"S3 looked like a hammerhead shark and had the bite to match!"
— Jonathan Pearce

S3 (standing for Sting 3) was a competitor robot that appeared in Series 5 and 6 of Robot Wars as well as the second series of Robot Wars Extreme.

An axlebot with a powerful vertical flywheel, S3 won the Most Original Entry award in Series 5. S3 was considerably more successful than its predecessor Sting, reaching the top eight of Series 5, defeating former semi-finalists Plunderbird 5, Mousetrap 2, Stinger, Wild Thing and Spawn Again, ultimately defeated by eventual champion Razer. It reached the same stage in Series 6, eventually defeated by Firestorm 4.


"In the finish, the deciding factor was the nature of Robot Wars itself. After all, we didn't want to just win, we wanted to do it in style with lots of good TV to boot, and that meant damage infliction and lots of it! A big weapon it was to be then!"
— 1 Law Associates website on designing S3
S3 Robot

Series 5 appearance

Inspired by Hypno-Disc, the 1 Law Associates chose to build a robot with a large spinning flywheel, but chose to mount it vertically to avoid it being seen as a “Hypno-Disc clone”. The design stage of S3 started in August 2000, and the building of the robot began in Spring 2001, with the robot only being finished the night before the qualifiers.

"It's a weapon on wheels! The cylindrical body houses all the drive and control gear, the front segment is the weapon, it runs either way up. That blade is 20 kilos, 18 inches in diameter, and spins at 1000 rpm."
— Jonathan Pearce describes S3 in Series 5

Official profile for Series 6

S3 eschewed the scorpion-like design of its predecessor, being a two-wheeled axlebot armed with a large front-mounted, 18-inch vertical flywheel weighing between 17-20kg. The flywheel (which the team named a "snatch" weapon) featured two 3 inch teeth and spun at up to 1000RPM, and was consistently able to cause significant damage to its opponents, on occasions sending components flying out of the arena or towards the ceiling. S3's armour was a smooth sculpted aluminium shell with no discernible external plates or bolts.

S3 Extreme 2

Extreme 2 appearance, equipped with anti-flipper plates

"This has improved drive, more power, better control, is heavier, stronger and more destructive with the vertical disc, but don't trust the aluminium armour."
— Jonathan Pearce on the improvements to S3 in Extreme 2

For Extreme 2, the team added new "anti-flipper" plates to S3 (sourced from a butcher) to prevent opponents from getting underneath it, as the robot's shape meant it was vulnerable to getting flipped. However, these plates prevented S3 from falling back onto its wheels when it was on its side, which cost it in its All-Stars battle against Bigger Brother and Firestorm 4.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 5Edit


Plunderbird 5 rams S3

Despite the team's appearance in previous wars, S3 was dubbed as a newcomer to the wars. Its first appearance was against another veteran team in Plunderbird 5. At the beginning of the fight, Plunderbird 5 pushed the 'hammer-head shark' shaped robot around the arena into the CPZ.


S3 rips Plunderbird apart

However, The 1 Law Associates' robot ripped into Plunderbird 5's side.

"We haven't seen this sort of weaponry before! It is a vertically mounted disc, driven on by a 3000rpm electric motor. It looks very destructive, S3, and Plunderbird is in real trouble here!"
— Jonathan Pearce as S3 rips into Plunderbird 5

S3 attacked again, clipping Plunderbird 5's weapon with its flywheel, causing it to fall off of its external piston, rendering it useless. It then proceeded to rip off most of the armour protecting Plunderbird 5's right wheels, causing Plunderbird 5 to eventually stop moving near the top left-hand CPZ.

"I know that they've been here before in Robot Wars with Sting, but this is a new machine in S3 and it looks absolutely awesome!"
— Jonathan Pearce as S3 tears off the side of Plunderbird 5

Plunderbird 5's grizzly end

Sir Killalot then picked up Plunderbird 5 and carried it over to the floor flipper, during which point part of the drivetrain, with two wheels and part of the frame still attached, broke off and fell out of Plunderbird 5's right side. It was then thrown on the floor flipper, and S3 got in one more hit before cease was called.

Dave Barker: "Well, what can I say, it's martial law!"
Craig Charles: "Hey, I'll tell you what, your first time in Robot Wars, you could go all the way!"
Dave Barker: "Yeah, I think seriously, we stand a good chance, it's a good robot, it's driving well."
— Post-battle interview

Mousetrap traps S3


S3's last-minute attack on Mousetrap

In the next round, S3 fought the 20th seeds Mousetrap 2. Mousetrap's arm immediately grabbed hold of S3. Both robots were then stuck together for a while. S3's blade was tangled in Mousetrap's spring. Mousetrap couldn't free its arm, so Refbot freed it towards the end of the fight and Mousetrap axed S3 again. With 4 seconds remaining S3 slammed into Mousetrap's side, causing damage to its panel. That damage allowed S3 to win the judges decision.

