Robot Wars Wiki

"We wanted a robot that was dynamic, and really put on a show, and would have movement, but wasn't super destructive - we wanted to win by controlling the other robots, so we've gone with a clamp-and-lift weapon."
— Mark Mellors

Deadlock was a heavyweight robot which was selected for entry into Series 10 of Robot Wars. However, it was unable to compete having arrived at the studio unfinished, becoming the last robot to withdraw from the series after encountering issues during pre-battle testing.[1] Deadlock previously applied for Series 9, but was not selected to compete. The robot is now fully functional and an active competitor at live events.


"Deadlock was inspired by animatronic robots, robots that have lots of moving parts, so we really like the lifting robots and the clamp-and-lift, so Big Nipper and Kan-Opener, and we wanted to bring some dynamics to Robot Wars, so that was the inspiration."
— Mark Mellors to Haynes Manuals on the inspiration behind Deadlock[2]

An initial CAD render of Deadlock

Deadlock was a grey, four-wheeled robot with a wedge-like profile, armed with a combined set of lifting forks and clamping claws forming most of its chassis. The bottom forks were designed with three outward-facing prongs, with the whole weapon assembly able to rotate a full 360-degrees to enable self-righting. Deadlock was one of the largest robots ever built for Robot Wars. Prior to assembly, the team created numerous CAD drawings and 3D-printed models of Deadlock to demonstrate the robot's shape, some of which featured a differently-shaped clamp and drive pods with protruding wheelguards which were not present on the finished robot.

The Team[]

"I'm Team Cyberwar, our team is made up of myself, Mark Mellors, I'm the team captain, Robert Karpinski, electronics, and Rob Berwick, mechanics and software."
— Mark Mellors in an interview with Haynes Manuals[3]

Mark Mellors at the filming of Series 10

Team Cyberwar work on Deadlock

Deadlock was entered by Team Cyberwar, newcomers to the sport at the time of Series 10, with Deadlock being their first heavyweight. The team was captained by Mark Mellors, who was joined by teammate Robert Karpinski, who was responsible for the electronics of the robot. Teammate Rob Berwick was the lead team member for mechanics and software.

Robot History[]

Series 10[]

"The trickiest part of building Deadlock was working with suppliers, trying to make complicated high-performance parts that were new, and getting all those new bits to fit together was a real challenge."
— Mark Mellors on the difficulties of building Deadlock[4]

Deadlock was drawn into Heat 5, and would have faced Thor and Expulsion in its Group Battle. Though incomplete by the start of filming, Team Cyberwar were able to get it prepared sufficiently enough to perform tests according to Harry Hills. These revealed severe mobility issues with the robot, forcing Deadlock's withdrawal from the competition and replacement by Coyote.[1]

"The highlight for me of Robot Wars, is being in the pits, the dynamic is just amazing. Seeing the other people, talking about what they've gone through, it's fantastic."
— Mark Mellors reflects on his time at Series 10[5]

Series Record[]

Deadlock under construction

Series Deadlock Series Record
Series 1-7 Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Not selected
Series 10 Withdrew

Outside Robot Wars[]

Following on from Series 10, Deadlock made its robot combat debut in October 2017, where it attended the Robots Live! event in Stevenage. There, it fought a whiteboard battle against Ka-Pow! and The Saint, but was defeated after getting flipped and pitted by the former. Deadlock subsequently appeared at the Extreme Robots event in Gloucester later that month, where it fought The Saint, Thor and newly-crowned FRA UK Champion Manta in a four-way melee.[6]

The internals of Deadlock in 2018

In 2018, Deadlock competed in various live events, first appearing at the Extreme Robots event in Guildford, held in June. However, it lost its head-to-head battle against Point Blank after losing drive on one side. In September, Deadlock earned more success at the Robots Live! event in Stevenage, winning a whiteboard battle against Luna-Tic and Iron-Awe 8 on a judges' decision.

Deadlock in November 2019

For the 2019 live events season, Deadlock received numerous upgrades in order to resolve teething issues discovered during its first years of competition. Upgrades included larger and stronger chains for the lifter mechanism[7], more powerful Freefly ARC200 speed controllers[8] and general improvements to the robot's chassis and armour, including a HARDOX rear panel instead of the original HDPE one.[9] In September, Series 8-10 judge Lucy Rogers joined Team Cyberwar for their appearance at the FRA UK Championship in Stevenage[10], where Deadlock reached the quarter-finals by completing a shock victory over Iron-Awe 5 before being thrown out of the arena by Manta.

Team Cyberwar applied to both the 2019 and 2020 seasons of BattleBots with Deadlock, however their application was unsuccessful on both occasions.[11][12]

In 2021, team member Mark Mellors joined the newly-founded Team Sabotage alongside Simon Harrison, Harry Hills and Jamie McHarg, with the intention of applying for that year's season of BattleBots with Hoodlum.[13] Mellors' role within the team was to provide calculations and CAD simulations for the proposed four-wheel drive undercutter, which would ultimately not be selected to compete that season.[14]

Aside from Deadlock, Team Cyberwar competed at live events with several robots in lighter weight categories. Their featherweights include Come Here And Say That and The UnNamed, while their beetleweights include drum spinner Bourbon and Now You’ve Done It. In 2016, all four robots took part in the Robots Live! event in Stevenage; Come Here And Say That and The UnNamed won a featherweight melee each, while Bourbon and Now You've Done It finished second and fourth in the Beetleweight championship.[15]

Bourbon in the first series of Bugglebots

Bourbon in the second series of Bugglebots

In February 2018, Bourbon took part in the UWE Beetle Brawl, where it finished fifth overall[16]. Bourbon also appeared in the online web-series Bugglebots in the same year, where it immobilised OMG! to progress to the second round. There, it performed strongly against Snappy, hitting and flipping Craig Croucher's machine a few times; however, it was ultimately eliminated after falling into the pit. For the 2019 series of Bugglebots, Bourbon reached the second round by defeating Jay, before losing to Mini Spinny by knockout.


  • The Haynes Manuals video interview which showcased Deadlock at the filming of Series 10 was released prior to the official website being updated with all of the season's competitors. As the interview did not reference Deadlock's withdrawal from the series, it was possible to infer that Deadlock would have competed in a televised episode.


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