- "They were all engineers of the Metropolitan Police at the time, hence the police theme of PC Plod"
- — Callum of The Scrappers, the team that bought PC Plod in 2016
PC Plod was a robot built by a team of engineers from Kent and Essex which entered a side event in Series 3 of Robot Wars, but its event was cancelled. It also attempted to enter Series 4, but did not qualify.
The robot was named after Mr. Plod (also known as PC Plod), the village policeman from the Noddy series of children's books by Enid Blyton.
The team consisted of the captain Ken Ginn, the driver Clive Rainbird, the primary builder Mick Lake, and Tony Hodgeson, aka Izzy Inyet.
PC Plod was a white, wedge-shaped robot with orange, blue and yellow side stripes and a small blue light on top; its colour scheme resembled the 'jam sandwich' livery widely used by British police cars around the time of Series 4's production. It was armed with a small saw blade built into the front wedge for weaponry. PC Plod's armour was strong, but the robot was light at 65kg, and its cutting disc could only reach out of the robot's armour by a few millimetres at maximum. The robot was powered by 2x 12V 12ah lead acid batteries.
- "The weapon was a large cut off disc that protruded and was clear of the body of the robot, it exploded when it made contact with Small Torque in an earlier fight in 2000."
- — Ken Ginn
The speed controller is a unique design that incorporates a bomb proof control system which can handle the stall current of 100 amps of each motor. It is fitted with two independent sensors to measure the current drawn from the batteries with minimal power lost in the sensors. The controller uses two Arizona Microchip 8 bit PIC micro controllers, and the profile of the controllers can be adjusted in software. Steering is of the tank type as opposed to the alternative which was rather like a model car.
PC Plod fought two robots in the qualifiers for Series 4, the first of which being Small Torque. Despite Small Torque's controllers overheating towards the end of the battle, PC Plod lost the fight, but it then fought The Executioner in its second qualifier.
- "As for the battle well everything worked well including the weapon! In fact it worked so well we bent the main blade like a sine wave on PC Plods tough Armour. I just never realised the forces involved with 4 tons of hydraulic pressure! So anyway home we went very very disappointed to say the least."
- — The Executioner website describes the battle
During the battle, it was rammed, lifted and grabbed by The Executioner and had its saw blade shattered at one point. However, PC Plod's armour was strong enough to withstand the latter's crushing claw, causing it to bend while trying to pierce through the robot itself.
- "The Executioner team were upset due to the strength of Plod and their weapon was unrepairable (blade bent through 90 degrees). The team were told that Plod was too strong in construction to make it suitable for the show."
- — Ken Ginn
PC Plod was able to win the battle against The Executioner, but ultimately neither robot qualified for Series 4, with the producers criticising the structural design of the machine. PC Plod did not attempt to enter any future series.
- "According to the previous owner of PC Plod, the crushing claw of The Executioner happened to latch onto a block of solid aluminium being used as a motor mount, the toughest part of PC Plod."
- — Callum of The Scrappers
PC Plod originally qualified to enter a side event during Robot Wars: The Third Wars, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it did ultimately did not get to take part in either of its planned battles. PC Plod was originally scheduled to fight a walking robot.
- "This was cancelled twice, having been interviewed on camera as a team twice!"
- — Ken Ginn
|Series||PC Plod Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Entered (event cancelled)|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|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|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
On 11th October 2016, PC Plod was sold on eBay to its new team The Scrappers for £45, with the hopes of making it fight-worthy again.
- "That's the eventual plan, get it back into an arena. Although it'll probably take a year or two, not only because it'll need a lot of work to catch up with 16 years of advancements, but also because we have so little time to work on it right now"
- — The Scrappers on Facebook
After discovering how little purchase PC Plod's cutting disc can make with other robots, the team have considered a variety of new weapons for the robot, and also intend to lower the profile of its wedge, as defence against spinners.
- Ken Ginn was part of The Steering Committee.
- ↑ Details of PC Plod's control system
- ↑ The Executioner website (archived)
- ↑ Information added by the team captain
- ↑ The Scrappers on Facebook