Robot Wars Wiki

"...I was sitting, waiting to have my hair cut. I looked at the the barber's pole rotating outside and imagined it several thousand times faster and covered in sharp, spiky barbs. The name 'Barber-Ous' came to me at the same time. After the haircut, I rushed home and drew what became Barber-Ous."
— Simon Rafferty in the Robot Wars Club magazine, on the inspiration of Barber-Ous' name and design

Barber-Ous was a uniquely-shaped robot that competed in three series of Robot Wars, also competing in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme. The original robot lost to Series 2 champions Panic Attack in the first round of Series 5, but not without damaging the latter's lifting forks. Barber-Ous 2 was more successful, making the Heat Final in Series 6, only to be stopped by Hypno-Disc, although Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit fell in the first round of Series 7 after its outrigger shattered, causing its removable link to detach.

Versions of Barber-Ous[]

"We wanted a design that combined the versatility of a flipper with the destructive force of a spinner. The obvious answer is a vertical spinner with the barbs on the spinning weapon arranged so as to hook under your opponent and either flip them over, or tear through their armour."
— Simon Rafferty in the Robot Wars Club magazine

Barber-Ous during construction

The team decided to design Barber-Ous after their previous entry, Rotraktor, failed to qualify for Series 4, with a producer explaining the robot looked boring. The team wanted to build a robot with an unusual design, and Simon Rafferty was inspired by seeing a rotating barber's pole.

"The strengths; it's made of plastic, the weaknesses... oh, it's made of plastic. Curious."
— Jonathan Pearce on Barber-Ous 2's statistics

The insides of Barber-Ous with the drum removed

All versions of Barber-Ous that appeared on Robot Wars shared the same theme and design. It was a unique, two-wheeled cylinder-shaped robot with a top speed of 10mph and a full-bodied spinning drum painted red and white to resemble a barber's pole. The 'full-body drum' acted as both the weapon and body of Barber-Ous, and was fitted with metal barbs in order to flip and cause tremendous damage to other robots. The robot's main body was made out of plastic, an uncommon choice of material for robot armour at the time and generally only became more established in the reboot. The team used polyethylene to construct the dual weapon and armour setup, with the design strength being to absorb hits rather than deflect them.

Barber-Ous 2, unpainted, during testing

"I had seen another robot on Robot Wars that used half a plastic barrel as Armour. Axe weapons just seemed to bounce off it rather than piercing. I realised that reflecting or deflecting the energy of weapons was potentially more effective than making something strong enough to absorb it. I talked to a local company who after some explanation kindly gave me a length of plastic (polyethylene) water pipe, which they said was flexible, elastic and very resistant to damage. This pipe became both the armour and weapon thus saving some weight."
— Simon Rafferty in the Robot Wars Club magazine


""A vicious twisty-turny spiky barber's pole on its side and on wheels" one description. A horizontal rotating drum covered in barbs with a hammer mace. Lack of experience though - could bring a "close shave" or two!"
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Barber-Ous

Barber-Ous in the pits at Series 5

The original Barber-Ous that competed in Series 5 featured a much narrower drum than its later incarnations, as well as thin transparent wheels and two large yellow guiding bars with wheels, which presumably helped the robot steer forwards and backwards if it was inverted. The robot was powered by 2 Iskra 800 Watt motors, and featured a solid-state gyroscope to help it drive in a straight line. Each wheel was made from two 6mm sheets of polycarbonate, with a spiked rim in the middle to give more traction. The team had help from two local blacksmiths to build the motor to gearbox couplings, the drive shafts on the wheels and the mountings for the Land Rover Stub axles which held the drum. The plastic drum and poly-carbonate wheels were provided to the team by a company called QuadPlas LTD.

