NEAT Machine was a competitor robot that fought in Series 1 of Dutch Robot Wars, and the first of three similarly-named entries from Team NEAT. Despite losing in the first round of its heat to Sater in that series, it won its Losers' Melee to reach the second round, where it was defeated by Sniper. NEAT Machine also represented the Netherlands in The Second World Championship, but was eliminated in the first round after getting flipped over by Firestorm 3.
A successor, Neater, competed in Series 2 of the Dutch series, reaching the Heat Final stage. A modified version of Neater also entered Series 7 of the UK Robot Wars as NEATer Machine, but was eliminated in the first round.
Versions of NEAT Machine
NEAT Machine and its successors were large, wedge-shaped robots armed with a pneumatic spiked axe. The axe featured a long metal bar along the axe arm close to the head, which was intended to help each version self-right when they were flipped onto their sides. The front wedge on all three versions had a distinctive plough-like shape, while both NEAT Machine and NEATer Machine had an airhorn which could be heard whenever the axe fired and retracted.
NEAT Machine was painted silver, and featured a more wedge-like profile than its successors. In addition to its axe, the robot featured a front set of spikes – one on the front, two on either side – which were intended to ram opponents and cause damage to them when it spun around. NEAT Machine itself was made out of an iron chassis and an aluminium outer shell, costing £600 and taking five months to design and build. A pair of orange flags were fitted to NEAT Machine in its first Dutch Series 1 battles, which were replaced with Dutch flags for its appearance in the Second World Championship. Additionally, the metal bar on its axe was not fitted for the latter, which left it unable to self-right after getting thrown onto its side by Firestorm 3.
Neater was a bulkier and more powerful version of NEAT Machine, with an enlarged and more powerful axe powered by two CO2 rams, as well as a box-wedged body shape and larger front wedges. The front pickaxe was also replaced with an A-shaped scoop, and the robot was now painted black and silver with a red axe. The axe itself also had two side spikes mounted in between the axe head and the self-righting bar, in an effort to further improve its self-righting capability. Neater's statistics board claimed it had 'no weaknesses', ignoring the fragility of its exposed tyres.
For Series 7, Team NEAT entered a revised version of Neater, known as NEATer Machine. Painted black and red, it was largely identical to Neater, although with the addition of metal fins on its top panel and the conversion of its scoop into a lifter with a lifting capacity of 100kg. The side spikes on Neater's axe were discarded, and the self-righting bar made larger. NEATer Machine also had the message 'Bottom’s Up' written on its baseplate.
Extreme 1/US Season 1
Representing the Netherlands, NEAT Machine made its first appearance in the Second World Championship, which was broadcast as part of the first series of Robot Wars Extreme and Season 1 of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors. In its first round battle, it faced US representative Drillzilla, the Swedish entry Whirlpool 70 and experienced UK competitor Firestorm 3.
NEAT Machine started by nudging Whirlpool 70 and attempting to use its axe, but missed, before smacking it with its front spikes. Firestorm 3 briefly pushed and chased it around the arena before attacking Drillzilla again, with both robots eventually ganging up on NEAT Machine as Drillzilla pushed it into Firestorm 3, which promptly flipped NEAT Machine over.
- "It’s a Dutch disaster, it seems to me! Can they right themselves? No they can’t, they’ve been clogged out of it!"
- — Jonathan Pearce calls NEAT Machine’s early exit
NEAT Machine fired its axe in an attempt to self-right, but was unable to do so, and was counted out before being re-righted by Sir Killalot and thrown by the Floor Flipper. This eliminated NEAT Machine early on from the Second World Championship.
Dutch Series 1
NEAT Machine made its Dutch Robot Wars debut in Heat E, fighting Sater in its first-round battle.
It immediately bashed into Sater in the opening seconds, the two robots locking together as NEAT Machine pushed and steered Sater across the arena floor. Refbot forced both competitors apart, and it immediately became apparent that NEAT Machine had lost mobility, although not without firing its axe on Sater. Refbot counted NEAT Machine out despite this attack, and Shunt pushed it onto the Floor Flipper, where it was tossed a great distance across the arena and landed on its back. Matilda nudged NEAT Machine before Shunt pushed it into the pit, although not without almost falling in himself.
