- "A trap designed to catch more than a mouse..."
- — Robot Wars: The Ultimate Guide
Mousetrap (also originally known as The Mousetrap and sometimes spelled Mouse Trap or MouseTrap) was a robot that competed in Series 4 and 5 of Robot Wars, plus entering in the first series of Extreme.
Mousetrap won its heat in Series 4 by defeating former semi-finalist Evil Weevil 2 in the first round and Little Fly in the final. It was defeated by Stinger in the first round of the semi-finals. It returned for Series 5 and won its first fight with Shredder, but was defeated in the second round by S3.
It was a wedge-shaped replica of a spring mousetrap, with the trap itself being the weapon. The original Mousetrap travelled at 11.2mph and was made from steel and lexan, scrapyard debris and an old office desk with polycarbonate side armour and was fitted with an 9.6kg mousetrap weapon made from 10mm high-tensile scrapyard steel. The armour was 5 mm polycarbonate (lexan) with wood effect sticky back plastic, whilst the chassis was 25x25 mm steel box section, and the robot was powered by 5 6 volt Yuasa 12Ah batteries. This weapon was powered by a Chubb fire extinguisher supplying CO2 at 1000 psi, driving a pair of hydraulic rams, and was said to travel at 100mph. It could fire 42 times per battle. Mousetrap progressed through its heat, but lost a drive chain and was immobilised against Stinger in the semi-finals.
For Extreme 1 and Series 5, the polycarbonate side armour was replaced with much stronger steel and spikes and a guillotine blade was added to the trap weapon, the robot itself driven off 2 12 volt Hawker Odessey 21Ah batteries. During Series 5, the robot was sometimes known as Mousetrap 2. This version was much slower at 9.6mph and less successful, progressing to the second round only because Shredder pitted itself, before losing on a judges' decision to eventual heat winner S3.
At the Series 4 qualifiers, Mousetrap fought War Weary and won, and qualified. However, during the battle, the weapon became bent, which had to be fixed for its appearance on television.
- "The trap was fired and War Weary ended up well and truly trapped (our first victory!). Unfortunately all the fighting at Langport weakened our weapon bar and it bent. We had to take it off for straightening."
- — Team Mousetrap website
In Series 5, Mousetrap was seeded, so automatically qualified and did not have to go through the qualifiers.
Mousetrap entered the Fourth Wars classed as a newcomer, although its team had fought in the previous series with Triterobot, losing in their only battle to Evil Weevil. Incidentally, Mousetrap was placed up against Evil Weevil 2, now the number 12 seeds, in their first round melee of the Fourth Wars, along with newcomers Tiberius.
- "Possibly a bit of a grudge match!"
- — Julia Reed, after mentioning who defeated Triterobot in the previous wars
Mousetrap started by firing the trap at Tiberius as it drove in front of the wedge, but Tiberius moved out of the way in time. As Mousetrap tried to retract the weapon, Tiberius got under Mousetrap's front, before turning away, allowing Mousetrap to fall off the wedge. Mousetrap held back as Evil Weevil 2 and Tiberius fought, before getting under Evil Weevil and firing the trap, this time hitting its target. However, the trap appeared to get stuck after this. Evil Weevil 2 sat motionless as Tiberius drove around Mousetrap, eventually getting at the side of Mousetrap and plunging its piercer into its top armour.
- "This is Tiberius, in underneath Mousetrap. Mousetrap, with a ground clearance of 20mm, in danger. There's the pick axe of Tiberius, pinning Mousetrap down."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Evil Weevil 2 was still not moving, so Dead Metal and Shunt closed in. Refbot came in to separate Mousetrap and Tiberius, but Mousetrap became caught on Refbot's front wedge, before Refbot managed to shake him off.
- "Mousetrap in the clutches of the Refbot. What is going on there? Referee's not supposed to do that!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The House Robots carried out their punishment on Evil Weevil 2, while Tiberius pinned Mousetrap in the CPZ. Evil Weevil was declared immobilised, and was tossed by the floor flipper, leaving Mousetrap and Tiberius to go through.
Mousetrap was then placed up against Sump Thing in the second round of the heat, another robot from a team that lost in the first round of the previous series.
- "I think we had a problem with a valve actuation last time, so it wasn't opening the valve fully, so it's quite slow on return. So we put an extra solenoid in there, so hopefully it'll sort that out."
- — Jason Launchbury, when asked about the weapon being slow to retract by Julia Reed
Mousetrap drove at Sump Thing, with Sump Thing missing with an axe blow as it reversed away. Sump Thing then charged over Mousetrap, with Mousetrap missing with a swing of its weapon.
