Robot Wars Wiki

"The robot I have built will be one of, if not the most destructive robot to grace the world of Robot Wars. It was conceived after the last series and after seeing the power of spinning disks."
— Team Corkscrew website (edited)

Corkscrew was a Scottish machine that fought in Series 5-7 of Robot Wars, and the second series of Extreme. Primarily designed to look like its namesake, the robot was most well-known for its high powered full body spinner and trademark corkscrew bobble head, which indicated to the driver which way Corkscrew was facing.

The best performance of Corkscrew was its debut performance, where it defeated 13 Black and the seeded X-Terminator, before losing in the Heat Final to Dominator 2. Corkscrew's most powerful version was its second iteration, but it was unable to capitalise on this after driving into the pit in Series 6 and being defeated by Fluffy and Crushtacean.

Corkscrew was later redesigned as a flat, invertible disc shaped robot named Corkscrew Two. This version lost in the first round of Series 7 to Judge Shred 3 and Mute.

Versions of Corkscrew[]

"The robot is built from a wheel and rotates at 1400rpm giving it quite a punch. Powered by 3 Bosch 750 watt motors one for spinning and two for drive. It uses 1 motor controller and has tank like steering to give stability and torque reaction. For the wheel we introduced a giro to give better response. Ground clearance is adjustable from 0 to 40 mm to give better performance on different conditions."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website[1] (edited)

Corkscrew (Series 5)[]

Series 5 appearance

The original Corkscrew was designed to look like a corkscrew stuck into a cork, made from a lorry wheel with tank-type steering, and two spinning blades on the sides (one at the lorry wheel's base, one at its top). The cork acted as a direction indicator for the team (the green end pointed forwards and the red end pointed back), and remained static while the entire body spun. The original version was built with a Makita engine driving the weapon and featured a Scottish kilt draped around its body. It took 6 months to build, in the team's garage and kitchen table.

Corkscrew (Series 6, Extreme 2)[]

"A completely revolving body with six big blades"
Jonathan Pearce in Series 6

Corkscrew in the arena during Series 6

Corkscrew in the UK vs Germany Special

Corkscrew was upgraded in Series 6 to a spinning weapon with three pairs of blades each mounted at a different height, to deal with a variety of weapons including flippers. (The blades were also symmetrical, unlike the Series 5 version of Corkscrew.)

"One for flippers, one for spinners, and one for things that miss the whole lot of them."
— John Heatlie shows Philippa Forrester the blades

The cylindrical section of the body between the cork and the lorry wheel was also removed. However, the new robot was so close to the weight limit that even the kilt pushed it over the edge, forcing it to be removed. The robot traded in its green paintjob for a blue overcoat that sported white teeth and also a St Andrews cross on the other side. In Extreme 2, the blue paintjob was lighter and the white teeth and St Andrews cross were replaced with the robots name written in red paint as well as a red slogan reading '360° Killing Zone'.

Corkscrew in the arena during Extreme 2

Despite the comical appearance of Corkscrew, it was incredibly potent, with a 360 degree killing radius. It was one of the most feared robots among roboteers, due to the damage inflicted on 13 Black, Kronic 2, Panic Attack and Bondi Titch. Despite its lethal capabilities, it suffered from poor manoeuvrability and was difficult to control with a top speed of 20 mph.

Corkscrew Two (Series 7)[]

"The blade goes so fast, it looks like it's stopped. So, you'll have to watch out for that one."
— John Heatlie

Corkscrew Two after Series 7

For Series 7, it was completely rebuilt as an invertible, disc-shaped robot, named Corkscrew Two, stylised as Corkscrew II on the robot's top armour. One wheel was placed on the left, right, front and back of the robot, but all faced in one direction for a four-wheel drive.

Corkscrew Two without its top

"It has new 4 wheel drive and new body spinner flipper combination, new blades and new anti-flip mechanism. Ground clearance will be - 0. Spin speed will be up from 900 to 1400rpm, disk weight 44kg. Top speed will be 20 mph but a lot more controllable with new drive and giro combination. Batteries will be upgraded to supply new weapons drive motor. ... The new drive on Corkscrew replaces the two wheel drive we have used to date as it will give more push and more control, with the chassis remaining level it is easier to reduce ground clearance to stop those nasty flippers."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website[2] (edited)

Official Series 7 photo

This robot retained its high top speed of 20mph, and featured a thin steel outer rim for a weapon, which spun at up to 1000rpm, but it stopped spinning after little usage, and the robot was flipped out of the arena in its only battle. The cork was replaced with a large capital C, stylised like an arrow, once again to indicate the direction it was facing.

