The most successful robot to reach the Series Semi-Finals, and the most consistent main series competitor, Firestorm reached the Semi-Finals on all five of its appearances as Firestorm, under the driving skill of Graham Bone. Of these appearances, Firestorm placed third on three occasions, including its début Series, in which it defeated the reigning champion Panic Attack before becoming the first robot to be thrown from the arena.
Among the greatest robots that have never won the UK series, Hypno-Disc reached the Series Semi-Finals on all four of its appearances, reaching the Grand Final in its first three appearances, under the command of Dave Rose. It came a runner-up in Series 3, before placing fourth in Series 4 and 5.
Nick Adams' Thing series of robots never failed to reach the semi-finals, and lost to the reigning champions on three occasions. It managed to reach the second round of the semi-finals in Series 4, losing to Hypno-Disc but managing to hold off to the judges decision.
The Series 2 champion, with one of the best drivers in the wars, Kim Davis, managed to keep up well through the years as it managed to keep reaching the Semi-Finals in the years following its Championship. However, it was the only reigning champion that fell before reaching another Grand Final, and began to decline in the later series.
One of the all-time greats, as the only UK Champion to successfully defend its title. Under the impressive guidance of George Francis, Chaos 2 toppled dozens of opponents in the longest ever consecutive main series run. Chaos 2 made three semi-finals from four main series appearances.
From being named as a Most Promising Newcomer in Series 4, where it defeated the heavily favoured clusterbot Gemini, to defeating the experienced walkerbot Anarchy, the previous runner-up Hypno-Disc, and the favoured champions Razer in its championship in Series 6, Andrew Marchant's machine showed enormous power in its main series appearances, only failing to reach the semi-finals in a blunder in Series 5.
Peter Halloway and Elliot Smart's plasma coated bi-wedge was one of the mightiest axes in the show. Dominator 2 axed its way through three heats to reach the semi-finals on all three of its appearances. It also managed to defeat the previous Grand Finalist Firestorm 2 in Series 4, the heavily favoured Wheely Big Cheese, and the previous year's runner-up Bigger Brother in its respective wars to reach the second round of the semi-finals on all of its three appearances. It was going to enter Series 7 but had to drop out due to mechanical problems.
Roadblock, the very first Grand Champion, never failed to reach the Grand Final in the two wars that it entered. Hender Blewitt and the others from Bodmin Community College stormed through all opponents on the road to victory in the First War, beating more fancied Killertron, Recyclopse and Bodyhammer on the way. The robot was just as consistent in Series 2, only Recyclopse's brilliant successor Cassius could defeat it, leaving Roadblock to place third.
The beautifully updated Sting robot shredded potential as it made a strong run to the semi-finals in both of its years of competing. It knocked out two seeds, including the reigning third place Stinger, before fighting through a loser's melee and losing to Razer. It followed up this success in Series 6, where it cut apart several opponents, including the new boys in Dantomkia, only to lose in the second round of the Semi-Finals once more.
Mace is often forgotten, as many are paying more attention to its innovative, yet noticeably worse performing successor, the clusterbot Gemini. Mace was the first robot to fell George Francis' Chaos series, and reached the semi-finals in Series 2, only to lose out the Gauntlet Race-Off to eventual Grand Champion Panic Attack. Returning for Series 3, it defeated three invertible machines that otherwise would have caused trouble to a flipper-robot. Mace was the only Series Semi-Finalist from Series 2 to perform better in Series 3, reaching the second round of the Semi-Finals to lose to rivals and future champion Chaos 2.
Mike Lambert's new generation flipper impressed all when it ripped through tough competition such as Chaos 2 in its first wars. Its Most Promising Newcomer status was well-earned, and it managed to follow this up in Series 7, setting records along the way, including most Out of the Arena flips and quickest battle record, only to have the latter broken in its very next battle by Gravity.
"Absolutely awesome" was all Craig Charles could say after Wheely Big Cheese's famous defeat of Axe Awe. Roger Plant's hugely powerful flipper was one of the most awe-inspiring ever seen, with its three Series 5 heat battles (and its semi-finals bout with Dominator 2) seeing a robot fly up to ten feet in the air, and often out of the arena. It was only poor construction or breakdowns that cost Wheely Big Cheese. It managed to reach both Semi-Finals in its attempts.
