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"It's the fastest walking robot ever built. It drills, it kills and it'll walk all over you!"
— Bruce Hall, introducing Drillzilla in the US Season 1 Tag Team Terror

Drillzilla was a competitor robot which fought in the first season of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors. It competed in various competitions throughout that season, winning the Annihilator and Tag Team Terror competitions, and finishing runner-up to Razer in The Second World Championship, which was also broadcast as part of the first series of Robot Wars Extreme.

Drillzilla also competed in the Season 1 US Championship, but was eliminated in the first round by Panzer Mk 2.

Design[]

"So here we were, our second successive World Championship final - but what an awesome opponent we faced. Drillzilla is a walker, but unlike any we had encountered before... We had seen it fight and the noise of its legs beating down on the arena floor was like a V-8 engine revving up."
Team Razer's description of Drillzilla[1]

Drillzilla covered in decorative scales and spikes

Drillzilla was a low, silver box-shaped robot famous for its unusual method of locomotion. In a rare and then-innovative take on the walkerbot concept, it employed a shuffling mechanism consisting of two banks of four cam-driven 'legs' or 'feet' made out of urethane rubber. The system ran on four 20bhp electric motors delivering a combined power output of 80hp; Bruce Hall of Silicon Valley Destruction Company alternately quoted its top speed as 30mph during the UK broadcast of The Second World Championship, and 40mph during a TNN preview for Extreme Warriors Season 1.[2]

Rear view of Drillzilla in the US Season 1 Tag Team Terror final

As a result, Drillzilla was significantly faster than any other walking robot to have competed in Robot Wars competitions, greatly taking advantage of its drive power to dominate and win battles. In addition to this, the robot had two main weapons; a pair of front steel cutting jaws and a rear drill with three sharpened flutes. Its armor - consisting of 10mm thick plating according to Team Razer or 10mm aluminum according to Team Firestorm - also proved very resilient and tough to damage in combat.[1][3]

In the UK version of The Second World Championship, Jonathan Pearce's commentary implied that Drillzilla was invertible, though this capability was never demonstrated during its televised battles.

Etymology[]

The robot's name was a pun on Godzilla, the eponymous Kaiju monster from the Japanese film franchise of the same name. As a possible reinforcer of this origin, Drillzilla sported decorative reptilian scales and vertically-facing spikes on its top armor while competing in Season 1, mirroring those of the monster himself. Those would be removed for the Tag Team Terror final and The Second World Championship, revealing the robot's actual logo. 'Drillzilla' also alluded to the robot's rear drill weapon, a connection noted by Stefan Frank whenever he observed its preference to use pushing power and speed as its main means of attack.

The Team[]

Silicon Valley Destruction Company with Drillzilla in US Season 1

Drillzilla with Silicon Valley Destruction Company at The Second World Championship

Drillzilla was entered by Silicon Valley Destruction Company of San Jose, California, who also competed in the original run of BattleBots as well as fellow American robot combat show Robotica. The team consisted of brothers David and Bruce Hall along with Chris Kallai, the former serving as the robot's captain and chief designer. As well as being Drillzilla's driver, Bruce would assume most of the team's speaking roles in each of the robot's US and UK Series appearances, often crediting David with its engineering and success in competition.

Throughout all competitions, the team members wore khaki and green Hawaiian shirts, which frequently became the subject of running jokes across the Extreme Warriors series.

Controversy[]

Despite its combat record, Drillzilla was somewhat unpopular in The Pits, with criticisms largely aimed at its shufflebot design. The robot's shuffling mechanism enabled it to be significantly faster and more powerful than conventional walkerbots while maintaining the same weight advantage; some roboteers such as Mark Joerger, who fought Drillzilla in various competitions throughout Season 1, considered it to be against the spirit of the technical rules at the time.

"I did dislike 'Drillzilla' (AKA 'The Ugly Vibrating Brick'), but not because they beat us. I was convinced - correctly, I think - that their shufflebot design was not good for the sport. The rulemakers agreed..."
— Mark Joerger[4]

Conversely, its locomotion, armor and pushing power attracted praise from other teams and Robot Wars personnel. Among those to hold Drillzilla in high regard were Craig Charles and Second World Championship opponents Team Razer, the latter describing it as 'awesome' and likening the sound made by its shuffling mechanism on the arena floor to a V8 internal combustion engine.[1] The latter comparison was also made by fellow UK representatives Team Firestorm.

