- "Aside from the fact Foxic is apparently bomb proof, another impressive ability of the one-man built robot is that it is multifunctional"
- — The Robot Wars website
Foxic was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 8-9 of Robot Wars. It reached the Head to Head stage in Series 8, but did not progress beyond this after losing all of its battles and failing to score any points. Although Foxic was an improved machine in Series 9, it fell in the first round after being overturned by the floor flipper when its lifter was not put together properly, leaving it unable to self-right.
Foxic was built by Craig Danby of Team Danby. Chris Danby joined him on the team in Series 8 after his own robot, Apex, was not selected to compete. Foxic was not selected for Series 10, so Craig Danby rejoined Chris Danby's Team Terrafonics to compete with Apex.
Versions of Foxic
Foxic mk2 (Series 8)
- "Foxic's armour makes it one of the most solid Robot Wars competitors. It's a versatile robot with a lifting arm that can rotate backwards 270°"
- — Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot
Foxic was a four-wheeled, invertible box-shaped robot, armoured in 8mm of layered abrasion resistant steel. It was armed with a variable lifting arm, or lifting scoop. The various scoops that Foxic used included a steep plate emblazoned with a fox's face, both on the end of a lifting arm or working independently, and a set of prongs.
Bringing the front of the lifting arm down on opponents also allowed the weapon to be used as a guillotine. As the lifter could move at a maximum angle of 270°, the scoop could help Foxic self-right, although Foxic was invertible when using its hinged scoop. Foxic used its lifting arm in its group battle, but used its shorter lifting scoop for its remaining battles, as the joint that attached Foxic's lifting arm would no longer fit in the machine. Although the scoop displayed a low ground clearance, its offensive output was limited.
The Foxic that appeared in Series 8 was in fact the second version of the machine, sometimes known as Foxic mk2, featuring internal upgrades. It weighed 97kg, was powered by 2x servomotors with 5 horsepower each, and its top speed was 17mph. However, it struggled to turn in its matches, leaving Foxic mostly capable of driving forwards and backwards.
Foxic (Series 9)
Following on from a performance in Series 8 where Foxic displayed design flaws, these were addressed directly with a new version of Foxic, which entered Series 9. The new Foxic moves much more freely, and uses an innovative chassis design which puts alcoves on either side of Foxic. The end of its lifting arm - referred to as a flipper on television - was now shaped in the head of a fox, angled in three directions for easily breaching ground clearances. Ridges were added to the lifting arm itself, so Foxic could hold robots on top of its body after getting underneath its opponent.
- "Foxic was rebuilt for Series 9 and came back with an interchangeable thicker arm for fighting spinners and hooks that could be substituted for the arm."
- — Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot
Foxic's head could be swapped for two interchangeable weapons. The first was a broad, thicker scoop designed to deflect horizontal spinners, like that of the previous Foxic but longer and with sharper corners for wedging from the side. Alternatively, Foxic could be applied with hooked forks, for holding on to other robots while lifting them. However, Foxic's lifter did not work in its televised battle, leaving the robot with no self-righting mechanism in its only televised battle, despite this not being a core issue of the design.
The robot's name comes from another robot Craig Danby and a friend made when they were younger, which was entered into a junior micromouse competition. The name Foxic was originally based on Sonic the Hedgehog, imagining him as a fox.
Foxic competed in Heat 2, where it faced two other newcomers to the main wars, Chimera and Draven, as well as M.R. Speed Squared. This was Team Danby's first televised heavyweight battle, despite their several appearances in featherweight and antweight classes.
- "He says they have no weaknesses, that's a dangerous claim for the second-lightest machine in the heat!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Foxic was targeted by Draven at the beginning of the battle, although because Foxic's lifter was lower to the ground, it snuck underneath Draven. Foxic drove away from Draven, but was caught, and slammed from behind. It became clear that Foxic was suffering from problems with its drive motors, as it became stuck in a CPZ, unable to move far away, incapable of turning sideways due to a gear loosening. Foxic nudged the already-defeated Chimera, but was attacked from behind by Draven. However, it was at this point that M.R. Speed Squared immobilised the unassuming Draven, meaning Foxic would qualify as the other mobile machine.
