- "What'll happen when the chips are down?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Chip was a Welsh competitor robot that fought in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme, and in Series 7 of Robot Wars. It reached the second round of the New Blood Championship in Extreme 2, falling to Thor after being unable to use its disc. Chip was quickly eliminated in the first round of Series 7 after being thrown out of the arena by Spawn Again.
- "I felt from the beginning that a horizontal flywheel on a 4WD robot would work well, even before the appearance of Hypno-Disc in Series 3 auditions. The problem was crowd safety and shrapnel. As soon as Hypno-Disc got chosen we knew that the spinners would become much more common."
- — Chip website
In Chip's debut in Extreme 2, it was a blue, invertible box-shaped robot made of titanium and macron, where the 16.5kg horizontal spinning disc was placed. This disc was 500mm in diameter and 40mm thick, having been machined from an aluminium billet. The team claimed their weapon to be 10 times stronger than that of Hypno-Disc, and were capable of running the weapon at 12v (1300rpm), 24v (2200rpm) or 36v (3200rpm). As a back-up, the disc was interchangeable with two ramming spikes or an electric lifter, with these weapons being designed for its appearance on Techno Games, although only the spikes were seen on Robot Wars. Its 750W electric motors were originally sourced from Series 3 competitor Pitbull, and the armour consisted mainly of 12mm polycarbonate on a 25mm aluminium box section frame.
- "After considerable testing and modification we finally decided to remove the front wheels in 2003 and go rear wheel drive only. This would give us better battery duration. The disk was powered by a Bosch 630Watt 12v motor but this has been replaced by a Magmotor delivering 4.5 Hp. This increase in power enables the disk to spin up much faster."
- — Chip website on the upgrades for Series 7
When Chip returned to Series 7, it switched to a two-wheel drive system, and used new polycarbonate armour, painted black. Its shape was broader at the back than it was at the front, where the weapon, a 1500rpm horizontal spinning disc with two cutting blades, now powered by a Mag motor, was situated. However, Chip was unreliable during testing.
Chip was entered into Robot Wars by Team Xenomania, named after their intended entry for Series 4 and 4, Xenomorph. The Welsh team was comprised of teachers and students from Denbigh High School, with the televised team members in Extreme 2 and Series 7 being Rob Jones, Tom Ross and Gareth Jones.
The creators of Chip, Team Xenomania, had previously attempted to apply for several series before then, starting with the Third Wars. They initially failed to qualify for Series 3 and 4 with Xenomorph (not related to the Series 7 participant). After Series 4, the students that had been part of the team left due to other concerns, such as university. The teachers obtained a sponsorship from NEW WAVE CONCEPTS Ltd to build a new robot and Chip was built with the help of a few younger students at Denbigh High School.
At the Series 5 qualifiers, Chip fought Robofox. Chip's disc was not working, after a wire relay broke on the way to the qualifiers. Chip broke down quickly, after repeated blows from Robofox's axe, and was pitted by Shunt.
- "The battle was short, I couldn't see too well under the blinding lights. After a rainfall of heavy axe blows CHIP was dead and house robot Shunt pushed us into the pit. Craig Charles asked us why we had died, I said that a wire in the electronics must have broken. He said you should have been an electronics teacher, I was too gutted to say that I was. The crowd cheered and we drove the 180 miles home. Needless to say we did not appear in Series 5."
- — Chip Website on the Series 5 qualifiers
At the Series 6 qualifiers, Chip fought in a four-way melee against 259, Colossus and Splinter. Within the opening moments of the battle, Chip lodged its spinning disc in the arena wall, and was unable to break free, rendering the robot immobile. 259 went on to cause significant damage to Chip's armour, but although Chip was functionally operational, 259 was able to immobilise all of its opponents and win the qualifier outright. As such, Chip was not selected to compete in Series 6.
- "To be fair we were not disabled but impaled by our own disk on the arena wall. It all happened to quickly to say for definite why we ended up in the wall but 259 did cause us some hefty superficial damage. So we were out, bad luck really because some pretty weak robots got through that day because they were in easier fights."
- — Chip Website on the Series 6 qualifiers
Chip would later qualify for the New Blood Championship in Series 2 of Robot Wars Extreme via open applications, and for Series 7 by attending the live qualifiers.
After failing to qualify for 4 consecutive main competitions, Team Xenomania finally featured on the televised show as Chip was entered into the New Blood Championship of the second series of Extreme. In the first round of its heat, Chip was placed up against the Series 6 entrants Edge Hog and the 2 mph walkerbot RT81.
