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"Preying from overhead"
Robot Wars: The Official Handbook

Vulture was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 10 of Robot Wars. It was entered by Team Immersion, some of whom had previously entered the Series 8 pilot with Tanto. After reaching the Heat Semi-Final, Vulture settled for fourth place in its heat after withdrawing shortly before its Third Place Play-off. The robot is named after the way Vulture's weapon will 'prey on the weaknesses of other robots' like the bird of prey, but is also inspired by a song by the band Pendulum.

DesignEdit

"New to Robot Wars the young builders from team Vulture have created an innovative design of dual weapons that include an axe and a spinner. The axe can travel 180 degrees in half a second. The weapon delivers 8kJ of kinetic energy on a hit; the equivalent of six .44 handgun rounds"
Robot Wars website
Vulture with team

Vulture with its team

Vulture ran on a two-wheel drive, and was protected by a wide HARDOX front wedge, with three curved prongs designed to hold robots in place. The armour varies from 6-8mm in thickness. Its weapon was a comparatively light spinning blade on the end of a moving arm, powered by Ampflow motors. This was described both as an "overhead spinner" and as a "spinning bar head", and had a top speed of 6,000rpm. The arm allowed Vulture to spin its weapon on either end of the robot. Alternatively, Vulture could use its wedge to breach the ground clearances of robots, and then bring its spinner down onto the top of opponents, like the earlier designs of Dead Metal. Two supporting structures surrounded each side of the moving arm, to give the robot birdlike features and allow the robot to self-right more comfortably, using the arm which travels 180 degrees in half a second. The robot is powered by an 8s LiPo 30V. However, the team noted a potential weakness in the robot’s welding. The overall design took design cues from the team's featherweights, Amnesia and RPM.

Vulture and Amnesia

Vulture in the pits with its anti-spinner wedge and Amnesia

Vulture also had an optional, steeper 10mm 'anti-spinner' HARDOX 500 wedge, weighing a hefty 22kg, which could be applied to the front of the robot, which was also used by Track-tion.

"The robot has been built literally just to prove a point. You don't have to be an engineer, you don't have to have loads of experience, you don't have to be absolutely minted with money. We've started from nothing, and we're on Robot Wars, and we're going to win!"
— Adam Hamilton

QualificationEdit

"After buying [Tanto] from Craig Danby, Matthew and Adam wanted to conjure up something fresh; however, we didn’t know what to do at this point, as our knowledge was limited with heavyweights"
— Adam Hamilton
Vulture CAD 1

The team's first CAD of a clusterbot design

After Adam Hamilton competed in Series 8's pilot with Tanto, he formed the first concept for a competitor to use in Series 9. He and teammate Matthew Pearman initially conceptualised a clusterbot named Immersion, combining a vertical spinner like the team's featherweight Amnesia, and a two-way flipper. However, the team decided against this design, as they considered it too similar to that of Crackers 'n' Smash[1]. The two, who competed in the pilot episode of Series 8 after loaning Tanto from Team Danby, then created the first CAD for Vulture, which was noticed by Jarvis Callister, who then joined the team and improved the design. Vulture was initially intended to use the two-way flipper concept popularised by Amnesia, but this proved to be infeasible. As Jarvis Callister headlined the CAD and Adam Hamilton was the most responsible for construction, Matthew Pearman left the team to attempt qualification for Series 9 with Dantomkia, and Matt Smith filled his space, having been part of Hobgoblin's team up to this stage.

Vulture CAD 3

Vulture's CAD used to apply for Series 9

This version of Vulture which applied for Series 9, while still based upon Amnesia, was a conventional wedge-shaped drum spinner, not unlike Pulsar, using a brushless motor provided by Harry Hills. However, Vulture would not be selected to compete in Series 9 of Robot Wars.

