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"In arenas where it's possible to win by throwing an opponent out of the arena, a monster flipper is a viable design choice"
— Aaron Joerger

Rear-hinged flippers are the more common of the two types of flipping weapon seen in Robot Wars. Prior to Series 3, most rear-hinged weapons seen in Robot Wars were lifters.

The weapon debuted in the form of Chaos, as the rear-hinged flipping arm. Whilst the arm continued to be used throughout the original series in designs such as Gemini, Hydra and Ewe 2, the more famous design arrived in Series 3 with the arrival of Chaos 2 and Facet. With a wider flipping plate and powerful CO2 reserves, Chaos 2 won two consecutive UK Championships and spawned dozens of imitators.

Aside from Chaos 2, a number of famous robots have achieved success with this weapon, including the Series 8 Champion and third-place finisher, Apollo and TR2, and Series 10 champion Eruption. Other championship-winning robots with this weapon include Bulldog Breed and Bigger Brother, whilst robots such as Dantomkia, Wheely Big Cheese, Atomic, Thermidor 2 and Gravity have all become famous due to their powerful flippers.

DefinitionEdit

Gemini vs tornado

One half of Gemini throws Tornado over

  • Flippers aim to propel another robot and allow gravity and torque to flip the robot over. This contrasts lifting weapons, which aim to lift, push and tip a robot onto its back or side.
    • A conventional flipper is defined as a flipper designed to get the entire mechanism underneath its opponent. The surface area of the flipper is much bigger than that of a flipping arm.
    • A flipping arm is typically narrow in width, but extends the same length as a conventional flipper. It usually features a prong or small wedge on the end to help get under opponents and an extender to provide additional leverage.
  • The weapon is considered rear-hinged because the hinges are at the top of the robot (usually at the top of a wedge or the end of a box-section). When the robot fires its flipper, it gives the impression that a robot is opening its "mouth."

Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit

Advantages

"Ever since helping Rex to build Recyclopse, I wanted to harness the power of Recyclopse's tongue in a more effective way. By hinging the flipper at the back (instead of the front), you only have to poke a small part of the front blade under your opponent to be able to chuck them"
George Francis on the weaponry of Chaos and Chaos 2
Trident vs Chaos 2

Chaos 2 flips Trident

Apollo vs pp3d

Apollo launches PP3D, whose removable link was knocked out as a result of this flip

St agro vs ceros

The invertible St. Agro

Tsunami flips Constrictor

Tsunami effortlessly throws Constrictor over the wall

Tornado bigger brother

Bigger Brother clamps Tornado

  • Earlier in the show's run, battles could be ended very quickly by flipping robots over. The largest advantage of rear-hinged flippers is that only a small part of the weapon needs to gain purchase in order to make the crucial attack. Chaos 2 was able to instantly defeat opponents such as Trident and Indefatigable with such attacks.
  • Unlike all other flipping and lifting weapons, rear-hinged flippers rely on gravity to cause damage to the robots. This makes them more dangerous than front-hinged flippers and lifters, which rely on external factors for damage. During later series, this became the most viable way for robots with this weapon to achieve victory, as self-righting mechanisms or invertible designs were almost always present. Apollo was able to immobilise both Kan-Opener and PP3D by launching them with such force that their landings knocked out both robots' removable links, as well as damaging Rusty and Apocalypse[1] through flipping them in Series 9 and 10 respectively.
  • Both variants of rear-hinged flipper can easily double as a self-righting mechanism depending on their design and power. Chaos 2 was the first to do so successfully, in its Series 3 Heat Final against The Big Cheese, and nearly all robots with these weapons were capable of self-righting without the need for a second weapon or srimech.
  • They are possible to fit into an invertible design, as shown by Wheely Big Cheese and St. Agro.
  • As the most powerful of flipping weapons, the rear-hinged flipper is ideally suited to throwing other robots out of the arena. Of the seventeen robots to achieve this feat more than once, only four were not armed with this particular weapon.
    • Gemini was the only robot to demonstrate this capability using a rear-hinged flipping arm.
  • It is possible for these types of flipper to double as a clamp, increasing the weapon's versatility by allowing it to grab hold of opponents positioned in the space between the flipper and the robot's body. This was the reasoning behind the weapon designs for Eric, Reactor and Constrictor, and has been successfully demonstrated by Bigger Brother, The Grim Reaper, Apollo and Rapid in combat.
  • Rear-hinged flippers, like lifters, could offer a useful weapons synergy with overhead axes or hammers. Comengetorix and Hydra were a handful of robots to pair flipping arms alongside their overhead weapons, while Axe-Awe and Iron-Awe 2 combined their axes with a larger front flipper.

