"A silky mover across the Arena disco dance floor at up to 15 mph, with the 70's glittering disco ball dazzling, and the high-impact CO2 powered axe ready to make it someone's last dance ever!"
Jonathan Pearce sums up Hot Pants

Hot Pants was a heavyweight robot which competed exclusively in Series 6 of Robot Wars. One of three heavyweights to be entered by Team Panda, it had limited success, being eliminated in the first round after becoming immobilised due to a dislodged power key.


Hot Pants Arena

Hot Pants in the arena during Series 6

Hot Pants was essentially an upscaled version of Team Panda's antweight Pants, a box-wedge shaped robot armed with a double-headed pickaxe. The axe was pneumatically-powered and had a silver bauble decorated to resemble a disco ball, which received compliments from Philippa Forrester during interviews. Hot Pants had a top speed of 15mph, but suffered from a variety of issues, including low reliability, limited damage output from its axe and exposed wheels.

The TeamEdit

Main article: Team Panda

Team Panda in Series 6 with their disco-themed shirts and wigs

Hot Pants was entered by Team Panda, captained by Pete Collier, who was joined by his teammate Steve Bracewell. Pete Collier was the lead builder and driver of Hot Pants, and had previous experience competing in Series 2 with the heavyweight robot Panda Monium, and Robot Wars Extreme with the antweight robot Pants. Pete Collier and Steve Bracewell went into their Series 6 Heat wearing large wigs and very outlandish and colourful shirts, along with afro wigs.


"Hot Pants is the massively re-built disco version of Big Pants. This time the ball drops somewhere between the original Panda concept (with an axe - not completed for series II) and the MPM systems (same drive and using pneumatics). The idea itself is an interesting one - can you take an antweight robot and re-build it at full heavyweight size. No-one has tried this to date, so it will be interesting to see how things get along."
— Team Panda website[1]
Big pants

Big Pants at the Series 4 qualifiers

Hot Pants was a revised version of Team Panda's earlier heavyweight Big Pants, which had previously attempted to qualify for Series 4 and 5. At the Series 4 Qualifiers, Big Pants fought an early version of Edge Hog, initially performing well by axing the side of Edge Hog and leaving it with mobility issues.

"The battle began and Edgehog proved to be a bit more nimble than BP. The commentator kept on shouting 'We want to see the axe' right in my ear, so as soon as I was in range I pulled the trigger. There was a yell from the commentator and the audience as they saw the axe fire just over-shooting Edgehog's back. A second firing and the axe cleaved into the side-pod of Edgehog. It quickly became clear that although there was still movement from my opposition, he had suffered from the blow."
— Team Panda website (archived), on Big Pants's Series 4 qualifier[2]

However, Big Pants's axe could not retract following this blow, as a result of a faulty weld which caused its pneumatic cylinder to pierce the robot's baseplate.[2] After this, both competitors were pushed into the pit by the House Robots, and the battle concluded.

"I had a chat to Chris Reynolds (house robot boss) who said he was very impressed with the axe and gave me some suggestions to strengthen it. This really encouraged me, as I was feeling a bit deflated by now. The guy who was organising the fights came over and told me that Bill Hobbins wanted to see me later on for a chat. As some people were being told they were definitely out, I remained hopeful."
— Team Panda website (archived)[2]

Big Pants's performance impressed a few key Robot Wars personnel, including Chris Reynolds and Bill Hobbins, with its axe earning particular praise from the former. Hobbins later expressed concerns about Big Pants's reliability, resulting in it failing to qualify for Series 4 along with Edge Hog, but encouraged Team Panda to repair the robot and strengthen its axe mechanism in preparation for Series 5. Nevertheless, Team Panda later attempted to enter Series 4 with Big Pants's predecessor, More Panda Monium; however, it too would not qualify.


Big Pants at the Robots@War event in 2001

Big Pants received further modifications and upgrades ahead of its attempted entry for Series 5, including a revised axe with a spiked head made from 6mm steel plate.[3] However, it would fail to qualify for that series as well.

"The sixth wars at first seemed a non-event to us. We turned up on the Friday for qualifying, had a great battle and talked to lots of people and then drove home thinking that we had failed - we were not the winner of the heat, but had put on a good show and take some damage."
— Team Panda website (archived)[4]

By contrast, Hot Pants successfully entered Series 6 through attending the qualifiers. Although it is unknown which opponents it faced during its qualifier, it was reportedly known to have put on an entertaining performance which lead to it being chosen to compete by the producers.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 6Edit

In Heat H of the Sixth Wars, Hot Pants was drawn against Ming 3, The Hassocks Hog and Spam in its first round melee.

"Hot stuff? Or simply pants?"
Jonathan Pearce introduces Hot Pants
Ming 3 vs Hot Pants

Ming 3 attacks the insides of Hot Pants

Bash Hot Pants

Hot Pants is pitted by Sgt. Bash

The battle started fairly quickly with Spam charging around the arena. Hot Pants spun away from a charge from Ming 3 and then managed to axe one of The Hassocks Hog's fluffy ears, but its axe caused little to no damage at all, and also became stuck in the down position. Hot Pants then seemed to break down and pushed around the arena by Spam. Ming 3 then crushed into the insides of Hot Pants, doing some damage, and pulled it over to the flame pit. Hot Pants was then counted out by Refbot, eliminating it from the competition, before being pushed into the pit by House Robot Sgt. Bash. Hot Pants was immediately followed by Spam, although Spam would still progress to the next round alongside Ming 3.

After the battle, it was found that Hot Pants' power key had fallen out, thus immobilising the robot.


Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat H, Round 1 vs. Ming 3, Spam, The Hassocks Hog Eliminated


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 1

Series RecordEdit

  • Big Pants during construction
  • Hot Pants in the pits
Main Series Hot Pants Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Entered with Panda Monium
The Third Wars Not selected with More Panda Monium
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify as Big Pants
Failed to qualify with More Panda Monium
The Fifth Wars Failed to qualify as Big Pants
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Seventh Wars Entered with Thunderpants
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Pants
Series 2 Entered with Pants

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Big pants chassis

The innards of Big Pants

Prior to its Series 6 entry, Hot Pants took part in various live events under its original incarnation as Big Pants, notably the 2001 Robots@War event. There, it fought at least one battle against future Semi-Finalist M2; despite suffering from drive issues and having its axe head bent, Big Pants performed well, landing numerous blows on M2 and surviving for the full duration.[5]

In 2002, Hot Pants also attended the Sussex Robot Rumble in Worthing, which took place before its entry into Series 6. Experiences from this event allowed Team Panda to make further modifications to the robot prior to its televised appearance.[6] After Series 6, Hot Pants fought at another live event in Worthing in December 2002, where it was destroyed by Terrorhurtz and 13 Black.[7] This prompted the team to retire the robot and replace it with Thunderpants.


  • Coincidentally, the other robot to lose in Hot Pants' only fight, The Hassocks Hog, was also from West Sussex and also had pants painted on the machine.
  • Hot Pants was the first heavyweight robot from Team Panda to appear on the televised show since the Second Wars, but the first robot from Team Panda to qualify without coming in as a reserve, which Panda Monium did.
    • Jonathan Pearce mistakenly claimed Team Panda's previous televised appearance as took place in the Third Wars.


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2

External LinksEdit

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