"Supernova, a potential star"
— Jonathan Pearce

Supernova was a competitor robot from Series 5 to 9 of Robot Wars. It was the second robot built by Team Supernova, formerly Team Trinity.

Supernova's best performance in the UK series was in The Sixth Wars, when it reached the Heat Final before losing to Spawn Again. Its other appearances saw it lose in the first round in Series 5, 7 and 8, while it placed third in the Head-to-Head stage of its heat in Series 9. It also represented Sri Lanka in the The Third World Championship, reaching the final before losing to UK representative Storm 2.



Supernova in Series 5


Supernova in Series 6

Supernova was a low, fast, two-wheeled, invertible robot, which in Series 5 was pale yellow in colour. In Series 6, the paint scheme was blue and red in the vein of Superman, with the character's logo displayed directly above the word 'Nova'. For Series 8, Supernova abandoned the Superman S on its top armour in favour of a new logo, showing a supernova surrounding the latter half of its name. The Series 9 build of Supernova featured a black and red colour scheme, with a new logo on its top panel combining an 'S' with the robot's name.


Supernova in Series 7

Supernova 2016

Supernova in Series 8

Its main weapon was a 22kg half metre, 2000RPM horizontal spinning disc, driven by a 12HP motor and capable of ripping robots to pieces with its sharp hammerheads on the sides, but mostly specialised in knocking loose components inside and causing the robot to break down. Supernova's disc was almost a quarter of the robot's weight and spun at 2500RPM in its Series 7-8 guise. However, the armour was thin and Supernova was often hurled away from its opponents due to the immense power of the disc, which would require the team to adapt to their new position in the arena despite also offering a quick getaway from opponents. Supernova's flywheel design had also become somewhat out of date in Series 8, as its teeth became prone to falling off the disc, a problem nowadays avoided by creating solid flywheels with teeth in the design.

Supernova-team series 9

Supernova with its team in Series 9

For Series 9, a new build of Supernova was introduced, with a revised chassis and a brand-new spinning disc made out of one piece of hardened steel. The new disc still weighed 22kg, but spun at 2,500rpm, and had two teeth integrated into the disc in order to prevent them from shearing off upon contact with opponents. Supernova's armour now consisted of 3-6mm HARDOX. The team also lined Supernova's wheels with rubber in an attempt to combat the robot's recurring problem of rebounding away from robots upon contact.

"One of the features of Supernova is that it's a bit unpredictable when the disc hits. We've tried to make that better by putting more grip around the wheels, so that when we hit something, at least we get some traction so we can recover more quickly."
— Suren Balendran in Series 9

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 5Edit

Supernova vs Behemoth

A strong blow from Supernova


Behemoth finishes off Supernova

In its first ever fight, Supernova was drawn against veterans and 15th seeds Behemoth. The fight began with Supernova hitting Behemoth's scoops and causing minor damage to Behemoth's scoop. Behemoth then axed and flipped Supernova. Behemoth then charged Supernova again, but was deflected away by the flywheel, sustaining more cosmetic damage. The seeds drove into Sir Killalot's CPZ, but escaped without damage, before lifting and pushing Supernova toward Matilda's CPZ. Supernova then had its top panel torn off and its wheel-guard bent by Matilda's flywheel. Behemoth used the axe to immobilise the exposed machinery inside Supernova, before pushing it forward and flipping it head-first into the pit of oblivion, eliminating Supernova from the competition.

"Behemoth put the lights out on the Supernova, sending it into a black hole"
— Jonathan Pearce sums up Supernova's run

Series 6Edit

Tiberius crushes Supernova

Supernova is caught by Tiberius 3

Supernova vs Short Circuit

Supernova shreds Short Circuit.

