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Wheely Big Cheese

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Wheely Big Cheese
Wheely Big Cheese 5
Wheely Big Cheese's second incarnation
Participation Information
UK Series 4-5, Extreme 1
Team Information
Team Team Big Cheese
Team Members Roger Plant
John McGugan
Paul Otten
(Series 4)
Murray Wharf
(Series 5, Extreme 1)
Robot Statistics
Weight 99kg
Dimensions 0.44m x 1.32m x 0.95m
Top Speed 12mph
Power 2 x 24V Motors
Weapons Titanium Flipper

Robot statistics correct as of its most recent appearance on the show

"It's here to avenge the bashing that Big Cheese got last year, from the house robots"
— Roger Plant introduces Wheely Big Cheese in Series 4

Wheely Big Cheese was a robot with what was described as the largest flipper ever seen in Robot Wars, the robot itself was nearly a metre and a half long, and most of its body was the flipper. Its large red wheels were covered in tungsten golf shoe studs which were specially sharpened and used for added grip on the arena floor, but they also proved to be sharp enough to shred one of the eyes of Diotoir. It was powered by two golf cart motors and competed in Series 4 and Series 5 of the main competition, also entering in the first series of Robot Wars Extreme. Its name was a pun on really big cheese, and also referred to the trademarked red wheels.

Wheely Big Cheese has been recorded as the most powerful flipper in Robot Wars, capable of flipping up to 800kg. In perhaps its most famous battle, Wheely Big Cheese threw Axe-Awe through the air, over the arena wall and onto the ground from the middle of the arena. However, its downfall was the exposed titanium wheels that were vulnerable to attacks from axes, discs etc. These wheels often became dislodged or destroyed, leaving the robot unable to move.

In an interview with Roger Plant, he stated that he built Wheely Big Cheese mainly as a way to get revenge on Sir Killalot for the damage that the House Robot caused to his previous machine, The Big Cheese. The robot's width and length were specifically designed to get underneath Sir Killalot, with the flipper being capable of throwing 800 kilos or a small Mini Metro.[1] However, Wheely Big Cheese was unable to flip Sir Killalot when the opportunity came about.

Unbeknownst to most, there were actually two versions of Wheely Big Cheese built and, though they may have looked almost identical from a distance, they shared almost no common components. The first version of Wheely Big Cheese competed in Series 4, with a second complete robot being built for Series 5 and Extreme Series 1. The new robot solved the many design flaws and weaknesses of the first version, by using different material grades and thicknesses throughout, new construction techniques and generally stronger components, despite this, this model became immobilised in four of its nine battles. This more powerful version was only possible because of the weight limit change from 80kg to 100kg between Series 4 and Series 5. The easiest way to tell the difference is that the first version had silver spikes on the wheels and the newer version had black spikes. Both versions reached the first round of the series semi-finals in their respective series. Team Big Cheese had previously competed in Robot Wars with The Mule and The Big Cheese. They competed in Series 2 and 3 respectively, but both lost the Heat Final.

The team did not return for a series after Series 5. This is believed to be mainly due to the costs of keeping Wheely Big Cheese running. Robot Wars: The Ultimate Guide cited a lack of funds as a reason for this.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 4Edit

"Wheelosaurus against Prizephita against the 15th seeds Wheely Big Cheese, dumped, in the last series, by Killalot, and I can tell you, after revenge, big time!"
Jonathan Pearce
Wheely big cheese

Wheely Big Cheese in Series 4

WBC Killalot

Wheely Big Cheese tries to flip Sir Killalot

Due to The Big Cheese reaching the heat final of the Third Wars, and having its heat final battle being named Battle of the Series, Wheely Big Cheese was given the number 15 seed placing for the Fourth Wars, the highest seed granted to a non-Semi-Finalist that didn't reach the final of the World Championship. Wheely Big Cheese was drawn up against two returning teams in Prizephita Mk 2 and Wheelosaurus in its first round melee in Heat H. Wheely Big Cheese went straight after Sir Killalot but ran away before Shunt could come in and help attack the seed. Wheely Big Cheese then intercepted Prizephita Mk 2 and slammed it against the arena wall, rendering Prizephita almost immobile. After a few light flips on Prizephita, Wheely Big Cheese then ran into and attempted to flip Sir Killalot, the boasts that Wheely Big Cheese could flip 800kg were extinguished as they failed to flip it having being given the chance when Sir Killalot drove up its flipper.