"From the start of the fight, we knew that Drillzilla would be our toughest challenge so that's who we went for first. Drillzilla is a tough little bot. Made from at least 10mm Aluminium with eight feet. It makes a noise like a V8 engine revving. That unsettles you before you even get going."
— Team Firestorm website on Drillzilla (archived)[3]

During the Razer Ultimate Warrior Collection DVD, Team Razer reminisced that its design forced them to devise a driving-based strategy to counter Drillzilla's power and durability. Describing the robot as a 'walking safe', Vincent Blood considered the aforementioned Second World Championship final as his best memory of the original Robot Wars at the time of the DVD's release.[5]

"This machine was great, it had pushed everybody out of its way. The only thing you can do with this is wrestle it..."
— Ian Lewis, Ultimate Warrior Collection - Razer

Shortly after Season 1 of Extreme Warriors was filmed, an amendment was made to the Robot Wars rules which affected shufflebots such as Drillzilla in future competitions. It stated that robots which used camshaft-driven walking mechanisms as a means of locomotion would no longer be eligible for the weight allowances formerly shared with traditional heavyweight walkerbots.[6] This amendment, first enforced in UK Series 6, was made after a fellow shufflebot, Son of Whyachi, won the heavyweight championship of BattleBots Season 3.0, filmed in the same year as US Season 1.

Although the build rules for the second season of Extreme Warriors did not mention any revisions regarding the weight allowances given to shufflebots[7], Drillzilla would not return for that season. However, David Hall entered a modified version, Dreadbot, into later seasons of the original BattleBots, where it competed in the super heavyweight division (see Outside Robot Wars).

Robot History[]

Season 1[]

Drillzilla began its Season 1 run in the Annihilator episode, competing alongside Skullmania, Conquering Clown, Red Virus, Unibite and Rippa Raptor. For the majority of the main season, it would sport multicolored scales and spikes over its top armor.

"And they're all off - immediately, ploughing into the center! Drillzilla lays into the Clown like there's no tomorrow!"
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla begins its long-lasting onslaught against Conquering Clown

Red Virus and Drillzilla choose their targets

Drillzilla drives under Conquering Clown

In the first round, it immediately attacked Conquering Clown along with Unibite, pushing and shepherding the Silvis Robotics machine towards the top-left CPZ. Getting underneath Conquering Clown with its jaws, Drillzilla proceeded to shove it across the arena multiple times into Red Virus, Skullmania and Rippa Raptor, as well as towards the walls and into at least one CPZ on various occasions. In doing so, it also survived an attack to its left-hand side from Unibite's blade. At one point, Drillzilla drove Conquering Clown over the Flame Pit, though in this instance Conquering Clown quickly escaped. Moments later, it briefly tussled with Red Virus; Drillzilla's chances of progression were eventually secured with the immobilization of Skullmania.

Rebecca Grant: "Alright, after looking at that Heat, I think I found the kid that hated clowns!"
Bruce Hall: "Well, we thought the clown might be an easy bot to take out early, and also might be fun to set his head on fire, so we tried to push him over to the fire grate."
Rebecca Grant: "I know, but I didn't see any wig on fire."
Bruce Hall: "Well, we got him underneath, but maybe next time we can get his head!"
— Bruce Hall, revealing his strategy against Conquering Clown

Prior to the second round, the reasoning behind Drillzilla's relentless attacks on Conquering Clown was made clear; Bruce Hall told Rebecca Grant that Silicon Valley Destruction Company had intended to set the latter's flammable head and afro alight at some stage.

The five remaining robots gather in Round 2; a shove from Drillzilla (top-right) was eventually enough to immobilize Unibite

Drillzilla pushes Unibite to a fiery end

As before, Drillzilla charged straight past Conquering Clown, eventually repeating its earlier tactic as it pushed the latter into Red Virus. Some of Drillzilla's scales were torn off by Unibite's blade, but it continued to push Conquering Clown before slamming into a spinning Unibite. Further slams were made against Conquering Clown and Unibite, one such attack resulting in Unibite being left immobilized near the center of the arena.

"Let's check out that point of impact again. Comes right into the back of the Clown, and then gets nailed by Drillzilla, who completely incapacitates Unibite!"
— Stefan Frank, over replays of Drillzilla's immobilizing attack on Unibite

Drillzilla teamed up with Red Virus to place the vulnerable Unibite over the Flame Pit, after which Team Duct Tape's machine was counted out by Refbot and eventually pitted by Sgt. Bash.

Bruce Hall: "We came through unscathed in that match, but we kind of enjoyed taking the chance to push Unibite onto the flames, though. That was fun."
Rebecca Grant: "So, what about the Clown? Are you gonna give him a break next round?"
Bruce Hall: "We'll see what happens. The Clown is still a very inviting target for us, so we'll see what happens next round."
— Interview between the second and third rounds

Conquering Clown pushes Drillzilla into the wall

True to the team's intentions, Drillzilla resumed its pushing attacks on Conquering Clown once the third round began, despite a brief interruption by Red Virus. As the two machines locked together near the Flame Pit, trying to push each other from the front, Conquering Clown retaliated by twice slamming Drillzilla into the bottom wall, having got underneath the silver machine's flat front.

"At half the weight of Drillzilla, [Conquering Clown]'s just getting swatted around like a fly in there! Uh-oh, look at that, but stop the press! The Clown drives Drillzilla right into the wall! It's pushing twice its own weight, making Drillzilla look like a little bit of a fly now!"
— Stefan Frank, as Conquering Clown puts up some resistance against Drillzilla's shoves

Both robots continued slamming and pushing into each other, with Drillzilla briefly coming under pressure from Red Virus following a shove on Conquering Clown.

