"The girl power group want to be a role model for girls to take up engineering and robot building."
Robot Wars website

Tomahawk (later abbreviated to TMHWK), was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 7 and Series 9 of Robot Wars. In Series 7, Tomahawk was eliminated in the first round after becoming immobilised by IG-88, before being smashed open by an ocean buoy, while Sabretooth immobilised TMHWK with similar speed in Series 9.

The robot's name came from the Tomahawk, a type of hatchet-like axe known for its origin and use by Native Americans.

Versions of TomahawkEdit



Tomahawk in Series 7

Tomohawk site

Tomahawk in the pits, note the website address

Tomahawk was originally a tracked, box wedge-shaped robot with a low profile, making it one of the most recent robots to use tracks as locomotion. Its weapon was a double-bladed pneumatic axe modeled on the Native American axe. The axe was said to double as a flipper, and had fast self-righting capabilities. Tomahawk itself was powered by a 750w electric motor, weighed 97kg and was armoured in aluminium and polycarbonate, measuring 0.51m x 1.12m x 0.76m in diameter. However, the robot was untested, and did not prove durable during its only appearance in the original Robot Wars.


TMHWK with team

TMHWK with Team Dutch Robot Girls

Tmhwk turntable

TMHWK's turntable photo in Series 9

TMHWK substituted its former tracked design in favour of a two-wheel drive system, and featured a more powerful axe with interchangeable bladed and piercing heads. The robot was now painted in a striking purple, grey and orange colour scheme, and featured two guiding wedges added specifically for Series 9. TMHWK's armour now consisted of HARDOX and HDPE, making it more durable than the original Tomahawk, although its wheels were exposed from the top and it still suffered from reliability issues at live events. Shortly before their first battle, the team added googly eyes and pink eyelashes to the bladed axe, adding a feminine touch. The Ardunois controllers within TMHWK offer the team four different types of hit they can administer to their victims to conserve carbon dioxide.

The TeamEdit

Team LazerusEdit


Paul Kendrick and Stuart Barnwell

Tomahawk was entered into Series 7 by Paul Kendrick, builder and team captain. He was to be joined by his wife, but she was heavily pregnant during filming of Series 7, so Kendrick asked his friend, and captain of the Cold Fusion team, Stuart Barnwell, to take her place in the team. Barnwell initially agreed to operate Tomahawk's axe, but ended up driving it instead, as he had previous experience driving the robot at live events. As captain of the Cold Fusion Team, Barnwell also drove Pussycat in Series 7, and Kitty in the accompanying Featherweight Championship, later competing with Dantomkia and Push to Exit as part of Team S.Tek.

Team Dutch Robot GirlsEdit

"The girl power group entered their [application] video with the soundtrack of ‘Beyoncé Who run the world-GIRLS’; they want to be a role model for girls to take up engineering and Robot Building"
— The Robot Wars website
Team Dutch Robot Girls

Esther, Annita, Carla and Caroline (left-to-right)

Team Dutch Robot Girls, as their name suggests, is comprised of four women from The Netherlands. They are captained by Caroline van der Meer (natively Carlijn), who had previously competed in an all-female team in Series 2 of Dutch Robot Wars with IDO. van der Meer has competed on the live events circuit with various lighter robots, including the first Dutch featherweight (see Outside Robot Wars) and is TMHWK's driver.

TMHWK Sharkey

Team Dutch Robot Girls with Noel Sharkey

Annita van der Meer had originally intended to enter Dutch Robot Wars: Series 1 alongside her husband Marien, as the two had collaborated to build Scraptosaur, although she could not attend filming. Annita is a bachelor in mechanical engineer, and has also built various antweight robots.

Esther Tissing and Carla van den Broek were both competitors on the live circuit, and were invited to join the team by the van der Meers. The all-female team received support from Professor Noel Sharkey via Twitter[1], who is keen to encourage women to become engineers.

"Other than Caroline the captain and driver, there are no designated roles within the group, all are equally qualified to fix the robot and operate weapons."
Robot Wars website




Lazerus live

Lazerus, with the spiked axe, at a live event

Tomahawk initially attempted to enter Series 6 under the name Lazerus. At the qualifiers, Lazerus fought C.V., G-Man and Inshredable, with Inshredable winning the battle despite Lazerus surviving to the end of the battle. Lazerus was selected as a reserve, but did not get a chance to compete in Series 6. Lazerus was armed with a spiked axe, which the team replaced with a heavier, bladed axe when they modified it into Tomahawk, which successfully qualified for Series 7.


