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"Gyrobot - From the word Gyrate which is to spin/revolve and to rotate in circles, and erm - robot!"
— Steve Wood, explaining the origins of Gyrobot's name

Gyrobot was a heavyweight robot that competed in Series 7 of Robot Wars. It reached the second round in its only appearance, losing to The Grim Reaper on a judges' decision.

DesignEdit

"Very quick at twenty miles an hour. The weapon consists of the thirty-five kilo outer ring spinning at 750rpm, but lack of experience could count."
— Jonathan Pearce
  • The underside of Gyrobot
  • The insides of the Series 6 version of Gyrobot
  • Gyrobot in the arena for its Series 7 melee
  • Gyrobot in the arena for Round 2, with Killerkat fur

Gyrobot was an invertible rim spinner, driven by four wheels mounted in pairs on either side. It was powered by two 16Ah Hawker 12v batteries, and was armed in Lexan polycarbonate, originally steel, costing £2000 to build.

Gyrobot S7

Official Series 7 photo

Gyrobot was very quick at 20mph, while its outer ring weighed 35kg and could spin up to 750rpm, generating 40 kilojoules of energy. It could also double its spinning speed to 1500rpm by spinning the robot in place with its drive motors. After taking damage from Fluffy in its Series 7 qualifier, a 4mm band of steel was added to the outer rim, making it 7mm thick, bringing Gyrobot very close to the weight limit.

The TeamEdit

SteveWoodGyrobot

Steve Wood with the Series 6 version of Gyrobot

In the televised broadcast of Series 7, Gyrobot appeared to be entered by a one-man team, with the team captain Steve Wood being the only member of the team seen on-screen. This approach was jokingly mocked by Craig Charles, but praised by Jayne Middlemiss. As a result, Steve Wood was the driver of Gyrobot, and is a mechanical design consultant by trade.

Steve Wood

Steve Wood is supported by Jayne Middlemiss

Despite not being present on-screen, Team Gyrobot did indeed feature a second team member throughout the Seventh Wars, Neil Solomon, who was also credited on Gyrobot's statistics board. Solomon consciously avoided the opportunity to appear on television, and chose not to be present for the team's interviews and televised battles, but nevertheless assisted with the maintenance of Gyrobot. Unfortunately, Neil Solomon died in 2016[1], only months before Steve Wood decided to apply for Series 9 with Gyrobot.

"Neil Solomon was actually there for the filming but didn't want to be on TV, so chose not to be available. He was there still lurking in the background offering a helping hand and offering moral support."
— Steve Wood comments on Neil Solomon in the Seventh Wars, dated 2013[2]

For its attempted entry into Series 9, Steve Wood recruited three new members of Team Gyrobot in 2016, including 3D print designer Damian Axford, although these team members would ultimately not get the chance to compete on Robot Wars.

QualificationEdit

Gyrobot entered the build phase in order to enter Series 5, and was nearly completed, but withdrew from the qualifiers prior to the touring event, due to unforeseen electrical problems.

"Unfortunately we couldn't make the auditions for series 5 this year due to unforseen last minute electrical problems. As you can see from the pictures on the left we were not that far away, maybe another couple of weeks and it would have been a different story. At least we should have lots of practice in by next year."
— Team Gyrobot website[3]
Gyrobot Series 6 qualifier

Gyrobot in its Series 6 qualifier

In its Series 6 qualifier, Gyrobot fought Scrap Dragon, Shell Shock and The Stag. It started promisingly, attacking The Stag's wheel and the immobile Shell Shock, even immobilising Scrap Dragon with a strong blow. However, it was gripped and pushed around by The Stag, and it broke down over the mock flame pit, thus failing to qualify for the Sixth Wars.

Series 7 Qualifier

Gyrobot pushes Terror Turtle in its Series 7 qualifier

In its Series 7 qualifier, Gyrobot fought an invertible box-shaped robot, Terror Turtle, and Fluffy. After sustaining early damage from Fluffy, Gyrobot played a tactical fight, avoiding the action while accelerating its rim spinner. Once Fluffy had become immobilised, Gyrobot took the opportunity to cause damage to its opponents, and pushed Terror Turtle into the arena wall. Although Gyrobot lost the use of its spinner, it and Terror Turtle were the only robots with full mobility at the end of the battle, and Gyrobot was declared the winner of the battle, qualifying for the Seventh Wars. Fluffy and Terror Turtle also qualified alongside it.

