Gravity was a Dutch robot that competed in Series 2 of Dutch Robot Wars and Series 7 of the UK Robot Wars. In the latter, it comfortably reached the Semi-Finals, defeating the seeded 13 Black and Dantomkia in the process, before finishing in the top eight after losing to then-reigning champion Tornado. Gravity was the first robot to overturn Dead Metal, as well as being the only to flip Growler and Cassius Chrome over. It also broke the shortest battle record by flipping Dantomkia out of the arena in 5.8 seconds during the Series 7 Semi-Finals, and was the most successful international robot ever to compete in the UK series.
The Series 7 model of Gravity was sold to Team VHS after Series 5, and was rebuilt and renamed Hades. WJ Dijkstra later built a new version of Gravity, but it was sold to Team Tie-Rip, which is captained by Series 7 team member, Jeroen van Lieverloo. This robot applied for the rebooted series of Robot Wars, using the version name of Gravity 5.5, but Jeroen van Lieverloo, Dijkstra and Ruschen were not selected to compete in Series 8 with this machine, despite their previous success. The team planned an upgraded Gravity 6 for Series 9, but decided not to apply due to time constraints.
Versions of Gravity
Gravity (Dutch Series 2)
The first version of Gravity competed in the second series of Dutch Robot Wars. It was a polycarbonate box-wedge with a pneumatic flipping arm, which lay flush to the floor with decent lifting power. Gravity was quick, and for a two-wheel driven robot, it had extreme pushing power. However, it had a high ground clearance, it could not self-right, and its polycarbonate armour was highly destructible. The robot somewhat resembled the loanerbot entered as The Green House and Vert-I-Go.
Gravity 3 (UK Series 7)
Resembling a snowspeeder in shape, Gravity 3's main weapon was an extremely powerful full-pressure flipper, easily capable of flipping in excess of 300 kilograms (as demonstrated when Growler was flipped by Gravity) and driving through a car at speeds of 10 mph. The armour, on the other hand, was not the most resilient, as demonstrated during the House Robot Rebellion after a hammer blow from Mr Psycho. Gravity's pneumatics system was loosely based on Dantomkia's, as Dantomkia had participated in a Dutch Robot Rumble and been stripped down as part of a workshop to help the Dutch roboteers. The use of buffertanks, multiple inlet 1/2bsp valves and the giant high pressure 100mm bore 180mm stroke ram combined with the uncoupled flipper arm was a first, and spawned many successful copies and derivates.
Gravity fought an impressive qualifier for Series 7 alongside fellow European hopefuls Mechaniac and RCC 2, as well as a representative of Richard Huish College. It caused the latter to become briefly immobile with a single strong flip, and then pushed the other two around. It self-righted when flipped by Mechaniac, and threw Mechaniac towards the arena entry gates, flipping it and the British spinner again afterwards. Gravity won the battle, the only robot to qualify for the main competition.
Team Captain WJ Dijkstra originated from Project One, before temporarily splitting from the other members of Team Mad Science for Series 2 of the Dutch Wars. He built Gravity by himself (although the 63m bore 220mm stroke ram and unfortunately misused hydraulic 4/2 valve were provided by Team Mad Science teammate Maddox and the Bosch 750 based drivetrain by Kos of Team KODOX), before selling a spot on his team on a public forum, won by Mark Nievelstein. During this wars, Dijkstra also teamed up with Jeroen van Lieverloo from Impact and Alex Ruschen from ODT-Zero to create the three way clusterbot √3, with each team member entering an individual featherweight and joining for the clusterbot. For the UK Championship, Dijkstra rebuilt Gravity, but as van Lieverloo and Ruschen did not have their own robots ready, Dijkstra offered them each a place on his own team, as they had become good friends.
Lieverloo would eventually become the owner and captain of the Gravity series, re-inviting Dijkstra and Ruschen onto his team for Series 8, but Gravity 5.5 was not chosen to compete, nor did the team return for the following series.
Dutch Series 2
Gravity's first battle was against Das Gepäck. Das Gepäck slammed Gravity into the wall, but Gravity was able to get underneath and lift Das Gepäck with its arm. It pushed Das Gepäck into the wall and pinned it before driving it into Sergeant Bash's CPZ and flipping it over. Das Gepäck escaped, but Gravity caught it and again forced it into Bash's CPZ, this time flipping it up against the wall. Bash freed Das Gepäck, and time ran out, meaning the jury would be called upon to make a decision. They ruled in favour of Gravity.