Disadvantages

Refbot counts out ceros

Ceros is unable to self-right after its gas supply depletes

Bigger brother hypnodisc

Bigger Brother's flipper is destroyed while trying to flip Hypno-Disc

Tornado vs Gravity

Tornado dominates Gravity

Hypno-Disc Stealth

Stealth has its pneumatics system destroyed by Hypno-Disc

XTerminator St. Agro 1

St. Agro's wedge is destroyed

Tr2 immobilised

TR2 lies on its back, its flipper disabled after running out of CO2 and being pulled back open during its Head-to-Head against Apollo

  • As with all other pneumatic weapons, CO2-powered flippers only have a limited supply and amount of flips before running out of gas. Having unsuccessfully flipped Tough as Nails around the arena in its Series 7 Heat Final, Robochicken's flipper lacked the power to throw it out of the arena when it was finally in a position to do so.
  • The limited gas supply of flippers prevents them from self-righting when the supply runs out. Robots such as Chaos 2, Thermidor 2, Tsunami and TR2 all notably succumbed to defeat once they became low on CO2, and were unable to use their flippers to self-right after a certain amount of flips.
    • Flipping arms can be even less capable as self-righting mechanisms, depending on the robot's design. Due to various issues with the design of the robot or their arms, Chaos and the Series 6/Extreme 2 version of Hydra were all unable to self-right after being flipped over.
  • Flipping plates are often fragile and vulnerable to being damaged by axes, hammers, crushers, or heavy rotating weapons. Chaos 2's flipper sustained damage from robots like Razer, Dominator 2 and 13 Black, whilst Bigger Brother's weapon was completely destroyed during its battle with Hypno-Disc.
    • Rear-hinged flipping arms are especially susceptible to breaking off after a few flips or being damaged by spinning or crushing weapons. Both Comengetorix and Oblark suffered from this issue in at least one of their battles.
  • Flippers without sufficient knock-out power became less damaging when self-righting mechanisms and invertible robots became more popular.
  • If an opponent gets underneath a flipper's ground clearance, the flipper-wielding robot is instantly set at a disadvantage as the lower end of the flipper is no longer able to reach the ground to achieve any flips. Tornado and Storm 2 had particularly low ground clearances that were able to defeat opponents such as Chaos 2, The Grim Reaper, Gravity and Eruption in this way.
  • Being narrower, rear-hinged flipping arms are harder to get underneath an opponent than full-sized flippers, often missing their targets and requiring skilful driving to flip them over. George Francis particularly cited these weaknesses as being detrimental to Chaos' performance in Series 2.
  • When the flipper is opened, the robot's internals could be left vulnerable to front-on attacks from spike, spear, crushing or spinning weapons. This was best shown in Stealth's Series 3 battle against Hypno-Disc, where Hypno-Disc destroyed the pneumatic rams powering Stealth's flipper when the weapon was fully raised.
  • If the robot's wedge or the lower lip of its flipper is damaged, the robot's ability to negotiate an opponent's ground clearance is instantly diminished, rendering the wedge and/or flipper completely ineffective. St. Agro's and Bulldog Breed's losses to X-Terminator were due in no small part to their flippers getting buckled by the latter's flywheel.
  • If a robot is stranded on its rear, gravity can keep a flipper open and prevent it from self-righting. This has been demonstrated by Ripper in Series 7, and TR2 in Series 8.
  • Heavy rotating weapons can twist a flipping plate so that it no longer sits in place, rendering it almost useless for breaching ground clearance. Both Apollo and Eruption required extensive repairs after taking heavy hits from Carbide and Ironside3 respectively.

List of Robots with Rear-Hinged FlippersEdit

Apollo S10

Apollo in Series 10

AtomicHQ

Atomic

Beast

Beast

BiggerBrother Series 6-removebg

Bigger Brother

Bulldog Breed EX2

Bulldog Breed

Ceros

Ceros

Chaos

Chaos

Chaos 2 S6

Chaos 2, two-time Robot Wars champion

Dantomkia 2016

Dantomkia

DTK

DTK, Featherweight champion in Series 7

Eruption S10

Eruption, Series 10 champion

Facet

Facet, joint pioneer of rear-hinged conventional flippers

Gemini Side View S5

Gemini

Gravity

Gravity in Series 7

Iron-awe 6 10

Iron-Awe 6

Judge shred 3

Judge Shred 3

M2

M2

2016Matilda

Matilda in Series 8

Philiper 2

Philipper 2

HQRKnightmare

Raging Knightmare

RAPID

Rapid

Reactor II

Reactor 2 with its 'flamp'

Ripper

Ripper

Robochicken 7

Robochicken in Series 7

Robo Savage

Robo Savage

Scrap2saur

Scrap-2-Saur in Dutch Series 2

Sir Chromalot S6

Sir Chromalot in Series 6

Son of Armageddon

Son of Armageddon

Spawn Again EX2

Spawn Again in Extreme 2

St. Agro

St. Agro

Steg 2

Steg 2

Grim reaper

The Grim Reaper

Thermidor II S6

Thermidor 2 in Series 6

TR2 S8 alone

TR2 in Series 8

Tsunami S7

Tsunami

Weber

Weber

Wheely Big Cheese

Wheely Big Cheese

XTflipper

X-Terminator 2 with its flipper

Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight entries are listed with a green background. House Robots are listed with a yellow background.