Barber-Ous in the arena for Series 5

The robot had a "float switch", which detected which way up the robot was and reversed the controls when the robot was flipped.[1] Work on the original Barber-Ous began in September 2000, along with the team's other robot The Office Party, with the robot being finished in August 2001, in time for the Series 5 qualifiers the same month.[2]

Barber-Ous 2[]

Barber-Ous 2 in the arena during Series 6

Barber-Ous 2 was rebuilt for Series 6 with a much wider drum and smaller, but thicker wheels, enabling it to have a greater surface area to attack robots more effectively. It also initially had red, black and white frames with castors which surrounded the wheels, similar in purpose to the previous guiding bars and offering both wheels some degree of protection. It could reach 10mph.

Barber-Ous 2 in Extreme 2

For Extreme 2, Barber-Ous 2 was fitted with flexible rubber wheels in order to better withstand side-on impacts, making those frames obsolete, and a pair of small yellow flanges were added in between the wheels and the drum to aid the robot's steering.

"I figured that it was probably better if we could deflect an impact, rather than trying to absorb it, so I've made the wheels even more flexible, and ... it's untested!"
— Simon Rafferty on the new wheels

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit[]

"So, a twisty-turny full-body spinner, now with rubber wheels and those barbs and teeth, 250 watt bicycle hub motors, it's made of plastic - HA HA HA, IT'S MADE OF PLASTIC!"
— Jonathan Pearce sums up Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit in Series 7

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit remained largely identical to the Extreme 2 version of Barber-Ous 2, however it featured a tougher construction and more flexible removable links which were intended to make it more resilient against the impacts of its own drum. However, the recoil of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit's drum was still enough to immobilise it in the first round of the main competition in Series 7, indeed a result of the removable link falling out.

The teeth of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit

In the Battle of the Spinners, the side of its wheels read "Slap My Top".

Before Robot Wars' hiatus was announced, the team planned to enter a revised version of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit for the next series. The robot would be relatively similar, aside for using pull-out detent pins to prevent power cutouts.[3]

"We also had a new version of Barber-ous which had a better concept for the power cutouts (the thing that kept killing us), using pull-out detent pins. It had a few minor innovations - but looked much like the previous one."
— Simon Rafferty in 2019


The name Barber-Ous is a pun based on the word barbarous, referring to a barbaric nature, while combining this with barber, as the robot is visually made from a barber's pole. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was also the only robot on the show to be named part-sequentially without using a decimal placing or fraction in the name.


"We've just competed in the trials at Wembley (Sun 12th Aug). I thought it went quite well, but nobody there was prepared to say anything other than that we would receive a letter in the next week. We were up against Razer (Why? It's seeded - but still did us some damage, but you could see them avoiding the rotating drum. ... There was also Invertabrat (sorry if it's not spelled right). We threw Invertabrat up in the air and it sustained superficial damage. Our drive failed and Shunt nudged us into the pit after trying to axe our drum. The drum was still spinning and only sustained a scratch - a testimony to the resilience of polyethylene armour! The radio worked a treat (Thanks to Paul Hills) and although we sustained a fair bit of damage, we can rebuild it if need be."
— Barber-Ous website on the Series 5 qualifiers (edited)

Barber-Ous attended the Wembley Arena leg of the qualifying tour. At the Series 5 Qualifiers, Barber-Ous fought Razer first, with the outcome of the battle unknown. It also fought Inverterbrat in another qualifier battle. It started well, throwing Inverterbrat in the air with its drum, but then broke down and was pitted by Shunt. However, Barber-Ous was still chosen to compete in Series 5, unlike Inverterbrat, and earned its place in the Fifth Wars.

