- "Tauron is a fast, fully invertible, highly manoeuvrable, charging robot, equipped with a powerful, reversible, vertical spinning bar. An unusual feature is the articulation which allows the weapon section to swing into the new position when the robot is inverted."
- — Team Tauron website on the original robot
Tauron (also known as Tauron Mk 2 in Series 10) was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 9 and Series 10 of Robot Wars, entered by a father-and-son team. In both of its series appearances, it was eliminated in the first round under varying circumstances; Series 9, it was defeated in its Group Battle after having its removable link knocked out by fellow newcomer Concussion. In Series 10, Tauron Mk 2 lost its Group Battle to Iron-Awe 6 after getting stranded on a piece of debris, then its Robot Redemption encounter against Androne 4000 on a Judges' decision, despite inflicting substantial amounts of damage throughout each of its battles.
Tauron's name is a portmanteau of taurus (Latin for 'bull') and automaton (a self-operating machine).
Versions of TauronEdit
Tauron (Series 9)Edit
- "The weapon weighs 13 kilograms and is powered by a brushed DC motor running at 42 volts. This delivers approximately 3,000 revolutions per minute and a tip speed of around 100 metres per second. Tauron features an innovative pivoting design which allows the weapon to function equally lethally when inverted."
- — Robot Wars website on Tauron
Tauron was a box-shaped robot armed with a 13kg vertical spinning bar, 65cm in length, made from HARDOX 450, with a maximum speed of 220mph - roughly 3100rpm. The robot was powered by two wheels, which were exposed on top of the robot, making the robot invertible, with a top speed of 12mph. Uniquely, Tauron's bar spinner was mounted on a pivot, so if Tauron was inverted, the weapon would rotate into the upright position, and its direction could be reversed, like IG-88's spinning axe.
Tauron's chassis and exoskeleton were made out of 6mm and 4mm HARDOX 500, with its armour consisting of 6mm polycarbonate. 2x 1.5 horsepower electric motors powered the drive, and the robot used a 32V lithium polymer battery. To conserve weight, many sections were cut out of the HARDOX frame, and the robot was internally lit by red LEDs. The robot's batteries were two ZIPPY Flightmax 8000mAh 5S1P 30C, running at 18.5 volts.
- "Tom has been a Robot Wars fan since he was a child, and says he always dreamed of entering. He realised entering Robot Wars was a possibility when the new series started. He now works as video games tester in Birmingham and has used these skills in building Tauron. Tim has always been interested in how things work, and has made lots of things from musical instruments to a 13’ boat, which was built in the 13’6” living room of the family home. Tauron is Tim’s first venture into robotics."
- — Robot Wars website on the origins of Tauron
Tauron Mk 2 (Series 10)Edit
The Series 10 version of Tauron, referred to as Tauron Mk II by the team, was a complete rebuild of the previous machine. Tauron Mk 2 featured a much more compact design, with a narrower front end and a shorter rear, but was still two-wheel driven and invertible. Its armour was upgraded to 4mm HARDOX steel with 10mm HDPE top and bottom panels; the latter chosen by the team for its greater flexibility over the polycarbonate they initially planned to use. Tauron Mk 2's bar spinner was visibly thicker than its predecessor's, at 600mm; holes were cut out of the spinner to reduce its weight to 18kg - a 5kg increase over the weapon of the original version. The bar spinner runs at 3,600rpm, for a tip speed of 244mph. The pivot in which the bar spinner was held is now found within the centre of Tauron Mk 2, instead of being the robot's entire front end as before. Eyes were designed into the front of the robot for aesthetics. However, Tauron Mk 2 can still be stranded on its flat sides, and the robot's weight distribution made it hard to control while turning with the weapon powered on.
- "Armour was upgraded from 6mm Polycarbonate to 4mm Hardened Steel (Hardox) and 10mm HDPE, weapon speed was upgraded from 220mph to 250mph, bar’s weight was increased from 13kg to 18kg, lifespan was upgraded from 8 seconds to 360 seconds (An increase of 3800%!)"
