- "Kill-E-Crank-E is a two-wheeled robot with a powerful 8.5 kg vertical spinning disc in the centre, which spins at 450 rpm (about the same rate as a typical helicopter blade)."
- — The Robot Wars website
Kill-E-Crank-E was a robot from the far north of Scotland that fought in Series 8 of Robot Wars. It was eliminated in its Group Battle after driving into the pit in the grasp of Razer: both fell in after Kill-E-Crank-E reversed its driving wheel, spinning both robots around at the corner of the pit.
- "Kill-E-Crank-E's disc has three cobalt-edged bi-directional teeth. When attacking it brakes quickly when approaching its opponent, allowing momentum to flip it over to bring the spinner down forcefully in an arc on to its opponent."
- — Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot
Kill-E-Crank-E bears a similar design to Series 5-6 Semi-Finalist S3, being a wide, tubular, grey robot with exposed rubber tyre wheels at each side (taken from Team Cold Fusion's Series 2 entry, Bodyhammer), and a 450rpm spinning disc at the front with three cobalt-edged teeth. Unlike S3, Kill-E-Crank-E features a concave section which extends out of the robot's front, creating a 'crank' shape. The robot was originally intended to be V-shaped, but had to adopt the 'crank' shape over the build process to accommodate its internal components. When Kill-E-Crank-E drives towards its opponent, the team can brake quickly, and the robot's momentum flips itself over, bringing the spinner down forcefully in an arc onto their opponent. The robot is constructed from an 8-inch pipe of 304-Grade stainless steel, provided by a local engineering company. The body is divided into two equal arms with an interchangeable weapon section in the middle, the three parts being bolted together at flanges.
The current alternative weapon for Kill-E-Crank-E is a heavy mild steel forked spike, which can replace the spinning disc mid-section. Although this was not used on the televised series, Kill-E-Crank-E is equipped with this weapon at live events, to cooperate with the rule concerning spinning weaponry. The spike weapon was drawn out in chalk on a sheet of 10mm thick plate a few days before filming to give the team another weapon option in case the spinner broke or an alternative weapon was preferred. The weapon was flame cut and welded just in time. Coating the rotating blade teeth with cobalt-chromium alloy Stellite was the idea of Nick Wells' dad, a metallurgist. The disc was able to spin in both directions with full speed control, so the teeth were sharp on both sides.
Kill-E-Crank-E's tyres were made battle-ready using Twaron material from the original Bodyhammer project.
- "The design started off as a V-shape but changed into a crank shape to accommmodate the mechanics. The name of the new robot, Kill-E-Crank-E, evolved from this shape, with the letter "E" added, short for electric, the word "kill" added to make it sound deadly, and then the whole thing being a homonym for the Highland town of Killiecrankie where a famous battle took place in 1689. There is even a song about it. Nothing to do with the Crankies."
- — Robin Herrick
The name Kill-E-Crank-E references robot's distinctive 'crank' shape, and the word 'kill'. It is primarily derived from The Battle of Killiecrankie, which was fought between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James II and VII and troops supporting King William of Orange on 27 July 1689, during the first Jacobite uprising.
- Main article: Cold Fusion Team
Kill-E-Crank-E was built by 44-year old nuclear decommissioning engineer Robin Herrick, creator of original series Grand Finalists Bodyhammer and Pussycat, and the original captain of the Cold Fusion Team on Robot Wars before leaving the televised team ahead of Series 5. Kill-E-Crank-E's team consists of Robin Herrick as captain and builder, his 11-year old son Matthew Herrick as the weapons operator, Matthew's friend Isaac Potts, and Nick Wells.
Razer targeted Kill-E-Crank-E from the outset. However, Kill-E-Crank-E's low and wide shape proved awkward for Razer, whose beak best worked on chunky robots of medium height. With Razer's claw stuck on one of Nuts' minibots, Kill-E-Crank-E took the chance to push back, though did not get its disc into play. Razer bit down into the weapon opening of Kill-E-Crank-E but did no damage. Razer was able to control Kill-E-Crank-E throughout most of the battle by fitting the entire body pipe within its weapon's arc.
- "I had no doubt that Kill-E-Crank-E had not done enough to go through to the next round on a judges decision, so I activated the pit release in the hopes that we could still win outright."
- — Robin Herrick
Kill-E-Crank-E managed to press the pit release button and the two robots struggled towards the pit, each trying to pit the other. Just as Razer pushed Kill-E-Crank-E towards the pit, the latter robot reversed on one wheel and spun both robots around. The result of this was that both robots fell into the pit, eliminating both from the competition.
- "Razer clearly had it in for us so I thought let's go for a mutual death pact and take them down with us!"
- — Robin Herrick
|KILL-E-CRANK-E - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
|Heat 1, Group Battle||vs. Nuts, Razer, Terrorhurtz||Eliminated|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 1
|Series||Kill-E-Crank-E Series Record|
|The First Wars||Entered with Bodyhammer|
|The Second Wars||Entered with Bodyhammer|
|The Third Wars||Entered with Pussycat|
|The Fourth Wars||Entered with Pussycat|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Heat, Round 1|
|Series 9||Entered with Crank-E|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
NOTE: This refers to the performance record of Robin Herrick alone
Outside Robot Wars
In-between building Pussycat and Kill-E-Crank-E, Robin Herrick built a variety of robots, including a hydraulic petrol-powered walker with a large hammer. However, none of these robots competed at robotic events due to his relocation to Scotland, and the cancellation of the TV show.
Robot Wars Live Events
Kill-E-Crank-E travelled all the way from Scotland to appear at the first Robot Wars live event of 2016 in Manchester, using the spike in place of its spinning disc. Kill-E-Crank-E made a humorous debut, as the robot was so wide, it could not drive through the doorway, and needed to be lifted into the arena. Kill-E-Crank-E entered a four-way melee against Crushtacean, Meggamouse and Chimera. In the opening moments of the battle, the thin Kill-E-Crank-E was a perfect fit for Crushtacean’s own pincers, and was grabbed and dragged around for a period of the match. When freed by Crushtacean, Kill-E-Crank-E headed straight for the pit, getting caught over the edge. Chimera, in an attempt to finish off Kill-E-Crank-E, drove into the pit itself and freed the stranded machine, but Kill-E-Crank-E broke down shortly afterwards when a cable came loose.
- Kill-E-Crank-E was one of only four robots in Series 8 to not use modern lithium polymer or nickel metal hydride batteries inside the machine, the others being DisConstructor, Sweeney Todd and The General, which also used lead acid batteries.
- Quoted on Robin Herrick's now inactive business website
- Article on Robin Herrick's experience with Robot Wars (archived)
- Kill-E-Crank-E on the Robot Wars website