Robot Wars Wiki

For the robot that featured in Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction, see Heavy Metal (video games).

"Compared to us, all the other robots are lift music. We're Heavy Metal."
— John Denny

Heavy Metal was a robot that competed in Series 9 of Robot Wars. It was built by Team 13, who previously competed with 13 Black and Limpet. Heavy Metal was originally planned to enter Series 8, but was not accepted while the robot was still in the design phase.

Heavy Metal entered the third heat of Series 9 and progressed to the head to heads despite taking damage from M.R. Speed Squared. It won a knockout victory by pitting M.R. Speed Squared in the Head-to-Heads, but was defeated by both Thor and eventual finalist Concussion when its wheels were removed during the battle. It placed third in the heat.


"They have designed a ‘never-been-seen-before’ robot, that has the ability to change it’s weaponry in a matter of seconds between a spinner, flipper, thwack bot or a large drill."
— The Robot Wars website

Heavy Metal in Series 9 with its vertical blade

Heavy Metal was an offensive wedge, with a two-wheeled drive and a high top speed of 12-15mph. The wedge proved to be very low to the ground, hitting the seams of the closed Pit on a drive, although it was later exploited by Thor. Heavy Metal was armoured in 3mm thick RAEX steel.

Heavy Metal on the turntable

Heavy Metal's weapon was an articulating 360 degree arm with interchangeable weapons, including two blades for pinning robots in place, a rectangular blade for keeping other robots away while also making Heavy Metal a thwackbot, and spinning weaponry. The arm could also turn Heavy Metal over, but the team and show noted it was a low-offence weapon, rotating at 10rpm.

"Usually alarm bells when there's exposed tyres, but there's no rubber as such on these tyres."
Angela Scanlon

Cath Denny notes the missing stoppers and damage that needed to be hammered out before reapplying more stoppers

Heavy Metal's chassis and some internals

Heavy Metal had large metal wheels, rather than the rubber tyres used by other robots of a comparable size such as The General and Chimera. For traction, the team covered the wheels with rubber stoppers. With few in reserve, they were very kindly collected up by the arena crew after each fight and given back to the team, while the wheels themselves were irreplaceable. Though twice broken, they were easily repaired as the axle, rather than the wheels, had broken.

"You can throw it all around the arena, it'll come straight back at you. It's unstoppable."
— John Denny on Heavy Metal's invertible nature


The name Heavy Metal references the genre of music, with the robot's pink and purple colour-scheme being an homage to the cover art of one of the first heavy metal albums, Paranoid by Black Sabbath. To reflect the name Heavy Metal, Team 13 carried inflatable instruments on the show, and the younger John Denny wore a metal mask.

The Team[]

Main article: Team 13

Heavy Metal with Team 13

Heavy Metal was entered into Series 9 by Team 13, a family-based team from Leicestershire. Team 13 was captained by John G Denny, a crash tester by profession, who designed and built the robot. His son, John M Denny, drove Heavy Metal in battle, and is highly praised for his driving skills in lower weight classes. John M Denny's wife and daughter, Cath and Tasha, also completed the team.

Team 13 had previously competed on Robot Wars with their namesake 13 Black, alongside Second Wars competitor Limpet.


CAD image of Heavy Metal, with the square bar being rotated

Heavy Metal entered the concept and early build stages ahead of Series 8, before being completed in time for Series 9, for which it was selected thanks to its completed CAD and in-progress build. However, despite applying for Series 10, Heavy Metal was not accepted for a re-appearance[1].

Robot History[]

Series 9[]

Heavy Metal competed in Heat 3, facing veterans M.R. Speed Squared and Foxic, and newcomer Expulsion.

M.R. Speed Squared attacks Heavy Metal's wheels and bends its arm

Heavy Metal struggles for mobility but scrapes through

As the battle commenced, Heavy Metal darted off the mark and eventually pushed Expulsion into the spikes and Sir Killalot's CPZ, where the newcomers were overturned, rammed by Foxic and gouged by M.R. Speed Squared. This was the extent of Heavy Metal's involvement, as Expulsion broke down and Foxic was immobilised by the Arena Floor Flipper. Heavy Metal seemed to be moving only on one wheel only, with this partial immobility taking place even prior to Foxic's defeat, but Heavy Metal progressed through the first round nevertheless, alongside M.R. Speed Squared Before the siren sounded, M.R. Speed Squared landed two glancing blows on Heavy Metal's wheels and bent the 360 degree arm into the chassis.

"Are we through?"
— John M Denny calls in question

After noting the significant damage to their robot and making the repairs, Team 13 and Heavy Metal went back into the arena to fight M.R. Speed Squared in their first head-to-head.

