Robot Wars Wiki

"Lookout! Big Brother's about!"
— Big Brother website

Big Brother was a competitor robot that debuted in Series 3 of Robot Wars. The first robot from Team Big Brother, it initially lost its Heat Final to Ultor on a judges' decision, but progressed to the Semi-Finals after the Ultor team offered Big Brother their place in response to the decision. Big Brother was subsequently defeated in the first round of its Semi-Final after getting flipped onto its back by Mace 2.


Big Brother in the arena

Big Brother was a conventional wedge-shape robot armed with a 'morning star' flailing mace weapon which could attack robots from in front or behind, although Big Brother usually utilised its wedge shape to overturn its opponents. The design also featured sharpened spikes at the back. It was armoured in mild steel and ran on tractor wheels. The robot was very fast, but critically lacked a self-righting mechanism to aid it when overturned. Big Brother had an adjustable ground clearance.


The robot was named after the team captain, Joe Watts, who is a big brother to his little sisters. The name also makes reference to the antagonist of the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Robot History[]

Series 3[]

Stuart McDonald: "From Brighton, Big Brother."
Jonathan Pearce: "Is watching you from behind milled steel armour. The weaponry, a steel whip with chain and wrecking ball known as a morning star. Wakey wakey!"
— Big Brother's introduction in Heat D of Series 3

In the first round, Big Brother battled fellow newcomer Grim Reaper

Big Brother pushes Grim Reaper

Sir Killalot drives over Big Brother and Grim Reaper

Big Brother and Grim Reaper sit immobilised

Grim Reaper had a faster start in Big Brother's first battle, but the more powerful Big Brother pushed it back into Sgt. Bash. After spinning around each other for a while, Big Brother got underneath Grim Reaper and tried to direct it towards the pit, nearly falling in itself. Both robots escaped, and Grim Reaper came in on another charge, crashing over the top of Big Brother. After lining up another charge, Grim Reaper attacked, but the force of the impact meant its wheel fell off; however, Big Brother was also in trouble, only able to move in circles before stopping altogether. Sir Killalot then ran over Big Brother, and overturned Grim Reaper. The fight had to be decided by the judges, and Big Brother was awarded the victory on damage and aggression. This was notably the only time Team Big Brother ever won a judges' decision in UK Robot Wars.

In the second round, Big Brother faced another newcomer Sir Chromalot.

Big Brother overturns Sir Chromalot

Big Brother foolishly takes on the House Robots

The two robots charged at each other from the start, and bounced off each other. The battle was tentative for a while after this, Sir Chromalot pushed Big Brother into Shunt, but Big Brother retaliated, turning over Sir Chromalot after a few seconds of sheepish pushing. Shunt and Dead Metal attacked the 'Class Act', whilst Big Brother spun around, however, Big Brother was pressured by Shunt and Dead Metal.

To earn a place in the series semi-finals, Big Brother fought the axe of Ultor, another newcomer in the heat final.

Big Brother gets pulled by Ultor

Big Brother gets underneath Ultor

Big Brother's 'morning star' falls off

The battle began strongly for Big Brother, who pushed against Ultor, and dodged the axe blow. For the first time in the heat, Big Brother's 'morning star' weapon was seen in action, although it got wedged on the axe of Ultor, who used this to drag Big Brother very nearly up and over. Big Brother again pushed Ultor around the arena, however the flail fell off whilst it was doing so. Big Brother got underneath Ultor again, lifting it up onto its side, but failing to overturn it. Ultor meanwhile, was in trouble from the arena spikes, which caused trouble for other robots. The battle ended with Big Brother on another charge against Ultor, but the damage to Big Brother was a deciding factor in the resulting judges' decision.

The Judges ruled in favour of Ultor, much to Joe Watts' disappointment. However, the Ultor team were not able to attend filming for the Semi-Finals due to work commitments; claiming that the decision was wrong, they handed the victory to Big Brother instead.[1]

"Big Brother - actually voted a loser by the judges, but deserving a place in the semi-final according to the team that beat it!"
— Jonathan Pearce

The reinstated Big Brother fought Mace 2 in the first round of the series semi-finals.

Mace 2 lifts Big Brother

Big Brother gets under Mace 2

Big Brother is overturned and immobilised

Big Brother was immediately under pressure from Mace 2, lifting Big Brother up, but it escaped. After pushing against Mace 2, Big Brother was lifted up again, but again it bounced down and survived. Big Brother's turns to attack came soon, however, and it pushed Mace 2 towards the top of the arena, and then back again. However, the third flip from Mace 2 was sufficient to flip Big Brother onto its back. The House Robots then came in, and Big Brother was scratched by the saw of Dead Metal.

"Big Brother may be gone, but you never know where he may be lurking...waiting for the chance to return."
— Cath Watts, wife of Ian and mother of Joe and Ellie


Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Semi-Finals, Round 1
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Grim Reaper Won
Heat D, Round 2 vs. Sir Chromalot Won
Heat D, Final vs. Ultor Lost
NOTE: Ultor later conceded its victory and place in the Semi-Finals to Big Brother
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Mace 2 Lost


  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 2

NOTE: Although Big Brother suffered a loss to Ultor, the judges' decision was later conceded to Big Brother by Ultor's team

Series Record[]

Main Series Big Brother Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Semi-Finals, Round 1
The Fourth Wars Entered with Bigger Brother
The Fifth Wars Entered with Bigger Brother
The Sixth Wars Entered with Bigger Brother
The Seventh Wars Entered with Bigger Brother
Series 8 Entered with Or Te
Series 9 Not selected with Or Te
Series 10 Entered with The Swarm
Not selected with Or Te
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Bigger Brother
Series 2 Entered with Bigger Brother

Outside Robot Wars[]

Big Brother's cameo on BattleBots

After Series 3, Big Brother made a brief appearance at the 2000 Brighton Model World event. There, it competed in a Tug of War competition, and defeated all of the other competitors taking part, including Mortis.

According to Ian Watts, he still owns Big Brother and it is in his workshop.[2]


  • Although everyone, including Joe Watts' team T-Shirt, referenced Joe as the team captain, dad Ian Watts was listed as the captain on the robot's statistic board.
  • After its battle with Grim Reaper, Joe Watts said he had wanted the robot's design to be 'like Sonic' with a head with spikes that could pop out. Presumably, this design was abandoned for being too complicated.
  • Big Brother was the first robot to start the Sir Chromalot trend, defeating it in Round 2 of Heat D, and going on to win the heat.
  • While Big Brother did not appear after Series 3, the team would continue to use the name and the mace insignia on their uniforms while competing with Bigger Brother.
  • During Big Brother's heat final, Jonathan Pearce said "I wonder if Big Brother has an even bigger brother to come back", thus foreshadowing the name of its successor.
  • Big Brother made a cameo during Season 2 of BattleBots. During a feature on the UK teams, Team Big Brother demonstrated their entry Bigger Brother by flipping their old robot Big Brother. Joe Watts was also seen holding Big Brother's mace[3].
  • Weber, the Russian representative in Series 10, was originally named Большой Брат, which translates to Big Brother.