Polar Vortex (also known as Polar Vortex 3 or Polar Vortex 4) was a robot that qualified for Series 9 but withdrew due to travel concerns. Polar Vortex was also meant to appear in the Robot Wars: World Series, but withdrew once again for the same reason, and was replaced by loanerbot Cathadh.
Polar Vortex was entered by Team Toad, who were known for competing in BattleBots and the US live circuit.
The version of Polar Vortex that attempted to qualify for Series 8 was the third version, Polar Vortex 3. Polar Vortex was a rectangular shaped orange robot. Although it used two wheel drive, it had four wheels two connected to each other on both sides. The wheels were large enough to allow the robot to be invertable at the expense of using its weaponry. The weapon itself was a large wedge which had two electrical lifting arms that would raise the wedge upwards.
The fourth version of the machine was built in 2017 and was originally meant to appear in Series 9 and the World Series. This version no longer had the electric lifting wedge and instead used a one toothed vertical flywheel. The weaponry was initially painted blue. The bodywork was more-or-less the same as before with a much more boxier design.
Team Toad attempted to enter Series 8 with Polar Vortex through open applications, but they were not selected for unspecified reasons.
Another application for Polar Vortex to enter Robot Wars was submitted for Series 9, and this time it was accepted to compete. However, the show would not cover the travel costs of the robot's transportation to the United Kingdom from Texas, particularly as services such as DHL were quoting the transportation costs at extreme figures up to $14,000. Team Toad withdrew under the belief that their shipping would need to be compensated if they were to take part.
- "Polar Vortex was accepted into Series 9, but the shipping was prohibitive, and the BBC didn't have the budget to pay for it."
- — Team Toad on their withdrawal from Series 9
Mentorn reached out to Michael Mauldin ahead of Series 10, asking him to represent the United States of America in the World Series, and Mauldin wished to enter with Polar Vortex again. However, the show still could not cover the costs of its transportation, so Team Toad simply competed with loanerbot Cathadh instead.
- "We tried to bring Polar Vortex vertical spinner to Robot Wars, but there was no money for shipping. So I got to turn Arena Cleaner into Cathadh."
- — Team Toad on Polar Vortex's withdrawal from the World Series
|Series||Polar Vortex Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Not selected|
World Series with Cathadh
Outside Robot Wars
Polar Vortex competed yearly at RoboGames. At RoboGames in 2015, Polar Vortex defeated Pump, Whoops! and The Great Pumpkin before losing to Touro Maximus and Last Rites. In 2016, it defeated Vlad the Impaler II, but lost to fellow pushing robot Original Sin and Ragin Scotsman. The spinner version of Polar Vortex defeated Mega Melvin in 2017, but lost to Megabyte and Touro Maximus.
At RoboGames in 2018, Polar Vortex had an unfortunate first-round draw against Ragin Scotsman, and was commanded around the arena for the duration of the match after Polar Vortex's weapon belt slipped. It subsequently lost its losers' bracket match to Swamp Thing.
For more information on Team Toad's robots other than Polar Vortex, see here.