars was an upgraded version of the original robot, leading it to be colloquially known as Ka-Pow! 1.5 on the team's website. Improvements included redesigned RAEX 400 armour. Ka-Pow! was armed with a medium-pressure flipper, which was usually operated at 20bar, although it could be run at up to 30bar.
Although Ka-Pow! was not selected for the main series of Robot Wars in Series 8, the team was invited to attend filming of the pilot episode on March 1st, giving it the opportunity to compete in front of a live audience as part of a camera test.
In its first battle, Ka-Pow! qualified through a four-way match against Tanto, Basher, and Turbulence. Ka-Pow! was responsible for the defeat of Tanto, after Tanto drove over the top of Ka-Pow!, performed a backflip, and the landing removed the safety link of Tanto. When pitting this immobile machine, Basher overbalanced and also pitted itself, allowing Turbulence and Ka-Pow! to go through.
Due to time constraints, Ka-Pow! was put through to the "Heat Final", where it fought Turbulence again. Ka-Pow! fought valiantly, but was eventually pitted, making Turbulence the winner of the episode.
|KA-POW! - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - Pilot Episode|
|Pilot Episode, Group Battle||vs. Tanto, Basher, Turbulence||Qualified|
|Pilot Episode, Head-to-Head||vs. Merlin||Lost|
|Pilot Episode, Heat Final||vs. Turbulence||Lost|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
The original basis for Ka-Pow!, Savage Toaster competed in several events of Techno Games 2002 and Techno Games 2003. Savage Toaster teamed up with A.A.T. for the Football in 2002, and they beat Celestrial Terror and Smash and Grab in the first round, but lost to Team Snow Cat in the second round. In 2003, Savage Toaster entered the same event with Ickle Toaster, forming Team Toast. However, Ickle Toaster withdrew after the speed of its ram sent a bowling ball towards the audience, causing Savage Toaster's efforts to go untelevised. Team Onslaught also competed in other events with Wipeout, a modified version of Onslaught.
Ka-Pow! also has competed in the unofficial Heavyweight UK Championships that followed the cancellation of Robot Wars hosted by event organisers such as Roaming Robots. At the 2006 UK Championship, Ka-Pow! was defeated by US competitor Sewer Snake, and although it flipped Beast out of the arena and pitted Kan-Opener, it was still eliminated in the group stage.
At the 2007 UK Championships, Ka-Pow! reached the quarter-finals, losing to Dantomkia. The robot's most recently-known UK Championship performance was at the 2016 championship, held as part of the Robots Live! event in Stevenage. In the main tournament at that event, Ka-Pow! was beaten in the first round by Meggamouse, but won a losers' melee against Behemoth (with some attendant controversy over whether Behemoth had been immobilised for over 10 seconds during the fight), Apocalypse and Weird mAlice to go through to Round 2. In the second round, Ka-Pow! was beaten by Toxic 2 and Mantis, putting it out of the main competition. It later fought Bigger Brother, Photon Storm and Apocalypse in a whiteboard battle, which it won.
Ka-Pow! continues to appear at various live events to this day. The robot's most recent appearance came at the 2017 Robots Live! Stevenage event, where it finished sixth in the main FRA UK Championship, as well as fighting in numerous whiteboard battles and the Tag Team competition. Partnered with Weird mAlice, the pair lost their first round to Apollo and Turbulence after getting flipped numerous times and being left unable to self right - Ka-Pow! was eventually pitted by both of its opponents.
The team also compete in live events with two featherweights called Ka-Putt!, which has a flipper, and Throk, which is a rambot.
Robot Wars Live EventsEdit
As Ka-Pow! was upgraded in 2013, it was able to compete in the new live Robot Wars events, which it has done with limited success. Its debut event was during the Robot Wars Winter Tour 2013 where it fought in the Secondary Heat A fight at Doncaster where it lost after being flipped out by Manta.
Ka-Pow! took part in the Robot Wars World Championship in 2015, held in Colchester. In the first round, it met Beast and Brutus. Ka-Pow! flipped each robot, and was flipped in return by Beast, and pushed by Brutus. All three robots were left standing at the end of the battle, where Ka-Pow! lost the resulting Judges' decision. Ka-Pow! entered the Annihilator at the same event, where it found much more success, making it to the fourth round, where it fought Beast 2 and Toon Raider. However, Ka-Pow! broke down after a single flip from Beast 2, meaning Ka-Pow! finished third overall.
Ka-Pow! competed at the final Robot Wars live event in Maidstone, in 2016. It fought well, but was defeated by Dystopia.
|Series||Ka-Pow! Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Entered with Onslaught|
|The Third Wars||Entered with Onslaught|
|The Fourth Wars||Withdrew with Onslaught|
|The Fifth Wars||Entered with Onslaught|
|The Sixth Wars||Withdrew from qualifiers with Savage Toaster|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Pilot, Heat Final|
|Series 9||Not selected|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
- The robot was originally conceived when John Wilkinson was asked by Team Onslaught about the idea of upgrading Savage Toaster to make it competitively viable. Wilkinson also came up with the name.