"Now, it's funny they call it Drillzilla when the drill hasn't really made much of a difference as a weapon in this one. The weight has definitely been a factor!"
— Stefan Frank, commenting on Drillzilla's limited usage of its rear drill

Drillzilla pushes an immobile Conquering Clown onto the Flame Pit

As all four competitors gathered in the arena, Drillzilla briefly rammed Rippa Raptor, only to capitalize on Conquering Clown's engagement with Red Virus by approaching and repeatedly pushing it across the arena from behind. Eventually, this resulted in Conquering Clown being slow to escape from the top-left CPZ as Shunt rushed in to attack.

"Drillzilla, perfectly designed to slot in right behind the Clown. The Clown doesn't care...he's working the audience!"
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla shoves Conquering Clown again

Once Conquering Clown reversed away, Drillzilla bumped, steered and slammed it against an angle grinder opposite of Sir Killalot's CPZ, then into Red Virus. Drillzilla rammed the ever-slowing Conquering Clown once more into Rippa Raptor. Then, with its most favored opponent seemingly immobilized, it pushed Conquering Clown over the Flame Pit, leaving the latter's head to burn and melt away before Refbot's count-out.

"Drillzilla...circling around. Uh-oh...well, every party must have some clown to do the barbeque!"
— Stefan Frank, watching on as Drillzilla pushes Conquering Clown onto the Flame Pit
Rebecca Grant: "Well, you guys got your way. Killer Clown is toast!"
Chris Kallai: "You got it. All I got to say is we quit clowning around!"
— Interview following the demise of Conquering Clown

Drillzilla (left) rams Red Virus as the three surviving competitors linger near Dead Metal

In Round 4, Drillzilla rammed Red Virus a few times as the latter pushed Rippa Raptor into Dead Metal's CPZ, but retreated until both of its remaining opponents were separated by Refbot. Drillzilla pushed Red Virus again over the Floor Flipper, then into Matilda's CPZ, where the House Robot damaged Team Dreamdroid's machine with her flywheel. After this, it continued to harry Red Virus as the latter tried to attack Rippa Raptor again, twice slamming it into an angle grinder.

"Drillzilla havin' his way! Whoa, Red Virus took a real hit that time! Making up for his lack of weaponry, he's pushin' right into the grinder again. What a beating! What good tactics!"
— Stefan Frank, watching as Drillzilla rams Red Virus against the angle grinder

Drillzilla slams Red Virus into an angle grinder

Not content with this, Drillzilla pushed Red Virus sideways into Dead Metal, who rammed Red Virus against another angle grinder and cut into its lifter frame with his saw. Despite escaping from the CPZ with Refbot's intervention, Red Virus stopped moving over the Floor Flipper; Drillzilla pushed it fully over the hazard before Refbot counted it out. With Red Virus thrown across the arena, placed over the Flame Pit and pitted by Dead Metal, Drillzilla had comfortably secured its place in the final alongside Rippa Raptor.

In The Pits, Bruce Hall confirmed that for the most part Drillzilla had been 'completely unscathed' throughout much of the competition. The only damage noted was a small gouge in its right-rear corner inflicted by Unibite's sawblade, which also had the effect of taking off 'around half' of the latter's teeth. Later on, Silicon Valley Destruction Company boasted that their machine was capable of eliminating Rippa Raptor in 'one minute or less'. This lead to light-hearted exchanges with Team Raptor prior to both finalists re-entering the arena.

"Whoa, that's fightin' words from the Drillzilla boys. Nice bot, but shame about the shirts!"
— Stefan Frank, as Drillzilla re-enters the arena for the Annihilator final

Drillzilla immobilizes Rippa Raptor with its initial rams

Inevitably, Drillzilla ploughed into Rippa Raptor, steering then repeatedly ramming it against the right-hand side wall and angle grinder. These attacks appeared to leave Rippa Raptor immobilized as it was grabbed, pushed and dragged back towards a nearby CPZ by Sgt. Bash. Drillzilla slammed into Rippa Raptor a few more times as Refbot began his countdown, having soundly proven Silicon Valley Destruction Company's earlier claim.

"...they were right! They said it wouldn't take a minute to get rid of these guys. We thought they were conceited, but I guess they were convinced!"
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla's victory is secured

Drillzilla, seconds away from pitting a defeated Rippa Raptor

With Rippa Raptor eliminated, Drillzilla proceeded to push it onto the Flame Pit, where Rippa Raptor burned as the pit trigger was pressed. Shunt axed and dragged Rippa Raptor over the Floor Flipper, which threw the defeated machine a considerable distance, before Drillzilla finally pushed it down the open pit. With this, a celebratory spin and a mistimed high-five from Silicon Valley Destruction Company, Drillzilla was declared the dominant winner of the Season 1 Annihilator.

