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"Look at this object of beauty and destruction. A bird's head, but it's evil."
Philippa Forrester on Killerhurtz's axe in Series 3

Killerhurtz (written as Killer Hurtz in Series 2) was a competitor robot on Robot Wars. A major pioneer of the spiked axe weapon, Killerhurtz fought in the main competitions of Series 2-4, along with a number of side competitions including The First World Championship where it represented the Czech Republic (due to team member Dominic Parkinson being half-Czech).

Despite its powerful weapon, innovative design, and international pedigree on BattleBots, Killerhurtz had a very low success rate in Robot Wars. It lost all of its one-on-one battles in the UK Championship, including a memorable self-pitting in The Third Wars which became a major point of humour for Jonathan Pearce and Julia Reed. It was far more successful in trials, coming a close third in the Pinball Warrior Tournament in Series 4 and performing strongly in the Skittles Trial in Series 2.

Killerhurtz was retired by Team Hurtz following Series 4 and replaced with the considerably more successful Terrorhurtz.

DesignEdit

"KillerHurtz is an unusual robot in nearly all design areas: all-plastic chassis, combined differential and pivot steering, computer controlled ESCs, and a pneumatic actuated overhead axe weapon with a chain drive."
— Aaron Joerger[1]
Killerhurtz 2

Killerhurtz from Series 2, with Matilda's chainsaw chain "trophy"

Killerhurtz2

Killerhurtz without its shell

Killerhurtz's featured an arrowhead-shaped body, upon which a battering ram or plough could be affixed for damage output or control on a high speed charge. It was armoured in polycarbonate with a plastic chassis and featured a powerful axe. Killerhurtz was also unique for using car steering instead of tank steering - meaning that the back wheels were powered, whilst the front wheels simply steered.

The first version of Killerhurtz, debuting in Series 2, weighed 77kg and featured a top speed of 15 miles per hour. It ran on two Bosch motors and the axe (which was a bladed axe with a woodsplitter-style head) weighed seven pounds and was powered by chain drive. The axe could generate 800kg of force upon impact. Killerhurtz was powerful - able to demolish the Skittles Trial and cause Dead Metal damage on impact, but had trouble with recoil and its drive, breaking down in both the Trial and in its arena semi-final with Roadblock.

Killerhurtz FWC

Killerhurtz as it appeared in the First World Championship

Killerhurtz

The team's artwork of Killerhurtz, circa-2000

For Series 3, Killerhurtz received a slight redesign, with the most notable difference being the modifications to the axe. The axe swung from a greater distance in order to help the robot self-right, while the bladed axe head was replaced with a set of interchangeable ones, including a custom titanium spiked head which was used in all of Killerhurtz's appearances during this series. The axe's power was more than sufficient to pierce Cerberus and Chaos 2, but the weapon could not self-right the robot. It gained six kilograms in weight, which actually placed it over the limit. During the First World Championship, Killerhurtz also had the phrase "Maś Čhlupatÿ Pupîćek" written in red along the side - translating to ""you have a hairy tummy button" in Czech.

Killerhurtz's original moped wheels were replaced with go-kart wheels for Series 4 to improve traction, while the spiked axe received more modifications including a head made out of hardened steel for improved strength. It reduced its weight to 80kg and had a 4mm ground clearance.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 2Edit

"This is highly thought of down in the Pits, Craig."
— Jonathan Pearce
Killerhurtzgauntlet

Killerhurtz in the Gauntlet

Killerhurtz made its Robot Wars début in the Second Wars. Killerhurtz used its formidable speed to its advantage, shooting past the Sentinel in the Gauntlet stage of the heat. It rammed into Dead Metal, dislodging a rear panel, and crossed partially into the end zone before being forced back. Caught between Dead Metal and the Sentinel, Killehurtz was eventually forced into the Pit. Craig Charles and Jonathan Pearce thought that Killerhurtz may have reached the end zone, but ultimately the judges decided it had not sufficiently crossed the end. 10.6 metres was enough to surpass R.O.C.S. and secure Killerhurtz's second round place.