Robot Series Appearances with Rear-Hinged Flippers Notes
8645T Series 5, 7 Combined flipper and axe.
Apollo Series 8-10 Can operate at a lower power level when the robot needs to self-right. Only robot to flip the modern versions of Dead Metal, Matilda and Shunt. Series 8 Champion.
Anarchy Series 6 Most successful walker in Robot Wars and winner of Best Engineered Award in Series 6
Ansgar Extreme 1 Interchangeable with a spear.
Anto Extreme 1
Atomic Series 4-5, 7, Extreme 1 Achieved four consecutive out of the arena flips, and current record holder for most consecutive out of the arena flips. Series 7 Semi-Finalist.
Axe-Awe Series 5, Extreme 1 Front flipper combined with an axe.
Beast Series 8 Abandoned the dual axe design of its predecessor.
Bigger Brother Series 4-7, Extreme 1-2, Nickelodeon Designed to simply flick itself back on to its wheels, lowering the amount of CO2 used when self-righting. Weapon also doubles as a clamp. Series 5 runners-up and Extreme 2 Minor Meltdown Champion.
Bolt from the Blue Series 4 Powered by compressed air. Only had a maximum of five or six flips per battle.
Bulldog Breed Series 4-7, Extreme 1-2 Extreme 2 Tag Team Champion (with Robochicken) and Series 7 Semi-Finalist. Also only robot to flip Pussycat out of the arena.
Cataclysmic Variabot Extreme 1-2 Arm was interchangeable with an axe and spike. Flipping arm not used in battle.
Centurion Series 4 Replaced a lifter.
Ceros Series 7
Chaos Series 2 First UK series robot to attempt to self-right. First robot with a rear-hinged flipping arm, made out of parts from a Phantom II fighter jet.
Chaos 2 Series 3-6, Extreme 1-2 First and most notable robot with a rear-hinged conventional flipper, first to throw another robot out of the arena. First competitor to flip Shunt. Series 3 and 4 Champion.
Chroma Extreme 2
Colossus Series 6-7
Comengetorix Series 6, Extreme 1 Flipping arm used in tandem with an axe, in a similar configuration to Mortis.
Constrictor Series 7 Arm doubled as a clamp.
Cutlet Series 7 Interchangeable with a flywheel
Cygnus Series 7
Cygnus X-1 Series 7
Dantomkia Series 6-8, Extreme 2 Achieved nine out of the arena flips, more than any other competitor to date. Series 6 and 7 Semi-Finalist.
DTK Series 7 Essentially a scaled-down version of Dantomkia. Series 7 Featherweight Champion.
Eric Series 3-4 Doubled as a clamping jaw.
Eruption Series 8-10 Could apply interchangeable attachments to the full-pressure flipper, including a claw to grab hold of and carry robots around the arena, and a set of small vertical discs. First competitor to flip another out in Series 8. Series 9 runner-up and Series 10 champion.
Ewe 2 Series 7
Facet Series 3 Managed to throw Adam Clark's featherweight Armadillo eight feet into the air in the pits.
Flippa Series 7 Never used in battle.
GBH 2 Series 6 Rear flipper only, predominantly a front-hinged flipper.
Gemini Series 4-5, Extreme 1 Clusterbot. Series 4 Heat Finalist and Pinball Warrior Tournament winner. Most notable robot with rear-hinged flipping arms and only one to throw another out of the arena.
General Carnage 2 Series 5 The only robot to flip another out of the arena and not reach a heat final.
Gladiator Series 7, Extreme 2 Competed in Series 7 as G2.
Gravity Series 7, Dutch Series 2 Equipped with a flipping arm in Dutch Series 2, and a conventional flipper in Series 7. First robot to flip Dead Metal, Cassius Chrome and Growler. Series 7 Semi-Finalist and Dutch Series 2 Heat Finalist.
Hades Extreme 2
Hammerhead 2 Series 7, Dutch Series 2 Flipper was mounted at the rear, forming the robot's 'flipping tail'.
Hard Series 7
Henry 2 Series 4
Herbinator Series 7
Hodaf The Bad Series 7
Hydra Series 5-7, Extreme 2 Used in tandem with a hammer from Series 6 onwards. Series 6 Heat Finalist and Extreme 2 Tag Team Terror runner-up, paired with Barbaric Response.
