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Sabretooth

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"What we've created... it scares me!"
— Gabriel Stroud

Sabretooth (originally referred to by the show as Sabre Tooth) was a competitor in Series 5 and 6, and later Series 8 and 9 of Robot Wars. Despite boasting impressive weapons, it failed to progress beyond the first round in Series 5-8, either through poor reliability, severe damage from other opponents, or a faulty self-righting mechanism. Sabretooth's big break finally came in Series 9, where they reached the Heat Final despite taking tremendous amounts of damage along the way.

Although the robot was not successful for its first appearances prior to reaching the Heat Final in Series 9, Sabretooth proved to be a recurring figure, qualifying for five different series, sporting the same name and aesthetics, including Series 7, from which Sabretooth withdrew. The second teaser trailer for Series 8 centred around Sabretooth and its team, before cutting to footage from its Group Battle with Storm 2, Eruption and Terror Turtle. Sabretooth is named after the character of the same name in the X-Men comics[1].

Versions of SabretoothEdit

Sabretooth (Series 5)Edit

SabreTooth5

Sabretooth in Series 5

"Basically they got a moped, cut it up, welded lots of bits of metal to it, strapped on some motors and here it is!"
Jonathan Pearce

The original robot was was built around a Honda Melody Scooter, and is dome-shaped through the use of its rollcage, in favour of a srimech. The robot's weapon was a wide set of shredding blades that spun at 2400 RPM. Although the blades were fairly effective, the front chain was notably exposed. The robot itself was also somewhat slow, and its weapon proved unreliable in its only televised battle.

Sabretooth (Series 6)Edit

Sabretooth

Sabretooth in Series 6

In Series 6, a new Sabretooth armed with a large spinning disc weapon was built. However, its axle for the 13 inch cutting disc weapon broke during the qualifiers, so the team was forced to remove it. The damage came as a result of bending the chassis of a flipper-wielding opponent in its qualifier battle. The old axle was wielded back together, but it would no longer hold up the power of the disc, so the team instead equipped a large tyre for extra speed and mobility, and an improved drive engine, giving Sabretooth 12-horsepower push and allowing it to reach reported incredible speeds of 70 MPH (which would have made it the fastest robot in Robot Wars if these reports are true), in contrast to its former top speed of 12mph. The robot weighed 100kg, and was powered by 2 x 750w electric motors. The added speed given by the tyre didn't help against the weaponry of Terrorhurtz, and because of its thin aluminium armour and the petrol powering the weapon was on board, Sabretooth was eliminated in the first round.

Sabretooth (Series 7 withdrawal)Edit

SabreTooth7

The version of Sabretooth that withdrew from Series 7

An all-new Sabretooth was built for Series 7, featuring a horizontal flywheel, capable of spinning at an incredible speed of 9000RPM, powered by a 125cc engine. In its qualifier battle, it teamed up with Disc-O-Inferno and took out Hannibal with a single blow whilst its ally defeated Hassocks Hog 2. Both spinners survived despite Disc-O-Inferno accidentally damaging Sabretooth when flipped by Hassocks Hog 2. Sabretooth lost the judges' decision to Disc-O-Inferno, but received a discretionary place. However, the team was asked to tone down the power on their disc, and were unable to comply in time for the show, so they were forced to withdraw.

"It was a bit over the top!"
— Gabriel Stroud, on their Series 7 weaponry

Sabretooth (Series 8)Edit

Sabretooth 2016

Sabretooth as it appeared in Series 8

The team returned in 2016 to compete with a brand-new version of Sabretooth. The robot had three weapons, including an overhead claw at the front, which also doubles as the robot's srimech. The claw had a steep wedge plate underneath it, referred to on the Robot Wars website as a 'flipper', and a 22kg aluminium spinning drum at the back, spinning at 4500RPM, which emitted an ominious scream at top speed.

Sabretooth's wedge was later reused on the front of Jar, entered into Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars under the mentorship of Gabriel Stroud. Sabretooth itself also made a brief cameo appearance in Episode 1 of Battle of the Stars, during Stroud's introduction.