Mick Foley: "Now tell me...you guys were just devastating! What was the deal?"
Bruce Hall: "Superior robot technology. [David Hall] has developed a drive system, a walking robot, with a lot of power and a lot of weight, and it just has its way with any other robot."
— Bruce Hall, crediting brother and team captain David with Drillzilla's success

The next appearance for Drillzilla came in the Tag Team Terror, where it was partnered with Tut Tut, a loanerbot operated by Team Cyclone. In the first round, the pair faced Team Juggerbot along with their machines Tricerabot and Rosie the Riveter.

"Refbot holds down the unenviable task of trying to maintain order. Good luck Refbot, because this showdown is going to be beyond control!"
— Mick Foley, introducing the first round of the Tag Team Terror

Drillzilla overpowers Tricerabot

In the opening stages, Tut Tut fought first against Tricerabot, before tagging Drillzilla and allowing it to push Tricerabot against the center entry gate. Drillzilla steered Tricerabot over the Flame Pit, setting its paper bag decorations on fire as both of their teammates, illegally, left their corners to assist.

"Now Drillzilla's tryin' to get Tricerabot where he does not want to be – over those flames! That is a flammable robot, and he's on fire now! And the audience is on fire now, but wait a minute! Rosie the Riveter doesn't tag up or anything! [She's] in there, trying to do a little damage to the back of Drillzilla!"
— Stefan Frank, as the Tag Team Terror rules are broken early on

As Tricerabot burns and Matilda joins the mayhem, Drillzilla pushes Rosie the Riveter back

Rosie the Riveter briefly pushed the two robots away into Sir Killalot, who had also left his CPZ to intervene. Drillzilla and a burning Tricerabot kept pushing each other back and forth across the arena perimeter for some time, eventually splitting up by the time the former reversed into Matilda. While Tricerabot continued to drive around in flames, Drillzilla proceeded to push and ram Rosie the Riveter into the left wall, where Rosie the Riveter was momentarily stuck against its own battering ram and left vulnerable to attacks from Matilda.

"...and it's a free-for-all! They're all in it now! Everybody's jumpin' in there tryin' to get the last word!"
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla pressures Rosie the Riveter

Drillzilla and Tut Tut sandwich the Team Juggerbot pair

Drillzilla then briefly resumed its tussle with Tricerabot, which tipped Matilda on her side, but was later attacked by Sir Killalot despite being red-carded by Refbot. Moments later, it drove both Team Juggerbot machines towards the pit with assistance from Tut Tut, eventually pushing Tricerabot in.

"Look at that...Refbot has lost total control of any semblance of order! And here we go! The pit is open, and Tricerabot is the first down!"
— Stefan Frank, as Drillzilla pits Tricerabot

Drillzilla pits Tricerabot with Tut Tut close by

Drillzilla pushed Rosie the Riveter one more time into an angle grinder before time ran out, with the battle going to a Judges' decision. It and Tut Tut were unanimously declared victorious.

"There's a lot of fire in the ring. A lot of anger out there, a lot of pushin', a lot of shovin'. We ended up gettin' them in the pit, that's what did it for us."
— Bruce Hall, following Drillzilla and Tut Tut's Tag Team Terror victory

In the final, the duo faced General Chompsalot and Run Away; for this, Drillzilla shed its scales and spikes for the first time, revealing its actual logo. Jokey exchanges between all four teams once again brought out Bruce Hall's optimism for a quick knockout win.

Tim Berghoefer: "I'm not too worried about Tut Tut...and I think these guys are wearing Hawaiian shirts, 'cause they gonna need a vacation when we're done with them."
Rebecca Grant: "You have to pick out your wardrobe instead of your Drillzilla!"
Bruce Hall: "That's all they've got to talk about. All I can say is this...the General's in for a demotion. He's going down in a major court martial, baby...it's over! And Run Away? The name says it all!"
— Trash-talking between the General Chompsalot and Drillzilla teams

Drillzilla targets Run Away's left-rear wheel

Drillzilla steers Run Away into Shunt

This time, Drillzilla started first, slamming into the front of Run Away and getting one set of jaws in front of the Team Run Amok machine's left-rear wheel. Both robots separated, Drillzilla slamming and nudging Run Away twice more as the latter circled and briefly drove itself over the Flame Pit. Another succession of shoves and rams forced Run Away towards Shunt and over the Flame Pit again, all while dislodging both pairs of 'lucky dice' hanging from its opponent's top armor.

"Well, those lawnmower rotor blades don't seem to be doing too much damage on Drillzilla. Drillzilla's got all the power and all the cookies!"
— Stefan Frank, as Drillzilla pressures Run Away

Drillzilla forces Run Away against the side of Sgt. Bash

Drillzilla, unrelenting, slammed into the side of Run Away once more, doing the same again a few seconds later as Run Away retreated towards Sgt. Bash. While Sgt. Bash steered and briefly lifted Run Away against the pit trigger, Drillzilla tagged Tut Tut to take its place. Its respite was short-lived, however, as Tut Tut would retreat to its corner as a newly-tagged General Chompsalot entered the fray. Drillzilla capitalized on General Chompsalot's higher ground clearance to shove Team Jawbreaker's axlebot across the arena and over a flame jet.

