- "Fluffy by name, not Fluffy by nature..."
- — Robot Wars: The Ultimate Guide
After a quiet debut in Extreme, Fluffy caused major damage to 101 and Terrorhurtz in back-to-back wins during Series 5, and gained the upper hand on the second seed Pussycat before suddenly breaking down to fall at the Heat Final stage, but nevertheless earned the Most Promising Newcomer Award. Fluffy fell in the second round of Series 6 to Stinger, but jointly won the UK vs Germany Special in the same series, representing the United Kingdom. However, Fluffy's infamous reliability issues prevented it from winning any battles in Extreme 2 or Series 7.
- "After designing Charybdis entirely on 2D CAD and the backs of envelopes, we thought our next design needed to be a bit more thorough. We used a piece of software called Pro/DESKTOP which allowed us to model all the components within the frame in 3D. The advantage of using CAD is that, once you are familiar with the program, you can move parts around and try different frame layouts much more quickly than if you were designing with scale models or on paper. We decided that the new robot needed to be narrower, lower, and have thicker armour and a larger weapon."
- — Fluffy website on designing Fluffy
Fluffy was a low heptagonal-shaped robot which was capable of reaching 8 mph in Extreme 1 and Series 5, but 20mph in later series. It was built to be as compact as possible to allow for a very thick chassis and armour and two rubber wheels. It was shaped very much like the Series 6 guise of Disc-O-Inferno, only smaller and, instead of a conventional flywheel, its main weapon was a 20kg horizontal double-headed spinning axe that spun at 1500-2000rpm. Fluffy proved to be extremely destructive in its battles, even managing to disarm the number two seed Pussycat, and it was also well armoured in 16mm polycarbonate with a brazed steel frame. However, its 62cc 4.7hp petrol engine powered the spinning weapon, which created a fire risk, and the robot had a 2cm ground clearance.
For Series 6, Fluffy was rebuilt, with a slightly larger chassis and weapon, and thicker armour. This version of Fluffy was known as Fluffy 2 by the team, but was still known as Fluffy on-screen. Its weapon diameter was 640mm.
For Series 7, Fluffy was redesigned to be wider than before, sporting a more solid black colour scheme, and the pointed front of the robot was rounded off.
- Jayne Middlemiss: "Doesn't look very fluffy to me, why is it called that?"
- Richard Johnson: "Because it's cute and cuddly!"
- Jayne Middlemiss: "I don't know what you've been cuddling but I ain’t want to cuddle that!"
- — The team give an ironic description of their robot in their pre-battle interview in Series 7
Team Fluffy consisted of three students representing University College London. The young team was captained by Peter Holroyd, and he was joined by Peter and Richard Johnson for all of the team's appearances on Robot Wars.
Fluffy qualified for Series 5 after beating Kat 3 in the qualifiers. The two teams had fought at the Series 4 qualifiers with their previous entries, Charybdis and Kater Killer. Fluffy caused major damage to Kat 3 during this battle, which threatened the chances of Kat 3 being ready in time for the Fifth Wars, but ultimately both robots managed to compete.
- "One thing that nearly put an end to us before we got onto television this year was when we had to fight Fluffy in the try outs. ... they gave us a good thrashing - thanks lads. Keith had to spend all weekend getting us back into shape."
- — Team KaterKiller website
In its Series 6 qualifier, Fluffy was drawn against future champion Typhoon 2, debutant Prime Evil, and body spinner Velociripper (unrelated to Velocirippa). Prime Evil was withdrawn from the arena shortly before the battle started, leaving only three robots. Fluffy was the victor of the battle, and qualified automatically for the Sixth Wars.
In its Series 7 qualifier battle, Fluffy faced an invertible box-shaped robot, Terror Turtle and Gyrobot. For the moments it was active, Fluffy was a key player in the battle, inflicting major damage to the box-shaped robot, also cutting through the frame of Terror Turtle, and slicing through Gyrobot's spinning rim, damage that would not be fully repaired before Gyrobot fought in Series 7. However, Fluffy was not able to immobilise any of the three robots outright, and it eventually stopped moving in a corner of the arena. Ultimately the battle was won by Gyrobot, but Fluffy nevertheless received a discretionary place in the Seventh Wars.