"Go on then, throw Killalot! You can't, you can't!"
Jonathan Pearce
Wheely Big Cheese was then carried by the house robots into the pit as it went down, followed by Prizephita with Wheelosaurus pushed in last. However the judges decided that since they'd been lacking in control for longer, Prizephita Mk 2 was eliminated, therefore Wheely Big Cheese and Wheelosaurus were put through to the next round of the heat.
"Who's gone in first?! ...They're all in!!"
— Jonathan Pearce, as all three robots go down the pit
Wheely big cheeses flipper

Wheely Big Cheese's flipper in action against Killertron

Wheely Big Cheese was then drawn up against the fourth place finishers in the Second Wars Killertron in the second round. In this battle, the seeded machine performed much more promisingly, and was able to flip Killertron over almost straight away, with Killertron unable to self-right, Wheely Big Cheese flipped it back onto its wheels, only to flip the pink robot again, clean over Wheely Big Cheese itself, making it land directly on the axe. Shunt then came out of his CPZ to self-right Killertron with its scoop, and Killertron then desperately tried to keep away from Wheely Big Cheese's flipper and try to axe behind it. However, Wheely Big Cheese flipped it over again and again, eventually right by the CPZ. After both Wheely Big Cheese and the house robots had stopped trying to right Killertron, Killertron was then attacked by the house robots and eliminated, putting Wheely Big Cheese through.

Craig Charles: "...The Big Cheese can throw a mini, now is that stronger than The Big Cheese?"
Roger Plant: "Oh yeah, twice as strong as The Big Cheese"
Craig Charles: "...so this could throw, like a Cortina then?!"
Roger Plant: "Yeah, I reckon"
— Post Round 2 interview
Wheely Big Cheese vs Suicidal Tendencies

The controversial end to the heat final

Wheely Big Cheese almost pulled out of the Heat Final after a pin in one of the gearboxes broke and had to be replaced, but it was fixed in time and ready to fight. In the heat final, Wheely Big Cheese was put up against the number 32 seeds Suicidal Tendencies 2. In this battle, Wheely Big Cheese was pushed around into Dead Metal's CPZ by the lower seed, where it was caught and lightly sliced on one of the wheels. It eventually got away and drove into the middle of the arena, to then ram Suicidal Tendencies backwards. The two were stationary for a while as neither could get any traction on the arena floor, this was until Suicidal Tendencies lost drive on one side, conveniently close to the pit. Wheely Big Cheese attempted to push it in several times, almost driving in itself several times, eventually driving in for real. The Suicidal Tendencies team then celebrated, thinking that they had won, not realising that the judges had intervened. The judges favoured Wheely Big Cheese, putting Team Big Cheese through to the Series Semi-Finals for the first time in three attempts. The judges felt that Suicidal Tendencies had been immobile on one side for at least 30 seconds before Wheely Big Cheese drove into the pit (Suicidal Tendencies had actually been running on one track for over a minute before Wheely Big Cheese drove into the pit). Wheely Big Cheese still had its wheels outside the pit, as it was such a long robot.

"We've twice made it to the third round and gone out, this time we got through, we're going all the way this time"
— Roger Plant, at the end of the heat
Tornado vs Wheely Big Cheese

Wheely Big Cheese's wheels give way

In the first round of the Series Semi-Finals, Wheely Big Cheese went up against the newcomers Tornado. At the beginning of the battle, Wheely Big Cheese got one good flip that nearly got Tornado out of the arena. For the vast remainder of the battle it was pushed around the arena by its opponent until Tornado pushed Wheely Big Cheese into a CPZ, where the seeded machine had one of its wheels slightly dislodged by Matilda. The wheel guard itself came right off the robot, with the axle severely bent. The two machines then converged at the centre of the arena again. Tornado suddenly started to belch smoke and slowly grind to a halt, as soon as Wheely Big Cheese started to only run in circles. The battle went to a judges' decision. However, the judges awarded the win to Tornado and Wheely Big Cheese was knocked out of the competition. This model of Wheely Big Cheese was then replaced with a new one for the Fifth Wars and the first series of Extreme.

"The wheels have come off the cheese's challenge!"
— Craig Charles, before announcing the decision

Extreme 1Edit

Wheely Big Cheese competed in a variety of competitions during the first series of Extreme, with a mediocre amount of success.

