Nuts (rebuilt for Series 9 and 10 as Nuts 2) was a heavyweight robot which entered Series 8-9 of Robot Wars. The original version reached the Head-to-Head stage in Series 8, losing all three matches there, but surviving to two Judges' decisions in the process. However, Nuts 2 was eliminated in the first round of Series 9, after suffering drive issues and being thrown out of the arena by Matilda.
Versions of NutsEdit
Nuts was a two-wheeled thwackbot armed with a set of chain flails as its primary weapon. Its wheels were made from HDPE, a very tough plastic. The robot protected its huge wheels with a metal ring around the outside, which the flails are attached to. The ring was able to rotate vertically in order to provide extra mobility, turn the robot over to escape from danger, and the ability to lift other robots, as well as satisfying the requirement for a robot to have an active weapon. Nuts had a top speed of 13mph, and its combined weight with its minibots was 110kg. Like most thwackbots, Nuts could spin on the spot at 180rpm for a defensive form of attack, with exceptionally far reach due to the length of its flails.
Nuts was accompanied by two smaller wedge-shaped clusterbots, to attempt to impede the movement of opponents by driving underneath them, and cause distractions. The clusterbots were originally covered in fur which had to be removed for safety reasons. The team claimed that Nuts sacrificed better armour to make its weaponry as strong as possible.
Nuts 2 used a lighter and more compact design, now weighing 97kg (90kg in Series 9), and swapped the square rim for an octagonal ring. Its 3m flails had 2kg heads, and Nuts 2's upgrade to 20mph top speeds in Series 9 meant that the robot could now spin on the spot at 500rpm. This drive speed was further upgraded to 26mph in Series 10. Nuts 2's wheels were sleeker, and abandoned the axles on the side of the previous version. Its chassis was made from 3.2mm HARDOX, with 6mm HARDOX armour, while the ring was made from 3mm mild steel. In Series 10, Nuts 2 had interchangeable outer rims, including the hexagonal ring from Series 9, and a rim with external pipework.
- "This thing should pack a serious punch! Similar to being hit by a 180mph sledge hammer in fact..."
- — Team Nuts Facebook page
Nuts 2 was the first robot on the show, and one of the first heavyweights in general to utilise 'Meltybrain' technology, programmed by team member Gareth Barnaby. This allows Nuts 2 to display controlled movement around the arena while spinning, allowing the sit-and-spin weaponry to function more closely to a full-body spinner. However, due to a lack of testing, the Meltybrain technology was not used in Nuts 2's Series 9 campaign. When Nuts 2 returned in Series 10, the Meltybrain technology was implemented, allowing the robot to fight at its full potential.
- "A "Meltybrain" controller works by measuring how fast the robot is spinning, and then stopping each motor for a section of the rotation. Repeating this over and over causes the robot to move forward whilst spinning. By having the drive system power the weapon as well, it reduced the cost and made the robot more reliable by having fewer moving parts. It's also a unique system that hasn't been seen on Robot Wars before, so we wanted to try it out."
- — Rory Mangles in Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot
Nuts 2 was accompanied by three new minibots in Series 9, which were lighter than that of the previous series at 3kg each. The minibots' wheels were no longer exposed, slotting into the 10mm HDPE base plates of each minibot, compared to the 8mm HDPE of their predecessors. Nuts 2 was accompanied by another new selection of minibots in Series 10, which used shapes more conducive to trapping robots, and featured six horsepower of push in each, with top speeds of 12mph.
- "All fully CNCd, including custom battle hardened googly eyes!"
- — Team Nuts Facebook page
Nuts received an extremely tough draw for its first battle, as it was pitted up against Razer, Terrorhurtz and Robin Herrick with his new machine, Kill-E-Crank-E, all three of which had been grand finalists in previous series of Robot Wars.
- Dara Ó Briain: "How does it fight?"
- Dave Lawrie: "We're not actually sure! The idea is to confuse everybody, including ourselves! We're not quite sure how it's going to react to anything!"
- — The Team Nuts approach
Although its minibots quickly fled, Nuts started slowly, being pushed towards the fire by Terrorhurtz, avoiding an axe blow, eventually being rolled over by Terrorhurtz and Razer. Nuts was pursued by Terrorhurtz, and drove over the pit, which Kill-E-Crank-E had just opened, narrowly avoiding an early demise, but tumbling over in the process. Nuts righted itself, and span on the spot as a defensive technique, but Razer had pierced one of its minibots, and held it aloft. Nuts continued to spin in the face of Terrorhurtz, landing blows while being edged back. Nuts was backed into a corner, but at this stage, Razer pitted Kill-E-Crank-E, and was dragged in with it, so Nuts was left victorious alongside Terrorhurtz.
