"Remember Iron Awe - well here's its little brother! With an axe, and pneumatic flipper, and a brilliant paint job, this one might well outshine its big brother."
Robot Wars Magazine[1]

Axe-Awe was the second heavyweight robot from Team Iron-Awe, which competed in Series 5 of Robot Wars and the first series of Robot Wars Extreme. It reached the second round in Series 5 before being spectacularly thrown out of the arena by Wheely Big Cheese, while in Extreme 1, it fought in a Wild Card Warrior battle against Panic Attack, which it lost.


"The decision was taken fairly early on to incorporate a flipper into the design so we could take on those robots that weren’t especially vulnerable to an axe."
— Iron-Awe website[2]
Axe awe mag

Side view of Axe-Awe

Axe-Awe was a red, barrel-shaped robot armed with a full pressure rear-hinged flipper and a rapid-firing spiked axe, the latter of which could be used for self-righting. The flipper assembly was constructed from titanium and had two 40mm bore, 100mm stroke cylinders giving a had a force of over 1.5 tonnes. The axe had a specially-designed accelerative linkage mechanism similar to that of Shunt, an alloy handle, and was powered by a 50mm bore, 150mm stroke cylinder.

"After seeing the awesome power of Chaos 2’s and Steg 2’s flippers in series IV we new that we would also have to have our flipper powered straight off the CO2 without a regulator. It then seemed sensible to do the same with the axe, thus completely dispensing with the low pressure pneumatics and getting rid of the regulator, an item that had let us down whilst at filming for series IV."
— Iron-Awe website

One of Axe-Awe's wheels. Note the golf stud spikes

The robot was mostly made out of packaging machinery parts, with its twin-skinned aluminium base being a shortened version of that used for its predecessor, Iron-Awe. The shell was made from fibreglass, as the team were unable to complete the intended Kevlar shell in time. Originally, the wheels were built from saw blades. However, the team found these lacked traction, and for its televised appearances, the wheels were changed to wheels with golf shoe spikes on.

"It was clear from the start that the Iron-Awe’s tracks would have to be scrapped and replaced with wheels. We decided to use circular saw blades mounted in blocks of three, these proved to be reasonably light, strong and the more weight you have over them the better they grip!"
— Iron-Awe website on Axe-Awe's planned saw blade wheels

Official shot of Axe-Awe

Axe-Awe initially began as a conversion of Iron-Awe, and adopted the latter's motors and speed controllers, giving it a top speed of 8mph. While its weapons were powerful and reasonably effective, the robot had a large turning circle of 2 metres and a high ground clearance of 10mm, which left it especially vulnerable to lifting and flipping weapons. Axe-Awe had control issues, due to the robot being front-heavy. This, combined with problems with the weaponry and armour, led the team to retire it after Series 5 and build a new version of Iron-Awe.

Axe-Awe Arena

Axe-Awe in the arena

"We realised the fibre-glass shell on Axe-Awe was no longer a viable option as it wouldn't stand up to the powerful spinners around. … The weapons on Axe-Awe never really lived up to their potential due to a series of problems mainly with the valves switching the high pressure CO2. … the most disappointing aspect of Axe-Awe was its poor drive-ability and lack of traction. We tried changing the wheels but to no avail and it did not occur to us until after filming for series 5 what the problem was and how to cure it. We had put the two small driving wheels at the front of the robot with virtually no weight above them, all the weight therefore was at the back of the robot so when you turned the robot it just kept going."
— Iron-Awe website[3]

The TeamEdit

Main article: Team Iron-Awe

Team Iron-Awe in Series 5

Axe-Awe was built by Team Iron-Awe, best-known for entering Series 4, 6, 7 and 10, alongside the second series of Extreme, with their titular robot Iron-Awe. The Somerset-based team was captained by Gilbert Grimm, the designer and lead builder of the robots, who also drove Axe-Awe in all of its appearances. His son Robert Grimm was also part of the team, with Adrian Moore completing the roster. The team also entered the Featherweight Championship of Series 7 with Prince of Awe.

Robot HistoryEdit

Extreme 1Edit

Axe-Awe made its only Robot Wars Extreme appearance in a Wild Card Warrior battle, where it fought Series 2 champion Panic Attack. Before the battle, Team Iron-Awe expressed their confidence in defeating their experienced opposition.

