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For the Dutch machine that competed in Dutch Robot Wars, see Infinity (Dutch).
"... and beyond they'll hope with this powerful pusher."
Jonathan Pearce in Extreme 2

Infinity was a competitor in the sixth series of Robot Wars and the second series of Robot Wars Extreme, entered by students from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University). Although it went out early in Series 6, it finished second in the University Challenge, losing in the final to Tiberius 3.

DesignEdit

"When starting to think about the final look of the Infinity robot, the first thing that stood out for inspiration was the very organic insect shape of the claws. A techno scarab beetle was one of the first things that came to mind, with a curved spike tail at the back to balance out the claws, and protruding wheel protectors at the sides to break up the shape of the box"
— Team Infinity website[1]
Infinity UK

Infinity in the arena during the Sixth Wars

Infinity Extreme

Infinity in the arena during Extreme 2

Infinity was a two wheeled, blue invertible box robot with clutching claws and diamond tipped spikes as its weapon and could run both ways up. It had an aluminium frame, foam-filled go-kart tyres, and was powered by 3 12 volt Yuasa Gel batteries. Castor wheels on the top and bottom gave it a zero turning circle. Originally, it was intended to have a spiked "tail" at the rear, but this plan was abandoned to get the robot into the weight limit.

"Added to the design however, were three sets of industrial diamond tipped spikes; one on each side to catch any robots attempting to ram Infinity's sides and one on the back so that the robot would not settle on its rear end if flipped."
— Team Infinity website
Infinitydesign

The original sketch for Infinity

It had strong armour, made of 6.5 mm aluminium-magnesium alloy treadplate, which increased to 7.5 mm in Extreme 2, had a good top speed of between 12 and 15 mph[2] and was manoeuvrable, but the wheels were exposed and the team lacked experience. The claws lacked crushing power and could be buckled with relative ease, but effectively grappled with robots.

The TeamEdit

"About 1 B.I (one month before Infinity), a meeting was organised. The flyer that got me interested read: "Interested in entering Robot Wars?? Then meet @ 1:30 in the honours lab. Steve." 46 (!!) people showed up ... funny how this has dropped to 6 as time has gone on. Anyway, at this initial meeting, we were split into 2 groups: one to discuss chassis and shell design and shape (containing Dave and Matt), the other to brainstorm weaponry (containing me (hehe…) and Ed). After 45 minutes of serious head scratching, the initial plans for Infinity started to take shape."
— Carl Bater on the Team Infinity website
TeamInfinityS6

Team Infinity in Series 6

TeamInfinityEx2

Team Infinity in Extreme 2

The team was formed by students at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University). Steve Fearn, the original team captain, started the project, and from 46 initial applicants, a team of 6 worked on the robot. Steve Fearn was absent in Extreme 2, so Carl Bater took over as captain. Carl Bater designed Infinity's weaponry, David Sandford was the pneumatics organiser, Ed Butcher was involved in the robot's design and construction, whilst Matt Meaney dealt with sponsorship and public relations as well as working on the robot[3].

Craig Charles: "What are you studuing there?"
Carl Bater: "Physics."
Craig Charles: "All of you doing Physics? So how come you're doing engineering? How come you're building robots?"
Carl Bater: "Because we're not very good at engineering!"
— Post-battle interview in Round 2 of the University Challenge

QualificationEdit

Infinity was only just finished in time for the Series 6 qualifiers, and the team had serious radio control issues just one day before the qualifiers.

"For Team Infinity, the first two weeks of July 2002 became the climax of 18 months of hard work. With the Robot Wars trials in their sights the team worked untiringly to finish the feat of engineering that was the Infinity Robot. With only 24 hours to go before their departure for Nottingham the team hit serious technical problems that were to test their imaginations and technical skills to the max. ... After 6 hours of lots of trial and plenty of error the team had managed to make things a little better. The robot was by no means at it's peak of fitness, but it moved and that, after all, was the most important thing… wasn't it?"
— Matt Meaney on the Team Infinity website[4]
Inf

The team working on Infinity

The team managed to get Infinity working for the qualifiers, but upon arriving, found that all robots needed a manual dump for their pneumatic systems, whereas theirs was radio controlled.

