For the fictional robot from Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction, see Can Opener.
"More bite than a Great White! Or so they say"
— Jonathan Pearce

Kan-Opener was a competitor robot that competed in Series 5 to 7 of Robot Wars, plus the second series of Extreme. It was a yellow heptagonal robot with two large horizontal crushing claws with hardened steel tips, driven by a 6.6 ton hydraulic ram, delivering 6.4 tonnes of force and capable of crushing car skins and chassis. It also featured two wet go-kart tyres, making it very quick and agile, and the robot had a total of four sets of jaws, all of which were interchangeable.

In Series 5, it was fitted with an self-righting mechanism which failed to work, but from Series 6 onwards it was much flatter and invertible. A battering ram was also added to the back of the machine in Series 6 and the armour was upgraded to Grade 4 titanium as well as having its ground clearance lowered.

Although Kan-Opener never progressed beyond the first round in any of its three main competition appearances, it did win two separate annihilators, one in Extreme 2 and the other in Series 7, the only robot ever to defend its annihilator title. This was a feat that Kronic the Wedgehog later emulated in Roaming Robots after Robot Wars ended. Kan-Opener's pincers sometimes posed a problem in that they would get lodged in their opponent's armour hence why Kan-Opener went out in the 1st round in the 7th Wars and lost one of its qualifiers for the 5th Wars despite pitting its opponent.

Robot History

Series 5


Kan-Opener A spec from Series 5

The number 22 seed Atomic 2 was Kan-Opener's opponent in Round 1 of the Fifth Wars. Atomic 2 was very quick to flip over Kan-Opener, which had a self-righting arm fitted with a small glove. This self-righting arm failed to work, but Atomic 2 flipped Kan-Opener back onto its wheels. Kan-Opener was tossed onto its back again by Atomic 2 before it could use its weaponry, and pitted at the end of the battle.

"Kan-Opener gets turned into a tin of beans!"
Craig Charles, following Kan-Opener's defeat

Series 6

Kan Opener Damage 2

A close-up of the damage caused to Kan-Opener

In Round 1 of Series 6, Kan-Opener faced Double Trouble, Demolition Man and Fluffy. It began stronger than in Series 5, hooking its claw around Demolition Man and grappling with the meter high robot, whilst beaching Double Trouble on top of it. However, Fluffy rushed into the fray, slamming and gouging several blows in Kan-Opener's side.

"...and that has opened up a can of worms for those boys..."
— Jonathan Pearce

Kan-Opener lost all mobility, remaining pinned to Demolition Man, but Double Trouble released itself, slamming clean into Kan-Opener's side. Kan-Opener was separated from Demolition Man and counted out, before Double Trouble slammed it into another wall and Sir Killalot put it on the floor flipper. However, Kan-Opener had already done enough damage to Demolition Man to drag it out alongside it.

Extreme 2

Kan-Opener C

Kan-Opener C spec in Extreme Series 2

Kan-Opener fought in the Annihilator competition of Robot Wars Extreme Series 2 with Major Tom, Thermidor 2, Typhoon 2, Raging Reality and Revenge of Trouble & Strife. It was flipped around by Raging Reality and Thermidor 2 in the first round and didn't do too much. During an attack from Typhoon 2, the tip of one of Kan-Opener's claws speared the cone spinner, stopping the Air Cadets machine from spinning, and it was unable to start spinning again. After Raging Reality flipped and immobilised Typhoon 2, the remaining five continued on.

In Round 2, Raging Reality broke down after Kan-Opener sank its claws into it. In the next round, Kan-Opener was through once more after Revenge of Trouble and Strife had been flipped and immobilised by Thermidor 2 before Kan-Opener pushed it down the pit. Fourth time around, and Kan-Opener's claws had been greased up, so it was one of the more aggressive along robots with Thermidor 2. Major Tom finally dropped out after breaking down and getting severely damaged by the house robots leaving Kan-Opener and Thermidor 2 to go through to the annihilator final.

Kan Opener pits Thermidor 2

Kan-Opener wins the Annihilator

It started off with Thermidor 2 trying to flip Kan-Opener but couldn't due to its large width. Kan-Opener then had Thermidor 2 in its claws trying to get it in the pit with it holding on well, then Kan-Opener grappled with Thermidor 2's wheel but Thermidor 2 got away. The two robots then found themselves in the CPZ getting attacked by Sergeant Bash and Shunt but they escaped. After Thermidor 2 tried flipping it over in a few failed attempts and Kan-Opener buried its claws into the lobster-like machine, Thermidor 2 was beginning to look damaged with holes and scratches spreading all over its armour. As the last 10 seconds of the fight started counting down, Kan-Opener slowly pushed Thermidor 2 towards the pit and with only four seconds to go, Kan-Opener managed to get it down claiming the title and becoming Annihilator champion, while setting the record for the longest bout to not go to a Judges' Decision.

