Robot Wars Wiki

"Tonight's slowest bot, the brainchild of two RAF pilots, who built Pain from parts gleamed from an uncle's farm. The motors come from windscreen wipers. It has chainsaw-driven cutting blades, and the front spike can punch through a 4mm aluminium deck plate!"
Jonathan Pearce introduces Pain

Pain (also spelt as PaiN) was a tracked robot which entered Robot Wars: The Second Wars. Its solitary appearance on the show was cut shot by technical issues which prevented it from starting its initial Gauntlet run. Despite attempts to repair it, Pain could not start its second Gauntlet run either, and was eliminated after its team could not perform further repairs within the allotted time.


"Pain was fairly quick & dirty, about 6 months in all but our time management sucked & I had to rush things at the end."
— Jon Witte on building Pain, Tectonic Robot Wars interview[1]

Pain was a large, black box-shaped robot with tracks and armed with a front-mounted "kinetic stabber" - a pneumatic spike driven by sparks produced from a mix of oxygen and fuel. The "stabber" was capable of punching through 4mm aluminium deck plate, and could lift at up to 80 degrees. The robot was also equipped with angle grinders at the sides and rear for extra defense, powered by windscreen wiper motors, and had materials acquired from an uncle's farm. Unfortunately, it had unreliable electronics, which contributed to its early demise. At 80.9kg, Pain was also 1.5kg over the original Heavyweight limit.

"It's drive was from wheelchair motors driving tracks from a carrot machine which powered it at 4mph (apparently as I never saw it move). However I can safely say that Pain had some of the most complicated electronics around and Used a massive PIC. The speed controller was to be based upon MOSFETs but due to time they used relays."
Oliver Steeples on Pain[2]

The Team[]

The team consisted of Norwich-based former RAF pilots Jon Witte and Pete Birch. The team also attempted to enter Series 3 and 4 with Judge Mech and reached the second round of Series 6 with Spam.

"Saw the first series trailed on the Beeb and thought "Fun" - I'd decided I wanted a go about half way through episode 1."
— Jon Witte on entering Robot Wars[1]


"Well before the event I had heard rumours about Pain and it's weapon that they tried to ban! What sort of weapon? Well one that mixes fuel and oxygen in a cylinder and then sparks it firing out a pointed spike (it never worked in the end). It also had cutting disks around the side."
— Oliver Steeples on the reception to Pain[2]

Pain attended the Series 2 rehearsals with no armour[3]. At the rehearsals, Pain's chances was under scrutiny when the technical advisers questioned the legality of its gas-powered weapon[4]. Despite this, Pain was successful in being selected to compete in the main series.

Robot History[]

Series 2[]

Pain fails to move in the Gauntlet

Pain's spike is sacrificed

Pain entered Heat E of the Second Wars, but ran into problems immediately as it broke down before it was due to start its Gauntlet run. The team was forced to make repairs in the pits, and had to sacrifice its spike weapon in an attempt to get it working. However, despite these repairs, Pain still failed to move on its second Gauntlet attempt, as a result of its drive shafts being damaged while the team pushed it into the arena.

"Here we go, then... No, we don't, the pain in the main, is heading down the drain, I think! They can't get it started!"
Jonathan Pearce as Pain fails to start the Gauntlet for the second time

The Pain team try desperately to repair their robot

The Pain team admit defeat

The team attempted to repair Pain for a third start, but ran out of time, and were forced to retire from the competition, with Pain having lost all functionality due to radio interference.

"We were utterly crap. Ran out of development time and couldn't fully test. I was sending RS232 from my laptop thru 40MHz gear to a PIC. Combination of motor noise/ cameras / HT lines outside / IC Engines / poor design drowned out my comms. Tried to bodge micro switches and servos to get moving, but ran out of time."
— Jon Witte describing to Oliver Steeples the cause of Pain's demise[2]


Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Gauntlet
Heat E, Gauntlet Retired (6th) Eliminated

Series Record[]

Series Pain Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Gauntlet
The Third Wars Failed to qualify with Judge Mech
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify with Judge Mech
The Fifth Wars Withdrew from qualifiers with Spam
The Sixth Wars Entered with Spam
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

External Links[]