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Tough as Nails

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Tough as Nails (originally Tough As Nails, or abbreviated to TAN) was a Dutch robot that competed in Series 7-8 of UK Robot Wars, and Series 2 of Dutch Robot Wars.

Tough as Nails originally entered the second series of Dutch Robot Wars, but was defeated in the first round by Scrap-2-Saur. However, it did win a major robotic event in the Netherlands prior to the Seventh Wars and was dubbed as a favourite for the series by Jonathan Pearce. Tough as Nails won its heat in the main series, defeating former UK champion Panic Attack along the way. It was eventually defeated in the semi-finals by Bulldog Breed. It also defeated two other Dutch robots to qualify for The Third World Championship at the end of the series, in which it reached the semi-finals and was defeated by the eventual champion, Storm 2.

A favoured tactic which was used by the Tough as Nails team was to immediately activate the pit release button, grab hold of its opponents and dump them into the pit. The team attempted this tactic in many battles, successfully pitting Disc-O-Inferno and Robochicken in the heats (although Robochicken was already through to the next round) and Scraptosaur, Gravity and Rawbot in The Third World Championship, before finally being given a taste of its own medicine as it was pitted by Storm 2, also being pitted in its 2016 loss.

DesignEdit

"When offered the chance in 2002 to build a robot as a graduation project, I had half a year time to design and build TAN."
— Jeroen van der Loo[1]
Tough As Nails mechanism

Tough As Nails' clamping mechanism during Dutch Series 2

Tough As Nails

Tough as Nails in Series 7

Tough As Nails was essentially a large horizontal crusher on wheels, allowing it to run invertible. The robot was built and designed around the mechanism, which operated within the robot's axle. As the crusher closed, the mechanism expanded, sliding Tough As Nails' wheels further apart. Tough As Nails' crusher was one of the largest in Robot Wars history, and was capable of crushing 200kg as of 2016.

Tough As Nails with team

Tough as Nails with Team KODOX in 2016

Tough As Nails was the first robot to introduce HARDOX (brand name SSAB Sweden) as armour plating for robots. As a result it had very strong armour, was fast and controllable, but had a limited CO2 supply and electrical problems as well. The robot cost £2,500 to build, and the wheels provided by sponsors were finished by Jeroen who has found his own way to vulcanise HDPE.

In 2016, Tough As Nails' weight increased from 97kg to 107kg, and its former 1600W electric motors were upgraded to 3000W, with its top speed falling by 3mph. Its HARDOX armour was thickened to 3.2mm.

QualificationEdit

In its qualifier battle for Series 7, Tough as Nails fought German entry I Bot One Beta, Team Death's new robot Metalis, and non-qualifier Skorpizoid. Tough as Nails became immobile after colliding with Metalis, breaking down. The qualifier battle was won by I Bot One Beta. Despite this, Tough as Nails, as well as Metalis, was awarded a discretionary place.

Tough as Nails qualified for Series 8 through open applications, likely chosen based on its previous heat win, but when a largely unchanged Tough as Nails applied for Series 9, it was not selected to compete, so Jeroen van der Loo and Jeroen van Lieverloo instead joined Team Rubbish to enter with Cobra.

Robot HistoryEdit

Dutch Series 2Edit

ScraptosaurvsTAN

Tough as Nails grabs Scrap-2-Saur

Scrap2saur flips tough as nails

Scraptosaur flips Tough As Nails

Tough As Nails fought Scrap-2-Saur in its first round of Dutch Robot Wars. Tough As Nails was flipped once before driving over the flame pit. Due to a thermal cut-off from the speed controllers, Tough As Nails's motors shut down, and it was counted out by Refbot. Mr. Psycho put Tough As Nails on the Drop Zone, where two barrels fell onto it. At this point the speed controllers had cooled down, so Tough As Nails was able to move again, though it had been eliminated. Tough As Nails grabbed one of the Drop Zone's barrels and carried it around the arena, until Mr. Psycho came in and smashed Tough As Nails's rear with his hammer. The hit caused a small fire, burning out a speed controller and one of the hydraulic tubes, effectively immobilising Tough As Nails again. Dead Metal pushed Tough As Nails, barrel still in its claws, down into the pit.