"Safety is always the priority in Robot Wars and 'rules is rules.' So with a plasma cutter in hand a huge hole was cut through the armour in the top of Infinity - simple. Then the frantic team shoved in a dump valve and - hey presto - a working robot… with a huge hole in it covered by a small off - cut of armour. Pretty easy really - NOT!"
— Matt Meaney on the Team Infinity website[5]

Once this was fixed, Infinity fought three unknown robots, all of them veterans, in its qualifier. It won on a judges' decision, gaining automatic entry into the series.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 6Edit

"To infinity... and the pond or something like that."
— Jonathan Pearce misquotes Buzz Lightyear as Infinity enters the arena

Despite avoiding any seeded robots in the first round, Infinity still found itself in the middle of an unlucky draw, as it would be facing the frightening new robot, 259, alongside Infernal Contraption, another robot representing a university, and former Heat Finalist Aggrobot 3.

Philippa Forrester: "First time on Robot Wars, how are the nerves coping?"
Carl Bater: "They're not! They're going ... they're going mad!"
— Pre-battle interview
20110423182056!259-1-

Infinity is thrown over by 259

Aggrobot 3 started by charging at Infinity, but Infinity drove over the top. It landed in the path of 259, but quickly got away, and 259 targeted Infernal Contraption. Infinity held back as 259 attacked Infernal Contraption, but when 259 drove towards them, Infinity drove at Infernal Contraption, pushing against one of its wheels. 259 chased after it, hitting one of the claws with the flywheel, easily buckling it up.

"...and Infinity is already bent and buckled!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Infinty

Infinity reverses into the pit

Infinity turned to face 259, and 259 hit the front, knocking it up. However, Infinity had not suffered any major damage to the body. 259 continued to chase it down the arena, and Infinity opened the pit. It reversed away from 259, driving over the pit before it opened, but as the pit opened, it charged forward and spin itself into the pit, eliminating it from the competition.

"Infinity has pressed the pit release button, well it needs some sort of merciful release to get it out of its... OH PAIN! And Infinity has decided enough is enough and they've driven straight into the pit! They released the pit button, and uh, went straight into it, which is "sensible". Mind you, when you consider the damage they'd already taken, was that a sensible move?"
— Jonathan Pearce as Infinity opened the pit, then drove into it

Infinity was later followed in the pit by Infernal Contraption, but not before it had taken considerably more damage from 259 than Infinity did. After the battle, team member Carl Bater confirmed they had not intentionally driven down the pit.

"Now by the end of that, robots were queuing up to get into the pit, but you were in there first, weren't you? ... It was definitely the safest place to be."
— Phillipa Forrester to the Infinity team after the battle

Extreme 2Edit

Philippa Forrester: "Right, now this is University Challenge, what does it mean to Aberystwyth to win it?"
Carl Bater: "It'll be a very good free advert for Aberystwyth University, I think."
Philippa Forrester: "A free advert? For goodness sake, where's your spirit?"
Carl Bater: "Haven't got it"
— Pre-battle interview

Infinity returned to the warzone, where it represented the University of Wales in the University Challenge. In Round 1, it faced two experienced robots in the form of Tiberius 3 and Fluffy.

Philippa Forrester: "Now how strong are these claws?"
Carl Bater: "Umm, we're not sure. We'll find out in a minute I think."
Philippa Forrester: "Is that strong enough to get through 15mm steel?"
Carl Bater: "Probably not... we might scratch it."
— Worries about Infinity's weaponry
UniversityChallengeRound1.2.2

The three robots edge closer to the pit

Infinity was quick off the mark and charged at Tiberius 3, but bounced off its front. Infinity quickly turned around and drove back at Tiberius 3, but its opponent reversed into Fluffy, and Infinity missed its charge. Fluffy tried to attack the front of Tiberius 3, and Tiberius 3 pushed it against Infinity, but could not get the front wedge under Fluffy. Fluffy escaped, and Infinity drove into Tiberius 3, with one of its wheel guards falling off.

"The University of Wales Aberystwyth boys were very self-deprecating beforehand, and with reason it would seem!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Tiberius vs Infinity vs Fluffy

Fluffy and Tiberius 3 are pitted, with Infinity on the edge

Tiberius 3 pushed Infinity, but Infinity reversed away. Tiberius 3 chased after Fluffy, and as it caught Fluffy, Infinity rammed into the side of Tiberius 3. However, it couldn't push Tiberius 3 very far, and Tiberius 3 kept holding Fluffy, so repeated rams had little effect. Tiberius 3 carried Fluffy onto the flame pit, but Fluffy was stuck on the end of the crusher. Infinity rammed into Tiberius 3's side, but it still held Fluffy. Tiberius 3 pulled Fluffy over to the pit, and Infinity tried ramming Fluffy to separate the two. As the three fought by the pit, Growler pressed the pit button. Infinity found itself on the pit as it opened, with one wheel being stuck. Tiberius 3 held Fluffy over the pit, but it was still stuck on the end of the crusher. Refbot gave Tiberius 3 a push from behind, knocking both robots into the pit, but because Fluffy went in first, Fluffy was eliminated.

