- "Ooh, out of this world man! Totally!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces UFO in Series 6
UFO was the name given to a pair of competitor robots that fought in Series 6 and 7 of Robot Wars. The first version was eliminated in the first round of Series 6, while the second version reached the second round in Series 7, losing to Judge Shred 3 there.
UFO was the only robot to be entered by completely different team members from the same team in both of its appearances. Team UFO were known as Team 51 outside of the TV show.
Versions of UFOEdit
- "It's a big lifty-uppy spikey-thing, designed to cut into the bladey thing above it, and we also have a couple of bright lighty shiny things at the front, and some plucky spikey things at the back."
- — Pete Withers explains UFO's components to Philippa Forrester in Series 6
The Series 6 version of UFO was a compact, invertible box-shaped robot with two-wheel drive and a small set of crushing jaws as its weapon. The lower jaw had an elongated spike which doubled as a lifter, which was intended to get underneath other robots, lift them and draw them towards the upper jaw. However, despite the robot being invertible, the jaws were only effective when the robot was upright. This version of UFO also featured a black, green and yellow paint scheme with an alien's face painted on its top panel, as well as a pair of large white spotlights at the front and a set of rear spikes.
A brand-new version of UFO was entered into Series 7, retaining the Series 6 version's colour scheme and two-wheel drive, but featuring a traditional tall wedge-shape and a front-hinged pneumatic flipper. However, this version was untested in combat, and its flipper failed to work at all during its first round battle. While this issue was fixed, the robot had exposed tyres at the rear, and could not self-right from its side.
In Series 6, UFO fought in Heat E, and was drawn against The Stag, Vader and the ninth seed Wild Thing in the first round. It immediately collided with Vader and darted around the arena before trying to push Vader again, who ripped one of The Stag's tyres off as it tried to push UFO as well. UFO was buffeted by Vader's flywheel before retreating and ramming Wild Thing, then nudged Vader as it and Wild Thing got stuck together. It then got its lower jaw under Wild Thing, separating both it and Vader, before getting it stuck in the pit release button as it pressed it.
This allowed Vader to attack UFO with its flywheel, with Wild Thing again attempting to attack Vader as UFO broke free of the release button. UFO spent the rest of the battle pushing Vader and Wild Thing around as the latter two again got stuck to each other, before pushing The Stag into the pit, nearly spinning in itself as 'cease' was called. Despite UFO displaying consistent aggression throughout the battle, the judges' decision went in favour of Wild Thing and Vader, eliminating UFO from the Sixth Wars.
- "Off out of our solar system anyway, UFO and The Stag..."
- — Jonathan Pearce following UFO's elimination
UFO returned in Heat L of Series 7, facing Crushtacean, tenth seed Behemoth and Dutch competitor Tartarus in the first round. With its flipper failing to work at all, UFO began by attacking Crushtacean, briefly getting underneath it with its wedge as Behemoth came in to attack the pair after flipping Tartarus over in the opening seconds. It drove away as Behemoth turned Crushtacean over, before it pinned Crushtacean against the wall as Behemoth lifted the latter. Again, UFO and Behemoth rammed Crushtacean together a few more times, before Behemoth lifted Crushtacean against and over the arena wall. UFO finished the battle by getting under Behemoth twice, at one point rolling it over, before being flipped over by Behemoth's scoop. Needless to say, both UFO and Behemoth progressed to the second round anyway.
- "Thank goodness, the flipper is working!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as UFO self-rights after the first flip from Judge Shred 3
There, UFO faced Judge Shred 3, with the team having managed to fix and test its flipper prior to the fight. Both robots started by charging at each other, with UFO constantly driving around Judge Shred 3 and over its flipper before being flipped over by Judge Shred 3. UFO righted itself instantly, but was flipped again near the wall, and retaliated by pushing and flipping Judge Shred 3 against the wall.
- "An alien force, in the warzone this time around."
- — Pearce as UFO flips Judge Shred 3 against the wall
UFO backed away, pushing Judge Shred 3 over the Flame Pit, before Judge Shred 3 again flipped it, this time leaving it on its side, where it was unable to self-right. Refbot counted UFO out, before it was lifted and carried around the arena by Mr. Psycho, getting suspended over the Flame Pit and nearly hitting one of the cameras in the process. Mr. Psycho eventually dropped UFO into the pit, eliminating it from the Seventh Wars.
- "Well, the aliens have landed. Unfortunately, they landed in the Pit of Oblivion!"
- — Craig Charles announces UFO's Series 7 demise
|UFO - RESULTS|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat E, Round 1||vs. The Stag, Vader, Wild Thing (9)||Eliminated|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat L, Round 1||vs. Behemoth (10), Crushtacean, Tartarus||Qualified|
|Heat L, Round 2||vs. Judge Shred 3||Lost|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 2
|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||Heat, Round 1|
|The Seventh Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Team 51 also appeared at various live events with another robot called 51, which was not entered into any series of Robot Wars. 51 was armed with a small lifter and featured two models; one with a hexagonal body, the other with a longer body closely resembling the Series 6 version of UFO. The longer model of 51 entered the Assault Course in the 2003 series of Techno Games, where it reached the second round after completing the course in 34.90 seconds, 0.19 seconds faster than Brutal Beetle. However, it subsequently lost in the following round to Mighty Mouse, and in the first round of the Sumo competition against V-Bot. As in Series 7 of Robot Wars, team captain Pete Withers was unavailable for filming, so Mark Hamilton stood in as deputy captain.
After Robot Wars, the Series 7 version of UFO was renamed and rebranded as Taurus and had fought in various live events before it was sold to Alan Young of Team BlazerBotics, a friend of Team UFO, who rebuilt the robot's internals to compete in the main circuit again. Taurus fought in the 2005 UK Championships Winter Tour, reaching the finals before losing to Merlin, another robot from Team BlazerBotics. After this, UFO reverted to its old name due to it having appeared on TV, and was seeded tenth for the following year, but fell in the heats.
Since then, UFO has appeared at occasional live events right up to 2013, but Team BlazerBotics (now known as Team MAD) primarily fight with Merlin and 2016 Robot Wars champion Apollo. In July 2014, Alan Young stated that he was intending to build a new version of UFO, keeping the front-hinged flipper of the Series 7 version.