TMHWK under the ownership of Marien van der Meer

"Lazerus is a reserve - may be called up. Thursday night, just before loading the car up I noticed the sound of a gas leak during a final test. Won't give you the frantic details, suffice to say that it was a late night! Lazerus has entered quite a few events this year and has been very successful, never broken down or taken any damage - ironic that the first fault of the year manifests itself in a leaking solenoid valve hours before the qualifiers, wots all that about? We would have made it through easily today if not for the leak which I was unable to lock down. As previously posted - CV, Lazerus, Inshredable, Gman. Inshredable and Lazerus were still pushing eachother around at the end - count yourselvs lucky boys that we had lost our gas. Thanks to everybody for the compliments (and the disbelief that we didnt win) We'll be back"
— Paul Kendrick on Lazerus' failure to qualify for Series 6, on the Robot Wars forum

TMHWK, under new ownership of Marien van der Meer, also applied to participate in Series 8 of the rebooted Robot Wars, but was not selected to compete. For Series 9, Marien van der Meer entrusted TMHWK to his wife's team, Team Dutch Robot Girls, who successfully qualified with the machine. According to the Robot Wars website, Team Dutch Robot Girls submitted their application video to the theme of Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 7Edit

"They sent a warning by fax: "We'll cleave you with our axe!""
Jonathan Pearce introduces Tomahawk
IG-88 vs Tomahawk

Tomahawk is knocked out by IG-88

Tomahawk competed in Heat C, fighting IG-88, The Stag and Scorpion in its first-round battle. In order to withstand blows from the spinning weapons of IG-88 and Scorpion, the team bolted on extra armour panels to Tomahawk's sides in an attempt to give it further protection. In the battle itself, it immediately charged into Scorpion and The Stag, but missed its first axe blow on the latter, and was hit from the sides and rear a few times by IG-88. These attacks buffeted and immobilised Tomahawk, which fired its axe in an attempt to show signs of mobility.

"...but Tomahawk is more statuesque. I wonder if it's going to be quick enough, and I wonder if...Tomahawk is okay?"
— Jonathan Pearce as he realises Tomahawk's immobility

Tomahawk after having an ocean buoy dropped onto it

IG-88 briefly nudged Tomahawk before Tomahawk axed Scorpion, getting its axe embedded through one of the latter's wheels. Tomahawk was then pushed back across the arena by Scorpion and The Stag, before Scorpion and Cassius Chrome shoved it towards a CPZ. Refbot counted Tomahawk out as The Stag drove itself into the pit, before Cassius Chrome punched its sides and pushed it into Sergeant Bash and onto the Drop Zone. There, an ocean buoy was dropped onto Tomahawk, which dislodged one of its top panels and buckled its chassis as it bounced.

"Ooh... buoy, oh buoy! That is no longer, a roboteer's toy! The aluminium, on polycarbonate body - popped, ooh, and the innards revealed! "
— Jonathan Pearce as Tomahawk sustains damage from the ocean buoy

As a result, Tomahawk was eliminated from the Seventh Wars, along with The Stag.

Series 9Edit

Aftershock hits crank-e

TMHWK and Aftershock make a 'pincer movement' on Crank-E

TMHWK competed in Heat 1, fighting Sabretooth, Aftershock and Crank-E in its Group Battle. It immediately charged towards Crank-E as the latter approached Aftershock, forcing Crank-E into Aftershock's flywheel and sending it flying through the air. As Aftershock continued attacking Crank-E, TMHWK momentarily drove up the side of Aftershock's wedge, before ramming Sabretooth head-on. The impact spun and immobilised TMHWK instantly, allowing Sabretooth to push TMHWK from the side and churn into one of its side panels with its drum.

"Just keep hitting."
— Esther Tissing as TMHWK is pushed and damaged by Sabretooth
Sabretooth vs tmhwk

Sabretooth rips into TMHWK's side

TMHWK, despite its lack of drive, was still able to fire its axe, lifting it off the floor and allowing Sabretooth to get underneath and push it more freely. Another hit from Sabretooth ripped TMHWK's HDPE side panel off completely, before Sabretooth pushed TMHWK into Shunt and left it over the arena spikes, tearing one of its wedges off in the process. THMWK was flipped over by one of the spikes and left unable to self-right, with both it and Crank-E being counted out and eliminated from Series 9 as a result.