"...their only weapon is a couple of car springs, and that's no problem, 'cause we can flip an entire car!"
— Roger Plant, prior to the first round of the All-Stars
Wheely big cheese vs diotoir

Wheely Big Cheese flings Diotoir over

Wheely Big Cheese first competed in the All-Stars Tournament. In the first round, it had a lucky draw as it went up against the tournament underdogs Diotoir. The Irish machine began the battle by lifting Wheely Big Cheese up a little a few times with its lifting scoop, however Wheely Big Cheese was completely unaffected by this. After Wheely Big Cheese tried to scoop up Diotoir to flip it, one of Diotoir's eyes then shattered on Wheely Big Cheese's sharp wheels. Wheely Big Cheese then got in underneath and flipped Diotoir right over from which the robot from Dublin could not self-right. Wheely Big Cheese then flipped Diotoir, making it roll into the arena side wall. Refbot then came in and counted it out, after giving an eager Sir Killalot a yellow card. This was enough for Wheely Big Cheese to progress through to the All-Stars Quarter Finals. This turned out to be Wheely Big Cheese's only win throughout the first series of Extreme.

"We'll save the best 'til later"
— Murray Wharf's "unlived promise", after the first round
Chaos 2 Cheese

Wheely Big Cheese is flipped by Chaos 2

After such a fortunate draw for the first round, Wheely Big Cheese was then unfortunately drawn up against tournament favourites Chaos 2 in the second round, this was seen by many as a grudge match for when Chaos 2 beat The Big Cheese, Wheely Big Cheese's predecessor, in the Third Wars. In this battle, Wheely Big Cheese was continuously flipped by Chaos 2 as it never seemed to get its own flipper working, at all. Chaos 2 flipped it into CPZ to CPZ in a desperate attempt to eventually flip it out of the arena, Wheely Big Cheese had only one opportunity to flip Chaos 2 when the reigning UK champions accidentally drove onto Wheely Big Cheese's enormous titanium flipper, but the flipper couldn't activate with anywhere near enough power and the flipper only fully opened when Chaos 2 escaped and continued in its own attack. Wheely Big Cheese survived for a judges' decision, but the decision unsurprisingly went in favour of Chaos 2, eliminating Wheely Big Cheese from the competition.

"Tonight, it's not gonna be Hypno-Disc. It's gonna be "Flip-no Disc!""
— Roger Plant, prior to the Mayhem
Dead Metal cuts into Wheely Big Cheese

Dead Metal cuts into Wheely Big Cheese's wheel

Wheely Big Cheese also fought in a mayhem qualifier battle in Extreme Series 1, where it went up against Ming 3 and Hypno-Disc, this was for a right to fight in the first annihilator of the series. In the battle, Wheely Big Cheese got one flip in on Ming 3 before it had several gashes inflicted in its wheel by Hypno-Disc. Despite many attempts at flipping Hypno-Disc, its opponent was too agile. One of the exposed wheels dislodged again. One wheel was still working but Refbot counted them out along with the now wheel-less Ming 3. Whilst Dead Metal was slicing the wheels, a huge amount of sparks flew out all over the Arena from the titanium wheel and tungsten studs. Once Ming 3 was flipped by the floor flipper, Wheely Big Cheese then tried to flip Ming away but it was then pitted along with Ming 3. The robot has since been repaired from this battle, but the battle scars are still very visible, this proves that the damage caused was great, but after the battle, Roger Plant merely stated that the damage was little to nothing.

"No problem, just a couple of bolts broken"
— Roger Plant after the Mayhem
Tildywbcffhq

Matilda knocks out Wheely Big Cheese

Splodedwbcffhq

A battered Wheely Big Cheese at the end of the Flipper Frenzy

Wheely Big Cheese also fought in the Flipper Frenzy that took place during the first series of Extreme, for managing to flip at least two other robots out of the arena during either the Fifth Wars or so far in Extreme. In this battle, every competitor robot attacked the house robots, its opponents: Bigger Brother, Chaos 2 and Thermidor 2 all attacked Sergeant Bash and Wheely Big Cheese was the only robot to go after Matilda. Whilst the others were doing well in their revolution, Wheely Big Cheese wasn't doing so well. After attempting to flip Matilda a number of times, Wheely Big Cheese was soon immobilised by the flywheel after just a few hits, with only the flipper of the cheese flailing madly, Matilda's flywheel caused the drive motors to break apart. Wheely Big Cheese was left in Matilda's CPZ for the remainder of the battle, up against the arena side wall. Although Wheely Big Cheese wasn't officially counted out by Refbot, it was obviously out of the battle, however Jonathan Pearce only pointed out that it was immobilised near the end of the fight, despite the TV camera zooming in on it several times, with it also showing Roger Plant's disappointment.

