- "M2 is our own design and build...made at home in the garage using basic skills..."
- — Official M2 website
M2 was a competitor robot which fought exclusively in Series 7 of Robot Wars. Armed with a powerful flipper, it was able to toss two robots out of the arena in quick succession during its very first televised battle, before defeating former UK Series runner-up Pussycat and Extreme 2 University Challenge champion Tiberius 3 to reach the Semi-Finals. There, M2 performed strongly in its first-round fight against Atomic, but was eventually defeated after being thrown out of the arena.
M2 was a blue, half barrel-shaped robot with a front wedge, two-wheel drive and transparent polycarbonate top armour panels, armed with a powerful flipper. Its body was rounded and could allow the robot to roll onto its wheels if flipped - however, it was also capable of righting itself with the flipper if necessary. M2's flipper was capable of firing a flip every two seconds and throwing opponents out of the arena with ease. The robot also featured a small frame at the rear which was intended to prevent it from being stranded on its back, although this had a tendency to interfere with the robot's self-righting capability on occasions. The incarnation of M2 seen in Series 7 was in fact the second version of the machine, with an earlier version having previously attempted to enter Series 5 (see Qualification).
M2 consistently proved to be aggressive, fast and agile, with a top speed of 20mph and the capacity to land numerous flips throughout the whole duration of its battles. However, its armour was particularly fragile against spinning and crushing weapons, and the robot had a high ground clearance from the sides and rear, which made it equally susceptible to getting flipped itself.
The origins of M2's name are presently unclear. Craig Charles implied during Series 7 that it was named after the English motorway, although it is plausible to suggest that it stood for Mincer 2, a reference to Team Technobots' earlier robot, Mincer (see Qualification). While the team's original website stated that M2 was a direct replacement for Mincer, it is unclear whether its name was a sequential follow-up to its predecessor.
Under their original name, Team Tristate, Team Technobots initially attempted to enter Series 4 with Mincer, an invertible, box-shaped robot with four-wheel drive, a fully-welded steel chassis and a 5kg, 3,200rpm 'Reversible Drum Cutter'. Mincer failed to qualify for that series for as-yet unknown reasons.
The first version of M2 attempted to enter Series 5, featuring a shorter and narrower flipper with teeth lined at the bottom, which enabled the flipper to double as a clamping jaw. It also featured a 3,200rpm, 7kg cutting disc on its right-hand side and a pair of side self-righting arms which opened out whenever the flipper was fired. Despite winning its qualifier battle against Roobarb, this incarnation of M2 failed to qualify for Series 5, and Team Tristate/Team Technobots chose not to enter Series 6, a decision which they later viewed as a mistake.
The second version of M2 would then attempt to apply for the New Blood Championship in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme, but the team received no reply from Mentorn, and thus did not participate.
In its qualifier for Series 7, M2 fought King B Powerworks, Pressure and Thunderpants. M2 was briefly lifted by Pressure, but responded by launching it straight onto the top of Thunderpants, which became immobile at that moment. M2 rolled Pressure over, flipped it across the arena, and then overturned the beaten Thunderpants. While King B Powerworks pushed Pressure into the arena wall, M2 snuck up behind it and tossed it into the air, and flipped it a further three times in sequence. M2 used its wedge shape to charge under King B Powerworks, and then flipped Pressure onto Thunderpants, where it became stuck. M2 successfully threw King B Powerworks upwards twice, and although its next two flips missed, it then started a chain of five flips in a row on King B Powerworks. Pressure had finally re-entered the battle, but M2 overturned it, and left it on the arena side wall, immobilising it. King B Powerworks could only drive in circles, so M2 flipped it over twice, and then flipped King B Powerworks onto the arena wall, allowing M2 to safely back away. Although King B Powerworks freed itself, time expired on the battle, and the dominant M2 qualified for the Seventh Wars. King B Powerworks and Thunderpants would also qualify alongside it.