Gyrobot S9

Gyrobot at the time of Series 9

Gyrobot teeth

Gyrobot's new teeth

After choosing not to apply for Series 8 due to time constraints, Gyrobot was upgraded to enter Series 9. Its weapon now weighed a hefty 42.5kg, which would have made it the heaviest spinning weapon in Robot Wars, and the robot's teeth were upgraded to use Inconel hard edge welding. The team even 3D printed safety guards for these teeth, designed two interchangeable top panels, and applied under a team of four people. However, Gyrobot ultimately was not chosen to appear in the series. Steve Wood then elected not to enter Series 10 in response to this.

"I decided not to enter the 10th Wars due to being rejected for the 9th wars. I spent a lot of money and time upgrading Gyrobot in an attempt to make an old robot competitive in the new wars (Lipo, upgrade, new style weapon teeth, new speed controllers etc) only to be told that Robot Wars was "looking for innovation and the use of new tech". I guess they wanted to give some of the new builders a chance. I may try again in the future, who knows."
— Steve Wood[4]

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 7Edit

"Will this be employed later in the series, or be picking up a Robot Wars giro?"
Jonathan Pearce as Gyrobot enters the arena

Gyrobot competed in Heat B, where it was due to face Jackson Wallop, Killerkat and the third seed Terrorhurtz in its first round battle. However, Terrorhurtz was disqualified before the battle began due to arriving at the studio in an unfinished state, leaving the three remaining robots to fight on without it.

Jackson Wallop vs Gyrobot vs Killerkat

Gyrobot and Jackson Wallop team up on Killerkat

Gyrobot vs Killerkat

Gyrobot pushes Killerkat onto the flame pit

Gyrobot began tentatively, getting its spinning rim up to speed before slamming into the sides of Killerkat and Jackson Wallop. It and Jackson Wallop continued to hit Killerkat until the latter became immobilised, although Gyrobot’s rim appeared to have stopped working fully by the time Jackson Wallop knocked Killerkat onto its side. Gyrobot then pushed Killerkat onto the Flame Pit as it was counted out by Refbot, setting fire to its leopard fur, before circling round the arena until ‘cease’ was called.

In the second round, Gyrobot fought The Grim Reaper in a full five-minute bout.

Gyrobot vs The Grimreaper

Gyrobot gets under The Grim Reaper

Grim reaper vs gyrobot

Gyrobot is flipped by The Grim Reaper

In this battle, Gyrobot had a bit of Killerkat's fur on it. When the battle started, Gyrobot immediately backed away from The Grim Reaper as the latter charged in to flip it, momentarily causing it to spin on its rim, before struggling to drive away from an angle grinder. Gyrobot was then pushed into Sir Killalot and flipped over by The Grim Reaper, before getting pushed out of the CPZ by Sir Killalot and being slammed into an angle grinder by its opponent. It bumped into and drove away from The Grim Reaper to try and get its weapon up to speed, driving over the Flame Pit and into Cassius Chrome in the process, before driving into the wall twice and getting flipped and pushed into Sir Killalot by The Grim Reaper once again. Gyrobot retaliated by pushing The Grim Reaper back when it missed its next flip, causing The Grim Reaper to get wedged on top of its rim, only to be flipped onto Sir Killalot’s lance and driving away to get its spinning rim up to speed again.

"For me, it’s all The Grim Reaper, and the Gyrobot, defensively, erm, now what do you call that tactic? I think it’s called… running away!"
— Jonathan Pearce, unimpressed with Gyrobot’s lack of aggression as it gets its weapon up to speed
The Grimreaper vs Gyrobot

Gyrobot stays in the arena

Grimreaper Damage 2

Damage caused to The Grim Reaper by Gyrobot

This compelled The Grim Reaper to strike Gyrobot with its rear panel, before flipping and chasing it around the arena once again, with Gyrobot driving into the wall and Cassius Chrome while doing so. Gyrobot was flipped a few more times by The Grim Reaper – at one point getting pinned between Sir Killalot and the wall - before ramming The Grim Reaper a few times as ‘cease’ was called. Despite Gyrobot landing a blow on The Grim Reaper’s side that damaged one of its panels, the judges’ decision went against it, as The Grim Reaper proved more aggressive throughout. This eliminated Gyrobot from the Seventh Wars.