- "Goodness me! Did you see the force, the velocity of that Mousetrap weapon, springing into action there?"
- — Jonathan Pearce notes the power of the weapon
Sump Thing came in and axed Mousetrap, before Mousetrap impeded another swing from Sump Thing by trapping the pick axe with its own weapon.
- "And it has pinned Sump Thing's weaponry down! A great slam of the mousetrap."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Mousetrap rammed Sump Thing against the arena wall before Sump Thing came in with a strong drive of its own. Mousetrap tried to force Sump Thing towards Dead Metal but nearly went in itself. Mousetrap slammed down with the trap again, before missing its next attack, and the weapon got stuck. Mousetrap suddenly stopped, so Sump Thing hit Mousetrap repeatedly with its axe. Mousetrap eventually began to move again, but only briefly, as it stopped moving again, by the arena wall.
- "Is everything okay with the Mousetrap controls for Jason Launchbury?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sump Thing slammed in again, and Mousetrap started limping back into the action. Sump Thing lunged at the struggling robot, but Mousetrap managed to move out of the way; Sump Thing ran into the arena wall, snapping the chain, and leaving the wheels with no traction, meaning it was beached on its own fork. The House Robots closed in; Sump Thing was plucked up by Sir Killalot before Dead Metal pitted Sump Thing. The judges decided Mousetrap was still mobile but only just, so it went through.
- Craig Charles: "If you trap them when the pit's activated, you can actually then try and drag them into the pit."
- Jason Launchbury: "That was the original design idea, yeah, to actually trap them and then take them where we want them."
- — Discussing Mousetrap's design in the post-battle interview
Before the Heat Final, Team Mousetrap found the problem was that the main switch had burnt out. Fortunately for them, they were able to replace it, so continued into the Heat Final.
In the Heat Final, Mousetrap went up against newcomers Little Fly.
- Julia Reed: "Now I think, if your weapon comes down on Little Fly's spinning plate, you're in with a serious chance."
- Jason Launchbury: "I think it might break off, yeah, it might break it off. He's got some fairly weak armour on the wheels as well, which I think it might cave in, possibly. If it works!"
- — Discussing tactics in the pre-battle interview
Little Fly drove up Mousetrap's wedge, with Mousetrap slamming its weapon down onto Little Fly's blade. Mousetrap's weapon was jammed, and Little Fly came in, ripping off a shard. Mousetrap's weapon finally fell back into place, but the robot itself stopped for a few seconds before it starting again.
- "Mousetrap, again, just waiting... Come into my parlor said the Mousetrap to the Fly."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Little Fly attacked Mousetrap's side, causing its blade to stop moving, before Mousetrap fired its weapon, which clipped Little Fly. Mousetrap parked itself over a flame jet as its weapon slammed onto Little Fly. Mousetrap then forced Little Fly back, against the arena wall and fired its weapon down again. Mousetrap held its weapon in place, so Refbot split the two up. Little Fly drove at Mousetrap's front, with the lawnmower blade stopping against part of the trap mechanism. Mousetrap then pushed Little Fly back, wedging it on part of the pit. Little Fly escaped, only for Mousetrap to drive at Little Fly's rear and push it into Matilda. The House Robot flicked Little Fly up, before it escaped. With time running out, both robots began to limp slowly. Little Fly went in with one last half-hearted drive before 'Cease' was called. The judges' decision went in favour of Mousetrap.
- Craig Charles: "...Your mousetrap thing was damaged, the chain's broken, so I was thinking it was going to go the other way, me."
- Stan Launchbury: "Yeah, and me. I'm pleased it did go this way, but it wouldn't have surprised me one little bit if it went the other way."
- Craig Charles: "You're in the series Semi-Finals"
- Stan Launchbury: "Oh imagine, yeah!"
- Jason Launchbury: "That's more than we could of dreamed of, that's absolutely excellent!"
- — Post-battle interview
In the Series Semi-Finals, Mousetrap was placed up against the number 30 seeds Stinger in the first round.
In this battle, Mousetrap wasn't able to accurately hit Stinger at all, while the future Grand Finalist was able to land blow after blow on Mousetrap. Eventually, both of the chains of Mousetrap's weapon broke, and it subsequently stopped working. A few seconds of only being able to use the wedge shape with both chains trailing on the floor saw the whole robot slow to a stop in the centre of the arena, this deemed the robot immobilised. Mousetrap was then attacked by house robots Shunt and Sir Killalot, who crushed the side armour and dragged it to the pit of oblivion. Mousetrap's remarkable run ended here as it was subsequently eliminated from the competition.