"General Chompsalot just got no weapon whatsoever against Drillzilla...and Chompsalot's gonna be fried alive if he doesn't get out of there!"
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla pushes and holds General Chompsalot over a flame jet

Drillzilla swiftly disposes of General Chompsalot

After a few seconds, the two competitors broke free, with Drillzilla turning General Chompsalot over with another powerful drive. In the same attack, it quickly steered General Chompsalot into the pit, instantly taking Team Jawbreaker out of contention.

"...Drillzilla's flipped him upside down – he's still rolling! He's in the pit! Oh Drillzilla, that was beautiful! See that, look at the speed and power. Right underneath General Chompsalot and...see ya!"
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla pits General Chompsalot

Drillzilla eventually retreated to its corner as Tut Tut proceeded to fight Run Away, turning Run Away on its side with its wedge shape. With Refbot counting Run Away out shortly after, Drillzilla and Tut Tut were gifted the Tag Team Terror title, the second competition win for Silicon Valley Destruction Company's shufflebot.

Drilzilla's penultimate event was the main US Championship, which in actuality was the first Extreme Warriors competition to be filmed.[8] Appearing in the fourth and final heat, it faced Tag Team Terror opponents General Chompsalot and Run Away again, alongside Cyclone, Panzer Mk 2 and Spartacus.

Rebecca Grant: "Do you think it's heavy enough to win?"
Bruce Hall: "Absolutely."
— Interview prior to Drillzilla's US Championship heat

Drillzilla topples Spartacus with an early slam

At the start, Drillzilla immediately targeted Spartacus, ramming the Sinclair Robotics machine into the left wall simultaneously with Panzer Mk 2. It continued pressuring Spartacus as Panzer Mk 2 proceeded to attack Run Away and Cyclone, eventually forcing its opponent onto its side against the wall of Matilda's CPZ. Bumping into Matilda's tusks as it reversed, Drillzilla proceeded to ram General Chompsalot and Run Away separately, the force of these causing the front wedge of Team Run Amok's entry to partially detach.

Drillzilla rams Spartacus and General Chompsalot as Panzer Mk 2 backs away

Moments later, Drillzilla resumed its initial attacks on Spartacus, pushing it into General Chompsalot on its way to the top-right CPZ. It shuttled back and forth between Run Away and Spartacus, but not without losing its drill; unhindered by this, Drillzilla turned away as Sir Killalot approached. As four of the remaining competitors gathered in the center, it rammed Run Away twice more, steering it towards the top-right CPZ. Drillzilla next pushed General Chompsalot into Spartacus, which in turn was pushed and flipped by Panzer Mk 2 as all four robots slammed into the left-hand wall. By getting one set of its jaws underneath General Chompsalot, it briefly helped force Spartacus on top of the wall as the latter landed.

The heat ends in a stalemate between Drillzilla, General Chompsalot and Panzer Mk 2

As Panzer Mk 2 took its turn at pushing General Chompsalot, Drillzilla snatched the Team Jawbreaker machine and rammed it into another angle grinder. Stuck on the top of Drillzilla's chassis, General Chompsalot escaped by rolling off as it reversed and stopped. Drillzilla rounded off its performance with a few rams on Panzer Mk 2, the battle ending with both robots locking together with General Chompsalot yet again.

"Well, it's been a gruesome round and the countdown is going down. There's no clear winner here yet! Nobody's dead, they're all still runnin', it's gonna have to go to the Judges!"
— Stefan Frank, as Drillzilla's US Championship heat draws to a close

The battle went to a Judges' decision with the latter three robots still operating after a close, aggressive and frantic display. Panzer Mk 2 was ruled as the heat winner, resulting in Drillzilla being eliminated from the US Championship to the astonishment of Stefan Frank.

"Incredible! Drillzilla is out of there. Panzer Mk 2 goes through, what a surprise!"
— Stefan Frank, as Drillzilla is eliminated

The Second World Championship[]

Rebecca Grant: "Drillzilla, are you guys ready for this?"
Bruce Hall: "All we have to say is this...no matter what country these other bots are from, they're all gonna end up as steaming hunks of metal strewn across the arena floor!"
— Confidence from Bruce Hall prior to Drillzilla's Second World Championship heat

Drillzilla made its final appearance in The Second World Championship, representing the United States of America alongside Manta, The Revolutionist and eventual US Season 1 champion Panzer Mk 2. The event, televised as part of Season 1 and the first series of Robot Wars Extreme, saw it face Swedish entry Whirlpool 70, then-former UK Series Grand Finalist Firestorm 3 and Dutch debutant NEAT Machine in the second heat.

As with the Tag Team Terror final, the robot entered without the decorative scales and spikes on top. During the UK broadcast, Bruce Hall explained to Julia Reed the advantages offered by Drillzilla's weight allowance while also revealing information about the robot's drive system and top speed. The team themselves were also subject to a light-hearted, yet derogatory comment from Alex Mordue.

