Robot Wars Wiki

This glossary is used to define any abbreviations, nomenclature and terminologies used on Robot Wars and in the wider robot combat community. For pages based on terminologies, see Category:Terminology.


  • Activate - The word used to start all Robot Wars events.
  • Aggression - Criteria in which a robot is identified as 'relentlessly taking the battle to its opponents', not necessarily by causing damage.
  • All-Star - A competitor robot identified as having major success (often finishing in the Semi-Final or Grand Final stages) and/or high levels of experience competing in UK and World Championships.
  • Annihilator - A side competition in which six robots fought and were gradually eliminated one-by-one.
  • Antweight - A diminutive robot weighing no more than 150g.
  • Arena - An enclosed area complete with hazards, used to stage a wide variety of main and side competitions.
  • Armament - A malapropism used by commentator Jonathan Pearce to describe the armour of a robot, despite armament meaning "weapon".
  • Auditions - Also referred to as the rehearsals, the original screening/selection process for competitors aspiring to take part in Series 2 and Series 3.
  • Axe Bot - Official term used in the reboot to describe robots armed with overhead spiked or bladed axes.


  • Battle - Any combat-based event between two or more robots.
  • Bite - The extent to which a heavy rotating weapon engages with and is able to transfer sufficient kinetic energy for it to damage opponents. Partially determined by the weapon's teeth and rotational speed, as well as the speed in which the robot concerned attacks an opponent weapon-first.[1]
  • Brushless - A type of DC electric motor which does not have brushes (or commutators) as part of its internal structure. Pioneered by Whirling Dervish (bodyshell) and Mortis (drive), more commonly used by competitors in the rebooted series.


  • CAD - Acyronym for Computer-aided Design, the use of computer software in designing robots.
  • Cease - The word used to end or pause most Robot Wars events.
  • Classic Series - Series 1-7, Extreme 1-2, all international episodes. A term, later made official, used to refer to the first runs of Robot Wars. Also referred to as the original run or original series.
  • Clusterbot - A robot which consists of two or more machines entered together as one.
  • CO2 - Chemical formula for carbon dioxide, a gas commonly used in pneumatic systems.
  • Control - The extent to which a robot is judged to have been operated in battle, with regards to driving skills, dominance over opponents and/or accuracy with weapon attacks.
  • CPZ - Acronym for "Corner Patrol Zone", an Arena hazard from Series 1 and Series 3 onwards, which is patrolled by the House Robots.
  • Crushability - A word frequently spoken by Jonathan Pearce to emphasise the power of large horizontal or vertical crushers (e.g. the weapons of Razer and the Series 5/Extreme 1 Suicidal Tendencies).


  • Damage - Inflicted by robots to compromise an opponent's structural integrity (i.e. armour and chassis damage), or impair one or more parts of their functional systems (e.g. drive or weapons).
  • DC - Short for Direct current, a type of electric motor commonly used for drive and weapon systems.
  • Death hum - Term used in the reboot to describe the sounds made by a heavy rotating weapon as it spins up to full speed, ranging from high-pitched whirring to low-pitched 'humming'. Often associated with the sounds made by Carbide's bar spinner.
  • Disc of Doom - Later known as the Floor Spinner, a short-lived hazard consisting of a circular spinning panel intended to fling robots across the arena. Used only in UK and international series filmed throughout 2002.
  • Drop Zone - An arena hazard where heavy objects would be dropped onto defeated competitors once placed over a marked area beside the Pit. Used in all UK and international series filmed between 2002 and 2003.