"As well as lowering the ground clearance, the fitting of a skirt (Yes not a kilt) in the form of nylon bristles to run along the ground will help us clean up nicely. The improvements we are making will help Corkscrew."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

The Team[]

"John Heatlie promised his boys he'd build a robot for them if they raised the money - they did, by washing cars!"
— Jonathan Pearce in Series 5

Team Corkscrew in Series 5

In all their appearances, Team Corkscrew consisted of John Heatlie, a builder from Selkirk in the Scottish Borders and his two sons, Lewis and Laurence. John was the team captain, Laurence was the weapons operator and Lewis the driver[3], though he did hand the controls over to John at difficult times during the battles.[4]

"The team is made up from members of my family, the kids love Robot Wars and convinced me that we could beet all comers ! I told them it may not be that easy. They help with the building and the testing"
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website[5] (edited)

The team always dressed in smart suits with kilts.

Jayne Middlemiss: "Now we don't often get smart people, very very smart! Look at you, aren't you worried about those costumes?"
John Heatlie: "No, of course we're not, we have to make the effort!"
— The interview prior to discussing Corkscrew Two's broken spinner


Corkscrew debuted at the Glasgow NEC live event in July 2001, attempting to qualify for Series 5. Corkscrew fought with no weapon, as the production crew were too afraid to let the team use the weapon. Its first fight was against Sub-Version, which it won.

"As we all climbed up to to booths the nerves were, well I can't even describe them, I was nervous more for the boys than for myself but we were soon in the booth and the audience were screaming and it seemed to be OK. The Voice came from the dark (3-2-1-activate) and all the nerves came back with vengeance. The fight went very quickly with Corkscrew doing all the work and stopping Sub-Version's disk with one hit, cease was called to a great sigh of relief. Well that wasn't too bad, our first win."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website[6] (edited)

Corkscrew's second qualifier battle was Hippobotomus, which it also won.

"...we just took it to pieces, a few well placed hits and it was plastic everywhere. Easy win, but a win."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website

Corkscrew's third and final fight was against The Spider, which it lost, despite bending The Spider's weapon at the start of the fight.

"We drove straight it the weapon and bent it, fight over we thought, but he had other plans and gave us a good old kick round the arena. Spider won but I think it would have went to us on damage."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

In the qualifiers for Series 6, Corkscrew ran into the side wall and caused several of its teeth to stick in the polycarbonate. It took four men 20 minutes to free Corkscrew, but it still qualified. Corkscrew Two qualified for Series 7 under currently unknown circumstances.

Robot History[]

Series 5[]

"...we hope to win Robot Wars!"
— John Heatlie's ambition, in the team's introduction

Corkscrew's first round battle was against a fellow horizontal spinner newcomer, 13 Black.

"A double spinning disk robot, well built from Kevlar and looked as if it could do some damage. Pre-match nerves and a good helping of banter from both sides made this fight a real test of character. After some technical problems on both sides we soon started for real."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website[7] (edited)

The two heavy spinners, before a collision

Corkscrew started by dodging 13 Black as its opponent charged at it. Corkscrew started getting the spinner up to speed, but drove into Refbot, causing the spinner to stop. Corkscrew stayed still to get the spinner up to speed, and 13 Black hit it a couple of times, but this merely slowed the spinner for a moment. 13 Black charged back at Corkscrew as it tried to get up to full spinning speed, and Corkscrew dodged it, but drove into Refbot again, causing the spinner to stop. 13 Black drove away for another charge, but drove into Shunt, which was out of his CPZ. Corkscrew charged at it, but the spinner did no damage as it did not have time to get up to full speed before Corkscrew charged.

"...with us running the weapon for the first time we had decided to run the weapon on low engine throttle until we could see how it worked, with the body spinning up very slowly it wasn't that impressive but soon we hit 13 black. No damage, well we were surprised but let's try again, no damage again."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

13 Black drove off, then charged at Corkscrew, but Corkscrew merely bounced lightly off, and 13 Black drove into an arena wall. Corkscrew was by Shunt's CPZ, and hit the House Robot, before quickly moving away, as 13 Black chased after it. 13 Black drove into Shunt, but got away before Shunt could hit it with the axe. Corkscrew got its spinner up to speed, and 13 Black reversed away. Corkscrew drove after it, but 13 Black drove past it, and Corkscrew only managed a glancing blow which did no damage.