- — Tom Brewster details the upgrades to Tauron, while mocking the previous version
Like Hobgoblin, Tauron was one of only a small selection of robots to qualify for Robot Wars despite not being built at the time of application. Team Tauron instead applied for Series 9 using a CAD of Tauron and a wooden prototype, but this was enough for Tauron to be accepted into the series.
For Series 10, Team Tauron created the new design, Tauron Mk 2, and filmed an application video to assist with its online application. Due to the show featuring only thirty robots as opposed to the previous forty, there was no longer room for Tauron in the initial line-up of the series. However, the team were invited to bring their robot to filming as a reserve, and when Triforce withdrew from the competition due to locomotion issues, Tauron Mk 2 took its place, the first reserve to join the main competition.
- Dara Ó Briain: "Have you tried the smaller weight classes? Have you attempted anything?"
- Tim Brewster: "No."
- Dara Ó Briain: "You’ve just gone straight in at this level?"
- Tom Brewster: "Yeah, never built a robot before, start at the deep end, there you go."
- — Dara Ó Briain discusses with Team Tauron their decision to build the heavyweight Tauron as their first robot
Tauron competed in Heat 3. In its Group Battle, it faced Series 8 fourth-place finisher Thor, Series 8 returnee Chimera2 and fellow newcomer Concussion, whose team formed a friendship with Team Tauron after sharing a workbench with them in the pits. Tauron started the battle by dodging Concussion's initial charge and driving away from Thor, its spinning bar sending sparks flying as it hit Thor's side while the latter tried to push it. It was then buffeted away by a slam from Concussion, the impact causing more sparks to fly and dislodging Tauron's removable link, leaving it immobilised close to the wall.
- "And what is, err, Tauron doing? Hello, TAURON! What are you doing? Not a lot."
- — Jonathan Pearce notices Tauron's immobility
Tauron was briefly nudged aside as Thor charged after Concussion and Chimera2, and was eventually eliminated from Series 9 along with Chimera2, which became immobilised later on in the battle. Off-screen, Tauron's top armour was punctured by Shunt, and the robot was heated over the flame pit.
- "Tauron, what happened to you, Tom and Tim? Oh deary, deary me!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tauron and Chimera2 are eliminated
Following this loss, Tauron's link was plugged back into the robot, and proved to be fully functional in the test arena. Team Tauron remained on-site in case other teams withdrew, but Tauron ultimately did not return to the arena.
- "We brought an absolute monster with us. It's far more heavily-armoured, it's got a much bigger weapon – it's designed to win, quite frankly. It's going to destroy everybody we come across. To win Robot Wars would just – it'd be... unreal, it would be."
- — Tom Brewster
Tauron Mk 2 competed in Heat 4 of Series 10, replacing Triforce following the latter's withdrawal. In its Group Battle, it faced The Kegs, a two-part clusterbot from Team Terror Turtle, and returning veteran Iron-Awe 6. Immediately, Tauron Mk 2 dodged Iron-Awe 6 and turned round, driving up the latter's flipper, before being rammed by one half of The Kegs. It turned round and drove into Iron-Awe 6's side, although without causing any damage, and backed away, taking some of Iron-Awe 6's entanglement devices with it. Tauron Mk 2 drove up Iron-Awe 6 again, sparks flying as its bar hit the latter's flipper, before again sustaining a blow from one of The Kegs' spinners. It retreated to attack the other half of The Kegs, before surviving a push from Iron-Awe 6 and shredding one of its entanglement cannons. Driving over the spark jets, Tauron Mk 2 manoeuvred across the arena and hit one of the Kegs, tearing the latter's bar spinner off and sending it flying towards the control room occupied by Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon. This attack startled both presenters as The Kegs' spinner hit and caused a metal bar on the control room to fall off.
- "Big hit to The Kegs... weaponless... is it dead?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tauron Mk 2 rips one of The Kegs' bar spinners off
Tauron Mk 2 proceeded to attack Iron-Awe 6 next to an entry gate, before being collected by Sir Killalot as 'Rogue House Robot' was enabled. It swiftly drove away and slammed into the remaining half of The Kegs, sending it barrel-rolling across the arena and leaving it immobilised on its side. Tauron Mk 2 drove away from and was scooped up by Iron-Awe 6, before hitting the latter's sloped sides and pushing it around the descending pit. It momentarily lifted Iron-Awe 6 with a rear-on hit, before being slowly pushed around in circles by Iron-Awe 6.