Supernova's first round melee in the Sixth Wars saw it go up against newcomers to the televised show Short Circuit, the number 10 seeds Spawn Again, and the experienced Tiberius 3. Despite receiving a small hole from Tiberius 3's claw weapon, Supernova used its flywheel to great effect on Short Circuit, who soon began to slowly fall apart, and was soon immobilised. Spawn Again then eventually flipped over Tiberius 3 from behind, from which Tiberius 3 couldn't self right. Both Short Circuit and Tiberius 3 were counted out and further tormented by the House Robots, allowing both Spawn Again and Supernova were able to proceed to the next round of the Heat.

"We are seeing one of the most destructive weapons thus far in Robot Wars: The Sixth Wars!"
Jonathan Pearce on Supernova
Supernova vs Ming 3

Supernova severs a cable on Ming 3

Ming 3 vs Supernova

Supernova knocks out Ming 3

In the second round, Supernova was drawn up against Ming 3. Supernova immediately targeted the exposed wheels of Ming 3, dealing major damage to them. Eventually, Ming 3's wheels were so mangled that it was left unable to move. Team Ming's machine was deemed immobilised, counted out by the Refbot, flipped by the arena floor flipper, and eliminated.

Spawn Again flips Supernova

Supernova is flipped by Spawn Again

Spawn Again vs Supernova

Supernova stuck on an angle grinder

Supernova is pitted

Supernova is pitted by Growler

This put Supernova through to the Heat Final, where it was up against Spawn Again once more. It was seen as having a good chance of defeating the seeded machine, as Spawn Again had struggled in its two previous battles. However, against all odds, Spawn Again quickly gained the upper hand by flipping Supernova onto an angle grinder. The Refbot freed it, however the mobility of Supernova was greatly hindered, and only one of its wheels was working. After a few more fierce flips from the seeded Spawn Again, Supernova completely lost power in its other wheel and in its spinning disc. Refbot then came in and counted Supernova out, eliminating the Sri Lankan machine from the competition.

"Spawn flipped Supernova, this made it land at an awkward angle which pushed the drive wheel into one of the gears bending a shaft and jamming the drive on that side. We only had drive to one of the wheels from that point and lost. This weakness has been fixed since then!"
— Supernova - Fighting Robot Facebook page

Series 7Edit

Supernova Mayhem

Supernova rips off one of Mayhem's wheels

Storm 2 Supernova melee

Supernova is slammed into the arena wall by Storm 2


The damage caused to Sir Killalot by Storm 2 and Supernova's combined attack

In the first round, Supernova was placed up against Rhino, the number 16 seeds Storm 2 and newcomers Mayhem. At the beginning of the battle, Supernova immediately ripped off both of Mayhem's tyres, preventing the wheels from touching the arena floor, immobilising it. Mayhem was later counted out by the Refbot. Storm 2 then caught Supernova from behind and slammed it into Sir Killalot, and Supernova's spinning disc shredded one of Sir Killalot's track treads. However, Supernova couldn't get away again before Storm 2 did the same again, charging it from the other side of the arena, slamming it into the arena wall, inside a CPZ, slicing into the arena wall in the process. This slam completely immobilised the locomotion of Supernova. The Refbot then came in and counted out Supernova, and cease was called.

Mechaniac vs Supernova

Supernova is flipped by Mechaniac

Supernova vs Mechaniac

Supernova tears the back panel from Mechaniac

Supernova also appeared in the Third World Championship representing Sri Lanka. Supernova won the qualifier battle easily; its spinning disc weapon tore through Mechaniac's shell, sending the back panel flying off the machine, leaving the mechanics exposed. Repeated attacks from Supernova dislodged Mechaniac's batteries and left it immobile. Cassius Chrome then punched Mechaniac's batteries which then shorted out the electronics and started an internal fire. Supernova was the winner and the first robot to qualify for the World Championship.