"We weren’t successful with our application… back to the drawing board! We decided that it would be best to replace the disc with something unique. Matt got offered to go with Hobgoblin, Adam was used to lifting arms and gear reductions whilst Jarvis wanted to build a spinner still. This is where the madness really began, overhead saws are cool but what if we have a disc instead? Let’s go for it!"
— Adam Hamilton
Vulture CAD 4

CAD of Series 10's Vulture

Fearing that the original idea of a drum spinner would be perceived as unoriginal by the producers, Hamilton and Callister conceptualised other designs for Vulture, again including a design reminiscent of the first Amnesia. Ultimately, the team settled upon the weaponry of Vulture which would go on to be used in Series 10. Thomas Long joined the team to assist with wiring, and Emma Jones also joined the team, who successfully qualified for Series 10.

"After a lot of swearing and frustration, we finally got the machine ready only 3 hours before we set off for Glasgow. We threw in the back of the car and off we went."
— Adam Hamilton

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 10Edit

"From Newcastle-upon-Tyne, doing it for the lads!"
— Adam Hamilton brings Northern spirit to Robot Wars

Vulture competed in Heat 3, where in its first battle, it would face seasoned teams in Team Hurtz and Team Danby, with their robots Terrorhurtz and Apex. Dara Ó Briain remarked his surprise at Team Immersion's build quality in spite of their non-technical working backgrounds. Vulture had applied its anti-spinner scoop in order to defend itself against Apex.

"This is fantastically ludicrous, this is a folly, this is madness that you'd even think you could compete here, but this looks great!"
— Dara Ó Briain
Vulture vs Terrorhurtz vs Apex

Vulture employs its weapon on Terrorhurtz's wedge

Terrorhurtz vs Apex vs Vulture

Vulture is struck by Terrorhurtz

At the start of the battle, Vulture pressed into Apex, which had already lost power to its spinner. Later, it drove under the back of Apex, and unintentionally struck the approaching Terrorhurtz with its rear spinner, engaging with Terrorhurtz until Apex unleashed Fog of War. It drove into both robots, but sustained a direct blow from Terrorhurtz's axe before bring its own overhead weapon onto the wedge of Terrorhurtz. The next attack from Terrorhurtz directly hit the moving arm of Vulture, and another blow buried Terrorhurtz's axe directly into Vulture, locking the two robots together. Vulture lacked pushing power as it was edged backwards, and then dragged onto the flame pit, where Vulture burned until Apex became stuck on the side of it. While freeing Vulture from the flame pit, Shunt slammed into Vulture's moving arm, which was now disabled, and the robot was only mobile on one side.

Terrorhurtz damage

Vulture's damage to Terrorhurtz's axe

Jarvis Callister: "The arm is actually dead now. Have we lost drive?"
Adam Hamilton: "Yeah, we've lost drive on one side."
— Team Immersion sense their defeat

Vulture turned in circles, and Professor Noel Sharkey contemplated whether to initiate the countdown clock. In order to relieve pressure on the robot's drive motors, Vulture voluntarily ceased all movement, and only struck Terrorhurtz and Apex with its spinner when the opposing robots drew near. Vulture was counted out, and had finished third in the battle, which was eventually won by Terrorhurtz.

Angela Scanlon: "We have a twenty-minute window. That's all we've got, the timer's on now, so if we're not ready in twenty minutes, on a trolley, and on the way to the arena, it's curtains. Can you do it?"
Adam Hamilton: "Yeah, it's just little fiddly bits that we'll do."
— Team Immersion while repairing Vulture
Bucky the Robot vs Vulture

Vulture is gripped by Bucky the Robot

In the Redemption Robot Knockouts, Vulture was drawn against fellow newcomer Bucky the Robot. The full two-hour repair period was used to make stressful fixes to Vulture, but it entered the arena in a working state. It used its wedge shape to drive straight under the opponent, but missed with its overhead spinner, damaging itself in the process. Struggling for traction on the arena floor, Vulture drove onto the floor flipper and was tossed over. It self-righted, but landed straight in the mouth of Bucky the Robot, where it was gripped and pushed backwards into Dead Metal, where the two moving spinners clashed. Vulture reversed when freed, drawing near enough to the Arena Tyre to open the pit. Vulture was able to bring its spinner onto the front of Bucky the Robot and push it back into Dead Metal. Both robots drew near to the pit, and Vulture suddenly started to emit smoke.