"To repair it the houseroboteers borrowed me a hydraulic tube from Sir. K, but I had to give it back after not being selected for the wildcard."
— Jeroen van der Loo[2]

UK Series 7Edit

Tough as Nails made its first appearance in the UK Championship in Heat M, where it was drawn against Robochicken, B.O.D. and Disc-O-Inferno in the first round.

Tough As Nail pits Discoinferno

Disc-O-Inferno falls victim to Tough as Nails's party trick

Tough as Nails immediately made its way over to the pit release button and activated it while the other three competing machines hung around the centre of the arena. Suddenly, Tough as Nails caught Disc-O-Inferno off guard with a charge and grabbed it from behind. Tough as Nails then arced Disc-O-Inferno towards the pit of oblivion - Disc-O-Inferno's spinning weapon damaging B.O.D. in the process - before releasing its grasp with Disc-O-Inferno hung over the pit, eliminating the Heat Finalists of the Sixth Wars early on.

Robochiken pitted

Robochicken is pitted

"Very, very good tactics by Tough as Nails, and the disco didn't last long, did it?"
— Jonathan Pearce as Tough as Nails pits Disc-O-Inferno
Tough as Nails BOD

Tough as Nails drags B.O.D. towards the dropzone...

B.O.D. was then overturned by Robochicken, so the two remaining machines squared off, with Robochicken inverting Tough as Nails with a flip before missing with a second use of its arm. Tough as Nails then grasped the top of Robochicken and took it into Shunt, where the House Robot axed down onto the chicken. Suddenly, with Tough as Nails still holding onto Robochicken, the Dutch machine threatened to pit Robochicken, but Refbot's counter reached ten before the eventual pitting took place. With Tough as Nails the only competing machine still mobile, it decided to help the House Robots out by taking hold of B.O.D. and placing the beaten machine onto the dropzone, where it faced a shower of bowling balls.

Tough as Nails BOD 1

...before placing it on top of the other competing machines

"Tough as Nails is our sweeper out there, and wants to make a clean sweep of it all."
— Jonathan Pearce as Tough as Nails grabs hold of the immobilised B.O.D.

Tough as Nails then placed B.O.D. on top of the other pitted machines, and cease was called, with Robochicken progressing with Tough as Nails.

In Round 2, Tough as Nails faced Robot Wars veterans and number 8 seeds Panic Attack.

Tough as Nails Panic Attack 1

Panic Attack's prongs are buckled by Tough as Nails

Tough as Nails crashed into the front of Panic Attack straight after activate before clasping Panic Attack side on and pushing the Welsh machine into the pit release button. Panic Attack fought back as it slid underneath one of Tough as Nails' wheels but was unable to lift it up. The two machines met head on again, before Panic Attack backed into the arena wall, which allowed Tough as Nails to pinch Panic Attack and lift half of the robot off of the arena floor. However, Tough as Nails found itself too close to Mr. Psycho, and was hit by a strong blow from the House Robot's hammer. Tough as Nails then released Panic Attack before charging across the arena floor and clipping the front of Sergeant Bash, which responded with a lick of flame. Tough as Nails swiftly regained control though, and grabbed hold of the back end of Panic Attack, which had reversed into it. Tough as Nails continued to pressurise Panic Attack, forcing it into a CPZ before dislodging its forklifts as it came in with an angled drive.