Julia Reed: "What do we make of those Americans?"
Alex Mordue: "Like typical American tourists, they're all a bit overweight."
— Alex Mordue takes a jab at Silicon Valley Destruction Company

Firestorm 3 drives under Drillzilla in the opening seconds

Upon 'Activate', Drillzilla charged into Whirlpool 70, only for Firestorm 3 to drive under its side and front while pushing it into Sir Killalot's CPZ. After being pinned against the wall for a few seconds, it gained traction and briefly forced Firestorm 3 back before breaking free to pressure Whirlpool 70.

"Drillzilla, a tug of war there with Firestorm, the USA against Great Britain...hands across the ocean there!"
— Jonathan Pearce during Drillzilla and Firestorm 3's early tussle

Drillzilla and Firestorm 3 gang up on NEAT Machine

Drillzilla took two more side-on charges from Firestorm 3, the second while pushing Whirlpool 70 into the grasp of Sir Killalot. With the Swedish robot sustaining considerable damage from the House Robot's claw, the UK and US representatives teamed up to eliminate NEAT Machine, Firestorm 3 throwing the latter over into a position where it could not self-right.

"...and Firestorm 3 flips over NEAT Machine from Holland, and Drillzilla comes in for the clean-up! Look at that, Tag Team at its best!"
— Stefan Frank as Firestorm 3 and Drillzilla jointly eliminate NEAT Machine

As Firestorm 3 pressured and tipped Whirlpool 70 over as well, Drillzilla pushed it from behind inside Sir Killalot's CPZ. The two survivors appeared to size up one another as Refbot counted NEAT Machine and Whirlpool 70 out individually, before Drillzilla again rammed Firestorm 3 wedge-first underneath Whirlpool 70 and into the far wall. It twice pinned Firestorm 3 up against the wall with its wheels suspended in mid-air, before Firestorm 3 responded with another side-on push.

"...neat and tidy we clear up the arena floor after we've created some rubbish. Oh-ho! More rubbish being caused there by Drillzilla, he's pulled the pit release button off the wall!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Drillzilla dislodges the pit release tire during further attacks on Firestorm 3

Drillzilla pushes Firestorm 3 into the pit release button

Drillzilla's final charge on Firestorm 3

Drillzilla dodged another pursuit from Firestorm 3 before ramming it into the pit release button, dislodging and pulling the button off its mount in the process. Firestorm 3 retreated, but in one last attack Drillzilla pushed and pinned it against the wall of Sir Killalot's CPZ during the closing seconds. On aggression, the resulting Judges' decision ruled in favor of Drillzilla; while Silicon Valley Destruction Company remained confident about their performance in later rounds, Bruce Hall and Chris Kallai revealed in each broadcast their initial apprehension at fighting Firestorm 3.

Craig Charles: "Did you think you had a chance?"
Bruce Hall: "We were very nervous. [Firestorm 3] did a great job, they had their wedge right at us, it was really the biggest threat we faced...we're just thrilled to have won."
Craig Charles: "Firestorm's one of Britain's strongest robots and you just pushed it round like it was just a lightweight!"
Chris Kallai: "We've got tons of horsepower and nice big motors in there, no problem!"
— Post-heat interview, UK broadcast
Mick Foley: "Now Drillzilla, I've got to tell you, looks impenetrable to me. Do you guys have a weakness and if so, are any of these World robots in the World Championship capable of exploiting it?"
Chris Kallai: "I'd say our biggest weakness was Firestorm, and we got over it, so we're off to see what comes ahead in the next few battles. We can do it!"
— Post-heat interview, US broadcast

In the Semi-Finals, Drillzilla faced fellow American compatriot Manta, for a chance to face either of the remaining UK representatives - defending World Champion Razer and UK Series 4 Semi-Finalist Tornado - in the final.

Drillzilla and Manta push each other

"One of these American teams, through [to] the World Championship finals. Will it be Drillzilla with the drill and the jaws? A walking robot, uses those rubberized feet. Do you see them there? They trundle almost like tracks, but it's characterized as a walking robot..."
— Jonathan Pearce, during the early stages of Drillzilla's World Championship Semi-Final

Very quickly, it pursued Manta, and upon meeting it near Sir Killalot's CPZ engaged in a forceful pushing match with Team Suspect Robotics' machine. Drillzilla was driven back into another CPZ by Manta, responding with a sideways push and a head-on collision with the latter's spinning disk.

"And Drillzilla right into Manta...on the good side of Manta, staying away from that spinning flywheel! But Manta's got a little power of his own!"
— Stefan Frank as Manta proves a worthy match for Drillzilla

Manta pushes Drillzilla back into Sgt. Bash

Drillzilla pits an ailing Manta

Both robots pushed each other back and forth from the bottom-right corner, collecting Sgt. Bash in the process. Drillzilla attempted to push Manta from the side again, only for Manta to reverse it into the wall close to the pit release button. As the battle went on, Manta began struggling to move away from the far wall, allowing Drillzilla to ram it multiple times until the pit was activated. Drillzilla pushed Manta into Sgt. Bash, nudging it a few more times as the House Robot backed off and spouted flames. With its opponent's drive issues worsening, Drillzilla maneuvered Manta closer towards the pit until it was left hanging precariously on the edge. With one final shove, it forced Manta down to secure its place in the Second World Championship final.