- "What are you pushing me around for?"
- — Tom Brewster jests as Tauron Mk 2 is pushed by Iron-Awe 6
Eventually, the two robots separated, with Tauron Mk 2 landing two more blows to Iron-Awe 6's side before driving away. The two robots bumped each other twice more – the gyroscopic forces of Tauron Mk 2's bar spinner momentarily lifting it onto one wheel as it clipped Iron-Awe 6 again and drove away. Once more, Tauron Mk 2 drove up Iron-Awe 6, the two robots getting stuck together as it attempted to drive off. Sir Killalot separated both competitors, with Tauron Mk 2 once again clipping Iron-Awe 6 with its bar as the latter drove free. However, the House Robot's intervention left Tauron Mk 2 wedged on a piece of debris, leaving its wheels suspended off the floor and the robot unable to drive. As a result, Noel Sharkey activated Tauron Mk 2's countdown timer, although with Iron-Awe 6 having lost full mobility seconds afterwards, the battle went to a Judges' decision. Due to it becoming immobilised first, the decision went against Tauron Mk 2. Tom Brewster was left particularly disappointed by the outcome, having managed to free Tauron Mk 2 from the debris after 'cease' had been called and only becoming aware of its defeat when Dara Ó Briain congratulated Team Iron-Awe.
- "I thought at the end of that fight that we both gone down at the same time, so I thought it would go to a Judges' decision, but I didn't realise. So, I actually deliberately stopped moving because I thought, 'well that's it, it's game over', but... Iron-Awe moved a bit and we didn't."
- — Tom Brewster expresses his thoughts on the Judges' decision
In the Robot Redemption stage, Tauron Mk 2 faced Robot Wars newcomer Androne 4000, for a chance to secure a place in the Heat Semi-Finals.
- "The main thing we’d learned from the previous fight was just how hard the robot was to manoeuvre with the weapon spinning. So for the first half of the fight, the plan was to spin the weapon a bit slower so we could move, get around the side of Androne, and attack! But of course we learned early on that this wasn’t going to work."
- — Tom Brewster
As 'activate' was called, it briefly backed away before luring Androne 4000 across the arena, with Team Tauron deciding to spin its bar spinner up slower than before to improve manoeuvrability. The two robots collided, with Tauron Mk 2 twice lifting Androne 4000 with its bar before the latter pushed it towards an entry gate and into Sir Killalot. The impact knocked one of Sir Killalot's shoulder pads off - Tauron Mk 2 drove over the spark jets to escape, but was quickly pushed back into Sir Killalot by Androne 4000, clipping the House Robot's claw in the process. Once more, Tauron Mk 2 backed out, but was soon grasped by Androne 4000, with the two robots pushing and dragging each other around as its spinner hit Androne 4000's front end.
- "Go on, let's go guys – now we're up to speed! Let's have it!"
- — Tom Brewster as Tauron Mk 2 tussles with Androne 4000
Eventually, Tauron Mk 2 was pushed onto the arena spikes by Androne 4000; as it was being lifted by one of the spikes, it tore Androne 4000's top panel open, the two robots locking together as Androne 4000 clamped onto Tauron Mk 2's bar assembly. Sir Killalot pushed both robots away, before Tauron Mk 2 was dragged forwards by Androne 4000 and released. Seconds later, it drove head-on into Androne 4000 again, which pushed Tauron Mk 2 back and sunk its crusher through the bar spinner mount. With its body lifted off the floor as a result of Androne 4000's attack, Tauron Mk 2 was rendered helpless as Dead Metal left her CPZ, grabbed it and sliced through its back panel. Dead Metal pushed Tauron Mk 2 over the Flame Pit as Androne 4000 released its grip; Tauron Mk 2 sustained another slice, but drove forwards and met Androne 4000 again in the centre of the arena. As Androne 4000 clamped and lifted its body up again, Tauron Mk 2's spinner clipped the latter’s forks, momentarily lifting its opponent onto one side.