"Infinity just holding on."
— Jonathan Pearce on Infinity's narrow escape

In the second round, Infinity met Infernal Contraption, one of the robots it fought in Series 6.

"We fought them before in Series 6, and we could push them around a bit, but 259 kind of got in the way, so we're looking forward to having a proper ding-dong with them this time. ... we don't think we're gonna get through their polycarb, they're 170 psi we're pushing at, but we can hold them, we can push them around, we know that."
— Carl Bater on Infernal Contraption
Infinity vs InfernalContraption

Infinity charges Infernal Contraption towards the arena wall

Infinity vs Infernal Contraption

Infinity traps Infernal Contraption in the CPZ

Infinity charged at Infernal Contraption, but swerved as it did so, and bumped side-on into it. Infernal Contraption drove forwards, with the drum flipping over the top as it did, then turned around to try attacking Infinity again, but the drum flipped over again, so Infernal Contraption merely bounced off the pincers. Infinity turned around and got behind Infernal Contraption, trying to get hold of it with the pincers, but Infernal Contraption proved too slippery to get hold of. Infinity continued chasing, which kept its distance, swinging its drum back and forth. Infinity drove at Infernal Contraption's wheel, and Infernal Contraption reversed on top of the pincers. Infinity rammed Infernal Contraption into the side wall, At the start of the battle, neither robot could get their weapons into play, but then Infernal Contraption landed on top of Infinity's pincers and Infinity rammed Infernal Contraption into the arena wall, but this knocked Infernal Contraption off the pincers, which turned around and hit one of Infinity's wheels with the drum. Infinity pushed Infernal Contraption into an angle grinder, and though Infernal Contraption got on top of Infinity, Infinity turned its opponent into Sgt. Bash. Infinity pinned Infernal Contraption against the House Robot, but Sgt. Bash couldn't get hold of Infernal Contraption due to its shape and the size of his pincer, so together with Infinity, it pinned Infernal Contraption against the wall.

"...Infernal Contraption has to do something here, and quick! It's all Infinity here, pushing and driving!"
— Jonathan Pearce
UniversityChallengeRound2.1.1

Infinity rams Infernal Contraption against the top wall

Infernal Contraption vs Infinity

Infernal Contraption buckles the claws of Infinity

Infinity got one of Infernal Contraption's wheels between its claws, and pushed the Imperial College machine into the top arena wall. Infinity reversed over one of the claws, but Infinity continued to push, pinning it against the top arena wall by CPZ. Sgt. Bash came in, pushing Infinity against one of the arena entry gates, before Infernal Contraption pulled Sgt. Bash's removable link out to disable the House Robot. This allowed Infernal Contraption to escape, but Infinity soon got free of the House Robot, and drove after Infernal Contraption, which hit one of the claws with its drum, buckling it up. A second blow from Infernal Contraption's also knocked Infinity up, allowing Infernal Contraption to get away. Infinity was not deterred, and pinned Infernal Contraption against the top arena wall in the CPZ. Sgt. Bash and Sir Killalot came into the CPZ, with Sir Killalot picking up Infinity.

"Now this could turn into a war of attrition, which machine can last the longest in a CPZ against the House Robots?"
— Jonathan Pearce
UniversityChallengeRound2.1.2

Sir Killalot holds Infinity over the arena wall

InfernalContraption vs Infinity

Infinity is pinned against the arena wall by Infernal Contraption

Sir Killalot dropped Infinity against the arena wall, and one of its claws was on top of Infernal Contraption, leaving it stuck. Infernal Contraption moved back and forth to try and get Infinity off, but failed to, so Sir Killalot gave the two robots a push to separate them. Sir Killalot blocked Infinity's attempt to escape with his claw, and with Infernal Contraption pinning Infinity against the arena wall, Sir Killalot picked it up again, to take Infinity towards the the middle of the arena, where he spun it around.