Gilbert Grimm: "I'd say, Panic Attack is getting old and decrepit and it's about time it was retired and we're here to do the job!"
Julia Reed: "Ooh! Can you do the job though? Realistically, it's a good robot."
Robert Grimm: "Easily! We've had a look at him, and the axe is powerful. It'll go through the top of him, but what we're aiming to do: flip him over, hit him from underneath, couple of times, he'll be dead. No problem!"
— Confidence from Team Iron-Awe the battle
Axe awe self-rights

Axe-Awe self-rights impressively

As the battle began, it initially approached Panic Attack, but as it reached its opponent it span on the spot, its rear hitting Panic Attack's forks. Panic Attack tried to push it, but Axe-Awe turned away from the forks, so it was facing Panic Attack. Panic Attack reversed, then charged back, trying to get under Axe-Awe. Axe-Awe fired the axe, but missed. Panic Attack got its forks under Axe-Awe's flipper, but Axe-Awe fired the flipper to prevent it lifting. Panic Attack reversed, and Axe-Awe perused, getting its flipper under the front. It fired the axe again, but turned too far as it did so, missing another blow. Axe-Awe had however managed to bend up one of Panic Attack's skirts. Panic Attack drove at Axe-Awe's front again, and Axe-Awe fired the flipper again. Axe-Awe began to turn away, which allowed Panic Attack to get under the side and lift its opponent up. As Panic Attack carried it to the CPZ, Axe-Awe fired the axe to try and get off, but failed, then tried again, still to no effect. Panic Attack managed to roll Axe-Awe over, but Axe-Awe instantly righted itself.

"Good style, good driving by Robert Grimm there."
— Jonathan Pearce as Axe-Awe self-rights
Panic Attack vs Axe-Awe

Axe-Awe is carried by Panic Attack

Axe-Awe vs Panic Attack

Axe-Awe is dropped into the pit

Axe-Awe span on the spot, allowing Panic Attack to get behind it, and ram it against the arena wall. Panic Attack held Axe-Awe up with the forks, meaning its drive wheels were spinning in the air. Panic Attack carried Axe-Awe down the arena, opened the pit, and pushed Axe-Awe in.

"This is all rather inevitable, isn't it? And rather ghoulish and ghastly, for Axe-Awe, and they're about to dumped in the pit any moment now."
— Jonathan Pearce as Panic Attack prepares to dispose of Axe-Awe

Axe-Awe had lost the battle, just like the other Wild Card Warriors (not including TX-108) before it.

Gilbert Grimm: "They're very experienced, and although we've got the power, we didn't really get too much chance to demonstrate it, they were just a bit too controlled for us."
Craig Charles: "I mean, you've got a very good axe."
Gilbert Grimm: "A very good axe! It's a full pressure axe, it's capable of doing quite a bit of damage, self-rights us quite nicely."
Craig Charles: "But not today, though!"
— In the post-battle interview

Series 5Edit

"...and we're here to kick axe!"
— Robert Grimm in the team's introduction

Axe-Awe would later compete in Series 5, appearing in Heat H. In its first-round battle, it fought Granny's Revenge.

"It's sad, isn't it? I mean, it's a no-win situation. You either get beaten by an old granny, or we get condemned for beating up an old granny."
— Gilbert Grimm

It slowly approached Granny's Revenge, before spinning around on the spot and reversing into its opponent, seemingly unable to get its axe into position.

"Axe-Awe... doesn't know what to do. Err, well you've got to be cruel to be kind sometimes, Axe-Awe..."
— Jonathan Pearce as Axe-Awe struggles to attack Granny's Revenge
Grannys Revenge fire

Axe-Awe attacks the burning Granny's Revenge

Axe-Awe continued to slowly follow Granny's Revenge, but kept spinning. It bumped into Granny's Revenge, swinging its side into its opponent, but Granny's Revenge kept going. Granny's Revenge drove away down the arena, and despite steering problems causing it to spin when it tried turning, Axe-Awe caught up with Granny's Revenge and reversed into it, pushing it towards Sgt. Bash's CPZ, where Granny's Revenge was set alight. As the fire spread all over the dummy, Granny's Revenge opened the pit, and reversed into Axe-Awe, which tried to flip Granny's Revenge, but failed to as the flipper was not properly under its opponent. Axe-Awe axed the flaming robot a couple of times, but seemingly couldn't pit its opponent due to steering problems preventing it from driving in a straight line.