TMHWK and Crank-E lie beaten

"Immobilised machines... certainly TMHWK, and the Netherlands team, it's all double Dutch for them."
— Jonathan Pearce as TMHWK and Crank-E are counted out


Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat C, Round 1 vs. Scorpion, IG-88, The Stag Eliminated
Series 9
Series 9 - UK Championship
Round 1
Heat 1 vs. Aftershock, Crank-E, Sabretooth Eliminated


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 2

Series RecordEdit

  • Tomahawk as Lazerus fighting Tornado and Spirit Of Scorpion at the Robot Roadshow in 2002
  • Tomahawk without its top at a live event
  • Tomahawk shortly after Robot Wars
  • Tomahawk being restored in 2012
Series Tomahawk Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Unused reserve as Lazerus
(Team Lazerus)
The Seventh Wars Heat, Round 1 (Team Lazerus)
Series 8 Not selected (Marien van der Meer)
Series 9 Heat, Round 1 (Team Dutch Robot Girls)
Series 10 Did not enter


  • Stuart Barnwell entered Extreme 2 with Pussycat and Katnip, entered Series 7 with Pussycat and Kitty, Series 8 with Dantomkia, and Series 9-10 with Push to Exit.
  • Marien van der Meer entered both series of Dutch Robot Wars, and UK Series 7, with Scraptosaur.
  • Caroline van der Meer entered Dutch Series 2 with IDO.

Outside Robot WarsEdit


Tomahawk shortly after Robot Wars

Tomahawk continued to fight in certain live events after Robot Wars finished, with a good degree of success including the Roaming Robots event in Denbigh 2005 where it managed to immobilise Tornado and heavily damage Kan-Opener in a 3-way melee. It was also seen at one of Roaming Robots' events at Birmingham 2005 where it did a demo in the arena damaging computer monitors with its axe.

Tomohawk Maidstone 2012

Tomahawk, rebuilt by Team VHS for Maidstone 2012

A few years after Robot Wars, Marco Van Hek (who now also owns Hades AKA Gravity 3) purchased Tomahawk. In August 2012, he and a few other roboteers from Belgium and the Netherlands began restoring Tomahawk to fighting form, at which point it was renamed to TMHWK. It came out of retirement and competed in the 2012 Winter Tour held by Roaming Robots. TMHWK lost in the heat, but is continuing to be run today. Van Hek would go on to compete in live events with Brutus, while his latest heavyweight, Cobra, is set to compete in Series 9. TMHWK was then passed on to Marien van der Meer, and finally, Team Dutch Robot Girls.

Manta vs TMHWK

TMHWK is flipped by Manta at Extreme Robots

Esther Tissing and Annita van der Meer took TMHWK to Russia in 2017, to compete at Bronebots. A different team borrowed TMHWK to compete with it in Extreme Robots at Maidstone, the last robotic live event of 2017, where TMHWK's new axe head was broken in battle. In different fights, TMHWK was immobilised by a flip from Eruption, a flip from Iron-Awe 7, and a blow from the spinner of Tauron, but defeated Audacious and Expulsion by pitting the former, finishing in fourth place after being pitted by ThunderChild, having entered without a weapon.

Team Dutch Robot Girls own a vast number of light robots between their members, and compete at Dutch events with them. Annita van der Meer has built various antweights and raptors, which weigh 6kg. Carla van den Broek has built at least one robot. Esther Tissing's first robot was a featherweight named Bad Blood, and has also built antweights called James and Little Miss Sunshine. Caroline van der Meer's robots are listed below.

  • EFWAH (Everything Fits With a Hammer)
  • Mini-Pizzabox - Antweight
  • Fuzzy Buzzy - Antweight
  • Maniac - Raptor
  • YES (You'll Eventually Smile) - Featherweight
  • Something - Raptor
  • AND (Another Now Diskbot) - Antweight

Caroline van der Meer also built the very first Dutch featherweight, known as Pizzabox. This won the Mad Metal Machine 2 event, and even fought heavyweight Tough as Nails in an exhibition match.

Robot Wars Live EventsEdit

The overhauled TMHWK made its first appearance in fighting at the Robot Wars live touring show at the Robot Wars World Championships 2015 at Colchester where it fought Behemoth, Eruption and Cherub in the first round of its heat. TMHWK quickly lost mobility to one wheel, and was rendered immobile. Behemoth and Cherub were both thrown out of the arena before Eruption threw TMHWK out, but regardless TMHWK was eliminated due to its lack of mobility. It also took part in a separate Annihilator competition at the event where it was immobilised very early on in the fight before being thrown out by Beast 2.


  • Tomahawk's statistics board in Series 7 misspelled the robot's name as Tomohawk.
  • Tomahawk was one of only two competitor robots in Series 7 to run on tracks, with the other being Trax.



External LinksEdit

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