Sabretooth (Series 9)Edit

Sabretooth Series 9

Sabretooth as it appears in Series 9

For Series 9, another brand-new version of Sabretooth was built, this time with two-wheel drive, steel armour and a larger three-toothed, 7,000rpm drum weighing 25kg, powered by a 80cc Rotamax. The Series 9 Sabretooth was now invertible to circumvent the Series 8 version's self-righting issues. Its design was inspired by a 'rocket powered industrial quarry robot' according to the official Robot Wars website, with its rear end having a circular section modelled on the exhaust of a jet aircraft.

The top armour of Sabretooth was the same type of scoop previously seen in the last version of Sabretooth and Jar, although Series 8's Sabretooth is known to have another scoop. This Sabretooth was also decorated with a custom-made gear, using the Team Legion name, and the names Gabe, Esme, Rob and Al.

The exhaust pipe at the rear of Sabretooth was planned to be a flamethrower, and the robot still contains some components used to power the flamethrower, but ultimately the weapon was not completed as insurance could not be acquired to run this type of weapon in the arena[2].

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 5Edit

Evolution vs Sabretooth

Sabretooth damages Evolution, but loses its weaponry in the process.

In the heats of Series 5, Sabretooth fought fellow newcomer Evolution in Round 1. At the start of the battle, Sabretooth moved forward and used its spinning blades to inflict cosmetic damage to Evolution, but in return, received a blow from Evolution's turret weapon. Evolution then rammed Sabre Tooth and stopped its weapon completely. Suddenly, both robots lost a lot of their momentum. The House Robots, Sergeant Bash and Sir Killalot, both closed in to attack Evolution, fiercely penetrating the armour and snapping the turret weapon, while Sabretooth was curiously left alone. Both House Robots received yellow cards from Refbot. Sabretooth came back to life and rammed Evolution, and then time ran out. Due to its more active role in the battle, Evolution had won the Judges' decision and proceeded through to Round 2, and Sabretooth was therefore eliminated.

Series 6Edit

Sabretooth axed

Terrorhurtz axes Sabretooth

Sabretooth's spinning disc broke long before the first battle, meaning the team had to replace it with a motorcycle tyre, which supposedly increased Sabretooth's top speed to 70mph. As a result, Sabretooth's spinning disc was never referenced on the show.

Sabretooth faced three other veterans in the first round battle: A-Kill, Terrorhurtz and Reptirron The Second. Sabretooth played very little part in its battle, as it ran into Sergeant Bash immediately and then slammed backwards into Terrorhurtz, who landed several powerful axe blows on it. Already immobilised, Sabretooth was shoved into the side wall afterwards, with several pieces of armour buckled and broken. Sabretooth was counted out by Refbot and thrown by the floor flipper. It was eliminated along with later victim, Reptirron the Second.

Series 8Edit

Sabretooth with team

Sabretooth with Team Legion

Robot Wars Teaser Trailer 2 - BBC Two00:16

Robot Wars Teaser Trailer 2 - BBC Two

featuring Sabretooth

Sabretooth's participation in Series 8 was first officially revealed through the second teaser trailer, which shows Team Legion admiring their robot to the theme of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, before showing clips of Sabretooth in its first round battle.

In the first round, Sabretooth met Storm 2, Terror Turtle, and Eruption. However, the robot faced immediate difficulty, as its claw weapon, which also functions as Sabretooth's self-righting mechanism, was broken in the process of repairs.

"When we were trying to fix it, it broke! So don't tell anyone, we can't self right!"
— Gabriel Stroud
Sabretooth vs Eruption

Sabretooth uses its drum on Eruption

Eruption flips sabretooth

Sabretooth is flipped by Eruption

Compromising for the lack of a srimech, Sabretooth's tactics were to spin the rear drum up to full power, and make itself unapproachable to flippers, pushing its opponents aside. It bravely targeted Eruption to try and dispose of the flipper first, and landed a glancing blow, but was tossed when Eruption snuck underneath the drum, luckily landing back on its wheels. Sabretooth was not discouraged, and buffeted Eruption, but when it was flipped once more, it landed on its back. With Sabretooth unable to self-right due to its broken claw, it was rendered immobile, and was left alone until cease was called.

