Heat B of Robot Wars: The First Wars was the second of six heats which determined the Grand Finalists of Robot Wars: The First Wars. The episode featuring Heat B was originally broadcast on February 27, 1998 on BBC Two.

Competing robotsEdit

Detonator series 1
Weight 52.5kg
Dimensions 1.25m x 0.90m x 0.45m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 25mm
Power Petrol lawnmower engine
Weapons Steel spikes
From: Dartford Girls Grammar School
Team Members: David Crosby, Vicky Allgood & Claire Greenaway
Weight 69kg
Dimensions 1.60m x 0.35m x 0.70m
Speed 3mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 40mm
Power 2 x 24V wheelchair motors
Weapons Rear angle grinder & extendable lance
From: Leigh City Technology College
Team Members: Robin Williams, Eileen Hobbs, Tony Schofield & Chris Maylon
Mortis Series 1
Weight 78.4kg
Dimensions 1.35m x 0.78m x 0.38m
Speed 9mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 50mm
Power 2 x 12V wheelchair motors
Weapons Japanese axe blade
From: Cambridge University
Team Members: Rob Knight, Chris Sorsby & Arthur Chillcot
Weight 79.5kg
Dimensions 0.90m x 0.90m x 0.45m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 1.5m
Ground Clearance 0mm
Power 24V industrial motor
Weapons Pneumatic steel tongue-flipper
From: Mickfield, near Stowmarket
Team Members: Rex Garrod & Simon West
Weight 76.5kg
Dimensions 1.10m x 0.80m x 0.50m
Speed 10mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance Variable (Max 100mm)
Power Variable 12V/24V motors
Weapons 7" & 9" saw blades
From: London
Team Members: Mike Smith, Mike Rickard, Ken Toogood, Alvin Orton & Charles Lavery
Weight 71.9kg
Dimensions 1.60m x 1.00m x 0.80m
Speed 7mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 80mm
Power 2 x Electric wheelchair motors
Weapons 7" cutting disc
From: Gillingham
Team Members: Paul Shearwood & Colin Faulkner


Competing order: 1. Leighbot 2. Scrapper 3. Recyclopse 4. Detonator 5. Mortis 6. Uglybot
Ranking Competing Robot Report Distance
Recyclopse Recyclopse darted out, waiting for Shunt to approach, then drove quickly around him. It charged into the left route, using its tongue to push against Bash until the House Robot retreated. Recyclopse wasted no time and charged into the end zone, pushing Matilda out of the way.
Jeremy Clarkson: "Well you were confident before you started, now you must be feeling even better."
Rex Garrod: "Not really, I wanted one of them to go over."
Jeremy Clarkson: "You wanted one of our House Robots over?"
Rex Garrod: "Well that's the game, isn't it?"
Jeremy Clarkson: "It's a game, but it's also impossible!"
— The ironic post-Gauntlet interview
Leighbot fan
Leighbot Leighbot was the first machine to run the Gauntlet in Heat B. It struggled to drive onto the first ramp, but managed to begin its ascent. Sergeant Bash briefly obstructed its path by preventing the ramp from lowering, but eventually relented to allow Leighbot to continue. Under pressure from Bash's flames and ram, Leighbot reached the second ramp where smoke was clouding. Leighbot extended its lifting arm and activated a small fan to blow the smoke aside, giving its drivers a clear vision to the endzone, only battered briefly by the pendulum weapon. Completed
Mortis Mortis started strongly, charging past Shunt and ramming Bash askew. However, this attack damaged its steering, and it was unable to continue. Shunt then trapped it from behind, using his axe to pin it in place. Matilda joined her fellow House Robots in boxing Mortis in, preventing it from escaping from any direction. As Rob Knight looked on in dismay, even at one point shouting to the House Robots to let Mortis out, Sergeant Bash shrouded Mortis in flames and cease was called.
"We're not going to let you go anywhere- we don't have to!"
— Jonathan Pearce speaking on behalf of Sergeant Bash
Scrapper Scrapper tried to take on the ramp, but was unable to push its way up the incline. Abandoning this with Shunt closing in, Scrapper reversed its way through the maze on the right hand side. Spinning around, Scrapper attempted to drive in, but was closed in on both sides by Shunt and Sergeant Bash. Shunt rammed Scrapper into the side wall as cease was called.
"He's into the sheep's pen. This could be lambs to the slaughter, because Bash and Shunt are closing in! And it could be roast lamb at that! If the torch comes out - and it does! Lamb kebab!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Bash bathes the trapped Scrapper in flame
Detonator Detonator got one of its spikes impaled on the turntable and could not pull away. Shunt and Bash closed in, and freed it from the turntable, but Detonator then ran into the walls. It was battered by Shunt several times, and managed to get a burst of distance into the maze in the moments before the cease was called.
"Poor old David looks about 74...75...76. He's a Star Trek fan. Beam him up, Scotty."
— Jonathan Pearce, as David Crosby grows more agitated at Detonator's predicament
Shunt uglybot
Uglybot Uglybot turned prematurely in the turntable, and upon exiting the turntable, promptly pinned itself in place. Shunt charged in, using his rear plough to knock Uglybot onto its side. Although Uglybot pulled away from the turntable, Shunt would not relent and it was unable to escape. Eventually, Uglybot was knocked into the turntable and knocked half of it askew. 1.65m
Eliminated: Uglybot

