"Undisputed World champion of two years before losing its crown to an even meaner killer machine."
Jonathan Pearce's brief overview on La Machine

La Machine was a wedged robot that competed in the latter three Robot Wars US tournaments. Commonly hailed as the pioneer of the wedge, it appeared in the 1995 US Open fighting alongside its fellow Americans in various battles which was broadcast, through a series of montages, as part of the British Robot Wars, included in Heat D of Series 1, and the VHS release of Robot Wars: The First Great War.

Design[edit | edit source]

The insides of La Machine

La Machine's design was inspired by the visual of a jetskier going over a ramp and getting flung into the air, only with the roles reversed - the ramp would charge at the target to create the same effect. For its time, La Machine was exceptionally fast. It easily scooped up other robots and rammed them against the wall, the impact usually flipping them over and ending their chances - few robots had a contingency for being turned over. La Machine's weight in its initial appearance in 1995 made it a middleweight but was effective against most heavyweights, particularly when it competed in that year's heavyweight melee.

Robot History[edit | edit source]

Series 1[edit | edit source]

"The UK robots were severely punished by their American cousins"
— Craig Charles

La Machine throws Grunt into the air

La Machine slams Grunt out of the arena

La Machine was one of three US Robot Wars competitors, along with Thor and The Master, to be invited to compete in the 1995 UK Open Competition. It fought in numerous battles alongside its fellow American compatriots, as well as future Stock Robots Grunt and Eubank the Mouse, with considerable success. La Machine was even capable in ramming Grunt out of the arena during one battle.

"British triumphs were few and far between, this is America's La Machine, celebrating another victory over the Brits"
— Craig Charles

La Machine and The Master teamed up in a football competition, where they easily beat Eubank the Mouse and Grunt before turning on each other with La Machine ramming The Master about and even toppling the goalposts.

1996 Championship[edit | edit source]

Many of La Machine's fights from the 1996 championship were shown during the First Wars Heat D, and were also heavily featured in the American Robot Wars 1996 VHS.

South Bay Mauler is bulldozed by La Machine

"The South Bay Mauler was also over powered by La Machine"
— Paul Vallis

La Machine's first match was against South Bay Mauler. As the match began, South Bay Mauler spun up to speed but was quickly bashed into by La Machine. La Machine then backed away and charged in a second time - propping South Bay Mauler up and an angle. South Bay Mauler was continually pressured by La Machine's ramming attacks and was then slammed against the arena wall. South Bay Mauler showed little movement as the fight progressed, and La Machine progressed on through.

"In round two Tazz was almost reduced to scrap metal by La Machine"
— Paul Vallis

Tazz's top armour comes off after a slam from La Machine

In the second round, La Machine faced Tazz. Tazz initially dodged away from La Machine, which then quickly turned and slipped underneath Tazz. Then, La Machine rammed Tazz into a side wall before backing away. The two robots lingered about, driving in circles away from each other before La Machine came in and slammed Tazz against the "mousetraps" where the top armour from Tazz flew off. Tazz slowly moved away only for La Machine to come back again for a final attack, toppling Tazz onto its back, where it was unable to self right.

"DooMore has met La Machine in battle many times, especially on the '96 Robot Wars European tour, but up to now he's never won and today is no exception"
— Paul Vallis

DooMore is trapped by the mousetrap

La Machine met frequent rivals DooMore in the third round. Here, La Machine quickly rammed DooMore which disabled its weapon. La Machine circled around DooMore and shunted it against one of the "mousetraps" almost toppling it over. DooMore attempted to drive away but La Machine was the quicker and drove itself underneath DooMore - toppling it onto its side where it became trapped on one of the "mousetraps". This left DooMore immobile, resulting in La Machine progressing on through.

