- "It's hammer time!"
- — Eric Corton as Hammerhead 2 entered the arena in Dutch Series 2
Hammerhead was a Dutch robot that competed in both series of Dutch Robot Wars, and later Series 7 of the UK Robot Wars. In all three competitions, it reached the second round, where it would be stopped by an eventual Grand Finalist.
Hammerhead was named after the type of shark, after originally being armed with a rotating hammer.
Versions of Hammerhead
- "I’m curious: would this thing take off into the air if those hammers rotated fast enough?"
- — Bridget Maasland (translated from Dutch)
The original Hammerhead from Dutch Series 1 was a blue box-wedge with an angled spinning hammer and a rear lifting scoop. The robot weighed 98kg, and was driven by two 750W motors. Its ground clearance was extremely low, but this proved to be a hindrance at times; even the slightest lift off the ground would keep it from moving. The robot was painted blue, to reference a hammerhead shark. Although it was one of the most powerful spinners in the Dutch Wars, its tyres were extremely vulnerable.
- "They say it looks like a hammerhead shark, I say it looks like a metal box on wheels!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The team's second entry was Hammerhead 2, an invertible box-shaped robot designed to look like a hammerhead shark, with a face drawn on the front and a full-pressure flipping tail on the back. The flipper was among the strongest in the Dutch Wars, and worked as a self-righting mechanism, although it failed to do so in Series 7 despite multiple attempts. The robot also featured a hammer-like wing on each side, positioned near the rear of the robot, allowing the robot to use sit-and-spin tactics. Although the robot now had no weaponry at the front, it would still attempt to push robots using its flat frontal surface.
Both versions of the machine were equipped with a voice box that would shout out intimidating phrases like "I love the taste of fresh metal" and "It's hammertime!" in the pits.
Hammerhead qualified directly for both of its Dutch series due to the low number of applicants, and the Hammerhead build being completed on time.
In its Series 7 qualifier, Hammerhead 2 fought German Hammer, Supernova, and Splinter, although Splinter withdrew before the battle began. Supernova caused a lot of damage to Hammerhead 2, and won the battle, but Hammerhead 2 was regardless given a discretionary place into the series. Hammerhead 2 was then re-welded on site.
Dutch Series 1
- "I am not going to hurt you... I’m just going to bash your brains in."
- — The voice box inside Hammerhead, quoting The Shining before the robot's first battle
Hammerhead competed in Heat C, where in the first round, it faced the Belgian entry Pika 2.
At the start of the battle, Hammerhead spun up its rotating blade, and Pika 2 charged in to cancel its momentum, allowing Hammerhead to land a hefty blow before the bar spinner temporarily stopped. Hammerhead briefly became stuck on the front wedge of Pika 2, but fully charged up its spinner and landed a blow to the side of Pika 2. Hammerhead then mostly turned in circles, avoiding contact while powering up its spinner, before delivering another blow to the front wedge of Pika 2. Hammerhead missed an opportunity to use its rear flipper when Pika 2 attacked it from behind, and was briefly assailed by the spikes of Pika 2 in a side-on attack to the side of Hammerhead. Pika 2 left Hammerhead alone, as it was not moving across the arena freely, but when Pika 2 came in on a charge, Hammerhead turned its bar spinner directly into the wheel of Pika 2, severely hindering its mobility. Hammerhead followed this up with repeated blows to the side and rear of Pika 2, and this sequence of attacks immobilised the Belgian machine. Although Hammerhead briefly became stuck on the wedge of Pika 2 again, Refbot counted Pika 2 out with Hammerhead stuck on top of it. By the time both robots were separated by Sir Killalot, Hammerhead had also stopped moving completely, but Hammerhead had already won the battle, and progressed whilst the House Robots caused further damage to Pika 2.
- "Did this feel like a confident win? Because Matilda did all of the work for you guys."
- — Bridget Maasland to the Hammerhead team after the fight (translated from Dutch)
Advancing to the heat semi-final, Hammerhead faced a fellow horizontal spinner, Botwork. Before the battle, Bridget Maasland patted Hammerhead, only for it to return a grisly speech from its voicebox.
- Bridget Maasland: "Hello? Helloooo?"
- Hammerhead: "I LOVE THE TASTE OF FRESH METAL!"
- Bridget Maasland: "He doesn’t say very nice things, does he?"