"There's a bit of smoke action out the back!"
Angela Scanlon
Vulture vs Bucky

Vulture edges Bucky the Robot onto the floor flipper

At this time, Vulture's spinner stopped working, and was left to fight using only its wedge as it drove under Bucky the Robot, and then succeeded in pushing it onto the floor flipper. In a stroke of luck for Team Immersion, Bucky the Robot was thrown onto its side, a position from which it could not self-right. Vulture held off, and spun in circles as 'cease' was called, having qualified for the Heat semi-final.

"Vulture, waiting to prey, as vultures do, gruesome birds..."
— Jonathan Pearce
Vulture pillow

Vulture's 'pillow'

In the semi-final, Vulture would once again face Terrorhurtz, which the team idolised. Ahead of its rematch, a 'pillow' was made from blocks of HDPE and other spare materials available to the team to protect the top of Vulture, including Velcro fastening, as the design had not been optimised to defend it from axes.

"Vulture are up against Terrorhurtz, and they're their heroes, they watched them growing up, they're obsessed with John. And with that machine. And now, they're having to try and fend it off by creating what they're calling a 'pillow'. So hopefully this pillow, they're sacrificing armour to allow themselves to build this pillow that will hopefully stop the axe from getting through to the motor. It sounds... a little dodgy!"
— Angela Scanlon
Terrorhurtz Vulture

Vulture loses its pillow

Vulture used a good turn of speed to drive under Terrorhurtz, but received an axe blow to the wedge, and a second blow to the top while edged into the CPZ. While Vulture attempted to bring down its own weapon, a big hit from Terrorhurtz shook loose part of Vulture's protective pillow, and the next two swings of the axe further damaged the bodywork and pillow of Vulture. Terrorhurtz disabled the spinner of Vulture, which could only flee in response, showering sparks as it sustained more blows.

"Well they've battled long in this heat, and they've done really well. They've grown, I think, in confidence. Little bit nervy at the start, and now clearly just trying to last the three minutes."
— Jonathan Pearce
Terrorhurtz Vulture 1

Vulture sustains repeated blows

Sustaining further blows, Vulture's wheel hub was struck by Terrorhurtz as it was held in a CPZ. At this stage, Adam Hamilton believed that Vulture had lost drive on one side while Terrorhurtz buried its axe back into the robot. The two were separated when Matilda threw Vulture over, merely allowing Terrorhurtz to inflict more punishment, although Vulture regained free movement as it continued to flee. Vulture circled around its opponent, strategising, and elected to press the Arena Tyre, which activated Fog of War to the disappointment of the team.

"The Dial of Doom gives Fog of War, used tactically again! Confusing for them, confusing for me, I haven't got a clue what's going on. Where's Vulture out there, OH too near Dead Metal there!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Terrorhurtz Vulture 2

Vulture is pressured following Fog of War

During Fog of War, Vulture drew too near to Dead Metal, and were gripped, as Terrorhurtz pressed the Arena Tyre to activate Fog of War once again. This time, Vulture drove onto the flame pit, where their movement was impeded by the damaged floor, and Vulture burned, where it was trapped in place by Terrorhurtz, and it also became clear that Vulture's tyre was starting to shred. The battle concluded at the end of three minutes when Terrorhurtz pushed Vulture into the corner of the arena and stranded it on its arm.

"Come a long way from Newcastle to fight against their heroes, I think quietly, they'll be proud of the job they've done. All about pillow talk, meaningless mumble, Vulture slumber peacefully"
— Jonathan Pearce

Vulture had managed to survive until a Judges' decision, although the unanimous decision was quite clearly in favour of Terrorhurtz. Vulture could now only qualify for the Grand Final by winning its Third Place Play-off against Track-tion, to earn a space in the 10 Robot Rumble.