"Sir Killalot has Infinity, hoisting up the boys of the University of Wales. Oh, they've done brilliantly here, I think, that would be a sad end."
— Jonathan Pearce
Infinity vs IC

Infinity and Infernal Contraption duel over a flame jet

Infinity vs Contraption

Infinity rams Infernal Contraption into the immobile Sgt. Bash

Sir Killalot dropped it, and Infinity reversed away, seemingly undamaged. Infernal Contraption and Infinity pushed against each over by a flame jet, and Infernal Contraption kept reversing away from Infinity. Infinity was dragging a loose belt behind it, which may have been the cause of Infernal Contraption's weapon breakage, with the drum motionless for the rest of the bout. Infinity caught up with its opponent and pushed it to the top of the arena. Infernal Contraption tried turning away, but turned straight into the immobile Sgt. Bash. Infinity pushed it past Sgt. Bash, and Infernal Contraption tried getting away, but drove into the arena side wall. Infinity tried to trap Infernal Contraption in the CPZ, but Sir Killalot closed in behind Infinity, allowing Infernal Contraption to escape. Infinity got way, chasing Infernal Contraption down the arena. Infinity pushed Infernal Contraption towards Sir Killalot, and though Infinity reversed prematurely, giving Infernal Contraption a chance to escape, the Imperial College machine turned the wrong way, driving into the CPZ, so Sir Killalot pinned it in the corner.

"There's nothing lazy and layabout about these students! It's up and at 'em!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Infinity vs Infernal

Infinity pulls Infernal Contraption from the wall in the final seconds

Infernal Contraption managed to escape the CPZ, but Infinity chased after it, and Infernal Contraption drove into an angle grinder. Infinity pinned it there, and Infernal Contraption was stuck on top of its opponent, being pulled, then pushed, by Infinity as time ran out. The battle went to the judges, who decided that Infinity was the winner.

Craig Charles: "How do you think you snuck that? I couldn't separate yez."
Carl Bater: "I've absolutely no idea! I thought, when we were being carried around by Killalot, that was it for us."
— Post-battle interview

Infinity then faced Tiberius 3 again in the final. The claws were still bent after the last battle. In the pre-battle interview, it was mentioned that the team had tried to bend the claws back using a hammer, but it hadn't work.

Philippa Forrester: "How do you feel about this final, because honour is at stake! The honour of the whole of Wales, if not Aberystwyth."
Carl Bater: "Well, we're happy to be here, we've done better than we expected, we've got to the last fight, we'll try our best, take it as it comes now."
Philippa Forrester: "Have you got any chance of winning?"
Carl Bater: "Slim, to maybe, to yes!"
— Pre-battle interview
Tiberius III vs Infinity

Infinity pushes Tiberius 3 into an angle grinder

The two robots drove towards each other, with Infinity swerving past Tiberius 3 to avoid the crusher, trying to get in a good position to push.

"We know that Infinity can push for Wales, very dogged and determined."
— Jonathan Pearce talks of Infinity's main strength at the start of the battle
UniversityChallengeFinal.1

The jaw of Tiberius closes on Infinity

Tiberius 3 tried to get underneath Infinity, but Infinity bounced off the ramp on impact. The two machines faced each other, and Infinity was pushed back by Tiberius 3. Infinity reversed, but drove close to Sgt. Bash. Infinity drove forward before the House Robot could attack, and got at the side of Tiberius 3, but the Loughborough University representative turned away before Infinity could push it. Tiberius 3 turned around and got under Infinity. It grabbed hold of Infinity, but could not pierce the armour, and Infinity pushed it down the arena and into an angle grinder. Infinity reversed and drove to the other side of the arena. Tiberius 3 followed and tried to get under Infinity, but Infinity drove away from Tiberius 3's front. Tiberius 3 kept trying to get under Infinity in order to crush, but Infinity kept turning away from the front. Tiberius 3 forced Infinity into the bottom arena wall, then pushed it up the arena, getting its front under Infinity and grabbing it with the crusher. Again, the crusher could not puncture Infinity's armour, so Tiberius 3 rammed its opponent into an angle grinder. Tiberius 3 let go, but as Infinity escaped, it became clear its pincers were stuck in the closed position.