"Its all mad, whirling and twirling out there, a Highland fling from Corkscrew!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Shunt attempts to separate Corkscrew and 13 Black

As Corkscrew stood in the middle of the arena with its spinner at full throttle, 13 Black charged at it, but was knocked away on impact. 13 Black cautiously approached Corkscrew again, but despite hitting it with the spinning disc, did not manage to stop the spinner. 13 Black drove off for another charge and turned around, but drove into the arena wall. The two competitors charged at each other, and 13 Black came off second-best, being knocked aside. One of the discs stopped after this impact. As 13 Black drove at Corkscrew again, one of Corkscrew's blades became impaled in 13 Black's body.

"Now for me, whilst 13 Black has looked on the surface the more aggressive, I think Corkscrew has been the more controlled here."
— Jonathan Pearce

The two machines couldn't be separated, even with help from Refbot and Shunt, so the match was halted and judged up to that point. On a close decision, the judges ruled in favour of Corkscrew.

"Craig Charles gave the judges' decision and it went to Corkscrew, yeeeeeee. Craig said it was controversial but I think it was correct, damage is the highest point scoring and we did not suffer any. I must admit I would not have been too upset if it had went either way, 13 Black was very good and I am sure they would have done better if they had came up against some other robot in their first fight."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

In Round 2, Corkscrew faced the 14th seeds X-Terminator. Corkscrew's weapon motor had cut out, leaving the robot weaponless and forced to resort to ramming. The two robots charged straight at each other as the battle started, and Corkscrew nearly tipped forwards on impact.

"First attack went to X-Terminator after driving straight into us but unknown to them was that the weapon on Corkscrew was not working, the engine that drives it had stalled and we were fighting without weapons, so Lewis gave the control of Corkscrew to me."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

Corkscrew and X-Terminator do battle

X-Terminator rammed Corkscrew into an angle grinder, but Corkscrew managed to push back. X-Terminator fired the axe, but it merely bounced off the top decoration of Corkscrew, lifting X-Terminator up. Corkscrew reversed, and X-Terminator drove at it, but Corkscrew bounced off, undamaged. X-Terminator fired the axe again, which became caught in the top decoration. X-Terminator tried pulling Corkscrew back, but the axe quickly slid out of the corkscrew. X-Terminator got the front scoop under Corkscrew and fired the axe again, but the axe head missed. Corkscrew drove to the other side of the arena, then drove at X-Terminator, pushing it back. X-Terminator fired the axe, but missed again. Corkscrew drove to the other side of the arena, but X-Terminator appeared to have stopped.

"...the drive on X-Terminator jammed and the fight was for the taking, so we did, showing both better control and aggression. The judges had to make another decision but we got it again."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

After Corkscrew rammed into it, X-Terminator started moving again, but only moved forwards a little, before reversing over the flame pit. Corkscrew charged at its opponent, but missed and drove into the wall. X-Terminator pinned it against an angle grinder, but Corkscrew pushed back, and X-Terminator reversed, allowing Corkscrew to escape. Corkscrew drove to the top of the arena, and X-Terminator slowly tried to follow it. Corkscrew charged at X-Terminator, but as it hit X-Terminator, the axe hit the corkscrew, knocking a part off, and Corkscrew nearly tipped forwards again. Corkscrew reversed, and drove back at X-Terminator, which missed an axe blow. Corkscrew drove away, into Shunt, but its axed failed to pierce the top, and Corkscrew quickly drove away. X-Terminator was still moving sluggishly, and Corkscrew charged at it again. However, Corkscrew then reversed into Shunt. Shunt's axe did no damage, and Corkscrew escaped again.

Corkscrew rams the limping X-Terminator

"A brave-hearted display by the Corkscrew team! ... Corkscrew, still in there fighting. What an unlikely machine, to be honest, to reach thus far, let alone with a chance of reaching the Heat Final, I think they've got a great chance!"
— Jonathan Pearce

X-Terminator was only slightly moving, and Shunt began axing it, lifted it up with the scoop, then pushed it onto the flame pit. The match went to another judges' decision, which was ruled for the second successive time in favour of Corkscrew.