- "Fluffy was so powerful but unfortunately they broke down, however they still got through into the series."
- — Steve Wood on Fluffy at the Series 7 qualifiers
Fluffy started by backing away from its opponents, before twisting round and hitting the side of Wild Thing, causing only minor damage. Their two weapons were briefly locked together as they circled each other, before both machines broke away, with Fluffy's spinner appearing to have stopped. Wild Thing proceeded to push Fluffy into the arena side wall, immobilising it completely. Fluffy was hit by Arnold A. Terminegger's axe a few times, and also absorbed a slam by Wild Thing, though no damage was caused.
- "Fluffy's out of it, of course, and is onto the arena flipper. Any second now... one, two, three, sails through the air, a bang and a crash - ha-ha-ha-ha-ha - and down into the pit. They got their wish."
- — Jonathan Pearce
The immobilised Fluffy was pushed across the arena by Sir Killalot after being counted out by the Refbot and eliminated from the Mayhem. Fluffy was then placed on the arena floor flipper, and due to Fluffy's odd shape, Fluffy bounced straight into the open pit of oblivion.
Fluffy entered Series 5 as a newcomer, where it entered a first-round battle with the twenty-third seed and former semi-finalist, 101.
- "I like the look of Fluffy's weapon here, that spinning axe blade."
- — Jonathan Pearce, just before Fluffy's first attack damages 101's track
Fluffy began by dodging 101's first attack, turning away before hitting 101's right track, breaking it and severely reducing 101's mobility. Fluffy attacked a second time, ripping the track off completely. Fluffy tore into 101's side, cutting a chunk out in the process. Their next tore a large gash into 101's front, then they focused on 101's front right corner, ripping more of the armour away. As Fluffy backed off for several seconds, 101 continued to hug the arena wall. Seeing no danger, Fluffy advanced on 101 and hit its front again, bouncing Fluffy away. Another attack bent and buckled one of 101's guiding wedges, but Fluffy could not quite finish off 101, so the fight went to the judges. Unsurprisingly, the judges voted Fluffy through.
- "I think we're going to see a lot more of Fluffy in Robot Wars. I've been hugely impressed."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Fluffy was then drawn up against Terrorhurtz in the second round of the Heat. The Fluffy team added an extra layer of polycarbonate on top of the robot to protect against the axe of their opponent, while Team Hurtz added a "Fluffy launch device" to deflect Fluffy's attacks.
Terrorhurtz attacked Fluffy with its axe in the opening seconds, trapping the spinner on its wedge, but Fluffy escaped quickly. Fluffy were chased by Terrorhurtz across the arena, but then Fluffy turned into Terrorhurtz's side (the side without the "Fluffy launched device") and tore away the side armour, crippling Terrorhurtz's mobility and cracking one of Terrorhurtz's gas valves. This caused CO2 to leak from the machine and left the internals exposed. Fluffy drove into Terrorhurtz, ripping some of its internals out. Another attack from Fluffy bent the "Fluffy launch device" out of shape. Refbot came in to count out Terrorhurtz, although not before Fluffy came in for two final attack, causing minor damage to Terrorhurtz's front wedge, and deflecting Fluffy into Refbot. Terrorhurtz was eventually flung by the floor flipper and then pitted by Shunt who went in as well.
- "I am so impressed by Fluffy, their first time in [the UK Championship of] Robot Wars, and Terrorhurtz are discombobulated!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
In the Heat Final, Fluffy faced the second seed and defending runner-up, Pussycat.
They began by colliding with Pussycat's front deflecting both machines away. Fluffy retreated, with Pussycat in hot pursuit. Fluffy sustained minor damage as Pussycat rammed into their side, bouncing the seeds up onto all four wheels and over again. Fluffy circled around, giving itself a wide berth from Pussycat, before dodging another Pussycat attack. Fluffy then turned back in to Pussycat and the weapons collided, ripping the spinning disc and a caster off Pussycat. Pussycat desperately rammed into Fluffy, but weren't able to push Fluffy. This seemed like an incredible win for the newcomers against the second seed, but Fluffy mysteriously broke down, while Pussycat struggled over a flame jet.