"Did they cross the line! Come on judges, I'm sure they were through! Dead Metal pushed them back, and Dead Metal hurt - they're in the pit, look at the damage they caused! But did they do enough? This is controversial!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Killerhurtzbarrel

Killerhurtz during its Skittles run

This put Killerhurtz through to the Trial stage, which for this heat was Skittles. There, Killerhurtz used its speed to smash through 64 barrels before the robot's speed controller malfunctioned and became stuck in reverse. Leaving the triangle zone, Killehurtz crashed into the side wall where the House Robots Killalot, Bash and Dead Metal closed in. Despite the late setback, Killerhurtz had knocked down almost every barrel and progressed to the arena in first place.

"I think they're going to get them all down!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Road Block pushes Killerhurtz

Roadblock gets underneath Killerhurtz

In the Heat Semi-Final, Killerhurtz was placed up against the reigning champions Roadblock. Despite an aggressive first charge, Killehurtz was scooped up by Roadblock and carried to the PPZ where it seemed to break down. The axe fired, but the wheels did not move and eventually Dead Metal pitted Killerhurtz.

Craig Charles: "What went wrong?"
John Reid: "I think I hit him too hard, I broke something."
Craig Charles: "I had you down as one of the favourites, but you got bashed!"
John Reid: "It's broken, it's my own fault - I shouldn't have taken on Roadblock!"
— After the battle

Killerhurtz later fought Griffon, Corporal Punishment and Bodyhammer in the Internet Insurrection, a Grudge Match held at the end of Series 2 to determine which team had the best website. In the battle, most of the aggressive actions from the competitors were being brought out on the house robots, as Griffon quickly flipped over Sergeant Bash. Killerhurtz managed to break Matilda's chainsaw chain with its axe, but Killerhurtz then suddenly stopped moving, and was attacked by Matilda and Shunt before being overturned. With the axe not working, Killerhurtz was left helpless and was the first competitor robot to fall.

Killerhurtz was also nominated for the 'Best Engineered' award in Series 2, but lost out to The Mule.

Series 3Edit

"Heat 14 saw the early demise of the kamikaze Killerhurtz. A veteran of Robot Wars claimed they didn't see the pit. A likely story."
— Jonathan Pearce
Killerhurtz vs cerberus

Killerhurtz spikes Cerberus

Killerhurtz suicide

Killerhurtz's fatal error

In the Third Wars, Killerhurtz fought Cerberus in its first round battle. Killerhurtz started promisingly, puncturing Cerberus' armour (and also smashing a hole in its batteries), and then coming back again to buckle the head of the robot. However, as the two robots parted, Killerhurtz drove away from Cerberus, turned, and drove straight into the open pit.

John Reid: "I cannot believe I did that."
Philippa Forrester: "Well we thought it was quite funny."
— After the pit incident

The reason for doing this was later given as being that the plan was to turn and attack Cerberus again, the team had forgotten that the pit was there, having come back from BattleBots, which did not use a pit in the arena.

KillerhurtzPinball

Killerhurtz in the Series 3 Pinball competition

As well as the main tournament in Series 3, Killerhurtz also entered the Pinball side competition. Killerhurtz had a very slow start, only moving away from the starting area after ten seconds. It ploughed through the barrels, then bumped into Sergeant Bash, bouncing off him and slammed into the multi-ball release. It rammed the arena wall, then backed away, nudged the bricks and slammed the car door open. After moving towards Shunt's target it ran into him, and was then pushed against a side wall. Shunt whacked it with his axe twice, then let it free. Killerhurtz was almost caught by Dead Metal as it reversed, then ran into Shunt again, who pushed it away. Cease was called shortly after, Killerhurtz had only scored 60 points, and finished joint 8th out of 10 overall on the leaderboard.

