- "Will Ming be gone in a flash, or will it prove to be an emperor of robots?"
- — Jonathan Pearce upon Ming's debut
Ming was the base name given to a series of four robots across the history of Robot Wars. The team competed with the Ming robots from Series 3-7 whilst also entering in the first series of Robot Wars Extreme. Though never achieving much success in the main series - losing in Round 1 or 2 in all five appearances - Ming 3 won the Tag Team Terror as part of Nickelodeon Robot Wars alongside Rick.
Ming was named after a villain from Flash Gordon, and the team wore outfits in later series to fit the theme. The team also entered Zorro in Series 7.
Versions of MingEdit
Ming the MercilessEdit
The original Ming, also known as Ming the Merciless, was a box wedge shaped robot, built over five weeks in the Cotterell family's garage, made from aluminium, steel and titanium armed with a serrated 23' circular saw (mistakenly quoted as 22' by Jonathan Pearce) that covered the robot's entire back. This disc spun counter-clockwise at 3200 RPM. The robot also had a "quaint" sound producing device that was supposed to distract enemy robots.
- "Ming I (a wedge with a 24” Circular saw at the rear) was our first attempt at building a robot (for series 3) and it really wasn’t very good. It was cobbled together from whatever we could get hold of in a fairly short space of time and it just wasn’t strong enough for the job...we learnt a lot though."
- — The Ming website on the original Ming
Ming broke down early in its first fight, and when flipped over, the disc came off its axle on contact with the arena floor, shearing it off and causing it to fly across the arena.
- "Ming the Merciless? I doubt it, what about you?"
- — Jonathan Pearce's predictions of Ming 2, based on prior performances
- "Ming II was a much better engineered machine - long and relatively low with a wedge nose and an air powered flipper that was situated in the middle of the robot – it worked both ways up so it didn’t need a self righter. The problem with it was that the air rams were too slow and I kept having trouble with the P&G controller tripping."
- — The Ming website on Ming 2
Ming 2 was a long metallic wedge shaped robot that entered Series 4. The machine weighed in at precisely 80.2kg, making it the heaviest in its heat, and the joint fastest at 15mph. Its wedge lead on to a front-hinged flipping panel. It was also invertible, and had two air-driven spikes, one on each side, for glancing blows. It performed much stronger than its predecessor, easily dispatching the seeded Diotoir before falling in the second round to The Morgue after suddenly breaking down. It also represented the UK in the War of Independence during the Christmas season of the Fourth Wars, although the Ultimate Guide makes the false statement that it was actually Ming 3 who took part.
- "Well, we were here in the last wars and we were up against Mortis. We didn't really have a good crack at it, we didn't do very well, to cut a long story short, we lost. Arthur (Chillcot) said to us: "I don't mean to be rude, but I don't know why they put people like you against guys like us" So I thought right, that's it, I'm going to come back and I'm going to show 'em who's the best."
- — Andrew Cotterell before Round 2 of the Fourth Wars
As revealed during an interview, Ming 2 had largely been created to get revenge over Mortis for the previous year's loss, and Andrew Cotterell expressed a desire to fight them again. However, the grudge ultimately went unresolved as both robots fell in separate heats and Ming 2 was eliminated in the second round of the War of Independence, losing to frenZy, whereas Mortis would go on to win the competition.
- "We'll be back, Mortis, so watch out!"
- — Andrew Cotterell after Ming 2's defeat
- "Ming III – is basically the same chassis as Ming II but I have lost the air rams and fitted a crushing arm. I spent a good deal of time thinking about how to improve Ming II without producing something that was boring whilst maintaining the same basic chassis. It seemed to me that flippers were becoming more common and small blades and drills do nothing significant but that crushing or piercing devices could be fun. The problem was to produce something that didn’t look like Razer! Big problem really as what ever I did I knew people would say it looks like Razer. How can one produce a successful penetrating robot that doesn’t? So, I used the same chassis and just ‘plonked’ a crusher on it - at least now we should be able to have some fun!"
