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"With licensed stealth technology, so undetectable by enemy radar, …quickest in the field at 40 miles an hour, and also the smallest, at an itsy-bitsy 60cm!"
Jonathan Pearce introduces The Demolisher

Demolisher (also known as The Demolisher in Series 1) was a featherweight robot which took part in the first and second series of Robot Wars. Weighing in at just under 3kg, and with dimensions of only 60cm by 36cm, it was easily the lightest and smallest robot ever to compete in the main UK Championship. Despite this, Demolisher reached the Heat Final in Series 1, losing to Cunning Plan.

The following year, Demolisher then won the Series 2 Featherweight Championship after emerging victorious in a large-scale rumble, although the battle was only partially shown as part of the end-of-series special, The Grudge Matches.

Design[]

The Demolisher in Series 1

Demolisher was based on a radio-controlled car, and featured a welded aluminium shell with a pair of ramming spikes at the rear, and a front-mounted wedge intended to get underneath opponents and topple them over, although this was made more difficult because of its small size. Its shape also allowed it to roll back onto its wheels easily if it was flipped over.

Demolisher in Series 2

Demolisher was also remarkably fast with a reported top speed of 40mph, making it the fastest robot in Series 1 and one of the fastest in the show's history. However, its small size, control issues (to the point that it even comically crashed through the arena railings during its introduction) and the fact it could be overturned fairly easily hampered Demolisher during its only main series appearance.

Qualification[]

Sam Rudgard with The Demolisher

Demolisher qualified for the main competition of Series 1 and the Featherweight Championship of Series 2 after attending the auditions.

It is possible that Demolisher intended to defend its title in the planned Featherweight Championship of Series 3, although the competition was ultimately cancelled due to a behind-the-scenes incident and it is unknown if Demolisher was in attendance.

Although it did not intend to compete in Series 4 itself (this series did not have a featherweight division), it did attend the qualifiers, winning an exhibition match against far larger and heavier robot Firestarter after constantly driving around and ramming into it.

Robot History[]

Series 1[]

"10 year old Sam Rudgard with the smallest robot in Robot Wars so far..."
Jonathan Pearce as The Demolisher starts its Gauntlet run

The Demolisher speeds away to complete The Gauntlet

The Demolisher was the fourth robot to run the Gauntlet. It started by charging off the turntable and going down the House Robot route, speeding past Sgt. Bash, but then it drove straight into Matilda as she came in to block. After getting past Matilda, The Demolisher had a clear run to the end, and got through to the end zone quickly.

"He's speeding away, and it's beaten just about everything, and has! That's taking the Michael!"
— Jonathan Pearce on The Demolisher's swift Gauntlet performance

However, The Demolisher was placed third on the leaderboard, as it had been overturned mid-way through the course by colliding too hard into Matilda sidewards. Matilda then uprighted The Demolisher moments later, allowing it to finish its run. This was not seen on the televised show, though Jeremy Clarkson would refer to this on two occasions later in the Heat.

The Demolisher was through to the Trial stage, which in this Heat was Stock Car.

The opening pile-up

The Demolisher leads the field

As the robots started, The Demolisher started quickly, but SAT'arn crashed into the bottom fence at the first turn, which caused Cunning Plan to crash into it, and The Demolisher to crash into Cunning Plan. As Cunning Plan reversed, it rolled The Demolisher onto its back, but Cunning Plan pushed it again to right it before continuing with the race. The Demolisher charged around the corner and quickly overtook SAT'arn to take the lead. The Demolisher sped around the course, completing its first lap with a large lead over second place.

"...and look at the pace now, of The Demolisher! Up to 40 miles per hour, completing the first lap!"
— Jonathan Pearce

The Demolisher lies overturned in Stock Car

Despite bumping into a wall briefly as it sped through the middle section, The Demolisher quickly completed a second lap, and was speeding through on a third, but it took the final corner too quickly and clipped the outside of Sergeant Bash's plinth, overturning it.

"Too cocky by half, and he took the corner too tight!"
— Jonathan Pearce watches the replay of The Demolisher flipping itself over

With The Demolisher lying on its back, Cunning Plan passed it and completed its second lap. As it came round for its third lap, it drove under The Demolisher and tried to push it over, but accidentally rammed it against a wall. The Demolisher was left stuck on its side against the wall. Cunning Plan then left The Demolisher to cross the finish line, completing its third lap, to finish in first place. Despite being immobilised, The Demolisher's performance was good enough to allow it to progress anyway, since Krayzee Tokyo broke down near the end of its first lap.

Jeremy Clarkson: "I've just got to ask, this robot you've designed here, what's it called?"
Gary Speed-Macey: "Demolisher."
Jeremy Clarkson: "Demolisher, but it only ever demolishes itself! In the Gauntlet, it got upside-down and it did the same here."
Gary Speed-Macey: "It's got a bit of a personality complex at times, it just gets a bit carried away!"
Jeremy Clarkson: "But it isn't half quick!"
Gary Speed-Macey: "Very."
Jeremy Clarkson: "And you still lost!"
Gary Speed-Macey: "That's the way it goes sometimes."
— Post-Trial interview

The Demolisher was through to the Arena stage. In the Semi-Final, it was drawn against SAT'arn. For the Arena stage, the team made a slight alteration to its wedge, adding a scoop to the front, and also altered the speed.

