Maelstrom was a heavyweight robot which attempted to enter Series 8 of Robot Wars. It was submitted for qualification alongside Team Shock's other heavyweights Manta and Shockwave, but was not selected, with Shockwave ultimately being chosen to compete in the series. Prior to this, Maelstrom had enjoyed considerable success at Robot Wars Live Events, and other live robotic events.
Maelstrom was a renamed and rebuilt version of Series 7 Semi-Finalist St. Agro, which had been sold to Team Shock by its original builders, Trelawneys Robot Army. Following years of upgrades and rebuilds, little-to-no material from the original St. Agro remains within the current build of Maelstrom.
Maelstrom maintains the design originally used by St. Agro, with its improvements being largely internal. Maelstrom is a wedge-shaped robot with two exposed wheels, which is symmetrical on both sides, and both the top and bottom of the robot. Its armament came in the form of two small flippers, with one found on the top of the robot's wedge, and the other on the underside of the wedge. The two flippers work in tandem with each other to throw the entirety of Maelstrom from the floor and flip other robots from it at the same time. In order to use this design, Maelstrom was required to have a high ground clearance on all sides. Its flippers could occasionally fail to retract, and the robot's wheels are vulnerable.
Outside Robot Wars
St. Agro was sold to Team Shock in 2008, who gradually rebuilt the robot over the years, and renamed it Maelstrom. When the original chassis of the robot became too worn out, Maelstrom 2 was built to replace it. Being built by a new team with brand new components, Maelstrom is effectively unrelated to St. Agro beyond being its spiritual successor.
Robot Wars Live Events
Maelstrom competed in the first live event of the new Robot Wars at Barnsley in February 2013, winning on a judges decision beating Kronic, Ripper & Thor. Maelstrom also reached the finals at Portsmouth 2013 losing to Eruption and Widnes in 2013 where it lost to Iron-Awe 5. It also won the Robot Wars live event at Colchester 2013 beating Eruption, Kronic & Behemoth. Team Shock also compete with Manta, a blue and grey wedge-shaped robot armed with a large pneumatic flipper, and Shockwave, a competitor in Series 8 of Robot Wars. At the end of 2013, Maelstrom competed in the Robot Wars Winter Tour 2013 where it did very well in the heats; finishing second in the Primary heats against Ripper and the Secondary heats against the team's own Manta machine. Unfortunately, this didn't earn it the points it needed to qualify for the finals held in Gloucester.
In 2014, a new similarly designed chassis of Maelstrom was built under the name of Maelstrom 2 as the original St. Agro chassis was starting to wear out and is now put on display.
In 2015, Maelstrom 2 fought at Barnsley where it reached the semi-finals of the competition held at the event before being beaten by Dystopia. It also fought in the World Championships 2015 at Colchester where it defeated Rybot by flipping it onto its side, but Maelstrom broke down after a joint attack from Tough as Nails and Kan-Opener, eliminating Maelstrom in the first round.
|Series||Maelstrom Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Not selected|
Entered with Shockwave
Not selected with Manta
|Series 9||Entered with Aftershock|
|Series 10||Entered with Aftershock|
- NOTE 1: Will Thomas also competed in Battle of the Stars as the mentor of Soldier Ant.
- NOTE 2: Will Thomas' students entered Series 10 with Track-tion
- Ian Thomas previously stated on robotics podcast Inside the Bot that he felt Maelstrom was the team's most likely robot to qualify for Series 8 of Robot Wars, claiming it to be more original than Manta, and more competitive than Shockwave.