Robot Wars Wiki

"From the world of medieval jousting comes this motorised knight's helmet!"
Jonathan Pearce introduces Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe was the robot entered by Team Ivanhoe in Series 2 of Robot Wars. Ivanhoe progressed all the way to the Arena Final in its Heat, but it was defeated by G.B.H. at this stage.

The team later entered the more successful Splinter in Series 4, 5 and Extreme 1.


Side-on view of Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe had a plastic shell in the shape of a knight's helmet, complete with visor, and was armed with a lance and a sharpened axe at the front, capable at chopping at one blow a second. It was built over a period of 4 months, with "long breaks" in that time according to Stuart Weightman[1], cost £250 and was driven by two 12 volt batteries and motors taken from a wheelchair, giving the robot a top speed of 6mph. The robot's chassis was made from 5 inch-thick plywood. It was narrowly over the Heavyweight limit at the time.

"Powered by two wheelchair motors. 2 x 12volt batteries. Axe was operated by a windscreen wiper motor. R/C equipment was Skysport 4 channel. Constructed mostly from junk in our garage."
— The Ivanhoe website on the construction of Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe in the arena

Ivanhoe's internals

Team Ivanhoe were notably the first robot team to discuss the concept of self-righting on the show, out of only three to do so in Series 2. They claimed Ivanhoe had the (then fairly exceptional) ability to be able to self right when flipped. Ivanhoe's curved body shape would theoretically roll it back onto its wheels when it got turned over, acting as a passive srimech. Team Captain Stuart Weightman demonstrated this design in the pits, although it became clear that Ivanhoe needed a small push to get back onto its wheels, or at least a strong enough flip to right it. Consequently, Ivanhoe's srimech failed to right it when it was flipped in the Heat Final, as G.B.H.'s flip was rather weak. The first UK robot to officially self right was Cassius, which did so in the Semi-finals of Series 2.

"The body design was supposed to allow Ivan to roll back on to his wheels should he get tipped over. But, with last minute changes to lose weight and other modifications it didn`t quite work out how we expected. As seen on TV Ivanhoe was a tad top heavy and didn't roll back on his wheels as he had been doing whilst we were building him. This will be rectified before the next show."
— The Ivanhoe website explains Ivanhoe's failure to roll over

The Team[]

"We watched it last year and decided to have a go. (Craig kept on at me until I gave in.)"
— Stuart Weightman about joining Robot Wars, interviewed on Tectonic Robot Wars[2]

Ivanhoe and its team

Ivanhoe was the first robot from Team Ivanhoe, who would later find success on Robot Wars with their second robot Splinter, a semi-finalist in Series 4. Ivanhoe was entered by a Norwich-based father-and-son team of Stuart and Craig Weightman, with the young son driving Ivanhoe, apart from in the Tug of War trial.


Ivanhoe qualified for the Second Wars by attending the auditions and passing relevant safety checks.

Ivanhoe 2, which failed to qualify for Series 3

A second generation Ivanhoe called Ivanhoe 2 was built for Series 3. Ivanhoe 2 was a completely different design, an invertible robot with a wedge. It used several parts from the original Ivanhoe, which was taken to pieces by the team after its Series 2 appearance.

"Faster, and will be able to overcome the difficulties we experience last year: ie. Not rolling back onto its wheels as it should have and getting stuck on a side of a ramp."
— The Ivanhoe team on their plans for Ivanhoe 2[3]

At the qualifiers, Ivanhoe 2 was working, but struggled to get traction on the concrete floor, the wheels having u-bolts attached to them to get grip on the wooden studio floor[4]. Ultimately, Ivanhoe 2 was not selected to compete when it was confirmed underweight for the main heavyweight competition. Alternatively, Ivanhoe 2 planned to enter a side middleweight competition, which unfortunately got cancelled following an unforeseen behind-the-scenes accident.

Robot History[]

Series 2[]

Ivanhoe breaks through the Breezeblock wall

In the Gauntlet, Ivanhoe started by driving at the brick wall, aiming for the right-hand side of the wall, and ramming through the bricks. Ivanhoe pushed past the bricks with no problem and drove onto the ramp.