" do court controversy, don't you? I thought it was a controversial decision for you to beat 13 Black, for a start, and then, you get into this contest, and you don't spin at all!"
— Craig Charles

In the Heat Final, Corkscrew faced another seeded axe wielder in Dominator 2. Its weapon still wasn't working so it relied on ramming again.

"The fight was about to start when Lewis said "Dad the engine has stopped"! We had re-built the engine overnight but had no time to test it and this was to prove our downfall."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

Dominator 2 tips Corkscrew over

Corkscrew tried to avoid its opponent at the start, with Dominator 2 charging at it straight away. Dominator 2 caught up with it, but missed an axe blow, and Corkscrew got away. It dodged Dominator 2 for a time, but drove into a CPZ, where Dominator 2 was able to corner it. The House Robots came in, with Dominator 2 slipping out of the CPZ, and trapped Corkscrew, until Corkscrew managed to get at Sir Killalot's side, and escaped as Sir Killalot turned around. Corkscrew drove up the arena away from Dominator 2, which followed it, but missed an axe blow. Corkscrew continued to dodge the seeded robot, driving down, then up, then back down the arena.

"Well, it's cat-and-mouse, catch me if you can! Corkscrew, off and away. Some might say this is just running away for safety! Others might say it's a tactical ruse, a ploy..."
— Jonathan Pearce

Corkscrew is counted out by Refbot

Corkscrew catches fire

Eventually, Dominator 2 caught Corkscrew, but strangely, did not fire the axe and reversed. Corkscrew opened the pit, and pushed against Dominator 2's side, then drove up the arena. Dominator 2 followed it, and Corkscrew lined up another charge and rode up Dominator 2's wedge, allowing Dominator 2 to tip it onto its side, immobilising it. Sir Killalot loosened the top armour on Corkscrew before it was tossed by the floor flipper, landing hard and splitting the decorative cork. Corkscrew was pushed onto the flame pit which caused its petrol engine to catch fire, the kilt feeding the flames. Cease was called as Refbot put out the fire.

"Well, now we know what's under a Scotsman's kilt, don't we? A petrol engine!"
— Craig Charles to Team Corkscrew after the battle

Series 6[]

"We...eventually met up again with John Heatlie and his sons with `Corkscrew`. When he showed us a home video of Corkscrew attacking a water cooler, I was just glad we hadn't had our qualifying match against that robot instead."
— The 13 Black team[8]

In Series 6, Corkscrew fought three other veterans- the eighth seed and Series 2 champion Panic Attack, R.O.C.S., and Kronic 2 in the first round of Heat I.

Corkscrew tears Kronic 2's wheel guard off

Corkscrew started off by staying out of the action as Panic Attack lifted up Kronic 2 and R.O.C.S. crushed the top of Kronic 2. However, when the spinner was up to speed, Corkscrew slammed into the rear of Panic Attack, ripping off the back skirt. Corkscrew paused for a moment, then drove into the side of Kronic 2, ripping off one of the wheel guards, freeing it from the grip of R.O.C.S. in the process.

"Lewis drove straight into the side of Panic Attack, the complete side and half the front of Panic Attack was ripped off and flew through the air into the arena barrier. I was standing there in shock at the amount of damage when Lewis drove straight into Kronic, launching it through the air and ripping off its wheel cover and gashing a hole in its side."
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website[9] (edited)

Corkscrew's unlucky exit

Kronic 2 drove after Corkscrew as it tried to get up to top speed again, then opened the pit. Corkscrew hit the front of Kronic 2, but this caused it to bounce off and land on top of the pit just as it was descending. Corkscrew could not escape in time to save itself, so it was eliminated. The other three fought on, until R.O.C.S. was eliminated as well.

"Down goes the pit...and Corkscrew goes with it! Oh, what an end to a machine that had started brilliantly!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Corkscrew makes a premature exit

After the battle, John Heatlie requested to see the tapes of the match, as he believed that the pit had descended without the button being depressed. The crew complied, and the tapes confirmed that Kronic 2 had indeed pressed the release button, albeit with a thirty second delay between the button press and the pit's descent.

"John, Lewis, Laurence Heatlie, you wanted to see it, there you are! Kronic 2 quite clearly presses the pit release, and you fell for it! Bye bye."
— Jonathan Pearce

Corkscrew also competed in the UK vs Germany special at the end of the Sixth Wars, which was also broadcast during German Robot Wars. In its first round battle, it faced a fellow horizontal spinner from the United Kingdom, Fluffy.

