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Drums are vertical spinning weapons, usually cylindrical in shape. The first Robot Wars competitors to be equipped with them were Suicidal Tendencies, Blade and Challenger 2, all of which appeared in Series 3.

Despite their popularity in domestic and international live events, especially those held in the USA, drums were uncommon in the original run of Robot Wars, with the most notable examples including Dutch Series 1 champion Slicer, and the UK Series 6 champion Tornado. Drums were more popular in the reboot, being used to great success by the robots of Team Ranglebots and Series 9 Grand Finalist Concussion.

DefinitionEdit

Drum spinners are usually cylindrically-shaped weapons thicker than vertical flywheels, which cover a wider surface area than a conventional disc and are always mounted vertically. They often use barbs or sharp teeth attached to the drum in order to grind, tear and flip opponents over, and can be built in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the narrow disc-like drum of Tornado, to wider weapons like Slicer's or even full-bodied drums in the case of the Barber-Ous series of robots. Some roboteers refer to narrow drums as driscs, so-called because of their closer resemblance to vertical flywheels.

Drums could also be built out of any cylindrical object; for example, Blade's drum consisted of lawnmower blades attached to the weapon.

A variation on the drum spinner, the egg beater, was used by Hobgoblin in Series 9 and 10, and is a popular weapon in the featherweight category. Robots with egg beaters are also called 'beater bots', and the weapon works in identical fashion to a drum, but the weapon itself is a solid, flat block with the centre cut out to conserve weight, making the blade look like an egg whisk, hence the name.

Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit

Advantages

Terrorhurtz vs sabretooth 2

Sabretooth rips Terrorhurtz's rear stabilisers off

Magnetar vs Expulsion

Magnetar throws Expulsion into somersaults

Barberous kat 3

The full-body drum design of Barber-Ous 2 allowed the weapon to double as the robot's armour

  • Drums are generally sturdy, as they are usually constructed from a single block of metal, making them hard to break.
  • As with vertical flywheels, drums can allow a robot to remain stable while attacking opponents, enabling them to inflict several quick attacks in succession and 'churn' away at opponents upon making sustained contact with them. Sabretooth was able to cause extensive damage to the armour of TMHWK and Terrorhurtz in Series 9, while Pulsar immobilised Beast in Series 8 with two hits landed within seconds of each other.
  • Drums are capable of launching opponents into the air or flipping them over completely. Slicer, Barber-Ous, Pulsar, Concussion and Magnetar were especially effective at this.
  • With the use of a reversible speed controller, some spinning drums could work in both directions and still be effective even if the robot was inverted.
  • The drum can easily be incorporated into an invertible design, as proven by Tornado, Slicer, Pulsar, the Series 3 version of Suicidal Tendencies and, in the most extreme case, Barber-Ous.
  • A full-bodied drum could also offer the robot a similar degree of protection to a full-body spinner, acting as both the robot's weapon and armour. Barber-Ous's drum was the only one to possess this capability.
  • While presenting control issues while turning (see Disadvantages), the gyroscopic forces of a drum could allow robots equipped with them to self-right depending on their design. The flat, invertible designs of Concussion and Sabretooth enabled both robots to achieve this feat during testing ahead of Series 10 and the first episode of Robot Wars: World Series respectively; however, Concussion could not emulate this in its Heat Final against Nuts 2 as a result of the side plates added to protect its wheels.

Disadvantages

Barber-ous vs leveler 2

A powerful blow by Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit carried enough recoil to immobilise itself and end its run

Pulsar Gyrodance

After losing drive to one side against Ironside3, Pulsar used the gyroscopic forces of its drum to display signs of mobility

Broken drum

Sabretooth's drum sustained severe damage following its battle against Terrorhurtz

  • Earlier large drums tended to consume large amounts of energy, which reduced their capacity to spin for prolonged periods of time. Slicer noticeably rationed its drum usage in every battle it fought in.
  • As with other heavy spinning weapons, the recoil from a drum's impact could cause the robot to do damage to itself, or even immobilise it completely. This cost Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit in Series 7 when the recoil from its drum shattered its outrigger, causing its removable link to detach despite dominating its first round battle.
  • If not built properly, the drum could either be ripped or broken off completely. This was best shown in Clawed Hopper's battle with Pussycat, where Pussycat sliced off one of Clawed Hopper's side drums.
  • Like vertical flywheels, more powerful drums can also cause the robot to encounter control issues and lift onto one side while turning, due to the gyroscopic forces acting upon the robot while the weapon is spinning. However, these issues are considerably less pronounced in drums than in vertical flywheels, due to their lower moment of inertia (MOI). Pulsar notably displayed this characteristic during its Head-to-Head battle against Ironside3 in Series 9, using its drum to lift itself onto one wheel in an attempt to show mobility after losing drive to one side.
  • While generally durable, it is still possible for drums to become damaged following prolonged contact with or direct attacks from opponents, and if this were to occur, drums are challenging to repair due to them generally being constructed from a single part. Sabretooth in particular lost a large chunk of its drum during its Series 9 battle against Terrorhurtz, which required Team Legion to make substantial repairs to it for the remainder of its Head-to-Head battles.
  • Drums are extremely difficult to make, as they require extensive milling and manufacturing. Concussion's drum, a single-toothed design, took 30 hours just to mill at the hands of the very experienced Simon Scott.[1]

