Robot Wars Wiki

Project One was a competitor robot that fought exclusively in the first series of Dutch Robot Wars. It fell in the first round of its only series to Blue, as well as the subsequent Losers' Melee, due to several technical problems that affected its mobility throughout both battles.

Like many robots in Dutch Series 1, Project One was built on a very tight schedule, and was finished just six hours before being brought to the studio.


"Air is good armor, but armoring air is stupid."
— Maddox's justification of Project One's minimal armour

Project One was a tall wedge-shaped robot with an exposed metal chassis, and equipped with a pneumatic axe and flipping arm positioned parallel to each other. The robot was unusual in that it had very few armour panels protecting its internals, which the team had to sacrifice in order to allow more weight for its weapons. In terms of armament, appearance and engineering, Project One could be likened to former UK Series competitor Mortis, and its axe proved reasonably effective against fibreglass and other fragile types of armour. However, its internals were exposed as a result of it having minimal armour itself, and the robot suffered numerous technical problems that prevented it from achieving any significant success during its only appearance.

Technical Difficulties[]

Despite being well-engineered, Project One suffered many technical problems which affected its performance in Dutch Series 1. The robot's sluggish movement in its first-round battle against Blue was due to its speed controller being set at 50 amperes, not 150 amperes, making the starter motor almost powerless. The robot ultimately became immobilised after its removable Anderson link fell out. In hindsight, gaffatape should have been applied to reduce the possibility of this happening, but this was not acted upon, as Project One was activated by a member of the production crew, not any of the Team Mad Science members.

For the Losers' Melee, the team removed Project One's speed controller, overcoming the previous power supply problems with its heavily reworked, overvolted starter motor. Unfortunately, the 3kW+ motor proved too powerful for the robot's steering, stripping the teeth from its nylon gear and causing the wheel to lock at an angle of 30°. While this did not prevent Project One from moving entirely, it effectively prevented it from being able to drive in a straight line, digging into the arena floor and sending up a shower of splinters as the robot spun in circles for almost the entire battle.

The Team[]

Main article: WJ Dijkstra

Project One was built and entered by Team Mad Science, which was made up of Dutch roboteers WJ Dijkstra and Greg Cathalina, and Flemish roboteers Mario "Maddox" de Jongh and Babeth van Son (who did not appear on TV because of the three team members limit). After Dutch Series 1, the team temporarily split into two for Dutch Series 2. This was because it proved difficult for team members based in the Netherlands and Belgium to come together to work on building robots, so the two parts of the team decided to work on separate projects. Team captain WJ worked mostly on his own to build Gravity and Elevation, which was one third of the clusterbot √3², while Maddox and Babeth formed Team Warlocks, which built Project One's sequel robot Project Two: Hex'em. Maddox was also a team member of both Tough as Nails and Scraptosaur at various stages and is now a member of Team RCC along with Babeth, who was also a team member of Flextreme. Meanwhile, Greg went on to join the Impact team.

Robot History[]

Dutch Series 1[]

"The big guy with the beard (Maddox) pointed out a pneumatic valve which if hit would disable the robot, but it was so well protected we would never be able to reach it."
— Karl Jones of the Blue team anticipates the outcome of their battle with Project One

Project One uses its lifter to clamp down on Blue

Project One is counted out by Refbot

Project One competed in Heat D, and faced Blue in its first round battle. Both robots started sluggishly, with Project One raising its lifting arm and spinning close to an angle grinder as Blue eventually tapped its rear with its own spinning disc. Eventually, they collided head-on, with Project One's axe landing on Blue before the latter darted away, with Project One unable to move quickly across the arena due to its speed controller issues. Despite this, Project One drove side-on into Blue and clamped it with its lifting arm, before axing it a few times and ripping part of Blue's side armour off as the lifting arm closed. The two robots converged in the arena, with Project One eventually tearing off the entire right-hand side of Blue's shell off before becoming immobilised completely. Refbot counted Project One out, and 'cease' was called shortly afterwards, resulting in Project One being relegated to the Losers' Melee.

Project One is struck by Enderbot

Project One at the end of the Losers' Melee

There, it faced fellow first-round losers Enderbot and Flextreme. With its speed controller removed, Project One immediately started the battle faster than before, turning round to axe and lift Flextreme while Enderbot charged in and attempted to lift it over. However, it became apparent that it was unable to drive in a straight line as all three robots separated, and continued spinning in circles as it axed Flextreme again while being pushed by the fish tank-shaped robot. Project One was then attacked by Sgt. Bash, whose pincers grabbed hold of its axe and allowed him to pull Project One into the CPZ, before it spun round and was dragged away by Sir Killalot. It then repeatedly axed Sir Killalot as he pushed it around the arena, dislodging his breastplate and nearly hitting his on-board camera. Project One continued to spin around and be attacked by Sgt. Bash before 'cease' was called, with its final spin appearing to lift the robot off the floor completely. The melee went to a Jury's decision, which ruled in favour of Enderbot, eliminating Project One from the first Dutch series.


Series 1
Dutch Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Blue Lost
Heat D, Losers Melee vs. Enderbot, Flextreme Lost


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 2

Series Record[]

Dutch Series[]

Dutch Series Project One Series Record
Series 1 Heat, Round 1
Series 2 Entered with Project Two: Hex'em
Entered with Gravity and √3²

UK Series[]

Series Project One 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 Entered with Gravity
Series 8 Not selected with Gravity
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

Outside Robot Wars[]

Following its appearance in Dutch Series 1, Project One received numerous modifications, including the removal of its axe, modifications to the pneumatics for its lifter, and improved armour. The only outing for this version of Project One was at the Dutch event in Zwolle in December 2001. Some of Project One's chassis was later used in Project Two: Hex'em, but most of its remaining components presently reside in the team's garage; "Castle Black". Other components were given to fellow Dutch teams:

  • The ram for the lifter was passed on to the Shapeshifter team, and used in the Dutch Series 2 version of that robot;
  • The drive motor was mated to a hydraulic pump by Kos, and installed in Scarab, which also entered Dutch Series 2.
  • The large SMC rotary actuator and axe ended up with Nanning Buitenhuis, the sponsor of the DRG website.