- — One of the only conversations between a presenter and a robot on Robot Wars (Note: Maasland spoke in Dutch, Hammerhead played voice clips in English)
Hammerhead was quicker off the mark, and hastily powered up its spinning hammers to run straight into Botwork, but a mistimed charge caused Hammerhead to expose its unprotected tyre to Botwork's flywheel. Hammerhead immediately lost the use of that tyre, and could only twitch in place, easily allowing Botwork to strike Hammerhead's functioning wheel, and disable it with a single blow. The back end of Hammerhead sustained more damage, and Botwork spun its flywheel directly next to the immobile Hammerhead before it was counted out by Refbot. In the process, Botwork landed one more blow, before it was eliminated from the battle. Matilda then closed in to scar the back end of Hammerhead, before dislodging its rear flipper, also twisting its frame. Hammerhead was edged onto the floor flipper by Sgt. Bash, which threw Hammerhead towards the pit. Using her flywheel, Matilda edged Hammerhead backwards until it was suspended over the edge of the pit. Matilda nudged it in, bringing an end to Hammerhead's punishment, and its Dutch Wars campaign.
- "Hammerhead didn’t do much hammering!"
- — Eric Corton (translated from Dutch)
Dutch Series 2
- "It's hammertime!!"
- — The voicebox inside Hammerhead 2 before its first fight
Returning for its second series, Hammerhead 2 fought in Heat C and faced the all-women team of IDO.
Hammerhead 2 gingerly approached IDO at the start of the battle, as its opponent was rapidly spinning in place, and Hammerhead 2 was knocked aside by the spinning IDO upon first contact. Nevertheless, Hammerhead 2 was able to slot its flipper under IDO, and throw it up into the air. Hammerhead 2 slowly retracted its flipper, and bumped into a spinning IDO once again. When IDO fled towards the pit, Hammerhead 2 charged face-first and rammed IDO into the arena wall. The pit was opened by IDO, which was still spinning in place, but when Hammerhead 2 closed in, the two robots connected via their respective sit-and-spin hammer weapons. Hammerhead 2 fired its flipper while the two were connected, which seemingly broke the weapon without separating the two robots, with the flipper of Hammerhead 2 now limply resting atop the machine. Instead, Hammerhead 2 dragged IDO backwards, and spun in place to cleverly swing IDO into the descending pit to win the battle.
- "IDO in the pit, and the winner is Hammerhead 2!"
- — Eric Corton (translated)
Hammerhead 2 advanced to the second round, where it faced the South African entry Krab-Bot, which had entered the series with previous experience in the UK series as Crushtacean. The broken flipper of Hammerhead 2 was repaired in time for the battle.
- "Mmmmm... tasty robot!!!"
- — The voicebox in Hammerhead 2 before the second round
Hammerhead 2 drove forwards at the start of the battle, approaching Krab-Bot head-first, which allowed Krab-Bot to grab its side. Hammerhead 2 spun in circles to break free, but accidentally drove into Matilda's CPZ, narrowly avoiding the House Robot's flywheel. Hammerhead 2 reversed so far that it ended up in another empty CPZ, and Krab-Bot bumped into it, but this allowed Hammerhead 2 to use its flipper and briefly turn Krab-Bot onto its side. When Krab-Bot fell down again, it drove at Hammerhead 2 side-on, causing Hammerhead 2 to flee directly into the path of Shunt. Hammerhead 2 escaped, but Krab-Bot drove into the front of the machine, and pushed it back. Hammerhead 2 retaliated with a side-on slam, and circled around Krab-Bot, leading it to the top of the arena where Hammerhead 2 rammed its opponent from behind. Hammerhead 2 was next able to ram into Krab-Bot's left claw, but this allowed Krab-Bot to grab Hammerhead 2 by its left hammer. The two robots spun in circles, spiralling into an empty CPZ, where Shunt and Matilda closed in, allowing Matilda's flywheel to clip the front of Hammerhead 2. Both robots stayed connected as they moved away from the House Robots, until Krab-Bot finally released Hammerhead 2. Over the motionless Disc of Doom, Hammerhead 2 broadsided Krab-Bot and pushed it into the Disc of Doom trigger, activating the arena hazard which turned Hammerhead 2 around on a reverse drive.
The following action was tentative, with the two robots lightly bumping into one another at the top of the arena, and Hammerhead 2 almost driving into another empty CPZ, opening it up to a slam from Krab-Bot. At this stage, Krab-Bot moved into Shunt's territory, and over the flame pit, but Hammerhead 2 failed to capitalise. Seeming somewhat slower in its movements, Hammerhead 2 swung one of its side hammers into Krab-Bot, knocking it into Shunt which attempted to strike Krab-Bot with its axe, but missed, and Hammerhead 2 slammed the side of Krab-Bot again - however, for the second time in the match, this allowed Krab-Bot to grip the side weaponry of Hammerhead 2. After turning in circles, Hammerhead 2 was able to elude Krab-Bot's grip, fleeing towards the Disc of Doom trigger, but when trying to slot its flipper under Krab-Bot, Hammerhead 2 was pushed back into the arena wall by Krab-Bot, unable to flip. Hammerhead 2's tyres were left spinning in the air, as Krab-Bot's claws had brought it off the arena floor, until Krab-Bot reversed away. This prompted Hammerhead 2 to charge straight forwards, but Krab-Bot pushed it back into an angle grinder, when 'cease' was called at the end of the five-minute battle.
