- "...there is currently already a robot called HANNIBAL ... a micro lunar roaming exploratory robot ... Also as you all may know, the name HANNIBAL can conjure up all manner of imaginative fears especially when related to the famous murderer. This could give me a psychological advantage, who knows."
- — Hannibal website on the origins of the robot's name
Hannibal was a robot which attempted to enter Series 6 and 7 of Robot Wars. Originally built and entered by UK roboteer Terry Holmes, it failed to qualify for either series, and was upgraded for a potential eighth series before being sold to Leo van Miert, captain of former Dutch Robot Wars competitors Team RCC.
According to Holmes' website, the robot's name was derived from Hannibal, a micro-rover built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to explore the feasibility of autonomous planetary exploration.
Hannibal was a silver dual-wedged robot with duralumin, titanium and aluminium armour, and armed with a pneumatic rear-hinged flipper. Its shape and weapon gave it a passing resemblance to double UK champion Chaos 2, and the robot cost £1000 to build. Following its withdrawal from the Series 6 qualifiers, Hannibal received numerous upgrades, including a longer, stiffer steel flipper with a single ram, after Terry Holmes found that the original twin-ram flipper mechanism was not powerful enough and would bend after a few flips in testing. The overall budget for Hannibal up until its sale was £3,754.00.
Hannibal initially attempted to qualify for Series 6. However, it was forced to withdraw from the qualifiers as it was not ready to compete, after Holmes attempted to modify it upon discovering that the robot was 4kg overweight. Following this, Holmes completed Hannibal as well as giving it upgrades to its weapon and armour in preparation for Series 7.
In its Series 7 qualifier, Hannibal was drawn against Disc-O-Inferno, Sabretooth and Hassocks Hog 2. Despite suffering from driving issues it started well, attempting to attack Disc-O-Inferno from the side before flipping Hassocks Hog 2 away. Hannibal attempted to flip Disc-O-Inferno again, but missed, and took severe blows from Disc-O-Inferno and Sabretooth that immobilised it on one side. It eventually stopped moving altogether, and lost the qualifier. Despite one of the producers asking Holmes whether it could be repaired for the following week's filming, Hannibal sustained such severe damage to its flipper and motors that Holmes could not have it ready in time for filming. As a result, Hannibal was not considered for a discretionary place, and failed to qualify for Series 7.
Following this, Hannibal was repaired and upgraded in preparation for a presumed eighth series of Robot Wars. However, the show entered its 12-year hiatus, and it would ultimately not appear in the televised series.
|Series||Hannibal 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||Withdrew from qualifiers|
|The Seventh Wars||Failed to qualify|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
Outside Robot Wars
In 2004, Hannibal was due to enter the World Robot Event at RAF Newton, but this event was cancelled. The following year, Holmes decided to retire from robot combat, and sold Hannibal to Dutch roboteer Leo van Miert, captain of Team RCC, who also entered Dutch Robot Wars with RCC and Blackdevil Warzone.
At the 2006 UK Championships, Hannibal fought Merlin, but lost when it had too little CO2 to self-right, and it was flipped out of the arena. Hannibal was eliminated when Hammerhead exploited the same issue with self-righting.
After several events, Team RCC member Mario "Maddox" de Jongh replaced Hannibal's original flipper mechanism with a more efficient system, featuring a custom 70mm-bore 200mm-stroke ram (intended for an upgrade of Dantomkia) and a buffer tank. With this revised flipper, Hannibal fought in the European Championships, and finished fourth overall after losing to Kan-Opener.
Because of the damage inflicted by Kan-Opener, Hannibal was redesigned with a lower chassis (300mm vs 435mm) and a new flipping arm, making it more capable of flipping robots out of the arena without the arm flexing. This version, called Hannibal 1.3, fought in several Dutch robot combat events, before competing in the Roaming Robots event at the RIAT airshow in Fairford. There, the robot's gearboxes developed an internal failure, which caused its by then hard-to-replace Litton motors to stall, break and burn out the robot's ESC. It was then decided to retire Hannibal 1.3 from combat, with some of its parts being re-used for other robots.