"...any moment now, Axe-Awe is going to pit Granny's Revenge, or is she going to do it herself?"
— Jonathan Pearce

Axe-Awe shoves Refbot into the pit with Granny's Revenge

Refbot came in and reversed Granny's Revenge into the pit, but drove over the edge himself, and Axe-Awe took advantage, getting under Refbot and tipping it over on top of Granny's Revenge.

Craig Charles: "It was asking to be burnt really, wasn't it? And, let's face it, you're not going to have an easier battle really, are you?"
Gilbert Grimm: "Well, I don't know about that. That was actually quite hard work, trying to do a mercy killing after the poor old dear caught fire."
— Post-battle interview

There, it faced the tenth seed, and fellow Langport machine, Wheely Big Cheese.

"Our next battle against Wheely big Cheese will probably go down in Robotwars history... but for all the wrong reasons!! Still hampered with control problems and a slight leak in the pneumatics we entered the area."
— Team Iron-Awe website[4]

Wheely Big Cheese gets under Axe-Awe

Axe-Awe drove forward, then turned, but turned too far, exposing its side to Wheely Big Cheese. It managed to turn the other way before the seeded robot could get the flipper under it, and hit Wheely Big Cheese with the axe, but this did no damage. Wheely Big Cheese reversed as Axe-Awe fired the axe again, so Axe-Awe missed. Axe-Awe reversed, but in doing so reversed straight onto Wheely Big Cheese's flipper, and Wheely Big Cheese threw Axe-Awe from the arena with one hugely powerful flip.

"Axe Awe flipped! Oh goodness me, by Wheely Big Cheese! That has to a Robot Wars record flip! Look at the distance achieved here! That is immense! Out of the arena, out of the Robot Wars galaxy!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Axe Awe is sent flying out of the arena

Axe-Awe was thrown roughly 15 feet in the air, and over the fence from the middle of the arena.

Craig Charles: "I mean, we can't really talk about a fight because - there WASN'T one!"
Gilbert Grimm: "We hit him! Come on, we hit him!"
Craig Charles: "Yeah, bet you wish you didn't!"
— In the post-battle interview

Axe-Awe was therefore defeated in spectacular style, and eliminated from the Fifth Wars.

"It is quite amazing having seen it on television how high the robot went and what was even more amazing was that after hitting the barrier at the edge of the area, bouncing off and sliding down the outer protective screen ending up on the camera tracks was that we came out virtually undamaged. Well if nothing else we will be remembered as the highest flying robot in Robotwars!!"
— Team Iron-Awe website


Extreme Series 1
Other Battles
Wild Card Warriors
Wild Card Warriors vs. Panic Attack Lost
Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat Semi-Final
Heat H, Eliminator vs. Granny's Revenge Won
Heat H, Semi-Final vs. Wheely Big Cheese (10) Lost


  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 2

Series RecordEdit

Main Series Axe-Awe Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Entered with Iron-Awe
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 2
The Sixth Wars Entered with Iron-Awe 2
The Seventh Wars Entered with Iron-Awe 2.1
Series 8 Not selected with Iron-Awe 5 and Iron-Awe 7
Series 9 Not selected with Iron-Awe
Series 10 Entered with Iron-Awe 6
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Wild Card Warriors
Series 2 Entered with Iron-Awe 2

Outside Robot WarsEdit

  • Iron-Awe converted into a prototype Axe-Awe, it was armed with an axe and flipper.
  • The internals of Axe-Awe
  • Axe-Awe on display in 2013
  • Axe-Awe in 2015 on display
  • Axe-Awe on display in 2016

Axe-Awe made its first appearance at a live event at the Debenham Robot Rumble in April 2001. It was still unfinished, with unpainted armour and a fibreglass axe handle[5]. It fought in six battles, nearly reaching the final before losing to Wolverine[6].

"Once they can put it where they want it (they kept going round in circles!) they'll be a serious contender."
— Team Tornado on Axe-Awe

Following its Robot Wars appearances, Axe-Awe was replaced by Iron-Awe 2, but was kept in operable condition for charity events until later being retired.

"We have decided to keep Axe-Awe as a running robot for use on the charity event circuit..."
— Robert Grimm

Robot Wars Live EventsEdit

Although Axe-Awe made a small handful of combat appearances in 2014, Axe-Awe was primarily a static display at Robot Wars live events, alongside its successor, Iron-Awe 2.1.


"After sitting around at Earls court for two days we eventually filmed our Wildcard Warrior battle at Elstree studios after Series V."
— Iron-Awe website[7]
  • Axe-Awe was the last heavyweight to make its début in the first series of Extreme.


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
  7. [7]
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