The third Spawn machine under Darren Hayden-Bell may have shown weakness and unreliability, but it managed to reach the semi-finals on two of its three attempts, and only an unforeseeable mishap cost in in Series 7. Spawn Again's enormous power saw it through to the finals of Series 5 and 6, before losing out to Razer and Terrorhurtz respectively.
David Gribble and his fellow nuclear technicians with their cat robot were one of the finest cutting blades of the era. After an unfortunate disqualification in Series 3, Pussycat climbed the ladder, disarming the lethal favourite Razer, and being the only robot to do so. It also employed skilful tactics to disarm Hypno-Disc in the Grand Final, where it lost the judges decision to Chaos 2. It followed up this success in Series 5, defeating the powerful Fluffy and the previous champions Panic Attack. However, Gribble's tragic death caused it to drop out of Robot Wars, and its new driver, Stuart Barnwell, failed to repeat the main series success in Series 7.
The machine belonging to Ian Watts and his much loved kids took a bit of getting up before it reached the semi-finals. It fell early in Series 4 before improving for Series 5. The hugely improved machine defeated the seemingly unstoppable double reigning champions Chaos 2 and made one of the best comebacks in Robot Wars by pitting the favoured Hypno-Disc before it finally fell to Razer. It was no dark horse in following series either, as it convincingly won through to the Semi-Finals in Series 6. However, its promising Series 7 run was cut short and it was flipped out in a bizarre turn of events by Iron Awe 2.1.
Ian Lewis and Simon Scott's part-bird, part-dinosaur beauty of a machine was one of the most prominent faces of Robot Wars. Razer always had incredible success in the side competitions, but in the UK championship, it was constantly plagued by technical problems which cost it its place in its first three wars. In Series 5, the team finally hit their stride, besting every one of its opponents, including the Widow's Revenge machine (built by a female team pretending to be their wives and girlfriends) and the much-fancied Firestorm, to become the UK champion. Razer made the Grand Final again in Series 6, but lost to Tornado in a controversial final match.
Marlon Pritchard's X-Terminator was a consistent competitor, but had hot-and-cold runs in terms of opponents. It fell in Series 3 and 6 due to superior opponents, and lost Series 5 from poor batteries. It did manage to win through in Series 4 and 7, with very different weapons. The vertical flywheel was the first heavyweight in the UK to throw a robot from the arena, doing so twice in Series 7.
David Harding's lobster robot had a high and low performance ratio, managing to soar through to the Semi-Finals in Series 4 and 7, but crashing out fairly easily in its three other appearances. When working in its prime, Thermidor 2 was not a robot to trifle with, effortlessly throwing out hefty opponents and otherwise managing to defeat powerful machines.
Rex Garrod's second machine became known as the Father of the Srimech, because of its most famed success in the Second Wars Semi-Final. It was the most efficient flipper of the wars, and the first robot to defeat Roadblock. Cassius was heavily favoured to win Series 2, but was pitted in an unanticipated move by Kim Davis, and then reversed into the pit in its next appearance for Series 3, one of the greatest shocks in the wars.
The heavily favoured machine of Team Cold Fusion, lead by Robin Herrick, won through to the Grand Final, where it was favoured to win. However, it was eliminated on the judges decision as the only robot left standing besides Roadblock. It returned for Series 2, but was the first ever seed to fall in the first round, as it shockingly crashed out in the Gauntlet.
Owen Barwick's machine surprised many in its heat by performing solidly, besting Dead Metal in the Sumo and defeating more fancied competitors in Vercingetorix and Havoc. In the Semi-Finals, it passed through the Gauntlet and Trial, before nearly pulling off a shock win against Cassius. However, this was the end of the line for Haardvark and it lost in the first round of the next wars, in a controversial loss to Henry.
Built by Team Ivanhoe, this bot in shining armour used its claws to snap up opponents and restrict their movements. It used this tactic to dominate its heat in Series 4, edging out two seeds en route to victory. Sadly, its name proved prophetic, as its first semi-final match was against Hypno-Disc, who stripped off its armour and strew its innards across the arena floor. Undaunted, the father and son team rebuilt Splinter and entered it into the Fifth Wars. There, it was not as successful, losing out to Bigger Brother in Round 2 in Series 5, then failing to qualify for the remaining two wars thereafter.
Terry Carlin's double flipper was never suspected as a potential semi-finalist in its Series 6 bout, as it ended up down the pit in the first round. However, it returned for Series 7 and flipped its way to victory, defeating The Scrapper via OotA and also defeating the Dutch Grand Finalist Scraptosaur and promising newcomer Ceros, before falling in the Semi-Finals to X-Terminator.