- "Look at the boys from Nuts, they've got more tricks up their sleeve than Derren Brown, they say, and they're stunned, they're through!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
This put Nuts through to the head-to-head stage, where it would be guaranteed another three fights. In the first, Nuts fought another Robot Wars veteran, Behemoth. It was flipped over straight away by Behemoth, so Nuts span in circles in the centre of the arena, sending its own minibot reeling away. Nuts was flipped into the clutches of Dead Metal. Slowly escaping, Nuts was guided into the pit release button by Behemoth, which then launched a Nuts minibot high into the air, while Nuts became stuck after one of its flails became trapped under the floor flipper. Although it freed itself, Nuts did not capitalise on Matilda throwing Behemoth over, instead driving into the pink flywheel to take damage itself. After Behemoth launched a minibot again, Nuts took an offensive approach, wedging under Behemoth's open scoop to push it back, and attack with the flails. In the final moments of the fight, Nuts and its minibots were tossed by Behemoth until time expired, and the battle was sent to a Judges' decision.
The unanimous decision was awarded in favour of Behemoth, so Nuts was next drawn against bar spinner Carbide.
- "Our tactic against Carbide is to try and use our chains to disable their weapon. They're in a bad state, so we think if we can make them impart a lot of energy, wasting it on stuff like our chains, their spinner mechanism will eat itself and from there we can have the main part and the minibots go to town and take it to the pit."
- — Alex Shakespeare
Although Nuts used its usual tactic of spinning on the spot, this did not deflect the bar spinner, and two hits from Carbide removed Nuts's outer rim, including the chain flails. With no weapon and a damaged wheel, Nuts simply ran away, but crashed into the arena wall, and sustained further damage from Carbide. Nuts avoided Sir Killalot, but a huge blow from Carbide threw Nuts straight into the pit release button, and Carbide's next attack split a wheel from Nuts, throwing the wheel out of the arena. With only one wheel left, Nuts could no longer move, and it was rendered immobile while Carbide attacked a minibot, which surprisingly remained mobile, but this loss made it impossible for Nuts to qualify for the Heat Final.
- "Myself and Angela were watching this battle in the other control room, and midway through, there's an almighty crash against the glass we're watching, and this was the shard of Nuts that had come smashing at us at God knows what speed, and it's razor sharp!"
- — Dara Ó Briain's 'near-death experience' from a piece of Nuts
Despite being eliminated from the competition, Nuts still needed to be repaired in order to fight Terrorhurtz for a second time, despite the extensive damage taken. Dara Ó Briain and Team Nuts joked that they may have needed to compete with only the minibots that compete alongside Nuts.
- "Do you like jigsaw puzzles?"
- — Dara Ó Briain
Nuts re-entered the arena, battered and bruised, but functional, with one minibot alongside it. It was axed by Terrorhurtz and pushed into Shunt, but Nuts managed to hook Terrorhurtz when its chain flail slotted through a gap in Terrorhurtz's armour near its wheel. This did not prove to be advantageous, as an axe blow from Terrorhurtz caused Nuts to lose its outer rim once again, leaving it without a weapon for a second time. Curiously, Nuts' rim was still stuck to Terrorhurtz, which used the rim to attack Nuts in combination with axe and spinning attacks. Out of options, Nuts opened the pit, but was pushed straight towards it and barely avoided falling in. With one minute remaining, Nuts was axed by both Terrorhurtz and Shunt. A minibot trapped Terrorhurtz in place, so cease was called after three minutes without a knockout.
Nuts had survived until a second Judges' decision, although it lost the decision unanimously again. Nuts therefore exited the Head-to-Head stage with no wins, but it had proven entertaining along the way.
- "The real star of the show was Nuts, because its control was beautiful! They managed to survive for three minutes with a broken robot, that was astonishing!"
- — Professor Noel Sharkey
Nuts 2 competed in Heat 1 just like in the previous series, once again facing Terrorhurtz; but also facing newcomers Rapid and former team member Dave Lawrie's new machine Jellyfish. Chris Shakespeare threatened to turn Jellyfish 'into sushi'.
- Angela Scanlon: "It was quite out of control last time. Will you be able to control it this time?"
- Rory Mangles: "Even less!"
- — Subjective improvements to Nuts 2
When the battle began, Nuts 2's minibots spread, but the main robot seemingly displayed control issues, hesitating in its efforts to spin on the spot, uninvolved with the main action. Matilda flipped Nuts 2 to try and bring it into the fray, but stuck on its flails, its movement was limited and only inflicted a glancing blow on Terrorhurtz before the three active robots avoided it again. Nuts 2's white minibot became stuck under Terrorhurtz, and was flipped over, while the red minibot had blown its main fuse.
- "Nuts 2, turning, spinning... control problems?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Nuts 2 was slowly turning on the closed pit, when Rapid rushed in and closed its flipper on Nuts 2's flail, trapping it. This allowed Rapid to push Nuts 2 into Matilda, and the House Robot flung it out of the arena using her flywheel. The white minibot remained active, attacking Terrorhurtz and turning itself over again, also being slammed by Rapid while Jellyfish was being counted out, but with the main robot out of the arena, Nuts 2 was eliminated from the competition.