"The Infinity weaponry is buckled and totally out of commission. There is no weaponry for Infinity, it's now a question of just eeking out time, staying out of trouble, and to be honest, hoping Tiberius makes a bad mistake..."
— Jonathan Pearce
UniversityChallengeFinal.2

Tiberius 3 attempts to puncture the wheel of Infinity

Infinity drove at Tiberius 3, but drove up the ramp, and Tiberius 3 pushed Infinity down the arena to the flame pit. Infinity quickly got off the flames and charged at Tiberius 3, but Tiberius 3 grabbed the Welsh machine, getting the crusher between the body and one of the wheels. Infinity tried pushing back, but could not get free. Tiberius 3 reversed, but Infinity slipped from its grasp. Tiberius 3 pushed against Infinity, but struggled to get under the University of Wales representative. After a few pushes, it got under, and forced Infinity into the side wall, by Sgt. Bash's CPZ. It still could not puncture, and Infinity pushed back. However, as Infinity did so, it drove right in front of Sgt Bash. Tiberius 3 turned away, and Infinity had to reverse, giving Tiberius 3 a chance to escape. Infinity caught up, and the two robots fought head-on, and Tiberius 3 manoeuvred Infinity into a CPZ. Shunt came in, but his axe did not puncture the top of Infinity, despite trying twice. The pit was opened, and Tiberius 3 turned Infinity around and started pushing it in the direction of the pit, but Refbot was in the way, and Shunt axed Tiberius 3 from behind, before pushing Infinity off Tiberius 3's front.

"This is a very tense and tight affair for the honour of brainiest boffins of Robot Wars"
— Jonathan Pearce

Infinity tried pushing Tiberius 3, but only managed to move it a little, and Tiberius 3 reversed away as time ran out. The match went to the judges, who decided that Tiberius 3 was the University Challenge Champion.

Craig Charles: "Guys, I know it was like the University Challenge final, but that was sort of like regressed to like a playground scuffle, just like pushing, and shoving and little bit of name-calling, wasn't it?"
Carl Bater: "Erm, well we're pretty powerful and we can push most things around, unfortunately their shape means as soon as you go near them, our drive wheels get lifted off the floor and we can't push. So we didn't really have any idea what we were meant to do?"
Craig Charles: "'Cause I kind of thought that you might've gone for the pit release button, opened the pit and tried to get'em in that."
Carl Bater: "We're pretty cursed by the pit, we've been in it a few times, we don't like it!"
— Post-battle interview

ResultsEdit

INFINITY - RESULTS
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Round 1
Heat E, Eliminator vs. 259, Aggrobot 3, Infernal Contraption Eliminated
Extreme Series 2
University Challenge
Runner-Up
Round 1 vs. Fluffy, Tiberius 3 Qualified
Round 2 vs. Infernal Contraption Won
Final vs. Tiberius 3 Lost

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 2

Series RecordEdit

  • Infinity during construction
  • The insides of Infinity
Main Series Infinity 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 Heat, Round 1
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Did not enter
Series 2 University Challenge Final

Outside Robot WarsEdit

RazerInfinityTechnoGames

Infinity (right) makes a cameo on Techno Games

Although Infinity and its team did not compete in the spin-off show Techno Games, the robot did make a cameo appearance in the 2003 series. As part of the show's features about robotics, Episode 5 showed a robotics demonstration at The Learning Lightor in Liverpool. Infinity was only briefly shown arriving at the event, along with Razer.

Infinity 2007

Infinity in 2007

The team had been invited to take part in the 2003 series of Techno Games, but Infinity suffered a major problem with the remote control controller boards days before the team were due to compete, forcing them to withdraw.[6]

Infinity came out of retirement to compete in the 2007 UK Championships, falling in the group stages to Terrorhurtz. As of 2017, it is still in the possession of Aberystwyth University, and has received modifications such as inside wheels and a cutting disc with the hope of returning for a potential future series of Robot Wars.[7]

Robot Wars Live EventsEdit

Infinity featherweight

The featherweight version of Infinity

In 2014, Steve Fearn along with Cai Langstaff and David Martin, entered a featherweight version of Infinity at the Robot Wars Newport event. It initially differed from its heavyweight counterpart by featuring its wheels inside the robot, and uses a front wedge for weaponry, painted white overall.

TriviaEdit

  • The robot had five sponsors; SMC pneumatics, K&D Fire Protection, the Welsh branch of the Institute of Physics, Physoc and Clocktower Models.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
  7. [7]
  8. [8]

External LinksEdit

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