- "The blade of Fluffy is moving, but they're not - they're not progressing across the arena floor! What a surprise this would be! Fluffy are being counted out! The Pussycat blade was gone, but they kept battling, and Fluffy conked out! Absolutely startling! What a battle that was!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Fluffy is counted out
Even though the blade was still spinning, there was no other sign of movement from Fluffy, and they were counted out by Refbot and left to the House Robots. Dead Metal cut into them, before Sir Killalot hoisted them into the air and were thrown by the floor flipper. Fluffy was then pushed into the pit of oblivion by Dead Metal, who promptly drove in as well. Thus, the surprise win was awarded to Pussycat, putting them through to the Semi-Finals and eliminating Fluffy from the competition.
- "I thought we were on the brink of one of the great Robot Wars surprises."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Fluffy are placed on the Floor Flipper
At first, Fluffy stayed away from the action while Kan-Opener became stuck in Demolition Man after its initial attack. Fluffy came in for an attack on Demolition Man, before backing away and tearing through Kan-Opener's sides in a second attack, sending up a shower of sparks and immobilising it.
- "Fluffy - low centre of gravity - has spun away, but has caused trouble to Kan-Opener. Look at this attack here, slicing into Kan-Opener!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Fluffy immobilises Kan-Opener
Fluffy deflected off of Kan-Opener's claws as it drove into them again, just avoiding a slam by Double Trouble. By this point, Fluffy's weaponry had stopped spinning as they rammed into the side of Double Trouble. Demolition Man also broke down due to the damage inflicted by Kan-Opener, sending Fluffy though to the next round.
In the second round, Fluffy fought 11th seeds Stinger.
Both machines circled around the arena in the opening moments. Fluffy darted round Stinger's mace and hit one of the wheels, before quickly escaping an attack from Stinger. A second attack from Fluffy clipped Stinger's mace, sending the axlebot tumbling and twisting over. Fluffy scored another hit on Stinger's wheel, and Stinger appeared to lose drive on one side. Fluffy took advantage of this, and struck Stinger's mace as they span on the spot, deflecting Fluffy away.
- "Fluffy, waiting its moment to come onto the attack. Stinger is going around in circles, that's just about it. Fluffy's first attack really, of this second round clash, caused so much damage."
- — Jonathan Pearce, just before Stinger's wheel begins working again
As Fluffy backed off for several seconds, Stinger continued driving in circles, and Fluffy continued to strike Stinger's tyres, causing some visible damage. However when the two robots collided, Stinger's wheel began working again. Fluffy's blade had stopped working, leaving it with no offensive capability, as they were subjected to a whack from Stinger's mace. It attempted to evade Stinger, but drove onto the Flame Pit. Fluffy appeared to have slowed down near the arena wall, while Stinger began spinning on the spot, bashing into the side of Fluffy.
- "Fluffy, with the steel frame, difficult to penetrate, very destructive as well, but taking punishment from Stinger. I don't know how much destructive punishment. Down comes the mace again. Bang! Slam! Where's Fluffy going now?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Fluffy withstood consecutive blows from the mace, as well as another attack with Stinger spinning on the spot, before driving into a CPZ, where Mr. Psycho hammered it. Fluffy avoided a second blow from the hammer and escaped, but Stinger got into position and slammed its top again and again, eventually immobilising it. After being counted out, Fluffy was thrown by the floor flipper, and eliminated from the Sixth Wars.
After both machines began spinning up their weapons on the spot, Fluffy met Corkscrew in the centre of the arena, the spinners clashing. Fluffy's briefly slowed down while Corkscrew's kept spinning, and Fluffy turned away, before sustaining a hit to the side. This turned Fluffy round to face Corkscrew, and they drove into the full body spinner, causing Corkscrew to bounce into the arena wall, stunning it.
- "What you will see is, with the Fluffy blade once it has struck its opponent, the blade will stop. Mind you, Corkscrew, has stopped dead!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Fluffy attacked again while Corkscrew remained vulnerable, tearing into the armour. By this point, Corkscrew were no longer spinning, or mobile, and were slammed into the pit release button by Fluffy. Corkscrew were counted out, meaning that Fluffy was through to the next round.
- "No pants? It was pants! It goes spinning out of the competition, whereas Fluffy, they display the spirit of 66!"
- — Craig Charles
There in the second round, Fluffy met the similarly destructive 259, waging a horizontal spinner against a vertical spinner.