Philippa Forrester: "Demolisher is fantastic, but a bit too quick!"
Gary Speed-Macey: "Definitely too quick, but I think we'll correct that in the future and slow it down a bit."
— Phillipa Forrester as The Demolisher team work on their robot in the pits after the Trial

SAT'arn rams Demolisher

Matilda's chainsaw begins its descent

The Demolisher began defensively, waiting as SAT'arn charged towards it, then swerving around its opponent. SAT'arn chased after The Demolisher, but The Demolisher reversed away. The Demolisher drove to the side of the arena, and SAT'arn rammed it askew. SAT'arn reversed and tried to push The Demolisher towards Shunt's CPZ, but The Demolisher slipped away and drove around SAT'arn. SAT'arn reversed, but suddenly broke down in the centre of the arena. The Demolisher attempted to spike its opponent, but couldn't as Shunt blocked, pushing and almost overturning The Demolisher, but The Demolisher rolled back onto its wheels. The Demolisher drove to the other side of SAT'arn and rammed into it, but Shunt interfered again by pushing the two competitors into Matilda's rear as she came in with the chainsaw. The House Robot cut through the body of SAT'arn with her chainsaw, but the chainsaw stopped when it came into contact with The Demolisher's titanium shell. The Demolisher escaped, and the House Robots continued attacking SAT'arn until cease was called.

This put The Demolisher through to the Heat Final against Cunning Plan.

"Now in the Stock Car racing, Cunning Plan actually tried to rescue The Demolisher. That's not going to be happening in the final!"
— Jeremy Clarkson before the Heat Final

The Demolisher, overturned by Cunning Plan

In what became the quickest battle across the first two series of Robot Wars, The Demolisher started tentatively, reversing as Cunning Plan slowly closed in. Cunning Plan paused, and The Demolisher moved forwards cautiously, then suddenly Cunning Plan spurted forward, using its wedge to topple The Demolisher over straight away, eliminating it as Demolisher had no means of self-righting.

"Demolisher, at the top of your picture, is the quicker, but Cunning Plan is the heavier of these two featherweights. Demolisher will be trying to keep out of trouble, with young Sam at the wheels- Oh, but the wheels have come off! The Demolisher is beaten by the Cunning Plan of Oliver Steeples. I'm not too sure whether the crowd wanted young Sam Rudgard to go through, but he had no chance with power like that."
— Jonathan Pearce's commentary for the whole battle

Series 2[]

Demolisher later took part in the Series 2 Featherweight Championship, where it faced off against Armadillo, Anarchy, Deadline and The Ripper.

Demolisher rams into The Ripper

Demolisher lies upside down on Armadillo's sloping side, before being righted by the House Robots

In the final, The Ripper never moved more than a few centimetres due to an uncharged battery. Demolisher rammed into the scooped side of The Ripper which still failed to respond, and so Matilda dragged it over to the flame grille for it to burn. Next, Anarchy, built from an old RC car, was soon defeated as Demolisher waited for it to draw in and giving it a mighty slam. Deadline was not seen at all in the televised broadcast, but was hindered by its outdated transmitter and a bent wedge. Demolisher could therefore focus its efforts on Armadillo, far outpacing the opponent. Demolisher was then briefly overturned, after driving up Armadillo's lifting tail, and as a result laid stuck on the front of Armadillo. But Matilda and Sergeant Bash separated the two, then re-righted Demolisher onto Armadillo's sloped side, and escaping before it could be flipped again. Demolisher spent the remainder of the fight pushing Armadillo around the arena, at one point onto the arena floor spikes where Demolisher was able to wedge underneath Armadillo, and then left it struggling to escape, and was pressured by the House Robots. Demolisher would go on to win the subsequent judges' decision and the Featherweight Championship.

"...and a hero of the First Wars, 11-year old Sam Rudgard with Demolisher. Splendid character, withstanding battering, and pressure from the House Robots."
— Jonathan Pearce reviews the highlights of the Featherweight Championship

Results[]

DEMOLISHER - RESULTS
Series 1
The First Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat D, Gauntlet Completed (3rd) Qualified
Heat D, Trial (Stock Car) 2 laps (2nd) Qualified
Heat D, Semi-Final vs. SAT'arn Won
Heat D, Final vs. Cunning Plan Lost
NOTE: This battle broke the Shortest Battle Record at 0:14 seconds
Series 2
Featherweight Championship
Champion
Final vs. Anarchy, Armadillo, Deadline, The Ripper Won

Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 1

NOTE: The Demolisher's successful Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included.

Series Record[]

Series Demolisher Series Record
The First Wars Heat Final
The Second Wars Featherweight Champion
The Third Wars Unknown
The Fourth Wars Attended Qualifiers
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

NOTE: Although Demolisher was in attendance at the Series 4 Qualifiers, it would not have been eligible to apply for the series, as there was no Featherweight Championship to enter.

Trivia[]

  • Demolisher is one of 23 robots to have completed The Gauntlet, and one of only three featherweights to do so (alongside Cunning Plan and SAT'arn).
  • Demolisher, along with Wharthog, was among the few robots to transition from the main heavyweight competition into a smaller weight category. It is also the only robot to have successfully won a championship in that division.
  • The Demolisher's loss to Cunning Plan in Series 1 became the quickest immobilisation and the shortest battle for a number of years.
  • The Demolisher was the first robot to suffer a Self-inflicted immobilisation, turning itself over during both of its Series 1 Gauntlet and Stock Car runs.
  • The Demolisher is the lightest robot to have competed in the main competition of Robot Wars to date.
  • The Demolisher was featured in The Constructors Guide in the Robot Wars: The First Great War video, where Mat Irvine and Derek Foxwell used it as an example of a featherweight robot and showed what was under the metal shell.
  • In Dr. Zulu's column in the Robot Wars Magazine, he is pictured pulling a pile of wires from the base of Demolisher.

Honours[]


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