"Watch this whirl!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Corkscrew enters the arena

Fluffy knocks out Corkscrew's weapon

Both machines initially held back to get their weapons up to full speed. As Corkscrew slowly moved forwards, Fluffy charged at it, but bounced off, with Corkscrew still spinning. Fluffy turned and drove away to get its blade spinning, and when Fluffy chased after Corkscrew again, Corkscrew backed away, giving Fluffy some light glancing blows on the sides. Fluffy would not be deterred, driving into Corkscrew, knocking Corkscrew into the wall. Corkscrew stopped for a moment, and when it moved again, Fluffy slammed into it, sending both robots spinning. Corkscrew was by the CPZ, and whilst Fluffy moved away, Corkscrew had stopped.

"Fluffy hit us again and the weapon stopped. The Fluffy weapon had put a dent into the side of Corkscrew and the force of the impact had broken the drive motor for the weapon off. We had no weapon"
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website[10]

Corkscrew having been hurled by the floor flipper

Growler rammed Corkscrew into the wall, and it bounced off. Fluffy knocked it into the pit release, and Corkscrew was still not moving. Fluffy left it to be counted out by Refbot. Then, Sgt. Bash and Growler pulled it away and the latter carried it across the arena. Corkscrew was placed on the arena floor flipper and hurled away, revealing a "no pants" slogan painted underneath.

"So that's what's under the kilt! Don't worry, you won't be seeing close-ups, only close-ups of the right sort here, the tasteful close-ups, of a machine about to be mercilessly pounded into the pit."
— Jonathan Pearce

Corkscrew is pitted by Growler

Growler seized it and dumped it into the pit, eliminating it from the competition. Corkscrew was therefore eliminated at the first hurdle for the second time.

"Lewis gave the control of Corkscrew to me I changed the control over to high speed and set off for the pit button, hitting the wall at full speed. BANG Nothing no weapon and no drive, the robot seemed to have lost all power. Fluffy came at us again but it was all over for Corkscrew, well beaten by a better robot Fluffy. ... After we came home I set about trying to see what went wrong. Fluffy had managed to snap 4x12mm bolts that hold the blade on and the dent in the body was straight through 15mm alloy. The damage to the power supply was two fold with the drive motor broken from its mounting and one of the batteries had failed. The mounting of the batteries had one of them in line with the direction of travel and the impact of us hitting the arena side wall at full speed had twisted all the plates inside and had effectively shorted out the power. Well I have since rebuilt the drive motor and replaced the centre weapon mounting system and also re-mounted the batteries so that a total battery failure should not happen again. Well that was it, get ready for Extreme and hope we get some luck"
— John Heatlie on the Corkscrew website (edited)

Extreme 2[]

John Heatlie: "Well, they write songs about things in Scotland. Whether we win, or whether we lose, there'll be a song about it!"
Philippa Forrester: "You reckon?"
John Heatlie: "We're not going to be singing it, but there will be a song."
Philippa Forrester: "It'll go along the lines of "Pit, pit!"!"
— Pre-Round 1 interview

Corkscrew represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Carnage event in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme. Throughout the episode, Philippa Forrester joked about Corkscrew's history of going down the pit, claiming they "usually just throw themselves into the pit", despite this only happening once. In Round 1, it was drawn against Australian representative and stock robot Bondi Titch, Firestorm 4 from England, and the Northern Irish representative Weld-Dor 3.

"Linked up with G-Bone [Graham Bone] from Firestorm to kick ass and gave Matilda a slap for good measure"
— John Heatlie[11]

Corkscrew's damage to Bondi Titch

Corkscrew stayed away from the action early, attempting to get up to spinning speed. After Firestorm 4 flipped Weld-Dor 3 over, it slammed into its wheel as it tried to right itself. As Weld-Dor 3 self-righted, Corkscrew drove after it, but reversed away as Firestorm 4 got under it again and flipped it over. Off-screen, Corkscrew delivered a big hit to the wheel of Weld-Dor 3 which bent the robot's chassis and caused it to vent CO2, preventing it from self-righting.[12] Weld-Dor 3 did not self-right, and Corkscrew hit it again, sending it spinning. After this, it stopped spinning, so stayed away from its opponents as Firestorm 4 flipped Weld-Dor 3 out of the arena, and flipped Bondi Titch against the side wall. Once the spinner was up to speed, Corkscrew sped down the arena, driving close to the pit. It briefly paused to maintain control by the pit, before slamming into Bondi Titch to cause damage. Bondi Titch was knocked away from the wall, close to Matilda's CPZ, but Bondi Titch did not move away, and Corkscrew slammed into it again, ripping off one of the back panels.