Stan Launchbury's unique machine won its grudge with Evil Weevil in it début in Series 4, before defeating Sumpthing and Little Fly with its unique mechanism, before its loss to Stinger. Although it was largely improved for Series 5, it fell to S3 relatively early and failed to enter Series 6.
Mike Smith's bubble and scoop robot ponderously pushed its way to its only Semi-Finals in Series 2, before losing out in the Pinball. After trying a year with Facet and skipping two years, G.B.H. 2 made an appearance in Series 6, but lost out on a tight judges decision.
The bug-like creature that Kevin Pritchard spawned after he split from Panic Attack fought through its Series 3 heat with relatively little competition, also managing to win the Soccer Championship at the end of the Series. However, Evil Weevil 2, which featured a hammer and a bronze colours scheme, fell immediately to Mousetrap and Tiberius in Series 4 from an uncharged battery. Kevin Pritchard retired Evil Weevil after this, choosing to return to Panic Attack.
The Grim Reaper's run to the semi-finals was hardly exciting; it won all three battles on judges decisions. However, Simon Smith's machine was resilient and well designed, managing to hold up to Storm 2 in its battle. Grim Reaper's previous attempt at the title in Series 3 had ended badly, but its improved design and weapon got it through for Series 7.
One of the most feared robots from the first two series of Robot Wars, Richard Broad's pink machine lost the heat final of Series 1, despite Jonathan Pearce's frequent comments to the contrary. Redesigned in orange, it managed to make up for this loss in Series 2, convincingly making it to the Grand Final with its large flywheel-driven axe, where it placed fourth, losing to Roadblock, as it did in Series 1. Killertron would later return for Series 4, but by then the other robots had been upgraded so much that Killertron's axe had lost its potency and it fell in Round 2.
After disappointing domestic success with Killerhurtz, John Reid built a new machine for Series 5. However, it was Series 6 where Terrorhurtz really shone, where it reached the Grand Final, defeating several seeded machines, including Panic Attack, Spawn Again and even Bigger Brother, along the way. Facing off against Razer, it could go no further, and ultimately came fourth. Sadly, the team did not get the chance to repeat this for Series 7, dropping out at the very last moment.
Mike and Amy Franklin's second machine was their cheapest, and most successful of all. 101 used its incredible pushing power to win its Series 3 heat, along the way getting vengeance on King Buxton, who had beaten the Franklins' robot the series before. Thought it lost in the semi-finals to Hypno-Disc, it was one of the few who survived the entire match and forced a judges' decision. 101 lost in the heat final of Series 4 to Dominator 2, and the first round to Fluffy in Series 5, ending its finals career.
Stephen Bebb's red and yellow trapezoidal robot appeared to be just another sacrificial machine in Series 4, being soundly defeated by Chaos 2, and Atomic took a considerably worse beating from Hypno-Disc in Series 5, despite its seeding. However, after taking a one-year hiatus, Atomic finally got its chance to shine in Series 7, where it showcased the true power behind its flipper by flipping an opponent out of the arena in all of the battles it won.
David Crosby's less than robust machine looked like the last robot imaginable to make a Series Semi-Finals, yet in Series 2 managed to make it through the heat, before performing strongly in the Semi-Finals Gauntlet, placing first. However, controversy from Mortis' run ultimately cost Napalm its place, and Napalm dropped out in the heat final of Series 3 and the second round of Series 5.
John Denny's double-flywheel machine had a poor run in Series 5 after a loss to Corkscrew, but shone in Series 6 as it showed its real potential. It smashed up Double Trouble and former Grand Finalists Stinger before it fell to Firestorm 4, but was ended relatively early in Series 7, as it was hurled from the arena by Gravity.
Despite being dubbed as a "clone of Cassius", Jonathan Chaplin's coffin-shaped machine put up a spectacular display in the Third Wars, defeating the highly favoured Mortis on its way to reach the semi-finals, where it lost to Steg-O-Saw-Us on a somewhat controversial judges decision. Unfortunately, it was unable to repeat this in the following two series, losing in Round 1 in both of them.
