For the similarly-named robot which competed in Series 4, see Millennium Bug.

"Milly is a Yorkshire lass, each of her body sections driven independently by 6 12-volt batteries. The blade and mandibles can gnaw and nibble.This robot could be more dangerous than the Millennium Bug!"
— Jonathan Pearce in Series 2

Milly-Ann Bug was a competitor robot which appeared in Series 2-4 of Robot Wars. It was eliminated at the Trial stage in Series 2 and in the first round in Series 3, but reached the second round in Series 4 before having its wheels pulled off by Razer. The robot's name was a pun on millennium bug.

Although it never reached a Heat Final in its appearances, Milly-Ann-Bug was a seasoned competitor and notable for its unique articulated design. It was a personal favourite of Series 4 pit reporter Julia Reed and received the Most Original Entry Award in Series 2.


"About three and a half months of various evenings and weekends. We got the go ahead in May and filming starts mid August, but you have to demonstrate your robot, ideally moving, by mid July."
— The Milly-Ann Bug website on how long Milly-Ann Bug took to construct[1]
Milly-Ann Bug S2

The Series 2 version of Milly-Ann Bug without its hair

Milly internals

The internals of Milly-Ann Bug for Series 2

Built and themed to resemble a caterpillar, Milly-Ann Bug featured two hemispherical pods connected by a flexible cord and featuring independent four-wheel drive, giving the robot a unique ability to "articulate" itself whenever it moved.

"After some thought we decided to go for two circular sections pivoting at their centres on tie rod ends and connected with a steel pipe. This articulation would help to keep ground holding and coupled with the low centre of gravity makes it alot harder to tip over when lifted from one side. This design also simplifies the electronic control of the motors."
— The Milly-Ann Bug website[2]
Milly pits

Milly-Ann Bug in the pits for Series 2

Milly ann bug shell

The mold used for the shell of Milly-Ann Bug

Its armour was made from Kevlar, fibre-glass and resin giving it a green colour, as well as a steel and aluminium chassis, strengthened with MDF[3]. The Series 2 version weighed only 53kg, which would class it as a middleweight further into the life of Robot Wars. In Series 2, the robot was equipped with wooden mandibles and a horizontal circular saw, but the mandibles were replaced with static spikes from Series 3 onwards and the saw discarded.

Milly ann bug s3 face

Front view of Milly-Ann Bug ahead of Series 3

Milly-Ann Back

Rear view of Milly-Ann Bug ahead of Series 3

"Due to the shortage of time during Milly's construction, weapons were of a low priority in comparison with the drive systems but we managed to fit a sliding weighted steel spike at the back and the nibbling teeth at the front made from two halves of a circular saw disc and driven by a wiper motor. "
— The Milly-Ann Bug website[4]
Milly ann bug s3 arena

Milly-Ann Bug in Series 3

Milly ann bug 4 arena

Milly-Ann Bug in the arena during Series 4

Its colour scheme also changed from dark brown and yellow in Series 2 to green, yellow and brown to resemble the colours of the Royal Naval Air Service - even sporting 2nd SS Panzer Division markings along its body. The motors and gearboxes were from four cordless drills[5]. The wheels were obtained from Machine Mart and had self tapping screws screwed around the perimeter of the wheel hub into the rubber to prevent tyre slipping[6]. The gearboxes were custom made by the team, because the team were unhappy with the ones they had bought from Display Electronics Ltd, which had plastic gears[7].

Additionally, Milly-Ann Bug also sported Kevlar hair in Series 2 and 4, which was intended to entangle chainsaws and other spinning weapons, but this proved flammable. Milly-Ann Bug was the first robot to intentionally use an entanglement device.

