Merlin was a heavyweight built by Team MAD which competed in the pilot episode of Robot Wars: Series 8. Although the episode went unaired, Merlin made various cameo appearances throughout the main series, appearing in the pits, alongside with Turbulence and Monte. In the pilot, Merlin was driven by Alan Young, while brother Dave Young entered the main competition with Apollo.
Merlin was previously intended to compete in Series 7, but Merlin suffered from technical issues the day before the qualifiers, so had to withdraw from the qualification process.
- "The current Merlin chassis is now 12 years old, and is still based on the original Mk1 that was built in 2003 but with a few changes."
- — Alan Young in 2018, on the differences between Merlin at the times of Series 7 and 8
Merlin is a box-wedge shaped robot, designed for high pushing power, although weight restrictions forced Merlin to run on a two-wheel drive. As the tyres surfaced outside of the robot's top armour, Merlin was invertible, although it could also self-right using its primary weapon, a powerful full-pressure flipper.
- Main article: Team MAD
Merlin was built by Team MAD, originally Team BlazerBotics, consisting of two brothers, the older Alan Young and the younger Dave Young. The captain of the team at the time of building Merlin was Alan Young, despite Dave Young later becoming the captain while driving Apollo in Series 8, 9 and 10. When Merlin entered the pilot episode in 2016, it was driven by its original builder Alan Young, who at the time was a member of the technical crew for Series 8, explaining why he was not present on the Apollo team.
Although Merlin did not compete in the main competition of Series 8, it was regardless invited to attend filming of the pilot episode on March 1st, giving it the opportunity to compete in front of a live audience, as part of a camera test.
In its first battle, Merlin was drawn into a four-way qualifier against Reaper, Wraith and Monte. Wraith suffered from electrical problems before the start of the battle, and withdrew, turning the fight into a three-way battle. Monte quickly broke down, and was pitted, leaving Reaper and Merlin to fight alone until cease was called, with both robots qualifying.
In the first battle of the head-to-head round, Merlin defeated veterans in Team Onslaught, winning against their new robot, Ka-Pow!, when Ka-Pow! drove into the pit in the opening moments of the fight. As the battle was so short, Merlin turned its efforts to attack Dead Metal.
Merlin's final battle was a loss against fellow flipper, Turbulence. After a close fight between the two flippers, Turbulence won the Judges' decision on the basis of aggression and control. Merlin never fought a head-to-head battle against Reaper to complete the second round, and was eliminated at this stage, largely due to time constraints.
|MERLIN - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - Pilot Episode|
Round 2, Third Place
|Pilot Episode, Qualifier||vs. Monte, Reaper, Wraith||Qualified|
|NOTE: Wraith withdrew prior to the battle|
|Pilot Episode, Head-to-Head||vs. Ka-Pow!||Won|
|Pilot Episode, Head-to-Head||vs. Turbulence||Lost|
|Main Series||Merlin Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|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|| Withdrew before qualifiers|
Featherweight Championship with Alpha and G2
|Series 8|| Pilot Round 2, Third Place|
Entered with Apollo
|Series 9||Entered with Apollo|
|Series 10||Entered with Apollo|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Did not enter|
|Series 2||Entered with Gladiator, Flybot, Chroma and Hades|
Outside Robot Wars
Since Robot Wars, Merlin has been rebuilt several times, but has experienced success, particularly in the Roaming Robots circuit. Arguably Merlin's greatest triumph to date was when it won the Tag Team Terror Competition alongside Velocirippa in 2006.
- Despite Team MAD making several robots for Robot Wars, Merlin was the only heavyweight at the time of Series 7.
- Merlin, alongside Alpha, G3 and Blazer, made a cameo appearance in Heat 1 of Series 10, in a family photo of Dave and Alan Young.