"We now have only nine days to make a new drum, drive system and armour. Time to contract a bad dose of flu from the point of view of work me thinks (Just joking Mark - I'm sure David will cope without me!) ... It's fantastic news, although I feel sorry for all those (in my opinion) better robots that seem to have been rejected. I was so sure we'd not made it through, I went & blew my remaining budget (plus a bit) on a new(ish) Land Rover (V8 Defender 90) to abuse off road. The day after the trial I felt a huge void, not really having anything that pressing to do. I've lived Robot wars for two years now and had decided not to do it again - but you never know what fate is going to chuck at you! We went & downed many pints of Abbot, London Pride & Landlord this evening to celebrate!"
— Barber-Ous website on qualifying for Series 5

Barber-Ous 2 in the pits at the Series 6 qualifiers

Barber-Ous and Demolition Man getting ready for its qualifier battle

Barber-Ous 2 fought Demolition Man and ICU at the Series 6 qualifiers. It was also scheduled to face Killer Carrot 2 in the same battle, although that robot would be removed from the melee. Prior to the battle, the team discovered that Barber-Ous 2's controls were accidentally reversed, making it harder to drive. With no time to correct the issue, the machine was forced to compete with the inverted controls.[3]

"We had a problem where the controls were reversed - and it was a pig to drive. I had focused on that - and mostly blanked everything else. That's why Chris is looking pissed off - he'd just found out - but there was no time to fix it!"
— Simon Rafferty in 2019

The winner of the battle is unknown, but all three robots qualified.[4]

At the Series 7 qualifiers, Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was drawn against Alchemy, Colossus and Lightning. Alchemy broke down at the start of the battle. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit lost to Lightning when it lost a wheel and broke down, but both it and Colossus received discretionary places.

"Alchemy (spinner & grabbers) broke down going in. Barber-Ous (tough uprated spinning Barber's pole design) inflicted damage to our front scoop and a rear spike that can be hammered out and gave us lots of scratches and in the early part of the fight he was winning on damage. But we knocked the wheel off of Barber-Ous and he was immobilised after lots of contacts. Colossus was the other robot. Having flipped them earlier and them self-righting, we then got the chance to flip them again and this time they never recovered. So at the end of the fight no other robot was moving. Fantastic!"
Laurie Calvert on the qualifier battle[5]

The team had previously failed to qualify for Series 4 with Rotraktor after it lost to The Steel Avenger, also attempted to enter Series 5 with The Office Party, but Barber-Ous was the successful qualifier out of the two.

Robot History[]

Series 5[]

Barber-Ous made its Robot Wars debut against sixth seed and former Series 2 champion Panic Attack.

"Fun-looking machine, Barber-Ous, but will it give Panic Attack a short hack and off the sides of the arena? We'll wait and see..."
— Jonathan Pearce at the start of the battle

Panic Attack grips Barber-Ous' axle

Barber-Ous violently spins up off of Panic Attack - causing damage to its skirts

The two robots charged at each other, but just before the two made contact, Barber-Ous swerved to avoid Panic Attack. Barber-Ous turned around to bring its drum into play, and charged at the front of Panic Attack. However, it drove at the wrong angle, driving up the forks on one wheel, so the drum was spinning away but not making contact with Panic Attack. Panic Attack lifted Barber-Ous up, and though Barber-Ous was easily able to turn off the forks and get down from Panic Attack, one of its guiding wheels was still caught on the forks. This allowed Panic Attack to pull and push Barber-Ous around the arena. Panic Attack lowered its forks, allowing Barber-Ous to get free. Panic Attack charged at Barber-Ous, but Barber-Ous went straight over Panic Attack's top, breaking off the bulb for Panic Attack's light, and causing the forks to stop working. Panic Attack turned and charged Barber-Ous again, but Barber-Ous bounced up and off the forks. The two robots turned to face each other. Panic Attack got under Barber-Ous again, and Barber-Ous' spinning drum caused it to bounce off the forks and over Panic Attack again. Barber-Ous turned and attacked the front corner of Panic Attack, bouncing over the front. Panic Attack charged Barber-Ous again, which caused it to bounce up, and when it came down, the drum had stopped, with tears visible on the surface.