The Jury were left to decide the winner of a relatively close battle, but ultimately their decision went in favour of Krab-Bot, and Hammerhead 2 was eliminated from the series.
UK Series 7
- "Has fought in the Dutch Robot Wars twice, a heat semi-finalist there..."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Competing in a UK series for the first time, Hammerhead 2 entered Heat O of the Seventh Wars, where it was drawn against newcomers DisConstructor and Xenomorph, alongside the experienced Iron-Awe 2.1 in the first round.
- "I've made some improvements since then, and it drives pretty good!"
- — Niels de Carpentier on the changes since Dutch Series 2
At the start of the battle, Hammerhead 2 lunged towards Iron-Awe 2.1, colliding with it and also bumping into Xenomorph, off to one side. Rejoining the main fray, Hammerhead 2's front armour was attacked by the spinner of DisConstructor, but Hammerhead 2 remained involved by driving into both Iron-Awe 2.1 and DisConstructor with its front end. Hammerhead 2 was then put in danger, as Iron-Awe 2.1 threw it over with a big flip, causing it to land on top of Xenomorph. Due to the fact Xenomorph was not moving away, Hammerhead 2 was propped here for a while, and expelled a large amount of gas while trying to flip itself free, leaving it pinned on its own flipper as Xenomorph backed away.
- "Needs to self-right from there, the Dutch team from Delft, about to be shattered it would seem, unless they can self-right!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Proving unable to retract its flipper, Hammerhead 2 remained stuck on its tail until Iron-Awe 2.1 flipped Xenomorph onto it. This allowed Hammerhead 2 another chance to attempt self-righting, although it could not flip itself back over - in the meantime, DisConstructor drove into the pit. Xenomorph became wedged under the stranded Hammerhead 2, allowing Iron-Awe 2.1 to fire its axe straight into the wheel housing of Hammerhead 2, and drag it back into the centre of the arena, eventually releasing it by flipping Hammerhead 2 back onto its right side up. Hammerhead 2, now able to move again, drove straight int Sgt. Bash, although it quickly returned to focus on Xenomorph, driving into it near an active steam vent. On another charge, Hammerhead 2 rode up the side of Iron-Awe 2.1 and then collaborated with it to push Xenomorph across the arena. Hammerhead 2 drove towards the slowing Xenomorph again, but clipped over the flipper of Iron-Awe 2.1, and was thrown over in response. This time, Hammerhead 2 did not attempt to self-right, and simply continued to drive into the passive Xenomorph, but came under pressure from Sir Killalot which had mysteriously ventured out of its corner patrol zone. Getting away from the House Robot, Hammerhead 2 circled the arena, mildly threatening Xenomorph until time ran out on the battle.
- "Iron-Awe for me has to go through, I don't know between the other two, I simply don't know."
- — Jonathan Pearce on the possibility of Hammerhead 2 progressing
At the end of the five-minute bout, the Judges were required to make a decision, where Iron-Awe 2.1 had clearly done enough to progress, and ultimately decided that Hammerhead 2 had contributed more to the battle than Xenomorph. This allowed Hammerhead 2 and Iron-Awe 2.1 to advance to the second round. It was later revealed that one of Hammerhead 2's valves powering the flipper weapon had broke, explaining its lack of flips during the battle, but this was repaired before the second round.
- "The flipper wasn't working properly, one of the valves was broken, and so we couldn't really use the flipper, so we were lucky to go through, but everything has been fixed now!"
- — Niels de Carpentier on the repairs between rounds
In the heat semi-final, Hammerhead 2 faced the eventual champion of the series, Typhoon 2, with the team intending to win with a single flip.
- Jayne Middlemiss: "What are your tactics gonna be in Round 2?"
- Richard van den Berg: "Well Typhoon is a round robot, so we just flip it on its side, that's the end of it."
- — Confidence from the Hammerhead 2 team
Hammerhead 2 knew that it had to attack before the full-body spinner of Typhoon 2 reached top speed, and immediately chased after Typhoon 2 using its front surface, but only reached its fleeing target after Typhoon 2 had gained some spinning speed, knocking Hammerhead 2 away. The following efforts of Hammerhead 2 to chase down Typhoon 2 ultimately failed, driving dangerously close to the flywheel of Matilda, and Typhoon 2 was allowed to reach dangerous speeds, briefly catching the side hammers of Hammerhead 2 with a grazing hit. Hammerhead 2 was hesitant, but still attempted to face Typhoon 2 head-on, but a frontal collision with the spinner sent Hammerhead 2 spinning away. Hammerhead 2 was still working, and covered the surface of the arena again to reach Typhoon 2, but was met with a similarly big hit upon contact, and on this occasion, half of Hammerhead 2's drive system was disabled, leaving the robot unable to leave its current position. Turning in circles, Hammerhead 2 was left exposed to another attack from Typhoon 2, between its flipper and hammers. After this attack, Typhoon 2 held back to verify that Hammerhead 2 had indeed become immobile on one side, with the Dutch entry only turning in small circles to display movement.
- "Big fish in a small pond in Dutch Robot Wars, here in the UK championships though - there is an ocean apart in class. Oh, and it's coming apart, at the seams, Hammerhead 2!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
While twitching back and forth, Hammerhead 2 was able to draw closer to Typhoon 2, which was reaching its top speed unopposed, and when the two robots met, front panels were ripped away from Hammerhead 2, taking heavy damage. Typhoon 2 also attacked the flipping tail of Hammerhead 2, with the Dutch team firing their weapon as a last-resort attack, but Typhoon 2 simply bounced into the side of Hammerhead 2 for another attack before being challenged. In two successive hits, Typhoon 2 then ripped a side panel away from Hammerhead 2, and then sent it reeling towards the arena wall, which fully immobilised Hammerhead 2 by pulling out its removable link. Left alone by Typhoon 2, Hammerhead 2 was approached by Shunt, and counted out by Refbot. Shunt landed an axe blow on the top of Hammerhead 2 and briefly lifted it up, then struck another axe blow to drag Hammerhead 2 backwards. Shunt then placed Hammerhead 2 on the floor flipper, throwing it across the arena and causing more loose armour panels to fall off. Matilda also clipped Hammerhead 2 with its flywheel, and then placed Hammerhead 2 on the Drop Zone, where parts of railway track fell onto the underside of Hammerhead 2. Finally, Shunt and Matilda pushed Hammerhead 2 into the pit, bringing an end to its punishment after a destructive loss to Typhoon 2, the first of many victims on the eventual champion's run.
- "Hammerhead, if it wasn't an endangered species, it is now! You brought it in a trailer, you can take it home in the glovebox, can't you? Absolutely battered!"
- — Craig Charles
|HAMMERHEAD - RESULTS|
|Heat C, Round 1||vs. Pika 2||Won|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. Botwork||Lost|
|HAMMERHEAD 2 - RESULTS|
|Heat C, Round 1||vs. IDO||Won|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. Krab-Bot||Lost|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heats, Round 2
|Heat O, Round 1||vs. DisConstructor, Iron-Awe 2.1, Xenomorph||Qualified|
|Heat O, Round 2||vs. Typhoon 2||Lost|
- UK Wins: 1
- UK Losses: 1
- Dutch Wins: 2
- Dutch Losses: 2
|Dutch Series||Hammerhead Series Record|
|Series 1||Heat, Round 2|
|Series 2||Heat, Round 2|
|Series||Hammerhead 2 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||Heat, Round 2|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
Outside Robot Wars
Hammerhead 2 made a limited number of appearances at Dutch live events around the time of Robot Wars, fighting Das Gepäck at one event. Between Dutch Series 2 and the Seventh Wars, Hammerhead 2 competed at the Dutch Robot Games in 2003, but lost its only competition fight to Bigger Brother, also collecting losses to Dantomkia and Reaper NP2 in its three non-competition melees, although it fought valiantly in the seven-way Flipper Frenzy, overturning Scraptosaur before eventually being pitted and losing the battle to Hard.
Some time after Series 7, the team built a new robot called Hammerhead 3, a box-wedge shaped robot with a full-body flipper which competed in various events across the UK and the Netherlands. It was victorious in the 2005 European Championship, defeating Kan-Opener to secure the title for the Netherlands for the third year running. At the 2006 UK Championship, Hammerhead 3 fought DisConstructor, launching it through the air, and winning the battle, much as Hammerhead 2 did in the Seventh Wars. Hammerhead 3 then defeated Hannibal by exploiting the robot's limited self-righting, but it was eventually stopped when Merlin threw it out of the arena, resigning it to second place in its group.
The team are also the current owners of Twister.
- Hammerhead is one of only four robots, along with Bamm Bamm, NEAT Machine and Scraptosaur, to have competed in both of the Dutch Championships and the Seventh UK Championship.
- On the statistics board for Hammerhead 2 in Series 7, Niels de Carpentier's name was erroneously spelled as Niels de Carpenter, like the British word 'carpenter' instead of the Dutch surname 'de Carpentier'.
- After winning the Seventh Wars with Typhoon 2, driver Gary Cairns would remark in his crowning interview that his victory over Hammerhead 2 was his favourite battle Typhoon 2 took part in.
- Hammerhead 2 was the only robot to be hit by railway tracks when placed on The Drop Zone.
- The voice box on Hammerhead, despite speaking in English, was ironically only used during the team's interviews in the Dutch series.
- Private correspondence with Leo van Miert, 4 January 2019