Sit-and-spin robots are one of two forms of thwackbot to appear in Robot Wars. They work under the same principle as a full-body spinner, in that the entire robot is designed to act as a heavy spinning object which makes contact over a small surface area.
- Sit-and-Spin refers to any robot whose only method of attack is to spin on its own axis in hope of damaging opponents when they drive close to it. Most sit-and-spin robots were armed with a sharp or blunt weapon along their ends or edges to facilitate damage, while others featured a circular body with spikes, blades or sharp edges along its sides.
- "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."
- — Rory Mangles explains the Meltybrain concept in Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot
The sit-and-spin concept waned in popularity as more advanced and effective spinning weapons became more commonplace. During Robot Wars' hiatus, however, a builder in the US discovered and developed a control system which allowed sit-and-spin robots to move and spin at the same time. This technology, dubbed Meltybrain, involves equipping a sit-and-spin robot with LEDs and a motion detection system, enabling the robot to calculate its rotational speed and move across the arena in a controlled manner while spinning. The Meltybrain concept would not be utilised by a Robot Wars competitor until Nuts 2 in Series 10.
Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit
- Since the sit-and-spin design works under the same principles as those of full-body spinners, robots built this way could theoretically be as damaging as the latter weapon type. A notably effective sit-and-spin robot is inaugural Dutch Robot Wars runner-up, Lizzard, which used its tail to severely damage Neater's lifting forks during their Heat Final in the second series.
- The sit-and-spin design provides a great degree of protection from various attacks - including ramming - since such attacks will often result in opponents being deflected away upon contact. This was best shown in Spin Doctor's performance in the Series 2 King of the Castle Trial, where its shape and sit-and-spin tactics consistently prevented Matilda from being able to push it off the platform.
- While it can be effective at damaging other robots in its range, a conventional sit-and-spin robot cannot usually move and attack at the same time; to attack, it must spin on the spot.
- Spinning in place is not considered to be an aggressive tactic, a factor which can count against a conventional sit-and-spin robot in the event of a Judges' decision.
- If a sit-and-spin robot loses drive to one or more wheels on either side through any method, both its locomotion and main weapon will become incapacitated, as the robot relies purely on its drive system to attack. Nuts 2, for example, was unable to attack at all after one of its drive motors failed seconds into its Series 9 Group Battle.
- Due to their reliance on a robot's drive system to function, sit-and-spin robots are not considered to be active weapons, and were largely made ineligible from Series 7 onwards. Despite this, one sit-and-spin robot - T-Wrecks - successfully qualified for the latter series for as-yet unknown reasons.
- It is still possible, however, for sit-and-spin robots to be eligible if their weapons include independently-moving components, such as the rotating ring used by the original Nuts.
- Certain sit-and-spin robots were necessarily fragile, and their weapons could easily be damaged. This happened most infamously during Nuts' Head-to-Head battles with Carbide and Terrorhurtz in Series 8; in each battle, Nuts' opponents were able to remove the rotating ring, leaving it without any means to damage them in response.
List of Sit-and-Spin RobotsEdit
Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight entries are listed with a green background.
|Robot||Series Appearances as Sit-and-Spins||Notes|
|Abaddon||Series 3||Whipping tail, rolled on a castor which had to be changed before combat.|
|Ajjay||Extreme 1||Was intended to be a full-body spinner, but instead resorted to a sit-and spin tactic.|
|Brawler||US Season 2|
|Coyote||Series 10||Coyote's 10kg minibot Roadrunner uses a birdlike sit-and-spin design.|
|Crasha Gnasha||Series 3||Whipping tail|
|Dantomkia||Series 6-8, Extreme 2||The robot was capable of spinning on the spot at 450rpm (500rpm in Series 8); its front wedges could be used as spikes to damage opponents as its spun round. Limited usage; Dantomkia instead mainly relied on its rear-hinged flipper.|
|IDO||Dutch Series 2|
|Impact||Dutch Series 2||The hammer was covered in fur that was often set alight.|
|Lizzard||Dutch Series 1-2||Whipping tail. Dutch Series 1 runner-up, also reaching the Grand Final in Dutch Series 2.|
|Micro-Mute||Extreme 2, Series 7||Relied more on its speed and wedge shape to win battles.|
|Mini Maul||Series 7|
|Nuts||Series 8-10||Outside ring originally turned vertically independently, giving the robot a moving weapon. The ring is fitted with chain flails which are designed to swing outwards and hit opponents. Returned to Series 9 as Nuts 2, utilising Meltybrain technology and interchangeable rings in Series 10.|
|Spin Doctor||Series 2||First Sit-and-Spin design. Managed to rip off one of Matilda's tusks.|
|Stomp||Series 3||Walking robot, used its large box legs as weapons when spinning.|
|T-Wrecks||Series 7||Qualified for Series 7 despite not having an active weapon.|
|The Swarm||Series 10||One part of the four-part clusterbot, Skye, features a six-spoke 'windmill' structure with tyre sections. The structure is used to hit opponents when the robot spins, and has entanglement features.|
|The Tartan Terror||Series 5|