"And has the drum ceased? Well it's ripped, you can see that. The weaponry has stopped of Barber-Ous."
— Jonathan Pearce

Barber-Ous' drum comes to a stop

Barber-Ous is pitted by Panic Attack

Panic Attack nudged Barber-Ous, and as Barber-Ous tried to move away, it was only moving on one wheel. Panic Attack pushed Barber-Ous towards the pit release button. When the two robots got close to it, Barber-Ous drove off Panic Attack's forks and pressed the pit release button, but could not get away, struggling to make any movement. Panic Attack pushed it into Sgt. Bash, and smoke came out of Barber-Ous as it did so. Sgt. Bash gripped the yellow axle of Barber-Ous.

"Lovely, innovative design for Barber-Ous, and plenty of work would have gone into that - in the design room! Very different from the arena itself. "Oh dear, we might've made a few mistakes!" they think. Well, getting into close quarters with Sgt. Bash was certainly one, and I think that Barber-Ous is just about to be rendered totally harmless."
— Jonathan Pearce as Sgt. Bash attacks Barber-Ous

The fully immobile drum spinner was then pitted by Panic Attack, eliminating it from the Fifth Wars.

Craig Charles: "It's a very, very tough robot! I think it was an unfortunate draw for Barber-Ous, really, because your shape and design is probably the worst thing it could come up against!"
Kim Davies: "Yeah, it's very difficult to actually get in and damage it. It took our weapon out, we couldn't lift the forks at all."
— The post-battle interview with the Panic Attack team

Series 6[]

"An odd bod, it's the Robot Wars Sweeney Todd!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Barber-Ous 2 enters the arena

Barber-Ous 2 returned much improved since the last series. Its first battle saw it against the fourth seed and returning Grand Finalist Hypno-Disc, alongside Team Monad's new robot 4x4 and Granny's Revenge 2.

Simon Rafferty: "The one thing we're most susceptible to, I would say, is horizontal spinning weapons. The one robot that I didn't want to be pitched against is Hypno-Disc!"
Philippa Forrester: "Lucky you! That's all I needed to hear!"
— The pre-battle interview

Barber-Ous 2 nearly manages to get Granny's Revenge out

Barber-Ous 2 is immobilised by Hypno-Disc

Nevertheless, Barber-Ous 2 went straight on the attack, chasing Granny's Revenge 2 into the corner. As it closed in, 4x4 came in behind it and got under Barber-Ous 2. Sparks were sent out as 4x4 hit the spinning drum, and Barber-Ous 2 continued to chase Granny's Revenge 2 into the corner. Granny's Revenge 2 stopped by the arena wall, and Barber-Ous 2 knocked it up with its drum, almost causing the whole robot to fall over the fence. Sgt. Bash came in to corner Barber-Ous 2, and Barber-Ous 2 escaped, leaving the immobile Granny's Revenge 2 to be attacked by the House Robot. Barber-Ous 2 targeted 4x4, which had stopped moving by the CPZ. As it got close, 4x4's cloth snag became tangled on the drum. However, this did not stop it spinning, so Barber-Ous 2 knocked into 4x4, knocking it to the arena wall. As Hypno-Disc came in, Barber-Ous 2 turned to fight it, but Hypno-Disc landed a blow on Barber-Ous 2, shredding the cloth and the armour and causing the weapon to stop. Barber-Ous 2 had survived the attack, but after another blow from the disc, Barber-Ous 2 broke down. Smoke poured from the machine and Hypno-Disc hit it again. Hypno-Disc continued to attack the three immobile machines until "Cease" was called. As the last robot to have broken down, Barber-Ous 2 went through.

In-between battles however, it was revealed that the wheels of Barber-Ous 2 had been severely damaged by Hypno-Disc. The team could not repair them and were forced to equip a new, untested system. However, these wheels proved to be superior, as Barber-Ous 2 effectively beat Kat 3 in the second round.