"Stop pointing, as it gives away the answer!"
— Dara Ó Briain to Adam Hamilton, who pointed at John Reid before the winner was announced

The battle posed a moral dilemma to Team Immersion, as they had previously lent their anti-spinner wedge to Track-tion earlier in the episode, and needed to retrieve the panel ahead of the 10 Robot Rumble, where the wedge would be necessary.

"There is a saying that no good deed goes unpunished, and you are currently living that!"
— Dara Ó Briain
Vulture dies

Vulture is laid to rest

However, Vulture encountered bigger problems than their scoop, which Track-tion's team had returned, as Vulture suddenly suffered from an internal failure. As a result of a snapped motor, Vulture was left too damaged to enter the arena, and the team had no time to make the necessary repairs. Vulture had to formally forfeit the fight to Track-tion, ending its heat campaign in fourth place.

"We nipped a couple little wires, and that was it, we couldn't reach it, so we'd have to completely take apart the motor and put it back together again."
— Adam Hamilton

ResultsEdit

VULTURE - RESULTS
Series 10
Series 10 - UK Championship
Heat, Fourth Place
Heat 3, Group Battle vs. Terrorhurtz, Apex Lost
Heat 3, Robot Redemption vs. Bucky the Robot Won
Heat 3, Semi-Final vs. Terrorhurtz Lost
Heat 3, Third Place Play-off vs. Track-tion Withdrew

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 2

NOTE: Vulture's withdrawal against Track-tion has been excluded from the tally

Series RecordEdit

Vulture CAD 5

A 3D printed CAD for an unused design of Vulture, made shortly after Vulture's application for Series 9 was submitted

Series Vulture Series Record
Series 1-7 Did not enter
Series 8 Pilot only with Tanto (Adam Hamilton)
Series 9 Not selected
Series 10 Heat, Fourth Place

Outside Robot WarsEdit

  • Amnesia's second version besides its 2017 trophy
  • Amnesia 1 (left) and Amnesia 2 (right)
  • Adam Hamilton's podium finish at Insomnia 61

Team Immersion captain Adam Hamilton regularly competes at featherweight events with Amnesia, armed with a unique 'two-way' flipper. In 2016, Amnesia placed fourth at the 2016 Featherweight World Championship. Amnesia improved on this record by finishing in third place at the FRA Featherweight International Championships held at Insomnia 61 in 2017. It did this by winning two of its group battles outright, before finishing in second place in another group battle after losing mobility in the last fifteen seconds. Qualifying through the losers' melee, Amnesia fought its way to the semi-final, where it was defeated, although Amnesia still defeated Utopia in the third-place play-off. Amnesia is currently on its second revision, although Amnesia 1 is still functional.

With assistance from Andy Russell, Adam Hamilton also creates CADs and occasionally fully-functioning robots under commission. Among these robots are:

  • Utopia, Gareth Anstee's featherweight
  • Barghest, Christopher Lobley's featherweight
  • White Dwarf, featherweight lifter
  • Slam, design for Matthew Pearman
  • Hamilton and Long's CAD of General d'Meaner
  • General d'Meaner, as completed by Anstee
  • Force 7, Team Tilly's middleweight
  • Utopia, featherweight counterpart to Dystopia, armed with a rear-hinged flipper, designed for Gareth Anstee.
  • Barghest, a featherweight with an Uberclocker-style lifting jaw, built for Christopher Lobley.
  • White Dwarf, an invertible featherweight with a lifter inspired by Panic Attack.
  • Slam, an invertible featherweight armed with a horizontal bar spinner, designed for Matthew Pearman.
  • General d'Meaner, heavyweight grabber designed by Adam Hamilton and Thomas Long, and built by Gareth Anstee for the University of Greenwich. For more information, see Trolley Rage.
  • Force 7, shortened to F7, a middleweight lifter built by Team Tilly to enter RoboGames before it withdrew and instead competed on the UK live circuit.
Halcyon

Thomas Long's Halcyon

Thomas Long is also a featherweight roboteer in his own right, competing with Halcyon, an two-wheel driven invertible robot. Its weapon is a drum spinner with a top speed of 10,000rpm. Halcyon was originally designed by Adam Hamilton, and Thomas Long occasionally assists Adam Hamilton with larger CAD projects. Halycon's only competition appearance thus far was at Insomnia 61, but it was defeated by Shard in its first battle, and did not participate in any further battles.