"Wheely Big Cheese, I think is out of it, immobilised..."
— Jonathan Pearce finally regards Wheely Big Cheese's lack of movement, towards the end of the battle

Series 5Edit

"We're seeded 10th this year, and we hope to take the zero off the end, to be seeded 1st"
— Roger Plant
WBCWolverine

Wheely Big Cheese flips Wolverine out of the arena

Roger Plant made an entirely new chassis for the Fifth Wars that was not much different appearance-wise from the old one, but had been upgraded internally, with more powerful and reliable flipper being just one of several improvements. For reaching the Semi-Finals of the Fourth Wars, Wheely Big Cheese was seeded number 10 for the Fifth Wars, it also competed in Heat H once again. Wheely Big Cheese was drawn up against Series 4 reserves Wolverine in its first round battle of the heat. In the battle, Wheely Big Cheese was scooped around side-on a lot by Wolverine without much retaliation at all, not firing its flipper once. The seeded machine was more sluggish than the newcomers to the main competition, so Wolverine always had time to make run-ups to ram Wheely Big Cheese side-on. This was the case throughout, until Wheely Big Cheese was pushed over to the arena side wall by Wolverine, where it then steered so that Wolverine drove onto its flipper, the number 10 seeds then flipped Wolverine out of the arena in one go, this put Wheely Big Cheese through to the second round of the heat.

"That was a very impressive start"
Craig Charles
Wheely Big Cheese vs Axe Awe05:09

Wheely Big Cheese vs Axe Awe

The record flip set by Wheely Big Cheese

Wheely Big Cheese's second round battle saw it go up against the experienced Team Iron-Awe with their new Axe-Awe machine, another robot from Langport in Somerset. This battle is argued as one of the best Robot Wars battles of all time, let alone Wheely Big Cheese's best Robot Wars battle ever. In the battle, both robots moved to the centre of the arena, and Axe-Awe got one hit with its hammer weapon onto the titanium flipper, creating one little black mark, before Wheely Big Cheese got underneath Axe-Awe and flipped it nearly 15 feet in the air and over and out of the arena, all the way from the arena centre. This forever stood as a Robot Wars record flip, this also put Wheely Big Cheese through to the next round of the heat.

"Out of the Arena? Out of the Robot Wars galaxy!"
— Jonathan Pearce
WBCrushtacean

Wheely Big Cheese secures Heat victory over Crushtacean

In the Heat Final, Wheely Big Cheese was placed up against another newcomer in South African representatives Crushtacean, a robot which the team had attached a cheese grater to one of their claws for this battle for a laugh. In this battle, the seeded Wheely Big Cheese machine got several good flips in on Crushtacean, it flipped the crab robot into Dead Metal's CPZ where Crushtacean was held in the pincers of the house robot until Wheely Big Cheese flipped up Dead Metal to release it. In an attempt to flee from the drama, Crushtacean then got pinned on the angle grinder and then the cheese grater was shredded as a result. Wheely Big Cheese flipped it around the arena for a while until Crushtacean pressed the pit release button, Wheely Big Cheese then flipped it one last time, throwing it several feet into the air, the aerial then came off Crushtacean, immobilising it completely. The Refbot didn't count it out, so Wheely Big Cheese then slowly nudged the crab into the pit of oblivion, putting it through to the Series Semi-Finals for the second time in succession.

"The Cheese got his potted crab"
— Jonathan Pearce at the defeat of Crushtacean
Wheely Big Cheese vs Dominator 2

Wheely Big Cheese flips Dominator 2

In the first round of the Series Semi-Finals, the number 10 seeds Wheely Big Cheese, going in as one of the favourites to reach the Grand Final, was drawn up against the number 11 seeds Dominator 2. This battle was going very well for Wheely Big Cheese to begin with, as it flipped Dominator 2 several times high up into the air. Somehow, Dominator 2 managed to keep moving and keep self-righting after each one. Wheely Big Cheese eventually lost drive on one side, followed by the other, so it was soon counted out by Refbot, leaving Dominator 2 to progress.