"Killerhurtz, with Dominic Parkinson on the right and his rather tenuous links with the Czech Republic. In the interests of international relations though, he's flying that flag, with his hairy tummy button."
— Jonathan Pearce
Chaos 2 vs Killerhurtz

Killerhurtz and Shunt cause damage to Chaos 2

Killerhurtz Chaos 2 1

Killerhurtz flails around on its back

Killerhurtz also entered the First World Championship, representing the Czech Republic, as team member Dominic Parkinson was half-Czech. It was drawn against recently crowned UK champions Chaos 2 in the first round. Killerhurtz looked on top when it pinned Chaos 2 with its axe onto the flipper and pushed it into Shunt's CPZ. The house robot then pierced Chaos 2's gas canister. However, Chaos 2's flipper was still working and was able to overturn Killerhurtz, flipping it into Shunt itself. Killerhurtz tried but failed to self-right with its axe and was eliminated from the competition.

"The spike was rather well embedded in Chaos and in the struggle to release it, the axe chain tensioner gave up and the chain slipped, rendering the axe useless. Chaos then managed to flip us and we couldn't self-right without the axe."
— Team Hurtz website

Series 4Edit

"It kills. It hurts. Get used to it."
— Slogan on the team's shirts for Series 4.
Destruct a bubble axed

Killerhurtz axes the top of Destruct-A-Bubble

Killerhurtz was seeded 16th for the Fourth Wars. In its first round battle, it faced Eric and newcomers Destruct-A-Bubble. Twice Eric's speed and three times Destruct-A-Bubble, Killerhurtz was able to outpace both opponents and shunted both opponents into the side wall. It rushed over Eric's wedge and managed to avoid being flipped during an attack. It landed an axe blow on Eric's right side when it trapped Eric against the wall and kept it pinned until being separated by Shunt and Destruct-A-Bubble. Focusing instead on Destruct-A-Bubble, Killerhurtz landed several powerful axe blows on Destruct-A-Bubble. When the match went to the judges, Killerhurtz's aggression and superficial damage on Destruct-A-Bubble was a decisive factor in Destruct-A-Bubble's elimination.

"Quote often they combined in a pincer attack, you could call that a double against the Bubble."
— Jonathan Pearce on Eric and Killerhurtz.
Killerhurtz seized by Killalot

Sir Killalot grabs hold of Killerhurtz

This put it through to the second round of the Heat, where they went up against Team Ivanhoe's new machine Splinter. Splinter drove out of Killerhurtz's way and used its grabbing axes, while Killerhurtz spun around in circles. Killerhurtz escaped, but Splinter caught the seeded robot again, pushing Killerhurtz around the arena. Killerhurtz drove into Shunt's CPZ and escaped, but it got stuck in forward drive and soon got caught on the arena side wall, smoke pouring from its tyres. It started moving again after being picked up and thrown by Sir Killalot, taking a moment to attack Sergeant Bash and Refbot, but Killerhurtz had already been declared technically immobilised, and was eliminated from the competition.

KillerhurtzPinballS4

Killerhurtz during its Pinball Warrior run

Killerhurtz participated in the Pinball Warrior Tournament for this series as well, where it did much better than in Series 3, coming third out of sixteen overall on the leaderboard with an impressive score of 235 points.

NorthernAnnihilatorRound1

Killerhurtz hits Spikasaurus

Killerhurtz also participated in the Northern Annihilator which took place during the Christmas season of the Fourth Wars. Killerhurtz went up against Stinger, Dominator 2, Spikasaurus, the reigning champions Chaos 2 and Suicidal Tendencies. Throughout the entire event, it was continually picked on by all the other robots, in particular Dominator 2. However, the two eventually teamed up to eliminate Chaos 2 in the first round after Chaos 2 was trapped in the CPZ after trying to flip Killerhurtz out of the arena. Killerhurtz self-righted with its axe as Dominator 2 axed Chaos 2. After Killerhurtz found its feet, the two axed down on both the flipper and the electronics of Chaos 2, eventually both Chaos 2's flipper and mobility were ceased, and Killerhurtz qualified for the next round.

