- "I need to get in that arena and I need to rip stuff apart, and I can't really explain why!"
- — Will Thomas
Team Shock are a team from Reading who competed in Series 8, 9 and 10 of Robot Wars. They are notable for reaching the Grand Final in each of the first two series of the reboot with two separate machines.
- Angela Scanlon: "You're a teacher, you'd expect them to be upholding citizens"
- Will Thomas: "In the classroom, yeah! In the arena, it's all go-for-it, I'm a complete monster in there!"
- — Will Thomas compares daily life to Robot Wars
The team consists of a father-and-son team, captained by Will Thomas, a Design Technology Teacher who also designed and drove each of their robots. His father Ian, a marketer, worked as the mechanic and the robot builder. Away from the TV show, Team Shock also includes Lynn Thomas and Emma Henzley.
Team Shock first debuted in Series 8 of Robot Wars with their entry Shockwave, an invertible, four-wheel drive robot armed with a 360-degree rotating lifter with scoop attachments. Shockwave performed well, reaching the Grand Final in its only appearance before taking massive damage from Carbide and being eliminated at the Group Battle stage. Team Shock then returned to Series 9 with a new robot, Aftershock, a vertical spinner which qualified out of its heat without losing a single battle, finishing fourth overall. Aftershock also returned for Series 10, but was eliminated in its heat after losing its Semi-Final and Third Place Playoff.
Although Team Shock only got involved in the main competition for the first time in 2016, they are widely known by the roboteering community for their other two robots; Manta and Maelstrom, which have both done very well in the live event circuit during the 12 year hiatus of Robot Wars, including the rebranded Robot Wars Live Events, despite them not being selected to compete on television. Manta did, however, make a cameo appearance in Heat 2 of Series 8, on Team Shock's workbench in their VT.
In Series 8, Will Thomas became injured on-set after dropping Shockwave onto his finger. He required medical attention in a local A&E, leaving Ian Thomas to repair the robot alone. Will returned to the studio two hours later, and reprised his role as driver.
- Dara Ó Briain: "Can you drive with two fingers immobilised?"
- Will Thomas: "Yeah, the thumbs are OK, that's the main bit!"
- — The importance of Will's injury
Battle of the StarsEdit
Will Thomas was specifically chosen to be a mentor in Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars. He appeared in Episode 2, mentoring archaeologist, historian, author and presenter Neil Oliver, and his two sons. Thomas helped the celebrity compete with a robot of his sons' design, Soldier Ant, and repaired the robot when necessary. At the end of the episode, Will Thomas invited Archie and Teddy Oliver to join Team Shock, although they would not return to Robot Wars.
As a teacher at Collingwood School, Will Thomas ran a 'Robot Wars Club' at the school, and encouraged his students to design a robot to participate in Series 10 of the show. His students formed the Collingwood Carnage team, also known as Team Track-tion, and built their robot Track-tion with assistance from Will Thomas. Included in Collingwood Carnage are 13-year old Dan and Anna, and 12-year old Marcus and Ben, and Will Thomas accompanied them at filming. Track-tion progressed further into the competition than Aftershock itself, qualifying for the 10 Robot Rumble by resisting the spinner of Apex, and then progressing over the late withdrawal Vulture.
- Wins: 11
- Losses: 8
- NOTE 1: Soldier Ant's wins and losses in Battle of the Stars are not included
- NOTE 2: Track-tion, entered by Collingwood Carnage, is considered to be a separate team
|Series||Team Shock Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8|| Grand Final, Round 1 with Shockwave|
Not selected with Manta and Maelstrom
|Series 9|| Fourth Place with Aftershock|
Battle of the Stars, Third Place with Soldier Ant
|Series 10|| Heat, Fourth Place with Aftershock|
Heat, Third Place with Track-tion (Collingwood Carnage)
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Team Shock have competed in live events hosted by Roaming Robots & Robots Live! since 2007. The team first of all started competing with featherweights. Near late 2008, they purchased Robot Wars Competitor, St. Agro and it has since been rebuilt and renamed to Maelstrom. Under Team Shock's wing, it has done very well in live events reaching the final of the 2009 UK Championships losing to Terrorhurtz and also finishing runner-up in the 2012 UK Championships to Big Nipper.
In 2013, the team built Manta which has done well in major competitions such as finishing as runner-up in the 2013 and 2016 UK Championships, 3rd in the 2014 UK Championships and finishing as runner-up to Toxic 2 in the European Championships 2013.
In April 2016, the team also purchased White Knight (formerly Iron-Awe 3) from Team Wind-Power before rebranding it to Earthquake.
In addition to their heavyweights, Team Shock have competed with various featherweight robots over the years, these are listed below.
- 4 Baa 4: Built by Team Lambsy originally, the team bought it from them in 2007. However, Team Shock were unsuccessful with it so it was sold again to Team Toon.
- Aftershock: Not to be confused with the team's heavyweight Aftershock, this was previously an upgraded version of Cutlet, before being purchased by Team Shock in 2007. During the times it has been rebuilt it has done very well in events winning the Roaming Robots 2008 Winter Tour and finishing as runner-up to Beauty 2 in the 2009 UK Championships.
- Avalanche: A silver wedge-shaped low pressure flipper.
- Earthquake: A black wedge-shaped robot armed with a blue flipping arm.
- Hammerhead: A small two-wheel driven featherweight armed with an electric hammer.
- Heatwave: A silver wedge-shaped robot armed with a full pressure rear hinged flipper. Winner of the 2009 Winter Tour and 2016 Guildford featherweight trophy.
- Inertia XL: A two-wheeled driven featherweight armed with a vertical spinning disc. Achieved 3rd place in the 2011 UK Featherweight Championships, but was recently sold.
- Shockwave: Not to be confused with the team's heavyweight Shockwave, this is a clear polycarbonate-armoured wedge-shaped robot armed with a low-pressure flipper which the team claimed could flip a featherweight out of a heavyweight arena. This robot was since sold to Glasgow-based roboteer, Tony Smith.
- Stingray: A navy-blue, 2-wheel drive, HARDOX wedge-shaped robot with a static chain-flail tail.
- Swordfish: A 2 wheel driven axlebot made from HDPE.
- Tidal Wave 2: A black wedge-shaped featherweight armed with a flipper, this robot was built for one of Will Thomas's exam projects at school in 2007.
- Whirlpool: A flat invertible four-wheel driven robot designed to push, with no active weapon.
- Inertia B1: A beetleweight version of the team's well-known featherweight, which was upgraded in 2017.
- Inertia B2: A second beetleweight with a vertical flywheel, featuring a design greatly resembling that of Aftershock.
- Momentum: Team Shock's new featherweight vertical spinner, replacing Inertia XL.
The majority of the team's robots are all recognised for each having a display of LED lights.
Robot Wars Live EventsEdit
Team Shock are regular competitors at John Findlay's Robot Wars Live Events, with Shockwave, and particularly Manta and Maelstrom. The original Shockwave has only been fighting in the "retro battles" while Manta & Maelstrom have fought in the competitions with various degrees of success. Maelstrom won the first Robot Wars Live Event at Barnsley 2013, reached the finals at Portsmouth 2013 & finished runner-up at Widnes 2013. The team have also recently started competing with Earthquake.
Manta's debut was at the 2013 Robot Wars Event at Guildford where it reached the finals finishing runners-up to Thor, and also managed to win the Robot Wars 2013 Winter Tour. It also reached the semi-finals of the Robot Wars World Championships 2015 held at Colchester losing to eventual winner Toxic 2 where at this event it finished fourth overall.
Manta is also one of the two main mascots of Robot Wars live tours, as there is a regular part of the show where half of the audience will be told to cheer for Team Ripper, while the other half cheer for Team Manta. Audience members on Team Manta have the opportunity to win a Team Manta cap, or any audience member can purchase one from the merchandise stall.
As of February 2017, Team Shock opened a new business on their website. For a cost of £250, Team Shock will build a 2-wheel driven 13.6kg featherweight in accordance with the customer's design, using HARDOX armour, and a 11.1v Lithium Polymer battery. A controller is included with the cost. The featherweights have no weapons, but can use wedges or sit-and-spin designs for static weaponry. Shockbots made their first sale on February 14, 2017, and built the featherweight sit-and-spin design The Tragic Roundabout, which repurposes some of the HDPE bucket used by Shockwave.
More information can be found on the shop.