"That was too close!"
— Dave Barker after the battle

S3 was then through to the Heat Final, against 5th seeds Stinger, Grand Finalists in the previous war.

"I don't think I've been as excited about the debut of a machine since seeing Chaos for the first time!"
— Jonathan Pearce reviewing S3's route to the Heat Final
Stinger vs S3

S3 knocks out Stinger

Both robots made identical movements, driving forward, spinning in a circle, and halting. Stinger pounded its mace on the ground to little effect, S3 and Stinger reversed into each other, before S3 span and landed several powerful blows on Stinger, throwing the axlebot around with little effort. Stinger missed six consecutive attacks with its mace, before S3 interrupted Stinger's usual sit and spin technique with a well placed attack, once again hitting the wheels. Another blow sent Stinger flying into the side wall, where Shunt rammed it and harassed it before its escape. Stinger activated the pit before finally hitting S3 with its mace, but to no avail, as S3 knocked them with the disc again, flipping them over.

"S3 looks purposeful, menacing, relentless in the pursuit of its quarry!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Stinger slowed down, and S3 pushed Stinger against an angle grinder, where it stopped moving. This was because Stinger's main drive system had been buckled by S3's disc to the point that Stinger's gears could not mesh correctly. Stinger was counted out and thrown by the Floor Flipper, coming back to life on impact, but it was already eliminated.

"Newcomer S3 was the most impressive of all though, taking the venom out of Stinger's tail!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Bigger Brother vs. S3

Bigger Brother tries to flip S3 out of the arena

In the Semi-Finals, S3 was drawn against Bigger Brother, the only other unseeded robot in the Semi-Finals. Bigger Brother drove straight at the body of S3, getting its body underneath the part that separated the blade from the arena floor. It began to push it aside, but S3's disc came into contact, and Bigger Brother was thrown away from it. S3 was unable to gain purchase before Bigger Brother recovered and slammed into it, almost flicking it out of the arena.

Bigger Brother vs S3

Bigger Brother pits S3

The attempt beached S3 on the arena wall, activated the pit, and almost made an investigating Dead Metal descend into oblivion. S3 was flipped free, its disc tearing the pit release button away from the wall. Bigger Brother flipped S3 over again, and pushed it into the pit.

S3 vs wild thing

S3 attacks Wild Thing

However, S3 was not out of the competition yet, as the Loser's melee had been introduced for Series 5. It was drawn against Wild Thing and Spawn Again The three robots darted around each other repeatedly, and S3 launched the first attack by slashing Wild Thing with its disc. Spawn Again then got beneath S3, but did not flip it over. S3 attacked Wild Thing, using its disc to propel it onto its side against the wall. Spawn Again closed in, meaning that Wild Thing could not pull away from the side wall. However, all three robots relented and moved away from the side wall. Wild Thing pushed Spawn Again across the arena, and S3 cut into its rear, before striking its sides. The impact sent Spawn Again flying a few feet away, and immobilised it. S3 and Wild Thing's battle moved away from Spawn Again, who fired its flipper but was unable to move. Refbot counted out Spawn Again, as S3's disc hurled Wild Thing away again. S3 struck Wild Thing, but Wild Thing pressed S3 against the side wall, stopping the disc, and then into Shunt's CPZ, where Shunt attacked both robots, and Wild Thing again caught itself on S3's disc and had damage inflicted. As Sergeant Bash pitted Spawn Again, Wild Thing slammed S3 into the side wall, and cease was called. On style and control, Wild Thing won, but the aggression inflicted damage from S3 was so great that the judges ruled in favour it.

Progressing through again, S3 fought world champions Razer for a place in the Grand Final.

Philippa Forrester: "It's going to be a tactician's battle, I think, between these two. First time robot - very, very experienced robot. How do you fell about being up against Razer?"
Dave Barker: "Yeah, well when we managed eventually to qualify we had a chat in the pits, as you do, and we said "Yeah, what we really want to go up against that "beaky, pointy, spikey thing" over there"
The 1 Law Associates (together): "I don't think so!"
— The team being sarcastic in the pre-battle interview
S3 vs razer

Razer cuts into S3...

After a few attacks, Razer lifted S3 into the air. The two robots swiveled around each other as usual, but Razer was the one to attack, grabbing the wheel cylinder of S3, and avoiding the flywheel. Razer pushed S3 into Shunt, who axed it, and Razer crushed slowly through S3's armour. Pulling out of Shunt's CPZ, Razer raised its claw, and pulled S3 into the air with it.