"Tough as Nails, in their first UK Robot Wars doing very, very well. Purposely, again, grinding down Panic Attack."
— Jonathan Pearce
PAvTAN

Tough as Nails grapples Panic Attack

After a period of jostling, Tough as Nails attempted to force Panic Attack towards the pit, but Panic Attack held its ground and angled Tough as Nails' drive away from the pit. Tough as Nails then dragged Panic Attack over a CO2 jet and into Sergeant Bash's clutches, with the House Robot's front claw clamping down on Panic Attack's lifting forks before dragging it further into his CPZ. Mr. Psycho then came across and brought his hammer down twice onto Panic Attack, but only connected hits to Panic Attack's skirts before Panic Attack moved away. With the battle running out of time, Panic Attack desperately tried to drive Tough as Nails towards the pit of oblivion, but Tough as Nails moved away after some pressure and cease was called. The battle went to the judges, who gave Tough as Nails the win, sending it through to the Heat Final.

In the Heat Final, Tough as Nails met Robochicken for a second time, which flipped its way to a rematch with its Dutch adversary after defeating Mega Morg in the second round.

Tough as Nails Robochicken 2

Robochicken attempts to topple Tough as Nails over the arena wall

Tough as Nails was sent on the back foot immediately, as Robochicken came in with a flip while Tough as Nails tried to move away. Tough as Nails was flipped once more as it attempted to close its pincers, before being thrown over by its claws as Robochicken continued its strong start. Tough as Nails fought back, as it edged Robochicken on the edge of Shunt's CPZ before slamming it into the arena wall, but another flip from Robochicken near the arena wall prompted Tough as Nails to charge across the arena floor to activate the pit release tyre.

"Robochicken, here, could be on the verge of a very famous victory."
— Jonathan Pearce as Tough as Nails struggles to find its feet
Tanrobochicken1

Tough as Nails pushes Robochicken into the CPZ

Tough as Nails then scuttled away but quickly found itself under pressure from Sir Killalot before it was driven across the arena floor by Robochicken and was lifted up against the angle grinder. Tough as Nails tried to move into space once move, but slammed into the arena wall, which allowed Robochicken to come in with another attack, although it only managed to lift Tough as Nails up as apposed to throwing it over, as its flipper was evidently running low on CO2. Tough as Nails then came on the attack, and after narrowly missing with one snap of its claws, Tough as Nails managed to close its arms around Robochicken, piercing its armour in the process.

Tough as Nails Robochicken 5

Tough as Nails pierces Robochicken's shell

"Robochicken: you could see the damage there - and I think they expended too much energy early on without managing to finish off Tough as Nails. Suddenly, the Heat Final has turned."
— Jonathan Pearce

Tough as Nails then drove Robochicken back into Shunt before attempting to edge Robochicken into the pit as time ticked down. Robochicken survived, but was forced into the CPZ one last time before cease, although Tough as Nails itself was hit by Shunt's axe. The battle went to the judges, with Tough as Nails given the edge, sending it through to the series Semi-Finals.

In the first round of the Semi-finals, Tough as Nails - sporting the comb from the head of Robochicken on one of its claws - met Bulldog Breed, which won its heat after beating the likes of Hard and Kat 3 in Heat K.

Bulldog breed vs tough as nails

Tough as Nails is flung into the air by Bulldog Breed

Both machines drove at each other straight away, with the contact sending Tough as Nails up and over. Tough as Nails attempted in vain to snap its claws around Bulldog Breed and then stumbled up the front of it, before going over to the pit release tyre and descending the pit. Bulldog Breed then came in on the attack, inverting Tough as Nails with one flip, before sending Tough as Nails up into the arena with a second flip.

"Tough as Nails bounces down; they cannot get Bulldog Breed in their grips, and this is brilliant stuff from the bulldog."
— Jonathan Pearce as Bulldog Breed starts strong
Bulldog Breed Tough as Nails 2

Both robots tussle over the flame pit

Tough as Nails tried to respond, but could only balance upwards on its wheels before coming perilously close to being thrown out of the arena as Bulldog Breed flipped it up on the arena wall. Tough as Nails edged itself back onto the arena floor and then caught Bulldog Breed in its grasp, but could only drag its opponent around in circles before Bulldog Breed flipped Tough as Nails aside. Tough as Nails continued to persevere though, and another grab followed by a mistimed flip from Bulldog Breed allowed Tough as Nails to drive Bulldog Breed across the arena floor and into the side wall.