Trial (British Bulldog)Edit

British bulldog

Mortis makes the endzone

The five robots lined up against the four House Robots. On the activate, all but Detonator charged forward. Scrapper and Leighbot collided, with Scrapper impeding both machines' progress. Recyclopse ran into the far left pyramid and broke down. Mortis, meanwhile, charged spectacularly through the ranks and was the first to the end.

"What a run through by Mortis!...that was stunning!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Leighbot separated from Scrapper, but was halted by Dead Metal. Meanwhile, Sergeant Bash detached itself from the House Robots line to go and attack Detonator, who had not moved off the starting position, and Matilda closed in on the immobile Recyclopse. Mortis then re-entered the fray and diverted the attentions of Shunt and Matilda. Taking advantage of this, Scrapper reversed away, dodged Matilda and reversed across the finish line.

"Now Scrapper, making its move - strangely backwards - but it's through backwards! Strange, but through nonetheless."
— Jonathan Pearce

Leighbot was being pushed around by Shunt, but was the only remaining mobile robot. Shunt relented, and slowly but surely, Leighbot crossed the line. At this point, Recyclopse was being attacked by Matilda and Shunt. Mortis, continuing its harassment, rammed Matilda onto Recyclopse's tongue, and the flipper fired, tossing Matilda onto her side. Meanwhile, Bash was ramming Detonator around the start zone, and cease was called.


Matilda is flipped

"You! You! You hurt one of my pets!"
— Jeremy Clarkson to Rex Garrod

It was later revealed that Detonator's batteries had failed, which had gone unnoticed over the din of its petrol engine.

1. Mortis
2. Scrapper
3. Leighbot
4. Recyclopse
5. Detonator

Eliminated: Detonator



Recyclopse vs ScrapperEdit

Scrapper recyclopse
Recyclopse drove forward, and Scrapper moved tentatively in a random pattern as it usually did. Scrapper mistimed a charge and swerved away from Recyclopse before it could make contact with the saw blades. Scrapper spun into an attack, but Recyclopse charged its exposed side and flipped it over by ramming it.
"You stick your tongue out at me and I'll wink at you! Very nice, indeed, as the two robots come together. Manoeuvring for position at the moment. Don't go broadside- Oh, no, no, no, you shouldn't have done that! Broadside and the tongue came out."
— Jonathan Pearce's entire commentary in the fight.

Winner: Recyclopse

Mortis vs LeighbotEdit

Mortis leighbot

Mortis bludgeons Leighbot

Each robot moved forward, and Mortis rammed Leighbot's side. Leighbot stabbed its weapon into midair, and Mortis retaliated with its swift axe.