It was hesitant to attack at first, spinning around the arena until it whacked Shapeshifter with its front spikes and pushed it into an angle grinder. NEAT Machine then bent its spikes into the Floor Flipper upon driving over it, before getting itself wedged against an angle grinder. Refbot freed NEAT Machine from the wall, before NEAT Machine axed Refbot and the already-eliminated Shapeshifter in rapid succession. It then axed MaxiMill, with both robots becoming stuck together and surviving to a Jury’s decision while Shapeshifter had its chassis and armour destroyed by Matilda's flywheel. The Jury ruled NEAT Machine as the winner of the Losers' Melee, putting it through to the second round.
There, NEAT Machine fought Sniper, now with the flags removed and a fourth, longer vertical spike attached to the top of the front ramming blade.
It spun around and drove onto the Flame Pit as Sniper pressed the pit release button, before slamming into Sniper and attempting to hit it with its axe. NEAT Machine missed, allowing Sniper to flip it over onto its side where it attempted to self-right. However, it failed to do so in time, and despite driving on one wheel and firing its axe repeatedly in an attempt to right itself, it was counted out by Refbot, and slammed into the wall by Dead Metal, who promptly cut into NEAT Machine’s armour. Sir Killalot proceeded to grab NEAT Machine by the tyre, before lifting it and leaving it over the edge of the pit, where it eventually toppled in. This fully eliminated NEAT Machine from the first Dutch Series.
Dutch Series 2
Neater started by axing Hard, causing a dent in its shell. Both robots drove around and into each other, with Neater eventually rupturing Hard’s CO2 system on its third axe blow. Neater and Hard momentarily locked together before Neater caused more damage to Hard's armour and lured it into an empty CPZ. Growler slammed into Hard as it attempted to escape, allowing Neater to axe it again just as Growler grabbed Hard by its axe, turning it over as he spun in the CPZ with it in his grip. Growler dragged Hard across the arena before leaving it to be counted out by Refbot, allowing Neater through to the next round.
In the second round, Neater fought Blackdevil Warzone.
It darted across the arena to strike Blackdevil Warzone's drum with the axe, but missed, and had its front scoop buckled by the latter as it tried to attack. Neater missed again, before finally striking Blackdevil Warzone's top panel. However, its axe was too long for it to repeat this, and Blackdevil Warzone pushed Neater back before retreating to the wall. The two robots clashed again, with Neater landing a few more axe blows on Blackdevil Warzone, one of which allowed its axe to get wedged behind one of Blackdevil Warzone's wheels as it pushed it over the Flame Pit. Neater kept pushing Blackdevil Warzone around in circles before pinning it against an angle grinder and axing it again, only to be rammed and dragged by Growler as it drove too close to his CPZ. However, Blackdevil Warzone was left immobilised on one side by this point, and was counted out, with Neater spinning around in victory after Refbot's counter reached ten.
In the Heat Final, Neater faced Dutch Series 1 runner-up Lizzard.
Both robots came together in the opening seconds, with Lizzard pushing Neater around the arena and dodging its first axe strikes as it tried to inflict damage with its tail. Neater was then pushed into the wall by Lizzard, but escaped and struck Lizzard’s top panel with the axe. It attempted to hit Lizzard three more times, but missed, before finally piercing a hole through one of its tyres with a well-timed axe blow.
- "Oh, bullseye!"
- — Eric Corton as Neater strikes Lizzard’s tyre
Neater hit Lizzard's top panel again after missing a few more times, before once more sinking its axe through the space between Lizzard's chassis and wheel, dragging it around with it. Another few hits on Lizzard's top panel were inflicted, before Lizzard pushed Neater back into an angle grinder. Neater spun out of the way just as Lizzard tried pushing it into a CPZ, allowing Lizzard to drive into Sir Killalot and be briefly pinned against the wall. Again, Neater caught Lizzard by the wheel and dragged it with the axe, before the two robots finished the battle by pushing, driving around and charging into each other just before 'cease' was called. The battle went to a Jury's decision, which ruled in favour of Lizzard despite the damage inflicted by Neater. This eliminated Neater from Dutch Series 2.