  • Elimination - An occurrence wherein a competitor can no longer progress in a tournament following defeat in battles, The Gauntlet or Trial events. Also applies in individual battles where two or more robots are required to be defeated.
  • Entanglement device - A defensive component, legalised in Series 10 under certain restrictions, intended to snag and disable spinning weapons.
  • ESC - Short for Electronic Speed Controller (or simply speed controller), a component used to control the speed and direction of electric motors powering a robot's drive and/or weapon systems.
  • Etek - Brand name for a series of highly-powerful Briggs & Stratton electric motors, used for both drive and weapon systems. Used by competitor and House Robots in both runs, notably Growler, 259, Carbide and PP3D.[2]
  • Excessive Evasion - A criteria, mentioned in the rules for earlier UK series, in which competitors would be warned and eventually disqualified for persistently avoiding opponents.[3]
  • Exhibition - A non-championship battle or event usually held to entertain the audience (e.g. the Series 2 Inferno Insurrection).
  • Extreme - Refers specifically to both series of the UK spin-off Robot Wars Extreme.
  • Extreme Weight - An unused weight class succeeding the Super Heavyweight category, mentioned in the Series 5 build rules with an upper limit of 200kg.



  • Ganging up - A phrase commonly spoken by Jonathan Pearce to describe two or more robots attacking an opponent or House Robot simultaneously.
  • Gauntlet - Fully named The Gauntlet, the opening assault course-type stage seen in Series 1 and Series 2 only.
  • Gentleman's Agreement - An implicit pact between roboteers, usually with the intent of not causing excessive damage if one of their robots becomes immobile in battle.
  • Grand Final - The culminative stage of any domestic championship, in most cases a dedicated episode with multiple rounds between the remaining finalists. Also used for the equivalent episode of the Extreme 2 New Blood Championship.
  • Ground clearance - A term used to describe the proximity of a robot's lowest area (usually the chassis, baseplate or front wedge) to the floor. The robot with the lower ground clearance will be able to drive under the opposing robot.
  • Grudge Match - Term used to refer to battles intending to settle a grudge between two or more competitors.
  • Gyro-dance - Term used to describe a robot lifting itself onto one side through the gyroscopic forces of a vertical spinning weapon. Said motion gives the impression of the robot 'dancing' across the arena floor, hence the name. Common among robots armed with vertical flywheels or drums.


  • Hardox - Officially written as HARDOX, a form of wear-resistant steel used for armour, chassis and weapons. A similar but separate metal known as ARMOX is also used by modern competitors.
  • Hazard - An active or passive obstacle in the Robot Wars Arena which competitors must avoid while fighting their opposition or completing Gauntlet/Trial objectives (e.g. the Pit of Oblivion).
  • HDPE - short for high-density polyethylene, a form of plastic used in modern competitors.
  • Head to Head - Used both to describe a one-on-one battle between two competitors and as the official name for the round robin-type stage seen in Series 8-9.
  • Heat - The name typically given to whole episodes serving as qualifiers for the Semi-Final and/or Grand Final stages of a domestic championship. Also applied occasionally to individual melee battles forming the first round of a smaller competition (e.g. The Second World Championship).
  • Heavyweight - The primary weight category for robots competing in the main UK Championship along with most side and international events. Eligible robots in this category weigh no more than 79.4kg (Series 1-4), 100kg (Series 5-7, Extreme) or 110kg (Series 8-10) in UK and European competitions.
  • High-centred - Situation in which a robot is left stranded with all of its wheels, tracks or walking mechanisms raised off the arena floor.
  • House Robot - A robot built specifically to patrol a CPZ/PPZ and act as a hazard to competitors, or to facilitate fair play in the arena. Drivers and weapon operators of these machines are therefore referred to as House Roboteers.
  • Hydraulic - A system (usually for weapons or srimechs) operated by pressurised fluids.


  • Immobilised - The state in which a robot is no longer able to move freely under its own power, whether through damage, malfunctions or being put into a position where it cannot do so (e.g. getting stranded or being left unable to self-right).
  • Interchangeable - Refers to the ability for a robot to swap between different weapons and/or armour configurations approved by the Robot Wars organisers.
  • Internal combustion - Often abbreviated to IC or ICE, a type of engine which relies on igniting and combusting fuels (e.g. petrol) as its primary source of energy. Used in drive and weapon systems, especially among competitors and House Robots in the original run.
  • International series - Collectively refers to versions of Robot Wars produced for United States, Dutch and German broadcasters.
  • Invertible - Term used to describe a robot which can run both ways up - for more information, see Invertible Robots.