In the second round, Killerhurtz immediately rammed into Stinger, throwing it up into the air and seeming to immobilise one of the 30th seed's wheels, Killerhurtz would then be axed and stabbed by Dominator 2 and Spikasaurus for much of the battle before taking on Sergeant Bash. Killerhurtz struggled to survive to the judges' decision that eventually followed, but it went through as Stinger had spent the majority of the battle going round in tight circles.

In the third round, things were much of the same, Dominator 2 and Killerhurtz spent much time chasing and axing each other with Spikasaurus in hot pursuit of them. However, a few bashes and attacks from these three machines were enough for Suicidal Tendencies to become immobilised with relative ease. By the end of the round, Suicidal Tendencies started to emit smoke.

Killerhurtz axed

Dominator 2 axes Killerhurtz, rupturing its CO2 canister

This saw Killerhurtz through to the fourth round, where it finally faced off Dominator 2 and Spikasaurus, where the first few attacks from the former ruptured its CO2 bottle, rendering the axe inoperable, and damaging its drive. Unable to get away fast enough, it was rammed by Spikasaurus, whilst Dominator continued to attack it. When Killerhurtz eventually got away, it drove across the arena and ran into the arena side wall on the other side of the arena, rendering itself immobile, and eliminating it from the competition. This would be Killerhurtz's final appearance in Robot Wars as it was replaced by Terrorhurtz the following Wars.

ResultsEdit

KILLERHURTZ - RESULTS
Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat Semi-Final
Heat G, Gauntlet 10.6m (4th) Qualified
Heat G, Trial (Skittles) 64 Barrels (1st) Qualified
Heat G, Semi-Final vs. Roadblock (1) Lost
Grudge Matches
Internet Insurrection
Internet Insurrection vs. Bodyhammer, Corporal Punishment, Griffon Lost
Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat N, Round 1 vs. Cerberus Lost
Pinball Competition
Equal Eighth Place (with Mortis)
Pinball 60pts 8th
The First World Championship
Representing Czech Republic, Eliminators
Eliminator vs. Chaos 2 (ENG) Lost
Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
16th Seed, Heat Semi-Final
Heat I, Eliminator vs. Destruct-A-Bubble, Eric Qualified
Heat I, Semi-Final vs. Splinter Lost
Pinball Competition
Third
Pinball 235pts 3rd
Northern Annihilator
Third
Round 1 vs. Chaos 2, Dominator 2, Spikasaurus,
Stinger, Suicidal Tendencies 2
Qualified
Round 2 vs. Dominator 2, Spikasaurus,
Stinger, Suicidal Tendencies 2
Qualified
Round 3 vs. Dominator 2, Spikasaurus, Suicidal Tendencies 2 Qualified
Round 4 vs. Dominator 2, Spikasaurus Eliminated

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 4
  • Losses: 6

NOTE: Killerhurtz's Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included

Series RecordEdit

  • Killerhurtz without armour in the pits during Series 2
  • Team Hurtz inspect Killerhurtz in the pits in Series 2
  • Killerhurtz's damage to Cerberus
  • Killerhurtz during construction
Main Series Killerhurtz Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Arena Semi-Final
The Third Wars Heat, Round 1
The Fourth Wars Heat, Round 2
The Fifth Wars Entered with Terrorhurtz
The Sixth Wars Entered with Terrorhurtz
The Seventh Wars Entered with Terrorhurtz
Series 8 Entered with Terrorhurtz
Entered Pilot with Basher
Series 9 Entered with Terrorhurtz
Series 10 Entered with Terrorhurtz
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Did not enter
Series 2 Entered with Terrorhurtz