Spartacus Derobed

Spartacus is disrobed

In the first round of the World Championship, it met Hard from Belgium, and Spartacus from the USA. It used its disc to rip apart Spartacus's front, eventually succeeding in buckling one of Spartacus's wheels. Hard had mysteriously stopped moving, so it was counted out. Supernova and Spartacus were both having mobility problems; Spartacus could only move in circle due to its buckled wheel, and Supernova was only displaying short bursts of movement. In the end, it was Spartacus who was deemed immobile, and Supernova moved on to the next round.

In Round 2, Supernova dominated the fight against Crushtacean, battering the South African robot with its disc. After a few hits, one of Crushtacean's claws came loose, and it stopped moving. Crushtacean was thrown by the floor flipper, and skittered all the way across the arena.


Supernova, on its side, against the arena wall, in the World Championship Final

In the final, Supernova met Storm 2 again. Storm 2 charged in, while Supernova tried to use its disc, but couldn't impede Storm 2 at all. The two robots slammed into each other a few times, and one of their collisions caused Supernova to turn sideways and get stuck on the arena wall. Refbot came over and tried to free it, while Storm 2 got itself beached on an angle grinder. Supernova finally managed to get back on its wheels, so it attacked the vulnerable Storm 2, freeing it from the angle grinder in the process. The robots continued slamming each other until cease was called. The battle went to a judges' decision, and the judges decided that the Third World Champion was Storm 2, leaving Supernova as the runners-up.

Series 8Edit

Team trinity 2016

Team Supernova with their robot in 2016

Supernova competed in Heat 3, battling Big Nipper, Or Te and TR2. Before the battle, Supernova experienced technical difficulties in the form of a complete electrical failure, and the team needed to stay up overnight to repair it, borrowing a speed controller from Team Danby, which was fixed by Alan Young, and the robot was completely rewired to run on two circuits, powering both the weapon and the drive.[1] This meant that Supernova entered its qualifier untested, and the team did not know if the robot would function.

"Untested? This is like taking a driving test at the Monaco Grand Prix!"
— Jonathan Pearce on Supernova's lack of testing
Or Te KO

Supernova immobilises Or Te

Big Nipper vs Supernova

The spinners collide

The dangerous flywheel of Supernova posed an immediate threat to Or Te, which slammed into Supernova in an effort to stop its weapon from spinning. However, Supernova quickly gained its revenge, as the flywheel's first contact sent Or Te spinning away, knocking out its safety link. Although Supernova had immobilised Or Te, it also lost one of the teeth on its flywheel in the process.[2] Supernova and Big Nipper clashed with their respective spinners, and Supernova proved more powerful, knocking Big Nipper away, but TR2 pushed Supernova into the arena wall, removing its second and final flywheel tooth. This meant Supernova could no longer cause damage with its disc, and it was pushed into the pit release by TR2. After clashing disc-to-disc with Big Nipper again, TR2, unable to use its flipper, shunted Supernova to the edge of the pit, where Supernova narrowly escaped by driving on its side using its wheel and flywheel in tandem.

"Well how difficult is it to control these machines I wonder, very difficult if you've got a gyroscopic effect created by a 2,500rpm spinning disc!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Supernova near pit

Supernova skirts away from the pit...

Supernova pitted

...but its flywheel drives it in

Supernova struggled to regain its balance, lost a decorative piece of its wheel, and after its direction was changed by TR2, Supernova used the momentum of its toothless flywheel to carry itself into the pit. This eliminated Supernova from the competition.

"TR2's wedge tilted Supernova and the disc which had no teeth turned into a big wheel and pulled us forward into the pit"
— Team Supernova after the battle[3]

Series 9Edit

Supernova competed in Heat 4, where it faced two newcomers in Frostbite and HIGH-5, and the new machine from the Memento Mori team, Wyrm.

