Robot Wars Wiki

"...Grunt is definitely lean, mean and deadly keen."
Jonathan Pearce

Grunt was a robot that competed in the first series of Robot Wars.

Grunt was actually one of three stock robots supplied by the Robot Wars team in order to make up the numbers, as only 33 true contenders had taken part (the other two stock robots being WYSIWYG and Eubank the Mouse). Grunt was driven by the son of Robot Wars judge Eric Dickinson, and had been created by technical consultant Derek Foxwell.

As a direct result from this, Grunt was not permitted to pass through the Trial stage. Thereby, after completing the Gauntlet in the second fastest time, it drove straight off the Sumo platform in the Trial. This made it, along with the other Stock Robots very unpopular with others teams, particularly Barry, who was eliminated in the Gauntlet.

"We were kicking ourselves. It would have been easy for Barry; no problem. When it came to Grunt's turn (watch out for this on TV) he drove straight off the edge. Why couldn't he have fallen in the Gauntlet so at least we would have been given the chance to show up the house robot, Shunt?"
— Daniel Parry of Team Power, on Grunt's exit[1]


"...tonight's fastest robot, with a top speed of 15 miles per hour. Running off two 12 volt motors. With a zero turning circle and 3 millimetre ground clearance..."
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Grunt

Grunt in the pits

Grunt in the arena

Grunt was a relatively long, thin wedge shaped robot, designed to look like a battleship. It had no active weapons, instead using the wedge shape. It was powered by two 12 volt wheelchair motors, which gave it a high top speed of 15mph. It had a novelty lightbulb on top. Grunt weighed 45kg, making it a middleweight, though defined by the show as a heavyweight. This is because Grunt was designed to compete as a clusterbot in other competitions, together weighing around 90kg.


Grunt being tested in the auditions

Grunt was present during the First Wars auditions. Despite being a stock bot, it was driven around the chalked outlines and tested its manoeuvrability. Grunt was also used for a "race" between competitors in a labyrinth maze with the objective of getting to Stephen Carsey first. Due to the low number of competitors, Grunt was brought into the competition.

Robot History[]

Series 1[]

Matilda squeezes Grunt into the wall

In the Gauntlet, Grunt sped out of the turntable straight down the left route, passing Sergeant Bash, but drove straight into Dead Metal. The house robot pushed Grunt back, reversing it into the side railings and holding it there, but Grunt pushed back, and Dead Metal drove forward, allowing Grunt to escape.

"...this is very quick so far."
— Jonathan Pearce

Grunt swerved around Dead Metal, only for Matilda to trap it against the side wall. Matilda let off the pressure momentarily, which was enough for Grunt to break free, smash through the pipes and reach the end zone.

Jeremy Clarkson: "You must know right, you have the choice of three courses, and you take on our three robots?"
Matthew Dickinson: "Err, it's quicker!"
Jeremy Clarkson: "You're not joking, that was a stunning run! Congratulations!"
— Post-Gauntlet interview with Jeremy Clarkson

It completed the Gauntlet in the second-quickest time, behind Nemesis.

Grunt takes a dive. Note the lightbulb

In the Trial, which was Sumo, Grunt swerved away as Shunt closed in, but then drove too close to the edge of the ring, then drove over the side, eliminating it in just 4.15.

"Not so nice, over in a trice! And Grunt goes in spectacular style."
— Jonathan Pearce

On television, Matthew Dickinson and Jeremy Clarkson acted as if this was a terrible driving error, when it was actually intentional - as a stock robot, Grunt was not permitted to pass the Trial stage.

Jeremy Clarkson: "You blithering idiot! Could you not see the edge?"
Matthew Dickinson: "Yeah, I could."
Jeremy Clarkson: "You did so well in the Gauntlet, I mean really good steering, and then really terrible steering!"
Matthew Dickinson: "It was, weren't it? It was terrible!"
Jeremy Clarkson: "I think you'd better go home, and really quietly, alright?"
— Post-Trial interview


Series 1
The First Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Trial
Heat A, Gauntlet Completed (2nd) Qualified
Heat A, Trial (Sumo) 4.15 seconds (5th) Eliminated

Series Record[]

Grunt in the pits in Series 1

Series Grunt Series Record
The First Wars Heat, Trial
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 Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

Outside Robot Wars[]

"British robot, Grunt, takes a pounding from the American heavyweight The Master"
— Craig Charles in Robot Wars: The First Great War

Originally, Grunt was a clusterbot in the 1995 UK Open Competition. At various stages throughout the competition, each version fought fellow Stock Robot Eubank the Mouse as well as established US Robot Wars competitors The Master and La Machine.


Official image of Grunt

  • Grunt was listed as a heavyweight, despite being a middleweight.
  • Grunt is one of 20 robots never to fight in robot combat, having only ever been in the Gauntlet or Trial.
  • Grunt is one of 23 robots to have completed The Gauntlet, and was the first non-heavyweight and first weaponless robot to do so.
  • Of the three roboteers that controlled the stock robots in Series 1, Matthew Dickinson was the only one not to compete with genuine competitors in later series.