- Jayne Middlemiss: "It's not a laugh out there. It's hard, it's strong, nobody's gonna give you any "oooh, it's his first wars, we’ll be nice!""
- Paul Cooper: "No. The big difference is, we're up against spinners. We don't see those on the live events circuit... so we got Vader in this fight, and that'll be interesting."
- — The interview before M2's first televised battle
M2 competed in Heat A, facing Tiberius 3, Shell Shock and Vader in its first-round battle. It immediately got underneath and launched Vader into the air, before driving away, bumping and flipping it a second time towards an angle grinder. M2 dodged Vader’s disc before getting underneath and throwing it onto the flame jet, which immobilised Vader. Seconds later, M2 flipped Shell Shock onto its side, leaving it stranded as it nudged Vader again to check for signs of mobility. It then proceeded to push Shell Shock around before flipping it towards – and over – the arena wall.
- "Don't forget Robot Wars fans... if the judges say it's been immobilised too-long-it's-out-and-that-certainly-is-now - Shell Shock gone! The first machine, in Robot Wars: The Seventh Wars, out... of... the... arena, and shell-shocked! And they've gone too, Vader, and the flipper rules supreme of M2!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as M2 flips Shell Shock and Vader out
M2 followed this up seconds later by throwing Vader out of the arena as well, allowing it and Tiberius 3 through to the second round. However, its flipper sustained considerable damage from Vader during the course of the battle, which required urgent repairs in the pits beforehand.
Following the repairs, M2 faced the ninth seed, and former series runner-up, Pussycat. The two robots initially dodged each other, before Pussycat bumped into M2 and M2 repeatedly flipped Pussycat across the arena. M2 withstood more attacks from Pussycat’s blades, at one point knocking it over onto its back, as Pussycat tried to slice through and momentarily caught its side armour.
- "M2... very good experience being gained here, and a good show by the newcomers."
- — Jonathan Pearce, impressed by M2's aggression against Pussycat
M2 sustained more scratches from Pussycat before ramming it head-on, briefly knocking Pussycat onto two wheels. It dodged the ninth seed and attempted another flip, but missed, allowing Pussycat's blades to catch its right-hand side as the two robots spun round. Eventually, M2 flipped Pussycat over once again as it drove up its flipper, and flipped it around the arena several more times. In doing so, the two robots manoeuvred close to the entry gates and Sergeant Bash's CPZ, where M2 steered and thrust Pussycat close to the wall. It then attempted to throw Pussycat over the central entry gate, but was unable to, and gave chase as Pussycat drove away.
- "M2 on the surge! Refbot, get out of there!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after M2 nearly flips Pussycat out of the arena
Both robots bumped into each other before M2 lured Pussycat towards the centre of the arena, where it steered, pushed and flipped Pussycat into Refbot. This attack left Pussycat on its side, but M2 knocked Pussycat back upright before pushing it around and driving itself into an angle grinder. M2 made one last flip on Pussycat, which left it on its side again and unable to re-right itself until the last few seconds of the battle. At the same time, one of M2's speed controllers shorted out, leaving it immobile on one side, but both robots survived to a Judges' decision regardless. After much deliberation, the decision went in favour of M2, due to it having been more aggressive throughout the battle.
- "The fight with Pussycat was very close, if I remember correctly the judges took some 15 minutes to decide. M2 was covered in gashes from PC which were inspected by one of the judges, but none penetrated the armour so I guess they took them to be superficial. During the last 10 seconds of the fight, just as it looked as though Pussycat was struggling to get back on its wheels, a wiring loom tie snapped in M2. This allowed the wiring to one of the motors to be drawn into the gears shorting out the speed controller thus losing drive to one side. The Robot survived this...fortunately for M2 the fight was just ending so it went almost unnoticed."
- — Paul Cooper
In the Heat Final, M2 faced Tiberius 3 for the second time. It dodged Tiberius 3’s initial charge before ramming into its side, missing with its first flip. Both robots continued dodging and bumping each other until Tiberius 3 got underneath M2 and grabbed it, crushing through its front right-hand panel in the process.