- "Possibly the least-impressive robot that has ever qualified through the group battle!"
- — A harsh comment from Dara Ó Briain
In the group stages, Foxic was first drawn against fellow live circuit competitors Shockwave. Team Danby replaced Foxic's lifting arm with a smaller lifting scoop, the 'tactical reason' being that the longer arm would no longer fit on the robot, which Craig Danby whispered to Angela Scanlon. Jonathan Pearce remarked that Team Danby were aiming to be 'Robot Wars villains', implying arrogance from the team, despite their off-screen assistance rebuilding Nuts and cut banter.
In the battle, both robots met in the centre of the arena, but Foxic's ground clearance was lower, so it was able to circle Shockwave around. However, Foxic briefly lost mobility, and Shockwave pressed the pit release and edged Foxic towards the pit, into the arena wall, and then Dead Metal's CPZ. Dead Metal gripped Foxic, but surprisingly, Foxic wedged itself under Dead Metal, lifting its wheels off the ground, and was powerful enough to push it across the arena. Shockwave then joined in, wedging underneath Foxic. With Foxic's wheels off the ground, Dead Metal easily pushed both competitors back across the arena, and sliced into Foxic's top armour. Foxic displayed minimal movement after this attack, and Shockwave barreled it into the arena wall, turning it over. Foxic freed itself through the use of its lifting scoop, but with its weapon now off the floor, Shockwave exposed Foxic's ground clearance, and pushed it into the pit.
- "We lost, so as far as I'm concerned, that's it for me, so we're going to go after the house robots."
- — Craig Danby
In Foxic's next battle, it faced M.R. Speed Squared, the robot that helped Foxic qualify for the round. The robots never attacked each other in the first-round qualifier, and it was a similar story in their head-to-head, as after an attempt to attack M.R. Speed Squared was impeded by a collision with the floor flipper, Team Danby honoured their desire to attack the house robots. Foxic drove straight into the claws of Dead Metal, where Sir Killalot also came in to assist. Dead Metal cut into Foxic's raised scoop, generating sparks. Foxic drove away, and edged near the pit, where it finally made first contact with M.R. Speed Squared, reversing into it without pushing it very far. Foxic attempted to lift M.R. Speed Squared, but did not gain a purchase. One final push from Foxic allowed it to slip under M.R. Speed Squared, and push it backwards slightly, before cease was called on a very tentative battle.
- "This has been dreary, I feel weary! Six seconds left, thank goodness"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Chris Danby called the battle 'terrible', while Chris Danby revealed to Angela Scanlon that Foxic was once again incapable of turning sideways, giving the robot momentum only on forward and backward drives. The resulting Judges' decision was a split decision in favour of M.R. Speed Squared, despite Professor Sethu Vijayakumar's vote being in Foxic's favour, as Foxic had sustained damage from the house robots, despite being the more offensive machine towards the end.
Foxic was unable to progress to the Heat Final after this loss, but Team Danby were given the chance to fight Thor, much to their pleasure, as the front end of Foxic had been specifically designed to defeat axe robots, which the team had previously defeated on past occasions.
- "I'm more than happy to fight Thor, I came here for Thor, I'm gonna drive in with this upright, and I'm gonna cut his bloody axe off!"
- — Craig Danby
As planned, Foxic entered the battle with its scoop raised in order to protect itself from Thor's axe, though Thor made no effort to use its weapon in the opening stages. Team Danby encouraged Jason Marston to fire his weapon, as they pushed Thor into the pit release button, although Dead Metal attempted to cut into the more offensive Foxic, although it was too low to gain a proper purchase on. Foxic escaped, its drive motors finally fixed, but was pushed around the arena by Thor. As Thor edged Foxic towards the flame pit, Foxic finally sustained a blow from the axe, and was left to burn on the flame pit. Foxic was immobilised at this stage, and never escaped the flame pit, and was torched as Dead Metal cut into its scoop. Foxic was counted out, and Matilda used her tusks to flip Foxic into the pit.
- "You coward!"
- — Craig Danby to Jason Marston
Foxic competed in Heat 3, where it once again faced M.R. Speed Squared in the first round, alongside new robots Expulsion and Heavy Metal. Craig Danby wore a fox hoodie, and equipped Foxic with its standard lifting face.