"I think Heavy Metal could stand to lose their wheels here."
— Jonathan Pearce

Heavy Metal slams M.R. Speed Squared into the CPZ arena wall

Heavy Metal pushes M.R. Speed Squared onto the floor flipper

Heavy Metal pits M.R. Speed Squared

With vulnerable wheels and against a robot capable of removing them, Heavy Metal shot across the arena and plunged beneath M.R. Speed Squared's ground clearance before the Forsey machine could reach full speed. Heavy Metal's attack sent M.R. Speed Squared flailing, and upon impact with the arena floor its weapon failed to begin spinning again. Heavy Metal then pushed beneath M.R. Speed Squared and drove it around the arena, but twice ran into the edge of the Pit and allowed M.R. Speed Squared to slip away. Continuing to press the advantage, Heavy Metal slammed M.R. Speed Squared into the Pit release (activating the Pit), the floor flipper (which threw M.R. Speed Squared) and Shunt's CPZ, where the Forsey machine took damage. Chasing M.R. Speed Squared around the arena, Heavy Metal pushed it into the Pit. Although it fell in afterwards, it won the battle by KO, to the enthusiasm of the whole family.

"Well even if I didn't see the battle, I heard the cheering!"
— Dara Ó Briain

After reapplying the rubber stoppers, Heavy Metal went into the arena to fight the rising newcomer, Concussion.

Heavy Metal's wheel is sent out of the arena

Heavy Metal's wedge was low enough to escape most of Concussion's blows, but a key attack kicked the robot's wedge a full 180 degrees to be facing the other way. Heavy Metal floundered and attempted to withdraw, but Concussion caught it by the arena wall and, with a blow from its drum, cleaved Heavy Metal's right wheel off and sent it flying out of the arena. With one wheel entirely missing, Heavy Metal was deemed immobile, and it was counted out for its first loss of the head-to-head round.

"Oh, you're an ugly one!"
— John Denny Jr

Heavy Metal welded its broken axle back on and went into the arena to fight Thor for the right to join Concussion in the Heat Final, as each robot was on three points.

Heavy Metal loses the battle of ground clearances

Both robots were fast off the mark, but Thor's wedge was lower and the former finalist shoved Heavy Metal around the arena, the rubber stoppers flying off in every direction.

"Look at the arena floor, it's absolutely littered with the little rubber feet that are on the wheels of Heavy Metal to give it traction, which means they can hardly move without skittering!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Matilda scuffs Heavy Metal's wedge

Heavy Metal loses its wheel again

Thor pushed Heavy Metal around the arena, with Heavy Metal unable to gain purchase on the arena floor due to its lack of stoppers, and it skidded around. Heavy Metal took damage from the spikes and Matilda's flywheel on the wedge, and as Thor went to push it back into the House Robot, Heavy Metal's left wheel dislodged. Thor slammed Heavy Metal's limping form into the pit release, with an immobilisation count beginning, and the siren sounded as Heavy Metal were eliminated. Matilda then spun her flywheel and hurled the dislodged wheel all the way across the arena. This eliminated Heavy Metal in the second round, on a total of three points.

"I'm afraid this heavy metal gig, is about to end with a slow dance."
— Jonathan Pearce


Series 9
Series 9 - UK Championship
Round 2, Third Place
Heat 3, Group Battle vs. Expulsion, Foxic, M.R. Speed Squared Qualified
Heat 3, Head to Heads vs. M.R. Speed Squared Won via KO (3 points)
Heat 3, Head to Heads vs. Concussion Lost (0 points)
Heat 3, Head to Heads vs. Thor Lost (0 points)


  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 2

Series Record[]

Team 13 entering the arena

Main Series Heavy Metal Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Entered with Limpet
The Third Wars Not selected with Limpet Mk 2
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Entered with 13 Black
The Sixth Wars Entered with 13 Black
The Seventh Wars Entered with 13 Black
Series 8 Not selected
Series 9 Entered
Series 10 Not selected
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Did not enter
Series 2 Entered with 13 Black

Outside Robot Wars[]

The chassis and wheels of Heavy Metal with Clank 5 at the 2016 Robots Live! Cannock event

Heavy Metal's first appearance outside of Robot Wars came at the Robots Live! event in Cannock, held in October 2016. The robot's unfinished chassis and wheels were brought to the event in a partially assembled state, where the team also competed with their featherweight, Clank 5.

Heavy Metal in Robots Live! Burgess Hill 2017

The completed Heavy Metal attended Robots Live! in Burgess Hill in April 2017, sporting new coating for its wheels that would not come loose so easily.


  • Heavy Metal was the only robot to successfully pit an opponent in Series 9.


Heavy Metal in 2021

External Links[]