Pendragon was a robot that attempted to qualify for Series 5 of Robot Wars, losing its qualifier battle to Ruf Ruf Dougal. Team member Steve Trevena had previously attempted to compete in Series 4 with Tor.
Pendragon was a wedge-shaped robot built out of an aluminium chassis and armoured in Makrolon polycarbonate and aluminium. Its weapon was a wide front-hinged flipper which gave it a striking resemblance to Cassius 2, and was also equipped with an adjustable wheel suspension system made out of aluminium and again similar to Cassius 2. It was powered by three Hawker 18AH batteries, and was capable of throwing itself high into the air when self-righting.
- "I’ll take the comparisons with Cassius 2 quite happily, Rex did give some tech advice as did Roger Plant in fact Roger rated PD as possibly a good fighter. Shame we didn’t carry on, I may get it working one day."
- — Mark Rivron in April 2020
Pendragon's name is based on Arthurian legend, originating from the family name "Pendragon" (derived from "Pen Draig", native Welsh for "Chief Dragon"), the surname used by several traditional Kings of the Britons, including the legendary King Arthur himself. Pendragon had a working name of Wardancer.
Pendragon was built by team captain Mark Rivron, alongside Steve Trevena who had previously attempted to compete in Series 4 with Tor. The team was completed by Sean Oliver. As the team were based in Cornwall, Pendragon was covered extensively by the St. Agro website, although the two teams were not related beyond some build assistance from Mark Rivron - in fact, Steve Trevena had closer connections to Roadblock and Beast of Bodmin, machines which he helped to create.
- "Another thing I supplied some parts for St Agro but that was it. The builder of Agro set up a web site (that was his thing) to record the Cornish robots and we got roped it, the robots met once but it was in a derelict factory and there was too many bods about to have a decent fight. But I will say they had a young lad to drive it and he was good and we both learned a bit about weaknesses , I changed the drive ratios after the tussle."
- — Mark Rivron on his connections to St. Agro
- "Our first fight against Pendragon was won easily because after a couple of attacks they stopped working and got dumped in the pit. Only after watching the house robot feast did I realize we had lost a drive chain and could only move in circles but the fight was already won."
- — The Ruf Ruf Dougal website describes the fight against Pendragon
Pendragon fought in a number of qualifier battles for the Fifth Wars during the Cardiff leg of the qualification tour, the first of which was a head-to-head against Ruf Ruf Dougal. The two robots fought a competitive match, with Ruf Ruf Dougal at one point penetrating the polycarbonate armour of Pendragon. Although both machines were still active at the end, the victory was awarded to Ruf Ruf Dougal.
- "Better set the record straight here. Pendragon only “lost” to Dougal because the producers decided to enter the robot that burst into flames easily. Dougal pierced the polycarbonate but stopped when it hit the suspension components (T6 alloy) and didn’t stop the robot working, we both drove out of the arena."
- — Mark Rivron on the battle with Ruf Ruf Dougal, which had previously been understood to be a win by knockout for Ruf Ruf Dougal
Pendragon's second qualifier battle was a three-way melee against unknown opponents. Pendragon instead concentrated its efforts on attacking the House Robot Shunt, trying to flip it out of the arena. Pendragon sustained axe blows in return, and the winner of the battle remains unknown.
- "Second fight was against 2 others but I decided to try and get Shunt out of the arena, he punched a few holes but the important stuff is deep in and well protected so no problem, I believe we may have damaged shunt as he came out for repairs as I recall."
- — Steve Trevena on the second qualifier
Pendragon's final fight at the Cardiff event was a four-way rumble containing various machines, including the experienced Panic Attack, alongside the team's second encounter with Ruf Ruf Dougal. Pendragon entered the arena without its link tightened properly, which led to the robot suffering from intermittent drive on one side. This led Pendragon to take a static role in the centre of the arena, throwing robots when they came close. At one stage, the Pendragon team invited Kim Davies to flip Pendragon over, offering it the chance to self-right. Instead, Dead Metal intervened, causing Pendragon's flip to launch itself and the House Robot away. Eventually, Pendragon was pitted (potentially by Ruf Ruf Dougal to explain the Ruf Ruf Rougal team's account of their head-to-head) and lost the bout.
- "The third fight was a mass brawl and I put my hands up to letting PD down, we swapped batteries and (tired as hell) forgot to tighten the link properly so the voltage dropped and we had intermittent drive on one side but we sat in the middle lobbing people around then I said to Kim Davis “roll us over” which he did and Dead Metal came over for a bite. We self righted from under DM and threw him away, went about a 4ft in the air and landed next to him, they left us alone until finally we got pushed in the pit."
- — Mark Rivron on his final qualifier
|Series||Pendragon Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify with Tor|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|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 Wars
After its first Robot Wars qualification attempt, the team intended to enter Series 6 with Pendragon whilst also building a new robot with a pneumatic crusher. However, the team were instead invited to compete in Mechanoids, a TV show for which they built a robot named Gomez, and ultimately the team's plans for Robot Wars went unfinished.
- "We had plans to re-enter PD whilst building a high pressure pneumatic crusher bot (twin 7” rams for the crush) based around military scrap but we were invited to do Mechanoids which we built Gomez for and never got around to sorting PD. I’ve still got them both, PD was slightly uprated to re-enter but life got in the way so he is still very much as it was at Cardiff except with a black paint job and heavier duty bracing on the lifter."
- — Mark Rivron in April 2020
- Pendragon's original name was Wardancer.
- Pendragon was covered in detail on the St. Agro website in an effort to bring attention towards fellow Cornish machines. Mark Rivron himself had helped to build St. Agro.
- Private correspondence between the Pendragon team and Anthony Murney