- Craig Danby: "I can get underneath somebody, hook onto them, drag them around the arena, open the pit, drag them into the House Robots, set them on fire..."
- Angela Scanlon: "Right, that sounds like dirty tactics!"
- Craig Danby: "Well, this is war!"
- — Craig Danby's tactics
Foxic started the battle in front of the Arena Tyre, so it immediately reversed into it, activating the pit. It rushed under Expulsion, causing that robot immediate problems, and buffeted M.R. Speed Squared away. Foxic followed Heavy Metal, which pushed Expulsion into Sir Killalot, but Foxic took a hit to the side from M.R. Speed Squared. Foxic survived this attack, unlike the immobile Expulsion, and Heavy Metal, which was only operational on one wheel. Despite this advantageous position, Foxic reversed onto the floor flipper, where it was turned over.
- "And Foxic has been flipped! Can he self-right now? Doesn't look like it!"
- — Jonathan Pearce responds to Foxic being thrown by the Floor Flipper
Foxic's lifting arm was not working as it was missing an M10 retaining bolt, so it could not self-right, and was beached on its back. Heavy Metal was deemed to be more mobile than the overturned Foxic, and it was eliminated in the first round. Edited out of the televised battle, Foxic was held up high by Sir Killalot and dropped into the pit for added punishment; a clip of this was still used in a Series 9 promotional trailer, however.
- Angela Scanlon: "What happened?"
- Craig Danby: "The self-righting arm, the lifting arm... didn't fire for some reason."
- Angela Scanlon: "Bring him back, please!"
- Craig Danby: "I will!"
- — Post-battle interview
|FOXIC - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
Round 2, Fourth Place
|Heat 2, Group Battle||vs. Chimera, Draven, M.R. Speed Squared||Qualified|
|Heat 2, Head-to-Heads||vs. Shockwave||Lost via KO (0 points)|
|Heat 2, Head-to-Heads||vs. M.R. Speed Squared||Lost via Judges' decision (0 points)|
|Heat 2, Head-to-Heads||vs. Thor||Lost via KO (0 points)|
|Series 9 - UK Championship|
|Heat 3, Group Battle||vs. Expulsion, Heavy Metal, M.R. Speed Squared||Eliminated|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 4
|Main Series||Foxic Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Featherweight Championship with Deadline|
|The Third Wars||Super Heavyweight Championship with Toxin (event cancelled)|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify with Vindicare|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify with TX-108|
|The Sixth Wars||Failed to qualify with TX-108|
|The Seventh Wars||Featherweight Championship with Gi-Ant-O|
Failed to qualify with TX-108 and Tanto
|Series 8||Heat, Round 2, Fourth Place|
Not selected with Apex
|Series 9||Heat, Round 1|
Entered with Apex (Team Terrafonics)
|Series 10||Not selected|
Entered with Apex
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Entered with Anto|
Entered with TX-108 (battle unaired)
|Series 2||Entered with Gi-Ant-O|
- NOTE 1: Tanto, a robot built by Team Danby, also competed in the untelevised Series 8 Pilot under new ownership of Team Immersion.
- NOTE 2: Craig Danby also competed in Battle of the Stars as mentor for The Cat.
Outside Robot Wars
Foxic also took part in the RoboGames 2015 event in America, where it lost its first round battle against Evil Plunger, due it getting immobilised after being rammed and lifted against the arena wall in the opening seconds of the fight. Foxic returned to RoboGames in 2016, where it lost its first match to Last Rites and its second to Vlad the Impaler II. Foxic was due to compete in RoboGames 2017 as well, but was unable to attend due to shipping issues preventing the robot from arriving in the United States in time. Foxic is slated to compete at RoboGames in 2018.
In October 2015, Foxic competed at a Robots Live! event in Stevenage, battling Eruption and Turbulence in the first heat of the FRA UK Heavyweight Championship. Despite surviving for longer than Turbulence, it ultimately lost the melee after becoming immobilised and getting flipped several times by Eruption.
