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The Grim Reaper

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"Standing with Death himself, this is The Grim Reaper."
— Jayne Middlemiss

The Grim Reaper, also known as The Grimreaper, was the name of two robots that fought in Series 3 and 7 of Robot Wars. Although unremarkable in its debut in the Third Wars, it returned in The Seventh Wars and reached the Series Semi-Finals, losing to Storm 2. Under ownership of a new team, it also competed in the pilot episode of Series 8, known as Reaper.

The team played up to their name, as the team captain wore contact lenses to make his eyes appear menacing in Series 7, where they were also accompanied by a tall, threatening Grim Reaper mascot, who stood beside the Judges.

Versions of Grim ReaperEdit

Grim ReaperEdit

Grim Reaper s3

Grim Reaper in Series 3

The team competed in the third series with a rectangular, three-wheeled robot known simply as Grim Reaper. It was armed with a front mounted 250PSI air-driven spike ram and rear mounted lifter/ramming spike. Like many other competitors in the early wars, Grim Reaper was built around its own name and featured a skull design. Grim Reaper travelled at 20mph, driven by two car starter motors.

The GrimreaperEdit


Grim Reaper in the pits in Series 7

"You can't outrun the reaper"
— Tag line on the rear of the machine

The team's redesigned robot, known on stat boards as The Grimreaper, was driven by a 24V 750W motor. It was a bright green octagon and featured a CO2 powered full-pressure flipper capable of flipping 100kg easily, and capable of flipping a maximum weight of 250kg. It was also far more compact and quick than its predecessor. Because of the design of the ram-turned-flipper, The Grim Reaper was capable of clamping and pushing, which it did several times against Gyrobot and Big Nipper. It featured spikes similar to Bigger Brother's on the flipper and serrated blades on below those spikes.



Reaper in 2016

Under the new name of Reaper, the robot returned to Robot Wars in 2016. It used a white, purple and black colour scheme, covered in skulls, and kept the main design of the previous robot, but featured modern-day internals. The robot was fully rebuilt for the series, despite the team having owned much the same machine as the Series 7 competitor up to that point. Although Reaper did not take part in the main 2016 series, after not being selected to compete, it fought in the pilot episode, where it achieved one win and one loss.

Attempted QualifiersEdit

Grim reaper vs aat

The Series 4 version of Grim Reaper fights Arnold, Arnold Terminegger at Robot Mania 2001

The Grim Reaper failed to qualify for Series 4 with a new version of the machine, tracked and armed with a scythe-like axe. This version of The Grim Reaper competed at the first Dutch Robot Games, painted black and armed with a flipping arm instead of the scythe.

"We came back, tried again, didn't get through, and the last time we came back, we couldn't self-right, it was about 3 o'clock in the morning, and we phoned up and said, we can't come..."
— Simon Smith on Grim Reaper's failure to qualify in Series 4 and 6

The team returned again to attempt to qualify for Series 6, however, the pneumatics on their new robot failed to work, so the team withdrew the day before the qualifiers.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 3Edit

Grim brother

Big Brother pushes Grim Reaper

Grim Reaper had the much faster start, but Big Brother had more power and pushed it into Sergeant Bash. Big Brother got under Grim Reaper, lifting it into the air and managing to avoid the pit after bouncing down. Both robots pushed each other into one of the CPZs, and as Grim Reaper stopped, its left-hand wheel came off. Still mobile thanks to its rear wheel, Grim Reaper came back on the attack with its pneumatic spike. However, Big Brother appeared to have been immobilised and Sir Killalot flipped Grim Reaper over just before time ran out. The judges went for Big Brother, eliminating Grim Reaper.

Series 7Edit

The Grimreaper vs Big Nipper R1

The Grim Reaper flips Big Nipper

The Grimreaper vs Big Nipper vs Kan-Opener vs Barbaric Response

The Grim Reaper almost flips Big Nipper into the pit

After having a four year interval away from Robot Wars, The Grim Reaper team returned with a brand new Grim Reaper machine for Series 7, completely redesigned with a flipper as its weapon. It fought in Heat B of the main competition, its first round battle saw it placed up against Kan-Opener, Barbaric Response and Big Nipper. The Grim Reaper spent the majority of the battle tussling with Big Nipper while Kan-Opener and Barbaric Response were dragging each other across the arena. At the end of the fight, no robot had been eliminated, so it went to the judges, who decided that The Grim Reaper went through with Big Nipper joining it.

Grim reaper vs gyrobot

The Grim Reaper flips Gyrobot

The Grimreaper vs Gyrobot

The Grim Reaper fails to KO Gyrobot

Grimreaper Damage 2

Damage caused by Gyrobot

For its Round 2 match, The Grim Reaper was drawn against Gyrobot. Here, it got a series of flips in on Gyrobot, causing the circular machine to spin away, but because it was invertible, it was unharmed. A missed flip allowed Gyrobot to sneak underneath The Grim Reaper, but retaliated by flipping it into Sir Killalot. The Grim Reaper used its rear armour to bash into Gyrobot, taking less damage than a frontal charge would have inflicted. However, The Grim Reaper simply could not immobilise Gyrobot, even failing to flip it onto the arena wall. Eventually, the fight went to a judges decision where, once again, The Grim Reaper was again awarded the win.