After a disastrous début in Series 3, driving straight into the pit, Kevin Scott's uniquely designed robot used its brand new mace weapon to great effect, defeating Bulldog Breed in the heat final and winning a tight judges decision over Panic Attack to reach the Grand Final, where another tight judges decision against Chaos 2 knocked it out. It lost in the heat final of the following two series, making it the least successful of the robots to reach the grand-final.
Had it lived to its expectations, Mortis would have reached all four semi-finals. Rob Knight's technologically advanced machine fell earlier than it should have in nearly all its appearances, only managing to make the semi-finals in Series 2. Every defeat of Mortis was considered an upset; the expectations were so high of it. Even in Series 2, it was seeded number 2, higher than every grand finalist but Roadblock, even Cassius, who had defeated it in the heat final of the previous war.
Tony and Robert Somerfield took a while to reach the semi-finals; Bulldog Breed fell to Hypno-Disc on two occasions, and suffered unfortunate breakdowns in Series 3 and 4. Its Series 7 run was quite strong, despite not throwing any robots out of the arena, its raw power and flipper were enough to push past even Tough As Nails before it finally fell.
Simon Harrison's tough little machine was well made for Series 2, managing to defeat RoboDoc and All Torque, before performing strongly in the Gauntlet and Trial, but fell to Roadblock. It continued to try in the following years, but ultimately failed from meeting robots with superior weaponry.
Mike Onslow and Bryan Kilburn's wedge robot was favoured in Series 1, but fell early on. Returning, it was called a chicken in its Series 2 Gauntlet, and the team sought out to avenge their embarrassment by dominating the Trial, before defeating Enzyme and the well engineered The Mule to claim a semi-finals place. However, it fell in the Semi-Final Gauntlet, and failed to perform well after that.
Anthony and Michael Pritchard's bulldozer of a robot was one of the longest competing single robots in Robot Wars. A steady performance in Series 2 saw it through to the semi-finals, where it lost to Killertron. However, despite the vast improvements, it was never able to reach that stage again, and didn't even make the Heat Final during Series 5-7, losing either to superior robots or plagued with bad luck (flipped over by an arena spike in Series 3, broke down in forward-drive in Series 7). This gives Behemoth the worst performance of any semi-finalist on the semi-finals-to-series competed ratio.
The second half of this article is for robots that made one single attempt at the title before retirement or, in many cases, the show's cancellation. They are ranked in order of how far they reached in the series, and also takes into consideration robots that they defeated and the circumstances of each victory.
When Peter Bennett and his group of Air Cadets decided to move from Middleweight to Heavyweight, the result was the Series 7 champion. Despite being completely defeated once in Extreme 2 by a flipper, it managed to defeat three competent flippers in a row in Series 7. At full speed, Typhoon 2 was absolutely terrifying and incredibly destructive.
This robot, built to win rather than entertain, may have been unpopular with the Series 7 producers, but that didn't stop it from winning every single battle in its existence but one, which went to the judges. The colossal power behind Ed Hoppit's machine was enough to hurl The Steel Avenger from the arena from mere impact, and to out-push Tornado on two occasions.
George Francis' first machine was nothing but brute force and bad manners, but this was enough to secure it a place in the Grand Final, coming top of every part of its heat. It fell to Roadblock as the last robot to fall in the Grand Final. It has been overshadowed by its successor, Chaos 2.
Rex Garrod's first machine looked comical, but was a serious competitor in Robot Wars, as the first ever robot to use a moving weapon to flip an opponent. It also defeated Series favourite Mortis to earn its place alongside its the other robot created by the unity of Team Chaos and Team Cassius; Robot The Bruce. Its drive chain was destroyed by Roadblock in its purge of the Grand Final arena.
Danny King's green machine quickly proved that not all dinosaurs were extinct in its amazing pushing power, slamming previous semi-finalists Napalm and Beast of Bodmin into submission. It placed fourth in the third wars before being succeeded by Steg 2.
Oliver Steeples' Cunning Plan whizzed through its featherweight heat, setting a fastest battle record in its defeat of Demolisher, but beached itself beneath T.R.A.C.I.E. and eliminated itself at the same time.
Andrew Rockliffe's machine was the first invertible finalist, and struggled to get through its heat, almost losing in the Trial. However, it was beached by the aggressive featherweight Cunning Plan, effectively taking both robots out of the finals. T.R.A.C.I.E. was the only Grand Finalist never to make another attempt at the title.