"It's not very much of a weapon, is it, really? Oh, and that is! Look at that Japanese blade! Thrusting down! Leighbot - pepper-pot! You could pour pepper through that Leighbot machine now! Look at the holes!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Mortis relented long enough to attack Leighbot broadside, hammering it with its axe a number of times. Mortis then withdrew, driving into a CPZ in the process, but driving out to strike Leighbot who pursued. Matilda attacked, but retreated immediately. Mortis then slid under Leighbot's high ground clearance, and then reversed using the tanto blade on the axe to flip Leighbot onto its back, ending the match.
"Could he flip it over? If he does, it's all over! And it is all over!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Mortis turns Leighbot over.
Jeremy Clarkson: "You just made it all look so easy."
Rob Knight: "Do you reckon? The axe should have gone through the armour, I'm quite surprised. It's tougher than it looks."
— Post-battle interview

Winner: Mortis


Mortis vs RecyclopseEdit

Mortis battering ram

Mortis, converted in weaponry, and speared on the spikes

Prior to the final, Mortis' mainshaft for the axe broke, leaving Mortis' main weapon useless. The team altered Mortis so it would act as a battering ram, but this left it dramatically inferior in terms of weaponry in the final.

"We don't know how successful it's going to be. I guess it's just a case of suck it and see."
— Arthur Chilcott
Mortis vs Recyclopse

Mortis forces Recyclopse around the arena

Both robots jumped into action, but neither attacked the other during the opening moments. Mortis dodged Recyclopse's charge, and then reversed into the round robot, pushing it aside, and Recyclopse's eye shone blinding light at the cameras. Recyclopse and Mortis' chase drifted close to Matilda's CPZ, and the House Robot pounced towards Recyclopse. Matilda pushed it away, but did not attack further. Meanwhile, Mortis made a wrong turn and ended up impaled on the spikes in Matilda's CPZ.

"And that is poor driving, and that is poor steering. And that will count against the boys from Cambridge."
— Jonathan Pearce
Recyclopse vs mortis

Mortis rams Recyclopse into the side wall

Mortis was sliced by Matilda and bumped by the spikes. Recyclopse came in to attack Mortis using its pneumatic tongue, inaccurately, but Mortis escaped. It rammed Recyclopse from the rear and drove beneath it, piggybacking it around the arena, and dropping it since Recyclopse's defensive round body helped to cancel out the attack. The two then rammed each other, head-on, Recyclopse missed again with the tongue, and Mortis got beneath and rammed Recyclopse into the side wall. However, Shunt pushed Mortis onto the sidebars where it became stuck, meanwhile Recyclopse tried to escape from the wedge of Mortis and managed to move forward, but remained stuck on top of its opponent and Shunt axed Mortis just as cease was called. The match went to the judges, which went to Recyclopse. This was popular in the pits, but Random Violence Technologies strongly disagreed.

"They're not working - we're working. We pushed them out, we had all the attacks, and we think we should've won."
— Chris Sorsby
"We could not really see a way to decide and kept asking for it to be a draw. But, in those days draws were not allowed and so we were forced to make a decision with a very aggressive crowd screaming in our ears and pushing us into the barriers. We decided on Recyclopse but none of us felt good about it."
— Noel Sharkey

Heat Winner: Recyclopse

Trivia Edit

  • Recyclopse débuted the forward-hinged flipper into robot combat. This was used to great effect by Recyclopse, as it managed to flip Matilda in the Trial; the first successful attack on a House Robot.
  • The battle between Recyclopse and Scrapper set the original Shortest Battle Record at fifteen seconds. It is currently ranked equal 6th.
  • The heat final between Mortis and Recyclopse is one of the most notable battles of Series 1 - It marked the first judges' decision in Robot Wars; Mortis lost the decision, and the team vehemently opposed the decision.
  • This heat featured four teams that would reach the semi-finals of Series 2.

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