"Our first battle pits three brand new robots and seasoned spinner Supernova - all competing for two available places in the Head-to-Heads."
— Dara Ó Briain
Supernova vs Frostbite vs HIGH-5

Supernova tears into Frostbite as HIGH-5 (right) sits immobile

Supernova initially sat still as it waited to get its weapon up to speed while the other robots engaged with one another. Supernova then darted over towards Frostbite and connected with an attack which shattered its left-hand panel as well as damaging a wheel - although it was still able to move outside of its own circumference.

"Oh! Goodness me, Supernova with an astonishing attack on Frosbite!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Supernova vs HIGH-5

Supernova slices into the rear of HIGH-5

Supernova then caused damage to the immobile HIGH-5, and with Wyrm having knocked itself out with a drive into the arena wall, Supernova was left as the only fully mobile machine. HIGH-5 and Wyrm were counted out, and although Frostbite was severely damaged, it was mobile enough to warrant a place in the Head-to-Heads with Supernova.

Dara Ó Briain: "This thing - this monster you've created! The hum on it!"
Suren Balendran: "Oh, it's definitely fearsome!"
— Post-battle thoughts after an impressive opening display from Supernova

In its first Head-to-Head battle, Supernova faced Frostbite once again, and despite Supernova's impressive showing in the first battle involving the two, Suren Balendran was cautious beforehand.

"Their robot's armoured with plastic, so, in theory we should be okay - but you should never underestimate your opponent."
— Suren Balendran
Frostbite vs Supernova

Supernova tears part of Frostbite's weapon off

Supernova initially spun around before reversing towards the Arena Tyre as its weapon got up to speed. After Frostbite was thrown up by the Floor Flipper, Supernova prowled around the arena, ready to make its attack. Suddenly, the two spinning weapons collided, with Frostbite coming off worse as it suffered damage to its weapon. Supernova then came in with another attack which ripped away a large part of Frostbite's left panel and disabled one of its tyres. With Frostbite only able to spin around on the spot, Supernova attacked again, and a devastating blow sent splinters of armour flying and completely removed Frostbite's spinning bar.

Supernova vs Frostbite

Supernova completely shatters Frostbite

"Look at the power of the weaponry. Once, twice, smithereens."
— Jonathan Pearce

As Frostbite was being counted out, Supernova's weapon chain came loose - although it caused no initial trouble as Supernova was able to come in with one final attack which ripped away Frostbite's rear armour. The count was then complete on Frostbite, and Supernova won its first Head-to-Head battle, picking up 3 points.

Supernova weapon chain

Suren Balendran inspects the damaged chain

"Oh, look - I can see a piece of the chain here, actually. Wow, the chain's just exploded. These batteries - they'll explode if they get hit, so that would've been a disaster, so we're very lucky."
— Suren Balendran expresses his relief that the weapon's chain caused no further internal damage

Supernova's next battle was against Pulsar, with the team using their repair time to work on ensuring their weapon chain caused no further issues.

"Supernova: spin to win, or spin yourselves into the bin?"
— Jonathan Pearce as Supernova gets up to speed
Supernova Pulsar 1

Supernova is sent careering off as the two machines meet head on

Supernova turned away from Pulsar as its weapon spun up to speed, before turning to face its opponent. Both machines charged towards each other, with the resulting contact sending Supernova hurtling into the arena wall and rendered both competitors' weapons immobile.

"What a slam, bam, thank you, Mam that was!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Supernova Pulsar

Pulsar celebrates with its self-righting arm as Supernova is counted out

Supernova edged its way backwards and forwards, but eventually ground to a halt as Pulsar came in and rammed Supernova. Unable to move, Supernova was counted out, and its second Head-to-Head battle ended in defeat.

After the battle, Team Supernova inspected their robot for what exactly caused the robot to stop moving, with the chain coming loose and leading to further internal trouble being labelled as the main reason. In the lead up to must-win Head-to-Head against Ironside3, numerous repairs were necessary, but Supernova was ready in time for the battle, and Suren Balendran was aware of the reach of their opponents weapon.