Sabretooth was nearly required to fight a second battle in the episode, when Team Eruption were struggling to repair their robot in time for its match against Apollo. Had Eruption dropped out, Sabretooth would have filled its place[3], but ultimately Eruption made it to the arena.

Series 9Edit

Sabretooth-team series 9

Sabretooth with Team Legion

Sabretooth competed in Episode 1, where it fought the new robot from a Grand Finalist team, Aftershock, as well as the experienced Crank-E and Dutch entry TMHWK. Angela Scanlon immediately spoke to Team Legion about their lack of a televised win.

Angela Scanlon: "You're a glutton for punishment!"
Gabriel Stroud: "We've learnt so many lessons! The key lesson, is this time, it runs both ways up! The drum is a monster!"
— Gabriel Stroud believes he may finally win a battle
Sabretooth vs tmhwk

Sabretooth rips TMHWK's plastic sides

Sabretooth was intentionally evasive at the start of the battle, allowing Aftershock to immobilise Crank-E, only challenging TMHWK when Team Dutch Robot Girls approached it. Sabretooth quickly won this battle, immobilising TMHWK with a side-on charge, ripping shards of its HDPE side panel away, eventually tearing it off completely. Wedged under TMHWK, Sabretooth drove it across the arena and into Shunt. Sabretooth sent one of TMHWK's front wedges flying, and the beaten machine was turned over by the arena spikes. Both defeated robots were counted out, but Sabretooth drew too close to Shunt, and the House Robot beached it on the arena wall. As a result, Team Legion were unaware that they had earned their first victory in Robot Wars.

Sabretooth vs Shunt

Sabretooth is beached by Shunt

Angela Scanlon: "Sixteen years, you've waited for a little sniff of glory!"
Gabriel Stroud: "But have we won?"
Angela Scanlon: "Wha-- no wonder it took sixteen years! Well, I mean, you're through!"
Gabriel Stroud: "Oh, we have? Yay! I need it confirmed! I need it confirmed, it's been so long!"
— The revelation dawns upon Team Legion

The jubilant Team Legion qualified for the second round, where their first opponent was Terrorhurtz, in a rematch from Series 6. Sabretooth raised its ground-scraping wedge for this battle, as it was limiting the robot's control in the previous fight.

Terrorhurtz vs sabretooth 2

Sabretooth rips away Terrorhurtz's axe rest

When activate sounded, Terrorhurtz charged Sabretooth, which was slow in spinning up its drum, although it scattered sparks once it started spinning, sustaining axe blows in the process. After this, Terrorhurtz drove into the arena wall, a mistake which Sabretooth capitalised on, throwing Terrorhurtz's axe rest panel aside, flipping the robot up, and burying the spinning drum into Terrorhurtz's weaker back end. Both robots met again in the centre of the arena, and Sabretooth threw Terrorhurtz skyward, then remained underneath the falling Terrorhurtz to damage its underside.

"All of a sudden, Sabretooth, after sixteen years of misery and hurt, are looking delightful! They didn't even know they'd won the previous bout, so unused to victory!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Sabretooth vs Terrorhurtz

A smoking Sabretooth wedges under Terrorhurtz

However at this point, smoke poured out of Sabretooth, and the drum also stopped working after losing a huge chunk. Sabretooth needed to use tactical driving to sneak around the back of a limping Terrorhurtz, which had also lost drive to one side. Sabretooth could not push Terrorhurtz effectively, and drove in front of it to receive an axe blow. Team Legion then realised Terrorhurtz's immobility, and pressed the pit release button in the hopes that Rogue House Robot would be activated. Their wish was granted, and after an attack from the rogue Shunt, and a follow-up hit from Sabretooth, Terrorhurtz was rendered immobile, and Team Legion earned 3 points for a knockout victory.