ResultsEdit

GYROBOT - RESULTS
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 2
Heat B, Round 1 vs. Jackson Wallop, Killerkat, Terrorhurtz (3) Qualified
NOTE: Terrorhurtz was disqualified before the first-round melee took place.
Heat B, Round 2 vs. The Grim Reaper Lost

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 1

Series RecordEdit

  • An early CAD design for Gyrobot
  • An early CAD design for Gyrobot, with four wheels
  • Gyrobot in motion, armoured in steel
  • Gyrobot is loaded into a car for transport to Series 7
  • Damage caused to The Grim Reaper by Gyrobot
  • Gyrobot's interchangeable motifs for Series 9
  • A 3D-printed Gyrobot, created by Damian Axford
Series Gyrobot 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 Withdrew from qualifiers
The Sixth Wars Failed to qualify
The Seventh Wars Heat, Round 2
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Not selected
Series 10 Did not enter

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Gyrobottoday

Gyrobot in 2004

After the Seventh Wars, Gyrobot was upgraded to spin and accelerate faster, also gaining studded wheels and an improved battery life, with the intention of entering another series of Robot Wars. However, the show entered its 12-year hiatus before it could compete with the upgrades. Gyrobot remained operational over this period, but could not compete at live events due to the restrictions affecting spinning weapons prior to 2017. Although Gyrobot was upgraded again in 2016 with the intention of entering Series 9, the updated Gyrobot had still never made an appearance at a live event.

Gyrobot 2019

Gyrobot at the Extreme Robots event at Guildford in June 2019

It did however make an appearance at the recent Extreme Robots event held in Guildford in June 2019 where it went on static display only along with Wheely Big Cheese & Gabriel 2 at the event.

In 2017, Team Gyrobot built an antweight called Vibrant, which was an invertible 'brushbot' using no wheels, and was armed with twin horizontal bar spinners. The robot relies entirely on the vibration of the spinners for forward movement and steering, and is capable of using torque steering for faster turning through adjustments to the speed of each weapon motor.[5]

TriviaEdit

KillerKatWrongResult

The incorrect results board

  • After Gyrobot's first round battle, the battle board incorrectly listed it as one of the robots that were eliminated, instead of Killerkat.
  • There is a robot listed in the Honourable Mentions of the Combat Robot Hall of Fame, by the name of Gyrobot. However, it is not this machine, nor is it related, as it is an antweight class machine.
  • Gyrobot was the only robot in Series 7 from Wiltshire, originating from Swindon. In fact, it was the only robot from Wiltshire to compete after Series 3. It was also one of five robots on Robot Wars to be from Wiltshire.
  • Gyrobot was the only newcomer in Heat B of Series 7. It was also the only robot in that heat not to lose in the first round of a UK Championship.
  • With a volume of less than .08m3, Gyrobot was the smallest robot weighing 100kg ever to compete in Robot Wars. In comparison, Onslaught in Series 5 was roughly .14m3 and weighed 99kg.
    • If Gyrobot had qualified for Series 9, its 40kg rim would have been the heaviest weapon in the series.
  • Gyrobot has occasionally been on display at the Museum of Computing in Swindon. It currently resides in Steve Wood's garage.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://www.facebook.com/GyrobotUK/posts/778808432257966?comment_id=778916278913848&reply_comment_id=778927752246034&ref=notif&notif_t=share_reply&notif_id=1477607293617177
  2. Private correspondence with User:ToastUltimatum
  3. https://gyrobot.github.io/Legacy-Website/diary.htm
  4. Private correspondence with ToastUltimatum
  5. https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/6fg6ot/a_video_of_vibrant_testing_out_the_brand_new/dii2oi4/

External LinksEdit

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