The TeamEdit

"The first series of robot wars has just finished and yet again they've flashed up that telephone number on the screen. I ring up and leave my name and address on the answering machine. Twice in fact because I spent so long anxiously spelling my address the first time, the machine cut out!"
— The Milly-Ann Bug website on the origins of Milly-Ann Bug
  • The team in Series 2
  • The team in Series 3
  • The team in Series 4

The team captain was Geoff Warren, who was the only member present in all the team's appearances. He formed the team with some of his fellow employees at the electronics company Datong. However, in Series 4, Geoff was joined by his parents Gerry and Liz, as Martin Dawson had left the company in this year to join the Army[8].

"Weeks later the application form arrives and our first meeting ensues. We began by asking everyone to fill out questionnaires sketching their robot designs. These were than presented and discussed together from which it was decided that Simon's design was what we would head for due to it's telegenicity, low centre of gravity and ground clearance."
— The Milly-Ann Bug website[9]
Milly-Ann Bug with team

The Series 2 Milly-Ann Bug with its team

A number of employees that did not appear with the them on the show were involved in designing and building the robot. Datong also provided sponsorship for Milly-Ann Bug.

"About £600, £350 of which was donated by our employer, Datong Electronics Ltd. and £250 chipped in by team members."
— The Milly-Ann Bug website on how much Milly-Ann Bug cost to build[10]

Qualification Edit

Millyannbug rehearsals

Milly-Ann Bug at the Series 2 rehearsals

For its debut in the Second Wars, Milly-Ann Bug attended the rehearsals, but lacked any armour or weaponry, but it was selected to participate. For the Third Wars, Milly-Ann Bug qualified automatically and therefore did not attend an audition. Milly-Ann Bug didn't attend a qualifier for the Fourth Wars either, as it had fought in both Series 2 and 3[11].

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 2Edit

"We were still working on Milly fairly fanatically right up to the weekend before filming and Martin's modelling skills came to the forefront providing the paint work that gave us Milly's unforgettable face, swirly wheels and number plate."
— The Milly-Ann Bug website[12]

Milly-Ann Bug made its debut in Heat D of Series 2, where it was first to tackle the Gauntlet.

"I once knew a Milly who could articulate in all directions, but that's a different story. Same sort of hair, though..."
— Jonathan Pearce

vShunt blocks Milly-Ann Bug

Milly-Ann Bug opted for the Ramrig route. As the Ramrig closed in, Milly-Ann Bug became stuck. It reversed to try again, but got caught on the Ramrig again. It got free and got to the end of the Ramrig, but was trapped again when the Ramrig closed. Milly-Ann Bug turned to get free of the Ramrig, but Shunt blocked its way and pushed Milly-Ann-Bug back into the wall, before lifting and axing the machine. With five seconds left Shunt then dropped the robot, which drove straight across into the opposite wall. Sergeant Bash tried to set the robot alight, but only singed its hair. Shunt nudged Milly-Ann-Bug to set it free as cease was called. Milly-Ann Bug had covered 8.4m enough distance to qualify for the Trial stage.

However, after running the gauntlet, the team found that the flames from Sergeant Bash had done internal damage, with some of the electronics being damaged due to the heat.

"We've had a fire! She's been on fire, but we've got some spare boards so ... look at this! Have you seen this? Because they've got so hot, they've soldered themselves together!"
— The Milly-Ann Bug team inspect the damaged electrics

After having its hair restyled by one of the make-up stylists, Milly-Ann Bug took part in the Football Trial alongside Razer, Behemoth, Elvis and Inquisitor. The team added two wooden tusks to the front to control the ball.

"We've managed to fix all the electronics, and she's running beautifully!"
— The Milly-Ann Bug team before the Trial
Milly ann bug elvis trial

Milly-Ann Bug is lifted by Elvis and Behemoth

Razer got to the ball first, and nearly scored, blocked by Dead Metal. However, Dead Metal knocked the ball in by accident whilst reversing, so Razer went through first. When the game was restarted, Milly-Ann Bug was fortunate, as the ball was placed right next to it, so it turned around and dribbled the ball, but Elvis caught up and lifted it up., using its pincers to control the ball, but was attacked by the House Robots and Elvis, the latter trying to flip it.