Bulldog Breed Tough as Nails 3

Tough as Nails attempts to edge Bulldog Breed towards the pit

"This is a terrific tug of war out there now!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Bulldog Breed fought back and pressed Tough as Nails backwards over the flame pit, and against the arena wall before coming in with another flip which sent Tough as Nails' tyres on top of the arena wall. Tough as Nails drove down from the side wall, but was forced to withstand another attack from Bulldog Breed before it could move away. Tough as Nails then tried to force Bulldog Breed towards the pit of oblivion, but the bulldog held strong and the two machines separated once more. Cease was then called after a small period of jostling, and the battle went to a judges' decision. The judges ruled in favour of Bulldog Breed, and Tough as Nails' Seventh Wars campaign came to an end.

As well as the UK Championship, Tough as Nails also competed in the Third World Championship. First of all, it faced Scraptosaur and Gravity in a Dutch qualifying battle, in an attempt to join the Dutch champion, PulverizeR, in the main competition.

Tough as Nails Scraptosaur pit

Tough as Nails pits Scraptosaur...

Tough as Nails immediately hunted down Scraptosaur and grabbed hold of it before nudging into the pit release button. Scraptosaur fired its flipper in an attempt to free itself from Tough as Nails' grasp, but Tough as Nails wasn't deterred and slid Scraptosaur down into the descending pit. Tough as Nails then charged after Gravity and inverted itself after riding over the top of it. This did nothing to affect Tough as Nails though, which chased Gravity around the arena. Gravity managed to keep itself away from Tough as Nails and used Refbot as a shield as well, but eventually Gravity drove up Refbot's front plough and was quickly hunted down by Tough as Nails.

"Gravity, ducking behind Refbot? No wonder."
— Jonathan Pearce approves of Gravity's tactics to avoid the threat of Tough as Nails' pincers
Dutchqualifierwc3

...before inflicting the same fate to Gravity

Gravity slipped away from Tough as Nails again, before another Tough as Nails drive over the top of Gravity saw the flipper robot throw itself over as it mistimed the activation of its weapon. Gravity quickly sprung back onto its wheels and flipped Tough as Nails over but Tough as Nails then came in with a drive itself which allowed it to shovel Gravity towards the pit of oblivion, where it dumped its fellow Semi-Finalist from the Seventh Wars. With both of its opponents pitted, Tough as Nails progressed to the heats of the Third World Championship.

In its heat battle in the Third World Championship, Tough as Nails was drawn up against Rawbot from Sweden, as well as Scotland's Typhoon 2. However, before the battle took place, Team Typhoon had decided to use their last set of batteries for the Middleweight Championship battle, and as a result, Typhoon 2 was unable to compete in its heat battle, leaving Tough as Nails and Rawbot to fight alone.

Rawbotwc3

Rawbot is pitted by Tough as Nails

Tough as Nails managed to grab hold of Rawbot in the opening seconds of the battle and used it to activate the pit release button. Tough as Nails then turned around, and after some further readjusting, reversed Rawbot - which had stopped moving - down into the pit of oblivion.

"Tough as Nails gets some Dutch courage - they're through to the Semi-Finals of the World Championships!"
— Craig Charles

In the Semi-Final Tough as Nails met Seventh Wars runners up Storm 2, which beat Tornado and Ansgar 3 in its own World Championship heat.