- "Those earlier victories...now mean nothing!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, as the house robots close in on the immobilised Mousetrap
Thanks to reaching the Series Semi-Finals, the robot was nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer award for Series 4, despite the team having fought before, but it lost out to Tornado.
- "We'll show 'em who's boss!"
- — Jason Launchbury, before the mayhem
Mousetrap's only appearance in either series of Extreme was in a Mayhem qualifier battle in the first series of Extreme for a right to fight in the second annihilator of the series. Mousetrap was drawn up against Atomic 2 and Fighting Torque. However, a problem with its trap mechanism left it defenseless, as it fired only once, before activate was sounded, from then on it was stuck in the activated position. Mousetrap was continually flipped around the arena by Atomic, with Fighting Torque largely staying out of the way of the action, Atomic finally left Mousetrap upside down to be counted out by Refbot, flipped by the arena floor flipper, and left for Dead Metal to slice and cut into. Fighting Torque later suffered a similar fate to Mousetrap, and Atomic 2 was declared the winner of the Mayhem and was due to proceed to the annihilator.
- "The only thing Mousetrap caught were a kickin'!"
- — Craig Charles, after the Mayhem
Mousetrap was also due to be entered by Stan Launchbury into the Forces Special, which aired during the first series of Extreme. Mousetrap was to represent the Fire Service, however, Mousetrap was too badly damaged to participate as the damage it sustained from S3 in its Series 5 heat was so severe. Instead, Rob Heasman of the Steg-O-Saw-Us team helped Stan create Oblark to represent them instead. This damage caused in Series 5 also stopped Mousetrap taking Atomic's place in the Annihilator when the latter was unable to fight (also due to damage done in Series 5). As a result, Fighting Torque took Atomic's place in the form of Hippobotomus.
- "Will this prove the big cheese, this time around?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Returning for the Fifth Wars, Mousetrap was seeded number 20, a rather low seeding considering it reached the semi-finals of the previous series. In its first round battle, Mousetrap was drawn against Shredder. Throughout the battle, Mousetrap seemed incapable of landing a blow on Shredder to cause any real damage, with Shredder using its discs to grind at the side of Mousetrap. Fortunately for the seeded robot, Shredder backed into the pit before it could cause any more damage, putting Mousetrap through to the next round of the heat.
Mousetrap was then drawn against the much fancied S3 machine in the second round. In this battle, S3 couldn't cause any severe damage to Mousetrap's front end, so Mousetrap drove into S3, making it go up its wedge. Mousetrap swung the trap mechanism and sliced into S3's armour, while S3 chewed up the hose wrapped around the bottom of the trap. For at least thirty seconds, the two robots remained locked together, with the spring having become caught in S3's spinning disc and preventing it from spinning. Mousetrap bulldozed S3 back into a CPZ, looking to win the fight. However, S3 broke free and began to use the weapon to wreck Mousetrap. As time ran out, S3 tore a huge chunk of armour from it. These attacks put S3 through to the Heat Final on a close Judges' decision, with Mousetrap narrowly being eliminated.
- "That was too close!"
- — Dave Barker of the S3 team, after the battle
|MOUSETRAP - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
Semi-Finals, Round 1
|Heat K, Eliminator||vs. Evil Weevil 2 (12), Tiberius||Qualified|
|Heat K, Semi-Final||vs. Sump Thing||Won|
|Heat K, Final||vs. Little Fly||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Stinger (30)||Lost|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Mayhem & Annihilator|
|Mayhem Qualifier||vs. Atomic 2, Fighting Torque||Lost|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
20th Seed, Heat, Round 2
|Heat C, Eliminator||vs. Shredder||Won|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. S3||Lost|
- Wins: 4
- Losses: 3
|Main Series||Mousetrap Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Entered with Triterobot|
|The Fourth Wars||Semi-Final, Round 1|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Sixth Wars||Failed to qualify with Mutant Mousetrap|
|The Seventh Wars||Entered with Black and Blue|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Entered with Mousetrap|
Entered with Oblark
|Series 2||Did not enter|
- Whilst introducing Mousetrap in Series 4, Julia Reed claimed Evil Weevil was "responsible for the death of Mousetrap in the last wars", when Mousetrap had not been built in Series 3, Evil Weevil actually defeated Triterobot.
- In the Fifth Wars, Mousetrap was given the lowest ever seeding for a Semi-Finalist from the previous series, at number 20.
- Had Mousetrap defeated S3 in its Series 5 battle, it would have fought a vengeance battle against Stinger.
- Best Newcomer - Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars