Robot Wars Wiki

"Dave and his sons decided to name the robot High 5 because of his interlocking jaws and the fact that they give each other a high five each night before bed."
— Local press[1]

HIGH-5 was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 9 of Robot Wars, entered by live event competitors ACE Robotics. Named and designed after the cheerful hand gesture, it had limited success, losing its Group Battle to Supernova and Frostbite after being immobilised by Wyrm in the opening seconds of the battle.


"HIGH-5 has a weapon that is designed to entangle spinners with interlocking fingers"
Dara Ó Briain

HIGH-5's turntable shot

HIGH-5 shared a lot of similarities with S.M.I.D.S.Y., which ACE Robotics also owned, although HIGH-5's chassis was entirely new. HIGH-5 was box-shaped, ran on four wheels with rubber tyres, and was invertible. Its weaponry was a clamping jaw at the front, with five fingers, hence the name. The jaws were capable of clamping other robots and lifting up to 280kg, as well as acting as a battering ram. HIGH-5 also featured a rear drum weighing 14kg as an interchangeable secondary weapon, which ultimately went unused on television.

"HIGH-5 is fully invertible and has a lifter weapon that can lift up to 280kg. Its interchangeable rear drum spinner weighs 14kg."
Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot

HIGH-5 in the arena

HIGH-5's spinning drum

HIGH-5's armour consisted of polycarbonate and HARDOX steel, with a chassis featuring 30mm steel tubing, although it had an 11mm ground clearance, making it vulnerable to flippers. Aesthetically, the robot was painted cream and white with handprints on its top panel, the latter in keeping with its name and weapon design.

"HIGH-5 has a four-wheeled tank drive system and a unique pair of lifting arms that combine it to act as a battering ram. HIGH-5 is fully invertible and the lifter weapon can lift up to 280 kilograms and the interchangeable rear drum spinner weighs 14 kilograms. HIGH-5 may find difficulty in the competition, as it has a ride height of 11 millimetres which could make it susceptible to flippers. The team are prepared for any setbacks though with a LV Real-Time monitoring system for diagnosing problems early and quickly, as well as rubber mounted electronics and batteries for shock absorption."
— The Robot Wars website

The Team[]

Team ACE with HIGH-5

HIGH-5 was captained by Dave Smith. Dave Smith drove the robot in battle, and was the lead speaker for all of the team's interviews. At the time of Series 9, Sarah Malyan's engineering experience was limited, and she learned from teammate Dave Smith over the course of filming, later becoming an established roboteer in her own right.

"Sarah and Dave met on a Robot Wars group, and although she had no engineering experience, Dave invited her to become his apprentice, and she now working under Dave’s supervision. Sarah has always been a lifelong Robot Wars fan and she even has a tattoo of classic Robot Wars competitor, Cassius. Dave himself owns other Robots such as S.M.I.D.S.Y. and ACE, Riley and Daniel are Dave’s sons."
— The Robot Wars website

37-year old aerospace engineer Dave Smith was the captain of Team ACE on the live circuit, and was the builder of HIGH-5, also being in charge of maintenance in the pits. Dave Smith's two sons, Daniel and Riley, also joined the team for Series 9, controlling the weaponry of HIGH-5. 10-year old Riley also wrote the software programme used by HIGH-5. In the team's VT, all four team members would frequently high-five each other, referencing the robot's name.

Robot History[]

Series 9[]

HIGH-5 competed in Heat 4, where they faced the long-time veteran, and Third World Championship runner up Supernova, newcomer Frostbite, and also Team Memento Mori's new robot Wyrm.

HIGH-5 is disabled by Wyrm

The battle was extremely short-lived for HIGH-5. When loading it into the arena, it was discovered that the drive controls were the wrong way round due to being wired up incorrectly. With driving made difficult by the reversed controls, HIGH-5 slowly reached the centre of the arena, turned on the spot, and was reversed into by Wyrm. It was immediately apparent that the reversed controls were not the only electrical oversight by builder Dave Smith, as HIGH-5 stopped moving almost as soon as Wyrm brushed it, lasting just 7 seconds of the whole match. Immobile, HIGH-5 sustained more damage from Supernova, which tore away part of HIGH-5’s back panel.

HIGH-5 receives extra damage from Supernova

"Just one last question for me, Frostbite or HIGH-5, who was active last? For me, HIGH-5 were immobilised first, Frostbite still moving! That's the decision!"
Jonathan Pearce

Cease was called soon after Wyrm’s immobilisation and Supernova qualified alongside Frostbite. Although Frostbite would later withdraw from the competition, potentially giving HIGH-5 a chance to re-enter the competition, it was confirmed that Wyrm had earned third place within this Group Battle, and HIGH-5 was not reinstated.


Series 9
Series 9 - UK Championship
Round 1
Heat 4, Group Battle vs. Frostbite, Supernova, Wyrm Eliminated


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 1

Series Record[]

Series HIGH-5 Series Record
Series 1-7 Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Heat, Round 1
Withdrew with Nelly the Ellybot (Sarah Malyan)
Series 10 Not selected with Mr Emoji

Outside Robot Wars[]

ACE and Mini ACE (left) alongside H5 (right) in November 2018


HIGH-5 made its debut on the live circuit at Extreme Robots in Manchester, during April 2017. Initially struggling from drive issues, it was thrown out of the arena by Eruption in its first fight. It then quickly pitted itself in its second fight, before being immobilised by Gabriel in its final match. A new version of HIGH-5, now known as H5 after being converted from Up Vote, competed at Extreme Robots in Cheltenham in November 2018. It was intended to fight Griffalo in the first round, but Griffalo withdrew, and H5 was instead pitted by Gnasher. Nevertheless, H5 advanced to the second round as Gnasher was not an intended participant, and H5 was eliminated by a dominant performance from Gabriel.

ACE Robotics also compete with a heavyweight flipper, ACE, the team's namesake. They also owned S.M.I.D.S.Y. for a period of time, and bring their replica of WALL-E to live events, also building a lifter robot named Up Vote, and attempted Series 10 entry Mr Emoji.

ACE Robotics with Iron Strike at RoboGames

Iron Strike is pushed into the wall by NIGHTHAWK

ACE Robotics also competed at RoboGames in 2018, with a new middleweight, Iron Strike, armed with a vertical spinner. It lost its opening battle to the reigning champion General, but defeated Four of a Kind in the losers' bracket, advancing it to a second-round match against the defending runner-up NIGHTHAWK. Although Iron Strike's weapon remained operational for a large duration of the fight, the lower wedge of NIGHTHAWK allowed it to push Iron Strike around the arena, and win a judges' decision. Iron Strike also competes at UK middleweight events held at Extreme Robots, starting with Cheltenham 2018 where it was defeated by Voodoo.

Mini ACE


Riley and Daniel Smith drove featherweights at the King of Bots UK championship in August 2018. Riley drove BANE, a front-hinged lifter, which lost its first melee to Utopia, finished second in is melee against Aegis, but was immobilised by Calabash Bros in its final battle. Meanwhile, Daniel drove Mini ACE, a scaled-down version of the heavyweight ACE, which entered the main championship as a reserve, filling in for Mad Rush. However, Mini ACE lost its first three-way melee to Naughty Snake after failing to engage for the full three minutes, and was immobilised in its second battle against Neon and Binky. BANE and Mini ACE also competed together in a few side competitions throughout the event, including a whiteboard battle, the Annihilator and the eighteen-way Gladiator battle. In the Annihilator, BANE reached the third round before getting thrown out of the arena by Neon.

For more information on Sarah Malyan's excursions aside from HIGH-5, see Nelly the Ellybot.


External Links[]