Tanstorm2wc3

Storm 2 pushes Tough as Nails towards the pit

Storm 2 quickly found itself in between Tough as Nails' claws, but used this as a means to drive Tough as Nails back itself - ramming it into the arena wall. Tough as Nails was then hit by a hammer blow from Mr. Psycho, before the two competing machines separated. Storm 2 continued its strong start though, driving Tough as Nails backwards before turning around and driving it against the arena wall again. Tough as Nails then found itself beached on top of Storm 2, with the English robot using this as an opportunity for another strong drive. This time, though, Tough as Nails was not only slammed into the arena wall, but also lost the rubber covering for one of its wheels in the process. Tough as Nails activated the pit and grabbed hold of Storm 2 in an attempt to turn the tide of the battle, but once again, Storm 2 dictated proceedings, as it crashed Tough as Nails into Sir Killalot.

"The storm is too strong, and they are blowing Tough as Nails across this arena floor."
— Jonathan Pearce
TANtyre

Tough as Nails' removed tyre

Tough as Nails was then driven towards the pit of oblivion, before being suspended over the arena hazard. Tough as Nails kept hold of Storm 2, but with it becoming evident that Tough as Nails was unable to escape its fate, it let go, and plunged into the pit, taking The Netherlands' hopes with it.

"The wheels finally come off Tough as Nails' drive for world domination"
— Craig Charles

Series 8Edit

Tough as Nails competed in Episode 2 of Series 8, the only Dutch entry to qualify. In the first round, it fought newcomers Shockwave, and veterans DisConstructor and Thor.

Angela Scanlon: "Ready to represent Holland?"
Jeroen van der Loo: "Yes, show them who's boss!"
— Team KODOX fly the flag
TAN Trio

Tough as Nails pushes two robots at once

When the battle started, Tough as Nails replicated its first UK battle by targeting the spinner, DisConstructor, although Tough as Nails was deflected backwards by the spinning disc. Tough as Nails dodged an attack from Thor, but was caught by Shockwave, which allowed Thor to come in and attack. Tough as Nails was wedged upwards slightly, and grabbed the top portion of Thor, waging an even battle. When Thor gained proper purchase, however, Tough as Nails was slammed into an empty CPZ, and only missed Thor's axe blows due to its shape.

TAN Teamed

Tough As Nails is positioned by Shockwave to sustain blows from Thor

This turned into a two-way attack, as Shockwave helped to push Tough as Nails into the wall after having pitted DisConstructor, although this put Thor on top of Shockwave, allowing Tough as Nails to push both robots backwards. In retaliation, Tough as Nails was pushed into the corner by Shockwave. Tough as Nails grabbed Thor and pushed it towards Shunt, as Tough as Nails was too lengthy to be hit by its opponent's weapon. Yet when Tough as Nails grabbed Thor, Shockwave would respond and assist Thor with its push, this time sliding Tough as Nails up the arena wall. Thor pushed back, and held Tough as Nails against another wall, and Shockwave helped create the position where Tough as Nails would sustain axe blows from Thor.

Thor vs Shockwave vs Tough as Nails vs DisConstructor

Tough as Nails joins DisConstructor in the pit

These repeated blows had immobilised Tough as Nails, which lifelessly rolled across the arena.

"It's not Dutch delight - that's for sure."
— Jonathan Pearce

Thor pushed Tough as Nails onto the lip of the pit, and edged it on on a second attempt, with just eleven seconds left on the clock.

ResultsEdit

TOUGH AS NAILS - RESULTS
Dutch Series
Series 2
Dutch Championship
Heats, Round 1
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Scrap-2-Saur Lost
UK Series
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Semi-Finals, Round 1
Heat M, Round 1 vs. B.O.D., Disc-O-Inferno, Robochicken Qualified
Heat M, Round 2 vs. Panic Attack (8) Won
Heat M, Final vs. Robochicken Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Bulldog Breed (12) Lost
The Third World Championship
Representing the Netherlands, Semi-Finals
Qualifier vs. Gravity (NED), Scraptosaur (NED) Won
Heat vs. Rawbot (SWE), Typhoon 2 (UK) Won
NOTE: Before the battle had started, a lack of available batteries forced Typhoon 2 out of the competition, leaving Tough as Nails and Rawbot to fight alone.
Semi-Final vs. Storm 2 (UK) Lost
Series 8
Series 8 - UK Championship
Round 1
Episode 2, Group Battle vs. DisConstructor, Shockwave, Thor Eliminated

