"The name 'Charybdis' is from greek mythology, some lady that got turned into a deadly whirlpool, or something. We quickly dropped it after realising that no-one could pronounce it."
— Team Website

Charybdis (pronounced "Ka-rib-dis") was an unused reserve robot for Series 4 of Robot Wars, after it failed to qualify outright for that respective wars. Entered by University College London. It was named after a sea monster from Greek mythology.

After missing out on Series 4, the team stripped the chassis, and designed and built the more successful Fluffy.


"This was our very first robot which we started building in late 1999. The frame was made of inch box section steel tubing (school table legs). Our university very generously coughed up enough money to buy 3 bosch 750 watt motors, 2 4QD NCC-70-24 speedos and some surplus batteries."
— Team Website

Charybdis with its spinning axe after the second qualifier

Charybdis was a two-wheeled, invertible, heptagonal shaped machine, armoured in 8mm polycarbonate. It was similar in design to the team's next entry, Fluffy, but had a shorter, wider and taller chassis. It also had a different weapon, being armed with a spinning disc weapon, but this broke during its second qualifier. After failing to qualify, but still being selected as a reserve, the team replaced it with a double headed spinning axe, like the one used on Fluffy only smaller, in case they were needed to fight any time in the series.

"The producer still thought we were worth a reserve place, so we threw this together in a few days."
— The Team Website on the spinning axe

The team started work on the robot in late 1999, and the money to buy the motors, speed controller and batteries was granted by their university.



The disc, broken after its second qualifier

Charybdis fought in two qualifiers, first beating Kater Killer, but then losing to Velocirippa, during which its disc became broken. Because of the results, it was not chosen for The Fourth Wars, but a producer believed that the robot was still competitive enough to the point that it was selected as a reserve. Ultimately however, unlike fellow reserve V-Max, it did not get a chance to compete.

  • An initial CAD for Charybdis
  • Charybdis during testing
  • A team member rides on Charybdis during testing
  • CAD sketches to show how the chassis was altered to build Fluffy
  • Charybdis after Series 4

Series RecordEdit

Main Series Charybdis Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Unused reserve
The Fifth Wars Entered with Fluffy
The Sixth Wars Entered with Fluffy
The Seventh Wars Entered with Fluffy
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Fluffy
Series 2 Entered with Fluffy


  • The team later used Charybdis as an example when talking on their website about learning from mistakes.[1]
"Don't be disheartened if your first designs aren't too great - our first attempt Charybdis failed to qualify, and was, in hindsight, rubbish. We cringe at how awful it was, in fact. And that was when the team was comprised of 3 mechanical engineering students! Even building an ant or featherweight is good experience if you are aiming to eventually enter a heavyweight, and you learn from your mistakes."
— Tips page of Fluffy website


  1. Fluffy website - Tips

External LinksEdit

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