- — The Ming website on Ming 3
Ming 3 was the most successful of the Ming robots, retaining the same motor-driven nose cone as Ming 2 as well as its body shape and speed, but the wheel guards were removed to save weight (this cost it significantly during its life). Ming 3's primary weapon was a large piercing claw added on top, very similar to Razer, powered by two screwdriver electric motors. It could double as a lifter at the rear, and had self-righting rods on the side of the piercer. The front wedge also raised, but it was likely unable to lift other robots, and was most likely active purely for Ming 3 to be able to move around the arena floor freely without getting its wedge stuck in the arena floor or a hazard. Just as Razer's was, the beak was drilled with holes to fit the weight constraints. Ming 3 first appeared in Extreme 1, and was upgraded for in Series 5.
- "At first I used two Warner linear drive rams (electric) to produce the force required to crush but after the ‘Extreme’ session at Earls’ court I decided to change this – I now use Hydraulics. I have used a lorry tailgate lifting mechanism (because it’s small and powerful) and after unsuccessfully faffing around with a few old rams I have ended up making a new one that fits the requirements exactly. We have estimated that it should produce about two tonnes of force at the end of the arm and about six at the hinge. During testing we managed to split logs quite nicely and have had no trouble going through 5mm aluminium or Polycarbonate of any size that’s likely to be on a robot. It’s certainly much stronger than the linear drive activated arm – the main concern I have now is that it will crush itself!"
- — The Ming website on the upgrades to Ming 3
The robot was upgraded again for Series 6 with 3 tonnes of pressure behind the claw, a tough exterior of titanium T6 aluminium and stainless steel but was only two-wheel driven, front-heavy and did not like being damaged as shown against the likes of Supernova and Hypno-Disc.
Ming 3 lost in the first round of Series 5 after a controversial intervention from Matilda, and did not achieve any major success in Extreme 1 or Series 6. However, it earned considerable success in Nickelodeon Robot Wars where it won the International Tag Team Terror alongside Rick, both representing the UK.
- "...we now have a robot that looks good and has an awesome weapon but is not the most controllable of the clan. The main problem being that now we can build the robot up to 100kg, with a rear wheel driven Bot which has most of the weight forward of the drive one has much more of a problem with ‘over-swing’. It’s just not really practical or nimble enough with two wheel drive. I guess the next Bot will be pretty much the same but with Four-Wheel drive and less obvious targets for wheels!"
- — The Ming website on the problems with Ming 3
- "Now it's a bit different, last few years we've learned a few things; smaller wheels this time, four wheel drive, skid steer, with a very big drilling mechanism on the front here."
- — Andrew Cotterell describes Ming Dienasty
The team's final robot was named Ming Dienasty, which entered in Series 7. The robot was constructed from an RCV (Radio Controlled Vehicle), which were produced by Andrew Cotterell's new company Robogeddon. The main reason that Ming 3 was set aside for this machine was because Cotterell wanted to gain publicity for his new company, but was forbidden from publishing corporate logos. Interestingly, Cotterell listed his robot's weakness as "temper tantrums". The RCV was given a Ming-theme paint job, and a powerful drill was added to the lifting arm that was built into each standard RCV, enabling it to self-right. Ming Dienasty had the special features of the RCVs - skid steering and four-wheel drive making it very manoeuvrable and controllable. The drill could spin at 3000 RPM, but was unable to gain considerable purchase in its only Series 7 battle. The robot could reach speeds of 20mph, and had a 3cm ground clearance.
Construction of the robot began in October 2001, but the robot was not finished in time for Series 6, so Ming 3 was used instead.
Ming Dienasty was given the number 15 seeding for Series 7, after the intended number 4 seed Dominator 2 was unable to compete in the main competition due to a technical malfunction, before filming. It lost in the first round on a judges' decision. For unconfirmed reasons, despite its eligibility, Ming Dienasty did not participate in the All-Stars tournament in the Seventh Wars.
