"The original plan was to have a robot which we could build simply for the least amount of money. Basically we wanted a rectangular cuboid steel chassis with a wheel at each corner, covered with steel plate. After thinking about this design we decided to go for something more ambitious, partially because we were worried about ground clearance (a very large number of robots in RWUK'97 were getting stuck on objects in the arena due to very little ground clearance) and Mentorn had written to all the entrants saying that the more exciting your robot was the more chance it would have of being on the TV. To solve the ground clearance problem we decided to add legs to our cuboid to raise it up off the ground. This would have the problem that it would make the robot much more unstable, and therefore more likely to be tipped over. To solve this the robot must be able to raise and lower itself, and if neccessary work upside-down. AND THUS the GroundHog was born..."
— Groundhog website on the design of Groundhog

Groundhog was Team Firestorm's original entry for Series 2 of Robot Wars. Groundhog was beaten in its only arena battle, but the team would return next series with the wildly successful Firestorm.



Groundhog with standard wheels


Groundhog in the arena

It was a basic box-shaped robot, but with four wheels on the end of four protruding legs, which could raise the body up and down, allowing for a very high ground clearance in obstacle-based events. Each wheel was powered by a cordless drill motor, and driven by a gearbox from an angle grinder. The rear wheels were unique "omniwheels," tyres embedded with rubber rollers that allowed them to skid sideways. This type of wheel would later be used by Razer, and most ambitiously by Sweeney Todd. Its weapon was a 12' horizontal cutting disc at the front of the robot, powered by another cordless drill motor. and took 6 weeks to build, costing around £450.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 2Edit

Groundhog survived the Gauntlet, despite moving very little. It took the central route, but it got caught on the ramp, and was unable to move. Sir Killalot came over, picked it up with its hydraulic claw and lifted it into the air, prompting booing from the audience. However, as it tried to move forward, Groundhog's weight overbalanced Killalot, and pulled it over, immobilising both robots, and causing Killalot to leak hydraulic fluid.

"And they're going nowhere, as Killalot comes in! Oh, he plucks Groundhog up so effortlessly. Turns and twists, ready for the kill - no! They've killed Killalot! He's been dragged to the ground!"
Jonathan Pearce as Sir Killalot topples

In the Football Trial, Groundhog's long-legged shape made it difficult to handle the ball and generally had little impact early on, mostly trying to deflect the ball away as Cassius and Loco scored their goals first. However, after that, it didn't get a chance to score as the match degenerated into utter confusion, eventually ending with the ball set on fire by Sergeant Bash and all three remaining competitors immobilised by the House Robots- Groundhog falling last after Matilda rammed it from the side and flipped it over against the arena wall. Despite not scoring a goal, Groundhog still went through after Sting was deemed to have been immobilised first.

Groundhog Loco

The two machines lock horns

Loco groundhog

Groundhog clashes with Loco

However, it was then defeated by Loco in the Arena Semi-Finals- Loco was easily able to push it around due to the lack of pushing power provided by its long legs, and was shunted into the Perimeter Patrol Zone, where it was attacked by the House Robots. After taking punishment from Shunt and Dead Metal, it was pushed onto Matilda's tusks, allowing her to lift Groundhog up and shove two of its legs over the edge of the Pit. Its long legs caused it to overbalance and roll in sideways, landing upside-down in the Pit and ending its run in the competition.


Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Arena Semi-Final
Heat H, Gauntlet 4.4m (5th) Qualified
Heat H, Trial (Football) Still Active (3rd) Qualified
Heat H, Semi-Final vs. Loco Lost


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 1

NOTE: Grounghog's successful Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included

Series RecordEdit

  • Groundhog during construction
  • The insides of Groundhog
  • Concept design of Groundhog
Main Series Groundhog Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Arena Semi-Final
The Third Wars Entered with Fire Storm
The Fourth Wars Entered with Firestorm 2
The Fifth Wars Entered with Firestorm 3
The Sixth Wars Entered with Firestorm 4
The Seventh Wars Entered with Firestorm 5
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Firestorm 3
Series 2 Entered with Firestorm 4


  • If Groundhog had been placed against Cassius in the Arena stage, then Team Firestorm would have gone on to fight every robot or team who came 2nd in the main competition before Series 8.

External Link Edit

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