Pika was the name given to two Belgian machines entered in Dutch Robot Wars. Pika 2 was the team's first entry, which lost its first round battle in the first series, but fought back through a losers melee to reach the heat final, where its run was ended by Botwork. Pika 2 was the only Belgian robot to reach a heat final in Dutch Series 1, giving it the title of the Belgian Champion in that series. Pika 3 competed in Dutch Series 2 and defeated Hoot easily, but lost to √3 on a Judges' decision.
Versions of PikaEdit
The original Pika was never seen on Robot Wars, but competed in other live events in the Netherlands. It was a two-wheel robot powered by wheelchair motors with two spinning discs, one vertical and one horizontal. Pika qualified for the Dutch Wars, but Marco thought that it wasn't competitive enough as it had no srimech or armour, and had open wheels, so he turned it into Pika 2.
- "Pika Rulez!"
- — The slogan painted on the robot
Pika 2 was a wedge shaped robot painted in the colours of the Belgian flag with a vertically-mounted spiked disc. The disc was positioned towards the back of the robot, so it could attack robots that were on the wedge, or approached Pika from behind. A plush Pikachu sat atop the robot.
Pika 3 competed in the second series. It was now a four-wheel drive, invertible box-shaped robot, armed with a lifting mechanism at the front. It was more focused on pushing power, much like Tornado. Pikachu now sat at the front of the robot. It was fast, but featured a high ground clearance, which was exposed in its loss.
The robot was named after Marco van Hek's youngest son Bram, who frequently went by the nickname "Pika". Unable to think of any name that he liked better, Marco van Hek decided to go with it and model his robot after Pikachu, the iconic face of the popular video game and anime series Pokémon.
Pika was entered into Robot Wars by a Belgian team, named Team VHS-Robots, and nowadays known as Team Rubbish. All versions of Pika were built by the team captain Marco van Hek, a fish salesman by trade. He was joined in Dutch Series 1 and 2 by Tim van Hek and Joeri Ramakers.
After the Dutch Wars, Pika was retired and the team began working on new projects. They built a robot called Caesar, which failed to qualify for Series 7 of the UK Robot Wars. Two halves of the team also attempted to enter Series 8 with Brutus and Tomahawk respectively, but neither robot was chosen to compete. Finally, the team qualified for Series 9 with Cobra, also representing Belgium in Robot Wars: World Series.
Dutch Series 1Edit
Pika 2 competed in Heat C, where it was initially drawn against Hammerhead.
The two machines spent the opening encounters circling each other, with neither robot's spinning weapon leaving much of an impression. Hammerhead hit the rear end of Pika 2, and followed this up with three consecutive hits on Pika 2, which left it immobilised. In victory however, Hammerhead beached itself on Pika 2's wedge, but this didn't save Pika 2 from the Refbot's countdown. Matilda then flipped Pika 2 over with her flywheel, dislodging a wheel in the process. Luckily, Pika 2 was able to be fixed for the upcoming losers melee.
Pika 2 and Maximum Torque charged at each other initially, and Pika 2 got underneath Maximum Torque, which knocked the Pikachu toy of Pika 2 backwards. Pika 2's spinning disc barely scratched Maximum Torque's bodywork, while Maximum Torque's hammer tapped Pika 2, doing even less damage. Pika 2 drove its opponent into Shunt, who axed through the hammer slot of Maximum Torque. Maximum Torque appeared to have lost drive on one side, before Pika 2's disc finally caused visible damage to its opponent's side panel. Maximum Torque steadily spun itself towards the pit of oblivion, where a glancing shove from Pika 2 sent it down.
Pika 2 started slowly once again, bumping into the front of X-Bot before both robots held a period of avoidance. Pika 2 later guided X-Bot onto the flame pit, and both robots met again over the closed pit. X-Bot hit the pit release tyre, and wedged under Pika 2's left wheel, pushing it towards the pit,but Pika 2 escaped. In return, Pika 2 carefully tried to push X-Bot into the pit, but couldn't finish it off, and was forced to retreat. In its most critical attack, Pika 2 then drove under X-Bot's lifting scoop, and split the panel in half by slicing through a joint using its vertical spinner. After causing this damage, Pika 2 also edged X-Bot back onto the flame pit, and time expired on the battle. On a Judges' decision, Pika 2 collected the victory, and advanced to the Heat Final.