"...great power as they attack Bondi Titch, ripping off a side panel!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Corkscrew shreds Matilda

Firestorm 4 flipped Bondi Titch onto the side wall, then pushed it into the corner. It tried to flip Bondi Titch over the fence, but could not lift it high enough. Corkscrew waited outside the CPZ, not spinning, whilst this was happening. Firestorm 4 moved out of the CPZ as Mr. Psycho came in, trapping Bondi Titch in the CPZ and hammering it. Bondi Titch did manage to drive around Mr. Psycho and escape, but it reversed onto Firestorm 4, which pushed it into the arena wall and flipped it over the fence. With Corkscrew through with Firestorm 4, Corkscrew drove into Matilda, ripping off a part of its front.

"Massive power in those blades! Look at the damage done to Matilda! They've hardly made a silk purse out of a sows ear!"
— Jonathan Pearce

In round two, it was drawn up against South African representative Crushtacean.

"It fits beautifully, we measured it up!"
— Ian Visser comments on how Corkscrew fits perfectly in its claws

Corkscrew is caught by Crushtacean

Crushtacean charged at Corkscrew as it got its spinner up to speed, but missed. As Crushtacean tried to line up another charge, Corkscrew slammed into it, knocking it away. However, Crushtacean recovered quickly, and as Corkscrew tried to get its spinner up to speed, Crushtacean rammed it into the side wall, and grabbed the top blades with its claws, fulfilling the pre-match prophecy that Corkscrew would 'fit perfectly' in the claws of Crushtacean.

"Now this would be something of an upset, if South Africa were to win this."
— Jonathan Pearce

Crushtacean pits Corkscrew

Crushtacean pulled Corkscrew back, turned it around, and began trying to push it towards the pit release button. However, Corkscrew was able to push back, slamming Crushtacean into the arena wall, then pulling Crushtacean back as it tried to reversed into the pit release button.

"Who's doing the pushing, who's doing the dragging? Crushtacean, one hundred kilos, just the heavier, Corkscrew very much the faster."
— Jonathan Pearce

After much pushing and pulling, Crushtacean was able to reverse into the pit release button. The top "handle" on Corkscrew fell off as Crushtacean began to push. Despite Corkscrews attempts to push back, Crushtacean managed to push Corkscrew into the pit. Crustacean had toppled into the pit itself as well, being pushed fully in by Growler. The judges ruled that Corkscrew had gone in first, so it was eliminated.

"Once they had got us in their claws, there was no stopping that pushing us down the pit!"
— Lewis Heatlie

Series 7[]

Corkscrew, now known as Corkscrew Two, returned for Series 7 with a completely redesigned robot sporting a rim spinner. However, the team never got to demonstrate the new weapon, as the spin motor burned out before filming. In its first-round battle, Corkscrew Two was drawn against New Blood Championship runner-up Mute, the experienced Judge Shred 3, and the redesigned Demolition Man.

Corkscrew Two is thrown over by Judge Shred 3

Left with no means of attack or defence, Corkscrew Two could do little more than evade, which it did by avoiding Mute as it charged at Demolition Man. Near the floor flipper, Corkscrew Two seemed to halt, so Judge Shred 3 flipped it over and Mute drove straight under it, allowing Corkscrew Two to drive more freely when inverted, although it merely bumped into the angle grinder and then the opposite arena wall.

"That blade is moving so fast it does seem to, stopped. It isn't spinning, is it?"
— Jonathan Pearce realises something isn't right

Corkscrew Two is flipped out of the arena

Corkscrew Two sits out of the arena

Judge Shred 3 tossed it over again, so Corkscrew Two drove towards Refbot in its evasion. Mute used its flipper to turn Corkscrew Two over, and then Judge Shred threw it back over. While Judge Shred 3 and Mute left Corkscrew Two alone to flip the immobile Demolition Man, Corkscrew Two drove away, but drove into a CPZ, where it was cornered by Dead Metal. Although it escaped without trouble, Mute moved away from Demolition Man, which was now being counted out, to chase Corkscrew Two near the arena wall. There, Judge Shred 3 flipped Corkscrew Two over the arena wall, eliminating it in the first round for a third time. Corkscrew Two was later joined by Demolition Man, who was pitted.