Ming's first round battle saw them go up against heat favourites Mortis. Prior to the fight, Alex Cotterell put on a huge white beard in an imitation of Mortis team's Arthur Chillcot.
- "We've got a chance, I reckon"
- — Andrew Cotterell prior to the fight
At the start of the battle, Ming attempted to turn around and use its spinning disc, but after one blow from Mortis' axe, Ming's mobility completely ceased, but the disc was still spinning. Mortis then slowly flipped Ming onto its side using its lifting arm, and Ming's disc flew off and across the arena on contact with the arena floor. However, Mortis then attacked the House Robots, and was overturned by Shunt and then pitted instead, leaving Ming totally unharmed (further) by the end of the fight when cease was called. However, the result still stood and Ming was eliminated from the competition.
- "We lost signal, something interfered, and we just lost total control and it just stopped going."
- — Andrew Cotterell post-battle
- Philippa Forrester: "And how did the beard perform?"
- Alex Cotterrell: "It was itchy...got in the way a bit"
- Philippa Forrester: "Let's get rid of it. Cast it away, that's much better"
- — Philippa Forrester "shaves" Alex after the battle
- "I hope we'll be a bit more successful than the last one - we've got a much meaner machine!"
- — Andrew Cotterell
Competing in Heat C of the Fourth Wars, Ming 2 was placed up against newcomers Bolt from the Blue and the handicapped number 21 seeds Diotoir in its first round melee. Ming 2 immediately flipped the weaponless and armourless Diotoir machine in the opening seconds of the battle. Diotoir could not self-right since the flipping arm of Diotoir was deactivated before the battle began; the robot then caught fire as it was right over the flame pit. This was enough for Ming 2 to go through to the next round of the heat along with Bolt from the Blue, however this did not stop Ming 2 from trying to shove Bolt from the Blue onto the flame pit as well before cease was called.
In the Heat Semi-final, it began as the favourites for its battle, going up against the reinstated The Morgue, who had already lost to a robot with a flipper once already in this heat. The Morgue got underneath Ming 2, but could not lift it. Ming 2 then got underneath The Morgue, and flipped it, but The Morgue rolled back onto its wheels thanks to its barrel shape. Ming 2 then once again flipped The Morgue, but not over this time. The robots charged into each other, and The Morgue impaled its spikes into Ming 2's front and pushed it into Matilda's CPZ. They separated, and Morgue rammed Ming 2 once more, immobilising it to great surprise. Ming 2 was then pitted by Sir Killalot and eliminated from the competition.
- "We're here to fight the Americans, which is rather good really because I deal with Americans on a daily basis and it'd be really nice to kick their butts!"
- — Andrew Cotterell
Ming 2 returned for the War of Independence during the Christmas season of the Fourth Wars, representing the UK. In the first round of the competition, Ming 2 was drawn up against Adam Clark's American representative, The Mangulator. In the battle, the two robots drove at each other several times in the early stages of the battle, but Ming 2 couldn't use its flipper effectively, since The Mangulator was an invertible machine. After a few more charges, Ming 2 rammed into The Mangulator side-on up against the arena side wall at speed, breaking off one of its wheels. The Mangulator could then only move in tight circles, and therefore could not get away from the incoming house robots, who then attacked and pitted the US machine, putting Ming 2 through to the semi-final round of the competition.
In this battle, Ming 2 was to go to battle with the only first round winner from the United States, frenZy. Before the battle, the Ming 2 team figured that the best tactic would be to hit the axe full on, knocking off the chain and preventing it from self-righting if it was then flipped over by their flipper. However, in the battle itself, as Ming 2 charged in, frenZy struck Ming 2's body, breaking the receiver on/off switch. Ming 2's mobility completely ceased, only the flipper was left working on the robot. frenZy continued to hit Ming 2 until Dead Metal closed in and placed the immobilised machine on the arena floor flipper, where it was thrown into the air. Cease was soon called and Ming 2 was eliminated from the competition.