  • Judges - A panel of three adjudicators (usually with a background in robotics, engineering or science) who are responsible for evaluating surviving robots in the event of a Judges' decision. Referred to as the Jury in Dutch and German versions.
  • Judges'/Jury's decision - Situation where under certain circumstances (e.g. two or more robots lasting the full duration), the Judges (Jury in Dutch and German versions) determine the winner by scoring the surviving robots on Control, Aggression, Damage and (formerly) Style.


  • kg - Kilogramme, Kilogram or Kilo. Metric measurement equivalent to 1,000 grams, used throughout all UK, Dutch and German series to list the weights of competitor and House Robots along with individual components.
  • KO - Acronym standing for Knockout, used to refer to an opponent becoming immobilised, pitted or thrown out of the arena.


  • lb - Symbol for pound, commonly spelt on statistics boards as lbs. Imperial measurement used in US versions (e.g. Extreme Warriors, Nickelodeon Robot Wars) to list the weights of competitor and House Robots.
  • LEM - Brand name for a series of brushed DC motors manufactured by Lynch Motors, noted for their axial gap design and high power outputs.[4] Used by various competitors for drive and/or weapon systems in later series, including Aftershock, Behemoth and the Classic Series incarnations of Storm 2.
  • Lightweight - Category for robots weighing no more than 22.7kg (Series 1-4) or 27kg (Series 5-7, Extreme).
  • Link - A common component in every robot which is used to safely deactivate them when they are not in the Arena. Also known as removable links, safety links, keys or killswitches and often confused with failsafes.
  • LiPo - Abbreviation of lithium polymer, a type of battery commonly used in the rebooted series.
  • Live Event - A robot combat event specifically held in front of a live audience; officially applied to the qualifiers for Series 4 and Series 5.
  • Loanerbot - A robot built by the Robot Wars staff, typically to fill in competition spaces or replace a team's robot that either broke down, became severely damaged, or got lost in shipping.
  • Losers Melee - A melee battle typically involving three defeated robots looking to be reinstated for the next stage of the main championship (UK Series 5-6, Dutch Series 1).




  • Pit - Fully named the Pit of Oblivion, a hazard consisting of a square or rectangular-shaped opening in the arena floor, eliminating any competitor which falls into it. Not to be confused with the backstage area referred to as 'The Pits' (see below).
  • Pit reporter - A co-presenter who interviews teams within The Pits, including Philippa Forrester, Julia Reed and Jayne Middlemiss.
  • Playoff - Alternatively spelt as play-off, a battle usually held to determine third and fourth places in any given championship or (in the case of Series 10) Heat.
  • Pneumatic - A system (usually for weapons or srimechs) operated by gas (e.g. CO2) or compressed air.
  • PPZ - Acronym for "Perimeter Patrol Zone", an Arena hazard used in Series 2, which is patrolled by the House Robots.
  • psi - Acronym standing for "pounds per square inch", a unit commonly used to measure the pressure of hydraulic and pneumatically-powered weapons.



  • Rambot - Not to be confused with the Series 4 competitor. A term used to describe robots whose design emphasises ramming power as their primary offensive output, usually in place of or over any active weapon(s). Storm 2 is a notable example of a robot referred to as a 'rambot' by its builders, fellow roboteers and on the televised show.
  • Reboot - Series 8, 9 and 10, including Battle of the Stars and World Series. A term used to refer to the second run of Robot Wars.
  • Receiver - A component which sends radio signals from a robot's transmitter to its internal drive and weapon systems.
  • RPM - Acronym for "revolutions per minute", a unit of rotational speed typically used to gauge the speed of spinning weapons by how many turns (or 'revolutions') they make in one minute.
  • Robot - A radio-controlled (RC) machine designed to fight opponents or complete Gauntlet/Trial challenges. Most feature static or powered weapons with the intention of damaging and/or immobilising each other.
  • Roboteers - Term used to describe any individuals or teams who appear on the show as competitors.