In the next round, Gravity faced Bloody Murder Weapon.
- "Gravity is a matter of perspective"
- — Sticker on Bloody Murder Weapon
Gravity's flipper was not working, but its pushing power was sufficient enough to push Bloody Murder Weapon into Growler's CPZ. After Growler released it, Gravity simply pushed it in again. Gravity tried twice more to push Bloody Murder Weapon into a CPZ, but Bloody Murder Weapon escaped unharmed. Persistently, Gravity pushed Bloody Murder Weapon into a CPZ again, and this time Sir Killalot picked up Bloody Murder Weapon and spun it around the arena, releasing it just as the clock ran out. The jury's decision was, predictably, in favour of Gravity.
In the Heat Final, Gravity faced Scrap-2-Saur.
It managed to dodge Scrap-2-Saur's flipper for a few moments, but Scrap-2-Saur eventually got underneath and flipped it. It righted Gravity immediately after, only to flip it again.
- "Technical ****ing knockout!"
- — Eric Corton's assessment of the situation.
Gravity's flipper was still not working, so it was defenceless as Scrap-2-Saur pushed it into the CPZ, where Dead Metal sliced through its tyres. Gravity was counted out, and Matilda charged in with her flywheel, destroying Gravity's left side and tearing out its internals. Gravity was placed on the floor flipper, and the force of the flip caused Gravity's CO2 canister to separate from its hose and go skittering across the arena, propelled by its rapidly escaping gas. The CO2 canister eventually fell into the pit, followed shortly by Gravity.
UK Series 7
- "The bad boys of the Seventh Wars..."
- — Jayne Middlemiss on Gravity
Gravity made a tremendous start to its heat as it went up against Hydra, Thor, and Hodaf the Bad in Round 1. Gravity immediately charged at Hydra and tossed it high into the air with ease. As it came in for a second attack, Gravity missed with its flip, turning itself over, but rolled back onto its wheels after being flicked by Hydra. Gravity then pursued the fleeing Hydra across the arena, before briefly turning to attack Thor, but they were unable to get under Thor's front wedge. Instead, Gravity picked on Hydra again, flipping their opponent and sending them spinning through the air again.
- "Gravity's after Hydra, though, you can tell, can't you? Has it against the arena wall! Oh, goodness me! Has destroyed the sidewall!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Gravity flips Hydra into the arena wall
As Hydra attempted to turn over Gravity with its lifting arm, Gravity flipped them once more, in an attempt to throw it out of the arena, causing it to land on the arena wall and destroy a section of it. Gravity then threw Hydra from the arena and into a camera, breaking it, before 'cease' was called for safety reasons. Not hearing the original 'cease', the team continued fighting, and flipped Thor over Refbot, until 'cease' was called for a second time. The judges marked the criteria up until the first 'cease' was called, and Gravity moved through, along with Thor.In the second round of the heat, Gravity went up against the seventh seeds, 13 Black. Gravity was by far the more aggressive robot, and 13 Black spent much of the battle upside down after just one flip from Gravity. After a while, Gravity pushed 13 Black into a CPZ and began spinning around in the middle of the arena, celebrating with its flipper open.
- "What a good, early attack again by Gravity. This is certainly the best machine we've seen out of Holland ever in Robot Wars."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Sir Killalot parades 13 Black around the arena
Meanwhile, Sir Killalot came in and righted 13 Black, prompting Gravity to attack 13 Black again, missing this time and lifting Sir Killalot instead, before flipping their opponent and accidentally throwing the previous Semi-Finalists out of the arena, eliminating them.
It is known that before the heat final, and possibly before the semi-final, Gravity had to lower the power of its flipper. This may have come as a result of Gravity damaging the arena wall and camera in its first battle, and this may also explain why Gravity did not attempt to throw Lightning out of the arena.
In the heat final, Gravity met fellow newcomers to the UK main competition Lightning. Lightning had suffered a puncture prior to entering the arena and could not escape Gravity's onslaught. Gravity came in for a second attack, but missed and nearly turned itself over instead. The two competitors then became locked in a push-and-shove match, with Gravity casuing minor damage to Lightning in the process. Eventually, Gravity was able to get another flip in on Lightning, immobilising Lightning in the process. Gravity continued to flip the beaten machine, before Refbot came in to count Lightning out.