  • Side view of Bonfire
  • Front view of Bonfire
  • Angled view of Bonfire

Team Immersion competed in the Chinese TV show This is Fighting Robots, with the team comprising of Team Immersion's Adam Hamilton and Thomas Long, Team Hobgoblin's Andy Russell, and Team .Ablaze's Gareth Anstee. They did so with a new heavyweight robot, Bonfire. This robot used a chassis design that was intended for Hamilton's planned successor to Vulture, Immersion, which was designed for future series of Robot Wars, although the chassis was made separately. Bonfire boasted a 14kg spinning head on the end of its axe-type arm, generating 20 horsepower of energy, and is able to use interchangeable weaponry, alongside an anti-spinner scoop.

Initially, Bonfire was chosen by Green team captain Zheng Shuang, and was the first This is Fighting Robots competitor to be chosen by any of the celebrity team captains. However, Shuang deselected it in order to allow Tungsten to enter her team, and so Bonfire was required to fight a four-way melee to impress her and the other celebrities. Fighting against Sandstorm, Chronos and Blue Demon, Bonfire ultimately got selected by Wu Chun, after pushing Sandstorm into a grinder at one point during the battle. As a result, it entered the main tournament as part of Chun's Red team. However, when Bonfire was selected to enter its rumble in the main competition, its weaponry was disabled, and Bonfire was immobilised by a relentless string of attacks from Blue. After this performance, Wu Chun dropped Bonfire from his team, eliminating it from the competition.

  • Anti-Gravity 2, Callister's antweight
  • MetalBeak, Callister's first featherweight
  • Project X
  • Ricochet
  • Flow!
  • Skyfall

Meanwhile, team member Jarvis Callister fights in the live event circuit with his own featherweights under the name Team Short Circuit. He started fighting in 2011 with Anti-Gravity which was a Roaming Robots Battle Ant kit - he later built an improved version called Anti-Gravity 2. From 2012, he started fighting with featherweights. Callister's first featherweight was MetalBeak, a black wedge-shaped robot armed with a flipper. His next robot, Project X, which was an invertible six-wheel driven parallelogram-shaped ramming robot. This was succeeded by Ricochet which was a similar design armed with a double-scoop. After initially purchasing it from another team in 2014, Callister's Flow! was armed with a full-pressure flipper. Skyfall was also armed with a powerful flipper, and was made from parts previously used by MetalBeak.

Shrapnel

Jarvis Callister's robot Shrapnel

Callister's newest featherweight robot is Shrapnel, a four-wheel driven robot armed with a vertical spinner. At the FRA UK Featherweight Championship in 2017, the robot's debut, Shrapnel finished in fifth place, closing out its tournament on eleven points. It did this by winning one group battle outright, winning another by default, and earning enough points through its remaining two melees to reach the knockout stages. There, it was eliminated by Explosion. Callister previously owned a beetleweight with a vertical disc named RPM, but this has changed hands to Team. Ablaze. He has also stood in as driver of Titan at various live events.

TriviaEdit

  • Team Immersion brought their featherweight Amnesia to filming, and displayed it in The Pits, but it could not enter alongside Vulture as a minibot.
  • Vulture was the only robot to forfeit a battle in Series 10.
  • Vulture is the final robot to be listed in the competitor profiles of Robot Wars: The Official Handbook, due to the book listing the robots in alphabetical order. This is an error, however, as Wyrm should be the last robot listed alphabetically.
    • Vulture is also completely missing from the Index page, the only robot to be omitted.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://www.facebook.com/pg/teamimmersionrobotics/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1941918752722935

External LinksEdit