Wins/LossesEdit

  • UK Wins: 5
  • UK Losses: 3
  • Dutch Wins: 0
  • Dutch Losses: 1

Series RecordEdit

Dutch SeriesEdit

Team KODOX

Tough as Nails enters the arena in Series 8

Series Tough as Nails Record
Series 1 Entered with Arena Killer
Series 2 Heat, Round 1

UK SeriesEdit

Series Tough as Nails 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 Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Semi-Finals, Round 1
Series 8 Heat, Round 1
Series 9 Not selected
Entered with Cobra

Robot Wars Live EventsEdit

Since the launch of the Robot Wars Live Events in 2013, Tough as Nails has attended only a few of the events due to the team residing in The Netherlands. It first competed in the second live event of the new Robot Wars at Portsmouth in March 2013 where it fell in the heats after being flipped out the arena by Maelstrom.

In 2015, Tough as Nails fought in the Robot Wars World Championships, held in Colchester. In the first round, it was drawn against Rybot, Kan-Opener and Maelstrom. Rybot was quickly flipped over, and a combined attack from Tough as Nails and Kan-Opener immobilised Maelstrom, allowing the two pincers to qualify for the second round, although Kan-Opener was able to immobilise Tough as Nails by trapping it in the arena wall. In the second round, Tough as Nails fought Beast and Gabriel. Tough as Nails damaged the tyre of Beast, and pitted it, but regardless lost the Judges' decision to Gabriel, the more aggressive robot. Tough as Nails had a second chance to qualify, in a losers' melee against Eruption and Tiberius. Tiberius was quickly stranded on the wall by Eruption, leaving Tough as Nails and Eruption to fight alone. Tough as Nails fought well, grabbing hold of Eruption while it was self-righting, and dragged it around. Eruption eventually pushed Tough as Nails into the pit, but the Dutch robot escaped. Tiberius was freed from the wall, and it pitted Eruption, leaving Tough as Nails as the winner, which also pitted Tiberius. However, in the quarter-finals, Tough as Nails was flipped out of the arena in seconds by Manta.

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Tough as nails

Tough as Nails at the Dutch RobotGames

Tough as Nails won the Fighting Robots European Championships twice in a row in 2003 and 2004. In the 2006 UK Championship, Tough as Nails was pitted by Tiberius, but it escaped the pit, and then defeated Tiberius in the same way. By defeating Steel Sandwich, Tough as Nails escaped its heat, but it was flipped out of the arena by the eventual champion Turbulence in the next round. Tough as Nails later won the International Special held in the 2011 UK Championships held at the O2 Arena, London.

TriviaEdit

TANtest

Tough as Nails pulls a forklift during testing

  • Tough as Nails' main tactic was to grab robots and then dump them down the pit, however, ironically, Tough as Nails was the last robot in Robot Wars history to lose a battle by being pitted for twelve years, until the series was rebooted.
  • Tough as Nails is one of two semi-finalists from the Seventh Wars that lost its original qualifier battle and had to rely on a discretionary place from the producers. The other was the eventual champion, Typhoon 2.
  • The basic materials for the wheels were arranged by Maddox's former employers.
  • Along with Razer, Tornado, Storm 2, Behemoth, 101 and Manta, Tough as Nails is one of only seven robots to finish in the top four of a World Championship and reach the semi-finals of the domestic championship.
    • However, it is the only one of the six not to finish in at least the top eight.

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Correspondence with User:Toon Ganondorf
  2. Correspondence with User:Toon Ganondorf

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