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"Literally - superior strength Irresistible force or overwhelming power"
— The Oxford English Dictionary definition of the term "force majeure", as shown on the team's website

Force Majeure was a robot that was intended to enter Series 5 of Robot Wars. However, it was not finished in time for the series qualifiers, and withdrew from the application process as a result.


The initial design of Force Majeure

Force Majeure's weapon was similar to Hammer & Tong in that it was a spiked axe that could also be used as a lifting arm, capable of lifting up to 400kg. It was armed in titanium, and had top speeds of 16mph. The team also considered a plethora of alternative weapons before settling upon the spiked axe.


The team originally intended to enter Series 2, but they did not finish their robot in time to enter. The original concept was a robot with a lifter powered by a pneumatic bag.

" I never did build the pneumatic bag powered lifter. Even then, I was going for energy storage. The cable operated arm was braked, then the bag inflated. The arm was released and driven by the expanding gas. Thus the accumulator was also the piston - a single mechanism which saves weight and avoids shifting gas at high speed."
— Force Majeure website[1]

The team then considered arming the robot with a hammer, planning a jointed hammer design, but rejected this idea for being too complicated. The idea of arming the robot with a flywheel was also rejected for being too complicated.

In January 2000, the team posted their intentions on the Robot Wars forum, and Tim Woodburn of the Anvil team contacted them, claiming that he would like to help with the robot. Via email, Tim and the team discussed the design over the course of February, before a design was drawn in March. However, Tim Woodburn left the project in May to work on Anvil. [2]

Fortunately for the team, they managed to construct the robot in time for testing. During testing, the team found that Force Majeure was relatively quick, reaching a top speed of 16 mph. The lifting arm could lift up to 400kg and the armour was durable titanium plates.

The robot was not finished in time to attend the qualifiers for Series 5, so the team withdrew, and the team decided to give up their plans and sell the parts of the robot.

"At the start of August this year, I got a call from Mentorn, "was my bot ready to fight in the 5th series?". The answer was no, and that was after a year of building. I also drew a meaning from the call that I had another year in which to complete it for the 6th wars. The project was going very slowly, and slowing down, not on ice, but glacial. ... From the start, I have been under funded, under resourced, over committed, and over confident."
— Force Majeure website[3]

Series Record[]

Series Force Majeure Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Withdrew application
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: Original team member Tim Woodburn competed in Series 1 of Robot Wars Extreme with Anvil.


External Links[]