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

Corkscrew was an Scottish machine that fought in three wars and a series of Extreme of Robot Wars. It was designed to look like a corkscrew stuck into a cork, with a pair of rotating blades at its base made from a lorry wheel with tank-time steering. The cork acted as a direction indicator for the team (the green end pointed forwards and the red end pointed back), it remained static while the entire body spun. The original version was built with a makita engine driving the weapon. Corkscrew's début fight was at the Glasgow SEC Live Tour. Corkscrew fought with no weapon, as Robot Wars was too scared to let the team use the weapon. Regardless, it managed to win all three fights.

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. However, the new robot was so close to the weight limit that even the Scottish kilt worn by the original pushed it over the weight limit. In the qualifiers, Corkscrew ran into the side wall and caused several of its teeth to stick in the polycarbonate. It took 4 men 20 minutes to free Corkscrew, but it still qualified.

"I think that showed that it was up to the job."
— John Heatlie

For Series 7, it was rebuilt as an invertible, four-wheel driven, disc-shaped robot, named Corkscrew Two. This robot featured a steel 1000RPM spinning outer rim, but it stopped spinning after little usage, and was flipped out of the arena in its only battle. The cork was removed and replaced with a large capital C, stylised like an arrow, to indicate the direction Corkscrew Two was facing.

"The blade goes so fast, it looks like it's stopped."
— John Heatlie

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 robots, 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 at top speed of 20 mph.

Robot History

Series 5


Series 5 appearance

Corkscrew's first battle was against a fellow spinner and newcomer 13 Black. It spun up its blades, but was momentarily abated by hitting Refbot. Corkscrew spun up again and hit 13 Black broadside before retreating towards the arena wall. 13 Black struck Corkscrew, but it appeared unharmed. The two continued to collide, not making much of an impact on each other, until one hard hit jammed up one of 13 Black's discs. After another hit, Corkscrew's blade became impaled in 13 Black's body. On a close decision, the judges ruled in favour of Corkscrew. The two machines couldn't be separated, even with Refbot and Shunt's help, so the match was halted and judged up to that point. In Round 2, Corkscrew faced the seeded X-Terminator. Corkscrew's weapon motor had cut out, leaving the robot weaponless and forced to resort to ramming, X-Terminator struck it a few times in the beginning, not doing any damage except to the decorative cork handle. Corkscrew found its bearings, and began ramming X-Terminator violently until it lost drive on one side. It remained partially mobile, so the match went to another hard-to-call decision, which was again in favour of Corkscrew. 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. While trying to launch an attack, Corkscrew trapped itself in a CPZ where it was momentarily held up by Shunt and Sir Killalot. After pressing the pit release, Corkscrew lined up another charge and rode up Dominator's wedge, allowing Dominator to tip it over, immobilizing 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 then pushed onto the flame pit which caused its petrol engine to catch fire, the skirt feeding the flames. Cease was called as Refbot put out the fire.

Series 6


Series 6 appearance

"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[1]

Corkscrew started off very aggressively in its first round melee, ripping a side panel from Panic Attack, and smashing off one of Kronic 2's wheel guards, freeing it from R.O.C.S in the process. Kronic 2 went for the pit release button, and Corkscrew continued to assault it. One attack caused Corkscrew to ricochet off Kronic 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 alongside R.O.C.S.

"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
Corkscrew attacks Kronic

Corkscrew tears Kronic's wheel guard off.

After the battle, John Heatlie requested to see the tapes of the match, as he believe 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 30-second delay between the button press and the pit's descent.

Corkscrew also competed in the UK vs Germany special at the end of the Sixth Wars. This competition was also broadcast during German Robot Wars. In the first round, Corkscrew was beaten rather quickly by another spinner, Fluffy. After both machines got their weapons spinning, they came into contact and Corkscrew's weaponry stopped. It became immobilised soon after. After being counted out, the Scottish machine was tossed by the arena floor flipper and out of the special competition.

Extreme 2


Corkscrew at the filming of Extreme Series 2

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

Corkscrew represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Carnage event in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme. It stayed away from the action early in round one, attempting to get up to spinning speed. It drove near the pit immediately before slamming into Bondi Titch. Another devastating blow ripped off a side panel from Bondi Titch. Firestorm 4 flipped both Weld-Dor 3 and Bondi Titch out of the arena before Corkscrew caused serious damage to Matilda's front end. In round two, it was unable to cause damage to South Africa's Crushtacean before the crab-like machine drove both robots into the pit. The judges ruled that Corkscrew had gone in first, so it was eliminated.

Series 7

Corkscrew, now known as Corkscrew Two, featured a brand new weapon- a spinning disc. Sadly, the team never got to demonstrate the new weapon, as the spin motor burned out before filming.

JudgeShred OotA

The moment Corkscrew 2 is flipped out of the arena.

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

Left with no means of offence or defence, Corkscrew Two could do little more than evade in its opening round. It was only a matter of time before Judge Shred backed it into a wall and flipped it out of the arena, causing Corkscrew to go out along with Demolition Man.


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, R.O.C.S., Panic Attack (8) 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. Weld-Dor 3 (NIR), Bondi Titch (AUS), Firestorm 4 (ENG) Qualified
Round 2 vs. Crushtacean (RSA) Lost
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat L, Round 1 vs. Mute, Judge Shred 3, Demolition Man Eliminated
  • Corkscrew at the Robot Rumble 2003
  • Corkscrew Two without its top
  • Corkscrew 2 as Hammertime
  • Corkscrew in 2013


  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 5

Series Record

  • Series 1-4: Did not enter
  • Series 5: Heat Final
  • Series 6: Heat, Round 1
  • Series 7: Heat, Round 1

Outside Robot Wars

The original Corkscrew robot fought in several live events during Robot Wars' run, such as the Robot Rumble in 2003.

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 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 Scorpion (now named Titan), meaning Corkscrew is now a circular rambot.

John Heatlie still owns the original version of Corkscrew and plans on rebuilding it one day.


On Corkscrew's début in Robot Wars, John Heatlie said he promised he would build a robot if his sons raised enough money, which they did by washing cars.


Team Corkscrew website


  1. 13 Black website
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