"That's a foul challenge Referee! Not quite sure what Elvis is trying to do to Milly-Ann Bug! One dreads to think!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Milly-Ann-Bug trial

Milly-Ann Bug's hair is set alight during the Football trial

Footballmilly fire vs elvis

Milly-Ann Bug on fire in the clutches of Dead Metal

Behemoth came in, freeing Milly-Ann Bug from Elvis by lifting the other half, before taking the ball. As Behemoth pushed the ball into the goal, Milly-Ann Bug's hair was set on fire again by Sergeant Bash. A fireman put out the fire as Behemoth was removed from the arena. When play was restarted, Milly-Ann Bug could not get to the ball in time, and Inquisitor pushed the ball down the field. Dead Metal came off the goal line to block, but this proved to be a mistake, as it left an open goal for Inquisitor to knock the ball into. Inquisitor was removed, and when play started again, Milly-Ann Bug was stuck on the side of Elvis, having had to start exactly where it was when play was stopped. Milly-Ann Bug steered itself free, but drove slowly into a post and stopped.

"...unfortunately some of our electronics blew up during the match so we weren't able to show off Milly's maneuvering skills to the maximum"
— The Milly-Ann Bug website[13]

Dead Metal and Sergeant Bash attacked it, with Sergeant Bash setting its hair on fire again, leaving Elvis to knock the ball into the goal. Milly-Ann Bug was therefore eliminated from the competition.

"Elvis is going to make sure this girl ain't going to stay, for not even a day!"
— Jonathan Pearce

At the end of the series, Milly-Ann Bug was awarded with the Most Original Entry Award for the Second Wars.

Series 3Edit

"Do you remember this glamorous robot from last year? She now has no hair, although they (the team) promise they have wigs and her own range of jewellery!"
— Philippa Forrester, introducing Milly-Ann Bug in Series 3
Bumblebot Milly Ann Bug

Milly-Ann Bug drives on top of Bumblebot as Bumblebot fires the axe

Milly ann bug vs bumblebot

Milly-Ann Bug slams into Bumblebot

Milly-Ann Bug's first round battle in Series 3 was against Bumblebot. Milly-Ann Bug moved first and dodged Bumblebot's initial charge, then both robots tentatively circled each other side on.

"Milly-Ann Bug, great steering, ground control, what sort of penetrating power has it got though? What sort of weaponry really, to create damage on Bumblebot?"
— Jonathan Pearce

Milly-Ann Bug drove up Bumblebot, which fired its axe but missed, and Milly-Ann Bug retreated. Bumblebot began to chase Milly-Ann Bug, which turned around and bumped past Bumblebot, then turned around and pushed it. Milly-Ann Bug drove around the front of Bumblebot, but Bumblebot failed to fire the axe, which had stopped working. Milly-Ann Bug then got behind Bumblebot and pushed it around the arena in a very fast and slippery style.


Milly-Ann Bug tries pushing Bumblebot towards the pit

Milly-ann bug vs bumblebot

Milly-Ann Bug drives into the pit by accident

"Great movement though, by Milly, who dances across the floor with speed and agility and grace. That's not bad pushing ability too... And at the moment, I'd say, on aggression, and style, and control, Milly-Ann Bug would go through if this goes to a judges {decision} and the axe would fall on Bumblebot."
— Jonathan Pearce

After multiple slams, Milly-Ann Bug finally caught Bumblebot broad side on and frantically shoved it towards the pit, but fell in itself, having driven at an angle that one of its wheels went into the pit, causing the whole robot to overbalance and fall in.

"Oh, Milly Ann, what are yo doing?! Oh no, silly miss Milly! Into the Pit! Dear oh dear!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Milly-Ann Bug falls into the pit.

Series 4Edit

Julia Reed: "Is she a natural blonde?"
Geoff Warren: "Yes she is."
Julia Reed: "Ha ha, They all say that."
— Pre-battle interview

In its first round eliminator, Milly-Ann Bug fought against the nineteenth seed Pussycat and newcomers Reptirron.