"That was a stupendous fight! Crazy, crazy fight!"
— The elated Team Legion
Broken drum

Sabretooth's broken drum

The team could not remain cheerful for too long, as they then discovered the significant damage that their drum had sustained. Robert Pickford was required to bend steel rings out of metal off-cuts to wrap around the drum, supporting the chunk that had come loose in the last battle. Sabretooth's drum was fixed in time for its second encounter with Aftershock.

Aftershock vs sabretooth 1

Sabretooth exposes its wheel to Aftershock

Sabretooth made a driving error in the face of Aftershock, exposing its wheel and losing shreds of armour, before a second error saw Sabretooth drive over the floor flipper, where it was turned over. The normally invertible robot could not move due to the damage sustained to its body-shape. Aftershock used its spinner to right Sabretooth, but caused further damage, and ripped away its top armour.

"Oh they need a good drummer out there. Phil Collins anywhere? No, he's not here!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Aftershock vs sabretooth 2

Sabretooth loses its top panel

Sabretooth was now in great peril, and pressed the pit release, causing the pit to descend. This gave Aftershock a chance to inflict the killer blow on Sabretooth, turning it over and showering sparks. Although Sabretooth was immobile, Team Shock did not realise this, and landed another barrage of hits, barrelling Sabretooth through the air. Off-screen, the punishment continued as Sir Killalot lifted and damaged Sabretooth even more[4].

"I feel a bit funny after Aftershock..."
— Gabriel Stroud responds to Angela Scanlon's sympathy
Aftershock vs Sabretooth

The remains of Sabretooth after the last hit from Aftershock

Sabretooth had lost the battle with a huge amount of repairs now needing to be made. Broken components included Sabretooth's motors and speed controllers, and its drum was still in need of repairs before the battle had even begun. Team Shock would later apologise for the extensive damage they caused. After hours of hard work, Sabretooth entered the test arena to see whether or not the robot would be functional for a battle with the reinstated Jellyfish. Although the team accidentally wired their drum to spin in the wrong direction, Sabretooth was fit to enter the arena.

"Two hours ago, I think that was in pieces. So many people helped... we're back on track, thank you!"
— An emotional Gabriel Stroud thanks the roboteers in the pits
Jellyfish vs sabretooth 3

Sabretooth rides over Jellyfish

Although Sabretooth got its weapon up to speed, it could not damage Jellyfish, as the weapon was spinning in the wrong direction. Jellyfish hugged Sabretooth on two occasions, and Team Legion could only drive their robot over the top of Jellyfish. Sabretooth was idle in the centre of the arena, and it was gripped by the clamp of Jellyfish. Eventually breaking free, Sabretooth's drum hit the surface of Jellyfish, and became stuck on its back pole. Sir Killalot separated the two robots, but both were stuck on the surface of the slightly lowered pit, and could not escape until 'cease' was called.

Killalot seperates jellyfish and sabretooth

Neither robot can escape the pit

"Who is the quick, or the dead? Well neither of them were the quick, let's be honest! This is gonna be close!"
— Jonathan Pearce

The battle was sent to an adjudication, and Dara Ó Briain revealed that this was in fact a split decision. However, despite one Judge voting in favour of Sabretooth, the battle was ultimately won by Jellyfish. This left Sabretooth with a total of three points at the end of Round 2, tied with Terrorhurtz. Because Sabretooth defeated Terrorhurtz in their head-to-head battle, Team Legion qualified for the Heat Final.

"I think this time round, we'll give the Aftershock boys a little taste of their own medicine!"
— Pre-battle confidence from Gabriel Stroud
Aftershock vs sabretooth final

Sabretooth and Aftershock collide

Sabretooth entered the Heat Final without a working weapon, so it attempted to hit Aftershock before the vertical spinner got up to speed, but this attack was not fast enough, and Sabretooth was punted towards Sir Killalot. The House Robot held Sabretooth over the flame pit, and Aftershock attacked it while it was in the air. Sabretooth's one functional wheel could not gain purchase on the arena floor, and after being thrown by Sir Killalot, Sabretooth stopped completely. Will Thomas did not power down Aftershock's weapon, but held off to see if Sabretooth was immobile. Sabretooth showed signs of life, but Gabriel Stroud seemingly wished to play dead to avoid further punishment.