"'s lighter, and the wheels actually run more truly!"
— Simon Rafferty on the new wheels

Barber-Ous 2 knocks Kat 3 over

At the start of the battle, Kat 3 missed with its first axe blow and Barber-Ous 2 struck Kat 3's side, knocking it up and removing a chunk of its side armour, before overturning it with a second blow from the drum and pushing the axe-wielding robot towards the wall.

"When Barber-Ous 2 moves with a menace, it can thrust anything away. It has just tossed 97 kilos of Kat 3 across the arena. I think if they could truly modify Barber-Ous so it was more better controlled, they could have a deadly weapon here!"
— Jonathan Pearce on Barber-Ous 2's impressive onslaught

Barber-Ous 2 prevents Kat 3 from self-righting

Kat 3, on its side, attempted to self-right, but was unable to because Barber-Ous 2 drove up against it, preventing it from getting back on its wheels. Barber-Ous 2 backed off, and Kat 3 retracted the axe to try again, but Barber-Ous 2 drove back in as Kat 3 fired, and the axe hit it. Barber-Ous 2 pushed Kat 3 against an angle grinder, and Kat 3 was stuck on its side, as it could not get the axe to grip the floor and get the machine over. After a few more swings, the side spikes on the axe broke off, making self-righting impossible. Refbot came in and counted out Kat 3. Sir Killalot then dragged Kat 3 onto the floor flipper where the end of its axe was almost torn off by Sir Killalot's claw. Kat 3 was then thrown thrown through the air, and cease was finally called.

Craig Charles: "Surely, there's a way, there's a tactic, there must be some how you can beat them."
Simon Rafferty: "We have a plan."
Craig Charles: "What is the plan? come on, tell me, I won't tell anyone!"
Simon Rafferty: "I reckon the top shell of it is much thinner than the chassis and base, so if we can get up on top, we'll take it from behind, so to speak, and sort get up over on the top it may shred enough of the protective stuff for the motors and the radio and stuff like that. That's the plan!"
— Post-battle interview about the Heat Final

In the Heat Final, Barber-Ous 2 met Hypno-Disc again.

Barber-Ous 2 gets a good opening hit on Hypno-Disc

Both robots got their weapons up to speed and circled around each other, before Hypno-Disc hit Barber-Ous 2, also getting thrown by Barber-Ous 2's drum, but Barber-Ous 2 had lost mobility after the hit from the 3-time UK Grand-Finalist.

"Has the one spin of the disc knocked Barber-Ous still? ... The drum is quietening, is stopping, has stopped, is being tattered! Plastic against metal? Hate to say we told you so, but we told you so!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Barber-Ous 2 is left shredded

Barber-Ous 2's drum was still spinning, so Hypno-Disc bashed it again which stopped it and also damaged the robot, which was left tattered. Hypno-Disc hit Barber-Ous 2 twice more, edging it closer to the pit, where Refbot counted out the immobilised Barber-Ous 2, whilst Hypno-Disc opened the pit, slowly pushing it towards the hazard.

Barber-Ous 2 is edged toward the pit by Hypno-Disc

"Well, they've done brilliantly to get this far. I love the innovative design of it, I hope they come back with a stronger robot, but the basic principle seems sound to me."
— Jonathan Pearce as Refbot counts Barber-Ous 2 out

Shunt took over from Hypno-Disc and finished Barber-Ous 2 off by finally shoving it into the pit, eliminating Barber-Ous 2 from the Sixth Wars.

"I think actually, the first hit they got was onto the end that had the power cut-out on it. There's the power cut-out goes through the axle that the wheels and the drum run on. Took that off and we had no power all of a sudden!"
— Simon Rafferty

Extreme 2[]

Barber-Ous 2 singularly competed in the Challenge Belt competition. In the first round, it was drawn up against Iron-Awe 2, Terrorhurtz and Vader.