Pussycat attacks milly-ann bug

Pussycat attacks Milly-Ann Bug

Reptirron refbot milly-ann bug

Milly-Ann Bug interferes with Refbot's extinguishing attempts

Milly-Ann Bug and Pussycat darted off when activate was called, but Reptirron moved away slowly, allowing Pussycat to attack it, cutting into it with its disc and severing the fuel lines to Reptirron's circular saw; fluid was rapidly leaking from Reptirron, who seemed immobile. Pussycat scarred Reptirron's side and shoved ito Sergeant Bash, who quickly engulfed the leaking fluid with a blast of his flamethrower. Pussycat moved to attack Milly-Ann Bug, landing a blow on Milly-Ann-Bug's rear right wheel. Milly-Ann Bug limped away, whilst Refbot moved in to extinguish Reptirron, but Milly-Ann Bug foiled this by pushing it away from Refbot and back towards Bash.

Milly-ann bug shunt

Milly-Ann Bug is tipped onto its side briefly

"Milly-Ann Bug, trying to get a little piece of the action, which is ill-advised, really. If I was Geoff Warren, I'd get that team out of there - out of danger!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Refbot finally pinned Reptirron between Bash and itself and continued to battle the flames. Meanwhile, Milly-Ann Bug fled from Pussycat, dodging attacks from it and the nearby Shunt. Whilst trying to escape, its rear dome rolled onto its busted wheel, temporarily leaving it in a precarious position. Shunt pushed it free whilst Bash pushed the still flaming Reptirron into a side angle grinder. Slicing his pincers deep into Reptirron, Bash placed it on the floor flipper, where it was thrown. As cease was called, Refbot resumed its attempts to extinguish the flames.

Milly-Ann Bug's next battle saw it go up against the third seed Razer.

"I've seen this thing [Razer] in action, so we'll give it our best shot!"
— Geoff Warren before the battle
Razer milly ann bug

Razer drags Milly-Ann Bug across the flames

Razer milly-ann bug

Razer pierces Milly-Ann Bug

Milly-Ann Bug swerved broadside at the start, but Razer quickly grabbed its rear dome beneath its claw. However, the dome shape fit beneath the claw and Razer's beak could not pierce the shell. Razer reversed with the bottom of the dome on its wedge, and repositioned itself so that the tip of the beak could slice into Milly-Ann Bug. Razer lifted the rear dome into the air, dragging the top dome with it, and reversed over the flames, setting Milly-Ann Bug's hair alight.

"Oh! And what do you require, sir? A number one cut? A number two cut? Or just burnt straight off? Oh, I think I'll have the burnt, thank-you."
— Jonathan Pearce
Razer milly-ann bug shunt

The ruins of Milly-Ann Bug

Razer dropped its opponent on the flame pit, before herding it towards a corner. Razer sank its beak in between the two domes in an attempt to break its opponent in half. The coupling proved to be too tough, and Razer repositioned and pierced the front dome of Milly-Ann Bug. Razer tried to break Milly-Ann Bug in half again, breaking off its previously crippled wheel, but failing to break it in two. With one wheel gone, the rear dome became dead weight and the front attempted to drag it, but it could not get away; Razer captured Milly-Ann Bug and sliced off its front right wheel, followed by the front left wheel.

"Has the bug been...bisected? Dissected? They obviously believe the weakness...lies there, in the wheels. What a horrible torture this is. Its like watching some maniacal, horrible schoolboy pull the legs off a spider."
— Jonathan Pearce
Razer milly-ann bug (1)

Shunt rips Milly-Ann Bug's hair off

Once the final wheel had been cut free, Razer pulled back and did its famous salute. Shunt and Razer bumped Milly-Ann Bug around, with Shunt's axe slamming down and ripping its hair off.

"Down comes the pickaxe of Shunt, off comes the Kevlar hair, looks like...spaghetti that's been left in the pan too long."
— Jonathan Pearce
Destroyed milly

Milly-Ann Bug as a result of the damage caused.