In the battle, Chip hit Edge Hog with its disc in the early stages of the fight, while RT81 was out of the picture. The damage caused by Chip was enough to immobilise one half of Edge Hog's drive system, so Chip activated the pit release button. However, despite having immobilised Chip, RT81 was pushed into the action by Mr. Psycho, where Chip and Edge Hog attacked it, causing the walkerbot to catch fire and break down. It was ruled that Chip and Edge Hog would go through to the second round.
Unfortunately for Chip, a single hammer blow from Thor stopped Chip dead. It was counted out by Refbot very early into the match, before it was fried on the flame pit and eliminated from the New Blood Championship.
- "The only thing that will be left of that are little wood chips, I would imagine!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
- Jayne Middlemiss: "What is your biggest fear?"
- Rob Jones: "Getting flipped out of the arena by Spawn Again."
- — The team captain's accurate opinion
After four series of failing to qualify for the main competition, Team Xenomania finally reached the Robot Wars main competition. Chip participated in Heat N and was placed up against the number 6 seeds Spawn Again, Revenge of Trouble & Strife and the Dutch entrant NEATer Machine in the first round of the heat.
In the battle, Chip spent its few seconds in the Seventh Wars retreating away from Spawn Again, towards the arena side wall. It tapped NEATer Machine with its disc, but did not appear to damage the Dutch robot. As Chip moved into the arena centre, Spawn Again closed in and tossed it high into the air and straight out of the arena, living up to the team's initial fears. This instantly eliminated Chip from the competition, with Spawn Again and Revenge of Trouble & Strife ultimately progressing.
|CHIP - RESULTS|
|New Blood Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat B, Round 1||vs. Edge Hog, RT81||Qualified|
|Heat B, Round 2||vs. Thor||Lost|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat N, Round 1||vs. NEATer Machine, Revenge of Trouble & Strife, Spawn Again (6)||Eliminated|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 2
|Main Series||Chip Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Not selected with Xenomorph|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify with Xenomorph|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Sixth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|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|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Before it first appeared on TV, Chip attended a couple of different live events, fighting Toe-Cutter, Dominator 2 and Stinger before Series 5, and later taking part in an event in Debenham where it fought the likes of Storm, Axe-Awe and Bulldog Breed. At the 2002 Gaydon live event, Chip suffered severe damage in a fight against Terrorhurtz, which bent its frame and cracked numerous welds, and, according to the team, proved costly for its New Blood battle against Thor.
- "We had noticed that the disk was significantly weaker than at the qualifiers three months earlier. Disaster! The weapon motor was damaged, probably from Terrorhurtz in the Gaydon Live event. There was little chance of a repair by Round 2 against Thor."
- — Chip website, alluding to the issues the team faced in the New Blood Championships
As well as this, Chip took part in a non-combat event in Kettering, where it competed in the Pinball competition, and finished runner-up in the Tug of War event to Kan-Opener, having beaten Velocirippa in an earlier round.
Chip also competed in Techno Games. It competed in the Sumo competition of 2002, beating Mighty Mouse in the first round of the Sumo before losing to Storm Chaser, putting it in the third place playoff, where it beat Hell Bound to win the Bronze medal. Chip also competed in the Tug of War competition in the same year, but lost its first round against British Bulldog.
Chip was renamed Bruiser for the fourth series of Techno Games in 2003, fitted with various add-ons. It won its first round of Sumo by default in the Sumo after Sprocket used its lifter to raise Bruiser's wheels from the ground and push it out, a breakage of the rules. However, not all of the robots which won their first Sumo rounds qualified for the second round, with only the quickest victories earning qualification. As such, despite Bruiser's technical victory against Sprocket, it was narrowly eliminated before the next round, a decision which Bruiser's team attempted to appeal after believing that Sprocket's rule-break influenced its victory time.
Over the course of the Robot Wars twelve-year hiatus, Chip's design was revised to feature a lifter, but the robot was soon retired. Tom Ross, Chip's driver, still owns Chip's disc among other pieces of the robot in the back of his shed. On November 8th 2018, Tom Ross appeared as a contestant on Channel 4 game-show Fifteen to One.
- For unknown reasons, Chip never received an official photo for Series 7 on a blue background, with a screenshot on an arena surface taking its place in official media.
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