Ming 3 made two appearances in the first series of Extreme. Its first was a Mayhem qualifier battle, for a right to fight in the first annihilator of the series. It went up against Wheely Big Cheese and Hypno-Disc, and it went in as the clear underdogs. Hypno-Disc dominated this battle as it focused its attacks on both opposing robots' exposed wheels. Ming 3 suffered especially, with its wheel sheared into pieces by the disc weapon very early on, right before a light flip from Wheely Big Cheese. As Hypno-Disc then sliced into Wheely Big Cheese, whilst also dodging the flipper, Ming 3 tried to bring its clamp down on Team Big Cheese's limping machine. This was all before one wheel after the other were completely severed by the spinning flywheel of Hypno-Disc.
- "There goes a whole wheel! A whole wheel has come off! Oh, there goes the other one! Well, why not?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Hypno-Disc cleaves off Ming 3's wheels
Refbot counted it out, along with the still-mobile Wheely Big Cheese, who was only moving around in circles at this point, declaring Hypno-Disc the winner of the mayhem. Ming 3 was thrown by the arena floor flipper and landed next to Wheely Big Cheese, who then tried to use what life it had left in flipping it. Ming 3's remnants were then pitted alongside Wheely Big Cheese, who didn't even fit in.
- "Suicidal behaviour by Ming 3, to enter the arena, at all, with the truly awesome Hypno-Disc!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Ming 3 also fought in a vengeance battle during the first series of Extreme, where it went up against Mega Morg, Team Ming was seeking revenge after Ming 2 was bested by the Welsh robot's predecessor (The Morgue), in the Fourth Wars, Cotterell claimed by default, as Ming 2 broke down for no reason involving The Morgue. In this battle, Ming 3 started by repeatedly charging at the Welsh machine side on and burying its beak into Mega Morg's enormous barrel-shaped body, but causing minimal damage to Mega Morg's mobility or weaponry. Mega Morg then escaped Ming 3's grasp, only to accidentally drive into Sir Killalot's CPZ and be attacked by the house robot. Mega Morg then escaped from Sir Killalot and lightly rammed Ming 3, before cease was called for a judges' decision, the decision went in favour of Ming 3.
- "For fairness' sake really, we let him win"
- — Dorian Caudy, after the battle
- "I can't for the life of me guess which robot they've borrowed a few design features from for the Fifth Wars, who do you think?"
- — Philippa Forrester, continuing the trend of calling Ming 3 a copycat Razer
Fighting in Heat L, Ming 3 was placed up against Team Hurtz's new machine Terrorhurtz, in the first round. Ming 3 was unable to get a grip on the axe-wielding machine at all at first and got hit several times by the double-headed weapon of Terrorhurtz, fortunately, little to no damage was caused to Ming 3. Eventually, Ming 3 managed to grab hold of Terrorhurtz and started to drag it around the arena. However, as it was crossing an arena flame jet into the arena side wall, Matilda came out of her CPZ and hit Ming 3 with her flywheel weapon, immobilising Ming 3 completely. Terrorhurtz was able to escape, but cease was called, the judges intervened and the battle went to a judges' decision due to Matilda intervening unfairly before hand. The judges gave Terrorhurtz the victory nonetheless, whilst Team Ming was given an apology for what happened, but were still eliminated from the competition. Matilda was given a red card and "a good telling off" afterwards, according to Craig Charles.
- "You should be alright, shouldn't you? Whatever happens. Just don't get a puncture..."
- — Philippa Forrester to Alexander and Oliver Cotterell
Ming 3 participated in Heat H of the Sixth Wars. For the first round of the heat, Ming 3 was drawn up against newcomers The Hassocks Hog, along with two returning teams to the wars: Spam and Hot Pants. It immediately attacked The Hassocks Hog, but could not get a grip on it with its crusher. Hot Pants came into the fray, attacking the Hog with its pickaxe. Ming 3 then buried its beak behind Hot Pants' fired axe, while the other two competitors rammed it. Hot Pants was then pushed away onto the flame pit by Ming 3 and was completely immobilised, and was subsequently counted out. Sergeant Bash then swooped in and dumped Hot Pants into the pit of oblivion, and Ming 3 followed suit, targeting and soon pitting Spam. It appeared as though Ming 3 and The Hassocks Hog would go through to the next round, but the judges ruled that The Hassocks Hog has lost drive to one side long before Spam was pitted, so Spam took The Hassocks Hog's place in the second round, either way, Ming 3 was still through.