- "Yeah, here we go!"
- — Tom Brewster as Tauron Mk 2 lifts Androne 4000 off its wheels
A second head-on collision stopped Tauron Mk 2's spinner, although it caught underneath Androne 4000’s top panel as it was pushed back. Tauron Mk 2 drove away and into Androne 4000 again, smoke pouring as Androne 4000 grabbed hold of one of the drive belts for its spinner. This had no apparent effect on Tauron Mk 2 as the competitors separated, as it tore Androne 4000's right-front panel apart seconds later.
- "Tauron, are on top for me with Tom Brewster at the controls – [Androne 4000] are in real peril here..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tauron Mk 2 damages a limping Androne 4000
As Androne 4000 struggled for mobility, Tauron Mk 2 slammed into its opponent twice more, the second hit tearing Androne 4000's loosened panel completely off and launching both robots off the floor. Tauron Mk 2 hit Androne 4000 again, before driving through an empty CPZ, dodging Dead Metal and attempting to lure Androne 4000 into the pit - its bar spinner having completely stopped by this point. The two robots drove around the arena in the closing seconds, with Tauron Mk 2 driving itself over – and being thrown by – the Floor Flipper just before 'cease' was called.
- "It proved to be a great fight, we had a lot of fun, and a big congrats to the Androne folks for taking it. I believe that the judges did make the right call – Personally, I believe that Androne certainly had plenty more control, whereas we scored highly on damage. Aggression may have been theirs in the first half of the battle, whereas the second half it could have been either way. It was a fantastic fight, and kudos to the Androne team for building such a fantastic machine."
- — Tom Brewster
Both teams congratulated each other as the battle went to a Judges' decision – despite the damage inflicted to Androne 4000, the decision unanimously went against Tauron Mk 2, eliminating it from Series 10 after a brief, yet destructive run.
- Angela Scanlon: "You'll come back, won't you?"
- Tom Brewster: "Of course we will. We'll be back with another improved Tauron, I’m sure."
- — Tom Brewster promises the return of Tauron following the second version's elimination
|TAURON - RESULTS|
|Series 9 - UK Championship|
|Heat 3, Group Battle||vs. Chimera2, Concussion, Thor||Eliminated|
|Series 10 - UK Championship|
Robot Redemption Knockouts
|Heat 4, Group Battle||vs. The Kegs, Iron-Awe 6||Lost|
|Heat 4, Robot Redemption||vs. Androne 4000||Lost|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 3
|Series||Tauron Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Heat, Round 1|
|Series 10||Heat, Round 1|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
With help from the Dorset Roboteering Team, the Series 9 version of Tauron was converted to compete in live events where spinning weapons were still considered unsafe. Tauron's gear ratio was altered to compensate for a new weapon, an axe in the shape of Tauron's logo, mounted in the same place as the spinning bar before it.
At Extreme Robots in Guildford, Tauron fought Behemoth, Atom and Expulsion, but its axe weapon broke early into the fight, and it was stranded on its side by Behemoth for a large portion of the match. It also broke down in a match with Expulsion, Atom, Suspension and Cyclone. It also fought Ripper and Saint but did not win. In the Tag Team event, it partnered with Thor to battle Audacious and Weird mAlice, but Tauron broke down upon its first contact with Audacious.
To test the reliability of Tauron Mk 2, the team challenged Tornado to a practice battle on the streets of the team's village. Tauron was willingly pushed around by Tornado, and retaliated with slams of its own.
A third version of Tauron, Tauron Mk 3, competed at Extreme Robots in Gloucester, where spinning weapons were now legalised. The weapon bar was attached but not yet connected to the motor, so not used in battle with Manta, Two-Headed Death Flamingo and Vortex, where it was the only robot to take Manta to a Judges' decision, but lost. It also fought Gabriel, Audacious and Griffalo, pushing the latter into the pit. In battle with Eruption, Two-Headed Death Flamingo and Beast, Tauron eventually became stranded on its own weapon. Tauron and Two-Headed Death Flamingo then joined forces and won a Tag Team match against Chimera and Rattler on a Judges' decision.
