"Named after the beast in Shakespeare's Tempest, and hoping to whip up a storm! Caliban's built from a bolted dexium frame, powered by two 12v batteries. It's spinning dome has slashing and cutting weapons."
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Caliban

Caliban was a competitor robot which exclusively fought in Series 2 of Robot Wars. In its only appearance, it was eliminated at the Gauntlet stage after Sir Killalot picked it up and turned it over close to the start.

A successor to Caliban, Caliban 2 was listed as an entry for Robot Wars: The Third Wars, however it would not be seen in the televised series.[1] Team TFOSICA would ultimately enter Daisy Chopper into the same series, although it is unknown whether Caliban 2 was a renamed Daisy Chopper, or a separate robot which was scrapped in favour of it.


Caliban offical image

Caliban in its full-body spinner configuration


Top view of Caliban with its full-body spinner

Caliban was a purple, cylindrical-shaped robot built from a bolted dexion frame, and featuring an aluminium shell. The robot was two-wheel driven and armed with a pair of interchangeable horizontal spinning weapons - a top-mounted flail, and a 'spinning dome', a second weapon concealing the robot's chassis and featuring a pair of cutting blades along its lower rim. The latter weapon was made out of an industrial fan, and featured a polycarbonate top rim. The 'dome', while potentially the first full-body spinner to appear in a televised Robot Wars competition, was never used, as Team TFOSICA elected to use Caliban's flail for its Gauntlet run.

Interestingly, as well as introducing the full-body spinner, the team would also enter the first large vertical spinner in the UK Robot Wars, Daisy Chopper, in Series 3.

Jackson Wallop, a robot similar in design to Caliban's flail form, was entered by Team Battlebot in Series 7.

Robot History

Series 2

Sir Killalot

Caliban is intercepted by Sir Killalot

Caliban competed in Heat A, and was the fourth robot in that heat to attempt the Gauntlet. It drove steadily out of its starting gate, turning towards and taking the left-hand route. However, as it turned, it hit the spiked pyramid near the 3.0m marker, and struggled to drive effectively as it backed and hit the pyramid again.

"Driving seems to be a bit of a problem, though. They've lost their way - I think steering is a bit of a problem here...they're all over the place!"
Jonathan Pearce as Caliban struggles to steer properly

Eventually, Caliban turned and drove alongside the pyramid, but backed into the wall, and was intercepted by Sir Killalot as it backed up and attempted to drive past him. Caliban's flail suddenly spun up as Sir Killalot nudged it, knocking off the 3.0m marker in the process, before Sir Killalot hooked Caliban by the chain and turned it over, stopping the flail as he did so.

Caliban Gauntlet 1

The inverted Caliban is pushed back towards the start

"Sir Killalot closes in though! Can he stop that flail, flail... rock and roll! Caliban dead and buried - hoisted by his own petard!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Caliban is flipped over by Sir Killalot.

'Cease' was called as Sir Killalot pushed the inverted Caliban back against the railings, with the latter only covering a distance of 0.2m as a result. Unseen on TV, Sir Killalot proceeded to cut away at one of Caliban's wheels, causing further damage. Having reached the shortest distance of all the competitors in its Heat, Caliban was eliminated from the Second Wars.

According to Oliver Steeples, Team TFOSICA later complained that Caliban's Gauntlet run was fixed in an attempt to showcase the strength of Sir Killalot, but again this was not shown on television.[2]


Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Gauntlet
Heat A, Gauntlet 0.2m (6th) Eliminated

Series Record

  • An unpainted Caliban during construction
  • Caliban with Team TFOSICA, in its full-body spinner configuration
  • Toecutter the Team's antweight
Series Caliban Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Gauntlet
The Third Wars Entered with Daisy Chopper
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify with Daisy Chopper
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter


  • Caliban is one of twenty robots never to fight in robot combat, having only ever competed in the Gauntlet and/or Trial stages.
  • Having only reached a distance of 0.2m during its run, Caliban earned the dubious distinction of being the worst-performing robot in The Gauntlet across the first two series.



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