- "The problem is, my wheels are spinning disc magnets, and every time I come up against spinning discs, they go straight for the wheels. I know I should do something about it, but now I can't!"
- — Andrew Cotterell before the fight with Supernova
In the second round of the heat, Ming 3 was placed up against rising heat favourites Supernova. In this battle, Supernova immediately targeted the wheels of Ming 3 and damaged them on the very first hit of Supernova's flywheel weapon. The Sri Lanken machine continued its attack on Ming 3, destroying the other wheel and Ming 3's self-righting arms on the claw as well, also loosening its tyres from its wheels. Ming 3 was soon immobilised to a halt and was later counted out by Refbot. Cease was eventually called and Ming 3 was subsequently eliminated from the competition, this was Ming 3's final performance in Robot Wars, before being retired ahead of the debut of a new machine.
- "Ming 3...beaten in the heats...again"
- — Jonathan Pearce, as Ming 3 is counted out
- Jayne Middlemiss: "Nobody ever tries their robots, but I suppose they're so big and so nasty that this is the only arena you can actually try them in, is that correct?"
- Andrew Cotterell: "Well, we did try it a little bit, but the only opponent we could find to fight against was a vacuum cleaner. But we beat it, we beat it."
- Jayne Middlemiss: "I'm not surprised!"
- — Discussing Ming Dienasty
In its first round melee for the Seventh Wars, the number 15 seeds Ming Dienasty were placed up against newcomers Ceros, Team Death's Metalis and the Dutch entrant Scraptosaur. In the battle, Ming Dienasty was almost immediately flipped by Ceros, but was eventually able to self-right using its lifting arm. Scraptosaur then flipped Ming Dienasty into the arena side wall and onto the flame pit, where it was positioned in a way that the lifting arm couldn't right it. Ceros then righted Ming Dienasty and chased the seeded machine down along with Scraptosaur. Ming Dienasty was harassed by Scraptosaur and Ceros, but managed to dodge away from their flippers, and then activated the pit release button. However, Ming Dienasty was managing to drill away at both machines and avoid their flippers at the same time, Ming Dienasty then drilled into Ceros' flipper, but then ran away from the incoming Scraptosaur. Ceros then began to leave the action as Ming Dienasty started shoving, drilling into and manoeuvring around Scraptosaur, who then got a light flick in on Ming Dienasty.
- "Tremendous work from Ming Dienasty...too little too late, I think...they put in a good late effort"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Metalis then ended up being shoved by the Refbot into the pit of oblivion, right before cease was called. The battle subsequently resulted in a judges' decision, between the remaining three competitors, as time ran out. After much deliberation, the judges went in favour of both newcomers: Scraptosaur and Ceros.
Despite competing in five series of Robot Wars, Ming Dienasty did not take part in the All-Stars tournament at the end of the Seventh Wars; the reasons for this are currently unknown.
Ming 3 fought alongside Rick in the International Tag Team Terror competition in the Nickelodeon series in America. In the UK eliminator, the pair went up against Bigger Brother and the series 5 version of Kat 3. Ming 3 was flipped over numerous times by Bigger Brother, but was able to self right each time. Ming 3 was then eventually able to clamp down onto Bigger Brother using its claw. Ming 3 and Rick went on to win the battle on a judges' decision.