After Series 8 of Robot Wars aired, Foxic underwent a complete rebuild to fix the flaws found with the machine. It made its live events debut at Extreme Robots Portsmouth 2017, where it took on HIGH-5 and Cyber Raptor. It won by flipping Cyber Raptor and pushing HIGH-5 in the pit despite driving itself into the pit in the process. It later fought the two again, but then lost to Weird mAlice after being flipped over, emitting smoke. Foxic's most recent appearance came in October 2017, where it attended the Robots Live! Stevenage event and entered the 2017 FRA UK Heavyweight Championship; in the latter competition, it lost its first-round battle after getting thrown out of the arena by Ka-Pow! for a knockout loss.
In the Chinese TV show Clash Bots, Team Danby were required to create a robot very similar to Foxic, resulting in the creation of Hyena. For more information, see here.
Ahead of competing at RoboGames in 2018, Team Danby brought Foxic to the filming of BattleBots, where they were competing with Predator. Foxic would not compete in the series, but was present in the pits throughout the event, potentially providing spare materials. At RoboGames itself, Foxic fought the multibot Crash n' Burn, but Crash drove under Foxic and pinned it against the wall to use its flamethrower on the base of Foxic, burning the gorilla tape that sealed up the gaps in the bottom of the robot. The internals were fine, but the smoke coming from the tape caused Craig to think the internals were burning so he tapped out. In the losers' bracket, it fought Megalodon, but was flipped over, and proved unable to self-right. Driven by young audience members, Foxic also fought an exhibition battle against middleweight Herbert's Revenge, but after taking an initial lead, Foxic lost most of its mobility in the closing stages of the match.
Over the course of just seven days ending in November 2018, Foxic was completely rebuilt into its fourth variant, which now used a chassis milled entirely from a single billet of metal, and reworked internals. Foxic mk4 debuted at Maker Faire Orlando, but caught fire in battle, also becoming stuck inside the body of Mammoth in another battle. This version of Foxic was later painted black and green, and renamed to Foxtrot, for its entry into the 2019 season of BattleBots, succeeding their entry to the previous year, Predator. However it lost its first battle to the Australian robot Death Roll within seconds, also losing to Mammoth and Double Jeopardy in untelevised fights.
Team Danby have competed on the antweight circuit with a scaled down version of Foxic, known as Foxic Jr. Alex Shakespeare has also produced several antweight versions of Foxic under commission, one of which is owned by Team Danby. Son of Foxic was Craig Danby's equivalent for the beetleweight class, while Fennic is the featherweight version of Foxic.
In the first half of 2018, Foxic was the focus of a discussion regarding plagiarism. Ahead of Series 9, Craig Danby designed an interchangeable weapon for Foxic in the form of a vertically spinning fox head, and posted his CAD to Instagram. In April 2018, Indian team CK Robotics entered the Chinese TV show This is Fighting Robots with a design they had named Firefox, which blatantly used the design that Team Danby had created, and Craig Danby confirmed that CK Robotics had not asked for permission to use this design. Although Firefox found some success as a competitor, the Indian team's use of Danby's design was panned online, and by Craig Danby himself.
Robot Wars Live Events
Foxic made an appearance at the 2016 Robot Wars live event in Gloucester, fighting Shockwave and The Steel Avenger in a melee. It did not appear in any of the other Robot Wars live events, but appeared at other live events.
- The Series 9 version of Foxic was considered to be the first and only American robot to compete in main competition of the UK series. The robot was based in Raleigh in North Carolina, at the time of Series 9.
- Sir Killalot's attack on Foxic in Series 9 was not shown in its televised Group Battle, but was instead shown in the introduction to Heat 3 and the extended trailer uploaded by the official Robot Wars Facebook page.
- Foxic makes a cameo appearance in Heat 3 of Series 10 during Apex's VT.
- Anthony Murney of Team S.Tek operates an antweight model of the Series 9 version of Foxic known as Rusty, which would later appear in Heat 5 of Series 10 on top of Push to Exit.
- Foxic is one of two robots to make it past the group battles in Series 8 to not do the same in Series 9, with the other being Nuts.
Photo credits: Team Danby Facebook page
- Team Mowbot website
- Team Danby website (archived)
- Team Danby Facebook page
- Foxic (Series 8) on the Robot Wars website
- Foxic (Series 9) on the Robot Wars website