Hender Blewitt's third wars machine was a huge favourite amongst viewers, mostly for its novelty wink. Showing the power and driving skill of its predecessor Roadblock, it sliced the promising Crusher, overturned old rivals Onslaught and made the second round of the semi-finals, looking set to make yet another Grand Final for the Bodmin Community College. However, it was halted by the unanticipated formidable ramming power of Steg-O-Saw-Us.
Dutchman WJ Dijikstra's hugely powerful snow-speeder lookalike amazed everyone by hurling out two seasoned and powerful robots in its heat, in addition to toppling Dead Metal. It also hurled out Dantomkia, the robot who it was based on, out of the arena in less that 6 seconds. Its seemingly unstoppable rampage was halted by the reigning champion Tornado, who slammed it around and pitted it. Gravity remains the best performing foreigner in the UK competition.
Rob Heaseman's upgraded machine had a far superior flipper mechanism to its predecessor, managing to dispatch the 23rd seed Mortis in its heat final. The flipper also managed to topple Chaos 2 several times, but the reigning champs fought back and eliminated the 7th seed. Steg 2 did not proceed as far is its potential, and unfortunately, a split in Team Steg-O-Saw-Us saw Steg 2 taken by Heaseman, and not return to Robot Wars.
Nigel Paget's fourth machine in the Knightmare series was the only one to pass a heat final, and did so convincingly, taking out 6th seed and rival Spawn Again. The low-pressure flipper threw Spawn Again from the arena to claim a semi-finals place. However, it fell early to Tornado.
Jackie and Paul Cooper's half-barrel machine thoroughly impressed many in its first round, flipping out both its opponents to secure its second round place. Its plucky flipper then defeated the seeded Pussycat in addition to Tiberius 3 to win its heat, but was flipped out by Atomic in the Series Semi-Finals.
Jeroen van der Loo's oddly-shaped machine proved worthy of its name in Series 7. With its very simple tactic of grabbing and pushing opponents, it easily defeated powerful robots like Disc-O-Inferno and Panic Attack. It was beaten in the semifinals by Bulldog Breed, but it had a good run in the Third World Championship, causing an upset by knocking out Gravity, and reaching the Semi-Finals.
Phil Botting's bulldog didn't have too much more bark than bite, as its bite was certainly enough to see off previous heat finalists Technophobic and previous Semi-Finalists Behemoth. Its PTO inscription earned a few laughs, but it fell to Firestorm in the semi-finals and did not return.
Darren Ball's second Spawn machine was the most reliable and effective. The blue wedge concealing the 120m/p/h spike allowed it to knock over its opponents easily, which it did on the way to winning its heat. However, bad luck and skilful driving from Panic Attack saw Spawn of Scutter go out of the wars, but managing to avoid breaking down.
Peter Benn's "old shinyshoes" robot was a surprise semi-finalist, pitting Victor 2 and battering the favoured Dreadnaut for the prized semi-final place, despite having a mighty dent put in its side. Its luck ran dry, however, as it ran into future champions Chaos 2 and fell relatively early. It had meant to return for Series 4, but dropped out at the last minute, making Series 3 its only appearance.
John Ainslie's simple looking robot was a surprise semi-finalist after the second round defeat of Razer. Despite having no major offensive weaponry, Blade powered its way past Aggrobot to claim the semi-finals place, before falling to Beast of Bodmin as it was overturned. It had meant to return for Series 4, but dropped out at the last minute, making Series 3 its only appearance.
Mute had looked very impressive in its run in the New Blood Championship, so it came as a big surprise when its run in Series 7 was rather lacklustre. After Behemoth broke down, Mute looked set to lose against Judge Shred until its one flip seemed to damage its opponent's drive, putting it through. Mute's luck ran out against Firestorm 5, and it was flung out of the arena after spending practically the whole match trying to self-right.
Darren Ball's first machine had impressive pushing power, which easily shunted its way to the heat final, where an unanticipated turn of events saw the apparently victorious machine Pussycat disqualified for safety reasons and Scutter's Revenge went through. However, Scutter's Revenge infamously broke down once more, costing it its place.
Ian Watts' original machine very nearly didn't make the semi-finals at all. Despite a convincing victory over Sir Chromalot, Big Brother won a tight judges decision over Grim Reaper after both broke down, despite being the aggressor, then lost the judges decision in the Heat Final against Ultor. The Ultor team sportingly handed the victory over to Big Brother, believing the judges decision to be incorrect, allowing Big Brother to go through to the semi-finals, where it lost to Mace 2.