- "...and Tiberius 3 has got to grips with M2! Oh, look at that! It's almost as if it's melting it away. That is vicious!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tiberius 3 pierces M2's front right-hand panel
With Tiberius 3's crusher embedded in its armour, M2 was dragged and pushed around the arena by the former, and eventually steered into the pit release button. As the two robots circled round, M2 flicked the button off the wall, and used its left-hand wheel to steer itself and Tiberius 3 into an empty CPZ.
- "Tiberius wouldn't let go and every time we were dragged towards the pit, we had sufficient traction on one side to take us back to the CPZ."
- — Paul Cooper
M2 partially slipped free as Growler pushed it and Tiberius 3 against the wall, but was dragged back by Growler, sustaining more damage from his jaws. Growler backed away as Tiberius 3 struggled to let go of M2, while M2 fired its flipper and attempted to drive forwards as Sir Killalot blocked and forced both competitors against the wall. After a brief hesitation, Tiberius 3 finally let go, and M2 darted out of the CPZ to escape.
- "Is M2 still mobile? The Refbot might have to come in here and have a – yes it is, oh! Definitely so, and away!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as M2 breaks free from Tiberius 3's grasp
M2 drove towards the far end of the arena, where it kept steering to the right as a result of a punctured tyre. Nevertheless, it dodged Tiberius 3 and – in a sudden turn of fortunes - flipped it over onto its side near an angle grinder.
- "...OH AND M2 HAS FLIPPED IT! That is unbelievable! M2... down and out, surely, we thought, and they have flipped Tiberius 3 - and again!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as M2 turns Tiberius 3 - and the Heat Final - on its head
M2 then threw Tiberius 3 against the wall and attempted to flip it out of the arena, re-righting Tiberius 3 in the process. Seconds later, it flipped Tiberius 3 over close to the pit, then into it, securing its place in the Series Semi-Finals.
- "Talk about coming back from the dead!"
- — Craig Charles in the post-battle interview
The first round of Semi-Final 2 saw M2 face seasoned Robot Wars competitor – and fellow first-time Semi-Finalist - Atomic. After dodging Atomic's initial charge, it drove straight up the latter's flipper and was thrown onto its back. M2 tried to self-right before Atomic flipped it back onto its wheels, and darted across the arena in an attempt to avoid Atomic, at one point driving over the Flame Pit.
- "Well, M2 look, dodging... and they are playing cat and mouse. Come on, chase us, chase us!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as M2 avoids Atomic
After briefly bumping into Atomic again, M2 was rolled completely over by Atomic's third flip, and retaliated by charging at Atomic for a flip, but missed. It was then rolled over again after driving over Atomic's flipper and being thrust into the air a third time, the flip momentarily causing Atomic to tip itself forward. M2 weaved and dodged Atomic a few more times, spinning round in an attempt to prevent it from getting underneath, before the two robots briefly locked their flippers together as M2 tried to get underneath Atomic from the front. Atomic immediately flipped M2 over again, forcing it to self-right, before bumping and pushing it around the arena, at one point nearly tipping M2 over.
- "This is... very tactical stuff out there, and very tight and tense."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Atomic flips and pushes M2 around
The two robots turned round and rammed each other head-on, allowing M2 to get underneath Atomic and throw it back twice into an empty CPZ. The second flip almost resulted in Atomic being launched over the wall, but M2 tipped Atomic onto its side against it instead.
- "M2 flips Atomic! That's closer! That's more dangerous! That's CPZ territory, Corner Patrol Zone territory, and Sergeant Bash was waiting to come in."
