- "Hoping to squeeze the life out of its victims!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Constrictor enters the arena
Constrictor was Team UK Robotics' second entry in Robot Wars, after Rottweiler in Series 2. Constrictor exclusively fought in The Seventh Wars, and qualified out of its first-round melee over Fluffy and Scarey-Go-Round, before losing in the heat semi-final after being thrown out of the arena by Tsunami.
- "Looks good, has an innovative pneumatic crusher and lifter weapon, 750 watt motors, reasonable speeds, but could snake across the arena floor out of control!"
- — Jonathan Pearce sums up Constrictor
It was a low profile robot that could produce decent speeds, which made it hard to control at times, and was armed with an innovative 10-bar pneumatic flipper that doubled as a crusher. The robot was armoured in 10mm Grade 500 high-density polyethelene with 3mm aluminium on the top, making Constrictor one of the first Robot Wars competitors to use the nowadays popular HDPE armour. The weapon could self-right, but the robot was fully invertible as well. The robot's drive system used 6.25:1 chain reduction.
- Jayne Middlemiss: "You don't need a srimech, because it goes on both sides?"
- Dominic Rott: "We have both! It'll run both ways up and it'll self-right!"
- Jayne Middlemiss: "Ooh, check you out! Look at you "flish-flash-flosh"! That's brilliant!"
- — Pre-battle interview
The robot was originally going to have a hydraulic grabbing/lifting claw, and would also have used a four-wheel drive system, but both ideas were scrapped due to weight constraints.
The name Constrictor is a reference to the boa constrictor, a non-venomous snake which attempts to squeeze the life out of its prey, much like the robot Constrictor could do by lowering its weapon onto opponents.
Constrictor was originally intended to enter Series 6, but was not finished in time for the qualifiers.
- "I switched everything on and then turned on the gas, you could hear the system pressurise and then "BANG!!!!" Several things flew off and CO2 was leaking everywhere. It appeared two of the pipes had come out of the push fit connectors so I pushed them back in but the same thing happened; I wasn't given any more time to fix it so I had to enter the arena without a weapon. Driving wasn't much of a problem and we had no interference problems but the whole robot was rather twitchy as we removed the gyro because we didn't know how it would react if it got flipped."
- — The Constrictor website
In the battle, Brutus Maximus used a net to immobilise Mean Streak, and because these weapons are not allowed, Mean Streak won the battle by default. However, Constrictor and Brutus Maximus received discretionary places to qualify.
- "...we did our best to avoid the opponents weapons and rammed into everyone else to score points with the judges. Again, luck seemed to be on our side - Brutus Maximus the wooden robot threw a net over mean streak which messed up its drive and Retirebot made the mistake of using relays for their electric lifter which must have shorted out and caused a small explosion (probably their NiCad batteries) after a few more hits there wasn't much left of Brutus Maximus and we where the only team still mobile at the end of the fight. ... Unfortunately Brutus Maximus used a banned weapon (the net) so Mean Streak won by default even though we were the only one still working at the end. ... When we got home it was rather depressing as it seemed unlikely they were going to call us back so I started working on the featherweight to try and finish it in time for the televised featherweight competition on Friday. Around mid day on Sunday I was relaxing in the garden when I got a phone call from Mentorn and amazingly they did want us to come back for the filming in the main competition."
- — Constrictor website on the qualifier battle.
Constrictor's first attack was a drive into Killer Carrot 2, before it failed to get purchase on its opponent while raising its weapon - knocking the protective panel from its own weapon backwards. Constrictor continued to tussle with Killer Carrot 2 and slid under the front of its opponent, forcing its front upwards. Killer Carrot 2 then clamped down onto the top of Constrictor with its flipper and pushed it backwards, with Constrictor's protective panel falling off as Scarey-Go-Round bumped into it. Constrictor made its way over to Scarey-Go-Round, but moved away after failing to get into position to lift it. Killer Carrot 2 engaged with Constrictor again as it forced it backwards with a strong ram before attempting in vain overturn Constrictor with a flip.
- "Side by side, the two worthy machines."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Constrictor and Killer Carrot 2 continue their scuffle
All four robots then met in the centre of the arena where Constrictor came in with a couple of tentative nudges, before driving into Fluffy, which was showing little signs of mobility. Suddenly, Constrictor found itself perilously close to the pit, which Killer Carrot 2 had just descended. With time ticking down, Constrictor and Killer Carrot 2 continued to jostle with one another, before cease was called. The battle ended with no robot counted out or officially eliminated, but the judges decided that Constrictor and Killer Carrot 2 had done enough to progress to the second round.
Constrictor started by unsuccessfully trying to flick Tsunami up with its weapon before driving up onto Tsunami's front. The German machine threw Constrictor over - an attack which saw Constrictor's middle panel on top of it flop backwards. Constrictor flicked itself back over but failed with another lift of its weapon. Tsunami then came in with a strong side-on flip, sending Constrictor spiralling through the air once more and removing its top panel for a second battle in a row.
- "Constrictor bouncing - panel comes flying off. Vulnerable... weak... defenceless."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tsunami continues its assault on Constrictor
Constrictor pressed itself upwards in an attempt to get itself the right way up again, but after multiple failed attempts to do so, Tsunami came in and lined up another attack, before driving Constrictor across the arena floor and hurling Constrictor out of the arena, eliminating it from the competition.
|CONSTRICTOR - RESULTS|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat F, Round 1||vs. Fluffy, Killer Carrot 2, Scarey-Go-Round||Qualified|
|Heat F, Round 2||vs. Tsunami||Lost|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 1
|Series||Constrictor Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Entered with Rottweiler|
|The Third Wars||Failed to qualify with Rottweiler 2|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
Outside Robot Wars
Constrictor also entered the Techno Games Football Tournament, pairing up with Hellbent to form The Skeleton Crew. They beat the 2002 silver medallists Team Snow Kat 2-1 in the first round but lost 2-0 to Make Robotics in the quarter-finals.
The team also built a featherweight robot called Flip, which fought at various live events.
- Constrictor's link cover was believed to have been stolen by the House Robots' operators, as the "Killalot kiss my bot" sticker on the link cover disappeared without a trace when Constrictor was returned to the Pits.
- Having not entered four wars and two series of Extreme since Rottweiler's appearance in Series 2, Team UK Robotics held the record for the longest gap between appearances on Robot Wars. The General was absent for an equal number of series, holding the record for longest absence due to its most recent appearance being in 2016.
- Team UK Robotics had the longest absence of Robot Wars' original run.
- Team UK Robotics website (archived) - Construction of Constrictor
- Team UK Robotics website (archived) - Constrictor in Series 7
- Team UK Robotics website (archived) - Construction of Flip