This put the duo through to go up against an American partnership: The Revolutionist and Spin Doctor in the Grand Final. In this battle, The Revolutionist charged into Ming 3, but merely bounced off it, the full body spinner was then flipped over by Rick, leaving it immobilised as it wasn't invertible and didn't have the means to self-right. House Robot Sir Killalot then suddenly came out of his CPZ and dragged Ming 3 out of its corner unfairly, eventually deciding to let it go. But Sir Killalot then proceeded to pick up and send Rick out of the arena without reason, leaving Ming 3 to fight Spin Doctor alone. The battle soon ended in a judges' decision, which narrowly went in favour of Ming 3 and Rick, declaring them the winners of the Tag-Team Terror. The winning pair was allowed to keep the Tag Team Terror trophy in the UK afterwards.
|MING - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat F, Eliminator||vs. Mortis||Lost|
|MING 2 - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat C, Eliminator||vs. Bolt from the Blue, Diotoir (21)||Qualified|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. The Morgue||Lost|
|War of Independence|
Representing UK, Semi-Finalist
|Round 1||vs. The Mangulator (USA)||Won|
|Round 2||vs. frenZy (USA)||Lost|
|MING 3 - RESULTS|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Mayhem & Annihilator|
|Mayhem Qualifier||vs. Hypno-Disc, Wheely Big Cheese||Lost|
|Vengeance||vs. Mega Morg||Won|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat L, Eliminator||vs. Terrorhurtz||Lost|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat H, Round 1||vs. Hot Pants, Spam, The Hassocks Hog||Qualified|
|Heat H, Round 2||vs. Supernova||Lost|
|Nickelodeon Robot Wars|
|International Tag Team Terror|
Competing with Rick, Champion
|Eliminator||vs. Bigger Brother & Kat 3 (UK)||Won|
|Final||vs. Spin Doctor & The Revolutionist (USA)||Won|
|MING DIENASTY - RESULTS|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
15th Seed, Heat, Round 1
|Heat H, Round 1||vs. Ceros, Metalis, Scraptosaur||Eliminated|
- UK Wins: 4
- UK Losses: 7
- US Wins: 2
- US Losses: 0
|Main Series||Ming Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Heat, Round 1 as Ming|
|The Fourth Wars||Heat, Round 2 as Ming 2|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 1 as Ming 3|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat, Round 2 as Ming 3|
|The Seventh Wars|| Heat, Round 1 as Ming Dienasty|
Entered with Zorro
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Entered as Ming 3|
|Series 2||Did not enter|
- Ming is one of 11 robots to have fought in 5 or more series of Robot Wars, having fought in Series 3 through 7. It shares this pattern with S.M.I.D.S.Y., Bulldog Breed, Team KaterKiller, Team Big Brother, X-Terminator, Team Scutterbots and Thermidor 2.
- Ming Dienasty was one of nine competitors in The Seventh Wars that competed in at least 5 series of Robot Wars but were excluded from the All-Stars tournament line-up later in the series for their own reasons.
- Like the Plunderbird series and the robots entered by Adam Clark, Ming always lost in the first round of the main competition in the odd-numbered series.
- Six out of seven times, a robot to defeat Ming lost its next battle. Hypno-Disc in the Extreme 1 Annihilator was the only one to move through. Ceros also won, but Scraptosaur did lose, so this one is still counted.
- Ming and Terrorhurtz were the only seeds in Series 7 to fail to pass the first round (although technically Terrorhurtz withdrew before the tournament started). Interestingly, they were also the only two of the sixteen seeds never to have been thrown out of the arena or done so to another robot. They also battled each other in the first round of the Fifth Wars.
- At 7 losses, Ming has more losses than any other robot from Somerset.
- Ming ties with Lambsy for the greatest number of alliterative robots fought (Bigger Brother, Bolt from the Blue, The Hassocks Hog, and Mega Morg.) Coincidentally, Ming itself started out as one; Ming the Merciless.
- Ming is one of 11 seeded robots to lose in round 1. It is also the last robot to have suffered this fate.
- Spawned by some of Jonathan Pearce's introductions, Ming 3 has acquired a reputation as a "Razer clone". However, the Ming team have openly stated that Razer did not, in fact, have anything to do with the inspiration for the crusher.