"The Face off Heavyweight Final was expected to be a walkover for La Machine in many people's view"
— Paul Vallis

La Machine is lifted by BioHazard

La Machine loses all mobility

In the 1996 Championship final, La Machine fought BioHazard. Both robots circled each other with La Machine attempting to get underneath BioHazard, however, BioHazard's hidden skirts prevented this. La Machine backs away and accidentally drove into a "mousetrap". La Machine attempted to attack BioHazard a second time but was immediately lifted from the front. La Machine then dropped back down and attempted to drive away from BioHazard - only to be reversed into. Soon, it became a game of cat and mouse as both robots darted across the arena attempting to get underneath one another. BioHazard managed to get a lift on La Machine but La Machine once again escaped - only to get caught by a broken piece of the arena. Here, La Machine became immobile which allowed BioHazard to lift La Machine and celebrate its victory.

La Machine gets underneath Vlad the Impaler

La Machine throws DooMore out of the arena

La Machine then appeared in two rumbles, one of which was heavily featured in Heat D of the First Wars. The first Rumble involved The Master, Vlad the Impaler, BioHazard and DooMore. In the battle, La Machine rammed Vlad the Impaler into the side wall, getting underneath it before BioHazard intercepted and lifted Vlad the Impaler - failing to topple it. Soon after, La Machine bulldozed The Master. This caused the entire saw blade arm to fall off and dart across the arena. La Machine then proceeded to get revenge on BioHazard by toppling it over and slamming it into the arena corner. La Machine followed this by shunting Biohazard across the arena - which left Biohazard immobile. Vlad the Impaler then ended up being flipped over after backing into La Machine's wedge. La Machine continued its domination by ramming DooMore forcefully out of the arena. La Machine then bulldozed the weaponless The Master around to seal its Rumble victory.

"The ultimate winner here, La Machine, dumping that one (DooMore) over the edge."
— Jonathan Pierce on La Machine's victory in the rumble

The Master lifts La Machine while Punjar pushes

In the second rumble, La Machine fought South Bay Mauler, The Master, DooMore, Tazz, Punjar, Nemesis, Killbborg, Red Scorpion, Merrimac, Namreko 3000, Gutrip and Marvin. At the start of the fight, La Machine was attacked by Merrimac. Soon after, Punjar and The Master teamed up by getting its blade underneath La Machine while Punjar pushed La Machine against an arena flipper. La Machine drove off of the flipper and attacked DooMore - getting underneath it. Not much is known about the full rumble but it is known that La Machine along side Punjar and Gut Rip were some of the few still mobile at the end. La Machine won the rumble through a crowd cheer.

Results[edit | edit source]

Robot Wars: 1996 Championship
Main Championship
Heavyweight Runners Up
First Round vs. South Bay Mauler Won
Second Round vs. Tazz Won
Third Round vs. DooMore Won
Heavyweight Final vs. BioHazard Lost
Other Battles
Heavyweight Melee vs. BioHazard, The Master, DooMore, Vlad the Impaler Won
Heavyweight Final Melee vs. The Master, South Bay Mauler, Punjar, DooMore, Tazz, Nemesis, Killbborg, Red Scorpion, Merrimac, Namreko 3000, Gutrip, Marvin Won

Outside Robot Wars[edit | edit source]

La Machine won the 1995 middleweight tournament, and finished second in the 1996 and 1997 heavyweight divisions, falling to BioHazard both times. It did however remain undefeated in rumbles, winning both the middle and heavyweight rumbles in 1995.

Gage Cauchois split from the team to build his own robots, Vlad the Impaler, its successor Vlad the Impaler 2 and the Super Heavyweight version Vladiator. While Trey Roski and Greg Munson went on to found and run the US competition BattleBots, which went on to become a TV show. Trey and Greg also built Ginsu. Consequentially, La Machine's only BattleBots appearance on television was an exhibition match against Jay Leno's Chinkilla, Team Coolrobots' Dreadnought and Ginsu in Season 3.0.

La Machine had previously appeared at the BattleBots Long Beach event in 1999, where it entered the arena with no armour and was used as the "camerabot" seen in many of the fights.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • La Machine was featured heavily during the BattleBots 2018 season as the last competitor listed of the 56 robots, leading to speculation and rumour surrounding its return. However, the tongue-in-cheek image was used only to replace the actual 56th competitor, Raven, which never participated in a battle.
    • La Machine even appeared in the official BattleBots colouring book in place of Raven.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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