Razer harassed Matilda, whilst Dead Metal clasped Milly-Ann Bug and pushed it around as cease was called.

Craig Charles: "Terrible damage done as well."
Geoff Warren: "Yeah, but its been entertaining damage!"
Craig Charles: "Do you think you can rebuild that robot so you can come back and start again?"
Geoff Warren: "No, no, this is the excuse I've been looking for to build a new robot."
— After the battle


Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Trial
Heat D, Gauntlet 8.4m (4th) Qualified
Heat D, Trial (Football) Failed to score (5th) Eliminated
Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Bumblebot Lost
Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
Heat Semi-Final
Heat B, Eliminator vs. Pussycat (19), Reptirron Qualified
Heat B, Semi-Final vs. Razer (3) Lost


  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 2

NOTE: Milly-Ann Bug's Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included

Series RecordEdit

  • Concept design for Milly-Ann Bug
  • Milly-Ann Bug in a practice battle with Hard Cheese (Series 2)
  • Milly-Ann Bug being worked on in the pits (Series 2)
  • Milly-Ann Bug with Spin Doctor (Series 3)
  • The team's Milly-Ann Bug key chain
  • Milly-Ann Bug between Series 3 and 4
Series Milly-Ann Bug Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Trial
The Third Wars Heat, Round 1
The Fourth Wars Heat, Round 2
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

Appearances in MerchandiseEdit

Milly-Ann Bug MM

Milly-Ann Bug in Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem

Outside Robot WarsEdit

"There was a space/astronomy museum at Keighly, sorry I forget the name and have never been. I think they ended up with Milly. But I last heard about 10 years ago she was still alive! I left the company where she was built in 2001 and went for pastures new!"
— Martin Dawson in June 2019[14]
Milly-Ann Bug 2019

The shell of Milly-Ann Bug in July 2019

After retiring from Robot Wars, Milly-Ann Bug was exhibited at a museum in Keighly. In mid-2019, the shell of Milly-Ann Bug was passed onto Jamie McHarg, who first exhibited the robot at the July 2019 Robodojo, an event which Martin Dawson also attended as a spectator, uniting the heavyweight shell with an antweight version of Milly-Ann Bug built by Anthony Murney. Milly-Ann Bug will also appear at Robonerd in August 2019.


  • Milly-Ann Bug was originally going to have 3 domes, but the team thought it would have been too expensive and complicated to construct, and it would have had a very large turning circle, so the team chose to have two domes.[15]
  • Milly-Ann Bug's name may have been inspired by the 19th century Australian bush-ranger, Mary Ann Bugg.
  • Milly-Ann Bug never had a judges' decision in its time on Robot Wars.
  • In Series 2, the cutting discs on the ram rigs were turned off when Milly-Ann Bug ran the Gauntlet, to prevent Milly-Ann Bug's hair being snagged in them[16].
  • Milly-Ann Bug, along with Razer and the Cold Fusion Team, appeared in both Heat D of Series 2 and Heat B of Series 4.
  • Milly-Ann Bug, at 53.0kg, was the lightest robot to enter the main competition of the Second Wars.
  • Before the competition was cancelled, Milly-Ann Bug was due to be paired with Agent Orange in the Tag Team Terror competition in Series 3. This was due to the two teams becoming good friends and frequently working together for upgrading and testing each other's machines prior to Series 3.
  • Milly-Ann Bug's rear right wheel was destroyed by Pussycat in its first battle of Series 4. Upon being repaired, it was the first to be destroyed by Razer in the next round.
  • On the back of Milly-Ann Bug in Series 3 and 4 was the message BUG-2000, a similar thing to Millennium Bug, whose name came from the Year 2000 problem known as the Y2K Bug or The Millennium Bug.


  8. Revealed by Martin Dawson at Robodojo in July 2019
  11. Facebook Comment by Martin Dawson, 5th June 2019

External LinksEdit


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