"That was the ultimate push! Though Manta was left hanging on the tightrope momentarily, oblivion was not far away."
— Jonathan Pearce, over a replay of Drillzilla pitting Manta

In the post-battle interview for the US broadcast, both teams congratulated each other for a ‘great match’; Bruce Hall also expressed mild confidence in both versions against his next potential opponents.

Bruce Hall: "They both look pretty tough, but we're ready. We'll have different strategies for each one, of course, which we probably won't share."
Mick Foley: "I happen to think that keeping secrets isn't very polite, but that's up to you guys."
— Bruce Hall remains coy on Drillzilla's tactics against Razer or Tornado
Craig Charles: "You're through to the World Championship finals..."
Bruce Hall: "Yes baby, yeah!"
Craig Charles: "Come on! Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for DRILLZILLA!"
— Post-Semi-Final interview, UK broadcast

Ultimately, Razer emerged victorious in the second encounter, joining Drillzilla in the final for an Anglo-American confrontation. In the UK version, Silicon Valley Destruction Company learnt from Julia Reed that Razer was suffering from technical issues, yet Bruce Hall remained modest about his team's overall chances of victory.

"Well, it's hard to have a high confidence with a bot that's done the 'can opener' treatment on quite a few other bots that are in the competition..."
— Bruce Hall, aware of Razer’s crushing power

Aware that Drillzilla's armor would be too tough for them to pierce, Team Razer opted for a strategy where they would 'wrestle' Drillzilla and prevent it from pushing their machine from the sides.[1] Vincent Blood also told Reed that they intended to immobilize Drillzilla by targeting its exposed legs, with Reed subsequently telling Silicon Valley Destruction Company that the British team were 'scared' of their machine's potential.

"Can Drillzilla be the first American World Champion, up against the reigning World Champion from the UK, Razer? Ah, I don't know, it looks a bit doubtful now..."
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla comes under early pressure from Razer

Drillzilla is caught by Razer

Razer forces Drillzilla into Sgt. Bash

Razer grips the shuffling banks of Drillzilla

At the start, Drillzilla successfully dodged Razer's initial charge, only to expose its left side which the Bournemouth machine promptly clamped. Razer pinned Drillzilla against the wall and Sgt. Bash, all while trying to pierce through the rubber legs as Team Razer had planned. Drillzilla dragged Razer round with it, the two robots circling around and within proximity of Sgt. Bash's CPZ as Razer briefly pushed it forwards. Even as Razer released its grip, Drillzilla struggled to escape as its left-rear corner was still firmly on its opponent's wedged front.

"You can see there the eight feet on that side...and Razer there trying to stop the rhythm of Drillzilla! And all the aggression, and control and style is from Razer should it go to the Judges!"
— Jonathan Pearce, commenting on Razer's initial advantage

Drillzilla is cornered by Razer and Sir Killalot

At last, it broke free, scuttling quickly towards the center of the arena before circling and driving itself front-first up Razer's wedge. This left Drillzilla vulnerable again as it was gripped and pushed back towards Sir Killalot's CPZ; the House Robot proceeded to grasp Drillzilla's left-front with his own claw.

"He's free again! Drillzilla, has a chance for the US, to come in there, and do some damage, on Razer! All they need to do is find a weak spot on Razer, but there doesn't seem to be too many of them...and Killalot gets into the action with his pincers! Uh-oh, that could be it! The 'jaws of life' will be turned into the 'jaws of death', if they get inside Drillzilla's walking mechanism!"
— Stefan Frank, as Drillzilla comes under attack from both Razer and Sir Killalot

As Sir Killalot backed away, Drillzilla was pushed further into the CPZ by Razer, with Sgt. Bash also coming in to harry the two competitors. Drillzilla escaped once again, bashing the wall and pushing Razer, Sgt. Bash and Refbot all aside as it darted towards the other side of the arena. However, it was eventually collected once again by Razer, which clamped down on Drillzilla's top armor and pushed it around in circles near and over the closed pit. Drillzilla's left legs rumbled over the floor, leaving splinters and gashes in its wake as it tried to drag Razer back and forth.

"Razer again with that tusk! Drillzilla is just not having any luck with its weaponry at all. Drillzilla doing its best to stay out of trouble, but...this could be all over."
— Stefan Frank as Drillzilla get clamped again

Refbot counts the final ten seconds as Drillzilla survives Razer's last attack

By the end of the fight, the two machines were still locked together, having stopped opposite the Flame Pit while Refbot counted down the last ten seconds. Smoke rose from Drillzilla's right legs as Razer released its grip and backed away, but both nevertheless survived to a Judges' decision. The decision ultimately ruled against Drillzilla, resulting in it finishing runner-up in The Second World Championship.

