Kill-E-Crank-E was a robot from the far north of Scotland that fought in Series 8 of Robot Wars. It was eliminated in its Group Battle after driving into the pit in the grasp of Razer: both fell in after Kill-E-Crank-E reversed its driving wheel, spinning both robots around at the corner of the pit.
Kill-E-Crank-E was built by Robin Herrick, creator of original series Grand Finalists Bodyhammer and Pussycat. The robot's team consists of Herrick as captain and builder, his son Matthew Herrick, Matthew's friend Isaac Potts, and Nick Wells. Kill-E-Crank-E was succeeded by Crank-E, which competed in Series 9.
The name Kill-E-Crank-E is derived from the robot's distinctive 'crank' shape, as well as The Battle of Killiecrankie, which was fought between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James II and VII and troops supporting King William of Orange on 27 July 1689, during the first Jacobite uprising.
Kill-E-Crank-E bears a similar design to Series 5-6 Semi-Finalist S3, being a wide, tubular, grey robot with exposed rubber-tyred wheels at each side, and a 450rpm spinning disc at the front with three cobalt-edged teeth. Unlike S3, Kill-E-Crank-E features a concave section which extends out of the robot's front, creating a 'crank' shape. The robot was originally intended to be V-shaped, but had to adopt the 'crank' shape over the build process to accommodate its internal components. When Kill-E-Crank-E drives towards its opponent, the team can brake quickly, and the robot's momentum flips itself over, bringing the spinner down forcefully in an arc onto their opponent. The robot is constructed from an 8-inch pipe of 304-Grade stainless steel, provided by a local engineering company. The body is divided into two equal arms with an interchangeable weapon section in the middle, the three parts being bolted together at flanges.
The current alternative weapon for Kill-E-Crank-E is a heavy mild steel forked spike, which can replace the spinning disc mid-section. Although this was not used on the televised series, Kill-E-Crank-E is equipped with this weapon at live events, to cooperate with the rule concerning spinning weaponry. The spike weapon was drawn out in chalk on a sheet of 10mm thick plate a few days before filming to give the team another weapon option in case the spinner broke or an alternative weapon was preferred. The weapon was flame cut and welded just in time. Coating the rotating blade teeth with cobalt-chromium alloy Stellite was the idea of Nick Wells' dad, a metalurgist. The disc was able to spin in both directions with full speed control, so the teeth were sharp on both sides.
Kill-E-Crank-E's tyres were made battle-ready using Twaron material from the original Bodyhammer project.
Kill-E-Crank-E competed in the first episode of the series against veterans Razer and Terrorhurtz along with newcomer Nuts. Razer targeted Kill-E-Crank-E from the outset. However, Kill-E-Crank-E's low and wide shape proved awkward for Razer, whose beak best worked on chunky robots of medium height. With Razer's claw stuck on one of Nuts' minibots, Kill-E-Crank-E took the chance to push back, though did not get its disc into play. Razer bit down into the weapon opening of Kill-E-Crank-E but did no damage. Razer was able to control Kill-E-Crank-E throughout most of the battle by fitting the entire body pipe within its weapon's arc.
- "I had no doubt that Kill-E-Crank-E had not done enough to go through to the next round on a judges decision, so I activated the pit release in the hopes that we could still win outright."
- — Robin Herrick
Kill-E-Crank-E managed to press the pit release button and the two robots struggled towards the pit, each trying to pit the other. Just as Razer pushed Kill-E-Crank-E towards the pit, the latter robot reversed on one wheel and spun both robots around. The result of this was that both robots fell into the pit, eliminating both from the competition.
- "Razer clearly had it in for us so I thought let's go for a mutual death pact and take them down with us!"
- — Robin Herrick
|KILL-E-CRANK-E - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
|Episode 1, Group Battle||vs. Nuts, Razer, Terrorhurtz||Eliminated|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 1
|The First Wars||Entered with Bodyhammer|
|The Second Wars||Entered with Bodyhammer|
|The Third Wars||Entered with Pussycat|
|The Fourth Wars||Entered with Pussycat|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Heat, Round 1|
|Series 9||Entered with Crank-E|
NOTE: This refers to the performance record of Robin Herrick alone
Robot Wars Live EventsEdit
Kill-E-Crank-E travelled all the way from Scotland to appear at the first Robot Wars live event of 2016 in Manchester, using the spike in place of its spinning disc. Kill-E-Crank-E made a humorous debut, as the robot was so wide, it could not drive through the doorway, and needed to be lifted into the arena. Kill-E-Crank-E entered a four-way melee against Crushtacean, Meggamouse and Chimera. In the opening moments of the battle, the thin Kill-E-Crank-E was a perfect fit for Crushtacean’s own pincers, and was grabbed and dragged around for a period of the match. When freed by Crushtacean, Kill-E-Crank-E headed straight for the pit, getting caught over the edge. Chimera, in an attempt to finish off Kill-E-Crank-E, drove into the pit itself and freed the stranded machine, but Kill-E-Crank-E broke down shortly afterwards when a cable came loose.
Outside Robot WarsEdit
In-between building Pussycat and Kill-E-Crank-E, Robin Herrick built a variety of robots, including a hydraulic petrol-powered walker with a large hammer. However, none of these robots competed at robotic events due to his relocation to Scotland, and the cancellation of the TV show.
- Article on Robin Herrick's experience with Robot Wars, on his company website rr2h
- Kill-E-Crank-E on the Robot Wars website