"...Corkscrew Two were bottled up and binned!"
— Jonathan Pearce


Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat F, Eliminator vs. 13 Black Won
Heat F, Semi-Final vs. X-Terminator (14) Won
Heat F, Final vs. Dominator 2 (11) Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat I, Round 1 vs. Kronic 2, Panic Attack (8), R.O.C.S. Eliminated
UK vs Germany Special
Representing UK, Round 1
NOTE: This competition was also broadcast during German Robot Wars
Round 1 vs. Fluffy (UK) Lost
Extreme Series 2
Commonwealth Carnage
Representing Scotland, Round 2
Round 1 vs. Bondi Titch (AUS), Firestorm 4 (ENG), Weld-Dor 3 (NIR) Qualified
Round 2 vs. Crushtacean (RSA) Lost
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat L, Round 1 vs. Demolition Man, Judge Shred 3, Mute Eliminated


  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 5

Series Record[]

Corkscrew during construction

Main Series Corkscrew Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Heat Final
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 1
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
Series 2 Entered

Outside Robot Wars[]

Corkscrew at Robot Crusade 2003

Corkscrew fights M2 without the use of its weaponry

A small replica of Corkscrew, seen at Robot Crusade 2003

The original Corkscrew robot fought in several live events during Robot Wars' run. It competed at the Roaming Robots Red Nose Day 2003 event, but was barred from using its spinning shell weapon, instead using yellow bars welded onto the shell to use as battering rams. Corkscrew fought other Robot Wars competitors such as M2, Judge Shred 3, S3, Dominator 2, The Stag and Dantomkia, but was not able to win any of its battles.[13][14] Corkscrew then competed at the 2003 Robot Crusade event, losing in its heat to Ripper to drop into a Losers Melee, where it lost again to Mute and was eliminated from the competition.[15] The team then competed the following year at the 2004 Robot Crusade event with Corkscrew Two to much more success, making it to the semi-finals in the heavyweight competition.[16]

Corkscrew Two was entered into the 2006 UK Championships, hosted by Roaming Robots. It was due to participate in Heat F with PulverizeR, Twister and the 10th seeds UFO. However, Corkscrew Two was forced to withdraw due to driving difficulties.

After this, Corkscrew Two was rebuilt as Hammertime, which kept the same circular shape, but had a hammer instead of the spinning body and two wheel drive. In 2009, Hammertime was sold to Team Batter. Hammertime's weapon was removed and is now used by Titan, and the robot went unused until Team Tilly became the owners of the machine, and converted it into their full-body spinner Tilly, which entered the Chinese TV show Clash Bots. Team Tilly had previously attempted to enter Series 10 of Robot Wars with Dizzy Tilly, their original idea for converting Corkscrew Two.

Corkscrew's shell in December 2021

In 2010, John Heatlie still owned the original version of Corkscrew, and planned to rebuild it, but this never came to fruition.[17] In December 2021, John Heatlie put up the shell of the original Corkscrew for sale on eBay,[18] as he stated that he was moving to France and did not have room to store it anywhere.[19] It would sell for £100 to Liam Bryant of Team Bud, who also owns Storm Force.[20]


  • In Series 5, both Stuart McDonald and Jonathan Pearce incorrectly cited Selkirk (where Corkscrew's team were from) as being in Edinburgh.
  • Corkscrew was the only robot to beat 13 Black that never won a heat at some point.
  • Corkscrew's Extreme 2 Commonwealth Carnage battle against Crushtacean marked the first of two occasions in which both Series 5 debutants and Heat Finalists appeared in the same episode, the other being Series 7, Heat L. Coincidentally, both would advance to the Heat Final stage in Series 5 by defeating a lower-seeded robot, before being in turn defeated by the highest-seeded robot of their given heats.
    • They would also lose to a former UK Champion in Series 6 (Panic Attack and Chaos 2 respectively) via self-pitting, before getting flipped out of the arena in their respective first-round battles in Series 7.
  • In both of Corkscrew's two main series appearances, it fought in the same heat as Kronic 2.


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