Iron-Awe 2 is dragged over by the weight of Barber-Ous 2

Barber-Ous 2 initially stayed out of the action whilst the other three fought, coming in after Iron-Awe 2 flipped Terrorhurtz. Barber-Ous 2 threw Iron-Awe 2 over with its spinning barber's pole weapon, but it self-righted. Barber-Ous 2 pressured Iron-Awe 2 to the arena wall by Shunt's CPZ, and all four robots fought in that corner. Vader pinned Iron-Awe 2 against an angle grinder, and Barber-Ous 2 backed away. Vader was battered by the two axes of Terrorhurtz and Shunt, leaving it immobile. With Vader out, Barber-Ous 2 was picked on by Iron-Awe 2 and Terrorhurtz. The three robots fought by the flame pit, with Terrorhurtz axing Barber-Ous 2 first, before Iron-Awe 2 came in behind and also axed it. Iron-Awe 2 pushed Barber-Ous 2 into an angle grinder, then left it to chase after Terrorhurtz. Barber-Ous 2 moved away from the wall, but its drum was not spinning, the robot appeared to be struggling to move forward properly and smoke was pouring from one wheel. Iron-Awe 2 came back to attack Barber-Ous 2, axing the drum and pushing it into the centre of the arena.

"The plastic shell ripped apart there, I thought it might be suspect, Barber-Ous 2 taking damage"
— Jonathan Pearce as Iron-Awe 2 axes Barber-Ous 2

Terrorhurtz pits Barber-Ous 2

Iron-Awe 2 then flipped Barber-Ous 2, but ended up balancing on its rear after Barber-Ous 2 remained stuck in its axe. Terrorhurtz attacked Barber-Ous 2 as Iron-Awe 2 threw itself onto its back, with both it and Barber-Ous 2 still stuck together while Vader was thrown out of the arena by Matilda's flywheel. Once freed, Iron-Awe 2 was left unable to self-right and Barber-Ous 2 laid immobile, the latter being pitted by Terrorhurtz. With Terrorhurtz being the last robot still mobile, the judges were called to determine which other competitor would progress with it. The Judges ruled that Barber-Ous 2 was immobilised before Iron-Awe 2 was turned over, allowing Iron-Awe 2 through to the next round along with Terrorhurtz.

Philippa Forrester: "It was spectacular, and I was quite surprised you were out!"
Simon Rafferty: "Well, I'm not unhappy with the way it went. I think it was six and half a dozen, so I'm happy for them to go through."
— Post-battle interview

Series 7[]

"Got a short back and sides in the Sixth Wars..."
— Jonathan Pearce as Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit enters the arena

In Series 7, the slightly modified Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was drawn against newcomer Leveller 2, Tetanus Booster and Thunderpants in Heat E. However, the latter broke down in the entrance to the arena, leaving Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit fighting only two opponents.

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit sends Leveller 2 flying, but breaks down in the process

It started by attacking Leveller 2, but due to the front wedge, Leveller 2 bounced off, seemingly undamaged. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit tried to get side-on to attack Leveller 2 again, but Tetanus Booster came in, briefly blocking Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit from attacking Leveller 2. Tetanus Booster backed off, and Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit struck the side of Leveller 2, knocking Leveller 2 over and causing some of its armour to come flying off.

"No orthodox flipper, but it has those barbs and teeth to flip an opponent over!"
— Jonathan Pearce on the weapon of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit is held over the pit

Leveller 2 self-righted, but Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit got behind it and knocked it over again before it could get away. However, as Leveller 2 self-righted again, Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was not moving, and the drum slowed to a stop. Whilst Tetanus Booster fought Leveller 2, Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was rendered immobile. Leveller 2 pushed it back, but it was still not moving, so it left Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit alone to confirm this.

"Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit ... is moving? Is it? Refbot, you'd better check on that, I'm not too sure if Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit is still mobile. I think the effort of spinning and flipping has taken too much out of the motors there, the two 500 watt bicycle hub motors of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit I don't think are moving!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was counted out by Refbot and left to the mercy of Mr. Psycho. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was carried through the air by the House Robot, and dropped into the pit from high above it. This eliminated Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit from the main competition of the Seventh Wars. It was later revealed that Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit had been immobilised because its outrigger shattered, causing its removable link to detach.

"Good start by Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit, but a horrible ending."
— Jonathan Pearce sums up Barber-Ous' run in Series 7 as Mr Psycho attacks it

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit also featured in the "Battle of the Spinners" special event alongside Infernal Contraption and Shredder Evolution, aired during Heat C, prior to its main series appearance.

"They're all quite evenly matched, I reckon. They'll all run the other way up, they have a certain similarity in the designs of them, so I think that it should be a good match!"
— Simon Rafferty on the opponents

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit throws Shredder Evolution up

At the start of the battle, Infernal Contraption went straight for Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit. Although Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit turned away, this allowed Infernal Contraption to push it across the arena. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit turned to try and use its drum, but Infernal Contraption turned to avoid the drum and attack the wheel of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit. When Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit turned again, trying to use its drum, Infernal Contraption drove away. As Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit got around the other side of Infernal Contraption, Shredder Evolution hit Infernal Contraption with its discs, knocking it into Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit's drum. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit hit Infernal Contraption a couple of times, but despite flipping it over, it caused little external damage. Shredder Evolution drove around Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit and pushed Infernal Contraption back, ripping off part of one of its wheels. Shredder Evolution chased Infernal Contraption into Mr. Psycho's CPZ, and Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit came in behind it, using its drum to knock Infernal Contraption upwards. Shredder Evolution turned to attack Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit, targeting a wheel, but Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit flicked Shredder Evolution up again with the drum, ripping away an entire side panel surrounding its wheel.

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit is pitted by Mr. Psycho

Shredder Evolution followed Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit into the arena centre, where Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit dodged the charging Shredder Evolution and thrust it up with another attack. Shredder Evolution opened the pit, and Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit drove into the CPZ to attack Infernal Contraption. However, this proved to be a mistake, as Mr. Psycho started attacking it, with the House Robot now visibly damaged from the competitors' spinners. Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit narrowly missed the first hammer blow thanks to a push from Shredder Evolution, but the second hammer blow hit the drum. The drum of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit was left tattered, but the robot was still mobile. As Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit escaped the CPZ, Mr Psycho turned around, but because his claw was in the lowered position, it knocked Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit into the pit, leaving Infernal Contraption and Shredder Evolution to fight alone. With Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit eliminated, Shredder Evolution went on to win the battle.

"A close shave for Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit. Close sh... never mind. It's out into the arena floor AND DOWN INTO THE PIT!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Mr. Psycho misses his first hammer blow, before Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit is pitted


Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat J, Eliminator vs. Panic Attack (6) Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat K, Eliminator vs. 4x4, Granny's Revenge 2, Hypno-Disc (4) Qualified
Heat K, Semi Final vs. Kat 3 Won
Heat K, Final vs. Hypno-Disc (4) Lost
Extreme Series 2
Challenge Belt
Round 1
Round 1 vs. Iron-Awe 2, Terrorhurtz, Vader Eliminated
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat E, Round 1 vs. Leveller 2, Tetanus Booster, Thunderpants Eliminated
NOTE: Thunderpants broke down in the entry gate and never made it into the arena, leaving the other three robots to fight alone.
Special Events
Battle of the Spinners
Battle of the Spinners vs. Infernal Contraption, Shredder Evolution Lost


  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 5

Series Record[]

Main Series Barber-Ous 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 with Rotraktor
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 1
Failed to qualify with The Office Party
The Sixth Wars Heat Final
The Seventh Wars Heat, Round 1
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Did not enter
Series 2 Challenge Belt, Round 1


Outside Robot Wars[]

Barber-Ous was originally built for a Discovery Channel competition called Robots Revenge but was deemed too powerful to compete.

