Robot Wars Wiki

"Endangerous species"
— Logo on the rear of Ceros

Ceros was a competitor robot that fought exclusively in Series 7 of Robot Wars. It reached the Heat Final in its only appearance, eliminating the seeded Ming Dienasty in the first round before it was defeated by St. Agro.


"2-wheel drive, high-pressure flipper, titanium-clad armour, built like a rhinoceros, pushing power, ability to self-right, high ground clearance though."
Jonathan Pearce describes Ceros

Ceros in the arena

Ceros was a titanium box-shaped robot with two-wheel drive, armed with a large, arm-shaped pneumatic flipper, used to toss other robots into the air and also allow the robot to self-right. The flipper never threw a robot out of the arena, but was powerful enough to flip House Robot Shunt - which Ceros overturned in its Round 2 fight against Revolution 3. The robot also featured two eyes on either side of the flipper and white pictures of rhinos on the robot. In addition, it had two horns on it, which were not on the flipper in any of Ceros' battles.

Front view of Ceros in the arena

Ceros received its name because it was vaguely based on a rhinoceros, while its design was primarily based on that of BattleBots super heavyweight champion Toro. The robot also had high pushing power - although was this was compromised by a high ground clearance and a limited CO2 supply. As well as this, Ceros' flipping arm took a noticeably long time to retract.


The name Ceros is derived from the latter half of the word rhinoceros. This allowed Ceros to be differentiated from past and future robots with the name Rhino, the latter of which Ceros would fight in its qualifier battle for Series 7.

The Team[]

Team Ceros

Ceros was built and designed by team captain and driver Francis Smith. He had previously been involved with Series 3 withdrawal Typhoon, and Series 4 non-qualifier Tiny. For the Seventh Wars, Francis Smith was joined by John and Anna Hart.


"We fought for around 2 minutes in which time Ceros managed to get flipped, self right perfectly and then go on to toss Aggrobot several feet in the air and on contact with terra firma again were dead to the world. We the decided as Rhino were still trying to learn how to control their machine that we should go for Twister as otherwise it would look like we were scared of it. We hit it and it buckled the entire side of Ceros! Me being the way I am did not stand for this and attacked again trying to flip the vulnerable wheel of the machine. I almost got a flip on but he turned last minute and the flipper caught the heavy frame in which time 4 major things happened. I saw a very pretty bright titanium spark! The flipper got buckled, we threw twister up a little, but the best bit was tearing through the spinning weapon requiring them to have to get it re welded before they could fight again."
— Ceros website describes the battle[1] (edited)

Rear view of Ceros with the "endangerous species" slogan

Ceros fought Aggrobot, Rhino and the Dutch entry Twister in its Series 7 qualifier battle. Ceros was able to immobilise Aggrobot by tossing it high into the air, and then deliberately avoided Rhino, instead focusing on the spinner of Twister. Ceros took great damage from the spinning weapon, but also managed to damage Twister's spinner through its persistent attacks. Ultimately Twister won the battle, but despite this, all four of the robots were awarded places in the main competition.

"So Ceros qualified, however on closer inspection we saw we had a lot of damage to repair. The front of the flipper was bent out of all proportions and the side was smashed in quite badly. We took it back to Ebrington and have spent the last two days fixing it. We would like to say a huge thank you to Mick of MRK services for taking time out on the bank holiday weekend to repair the chassis and flipper, as without his help and expertise we would not have been able to continue."
— Ceros website describes the repairs needed after the qualifier battle[2] (edited)

Robot History[]

Series 7[]

"New to Robot Wars, I like the look of this one."
— Jonathan Pearce as Ceros enters the arena

In its first battle, Ceros was drawn against three experienced teams; Dutch Grand Finalists Scraptosaur, the number fifteen seeds Ming Dienasty and Metalis, the new robot from Team Death.

Jayne Middlemiss: "You nervous then Francis?"
Francis Smith: "Erm, no. I was in the qualifiers, but fine now."
— Pre-battle interview with Jayne Middlemiss

Ceros throws Ming Dienasty into the air

Ceros flips Metalis over

Charging into the centre of the arena, Ceros targeted the seeded Ming Dienasty, throwing it into the air, with Ming Dienasty landing flat on its back. As Ming was flipped, Metalis came behind Ceros and pushed it side-on. Ceros turned around, but missed with the flipper. Ceros reversed as its flipper retracted. Metalis followed, but Scraptosaur followed Metalis, and Metalis turned to face Scraptosaur. This allowed Ceros to get behind Metalis and flip it over.