List of Robots with DrumsEdit

Barberous 2 In a bit

Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit, the only full-body drum spinner in Robot Wars

Blade offical image

Blade

Brute

Brute

Clawed Hopper

Clawed Hopper in Series 5

Concussion 10

Concussion in Series 10

Hobgoblin S10

Hobgoblin in Series 10 with its egg beater

Infernal Contraption

Infernal Contraption

Magnetar

Magnetar

Pulsar S9

Pulsar in Series 9

Sabretooth

Sabretooth

Sir Force A Lot

Sir Force A Lot with its five-blade weapon configuration

Slicer

Slicer

ST

Suicidal Tendencies, one of the first Robot Wars competitors to use a drum

Tetanus booster

Tetanus Booster

Tornado

Tornado in Series 6, fitted with the drum

Trazmaniac

Trazmaniac

Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight competitors are listed with a green background.

Robot Series Appearances with Spinning Drums Notes
Barber-Ous Series 5-7, Extreme 2 A 'full-body spinning drum', designed to resemble a barber's pole.
Blackdevil Warzone Dutch Series 2
Black and Blue Series 7 Two-part clusterbot. Each half's drum weighed 20kg and spun at 6,000rpm.
Blade Series 3 Drum equipped with lawnmower blades. Series 3 Semi-Finalist.
Brute US Season 2 Drum weighed 23lbs and spun at 1,000rpm. US Season 2 Annihilator runner-up.
Challenger 2 Series 3 A set of interconnected milling cutters powered by a motorcycle starter motor, spinning at 100rpm.
Clawed Hopper Series 5 Walkerbot. Two long drums mounted either side of the robot. First walkerbot to win a battle in the main competition.
Concussion Series 9-10 Single-toothed drum designed by Sam Griffin and originally machined by Simon Scott. Weapon was machined out of a single piece of EN8 carbon steel, weighed 24.5kg and spun at 6,000rpm in Series 9. The Series 10 incarnation features an upgraded Toolox drum weighing 26.2kg and spinning at 7,000rpm. Series 9 Grand Finalist.
Crackers 'n' Smash Series 9-10 Smash features a drum-like spinner composed out of four hardened steel discs mounted on the same axle. Smash's weapon spun at 8,000rpm in Series 9 and at 11,000rpm (250mph tip speed) in Series 10; the fastest spinning weapon in Robot Wars history.
Eruption Series 9-10 A set of three small discs mounted in parallel on top of Eruption's flipper, known as the Drum of Death. One of Eruption's interchangeable add-on weapons for Series 9, along with a gripping claw.
Flippa Series 7 Robot failed to move in most of its battles.
HIGH-5 Series 9 Interchangeable rear drum, weighing 14kg.
Hobgoblin Series 9-10 Only 'beater bot' in Robot Wars, with a 20kg egg beater.
Infernal Contraption Series 6-8, Extreme 2 Weapon featured four teeth, weighed 16kg and spun at 1,000rpm. Drum could spin up to full speed in three seconds.
Mad Cow Bot US Season 2 Aluminium drum powered by a Magmotor.
Magnetar Series 10 Drum weighs 21kg, features two single-toothed disc sections on either side, and is estimated to spin at 8,500rpm with a tip speed of 250mph. Series 10 Grand Finalist.
Mammoth Extreme 2
Medusa 2000 Series 4
Pod Series 8
(withdrew)
Part of a set of interchangeable weapons. Withdrew from Series 8 due to being overweight.
Pulsar Series 8-9 Single-toothed drum weighing 14.5kg and spinning at 9,000rpm, the fastest spinning weapon in Series 8. Series 8 Grand Finalist. Series 9 redesign featured a 23kg drum spinning at 8,700rpm. Drum featured two single-toothed disc sections on either side to hit and throw opponents over.
Revenge US Season 2
Revolution 3 Series 7 Eight-toothed, spun at up to 2,500rpm, interchangeable with a scoop. Referred to as a flywheel.
Sabretooth Series 8-10 In Series 8, the drum covered one side of the robot, with a static scoop and grabbing arm defending the other. The Series 8 drum weighed 22kg and spun at 4,500rpm. In Series 9, the drum became the robot's main weapon, spinning at 7,000rpm, weighing 25kg and featuring three teeth. The Series 10 incarnation featured a 22kg three-toothed drum, again spinning at 7,000rpm.
Shear Khan Extreme 1
Shrapnel Series 3
Sir Force A Lot US Season 2 Two or five clawed blades attached to a spinning steel pole. Weapon spun at 2,000rpm and could rotate in either direction. US Season 2 Tag Team Terror runner-up, paired with G-Force.
Slicer Dutch Series 1 Dutch Series 1 Champion.
Suicidal Tendencies Series 3 First robot to use a drum, known as a 'milling cutter'.
Tetanus Booster Series 7
Tornado Series 5-7, Extreme 1-2 Tornado's main weapon, often erroneously called a spinning disc by the team and Jonathan Pearce. Drum weighed 7kg and spun at 2,500rpm (2,000rpm according to Pearce's commentary). Part of its interchangeable weapons system from Series 6 onwards. Series 6 Champion.
Trazmaniac Dutch Series 2 Very narrow drum with four thin teeth mounted asymmetrically.
Widow's Revenge Series 5 Drum was modelled on a rolling pin.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/60pjjb/we_are_team_concussion_ask_us_anything/df8j7pt/
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