"I've described this as a hammerhead shark - it is a mere minnow, gobbled up by the big fish that is Razer!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Razer vs s3

...and carries it around it arena

Razer held S3 over the flames, burning the rubber of its tires, before carrying it to Dead Metal, who carved long slashes in S3's rear armour. Finally, Razer released S3, and it frantically drove around, trying to attack. However, Razer caught it once more, pushed it into Dead Metal, and stopped the spinning disc. S3 was lifted nearly out of the arena by Shunt, Razer and Dead Metal, but finally escaped the clutches of Dead Metal. It was quickly caught again by Razer, who put the tip of its beak in the blade's holster in S3, and pushed it into the House Robots. As Razer carved into S3's back armour, the cease was called and the judges were consulted, but Razer was the clear winner.

"I was actually scared for them, because I reckon that circular saw of yours could of done an awful lot of damage to them, but they came right at you, grabbed hold of you straight away, picked you up, paraded you around!"
— Craig Charles

At the end of the series, S3 won the Most Original Entry Award, and was also nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer Award, despite the team having fought before in Series 2 and 3, but lost to Fluffy anyway.

Series 6Edit

"Good. Very, very good!"
— Jonathan Pearce as S3 enters the arena

7th seeds S3 went up against newcomers Roobarb and Armadrillo, and returning team Shredder. Despite being seeded and its performances in the last wars, the Roobarb and Shredder teams both claimed to not be afraid of S3, though the Armadrillo team claimed their robot was cannon fodder upon hearing they were drawn against S3.

Philippa Forrester: "They're all quite frightened of you, actually not all of them frightened of you, because the Shredder team over there, they're not frightened at all, the Roobarb team over there, they're not frightened at all, but I think they're a bit stupid, and the Armadrillo team here are frightened."
Dave Barker: "Well, we're really frightened! We had a really good run last year, obviously, we've got a lot to live up to, but we'll see how it goes!"
— Pre-battle interview

S3 breaks one of Shredder's discs

S3 vs Shredder R1

S3 is hammered by Mr. Psycho, and breaks a second arena wall

Almost as soon as activate was called, the impact of S3's spinning disc on its first attack made one of Shredder's blades fly out of the arena. S3 attacked Roobarb, which quickly became immobilised in Sir Killalot's CPZ. Shredder fought back against S3, pushing it into the side wall, which buckled because of the power of S3's armament. S3 came back on the attack on Shredder, almost flipping it, but was caught by Mr. Psycho's hammer since it was on the edge of the CPZ. S3 was continually pressured by Shredder and Mr. Psycho until the end of the battle, but both competitors went through since Armadrillo, the other robot in the opening round melee, had been barely mobile and therefore lost the judges' decision.

S3 faced Sir Chromalot in the second round. Before the fight, S3 had to go through a lot of repairs.

"We've had to replace the gearbox shaft, the batteries had all been knocked out, the wheels were oval, but apart from that, it's all right!"
— Pete Allsop on the repairs to S3
Sir Chromalot vs S3

S3 does not fall for Sir Chromalot's trick

S3 vs Sir Chromalot

S3 throws Sir Chromalot over

Sir Chromalot went straight for the pit release button and stayed near the pit of oblivion, attempting to draw S3 in. Sir Chromalot eventually drove away from the pit and was easily flipped over by the blade of S3. It self-righted, but S3 came on the attack again, tossing Sir Chromalot onto its back. S3 almost drove into the pit after another self-right from its opponent. S3 nearly pushed Sir Chromalot down, but instead managed to flip it onto its side before helping to right the Essex machine. Sir Chromalot, however was immobilised, allowing S3 to go through the Heat Final.

"Tactical battle, we knew what they were trying to do, and we knew they knew that we knew we'd drive, but we didn't go for it though, sorry lads!"
— Dave Barker

In the Heat Final, it met Shredder again.

"Shredder is a bit more manoeuvrable, but I don't think it has the power of S3. So it's a really interesting match for us, it's a good test case of the different types of disc."
Noel Sharkey before the Heat Final

S3 cuts into Shredder's wheel

Both machines started tentatively, until S3 came on the attack with its weapon knocking Shredder aside. Shredder pushed back, but after activating the arena floor spinner, S3 was able to flay the side armour of Shredder and bend one of its pair of discs. This damage meant that Shredder's wheels would not touch the ground when flipped, which S3 duly did to Shredder, leaving the purple machine immobilised and S3 in its second consecutive Semi-final.

S3 vs Dantomkia

S3 further damages the immobilised Dantomkia. Note that Dantomkia's front spike is wedged under the grinder

S3 faced Dantomkia in round one of the series Semi-Finals. S3 wasn't able to cause Dantomkia much damage because of the Surrey machine's shape. Dantomkia also struggled to get underneath S3 to use its flipper effectively. Dantomkia then drove into an angle grinder which had it stuck on the arena wall. S3 attacked once, before Refbot freed Dantomkia, which was immobilised and counted out.