  • Seeding - An official ranking system adopted in Series 2 and Series 4-7, usually awarded to teams with notable success or enduring popularity over the course of their appearances in the Classic Series. Robots which were given these top-ranked positions were often referred to as seeded entries or simply seeds.
  • Shufflebot - A robot which is designed to use a cam-driven 'shuffling' mechanism as its sole means of locomotion.
  • Side Event - Also Side competition, a smaller tournament or individual battle held alongside the main UK Championship (e.g. the Series 4 Pinball Warrior Tournament), or broadcast as part of a series dedicated to multiple events (e.g. the various competitions shown in both series of Extreme). Some of these events - such as the All-Stars, Annihilators and Tag Team Terror - would take place in more than one version of the show.
  • Side-stranding - The action of turning and leaving a robot on its side; in most cases leading to immobilisation if the affected machine is unable to self-right from that position.
  • Sit-and-spin - A type of robot designed to damage nearby opponents by spinning on the spot.
  • Spinner - General term for rotating weapons, especially larger types such as flywheels, drums and bars.
  • Spinner killer - Phrase used to describe robots with features designed to withstand opponents armed with powerful spinning weapons, such as angled HARDOX/ARMOX wedges.
  • Srimech - Abbreviation standing for Self-righting mechanism, a device which allows a robot to flip or lift itself back onto its wheels after being overturned.
  • Stock Robot - A subset of loanerbots built purely to fight each other or take up places in competitions with low entry numbers. Examples of these include Series 1 competitors Eubank the Mouse, Grunt and WYSIWYG.
  • Style - A former judging criteria evaluating how entertaining a robot was and how well it demonstrated its capabilities in battle. Good examples include the elaborate self-righting methods adopted by Razer and Mute.
  • Super Heavyweight - Alternatively superheavyweight, the heaviest category open to competitors in the original run, each weighing over the standard heavyweight limit (Series 1-4).


  • Tag Team - A battle format involving teams of two robots, each with the ability to 'tag' their partners mid-fight. Commonly used as the basis for the Tag Team Terror side competition.
  • The Pits - The backstage area of the Robot Wars Arena, where robots are repaired and tested by their teams. Not to be confused with the 'Pit' arena hazard.
  • Thwackbot - A robot design which primarily relies on sit-and-spin tactics or kinetic energy from overhead torque reaction weapons as its main offensive output.
  • Tip speed - The speed, measured in miles per hour (mph), in which the outer edges ('tip') of a spinning weapon rotate within its circumference.
  • Translational drift - The action of a robot moving controllably across the arena while spinning at the same time using only its drive system. Only possible on designs equipped with Meltybrain technology.
  • Transmitter - A radio control device enabling roboteers to operate their machines remotely from outside the arena.
  • Trenches - Name given in the rebooted series to the spaces between the inner and outer walls, enabling robots to throw an opponent out of the arena.
  • Trial - Fully named The Trial, a skills-based challenge (e.g. Sumo, Pinball) which formed part of the main competitions of Series 1-2 and seperate side competitions in Series 3-4.


  • Walkerbot - A robot which is designed to use legs and/or feet as its sole means of locomotion.
  • Weapon - An essential component enabling a robot to physically damage, control or immobilise opponents in a variety of different ways.
  • Wedgelet - A small fork or wedge-shaped attachment, typically added to the front of the robot in order to breach ground clearances. It is common for two or more wedgelets to be used, usually in tandem with a larger wedge or a vertical spinner.
  • Whiteboard - A friendly exhibition battle with match-ups organised by the competing teams. Held in Series 8 and 9 to entertain the audience and, in some cases, obtain footage for the televised series.
  • Wildcard - Alternatively Wild Card, a competitor selected by the Judges (UK Series) or Jury (Dutch Series) to be reinstated for the Grand Final stage of a given domestic championship (Dutch Series 1-2, UK Series 8-9). In Series 10, this was awarded to the winner of the 10 Robot Rumble shown at the start of the Grand Final episode. Also applied to the Extreme 1 Wild Card Warriors event involving newcomers to the show.