"Good driving by Francis Smith."
Jonathan Pearce

Ceros and Scraptosaur conspire against Ming Dienasty

Ceros is attacked by Ming Dienasty's drill

Ceros stayed away from its opponents as its flipper retracted, and Ming Dienasty self-righted. Ceros continued staying out of the action as Scraptosaur flipped Ming Dienasty back over. Metalis was unable to self-right and was counted out, with Ceros continuing to attack it. Ceros flipped Metalis back onto its wheels, then flipped Ming Dienasty back onto its wheels. Scraptosaur and Ceros chased after Ming Dienasty, attempting to flip it, but Ming Dienasty kept dodging their flippers. Ming Dienasty opened the pit, and started drilling at the front of Ceros, but did little damage, so turned away. In the last few seconds, Ceros held back as Ming Dienasty and Scraptosaur fought. The battle went to a judges' decision, which chose to eliminate Ming Dienasty, leaving Ceros and Scraptosaur to march onwards.

In the second round, Ceros was drawn against the invertible Revolution 3.

"We had a solenoid go down, we don't really know why, it was all of a sudden. We hadn't got much time to replace it, and it's one of those things that's fitted right at the base of the robot, which knocks your hands a bit when you're in a hurry. But we've done it, and we'll be okay now."
— John Hart on the repairs to Ceros

Revolution 3 grinds to an early halt

Ceros flips Revolution 3

Revolution 3 started much quicker, activating the pit. Ceros caught up with it and tried to flip Revolution 3, but it missed. Revolution 3 escaped up the arena, and Ceros chased after it. Ceros drove into its opponent, and suddenly Revolution 3 stopped moving almost straight away.

"I hope this isn't over quickly, because I was looking forward to a long and punishing battle here."
— Jonathan Pearce, just before Revolution 3 grinds to a halt

Ceros flipped Revolution 3 over, then flipped it over again, then pushed it towards a CPZ. As Shunt closed in, Ceros flipped Revolution 3 into the CPZ. As Shunt attacked Revolution 3, Ceros got behind Shunt and flipped him up. Shunt reversed away, and Sgt. Bash came in to attack Revolution 3. Ceros got behind Sgt. Bash and flipped him up as well, before driving after Shunt, who was in the arena centre. Ceros flipped Shunt up, and Shunt chased after Ceros, pushing it and axing it.

"Built like a rhinoceros, strong as a rhino....quick as a....a leopard out there at the moment! In for the kill, Ceros!"
— Jonathan Pearce, as Ceros hunts the House Robots

Shunt is thrown over by Ceros

Ceros and Sgt. Bash hang perilously over the pit

However, Ceros managed to get side-on at Shunt, and flipped him onto his side. Sgt. Bash drove after Ceros, grabbing it with his claw. Sgt. Bash pulled Ceros towards the pit, but Ceros was able to pull back. The two robots became stuck by the pit, with one of Sgt. Bash's wheels hanging over the side. Shunt attempted to pit the competitor robot, but the two robots were stuck together, so both hung over the pit. Ceros fired its flipper, lifting up the armour of Sgt. Bash. Shunt got behind Ceros and axed it, failing to puncture it, then pushed Ceros. This got Sgt. Bash free of the pit, but Sgt. Bash was unable to let Ceros go, having seemingly broken down. Shunt left the two to put Revolution 3 on the Drop Zone.

Craig Charles: "Your robot, it's strong!"
Francis Smith: "It is, yeah, but we would have liked more of a fight, obviously, but we didn't want them to get too hurt."
Craig Charles: "Is that why you took on the House Robots?"
Francis Smith: "Well, they started taking them on! How is that fair? They're dead!"
— In the post-battle interview with Craig Charles

Ceros was put through to the Heat Final, where it was placed up against St. Agro.

