- "One Sunday morning, having been a fan of the Robot Wars tv programme, and seeing Hypno-disc rip the robots apart, I realised I had the know-how to build a robot. Obviously I wasn't able to spend thousands of pounds on it, but I was confident that I could. ... My Dad always said I should do it, but I never took him seriously, then on that Sunday morning I phoned him and told him that I was going to build a robot and to start thinking about ideas. From that point on, it began ..."
- — John Findlay on building Banana-R Armour
Banana-R Armour was the first robot from Team Roaming Robots, which attempted to qualify for Series 4 of Robot Wars. Despite performing strongly in its qualifier, it became immobilised during the battle due to radio interference, and failed to qualify as a result.
The team salvaged a lot of Banana-R Armour's mechanical components to create its successor, T-Bone, which qualified for Series 5 and fell in the first round. Team Roaming Robots also failed to qualify for Series 5 and 6 with Ripper, but qualified for Series 7 with it, reaching the Heat Final and the Annihilator Final in that series.
The robot's name was a pun on the pop group Bananarama.
Banana-R Armour was a dark green, barrel-shaped robot powered by starter motors from a Mini, and armed with a two-chiseled spinning disc made out of a Metro flywheel. The robot also had a pointed wedge at the front, and was designed to roll back onto its wheels whenever it was flipped. It also had, fittingly, a plastic banana mounted on the top of the barrel, which inspired its name.
Banana-R Armour was mostly constructed out of scrap metal and spare parts from Minis, which John Findlay raced himself prior to building it. The body was made from an old oil drum, the wheels were taken from wheelie bins, and the chassis was mostly constructed out of old steel box section. According to the Roaming Robots website, the robot cost £100 to build.
Banana-R Armour was originally supposed to face UFO for its Series 4 qualifier. However, technical problems meant UFO was unable to compete, leaving Banana-R Armour to face an unknown opponent described as an aluminium square-shaped robot armed with a spike
Banana-R Armour started well, cutting into its opponent with its disc despite receiving damage itself from the opponent's spike. However, one of its chisels for its disc sheared off after an attack on Shunt, and it lost the battle after radio interference caused it to suddenly lose mobility. Banana-R Armour did not earn a discretionary place for the series, thus failing to qualify. Post-battle, the team discovered that its aerial did not stick out far enough from the robot, resulting in a lack of radio reception.
- "We were supposed to fight against one robot, but at the last minute its computer software broke down. ... Instead we were put against a solid, aluminium square thing which looked very strong , with only a spike on the front as its weapon. The fight began, and it had the first attack, but all it did was punch a hole in the body, then the disc attacked it and easily ripped the corner to pieces ... Their robot got stuck in a corner, Shunt came across, so I had a go at Shunt, it was too strong and one of the chisels broke off the disc. I then followed into the corner, but then disaster struck. With all the flames and grinders, my robot kicked into fail-safe mode due to radio interference. And that was that, it just stopped on the spot, and so we lost the fight, even though we did show aggression with all the damage caused. On inspection, it was the aerial not sticking out enough that caused the problem, and the only damage to us was a hole in the body, and the weapons support bearing had shattered."
- — The Roaming Robots website on the Series 4 qualifiers
At the Series 4 qualifiers, Team Roaming Robots met the Eco Warrior team, and challenged them to a practice battle at a local car park after the qualifiers to further test each others' robots. The two teams would later collaborate to build T-Bone for Series 5.
|Main Series||Banana-R Armour Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Fifth Wars||Entered with T-Bone|
Failed to qualify with R.I.P.P.E.R.
|The Sixth Wars||Failed to qualify with Ripper 2|
|The Seventh Wars||Entered with Ripper|
Featherweight Championship with Rip
|Series 8||Ineligible with Ripper|
|Series 9||Ineligible with Ripper|
|Series 10||Not selected with Cyclone|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Did not enter|
|Series 2||Entered with Neoteric|