In the Heat Final, Pika 2 fought the horizontal spinner of Botwork.
Pika 2 drove at the side of Botwork early on, pushing it towards the arena side wall. Botwork retaliated by whacking one of Pika 2's wheels, shredding the outer rim and impairing its mobility. Pika 2 went for the pit release, but was hit by Botwork twice more, with the second assault tearing the outer rim completely from the tyres of Pika 2. Botwork pushed Pika 2 onto the flame pit, disintegrating its tyres, and setting fire to the Pikachu toy adorning Pika 2. However, despite all of the punishment it took, Pika 2 was still mobile at the end of the battle, but lost the jury's decision.
As the Belgian robot that reached the furthest stage in the competition, it became the first Belgian Robot Wars Champion.
Dutch Series 2Edit
Pika 3 appeared the more aggressive, slamming Hoot into the pit release tyre, which bent Hoot's rather spindly and weak spinning arms. This attack left Hoot unable to move freely, so Pika 3 pushed it into Sir Killalot, who picked it up and placed it in the centre of the arena. Pika 3 then pushed Hoot onto the edge of the pit, and Hoot drove in.
Pika 3 and √3 started ponderously, before Pika 3 singled out Elevation for an attack, pushing it across the arena into a CPZ. Pika 3 unleashed another onslaught, ramming S.O.Xbot (created by Jeroen van Lieverloo, whose machine X-Bot was beaten by Pika 2 in the first series) into Matilda's CPZ. Matilda attacked with her flywheel, flipping S.O.Xbot out of the arena and hitting a camera. This gave the upper hand to Pika 3, however since only one-third of the machine was immobilised, √3 was allowed to continue fighting. Pika 3 activated the pit, but soon got its lifting spikes stuck under an angle grinder. Its weaponry was noticeably damaged after Refbot freed it. Pika 3 pushed Elevation around, but then spent the remainder of the fight being attacked by Elevation and ODT-0.33, and lost on a Jury's decision, eliminating it from the competition.
|PIKA 2 - RESULTS|
|Heat C, Round 1||vs. Hammerhead||Lost|
|Heat C, Losers Melee||vs. Meshuggah, Maximum Torque||Won|
|NOTE: Meshuggah withdrew from the fight, leaving only Pika 2 and Maximum Torque|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. X-Bot||Won|
|Heat C, Final||vs. Botwork||Lost|
|PIKA 3 - RESULTS|
|Heat E, Round 1||vs. Hoot||Won|
|Heat E, Semi-Final||vs. √3||Lost|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 3
|Series||Pika Series Record|
|Series 1||Heat Final (Pika 2)|
|Series 2||Heat, Round 2 (Pika 3)|
|Series||Pika 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||Failed to qualify with Caesar|
|Series 8||Not selected with Brutus and TMHWK|
|Series 9||Entered with Cobra|
|Series 10||World Series with Cobra|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Before Pika 3 fought √3 on television, Pika 3 fought WJ Dijkstra's section of the clusterbot, Elevation, at a live event held in Marienheem. Pika 3 had not been painted at this stage, although it still featured a plush Pikachu.
While Robot Wars entered its 12-year hiatus, Marco and Tim van Hek were joined by Andre Boxebeld from Team Delight, and the team was renamed Team A.D.H.D.. A few months after Series 7 was filmed, WJ Dijkstra sold Gravity 3 to Team VHS Robots who salvaged parts from it to make a second version their robot Hades, albeit without success. Hades made a return to the live circuit at the Robots: Extreme Wars Live Guildford event in June 2012, but it lost all of its fights. Marco van Hek of Team VHS also bought Tomahawk a few years after Robot Wars finished, and rebuilt it in late 2012, leading to its rebrand as TMHWK under the new ownership of Marien van der Meer.
- Pika 2 had the message Please flip me back, I don't like it written on the underside of its chassis.
- As the Belgian Champion was decided by which robot from that country went the furthest in the Dutch series, Pika is the only national champion never to have made it past the heats.
- Pika is the second competitor to use a Japanese video game/anime character as a mascot. The others were Killerhurtz, with Charmander (also from Pokémon) and Destructosaur, with the Digimon Greymon.
- It is the only robot named after a Japanese video game/anime character.