- "They think they have a kater's nine lives, but Kater Killers eat leaves, and this could leave early!"
- — Jonathan Pearce's predictions for Kater Killer in Series 4
Kater Killer was a tracked box-wedge shaped robot which was entered by Team KaterKiller in Series 3 and 4 of Robot Wars. Kater Killer lost in the first round of both series it fought in, and also competed in the Sumo Basho competition, finishing in 6th place. Kater Killer was then succeeded by Kat 3 with much more success.
Versions of Kater Killer
Kater Killer (Series 3)
The first version of the robot, which featured reverse-angled caterpillar tracks took 3 months to build and was quite lightweight as it was made from aluminium, being seven kilograms below the maximum weight allowance. This version of Kater Killer was powered by fan belts from an old truck and had a painted shell, and it was armed with thick spikes beneath the tracks, as well as a pneumatic spike that shot from the robot's mouth.
- "The paintwork was done by my girlfriend last night."
- — Keith Williams
Kater Killer (Series 4)
The Series 4 entry was a large machine armoured in clear macrolane surfacing - the same kind used to protect the audience from flying debris - and a heavier chassis. The teethed metal tracks were replaced with rubber ones. Kater Killer's low rear end was now switched for the front position, where its new weaponry consisted of a spiked lifting arm, capable of lifting 130 stone and powered by two 7500 Newton electric rams, along with a set of small spikes at the back, where it also had a fake cat's tail attached for comedic value. Throughout much of Series 4, the tail could also be seen hanging off the back of House Robot Sir Killalot.
Kater Killer's name was a play on 'caterpillar', after its caterpillar tracks, 'killer', and a cat theme, used more strongly in the robot's successor, Kat 3.
- Main article: Team KaterKiller
Kater Killer was the first robot built by Team KaterKiller, who would later become known for their two-time Heat Finalist Kat 3. The team originally consisted of team captain and driver Keith Williams, alongside assistant builder Geoff Hill. Both were also helped by Peter Gibson behind the scenes, and Keith's girlfriend Georje Reed painted the Series 3 entry. For Series 4, Georje Reed joined the televised team alongside Keith's sister Julie-Ann Williams, creating the static lineup for the rest of the team's appearances.
The original version of Kater Killer was selected for Series 3 after taking part in the obstacle course trial. The new version of Kater Killer entered the live qualification tour for Series 4, where it was defeated by Charybdis. However, despite losing the battle, Kater Killer was given a discretionary place in the series, while Charybdis remained only a reserve.
In Round 1 of the Third Wars, Kater Killer was up against previous Semi-Finalists Napalm, in Heat G.
Both robots looked rather sluggish as Napalm rammed Kater Killer. Napalm then managed to reverse into Kater Killer and pushed it around the arena and almost into the pit, but Kater Killer steered away just in time. The rest of the battle was mainly both robots trying to push each other around. In the end, the Judges decided that Napalm was the winner, eliminating Kater Killer from the competition.
- "Katerkiller mark one was not a huge success, it was beaten by Napalm (judges decision) but Keith was quickly on a rebuild to make mark 2 even bigger, better and above all have a weapon that worked!"
- — Team KaterKiller on their Series 3 performance
The new version of Kater Killer was put up against the 8th seeds Gemini and newcomers Tornado in Round 1 of Series 4, where it was overshadowed by the former and not acknowledged for appearing in the previous series.
Kater Killer was immediately slammed into the arena wall by Tornado, but escaped Sir Killalot. Tornado attacked again, while Gemini flipped Kater Killer over, and it could not use its lifting arm to self right.
- "Has the lifting arm, can it self right? I don't think so."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Shortly afterwards it was righted by Tornado, but the lifting arm was jammed and the robot was completely immobile. Tornado was later pitted, and the Kater Killer team began to celebrate, but by then it was too late for Kater Killer, as it had been immobile for too long.
- "Unfortunately we were put up against Gemini and Tornado in the first round. It didn't go well - well it might have done if Keith had taped the leads to the batteries and when we were flipped by Gemini the cables came loose. The lifting arm proved just too slow and we were eliminated from the competition."
- — Team KaterKiller website on the fight
Kater Killer later entered the Sumo Basho tournament, pitting it against Shunt. Kater Killer's tracks should have given an advantage with extra traction, but Kater Killer exposed its side, easily allowing Shunt to push one track off of the platform. It was fortunate for Kater Killer that Shunt took its time in adjusting its position before finally pushing it off. Overall, Kater Killer lasted 14.03 seconds, giving it a respectable 6th place, even if much of that time was elapsed with Kater Killer on the edge of the ring, immobile.
- "We did compete in Sumo and came a very respectable 6 out of 16 robots (we lasted 16 seconds against Shunt), so we felt we could hold our heads up high!"
- — Team KaterKiller website on the Sumo Basho
|KATER KILLER - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat G, Round 1||vs. Napalm||Lost|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat F, Eliminator||vs. Gemini (8), Tornado||Eliminated|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 2
|Main Series||Kater Killer Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Fourth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Fifth Wars||Entered with Kat 3|
|The Sixth Wars||Entered with Kat 3|
|The Seventh Wars||Entered with Kat 3|
|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||Entered with Kat 3|
Outside Robot Wars
- All of the teams Kater Killer fought against were a former or future Semi-Finalist, Tornado being the only one to reach the Grand Final.
- During its battle in Series 4, Kater Killer's tail fell off and it was then attached onto Sir Killalot for the rest of the series.
- Private correspondence between RobotManiac and Keith Williams in May 2021