"...having seen them fight so far, it's going to be a brutal Heat Final!"
— Craig Charles' prediction before the Heat Final

Ceros is thrown over by St. Agro

As the battle began, the two robots slowly approached each other, then circled one another, each trying to avoid the other's flipper. Ceros managed to get at the side of St. Agro and tried to flip it, but flipped itself over by accident because the flipper was not properly under its opponent. As Ceros' flipper slowly retracted, St. Agro flipped it, but not back onto its wheels. Ceros' flipper seemed to be stuck open, and Refbot came in, giving it a push. The flipper closed, and Ceros was able to right itself. Ceros got under the side of St. Agro again and flipped it again, but this had no effect on the invertible machine. As Ceros' flipper was open, St. Agro got at the front and tried to flip it over, but the flipper was not properly underneath its opponent, so St. Agro only managed to flick Ceros up a little. However, Ceros appeared to only be moving on one wheel. St. Agro quickly got under Ceros again, but Ceros righted itself.

"This is tremendous stuff! Great control by the drivers, to be able to self-right like that, under pressure. "
— Jonathan Pearce

Ceros was still only moving on one wheel, limping back and forth, so St. Agro opened the pit. As the pit opened, St. Agro got under the front of Ceros again and tried to flip it into the pit, but did not get the flipper underneath its opponent enough, so only flipped it a little.

"Oh! On the brink of oblivion, and disaster - on the brink of the pit!"
— Jonathan Pearce

St. Agro narrowly avoids the pit of oblivion

St. Agro tried reversing Ceros into the pit, but pushed at the wrong angle. Ceros and St. Agro turned around, with Ceros still by the pit, and when St. Agro tried to push Ceros, the responding Ceros flipped St. Agro over. In another attempt, St. Agro tried to push Ceros down, but Ceros turned away.

"They've left themselves here, very vulnerable. St. Agro needs to get behind for a shove..."
— Jonathan Pearce

St. Agro limps along after suffering damage from Matilda

St. Agro reversed for another charge, but missed its charge. As it tried to get in the right position, St. Agro drove in front of Ceros, and Ceros nearly flipped it into the pit, with St. Agro narrowly being able to reverse in time. St. Agro drove after Ceros, but drove too close to Matilda, who hit it with her flywheel, cutting off part of its wheel. St. Agro hobbled towards Ceros, but drove at the wrong angle, allowing Ceros to get under the side and flip St. Agro towards the pit, but St. Agro fell the wrong way, avoiding the pit. St. Agro got under Ceros and flipped it over by the CPZ.

"I honestly think it's going to come down to the machine that has the FF at the end - the flip-ability factor. St. Agro, doesn't look as if it'll pass an MOT, but Ceros is gone here I think."
— Jonathan Pearce as Ceros is stuck upright

Ceros is counted out by Refbot

Ceros tried to self-right, but Matilda came out as it did so, blocking it as it tried to flip itself over. Ceros was stuck up against the arena wall, and Matilda hit it with the flywheel. Ceros' flipper was no longer working, leaving it unable to self-right. Refbot came in to count Ceros out, and Matilda reversed into Ceros and tossed it out of the arena with her flywheel, shattering the bottom plating of Ceros in the process. Afterwards, Ceros' flipper was seen slightly functioning again.

Matilda smashes Ceros out of the arena

"And in the end, Francis Smith ran out of power, and Ceros ran out of room and hope. Good old Matilda. You can count on her rear end in any sort of catastrophe."
— Jonathan Pearce as Ceros gets thrown out of the arena by Matilda's flywheel

Ceros was therefore eliminated, with St. Agro going through to the Semi-Finals.

"...the first hit she [Matilda] did, I think took out the gas, so we couldn't do anything about that then."
— Francis Smith explains why Ceros could not self-right


Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat H, Round 1 vs. Metalis, Ming Dienasty (15), Scraptosaur Qualified
Heat H, Round 2 vs. Revolution 3 Won
Heat H, Final vs. St. Agro Lost


  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 1

Series Record[]

Series Ceros Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Withdrew with Typhoon
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify with Tiny
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Heat Final
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

NOTE: Ceros V2.0 was entered into Series 9 of Robot Wars under its new identity Rusty, although the original Ceros team were not involved.