Series 7

Kan-Opener D

Kan-Opener D spec in Series 7


Kan-Opener trying to pit Barbaric Response

Kan-Opener fought against Barbaric Response, Big Nipper and Grim Reaper in Round 1 of the Seventh Wars. It started its opening round melee by getting its pincers to crush onto Barbaric Response's wheel guards, breaking them and crushing into the wheels. Whilst causing a large amount of damage, it couldn't pry the pincers out of Barbaric Response for the remaining duration of the battle. It edged Barbaric Response towards the pit but couldn't nudge Barbaric Response in, with the remaining time. It is disputed whether Kan-Opener had broken down by this point or whether it was simply unable to push Barbaric Response, it wasn't officially counted out and was included in the judges decision, which went against it. Kan-Opener was out in the first round once more.

"Heave, ho! Will it, go? Yes, no! It all goes to the Judges!"
— Jonathan Pearce on Kan-Opener nearly pitting Barbaric Response

After going out of Robot Wars in Round 1 for a 3rd time in a row, Kan-Opener was given the opportunity to defend its title in the Series 7 Annihilator contest along with Ripper, Flippa, Robochicken, Ewe 2 and Raging Knightmare, therefore being the only non-flipper in the annihilator. The first round as described by Andy Kane was "5 flippers and 1 crusher." Kan-Opener survived the first round, nearly getting flipped out the arena twice. Robochicken had been turned over straight away and was unable to recover allowing Kan-Opener to go through as a result. The next round, Flippa dropped out early due to technical problems and Ewe 2 was flipped onto its side, unable to recover, allowing Kan-Opener to go through with Raging Knightmare and Ripper. The next battle, Kan-Opener and Ripper teamed up on Raging Knightmare throughout the whole battle and it was eventually pitted by both of them. The final started off with Ripper getting a series of flips in on Kan-Opener, but Kan-Opener was unharmed due to it being invertible. Ripper then found itself going round in circles and was unable to maneuver properly. Kan-Opener then crushed in on Ripper's side panels whilst Ripper was being counted out, Kan-Opener was smoking but Ripper was immobilised anyway and Kan-Opener claimed the Annihilator title for a second time in a row.

"When you go into the UK championship, you get one chance at it, and you kill. This Annihilator is a different game altogether - it's staying alive that counts"
— The Kan-Opener team explain their robot's differing performances


Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat B, Eliminator vs. Atomic 2 (22) Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat F, Round 1 vs. Fluffy, Demolition Man, Double Trouble Eliminated
Extreme Series 2
Round 1 vs. Typhoon 2, Raging Reality, Thermidor 2
Revenge of Trouble & Strife, Major Tom
Round 2 vs. Raging Reality, Thermidor 2, Revenge of Trouble & Strife
Major Tom
Round 3 vs. Thermidor 2, Revenge of Trouble & Strife, Major Tom Qualified
Round 4 vs. Thermidor 2, Major Tom Qualified
Round 5 vs. Thermidor 2 Won
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat B, Round 1 vs. Barbaric Response, The Grim Reaper, Big Nipper Eliminated
Round 1 vs. Robochicken, Flippa, Ripper
Ewe 2, Raging Knightmare
Round 2 vs. Flippa, Ripper, Ewe 2
Raging Knightmare
Qualified (by Default)
Round 3 vs. Ripper, Ewe 2, Raging Knightmare Qualified
Round 4 vs. Ripper, Raging Knightmare Qualified
Round 5 vs. Ripper Won


  • Wins: 9
  • Losses: 3

Series Record

  • Series 1-4: Did not enter
  • Series 5: Heat, Round 1
  • Series 6: Heat, Round 1
  • Series 7: Heat, Round 1

Outside of Robot Wars

As of 2012 there have been nine versions of Kan-Opener (taking a letter sequence as opposed to a numerical sequence), with a further two in the build stage. Both of them (G and H) were sold to Team Bud after Team Kan-Opener retired from the event circuit. Tom Kane has also become a member of Team Bud, adding Kan-Opener G and H to Team Bud's armada of robots. Kan Opener G has been kept by Jason (previously a member of Team Bud) and Kan Opener H has been sold to Mario of Team KODOX. Jason is also looking to build a new version.



Kan Opener in the pits in Series 7 with the range of interchangeable pincers

  • Kan-Opener is one of three robots to win an annihilator after going out in the first round of the UK Championship in which it competed directly before the annihilator, along with Disc-O-Inferno and Spikasaurus.
  • Kan-Opener is also one of three robots to win a UK side competition but never win a battle in the UK Championship, along with Spikasaurus and Chompalot. It is the only one of the three to make more than one attempt in the UK Championship.
  • Kan-Opener was said to be the inspiration for the design of Team Rogue Two Robots' featherweight, Carcinus.
  • Four versions, or specs, of Kan-Opener entered Robot Wars: A (Series 5), B (Series 6), C (Extreme 2, Annihilator) and D (Series 7).
    • Interestingly, Kan-Opener Specs D to H all have rounded corners.


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