- "Might not be the fastest and deadliest, but certainly full of surprises!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
- "Runs off two 24 volt motors, and weighs in at 69 kilos. Leighbot travels at a maximum speed of 3 miles per hour, fashioned from bulletproof stainless steel."
- — Jonathan Pearce describes Leighbot
Leighbot was an unusually-shaped robot whose long angled box design resembled a coffin, or what Jonathan Pearce described as a 'woodlouse'. The robot was armoured in bullet-proof stainless steel, and featured a front lance and a rear angle grinder as its weapons. For its Gauntlet run, a fan was attached to the end of Leighbot's lance, which it used to clear smoke as it negotiated the course and helped improve the team's vision. Leighbot was powered by two 24v wheelchair motors, but had a slow top speed of 3mph as a result. This, along with a lack of self-righting mechanism, contributed towards its defeat in its only battle.
- "The designs were converted into Lego models to see if the ideas would work. The final design was decided after seeing Internet pictures of winning designs from the USA and an amalgamation of several design features put forward by the students."
- — The Leighbot on designing Leighbot
- "Students and staff at The Leigh City Technology College became involved when information was announced in January 1997 that a show was to be produced in UK and teams were invited to build a Robot for a series of competitions to be screened on BBC2 television in February 1998. The Leigh Roboteers Club is run by Mrs Hobbs and Mr Schofield every Wednesday after school."
- — The Leighbot website on the team
Leighbot was entered into Robot Wars by Leigh City Technical College in Dartford, hence the robot's name. The team consisted of both students and teachers, and was a rare instance of a team in the original run of Robot Wars featuring four televised team members, as the three-person limit was only imposed from Series 2 onwards.
Amongst the team were the captain and navigator Robin Williams, chief designer and engineer Tony Schofield, Chris Malyon, who did the weapons, and team co-ordinator Eileen Hobbs. Other people involved in the robots construction were David Williams, the team's technical Advisor and chief controller engineer, and various members of the college's Technology department.
Leighbot competed in Heat B of the First Wars, and started its campaign by running the Gauntlet.
Leighbot charged into the Gauntlet, where it easily got off the turntable and headed straight for the middle route. It was then blocked by Sergeant Bash who jammed the see-saw, but Leighbot managed to make it over, then after dodging the Sergeant headed for the next ramp, where it used a fan attached to the end of its lance to blow the smoke out of the way so that the team could see where Leighbot was going. Leighbot was then clattered by the spiked swinging ball and made it to the end zone in the second fastest time.
- "More flame and smoke...what's that though? That's a fan! And smoke does not get in your eyes! Magnificent stuff!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Leighbot qualified for the Trial, which was a game of British Bulldog. In the Trial, Leighbot started slowly, and was nudged into Dead Metal by Scrapper. Then, Shunt came in to block, but eventually Leighbot managed to get free and go across the finishing line in third place.
- "And the Woodlouse is through!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, after Leighbot sluggishly completed the Trial.
For the Arena Semi-final, it was drawn against Mortis, whom the team had hoped not to face immediately.
The fight did not go well for Leighbot as the lance weapon was useless against Mortis' tough armour, at worst scratching it briefly. Mortis used its speed and agility to get around Leighbot and bring its tantō axe into play, which rapidly pierced holes in Leighbot's armour and crumpled the lance.
- "Leighbot, pepper pot! You could pour pepper out of that Leighbot machine now! Look at the holes!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Mortis axes Leighbot
Even though Mortis did briefly drive onto the arena spikes, Mortis then finished the battered Leighbot by using its wedge to get underneath Leighbot and turn around, before reversing and pushing the sideways-facing Leighbot backwards, causing the coffin-shaped robot to roll over, landing upside-down on a grille.
|LEIGHBOT - RESULTS|
|The First Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat B, Gauntlet||Completed (2nd)||Qualified|
|Heat B, Trial (British Bulldog)||Completed (3rd)||Qualified|
|Heat B, Semi-Final||vs. Mortis||Lost|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 1
|Series||Leighbot Series Record|
|The First Wars||Heat, Arena Semi-Final|
|The Second Wars||Entered with Leighviathan|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
NOTE: Leighbot's successful Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included
Outside Robot Wars
A while after its appearance on Robot Wars, much of Leighbot was recycled to be made into an Arduino segway.
- A.J. Engineering donated wheelchair motors, wheels, tyres and controllers for Leighbot, and K.T. Motors donated batteries.
- Leighbot is the only robot in history to add a specific feature to neutralise smoke in the arena.
- Leighbot's battle with Mortis was the origin of the there-after often-used term "pepper-pot".
- Leigh City Technical College was one of only four teams in the UK series to feature more than three televised team members prior to Series 8; Leighbot, Scrapper and T.R.A.C.I.E. were seemingly permitted to by Series 1's rules, while Team Berserk was allowed extra space for a translator.
- Like its successor, Leighviathan, Leighbot participated in Heat B of the main competition in its only appearance, and lost at the Arena Semi-Final stage.
- Both Leighbot and its successor Leighviathan lost to a robot whose name began with M, reached the second round of the Semi-Finals and was entered by a team that contested four Main Series.