Outside Robot Wars[]

"For 2004 Ceros will be a totally different machine. We are planning to pack nearly 8 times the power we had in the original machine into the new one not only in the weapon but also in the drive system. The machine itself will be allot better balanced and so it should drive allot better and be more controllable. The flipper is again going to be CO2 powered but we are upping the ram size from 80mm x 192mm to 125mm x 135mm. We will have 4kg of co2 on board this time round and shall be running a custom made block system to connect the 3 valves that actuate the ram to the buffer tank."
— Francis Smith states his plans for Ceros-Icarus[3]

Ceros V2.0, as it appeared up for sale in 2013

After the Seventh Wars, Francis Smith revealed on the team website that he would build a robot named Ceros-Icarus[4], a successor to the original machine. Francis Smith advanced far with this build, but as no series of Robot Wars would be filmed for over twelve years after the Seventh Wars, the robot was never completed.

"Icklerus was brought to life by a couple of spare parts being fitted together on a workbench and potential was seen. The idea behind Icklerus is simple, a large bore ram positioned at the very rear of the flipper right near the pivot point with a very short stroke allowing a huge force to be generated at the from of the flipper. The entire flipper assembly is attached to the cylinder reliving stresses from the chassis allowing it to be made of thinner materials enough to stand knocks."
— Plans for the featherweight robot Icklerus which was not completed[5]

Francis Smith was also building a featherweight flipper robot named Icklerus to go alongside the new machine, and planned a featherweight version of the original Ceros named S.O.C. (Son of Ceros), but seemingly neither robot was completed. Francis Smith also planned to make an antweight robot called Rhinocerant, but this again was not built beyond the initial concept.

Ceros V2.0 in 2014

Ceros V2.0 fighting Kronic at a Robots Live event in 2014

In 2013, the team put their progress of the new heavyweight (now simply known as Ceros V2.0) up for sale on eBay. Ceros was revealed to be a box-shaped flipper with a resemblance to Cassius 3, using a broad low-pressure flipper. Ceros V2.0 was bought by Adam Lewis and Louse Hemstock of Team NOTOY, who completed the build. Ceros V2.0 made its debut at the Robots Live! event at Durham in 2014, and the team took Ceros to various other live events over the next few years. Ceros eventually changed hands again to Tony Smith, before his students turned the robot into Rusty in late 2016.

Robot Wars Live Events[]

Ceros in the pits at Robot Wars in Manchester

Ceros takes on Kill-E-Crank-E, Rattler and Leveller 2

Ceros, under the name Ceros V2.0, made its debut in the Robot Wars Live Events at the Barnsley event in June 2014. It fought in a four-way melee against Rattler, Meggamouse and TR2, holding its own against the other robots until it broke down and was eventually set alight.

Ceros V2.0, now known simply as Ceros again, made its 2016 debut in Manchester. It was flipped out of the arena by Ripper in its melee, but picked up a win in a tag team match as its partner Cherub was the last robot standing, despite Ceros being the first robot to become immobile, having been thrown by Iron-Awe 7.


Official Series 7 photo

  • Ceros and Rhino were the only two robots designed to look like a rhinoceros, and the two robots fought each other at the qualifiers.
    • Both of those robots were from Leicestershire.
  • Sir Killalot and Cassius Chrome were the only House Robots not to appear in a battle with Ceros.
  • Ceros was one of two Series 7 heat finalists to only appear in Series 7, the other being IG-88, which was actually from a veteran team.
  • During Ceros' first round melee, Jonathan Pearce kept pronouncing it as "Seer-ros", but he later pronounced it correctly from Round 2 onwards.
  • Ceros was one of six robots that only fought in Series 7 to be thrown out of the arena and never appear in any other series. The others were Hellbent, IG-88, M2, Mobot and The Scrapper.
  • Ceros' name is a slight parallel of R.O.C.S., who appeared in the same episode as Ceros, albeit in the episode's special event.
  • Ceros and Scraptosaur were the last two robots to defeat a seeded robot in the first round of a UK Championship.
  • Ceros is one of six robots to reach the heat final in their only appearance. The others were IG-88, Little Fly, REALI-T, Ultor and Wedgehog. Ceros was also the last robot to do so.


External Links[]