"We taught it a few tricks; we taught it how to fetch, and we taught it how to bite!"
— Ivar Bundulis on Pitbull

Pitbull was a robot that competed in Series 3 of Robot Wars. It defeated Behemoth in its Heat Final to reach the Semi-Final stage, before it was flipped over by a spike in its fight against Fire Storm and eliminated.


"Snapping jaws are the main weapons of this "growler", the shell is stainless steel and fibreglass, powered by two electric motors, lighter than its opponent, its bark could be more dangerous than its bite."
Jonathan Pearce introduces Pitbull


Pitball was a barrel-shaped robot painted white, black and red to resemble a large dog (hence its name), with 'PTO' written on its underside. It was shaped as such that it could roll back onto its wheels whenever it was flipped, with the initials standing for 'Please Turn Over'. Pitbull was equipped with a pair of clamping jaws as its weapon, capable of grabbing hold of other robots and crushing at a force of 750kg. However, only the the lower jaw moved. The robot had a top speed of 15mph, and was armoured in stainless steel and fibreglass, with a welded 25mm square box section, 5mm Aluminium floor pan chassis.[1] Pitbull took 2 months to build[2] and cost £1100 altogether.[3]

Craig Charles: "You're called Pitbull, why does it look like a dalmatian?"
Phil Botting: "Uh, before it had the paint on it, it looked like an armadillo, so we're headed in the right direction!"
— Post-round 2 interview

The TeamEdit

"A couple of years ago, Robot Wars came onto our TV screens, promising a bloodsport for the future and the excitement of machines fighting to the death. Over the first two series there were flashes of that excitement and a promise of greater things to come. I wanted to take part, to challenge myself, to entertain millions and to join a select few pushing the boundaries for nothing more than that. I needed help. Ivar Bundulis caught the excitement, and he has been with me right through the project. Many friends, colleagues and contacts in industry have helped us along the way, and I would like to thank them now. ... Greatest thanks must go to Debbie and Jacob, my wife and my son, and to Marie Buckley, Ivar's fiance, who supported us, even when we worked into the night and were away filming, day after day."
— The Pitbull website on entering Robot Wars and the building of Pitbull

The team with Pitbull

Ivar Bundulis and Phil Botting, were originally the only members of the Pitbull team when Pitbull competed in its Heat. However, Charles Binns from Team Thermonuclear Warfare joined Ivar in the Semi-Finals as team captain Phil could not attend filming for the Semi-Finals. The Suicidal Tendencies team had been amongst the many people who helped the Pitbull team during the robot's construction.[4] The team disbanded after selling Pitbull online.


Pitbull attended the Series 3 auditions in an unfinished state, with no armour, weapons or failsafes, but was still chosen to compete. However, due to delays in filming, the team were not told that they would be competing until months after the auditions, and did not work on Pitbull in between as they did not know if they were going to compete. Fortunately, with help from Team Thermonuclear Warfare, who lived near them, the team managed to complete Pitbull just two days before filming, although with very little time to practice.[5]

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 3Edit

Pitbull vs sump thing

Pitbull, having pushed Sump Thing to the flame jets

Pitball entered Heat B, where it was drawn against Sump Thing in the first round. Sump Thing immediately charged at Pitbull, striking it with its axe, but immobilised itself instantly as a result of its first attack. Pitbull pushed Sump Thing near the flame jets, where Sergeant Bash and Sir Killalot attacked it, with Sir Killalot dumping Sump Thing into the pit.

"Well, he looks like a dalmatian, he fights like a terrier, his name is Pitbull, and he's through to the next round!"
Craig Charles after the battle

In the second round, Pitbull faced Technophobic. Both machines met each other in the centre of the arena, before Pitbull clamped Technophobic and shoved it into the arena wall.

"Immediately growling and prowling against Technophobic. Who let Pitbull off its leash? Look at those teeth! Hope they've got a license for him, slightly more than the 7 and 6 it used to cost for a dog license, £750 to build Pitbull!"
— Jonathan Pearce early in the battle
Pitbull arena wall

Pitbull impales itself onto the arena wall

Techophobic vs pitbull

Pitbull pushes Technophobic onto the flames

The two robots bumped and circled around each other a few times, with Pitbull pushing Technophobic around the arena again. However, Technophobic eventually got underneath Pitbull with its lifting arm, and lifted it up, but not being able to turn it over. More pushing and shoving ensued, before Pitbull turned and drove straight into Dead Metal's CPZ, getting its jaws stuck in the arena wall in the process.

"No, no, no, you don't bite the furniture. You're not a puppy any more Pitbull, what are you doing in there? It's not your kennel either, it belongs to Dead Meal."
— Jonathan Pearce as Pitbull pins itself

Technophobic and Dead Metal attacked the stranded Pitbull, the latter cutting into Pitbull's armour with his saw, before Sergeant Bash came in and tried to free Pitbull. At last, Pitbull broke free, and pushed Technophobic around in circles and onto the Flame Pit. Technophobic was immobilised at this point, with flames rising through its internals and eventually setting its petrol engine alight as cease was called, much to the audience's delight.