- — Jonathan Pearce as M2 throws Atomic into the CPZ
As Atomic self-righted, M2 thrust it into Sergeant Bash, only to briefly pin itself against the wall in the process. M2 reversed and drove behind Sergeant Bash to escape, bumping into an angle grinder as it did so. More circling and dodging ensued, with M2 noticeably hobbling across the arena as Atomic threw it onto its back again and pushed it back into the CPZ. M2 self-righted as Sergeant Bash tried to grab it, but was soon flipped onto an angle grinder by Atomic and rolled over as it landed on the grinder while trying to self-right.
- "They are rattled, aren't they, M2? And Atomic are closing in - and Atomic now for me are on top – and Atomic has M2 on the side wall - and M2 bounces... and rocks and rolls, and dashes away!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as M2 is flipped onto an angle grinder and tries to self-right
M2 spun on its rear frame as it attempted to self-right a second time, before successfully throwing itself back upright on the third. It backed into Atomic as it attempted to evade further attacks, but was thrown onto its back again, and struggled to self-right as Atomic flipped it against another angle grinder. After a desperate attempt to self-right again, M2 was flipped onto the grinder with its flipper wedged open, before Atomic finally thrust it out of the arena after using its own flipper to stop it falling back onto the floor.
- "M2 perilous, Atomic has them in there. Oh, they [Atomic] need to get their blade down. There – and now flip, that's it, M2 gone!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as M2 is thrown out of the arena
As a result, M2 was eliminated from the Seventh Wars, in what proved to be its only appearance in Robot Wars.
- "It's named after a motorway, and M2 hits the road!"
- — Craig Charles announces M2's elimination
|M2 - RESULTS|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Semi-Finals, Round 1
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Shell Shock, Tiberius 3, Vader||Qualified|
|Heat A, Round 2||vs. Pussycat (9)||Won|
|Heat A, Final||vs. Tiberius 3||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Atomic||Lost|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 1
|Main Series||M2 Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify with Mincer|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Semi-Final, Round 1|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Did not enter|
|Series 2||Not selected|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Prior to its appearance on Robot Wars, M2 competed in several inter-school and live events held in between Series 5 and 7, such as the Dutch Robot Games and the Debenham Robot Rumbles. At these events, it fought several established Robot Wars competitors such as Onslaught, Wheely Big Cheese, Chaos 2 and Tornado, with varying degrees of success. During this time, the original M2 was stripped down to provide parts for the eventual Series 7 version, with its chassis being reused as a garden plant trainer after the team initially planned to dispose of it.
Under their original name of Team Tristate, Team Technobots also entered Mincer into the Uckfield Festival and Robot Mayhem 2000 events, where it won one battle in the latter.
M2 also competed in the Assault Course event at the 2003 Techno Games as Mousecatcher, repainted red and equipped with two front spikes to enable it to control the ball as part of the course. Mousecatcher lost its first round to Mighty Mouse there. Team Technobots also entered the Mechanoids event with Mechanoid.
After the original series of Robot Wars ended, Paul Cooper built a successor to M2, M2XT, with a new chassis and a more powerful flipper featuring a pneumatic mechanism similar to that used by Gravity. However, Cooper lost interest in robot combat events while testing M2XT, and ultimately did not enter it into any live events.
- "M2XT still exists but I did not like it when testing it out. So I started to modify it but then basically got too busy and lost interest in the live event scene. Never say never but would still like to get back one day, just need the right incentive."
- — Paul Cooper
Team Technobots also built a featherweight version of M2, called TKM2.
- M2 was the third robot to throw two robots out of the arena in a single battle, after Thermidor 2 and Firestorm 4.
- It was also the first robot to do so in the main competition.
- M2 is also one of four robots to have thrown an opponent out of the arena in its first ever battle. The others are Combat Ant, Raging Reality and Eruption.
- M2 was one of the very few robots in the original series to have a female team captain.
- M2, alongside Obsidian, is one of only two robots known to have applied for Extreme 2, but not be selected to compete.
- ↑ M2's homepage on Team Technobots' website (archived)
- ↑ Team Tristate website (archived)
- ↑ Video of M2's Series 7 qualifier