"We were contacted by the Discovery Channel who were making a series called 'Robots Revenge' following the build of a number of Robots culminating in a big battle at the end. They filmed both - though they needed to be separate. So I was filmed building Barber-Ous and Guy Radford with The Office Party. In the end, Barber-Ous was deemed too dangerous to fight, but The Office Party won the event."
— Simon Rafferty on Robots Revenge

Barber-Ous 2 made an appearance in 2002 at the Robot Roadshow live event in Worthing. As spinners could not operate at the event, Barber-Ous 2 entered the competition as a thwackbot with a long metal polearm attached to the centre. Barber-Ous 2 would then make an appearance at Chatham 2003, fighting Dantomkia in the process.

Preparing for a possible Series 8, the team were planning to build a new machine to compete alongside an improved Barber-Ous. The machine was equipped with two flywheels incorporated onto an electric axe, with a calculated energy level of 40kJ. Upon being tested on team captain Simon Rafferty's concrete driveway, the flywheel axe managed to penetrate through 6 inches of reinforced concrete. The robot was ultimately left unnamed after Robot Wars' original cancellation, but one proposed name was (after the formula for angular momentum). Rafferty also considered entering a revised version of the robot for the reboot (as well as a Barber-Ous 3), but ultimately did not enter the show because of filming commitments.[3]

"It didn't have a name (yet). Killerhurtz was the only electrically powered axe that was any good - but I thought of a way to make something better! Essentially a flywheel sitting on a threaded rod. A motor spins the threaded rod which causes the flywheel to wind itself to one end and then be accelerated. When you want to fire, you stop the motor. The flywheels momentum keeps it spinning so it winds itself to the other end of the rod where it meets a friction plate, attached to an axe. It dumps all the flywheel energy into the axe. You have two of these, one on either side of a single axe so you can fire it in either direction. Our calculated energy in the head of the axe was pushing 40kJ (which is a lot). The Armour was still plastic (so it would flex & deflect blows rather than absorb the energy. We test fired it on my concrete driveway. The head punched straight through 6" of reinforced concrete - and is still buried there! I suspect it would have gone clean through the floor of the arena! I considered re-building it for the new generation of RW's but we don't get time off during filming - and it passed me by! Maybe in another 10 years!"
— Simon Rafferty in 2019

After Robot Wars entered its hiatus, team captain Simon Rafferty kept the unnamed robot and Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit until 2015, in the hopes that Robot Wars would return to TV. The robots were eventually scrapped, just one year before Series 8 of Robot Wars was announced.[3]

"Ironically Barber-ous 2 went in the scrap bin last year! I decided RW's was never going to happen again and wanted the space under my bench back! Probably time to build what we intended as Barber-ous 3 anyway!"
— Simon Rafferty on Facebook

Simon Rafferty now works in film SFX, being credited for his work on films such as Spider-Man: Far From Home and Fast & Furious 9.[6]


Official Series 7 photo

  • In all five of its losses, Barber-Ous was pitted. This also happened to Tiberius, Revenge of Trouble and Strife and The Executioner.
  • After the Series 6 Heat Final, Simon Rafferty claimed he was planning to add "skirts" to the side to absorb blows from spinning weapons, but this idea was never implemented.[7]
  • Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit, Iron-Awe 2.1, Sub-Version 1.1, Malc 1.5 and Judge Shred 2½ are the only robots to be named part sequentially, with Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit being the only one not to specify a decimal or fraction.
  • Rafferty designed the canopy opening mechanism used on the A-Wings on an accelerating linkage he saw equipped on an robot with an axe.[3]
  • When interviewed for a CAD Engineer role for Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, Simon Rafferty was first asked about his experiences on Robot Wars.[3]
"At my original interview (for Star Wars) I expected to be asked about mechanical engineering- but their first question was 'tell us about Robot Wars?' It just got better from there!"
— Simon Rafferty


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