Suren Balendran: "Their spinner's actually slightly higher than ours, but then it's slightly bigger. So, it's like a boxer with a longer arm - so they can us before we can hit them."
Angela Scanlon: "But sometimes the little guy gets it."
Suren Balendran: "Sometimes!"
— Pre-battle talk before Supernova's final Head-to-Head
Supernova Ironside3

Supernova suffers damage from Ironside3's first hit

At the start of the battle, Supernova once again turned its rear-end towards the opponent before its weapon was up to speed. Supernova then chased Ironside3 but attacked its opponent at the wrong angle and suffered a hit as a result.

"You've lost a wheel."
— Thuvaaragen Balendran notices Supernova's problems as a result of the first hit
Sir Killalot Supernova

The beaten Supernova is held over the Flame Pit by Sir Killalot

Supernova struggled for consistent movement after this, which allowed Ironside3 to come in with a barrage of hits that left Supernova immobile on the lip of Shunt's CPZ. Supernova was counted out, with Sir Killalot then carrying out further punishment as he held Supernova over the Flame Pit after cease was called. This defeat left Supernova with 3 points at the end of the Head-to-Head stage, which saw it finish third, eliminating it from the competition.


Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat H, Eliminator vs. Behemoth (15) Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat H, Round 1 vs. Short Circuit, Spawn Again (10), Tiberius 3 Qualified
Heat H, Round 2 vs. Ming 3 Won
Heat H, Final vs. Spawn Again (10) Lost
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat I, Round 1 vs. Mayhem, Rhino, Storm 2 (16) Eliminated
The Third World Championship
Representing Sri Lanka, Runner-Up
Qualifier vs. Mechaniac (AUT) Won
Heat vs. Hard (BEL), Spartacus (USA) Won
Semi-Final vs. Crushtacean (RSA) Won
Final vs. Storm 2 (UK) Lost
Series 8
Series 8 - UK Championship
Round 1
Heat 3, Group Battle vs. Big Nipper, Or Te, TR2 Eliminated
Series 9
Series 9 - UK Championship
Round 2, Third Place
Heat 4, Group Battle vs. Frostbite, HIGH-5, Wyrm Qualified
Heat 4, Head-to-Head vs. Frostbite Won via KO (3 points)
Heat 4, Head-to-Head vs. Pulsar Lost (0 points)
Heat 4, Head-to-Head vs. Ironside3 Lost (0 points)


  • Wins: 7
  • Losses: 7

Series RecordEdit

  • Supernova at the Fifth Wars qualifiers
  • Supernova without its top in Series 7.
Series Supernova Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Entered with Oblivion
The Third Wars Pinball only with Oblivion 2
The Fourth Wars Entered with Oblivion 2
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Sixth Wars Heat Final
The Seventh Wars Heat, Round 1
Series 8 Heat, Round 1
Series 9 Heat Round 2, Third Place
Series 10 Did not enter


  • In addition to Supernova's participation in The Third World Championship, Supernova was also invited to compete in the All-Stars competition in Series 7. However, the team had to decline due to a scheduling clash with university exams[4].
    • This was not the first time Team Supernova had declined a place in a competition - Supernova was invited to compete in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme, but exams prevented the team from attending[5].
  • In its first two appearances in the main competition, Supernova fought in Heat H, and went up against a seeded machine in the first round.
  • Supernova was one of four robots to come back to life whilst being counted out by the Refbot.
  • During its first-round melee in Series 7, Supernova cut a hole in the arena wall that was never repaired.
  • Storm 2's combined attack with Supernova on Sir Killalot led to the most expensive repairs for a House Robot ever.
  • Through representing Sri Lanka in the Third World Championship, Supernova became the only robot to represent an Asian country in an international competition.



  1. Post on the Supernova Facebook page
  2. Post on the Supernova Facebook page
  3. Post on the Supernova Facebook page
  4. Private correspondence with Toon Ganondorf and the Supernova Facebook page

External LinksEdit