Firestorm 4 was now the only machine that stood between S3 and the Grand Final.

Pete Allsop: "Bit nervous now. Firestorm, good robot, better control than we have and another flipper as well!"
Philippa Forrester: "Another flipper, which I know you don't like!"
— Pre-battle interview
S3 vs Firestorm

S3's final main series appearance

S3 was pursued early on, with Firestorm looking for chances to flip its opponent. When Firestorm did get underneath S3, the spinning disc of S3 once again shattered the arena wall, this time the plexiglass around the house robot entrance. The next attack by the third seeds on S3 flipped it onto the arena side wall, where the weight of the disc tipped S3 over the wall and out of the Sixth Wars.

Extreme 2Edit

For finishing in the Semi-Finals of Series 6, S3 was able to enter the All-Stars Tournament of Extreme 2, and in the first round it was drawn against Firestorm 4 and Bigger Brother, two robots that had beaten it before. The team had added anti-flipper plates to combat being flipped, but these proved to be their undoing.


Bigger Brother throws out S3

Firestorm and Bigger Brother attacked S3 together and wedged it onto its side, where it was left spinning in circles: the "anti-flipper" plates preventing the robot from falling back onto its wheels. Bigger Brother then drove S3 towards the arena wall and flipped it over and out.

Philippa Forrester: "So in terms of a Robot Wars defeat then, would you say that was one of the most embarrassing ways you could go?"
Ian Pritchard: "Yes, very much so!"
— Post-battle interview

This was S3's last appearance.


Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Semi-Final, Round 2
Heat C, Eliminator vs. Plunderbird 5 Won
Heat C, Semi Final vs. Mousetrap 2 (20) Won
Heat C, Final vs. Stinger (5) Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Bigger Brother Lost
Semi-Final 1, Losers Melee vs. Wild Thing (9), Spawn Again (13) Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 2 vs. Razer (4) Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
7th Seed, Semi-Final, Round 2
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Roobarb, Shredder, Armadrillo Qualified
Heat D, Round 2 vs. Sir Chromalot Won
Heat D, Final vs. Shredder Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Dantomkia Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 2 vs. Firestorm 4 (3) Lost
Extreme Series 2
Heat, Round 1
Heat A, Round 1 vs. Bigger Brother, Firestorm 4 Eliminated


  • Wins: 8
  • Losses: 4

Series RecordEdit


S3 being worked on backstage

Main Series S3 Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Entered with Sting
The Third Wars Entered with Sting 2
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Semi-Finals, Round 2
The Sixth Wars Semi-Finals, Round 2
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
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 Entered

Outside Robot WarsEdit

  • S3 at a live event in 2002
  • S3 on display at Enginuity

S3 competed at a Roaming Robots events in 2002, and was also used for demonstrations at a "Robot Crusade" 2003 event.

S3 is currently on display, along with Sting 2 at Enginuity, the National Design and Technology Education Centre which is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.



  • S3 is one of only eight robots to fight in more than one UK Championship and never fail to reach the Semi-Finals.
  • According to Team Captain Dave Barker, S3 was not called Sting 3 so it would not be confused with Stinger. Ironically, S3's first appearance saw it fight Stinger and beat it.
  • The Series 5 stat sheet mistakenly displayed S3's weight as 100kg when it was actually 90kg. This is proven in Series 6, when Ian Pritchard stated that the robot was 'another 8kg heavier than in Series 5'. As S3 weighed 98kg in Series 6, the robot having a weight of 100kg in Series 5 would be impossible, as this would make the Series 6 incarnation 2kg lighter.
  • According to the Robot Wars Magazine, S3 would have been seeded eighth for the Seventh Wars, had it competed.
  • S3's loss to Razer in Series 5 was its only loss not to involve Bigger Brother, Firestorm, or both.
    • Razer is also the only non-flipper robot to defeat S3.
  • In both of S3's main series appearances, it fought in the same heat as Shredder.
  • In the Fifth Wars, S3 defeated three former semi-finalists on the way to winning its heat (Plunderbird, Mousetrap and Stinger). No other robot has ever achieved this feat, though TR2 did defeat Dantomkia (under a new team) and Or Te (but was not responsible for its immobilisation) alongside King B Remix in Series 8.
  • S3 was the only seeded robot in Series 6 that was not originally seeded for at least three series (Dominator 2 was originally seeded for Series 7, but pulled out at the last moment).
  • During Series 5, all five of the robots S3 defeated were former semi-finalists, the most former semi-finalists defeated in a single run.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.