"... well certainly, a lot of power"
— Jonathan Pearce as Ivanhoe breaks through the wall

Matilda pushes Ivanhoe off the see-saw

However, as it did so, it became stuck on the side of the see-saw - having driven onto it at an angle, one of its wheels was caught on the side. Ivanhoe fired the axe, but couldn't get any momentum to get free. Matilda came around to the middle route to attack Ivanhoe, driving behind it and pushing it, knocking it off the bridge and against a pyramid. Ivanhoe was stuck, dangling off the see-saw, but Matilda kept pushing, pushing it past the pyramid. Ivanhoe drove forwards, but made a steering error and turned against the fence, getting its lance stuck against a fence post. As Ivanhoe turned around, Shunt rushed over to block it, lifting it up a little with his scoop. As Shunt lowered it, Ivanhoe turned around, dodging an axe blow from Shunt as it turned. Sergeant Bash was blocking the end of the course, but strangely, he drove forwards, giving Ivanhoe a clear path to the end. Ivanhoe drove for the end, but was lifted up by an arena spike. Sergeant Bash reversed into Ivanhoe to try and block it as the spike went down, but Ivanhoe merely drove around him to reach the end zone.

"It looks like some great metallic grey slug, and it's slugged it to 'em, they're through Ivanhoe!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Ivanhoe completes the Gauntlet

Ivanhoe was comfortably through to The Trial, which in this Heat was Tug of War. The team let out of air from the tyres to give it maximum surface area for traction.

Philippa Forrester: "For the Tug of War, you're gonna need lots of traction and lots of power, have you got those?"
Stuart Weightman: "Yeah, well we're right at the maximum weight limit, and we've got rubber tyres, and we let quite a lot of air out of the tyres so we get maximum rubber on the deck! So we hope we'll do well."
— Before the Trial

Ivanhoe resists Matilda

Ivanhoe is pulled into the pit

Matilda pulled first, yanking Ivanhoe back a little, but Ivanhoe resisted, managing to move forwards. Matilda briefly gained an advantage, but could only pull Ivanhoe a tiny amount as Ivanhoe kept resisting, pushing forwards. Matilda managed to gain momentum and pulled Ivanhoe, actually managing to get to her descending ramp, but Ivanhoe pulled back, but drove into the side, allowing Matilda to gain the advantage again. Matilda nearly pulled Ivanhoe to the edge of the pit, and although Ivanhoe was able to briefly resist and pull back a little, Matilda finally managed to pull Ivanhoe in.

"Ivanhoe, good night, the bold knight! That's a steady score though."
— Jonathan Pearce as Ivanhoe is pulled into the pit

Ivanhoe had lasted 22.35 seconds, which proved to be the second-best score in the Trial round, putting it through to The Arena stage.

Philippa Forrester: "Do you mind who you're fighting?"
Stuart Weightman: "We don't particularly want to fight any wedges, because they can get underneath it, but we don't mind any others!"
— After the Trial

In the Arena stage, it was drawn against Kill Dozer.

Philippa Forrester: "The draw is now out, and I can tell you that you're up against, not a wedge, but something almost as bad, which is Kill Dozer!"
Stuart Weightman: "Ah, right. Our buddies on the next bench! Yeah, okay, we'll see how we get on then."
Philippa Forrester: "So how do you feel about that Craig?"
Craig Weightman: "Well, just have to stay clear of the lifting device at the front, and use our axe as much as possible"
— Pre-battle interview

Kill Dozer lifts Ivanhoe up

At the start, both competitors charged at each other, but as they got close, Ivanhoe swerved to get at Kill Dozer's side. However, it missed with the lance, and drove around Kill Dozer.

"That axe, ground down to a menacing point, and you wouldn't mess with Craig, he's a black belt in Taekwondo at 13 years of age! Good speed from Ivanhoe early on, good style there. Early aggression."
— Jonathan Pearce in the early moments of the battle

Kill Dozer turned with its lifter raised a little, pushing against the side. Kill Dozer lowered the lifter, and nearly got under the side of Ivanhoe, but Ivanhoe turned. Ivanhoe got at the side of Kill Dozer and fired the axe, but Kill Dozer turned to avoid it. Ivanhoe drove around to the front of Kill Dozer, but drove straight onto the lifter, allowing Kill Dozer to lift it up.