NOTE: John Reid also competed in Battle of the Stars as the mentor of Dee

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Killerhurtz Long Beach

Killerhurtz as it appeared in BattleBots Long Beach 1999

KHZ2003

Killerhurtz in 2003, on display at a live event in Chatham, Kent

Killerhurtz competed for many years in the American robot combat series BattleBots. It competed in the first six BattleBots contests (Long Beach, Las Vegas and Season 1.0 to 4.0). The robot had a lot of success on the show, finishing second to BioHazard in the first ever BattleBots tournament at Long Beach in 1999, despite having to rely solely on its front ramming spike as its weapon as the pneumatic ram for its axe had been left behind in England. Killerhurtz also picked up the Best Driver award whilst it was on BattleBots and reached the quarter finals on four separate occasions. During Season 4.0, it defeated fellow British robot Little Sister from Team Big Brother, the only time two British robots fought each other on the original BattleBots series. However, it lost its next battle to Surgeon General.

Killerhurtztoday

Killerhurtz as it appeared in Season 4.0 of BattleBots.

John Reid made an axe specially for BattleBots, and buried it in the Las Vegas desert after the competition to avoid the hassle with customs. The axe was buried underneath a stone located at the side of a road. He retrieved and reburied it each subsequent appearance, but did not recover it after burying it following Season 4.0. It was, however, recovered on a later trip.

Khz2016

Killerhurtz in 2016.

Killerhurtz was retired after BattleBots Season 4.0 and was to be replaced by Team Hurtz's new robot Beta for future competitions, which also fought in the Robot Wars pilot for 2016 as Basher.

Killerhurtz was confirmed by Team Hurtz members Grant Cooper and John Reid in an interview on Reddit to be still relatively intact as of 2016, and currently residing in Reid's garage. However, it is presently not in running condition due to its retirement from robot combat, and because of it having a significant portion of its internal parts removed for use in the team's other projects over the years.

TriviaEdit

Charmanderkillerhurtz

The Charmander figure from the First World Championship.

  • Killerhurtz was the first Robot Wars competitor to feature a Japanese anime/video game character as a mascot, with a figure of Charmander from the Pokémon franchise accompanying the robot during its First World Championship appearance. The other robots that followed were Pika, with Pikachu (also from Pokémon) and Destructosaur, with Greymon from the Digimon franchise.
  • Killerhurtz was also notable for being one of only two robots other than the House Robots to feature an onboard camera system to allow for more precise attacks. The other was Facet.
  • Killerhurtz is one of only seven robots to achieve a score higher than 200 points in Pinball. The others are Spawn of Scutter, Panic Attack, Gemini, Roadblock, King B3 and Razer.
  • In anticipation of fighting Razer in the First World Championship, John Reid prepared a wall of polycarbonate panels to affix above Killerhurtz and prevent Razer from being able to crush it. As it did not face Razer, however, this modification was never seen.
    • Despite not being used, Killerhurtz's successor, Terrorhurtz utilised a similar modification in Series 6, as well as featuring taller armour sections from Extreme 2 onwards to prevent attacks from crushers and other overhead weapons.
  • Killerhurtz made a cameo appearance during Heat 3 of Series 10, in a photograph shown during Terrorhurtz's VT.
  • Team Hurtz are the only team to represent the Czech Republic on Robot Wars.
  • Killerhurtz in Series 4 was one of only three robots to be seeded despite having never won a main-series battle. The others were Stinger, also in Series 4, and Storm 2, who qualified for Series 7 as the sixteenth seed after winning the Extreme 2 New Blood Championship.
    • Incidentally, Killerhurtz was the only one of the three not to reach the Grand Final that same series.
  • In 2003, Killerhurtz was inducted into The Combat Robot Hall of Fame as an inaugural member in recognition of its successes in BattleBots, as well as its control systems and axe weapon.[2]
    • With Killerhurtz and Terrorhurtz, Team Hurtz are one of two teams to have built two robots that feature in or have honourable mentions in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame. The other is Team Razer, with Razer and their BattleBots competitor Warhead.

HonoursEdit

Nominations

ReferencesEdit

  1. Ask Aaron website
  2. The Combat Robot Hall of Fame website

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