"On reflection, setting fire to them was a bit much, as they hadn't moved for some time, but in heat of battle and thinking that they might at any time come to life again, we used every means of attack. Afterwards, their petrol tank was all but gone, and other plastic parts a bit melted at the edges. What I wanted to see were the teethmarks. The teeth did seem to have gone through, but the fibreglass seemed to close the wounds up so they didn't show up on TV. "
— The Pitbull website on the round 2 battle
Pitbull vs behemoth

Behemoth lifts Pitbull

Pitbull Behemoth

Pitbull is rolled into the CPZ

With this win, Pitbull progressed to the Heat Final, where it met Series 2 Semi-Finalist Behemoth. Pitbull started by dodging Behemoth, before the two robots circled each other and Pitbull jammed itself agains the wall once again. Behemoth took advantage, flipping Pitbull over the Flame Pit and into Dead Metal's CPZ, where the House Robot re-righted Pitbull. Pitbull darted away, before ramming into Behemoth's scoop and trying to clamp down on it as it was hoisted away. It rammed into Behemoth again, this time grabbing hold of Behemoth's scoop then its rear as it pushed it into the angle grinders and Sir Killalot.

"Well, we didn't think it was a sheepdog, but he certainly got Behemoth into the pen of Killalot there. And this is a tremendous performance here, from Ivar and Phil of the Pitbull team, because Behemoth went into this very much as the favourite for the Heat Final."
— Jonathan Pearce as Pitbull pins Behemoth against the wall
Behemoth vs Pitbull

Pitbull bites down hard onto Behemoth


Behemoth is flipped by the spike

Pitbull let go of Behemoth, who was suddenly flipped onto its side by an arena spike as it drove away from the wall. This controversially eliminated Behemoth, as it was unable to self-right, and Pitbull tried to push it further, only to be launched itself twice by the spike. Pitbull advanced to the Semi-Finals as Sir Killalot and Dead Metal attacked Behemoth's scoop and underside, before the defeated machine was flipped over by the Floor Flipper.

"Pitbull; a rottweiler's jaws, a bulldog's bravery, a jack russel's tenacity! Throw this dog a bone, and it'll chew you up!"
— Jonathan Pearce at the start of the Semi-Finals
Fire Storm vs Pitbull

Pitbull is bounced by the spikes whilst holding Fire Storm

In the Semi-Finals, Pitbull met Fire Storm. Ivar Bundulis stated that the team felt confident going into this fight, although Jonathan Pearce favoured Fire Storm to win. Both machines came together near the arena wall, with Fire Storm slamming into its jaws and Pitbull pushing it around with the Durham machine in place.

"And this could be the first surprise of the Semi-Final! Firestorm regarded in the pits as a complete robots, with fine weaponry, good technical ability too!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Pitbull pushes Firestorm

Fire Storm was unable to escape Pitbull's grasp, though Pitbull was bounced by an arena spike several times as it pushed Fire Storm towards Sir Killalot. This separated both robots, with Fire Storm and Pitbull dodging Sir Killalot and coming together again near the wall.

Firestorm vs Pitbull


Pitbull killalot

Sir Killalot burns Pitbull

Fire Storm briefly got underneath Pitbull, before Pitbull was thrust onto its side by the arena spike, eventually toppling onto its back. Without the momentum needed to get back onto its wheels, Pitbull lay beached on its back, and the House Robots were free to attack it, with Sir Killalot carrying Pitbull over to the Flame Pit after 'Cease' was called.

Pitbull sir killalot

Pitbull's revenge

In retaliation, Pitbull rammed into Sir Killalot's right arm twice after being lowered back onto its wheels, breaking his hydraulic fuel lines. However, Pitbull was still eliminated from the competition.

"What they did was they shouted "cease" and then Sir Killalot hung us over the Flame Pit for about another thirty seconds. So I said, "fair's fair", if he can attack me after the whistle, I can attack him after the whistle!"
— Ivar Bundulis, answering Philippa Forrester's question as to why Pitbull attacked Sir Killalot after cease was called


Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Semi-Finals, Round 1
Heat B, Round 1 vs. Sumpthing Won
Heat B, Round 2 vs. Technophobic Won
Heat B, Final vs. Behemoth Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Fire Storm Lost


  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 1

Series RecordEdit

  • Pitbull without its shell
  • Pitbul before Round 2 of its heat, with its mascot
Series Pitbull Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Semi Finals, Round 1
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Like fellow Series 3 Semi-Finalists Blade and Trident, Pitbull did not appear in any series outside its debut, as the team did not intend to enter Series 4. Pitbull was sold online in early 2000 to the Denbigh High School in north Wales[6], the school which entered Chip.


  • Jonathan Pearce often called Pitbull "a growler", an ironic foreshadowing of House Robot Growler, whose working title was Pitbull.
  • Of all the UK Series finalists, the Pitbull team was the only one to enter just one series, not even withdrawing or failing to qualify for another series.
  • During Pitbull's first battle, the team noticed they had serious problems with the radio control. However, due to the filming delay when a robot went out of control, the team was able to get help from the other teams, with the Mortis team lending them a titanium rod for an aerial.[7]
  • Team captain Phil Botting later joined the team of The Guv'nor mk 2, when they failed to qualify for Series 4.


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
  7. [7]

External LinksEdit

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