"Reactor, be warned - you face meltdown"
— Jonathan Pearce on Reactor in Series 4

Reactor was the name given to two robots from Robot Wars. Both were large, "teardrop-shaped" robots designs in the fashion of a reactor core. This design allowed Reactor to simply roll back onto its wheels. It passed the first round in both series it entered, reaching the Heat Final in the Fifth Wars following a surprise victory over Gemini. Afterwards, Team Reactor fought in Series 7 with Rhino.

Versions of ReactorEdit


"It is the 21st century of Robot Wars, and we have wooden wheels."
— Julia Reed introducing Reactor
Reactor s4 arena

Reactor in Series 4

The first Reactor competed in Series 4 and was heavily reliant on wheelchair technology. Whilst the shell was built of steel and aluminium, it featured rubber and wooden wheels, custom-made by Russell Orton. To back up the reactor core theme, these had the nuclear symbol painted on them. The tyres also had small screws protruding in order to gain traction, which Jonathan Pearce called "Ben Hur type spikes". Reactor was painted in a red and black colour scheme, and its main weapon was a CO2 lifting plate on the front of the robot. The whole robot was designed off a small prototype created by Daniel Orton.

Reactor 2Edit

Reactor s5

Reactor 2 in the arena

For Series 5, the robot was known as Reactor 2, styled as 'Reactor II'. Its flipper was modified into a "flamp", part-flipper, part-clamping mechanism. The robot was painted silver and black, and for additional armament, an axe was added to the back. During the upgrade to 100kg weight limit, Reactor's top speed decreased from 12mph to only 8mph. It was, however, a noticeably stronger performer and a very reliable self-righter.

"Gets back on its feet every time it goes over. It's never failed."
— Martin Crouch

Reactor 3Edit

Reactor 3

Reactor 3, that failed to qualify for series 6

Reactor 3 was built for the Sixth Wars. It used the same body shape as Reactor 2, but was painted completely black and was equipped with a rear vertical disc, replacing the small axe used in Series 5. Reactor 3 lost to Raging Reality in the qualifiers for Series 6, failing to qualify alongside Lambsy, and was retired after this.

Reactor 3 was seen in the Pits during Laurie Calvert's behind the scenes video on his own qualification.[1]

The TeamEdit

Team reactor

Team Reactor with Reactor 2 in Series 5

Reactor was entered into Robot Wars by a team from Birstall in Leicestershire, known simply as Team Reactor. The team was captained by joiner-by-trade Russell Orton, and he was joined by his son Daniel who made the first prototype of the machine out of a toy construction kit. Martin Crouch also completed the team to assist with engineering. The team also competed in Series 7 with Rhino.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 4Edit

Reactor went up against fellow newcomers Scorpion and the number 27 seeds Sir Chromalot in the first round of the Fourth Wars.

Reactor flips Scorpion

Reactor topples Scorpion over

Reactor's flipper didn't appear to be working at all, plus not much was happening early in this battle with none of the competitors making a great aggressive attack, apart from some light ramming and pushing. This was until Reactor got under Scorpion's high clearance using its low wedge and steep upper bodywork to flip it, being successful. However, Reactor impaled itself beneath one of the arena side spikes right after its charge, only able to free itself once given room to move by the attacking house robots. Scorpion couldn't self right, and was left at the mercy of Sgt. Bash and Sir Killalot. This meant Reactor was through to the next round of the heat along with the seeded Sir Chromalot.

In the second round, Reactor went up against the 11th seeds Wild Thing. Before the fight the team opted to run the robot on a low geared drive ratio. This would prove to be its undoing.

Julia Reed: "Reactor's first wars, let's see how those wheels are holding up. Wood taken any damage from the melee?"
Russell Orton: "Just a little on this side [Reactor's right wheel] but not very much. We've managed to repair it."
— Just prior to the Wild Thing fight

Wild Thing shunts Reactor

Wild Thing was by far and away the stronger machine, pushing Reactor around and lifting it with the arm. Reactor moved sluggishly around, failing to make a single attack as Wild Thing pushed it into the arena wall, Dead Metal in quick succession. Wild Thing moved against Reactor's back, and pushed it into Sgt. Bash, then Sir Killalot, who put a severe dent into Reactor's wheel. Reactor was caught by Dead Metal and sliced into. The match went to a judges' decision, who unsurprisingly judged against Reactor and put Wild Thing through to the heat final, eliminating Reactor from the competition.

Craig Charles: "Reactor in meltdown, really."
Russell Orton: "Yeah, unfortunately we made a mistake, we changed it to a lower gear and we shouldn't have done, we should have left at what it was."
— After the battle

Series 5Edit

In Heat D of the Fifth Wars, Reactor 2 was drawn up against Bot Out Of Hell in the first round.


Bot Out Of Hell is toppled by Reactor 2

Reactor 2 used its flipper and flipped Bot Out Of Hell onto its side not very quickly. Bot Out of Hell couldn't self-right as it didn't have a srimech, so it was soon counted out by the Refbot and eliminated. This meant that Reactor 2 was through to the next round of the heat with relative ease.

"Bot, back to Hell from whence you came. The Reactor is moving forward with speed."
— Jonathan Pearce

In the second round, Reactor 2 went up against the clusterbot and number 18 seeds Gemini.

Gemini on its back

Reactor 2 takes out the Gemini twins

Gemini was on top at the beginning of the fight, flipping Reactor 2 over and over again. Fortunately, Reactor 2 had a round body, making it roll right back onto its wheels each time it was flipped. Reactor 2 then axed one of the Gemini clusterbots. Then, suddenly, one Gemini clusterbot flipped itself over after trying to attack Reactor 2 once again. Its partner clusterbot tried to right the other half, but ended up rolling over as well, neither clusterbot could self-right as they were both propped onto their backs thanks to their anti-wheelie bars. Refbot counted both Gemini clusterbots out, to allow Reactor 2 go through to the Heat Final.

"I don't believe it. I never believed we'd beat Gemini, not in a million years."
— Martin Crouch

Here, Reactor 2 went up against the number 7 seeds Firestorm 3, fighting for a place in the series Semi-finals.


Reactor 2 goes out of the arena

Reactor OotA

Reactor 2 outside the arena

Firestorm 3 started this battle by driving right onto Reactor 2's "flamp", and Reactor 2 lifted Firestorm 3 up with its flipper, but then Firestorm 3 was able to get underneath Reactor 2 side on and pushed it over to the arena side wall. Firestorm 3 then flipped Reactor 2 up onto the wall itself. Reactor dangled there for a few moments before finally falling out into the House Robot entrance, which eliminated Reactor 2 from the competition.

"It was the only way they were going to stop us."
— Martin Crouch


Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
Heat Semi-Final
Heat M, Eliminator vs. Scorpion, Sir Chromalot (27) Qualified
Heat M, Semi-Final vs. Wild Thing (11) Lost
Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat D, Eliminator vs. Bot Out Of Hell Won
Heat D, Semi-Final vs. Gemini (18) Won
Heat D, Final vs. Firestorm 3 (7) Lost


  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 2

Series RecordEdit

  • The insides of Reactor
  • Daniel Orton with his prototype Reactor
  • Reactor 2 at the filming of Series 5
Series Reactor Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Heat, Round 2
The Fifth Wars Heat Final
The Sixth Wars Failed to qualify
The Seventh Wars Entered with Rhino
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

Trivia Edit


  1. Laurie Calvert, Presenting Fighting Robot Lightning
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.