UK Series 7
- "Once a heat finalist in Dutch Robot Wars. New to the UK Championship."
- — Jonathan Pearce as NEATer Machine enters the arena
- "Two electric motorsh, two-cylinder she-O2 shyshtem for the axe, lift, and shrimech, but die wheelsh are exposhed guysh, huh?"
- — Jonathan Pearce summarises NEATer Machine with a badly exaggerated Dutch accent
NEATer Machine slowly approached Revenge of Trouble & Strife and attempted to strike it with its axe, but missed. The Dutch machine would continue to push and chase Revenge of Trouble & Strife as it withstood a side-on slam from Chip. NEATer Machine then whacked Revenge of Trouble & Strife with its lifter, but had its axe head broken off while trying to strike the latter’s spinner. It became completely immobilised following this attack, and was counted out before being hammered by Mr. Psycho, sliced by Dead Metal and thrown into the air by the Floor Flipper. NEATer Machine landed partially inside the flipper mechanism, forcing Dead Metal to push it out and get himself wedged underneath. After Dead Metal got himself free and sliced into NEATer Machine's underside, Mr. Psycho then pushed NEATer Machine away and into the pit, eliminating it from the Seventh Wars along with Chip.
- "…and it all goes messy for NEATer Machine!"
- — Craig Charles announces NEATer Machine’s elimination
|NEAT MACHINE - RESULTS|
|Heat E, Round 1||vs. Sater||Lost|
|Heat E, Losers Melee||vs. MaxiMill, Shapeshifter||Won|
|Heat E, Semi-Final||vs. Sniper||Lost|
|Extreme Series 1/US Season 1|
|The Second World Championship|
Representing the Netherlands, Eliminated in Heats
|Heat||vs. Drillzilla (USA), Firestorm 3 (UK), Whirlpool 70 (SWE)||Eliminated|
|NEATER - RESULTS|
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Hard||Won|
|Heat A, Semi-Final||vs. Blackdevil Warzone||Won|
|Heat A, Final||vs. Lizzard||Lost|
|NEATER MACHINE - RESULTS|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat N, Round 1||vs. Chip, Revenge of Trouble & Strife, Spawn Again (6)||Eliminated|
- UK Wins: 0
- UK Losses: 2
- Dutch Wins: 3
- Dutch Losses: 3
|Main Series||NEAT Machine 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||Heat, Round 1|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||The Second World Championship, Round 1|
|Series 2||Did not enter|
|Dutch Series||NEAT Machine Series Record|
|Series 1||Heat, Round 2|
|Series 2||Heat Final|
- NEAT Machine is one of only ten robots to debut in Extreme 1 and then fight in one of the main UK competitions. The others were 3 Stegs 2 Heaven, Axe-Awe, Comengetorix, Fighting Torque, Fluffy, Spawn Again, Sub-Version, The Executioner and Draven.
- NEAT Machine was one of four robots in the first Dutch series whose team had taken part in a televised Robot Wars competition before, the others being Philipper, Slicer and MaxiMill. Its first appearance was only shown in the UK after its appearance in Dutch Series 1, but The Second World Championship was held before the first Dutch series.
- NEAT Machine was also the only Dutch robot in Dutch Series 1 which had made a previous appearance, as Slicer and the Dutch Series 1 version of MaxiMIll were new robots from teams that had fought before.
- NEATer Machine is one of only four robots, along with Bamm Bamm, Hammerhead and Scraptosaur, to have competed in both series of Dutch Robot Wars and Series 7 of the UK Robot Wars.
- The only House Robot which never shared the arena with NEAT Machine was Cassius Chrome.
- Three of NEAT Machine’s defeats involved it being thrown by the Floor Flipper at some point – its first round battles in Dutch Series 1, The Second World Championship (both as NEAT Machine) and Series 7 (as NEATer Machine).