The Grimreaper vs Big Nipper

The Grim Reaper flips Big Nipper onto the arena wall

Grim reaper flips big nipper

The Grim Reaper pins Big Nipper in place

The Grim Reaper vs Big Nipper

The Grim Reaper loses its advantage

In the Heat Final it met Big Nipper again. The Grim Reaper at the start was rolled over by Big Nipper and then the two machines found themselves in the CPZ with Cassius Chrome but they managed to escape. The Grim Reaper tried to get Big Nipper out the arena but it was to no avail. In the last few moments of the fight, Big Nipper then got The Grim Reaper in the CPZ turning it over twice but it managed to escape and then in the last 10 seconds, The Grim Reaper was given a piggy-back by Big Nipper. The fight went to a judges decision where, on the basis of aggression, The Grim Reaper was declared the winner and went through to the Semi-Finals, to the disagreement of Craig Charles and Jonathan Pearce.

Storm 2 Grim Reaper 3

The Grim Reaper is slammed into the arena wall

Storm 2 Grim Reaper 2

The Grim Reaper is axed by Shunt

The first round of the Series Semi-Final saw The Grim Reaper pitted against 16th seed Storm 2. The Grim Reaper never got its flipper to good use on the New Blood Champions because Storm 2 had been fitted with side-skirts. It managed to use its flipper on Storm 2 once, but could not flip it over. The Grim Reaper was slammed all over the arena by the seeded machine. It also took damage from Shunt and Sergeant Bash. It stayed mobile until the end of the battle, so the fight went to another judges decision, and this time the win was awarded to Storm 2, putting The Grim Reaper out of the Seventh Wars. It was nearly reinstated when Storm 2 suffered from technical difficulties back-stage, but ultimately Storm 2 made it to the arena.

Series 8Edit

Although Reaper did not qualify for the main series of Robot Wars in 2016, it was regardless invited to attend filming of the pilot episode on March 1st, giving it the opportunity to compete in front of a live audience as part of a camera test. It was taken along by new owner Calum Jones, with his team mates Kane and Toby.

In the first round, Reaper was drawn against Merlin, Wraith, and Monte, although Wraith withdraw at the last moment due to an internal blaze. The fight started out well for Reaper, and after a minute or so, Monte lost drive on one side, leaving it to be pitted by Reaper. Reaper and Merlin fought a one-on-one tussle until cease was called at the end of the 3 minutes. From this, Reaper and Merlin went through to the next round.

Reaper 2016

Reaper with Tanto in the pits

Reaper next fought Turbulence. However, due to technical problems, Reaper lost due to its valve that fires the flipper ceasing up. Reaper self-righted after it was flipped over for the first time, but afterwards, was unable to self-right from Turbulence's second flip, leaving Turbulence as the winner of the battle.


Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Big Brother Lost
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Semi-Finals, Round 1
Heat B, Round 1 vs. Barbaric Response, Big Nipper, Kan-Opener Qualified
Heat B, Round 2 vs. Gyrobot Won
Heat B, Final vs. Big Nipper Won
Semi-Final 2, Round 1 vs. Storm 2 (16) Lost
Series 8
Series 8 - Pilot Episode
Round 2, 4th Place
Pilot Episode, Group Battle vs. Merlin, Monte, Wraith Qualified
NOTE: Wraith withdrew prior to the battle
Pilot Episode, Head-to-Head vs. Turbulence Lost


  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 2

NOTE: This tally does not include the 2016 Pilot

Series RecordEdit

Series The Grim Reaper Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Heat, Round 1
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Withdrew from qualifiers
The Seventh Wars Semi-Finals, Round 1
Series 8 Pilot only, Round 2, Fourth Place
Series 9 Entered with Coyote (Calum Jones)

Outside Robot WarsEdit

A black version of The Grim Reaper fought in the final season of BattleBots, losing its only battle by knock-out to Agitator, which later became an Extreme Warriors Finalist as Propeller-Head, after having its aerial chopped off by its opponent's spinning blade. This version fought in events around the UK during the same year. A grey version still fights today.

Simon and Gary Smith (working with Mike Lambert of Team Dantomkia) also competed in two different series of Scrapheap Challenge. They entered Series 10 as the Cyborgs where they were eventually disqualified. They then entered Series 11 as the Scrappy Whacky Doodaas in the first Chariot Jousting challenge of the series, which they won.

The original builder of The Grim Reaper has since built a new version with the same name. Hence the Series 7 version was renamed Reaper by its new owners, when they bought it from the team.


  • The team in Series 3
  • The insides of Grim Reaper from Series 3
  • Grim Reaper, Roobarb and Barbaric Response fighting at the first Dutch Robot Games
  • Grim Reaper when it entered BattleBots
  • The mascot of The Grim Reaper
  • The Grim Reaper, damaged by Gyrobot
  • The new version of The Grim Reaper
  • Grim Reaper from Series 7 painted grey at the Roaming Robots Newark 2004 event
  • Every battle in which The Grim Reaper competed across the televised show's history (including its one battle with Big Brother during the Third Wars) ended with a judges' decision, so their mascot had to do a lot of standing beside the Judges during the Seventh Wars.
  • The Grim Reaper is one of nine UK Series Competitor robots to have fought in BattleBots.
  • Having skipped three full wars and two Extremes, The Grim Reaper was the longest retired machine to return to the wars (Constrictor being built by the longest retired team), until its record was broken in 2016 by The General.
  • Every opponent The Grim Reaper fought in the Seventh Wars (apart from Barbaric Response) was invertible.
  • Both wars that The Grim Reaper fought in were the only two to feature 128 robots.

See AlsoEdit

External Links Edit

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