Killalot holds sabretooth over the flame pit

Sabretooth is roasted over the fire

"Don't, because they'll hit you!"
— Gabriel Stroud, when Robert Pickford controlled Sabretooth

After another hit, Sabretooth was finished, and it was counted out. An emotional episode had come to a close for Team Legion, and the sixteen-year wait resulted in a Heat Final finish. Sabretooth remained in contention for a wildcard position in the Grand Final, but this was awarded to Apollo, eliminating Sabretooth from the competition.

"We rebuilt it twice in the pits, pretty much from scratch, and the fact that we've got to this point is, I think, an amazing feat of skills, engineering, everything, and it's all down to these guys. We've had an amazing ride, and it's been... really good!"
— An emotional finish for Team Legion

ResultsEdit

SABRETOOTH - RESULTS
Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat G, Eliminator vs. Evolution Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat I, Round 1 vs. A-Kill, Terrorhurtz, Reptirron The Second Eliminated
Series 8
Series 8 - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Episode 4, Group Battle vs. Eruption, Storm 2, Terror Turtle Eliminated
Series 9
Series 9 - UK Championship
Heat Final
Episode 1, Group Battle vs. Aftershock, Crank-E, TMHWK Qualified
Episode 1, Head-to-Heads vs. Terrorhurtz Won by KO (3 points)
Episode 1, Head-to-Heads vs. Aftershock Lost (0 points)
Episode 1, Head-to-Heads vs. Jellyfish Lost (0 points)
Episode 1, Heat Final vs. Aftershock Lost

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 6

Series RecordEdit

  • The insides of the Series 5 Sabretooth
  • Sabretooth before Series 5
  • Sabretooth in the pits during Series 6, equipped with the tyre
  • The chassis' of the Series 5 and 6 versions of Sabretooth
  • Team Legion enter the arena in Series 8
Series Sabretooth Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Seventh Wars Withdrew
Series 8 Heat, Round 1
Series 9 Heat Final
Entered Battle of the Stars with Jar

NOTE: Harry Hills entered Series 9 with Hobgoblin

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Sabretooth 2016 live events official image

Sabretooth's profile on the Extreme Robots website

In spite of Sabretooth using a spinning disc as a weapon, the robot spent a brief time on the Extreme Robots website before those events gained a spinner-safe arena. Sabretooth was listed as a competitor, hinting at potential participation in 2017 Extreme Robots live events, before its statistics were removed from the website.

For more information on Team Legion's excursions outside of Robot Wars, see Team Legion.

TriviaEdit

  • Sabretooth is the only robot to reach the Heat Final of the main competition despite only collecting one single win in the Head-to-Heads - only Robo Savage achieved this before in a side competition, and both qualified on a total score of 3 points.
  • Prior to its official trailer, Sabretooth was leaked as Series 8 competitor as early as March 6th, 2016, due to a tweet from Angela Scanlon, showing her posing in front of Sabretooth's work bench.
  • The 9000rpm spinning speeds of Sabretooth's flywheel at the time of Series 7 still holds the record for the fastest spinner in UK Robot Wars, equal with Grand Finalist Pulsar.
  • In its Series 9 introduction, Sabretooth was incorrectly spelled as Sabertooth.
  • Coincidentally, Sabretooth's second loss and second win were both in battles involving Terrorhurtz.

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/5ynthw/sabretooth_ama/
  2. https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/5ynthw/sabretooth_ama/derjeo0/?context=3
  3. https://www.facebook.com/EruptionRobot/?fref=ts
  4. https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnofficialRobotWars/permalink/578565065756596/

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