"Ooh, ooh, there's a mistake though, they've gone onto that front raising ramp, they didn't want to do that!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Kill Dozer lifts Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe pushes Kill Dozer into the PPZ

However, Kill Dozer was not able to push its opponent because its chassis was digging into the arena floor, so dropped it back to the floor because Sir Killalot was approaching[5]. Ivanhoe turned, and Kill Dozer tried to get the lifter under the side, but Ivanhoe kept turning. Kill Dozer turned against Ivanhoe's side, and Ivanhoe turned and tried to axe Kill Dozer, but missed. It tried pushing Kill Dozer, but Kill Dozer turned away. Kill Dozer span around, but briefly stopped. This proved to be a costly error, as it exposed its side to Ivanhoe, allowing its opponent to push it into the PPZ, though Ivanhoe drove into the PPZ itself in doing so. Ivanhoe pushed Kill Dozer onto an arena spike, which lifted Kill Dozer up, and the House Robots rushed over. Shunt and Dead Metal caught Kill Dozer in a pincer movement, with Shunt getting under Kill Dozer with his snowplough. Shunt pushed Kill Dozer against Ivanhoe, which was being rammed by Dead Metal.

"Hey, this is the meat and gristle of Robot Wars, plenty of damage being inflicted!"
— Jonathan Pearce as the House Robots attack Kill Dozer and Ivanhoe

Sir Killalot grabbed Kill Dozer with his claw, pulling it away and lifting it up using his claw and lance together. Kill Dozer was carried over to the flame pit, where Sir Killalot held it over the flames, before taking it to the pit and dropping it in, putting Ivanhoe through to the Heat Final.

"Tip-top tactics from Craig, pushing them in the side zone! ... Fast thinking that paid off, well done!"
— Phillipa Forrester to Craig Weightman after the battle

In the Heat Final, Ivanhoe was against Series 1 veterans the On The Edge team with their new robot G.B.H..

"It'll all come down to weaponry here, not much between the two 'bots in terms of weight, or power"
— Jonathan Pearce in the early seconds of the battle

G.B.H. flips Ivanhoe over

Ivanhoe is pitted by G.B.H.

At the start, the two robots cautiously approached each other. Ivanhoe turned to try and get at G.B.H.'s side, and G.B.H. turned. Ivanhoe pushed against the scoop of G.B.H., but G.B.H. reversed. Ivanhoe turned, but this proved to be a mistake as this exposed its side to G.B.H, allowing it to get the lifter underneath and tip Ivanhoe onto its side.

"A little bit of jousting, medieval dancing by Ivanhoe early on. The axe really hasn’t come into play… but the ram has again! G.B.H. – Grand, Brave, Honourable winners, surely?!"
— Jonathan Pearce as G.B.H. tips Ivanhoe over

Ivanhoe was meant to roll back onto its wheels, but not enough momentum had been gained so it didn't roll, thus eliminating Ivanhoe from the competition. G.B.H. then pushed Ivanhoe into the pit as the show's credits rolled.


Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat Semi-Final
Heat J, Gauntlet Completed (1st) Qualified
Heat J, Trial (Tug of War) 22.35 seconds (2nd) Qualified
Heat J, Semi-Final vs. Kill Dozer Won
Heat J, Final vs. G.B.H. Lost


  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 1

NOTE: Ivanhoe's successful Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included

Series Record[]

Main Series Ivanhoe Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat Final
The Third Wars Failed to qualify as Ivanhoe 2
Failed to qualify with Splinter
The Fourth Wars Entered with Splinter
The Fifth Wars Entered with Splinter
The Sixth Wars Failed to qualify with Splinter
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 Entered with Splinter
Series 2 Did not enter

NOTE: Splinter failed to qualify for the Seventh Wars, but this was under ownership of Team RCC

Outside Robot Wars[]

Ivanhoe 2 fighting Daisy Chopper at Sevenoaks in 1999

In August 1999, Ivanhoe 2 fought at an event at a car park in E17, where it fought Daisy Chopper, Centurion, Corporal Punishment and Killerhurtz. Ivanhoe 2 also fought at the Sevenoaks event in September that same year, where it fought Daisy Chopper again[6].


  • During Ivanhoe's introduction at the start of the Heat, Jonathan Pearce claimed Ivanhoe cost £200 to build, but in an interview with Tectonic Robot Wars, the team claimed the robot cost £250 to build.
  • Ivanhoe is one of four Heat Finalists from Series 2 that failed to qualify for the following series, the others being Oblivion, Inquisitor and Demolition Demon.
    • Ivanhoe was the only one not to be selected for any of the side events, and the only one of the four not to appear after Series 2, having been retired in favour of Splinter after Series 3.


External Links[]