"This is the one that they'll have to avoid, because if Wheely Big Cheese gets a chance to flip you, you are out of here"
— Jonathan Pearce, as Wheely Big Cheese enters the arena for the Losers Melee
Wheely Big Cheese Out

Wheely Big Cheese is counted out in the Losers Melee

In the Losers Melee for this Semi-Final, Wheely Big Cheese went up against the number 6 seeds Panic Attack and the number 7 seeds Firestorm 3, despite being the lowest ranked seed and the least likely to win on paper, it was still seen by many as the favourite to win. Wheely Big Cheese got one flip on Panic Attack at the start, which wedged the Series 2 champions underneath the pit release button and damaged its mobility. Wheely Big Cheese was then locked in combat with Firestorm 3 but it was flipped repeatedly as it couldn't get its flipper underneath the Third Wars Grand Finalists. Wheely Big Cheese was then bashed against the arena side wall beside the angle grinder by Firestorm 3, who then chased off to fight what was left of Panic Attack. Wheely Big Cheese's power then slowly diminished as only one wheel was moving, Wheely Big Cheese couldn't get away from the arena side wall, only moving backwards and forwards very slowly. Soon, the 10th seeds broke down completely and got counted out by Refbot again, eliminating it from the competition for good, this occurred just seconds before the countdown for the end of the battle. This was Wheely Big Cheese's and Roger Plant's last appearance in Robot Wars.

"Major surprise that for me, in this Semi-Final, I thought Wheely Big Cheese were the big number, no they're not"
— Jonathan Pearce after Wheely Big Cheese is counted out

ResultsEdit

WHEELY BIG CHEESE - RESULTS
Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
15th Seed, Semi-Final, Round 1
Heat H, Eliminator vs. Wheelosaurus, Prizephita Mk 2 Qualified
Heat H, Semi-Final vs. Killertron Won
Heat H, Final vs. Suicidal Tendencies 2 (32) Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Tornado Lost
Extreme Series 1
All Stars
Quarter Finalist
Round 1 vs. Diotoir Won
Quarter Final vs. Chaos 2 Lost
Mayhem & Annihilator
Mayhem
Mayhem Qualifier vs. Hypno-Disc, Ming 3 Lost
Other Battles
Flipper Frenzy
Flipper Frenzy vs. Chaos 2, Thermidor 2, Bigger Brother Lost
Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
10th Seed, Semi-Final, Round 1
Heat H, Eliminator vs. Wolverine Won
Heat H, Semi-Final vs. Axe-Awe Won
Heat H, Final vs. Crushtacean Won
Semi-Final 2, Round 1 vs. Dominator 2 (11) Lost
Semi-Final 2, Losers Melee vs. Firestorm 3 (7), Panic Attack (6) Lost

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 7
  • Losses: 6

Series RecordEdit

  • Series 1: Did not enter
  • Series 2: Entered with The Mule
  • Series 3: Entered with The Big Cheese
  • Series 4: Semi-Finals, Round 1
  • Series 5: Semi-Finals, Round 1
  • Series 6-7: Did not enter

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Shortly after retiring all of his robots, Roger Plant decided to sell or give them all away. The Extreme 1/Series 5 version of Wheely Big Cheese that produced the infamously huge flip, sending Axe-Awe over the arena side wall from near the centre of the arena, went to Team Xbotz from Wrexham in North Wales and was completely rebuilt, with new electronics, batteries, revised pneumatics and upgraded drive system. It is still used in various live events and educational presentations around the UK, where it uses its flipper according to the safety of the environment it's in.

In addition, the original Series 4 Wheely Big Cheese chassis was also owned by Team Xbotz, before being sold to Team Cylon (now Team Hydra) in 2008. Team Cylon have since been in the process of rebuilding it, planning to enter it into live events.

"Still got it, most of the bits are here just waiting to be put together"
— Team Cylon, 2013

This raises the rather interesting possibility of both versions of Wheely Big Cheese actually fighting each other one day.

Appearances in MerchandiseEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Wheely Big Cheese defeats Stinger in the 2000 Robot Rumble
  • Wheely Big Cheese fighting King B3 at an event in 2001
  • Wheely Big Cheese in 2008, under reconstruction by Team Hydra
  • Wheely Big Cheese, on display in Guildford in 2009
  • Wheely Big Cheese today, now without the flipper's logo
  • Wheely Big Cheese on Display at Welsh ComicCon in 2014
  • Much like Roger Plant's previous machine, The Big Cheese, the first version of Wheely Big Cheese was equipped with submarine components that Plant had salvaged. However, the second Wheely Big Cheese cost around £2000-3000 for the parts alone.
  • Wheely Big Cheese is the only machine to flip another machine out of the arena from the middle of the arena.
  • Wheely Big Cheese fought in Heat H in both of its appearances in the main competition, competing as the highest of the two seeds in the heat.
  • Wheely Big Cheese was the only robot from Somerset to reach the Semi-Finals.
  • At 79.4kg, the first Wheely Big Cheese was lighter than both of Roger Plant's previous machines: The Big Cheese and The Mule.

HonoursEdit

Honour
Biggest flip in Robot Wars


ReferencesEdit

  1. http://wheelybigcheese.co.uk

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