Vertical crushers are one of the most prominent forms of gripping weapons. The pioneer of this type of weapon was UK Series 5, and double world champion Razer. Tiberius 3 won the University Challenge with similar weaponry.
However, some of the more ignorant of the Robot Wars community insist that all vertical crushers are merely "clones" of the famous Razer. Many called the other vertical crushers "a poor-man's Razer", especially Ming 3. This belief has been fueled by Jonathan Pearce's unhelpful calls of a claw being "Razer-esque". However, most of the Robot Wars community have more respect for the effort put into vertical crushers.
- A vertical crusher is meant to attack the top of a robot, usually with a spike or crushing claw. To maximize attacking potential, these were almost always hydraulically powered, often allowing the crushing arm to deliver several tonnes of pressure.
Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit
- They are effective at trapping opponents, and are even capable of lifting robots off the ground (without the need for dedicated lifting weapons), which Razer and Tiberius have managed on several occasions. Razer added a hook to the end of the claw, specially to combat Tornado's anti-crusher frame.
- They can often immobilise a robot in a single attack, by piercing into the mechanics and damaging vital components.
- It is possible to affix a srimech to the mechanism, demonstrated by Razer, Tiberius and Ming 3.
- They often have slow, inefficient, or non-existant self-righting mechanisms.
- This is coupled with the fact that it is difficult to implement a vertical crushing arm on an invertible machine without leaving a high ground clearance after being flipped.
- As crushers are normally operated by hydraulics, the weapon is necessarily slow, so require a skillful driver or secondary weapon in order to trap the opponent in place long enough to pierce the robot. For example, Razer was unable to attack Onslaught in the fourth round of the Southern Annihilator because it was too quick.
- The weapon is often exposed to damage, usually from rotating weapons or overhead bladed axes. Ming 3's loss to Terrorhurtz and Razer's scare against 13 Black, demonstrate this fragility.
- A robot's height may exceed the crusher's reach. Razer was unable to pierce Attila the Drum or Aggrobot (initially) because of this.
- Smooth, slanted sides of a robot are extremely resistant to a vertical crusher. Razer was unable to pierce Backstabber, and struggled to damage Aggrobot and Cyrax in battles against them.
- The huge weight of the weapon system meant that many hydraulic crushers had very little armor and/or required holes to be drilled into the robot so it could fit within the weight limit. This was best shown by R.O.C.S., as its electronics had no protection against an attack from fellow crusher Pinser. Razer was protected by a very thin layer of armor prior to the weight limit increase, which was torn to shreds by the blade of Pussycat.
List of Robots with Vertical CrushersEdit
Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots that are not heavyweight are listed with a green background.
|Robot||Series Appearences with Vertical Crushers||Notes|
|Cronos||Series 4||The crusher was combined with a flipper in one mechanism.|
|Mantis||Series 7||Combined a vertical gripping weapon with a lifter, giving it the capability to dump machines out of the arena.|
|Metalis||Series 7||Coupled with a srimech mechanism that failed to work.|
|Ming 3||UK Series 5-6, Extreme 1, Nickelodeon||Out of the four Ming robots, this was the only one with a crushing weapon.|
|Namazu||Dutch Series 2||Walkerbot|
|Philipper 2||Dutch Series 2, Extreme 2||Replaced the rear lifter/flipper|
|Pinser||Series 7||Prone to breaking down after piercing a robot.|
|Plunderbird||UK Series 4-5, Extreme 1, US Season 1||Described as a "Slicer-dicer", in Series 4, and a "Plunderthocker" in Extreme 1 and Series 5.|
|Razer||UK Series 2-7, Extreme 1-2, US Season 1-2||First and easily the most successful crushing robot to have competed in Robot Wars.|
|Razzler||Extreme 1||The first non-heavyweight robot to have a crusher|
|Snake Bite||Extreme 2, Series 7|
|Suicidal Tendencies||Series 5, Extreme 1||Added the crusher to the third model of the machine.|
|Tetanus||Series 5-6||Competed in the fifth and sixth wars with a crusher, but removed the crusher on Tetanus 2 for Extreme 2.|
|The Executioner||Series 5, Extreme 1||Redesigned without the crusher for Series 7.|
|The Kraken||Series 7||Featured dual gripping weapons, a pneumatic crusher for grabbing and a hydraulic crusher for piercing the opponent.|
|The Serpent||Extreme 2|
|Tiberius||Series 4-7, Extreme 2||Only UK robot equipped with such a weapon (aside from Razer) to reach a heat final. University Challenge champion.|
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