Both machines avoided each other during the opening seconds of the fight, with 259 chasing Fluffy around the arena. Fluffy's extra speed meant it was easily able to evade 259's lethal spinner for some time. Eventually, the two machines collided head-on, causing minor damage to the front of 259. Fluffy caught the edge of 259's left side skirt, lifting it up and exposing the wheels, before quickly tearing into the right side and ripping out 259's right drive belt.
- "259's in all sorts of bother here. It was the extreme strength of Fluffy's onslaught - and another massive attack has sent 259 toppling! What ease! They simply tossed 259 aside!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
While its opponent lay helpless in the middle of the arena, Fluffy slammed into 259's exposed side, damaging one of its exposed wheels. It struck 259 once more, and the impact flipped 259 onto its side. As 259 were counted out, Fluffy left them to the mercy of the House Robots, who pitted the beaten machine.
- "Fluffy, worthy winners. A real match for anything Germany can put up."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Through to the final, Fluffy met the German representative Das Gepäck, for the chance to win the trophy.
- "Fluffy will fight them in the arena, he'll fight them on the angle grinder, he'll fight them in the pit, and Fluffy will never, never, never, surrender!"
- — Jonathan Pearce paraphrases Winston Churchill to back the United Kingdom
Initially, the two robots avoided each other, trying to get into the right position to use their weapon effectively. With its first attack, Fluffy tore off one of Das Gepäck's spikes, but did little damage to the body. A second attack on Das Gepäck's side did little damage either, and Fluffy were only able to glance off the German machine as they clashed again. Fluffy chased Das Gepäck across the arena, before driving into Das Gepäck's front, deflecting away. The two machines collided over the Flame Pit, with Fluffy's spinner appearing to rip away part of Das Gepäck's side armour, but once again the damage was only minor. Das Gepäck then rammed into Fluffy's side, and it was at this moment that Fluffy's blade stopped working.
- "Very well balanced, and well set up, this final. By far and away the best two machines we've seen."
- — Jonathan Pearce, as the battle continues to show no clear winner
The two spent the rest of the match ramming and pushing each other around, with neither appearing to gain any sort of edge. Das Gepäck activated the pit release and darted after Fluffy. Both machines came together and became embroiled in a brief push-and-shove near the pit. Fluffy and Das Gepäck broke away again, before ramming into each other over a CO2 vent. The final attack saw Fluffy pushed over the Flame Pit and cease was called.
- "Has the Fluffy weaponry stopped? That could be decisive, if it does go to the judges. Mind you the Das Gepäck weapon has hardly been effective throughout."
- — Jonathan Pearce
The battle was sent to a Judges' decision, who in an unprecedented move, declared the battle to be a draw. The one available trophy was given to the Das Gepäck team, but nevertheless Fluffy was declared the joint winner of the episode.
- "Fluffy headed students? Never!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
In Extreme Series 2, Fluffy's only appearance was in the University Challenge, where it represented University College London. Fluffy was favoured to win the whole competition, and its first round battle was against Infinity and Tiberius 3.
Tiberius 3 and Infinity immediately clashed on activate, with Fluffy holding back. Tiberius 3 backed into Fluffy, who weren't able to cause significant damage to Tiberius 3's tough armour. The attack also appeared to have stopped Fluffy's weaponry.
- "The Fluffy team, in the jaws of a dilemma, and the jaws of Tiberius 3."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Infinity rammed into the back of Fluffy, before Fluffy became beached on Tiberius 3's wedge. Tiberius 3 pierced a hole in the top of Fluffy and held it into an angle grinder, before being dragged over the Flame Pit. Tiberius 3 then proceeded to carry Fluffy into the air across the arena. Infinity attempted to grab onto the side of Fluffy with its pincers, but Tiberius 3's grip was stronger. Growler activated the pit release, but Tiberius 3 couldn't let go of Fluffy over the pit. Fluffy fell to its demise after Sir Killalot pushed into the back of Tiberius 3, taking Tiberius 3 with it.
- "Now who's gonna go down? Fluffy, Infinity? Infinity, Fluffy? Which one? Someone's got to fall here... It's Fluffy! They're out!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
As a result, Fluffy was eliminated in the first round. The team revealed backstage that their petrol engine had stalled shortly before the match began, reducing the weapon's power, contributing to its loss.