- "I'll go one further from my earlier statement. This is not just the best machine to come out of Holland, but out of the whole continent I think, to fight in Robot Wars so far."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Gravity flips the immobile Lightning for the penultimate time
To celebrate, Gravity then flipped Shunt and Dead Metal over, leaving Refbot as the only other mobile machine. Refbot showed Gravity the red card, but Lightning was already counted out, and so Gravity progressed to the series Semi-Finals.
- "It's taken them all on, and beaten them all! Watch out for Gravity later in the series. It could go all the way, but for now, Refbot, red carded! Cheeky little blighter!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Gravity had caused enough trouble
In the first round of the Semi-Finals, Gravity was placed up against the number 5 seeds Dantomkia, the robot that WJ Dijkstra feared the most of all the other series semi-finalists. However, when the battle started, Gravity very quickly slid underneath Dantomkia and rushed over to the arena side wall, throwing it out of the arena in 5.8 seconds, setting the record for the shortest battle in the UK series, and the fastest battle of the original run.
- "That stunned even them! They can't believe it!"
- — Jonathan Pearce on the reaction of the quick battle
This quick victory put Gravity up against the reigning champions, Tornado, in the second round of the Semi-Finals.
In this battle, Tornado was the quicker machine, and slammed Gravity into the arena wall and then into Sir Killalot's CPZ. Gravity sustained a puncture, and Tornado continued to push it around the arena. Gravity finally got underneath Tornado and flipped it high into the air and upside-down. Tornado shoved Gravity again, but Gravity flipped Tornado the right way up. Tornado activated the pit release button and pushed Gravity onto the pit just as it was opening, and Gravity fell into oblivion.
- "And Gravity are on the pit, and caught there. And descending away from the Seventh Wars."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Gravity's reign of terror ends
Gravity attempted to qualify to represent the Netherlands in The Third World Championship. Scraptosaur and Tough as Nails were its opponents. Tough as Nails pitted Scraptosaur, then chased Gravity around the arena and caught it, but Gravity escaped and flipped Tough as Nails. The invertible Tough as Nails was not affected, and grabbed Gravity again before pitting it alongside Scraptosaur.
Gravity also participated in the last battle to be filmed in the Robot Wars Arena prior to the series' 12-year hiatus, the House Robot Rebellion, competing alongside Behemoth. Gravity was brought in as a substitute for Bigger Brother, who was originally due to fight in the battle, but was replaced after aiding in an assault on the House Robots in the All Stars tournament, the producers feeling that it had attacked the House Robots too often. As Gravity had already defeated two House Robots, its inclusion in this battle was very fitting.
- "Gravity thinks he can take on our dog of war...Oh! And he can!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Gravity overturns Growler early on
Gravity was rammed by Growler in the opening seconds, but recovered and flipped Growler onto its back fairly quickly. Meanwhile, Behemoth activated the pit just as Cassius Chrome drove over it. Gravity used this opportunity to flip Cassius Chrome onto its side over the pit, but Refbot would later free the trapped House Robot.
Gravity tried to attack Mr. Psycho but could not flip it, and the colossal House Robot smashed Gravity with its hammer, immobilising it. Behemoth attempted to use the driveless but still actively armed Gravity as a weapon against the House Robots, but Gravity's flipper ran out of gas, and Cassius Chrome shoved them apart. Behemoth immobilised Mr. Psycho, and the audience decided that Behemoth and Gravity were the winners of the House Robot Rebellion. Later on, the damage caused by the hammer blows from Mr. Psycho was discovered to be nothing more than the long antenna dropping from the supporting tube into the robot. The sensitive failsafes of the Mythras speedos didn't accept the radio controls any more, but the simple RC switch that commanded the flipper didn't have that problem.