- "One of our ESCs got stagefright and wouldn't function properly. It was fine all through testing but the moment it saw the arena it played up. The exact cause was interference into the ESC's signal line... That was shielded."
- — Team Nuts on Reddit
Later into the competition, Rapid forfeited during the second round after sustaining heavy damage from Aftershock, so one robot from this melee was given the opportunity to rejoin the competition, but as Nuts 2 was the first robot to be immobilised in the battle, Jellyfish was the robot chosen to be reinstated. Regardless, Rory Mangles and Alex Shakespeare were invited to join Jellyfish's team for its remaining two fights with Terrorhurtz and Sabretooth, helping to repair the robot along the way. Jellyfish lost to Terrorhurtz, but won a close battle with Sabretooth.
- "No wonder the Nuts team have been back to help them, their machine's out!"
- — Jonathan Pearce during Jellyfish's head-to-head with Terrorhurtz
- "It may seem odd, but I think that Nuts 2 is worth watching this series. They have been the clowns of Robot Wars for the past couple of series with their crazy design. Nuts 2 may look just the same as it’s previous version but when you look closer it has a much more robust frame and massively upgraded motors to power those enormous flails."
- — Professor Noel Sharkey
Nuts 2 competed in Heat 4 of Series 10.
- Angela Scanlon: "So the furry vests, the hats, are they all a kind of decoy?"
- Rory Mangles: "Well, I wouldn't say it's a serious team, but it's got some serious engineering behind it..."
- Angela Scanlon: "Come, on, you're a professional roboteer!!"
- — Angela Scanlon encourages Rory Mangles' career as a full-time roboteer
|NUTS - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
Round 2, Fourth Place
|Heat 1, Group Battle||vs. Razer, Kill-E-Crank-E, Terrorhurtz||Qualified|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Behemoth||Lost (0 points)|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Carbide||Lost (0 points)|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Terrorhurtz||Lost (0 points)|
|NUTS 2 - RESULTS|
|Series 9 - UK Championship|
|Heat 1, Group Battle||vs. Jellyfish, Rapid, Terrorhurtz||Eliminated|
|Series 10 - UK Championship|
|Heat 4, Group Battle||vs. Unknown||Unknown|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 4
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Heat Round 2, Fourth Place|
|Series 9|| Heat, Round 1|
Entered with Jellyfish (Dave Lawrie)
|Series 10|| Entered|
Not selected with Jellyfish and Ice Cream (Dave Lawrie)
Robot Wars Live EventsEdit
Nuts made its combat debut prior to the TV series at Robot Wars live events, competing at various Robot Wars Live Tour events, albeit with few victories.
Despite this, Nuts performed reasonably well at the Robot Wars World Championships in 2015. Nuts fought Iron-Awe 7, Meggamouse and Weird mAlice in the first round, where it qualified after Weird mAlice was thrown out of the arena by Iron-Awe, and Meggamouse drove into the pit. In the second round, Nuts was drawn against Thunderchild and Apex. Thunderchild’s flipper was not working, so was rendered immobile after being turned over by the floor flipper, leaving Nuts to fight Apex alone. Nuts won the resulting Judges’ decision due to its aggression and damage caused in the battle. Nuts was eliminated in the quarter-finals, after being immobilised by repeated axe blows from Thor destroying the removable link.
Outside Robot WarsEdit
After Series 8 ended, Nuts was repaired to fighting condition and in October 2016 appeared at a Robots Live! event in Stevenage, fighting in the 2016 FRA UK Heavyweight Championship. It beat Gabriel in round one, before progressing along with Dystopia in round two after the latter flipped out Photon Storm, before losing to TR2 in the quarter-finals. Nuts also lost to Gabriel in the subsequent losers' melee, but its impressive performance meant that it finished fifth overall.
Nuts 2 fought its first live battle at the Burgess Hill event hosted by Robots Live!, where it fought Or Te, Suspension and Weird Alice. However, it had to enter the arena without its flails for safety reasons, and was eventually stranded by Weird Alice. Nuts 2 was also defeated in a melee with Behemoth, Eruption and TR3.
The members of Team Nuts all have their own teams and fight with their own robots in both live events and antweight class events. Dave Lawrie, Chris Shakespeare and Alex Shakespeare joined Rory Mangles' Team Nuts for Series 8 of Robot Wars. For more information on their excursions, see the Team Nuts page.
- The original Nuts cost around £1,100 to build, making it one of the cheapest robots in Series 8.
- Team Nuts - Robot Wars Facebook page
- Nuts (Series 8) on the Robot Wars website
- Nuts 2 (Series 9) on the Robot Wars website
- Nuts 2 (Series 10) on the Robot Wars website
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/5xoplt/robot_wars_series_9_episode_1_postepisode/
- ↑ Nuts on the Robot Wars website