Tauron Mk 3 was more successful in Maidstone, the last Extreme Robots event of the year. Despite an early immobilisation at the hands of Gabriel, and then a whiteboard loss to Infernal Contraption, Tauron quickly immobilised TMHWK and reached the Grand Final to fight Ripper, where it ultimately lost after its batteries caught fire.
In addition to Tauron, Team Tauron have built and competed with three robots in lighter weight classes:
- Straddle, a two-wheeled featherweight axlebot with a vertical bar spinner and a design initially inspired by Gabriel. Straddle made its combat debut at the 2017 FRA Featherweight International Championships, where it finished thirteenth in the main championship, won a whiteboard battle and finished runner-up in a 20-way 'Gladiator' battle.
- Spectre - A weaponless prototype for Straddle, which competed at live events to test the latter's design and drive systems prior to its completion.
- T.T.R.E. (The Tim Rackers Experience) - an antweight with an horizontal asymmetrical bar spinner, which debuted at Antweight World Series 53 in November 2017. The robot's name references the team captain of the Dorset Roboteering Team, Tim Rackley. Notably lodged its bar spinner in the wooden wall at Ant Freeze in 2018.
Tom Brewster would later compete in the 2018 season of BattleBots with Monsoon, which had been converted from Tauron Mk 3. Now armed with an asymmetrical vertical bar spinner, Monsoon was entered into the series on a team with Tim Rackley, Sam Griffin, and Sarah Asplin.
- "Rain down the pain!"
- — Team Monsoon's motto
- The Robot Wars website and publications such as Robot Wars: The Official Handbook erroneously refer to Tauron's weapon as a spinning drum.
- Excluding Ka-Pow!'s appearance in the Series 8 pilot, Tauron is the first competitor in the rebooted series to come from Bedfordshire.
- The producers had a reserve robot on standby in case Tauron failed its safety tests. Team Tauron believed that the reserve team had already filmed an interview with Dara Ó Briain.
- After Team Tauron competed in Series 9, Andrew Marchant of Team Tornado got in touch with them, revealing that he and Team Tauron live in the same small village. The Series 9 Tauron and Tornado were then brought together for photographs; Tauron Mk 2 later fought the latter in a 'test fight' to prove its reliability ahead of its appearance in Series 10 (see Outside Robot Wars).
- According to Tom Brewster, Tauron's original names were Taurus or RYNO, the latter in reference to a weapon from the Ratchet & Clank video game series. The former was the team's preferred choice, but was not used in order to avoid confusion with the bomb disposal robot of the same name.
- ↑ http://www.teamtauron.co.uk/t2_build.html
- ↑ http://www.teamtauron.co.uk/robotwars10.html
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/teamtauron/posts/1383034945113073
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/teamtauron/photos/pcb.1383034945113073/1383034581779776/?type=3&theater
- ↑ RoboCast#17: Robot Wars Series 10 Heat 4 - SamElliott64
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/teamtauron/posts/1610806839002548
- ↑ RoboCast#17: Robot Wars Series 10 Heat 4 - SamElliott64
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWB5ge8Iw0k
- ↑ http://teamtauron.co.uk/straddle_about.html
- ↑ http://teamtauron.co.uk/straddle_combat.html
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/teamtauron/posts/1538568126226420
- ↑ http://www.teamtauron.co.uk/straddle_about.html
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/teamtauron/posts/1597723376977561
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/613uv4/we_are_team_tauron_ask_us_anything/dfbnsbx/
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/teamtauron/posts/1402472229836011
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/7f92iu/ask_team_tauron_anything/dqae0qz/
- Team Tauron website
- Tauron - Robot Wars Facebook page
- Team Tauron Twitter
- Team Tauron Instagram
- The 'death hum' of Tauron's weapon
- Tauron (Series 9) on the Robot Wars website
- Tauron (Series 10) on the Robot Wars website