"You came all the way...from Silicon Valley in California...you got through to the World Championship on Robot Wars, your first attempt!"
— Craig Charles, congratulating Silicon Valley Destruction Company on their second-place finish

Agreeing with the decision, Silicon Valley Destruction Company credited Razer's crusher, 'killer wedge' and driving skills as crucial factors in their defeat.

"This is a very tough bot. Our strategy was [to] try and get behind him, around the side. I think if we had done that, even once, we could have had our way and pushed him all around the ring. They made sure that never happened, they just kept coming at us with that claw, and even though they didn't do a lot of damage to us, we never had the opportunity to inflict any on them."
— Bruce Hall, acknowledging Razer's strengths while agreeing with the Judges' decision

The Second World Championship proved to be the team's final appearance on Robot Wars, concluding a short but very successful run for Drillzilla.

Results[]

DRILLZILLA - RESULTS
Season 1
Annihilator
Champion
Round 1 vs. Conquering Clown, Red Virus, Rippa Raptor,
Skullmania, Unibite
Qualified
Round 2 vs. Conquering Clown, Red Virus, Rippa Raptor, Unibite Qualified
Round 3 vs. Conquering Clown, Red Virus, Rippa Raptor Qualified
Round 4 vs. Red Virus, Rippa Raptor Qualified
Final vs. Rippa Raptor Won
Tag Team Terror
Competing with Tut Tut, Champion
Round 1 vs. Rosie the Riveter & Tricerabot Won
Final vs. General Chompsalot & Run Away Won
US Championship
Heats
Heat vs. Cyclone, General Chompsalot, Panzer Mk 2, Run Away, Spartacus Eliminated
The Second World Championship
Representing USA, Runner-up
NOTE: This competition was also broadcast during Extreme Series 1
Heat vs. Firestorm 3 (UK), Neat Machine (NED),
Whirlpool 70 (SWE)
Won
Semi-Final vs. Manta (USA) Won
Final vs. Razer (UK) Lost

Wins/Losses[]

  • Wins: 9
  • Losses: 2

Series Record[]

US Series Drillzilla Series Record
Season 1 Heat (Round 1)
Season 2 Did not enter
Nickelodeon Did not enter

Outside Robot Wars[]

Silicon Valley Destruction Company also competed in contemporary American robot combat shows BattleBots and Robotica. In the original run of the former, they debuted in Season 2.0 with Dreadbot, a four-wheel drive box-shaped robot armed with a pneumatic spike. This version fought Voltronic in its first heavyweight championship battle, but lost on a judges' decision, and would later become immobilized during the consolation rumble at the end of the season.

A modified version of Drillzilla was subsequently entered into Season 3.0 under the Dreadbot name. Having bypassed the preliminary stages, it lost in the round of 64 to Mauler 51-50 after ramming itself into a spike strip and losing mobility. Dreadbot returned for Season 4.0, this time competing in the super heavyweight division, winning its first two battles against The Black Knight and Gyrax before losing a close judges' decision to Techno Destructo in the round of 32.

Dreadbot's last appearance came in Season 5, where it reached the televised stages following successive judges' decisions over Daisy Cutter and Armageddon. There, it lost once again on a judges' decision, this time to newcomer Mad Mer. Over time, its paint scheme was altered and the claws made interchangeable with other weapons such as a row of custom-made cutting discs.

Two more shuffling robots were built by the team for Seasons 3.0-5.0 – the lightweight LocoMotion (originally known as BuddleStomper) and middleweight Nemesis, which also competed in Season 4.0 as a heavyweight. In the latter season, LocoMotion achieved its best finish, reaching the televised rounds before losing to Serial Box Killer on a judges' decision. Meanwhile, Nemesis reached the round of 64 in the Season 5.0 middleweight division, losing a split 23-22 decision to TriDent.

Da Claw, the team's entry for Robotica Season 3

In Robotica, the team competed in Season 3 with another heavyweight[4] shufflebot design, Da Claw, equipped with an articulated grabbing/lifting arm. Appearing in the first episode, it initially lost its Gauntlet round by ten points against Logoseye, but proceeded to win the Labyrinth stage against it when Logoseye beached itself in the Sand Pit. As a result, Da Claw qualified for the Fight to the Finish against Juggerbot 3.0, where it was pushed over the guard rails and off the platform within seconds.

Most robots entered by Silicon Valley Destruction Company outside of Robot Wars prominently featured the logo of Velodyne, an audio technology company founded by captain David Hall.

Trivia[]

  • Drillzilla was one of only six American robots to win a battle in the UK Series, alongside Tentoumushi, frenZy, Manta, Spartacus and Flippa.
  • Drillzilla was one of only three shufflebots to compete in a domestic Robot Wars championship, alongside Ansgar's Revenge and Scarab.
  • Of the US representatives in The Second World Championship, Drillzilla was the only one not to have finished in the top four of the Season 1 US Championship.

Honours[]


References[]

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