|GRAVITY - RESULTS|
|Heat D, Round 1||vs. Das Gepäck||Won|
|Heat D, Semi-Final||vs. Bloody Murder Weapon||Won|
|Heat D, Final||vs. Scrap-2-Saur||Lost|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Semi-Finals, Round 2
|Heat D, Round 1||vs. Thor, Hodaf the Bad, Hydra||Qualified|
|Heat D, Round 2||vs. 13 Black (7)||Won|
|Heat D, Final||vs. Lightning||Won|
|Semi Final 1, Round 1||vs. Dantomkia (5)||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 2||vs. Tornado (1)||Lost|
|The Third World Championship|
Representing the Netherlands, Eliminated in Qualifiers
|Qualifier||vs. Scraptosaur (NED), Tough as Nails (NED)||Eliminated|
|House Robot Rebellion|
Competing with Behemoth
|House Robot Rebellion||vs. Growler, Mr. Psycho & Cassius Chrome||Won|
- UK Wins: 5
- UK Losses: 2
- Dutch Wins: 2
- Dutch Losses: 1
|Series||Gravity 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||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Semi-Finals, Round 2|
|Series 8||Not selected|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Dutch Series||Gravity Series Record|
|Series 1||Did not enter|
|Series 2|| Heat Final|
Entered with √3
Outside Robot Wars
Following the cancellation of Robot Wars, Gravity 3 was sold to Team VHS-Robots, builders of Pika. Gravity 3 was rebuilt into Hades, which continued to compete for many years, albeit without major success.
Meanwhile, WJ Dijkstra continues to build Gravity machines, including the little-seen Gravity 4 and Gravity 5.2, which still competes today and hoped to qualify for Series 8 of Robot Wars. However, it failed to do so.
Robot Wars Live Events
Due to Gravity 5.2 coming from Holland, it has only appeared irregularly at the Robot Wars Live Events. It first competed in the second live event of the new Robot Wars Live Events at the Robot Wars Championship event at Portsmouth in March 2013. It fought Ripper and Meggamouse in the heats, putting in a strong performance but losing the judges' decision after getting flipped repeatedly by Ripper. It also took part in a separate European Challenge battle against two German robots, Tsunami and Luzifer, therefore being the only Dutch robot in the fight. It got a flip in on Tsunami, but one of its wheels broke off afterwards, immobilising it.
In 2015, Gravity performed well at the Robot Wars World Championships, held in Colchester. It was the last robot left standing in its first round battle, as Gripper was flipped over, and Ripper became stuck in the wall structure, before Gravity pushed the eventual champion Toxic 2 into the pit, despite Toxic 2 qualifying regardless. In the second round, Gravity fought Tiberius and Kan-Opener, the latter breaking down in the opening seconds. Gravity spent the full three minutes fighting a head-to-head battle with Tiberius, where it suffered from a long period of crushing, puncturing Gravity's tyre, but Gravity still won the Judges' decision after flipping Tiberius several times. Gravity entered the quarter-finals with a tyre on top of its flipper for extra protection. It survived a long period of time against Gabriel, flipping Gabriel around and briefly stranding it on its wheel, but Gravity received blows from Gabriel's sword throughout. Gravity became immobile as a result of flipping itself over, and locking its flipper open when trying to self-right, which stranded Gravity on its back end, leading to Gabriel winning the Judges' decision.
- Gravity was one of the two competitor robots to fight in the final ever battle filmed in the Robot Wars Arena before the show took a 12-year hiatus, fighting alongside Behemoth in the House Robot Rebellion.
- Every House Robot except Matilda was flipped by either Team Firestorm (including Sir Killalot's fall) or Gravity. Somewhat appropriately, Matilda inflicted grievous damage to both of them at one point.
- Both of Gravity's Championship appearances were in Heat D.
- Like Anty B, there was a model of the robot which only competed in live competitions.
- Gravity held the record for the shortest battle in televised Robot Wars competition, throwing Dantomkia out of the arena in 5.7 seconds during their Series 7 Semi-Final battle. This record was later broken by Rapid in the Heat Semi-Finals of Series 10, Heat 3, where it threw Track-tion out of the arena in just 5.6 seconds. The record was also broken by Kronic in March 2012, which defeated Iron-Awe at a Roaming Robots event by throwing it out of the arena in just 4 seconds - the shortest battle in all FRA-sanctioned competitions.
- In 2007, Gravity received an Honorable Mention in The Combat Robot Hall of Fame, in recognition of the Series 7 version's powerful flipper and its influences on European robot combat design.
|First competitor robot to flip over Dead Metal|
|Only competitor robot to flip over Growler|
|Only competitor robot to flip over Cassius Chrome|
|Best competing international robot in the UK Championship|
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnofficialRobotWars/permalink/706047689674999/
- ↑ http://runamok.tech/hall_of_fame.html