- "Has to lose its soft image from its previous defeats in the wars..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Fluffy is introduced
Fluffy targeted Scarey-Go-Round early on, tearing a huge gash into them. Scarey-Go-Round then drove into Fluffy's spinning blade, deflecting Fluffy away and causing more damage to Scarey-Go-Round, with a side panel left visible on the arena floor. Soon afterwards, Fluffy burnt out its motors on one side. It was still moving, but only in circles.
- "Fluffy is smoking, something's burning out inside. They're spinning, but they're not moving forward."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Scarey-Go-Round drove into Fluffy again, and the spinning blade connected with Scarey-Go-Round's, slashing through the weak armour. Fluffy began spinning on the spot as Killer Carrot 2 edged towards it. This resulted in Killer Carrot 2 being spun away by Fluffy's still-powerful spinning blade. Fluffy then began to emit smoke, and its spinner stopped working, before the machine seemed to cease functioning altogether. Sgt. Bash grabbed Fluffy with his front claw while Killer Carrot 2 activated the pit release. As Sergeant Bash let go, Fluffy came back to life, but was still only able to spin in circles.
- "Fluffy had no pushing factor on Killer Carrot 2, but has suddenly found some life, and zip, Fluffy. Too little, too late, perhaps, should it go to the Judges."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Killer Carrot 2 wedged its flipper on top of Fluffy while Constrictor bumped into the side of Fluffy. The battle ended with Killer Carrot 2 and Constrictor both pushing into Fluffy, who had appeared to have lost all drive again. All four machines survived to the Judges' decision, despite Scarey-Go-Round being immobile on the flame pit. The judges eliminated Fluffy, along with Scarey-Go-Round. In addition, this would be Fluffy's final Robot Wars appearance.
|FLUFFY - RESULTS|
|Mayhem||vs. Arnold A. Terminegger, Wild Thing||Lost|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat L, Round 1||vs. 101 (23)||Won|
|Heat L, Round 2||vs. Terrorhurtz||Won|
|Heat L, Final||vs. Pussycat (2)||Lost|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat F, Round 1||vs. Demolition Man, Double Trouble, Kan-Opener||Qualified|
|Heat F, Round 2||vs. Stinger (11)||Lost|
|UK vs Germany Special|
Representing UK, Joint Champion
|NOTE: This competition was also broadcast during German Robot Wars|
|Round 1||vs. Corkscrew (UK)||Won|
|Round 2||vs. 259 (UK)||Won|
|Final||vs. Das Gepäck (GER)||Drew|
|Round 1||vs. Infinity, Tiberius 3||Eliminated|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat F, Round 1||vs. Constrictor, Killer Carrot 2, Scarey-Go-Round||Eliminated|
- Wins: 5
- Losses: 5
- Draws: 1
|Main Series||Fluffy Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify with Charybdis|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat Final|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Seventh Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
- Fluffy was one of only ten robots to debut in Extreme 1 and then fight in one of the main competitions, not counting Typhoon. The others were 3 Stegs to Heaven, Axe-Awe, Comengetorix, Fighting Torque, NEAT Machine, Spawn Again, Sub-Version, The Executioner and Draven.
- Of all the robots to be awarded Most Promising Newcomer, Fluffy was the only one who beat out a robot that made it further in the competition (S3).
- It was the only Most Promising Newcomer that failed to reach the Semi-Finals the series they were awarded the honour (Tornado and Dantomkia both reached the second round of the Semi-Finals in Series 4 and 6 respectively.).
- It was also the only Most Promising Newcomer who wasn't knocked out of the competition by the Number one seed in the series they won the award (Tornado was beaten by Chaos 2, while Dantomkia was beaten by Razer, whereas Fluffy was beaten by the second seeds, Pussycat).
- In both of Fluffy's appearances in Extreme, it appeared in the same episode as Behemoth.
- The only House Robot which never shared the arena with Fluffy was Cassius Chrome.
- Both of the seeds that beat Fluffy (Pussycat and Stinger) fought each other in the Extreme 1 All-Stars.
- ↑ Fluffy website (archived)
- ↑ Fluffy 2 page on the Fluffy website (archived)
- ↑ Private correspondence with User:ToastUltimatum