Iron-Awe Series 6-7, 10, Extreme 2 Iron-Awe 2 and Iron-Awe 2.1 had a front flipper combined with an axe, while Iron-Awe 6 had only a flipper. The flipper of Iron-Awe 6 worked in none of its televised fights.
Judge Shred Series 4, 6-7, Extreme 1
Juggernot 2 Series 5
Ka-Pow! Series 8 (pilot) Competed in pilot episode only.
Kronic the Wedgehog Series 4-7 Only the front weapon was a rear hinged flipper. A second, side-hinged flipper was added between Series 5 and 7.
Killer Carrot 2 Series 6-7, Extreme 2
Legion Extreme 1 Clusterbot, with a similar shape to Gemini.
Leveller 2 Series 7
M2 Series 7 Threw two robots out of the arena in its first battle. Series 7 Semi-Finalist.
Mace 2 Series 3 Upgraded from an electric lifter to a pneumatic flipping arm.
Mad Dog Extreme 2
Mastiff Extreme 1
Matilda Series 1-10, Extreme 1-2, US Seasons 1-2, Nickelodeon, Dutch Series 1-2, German Series Throughout the original run, Matilda used a set of individual tusks, flipping within the bodyshell. From 2016 onwards, her tusks and head were combined into a front assembly forming a conventional flipper.
Maverick Series 4
Mechaniac Series 7
Mega Morg Series 7
Meggamouse Series 9 Capable of flipping 300kg. Also features a cheese-themed minibot called Charles.
Merlin Series 8 (pilot) Competed in the pilot episode only.
Mini Morg Extreme 2
Night Raider Extreme 2
Oblark Extreme 1 Flipping arm paired with an axe.
ODT-Zero Dutch Series 2
Or Te Series 8 Successor to Bigger Brother.
Philipper Extreme 2, Dutch Series 2 Armed with a front flipper and rear crusher. Previously used two lifters in Extreme and Dutch Series 1.
Prince of Awe Series 7 Series 7 Featherweight Finalist.
Prizephita Series 3-5 Competed in Series 4 as Prizephita Mk 2, and in Series 5 as Prizephita Mach 2. Withdrew from Series 8 as Prizephita Mk 3.
Project One Dutch Series 1 Paired with an axe.
Project Two: Hex'em Dutch Series 2 One-wheel drive.
Raging Knightmare Series 7 Series 7 Semi-Finalist.
Raging Reality Series 6, Extreme 2 Achieved two of the six out-of-the-arena flips by competitors in Series 6.
Raizer Blade Series 3-4
Rapid Series 9-10 Exerts seven tonnes of force, the most powerful flipper in Robot Wars. Reportedly threw a van one metre into the air. Series 10 Grand Finalist.
Reactor Series 4-5 Flipper also doubled as a clamp, leading the team to coin the phrase "Flamp".
Reaper Series 8 (pilot) Replica of The Grim Reaper. Competed only in the untelevised 2016 pilot.
Reptirron The Second Series 6-7
Revenge of Trouble & Strife Series 6-7, Extreme 2 Combined with a full-body spinner.
Rhino Series 7
Rick Series 5, 7, Extreme 2, Nickelodeon Nickelodeon Tag-Team Terror champion with Ming 3.
Rip Series 7 A scaled-down version of Ripper. Series 7 Featherweight Finalist.
Ripper Series 7
Robochicken Series 4-7, Extreme 2 Extreme 2 Tag Team Champion with Bulldog Breed. The flipper doubled as an axe in Series 7.
Robo Savage Series 8 Battle of the Stars only. Flipper design similar to BattleBots competitor Bronco
Roobarb Series 6-7, Extreme 2
Rusty Series 9 Low-pressure flipper with a hardened steel scoop blade.
Sater Dutch Series 1
Scraptosaur Series 7, Dutch Series 1-2 Dutch Series 2 Grand Finalist.
Sir Chromalot Series 5-6, Extreme 1-2 Featured a rear axe-like spike in Series 5, which was removed in Series 6 to allow the robot to self-right.
Sniper Dutch Series 1
Son of Armageddon German Series Finished third in the German series.
Spawn Again Series 5-7, Extreme 1-2, US Season 1 Series 5 and 6 Semi-Finalist.
St. Agro Series 6-7 A double sided double flipper, powered by a single pneumatic ram. Series 7 Semi-Finalist.
Stealth Series 3
Steg 2 Series 4 UK semi-finalist and successor to former Grand Finalist Steg-O-Saw-Us.
The Black Beast Dutch Series 2
The Gap US Season 2
The Grim Reaper Series 7 Heat winner in Series 7. Did not use a flipper in its Series 3 appearance.
The Hassocks Hog Series 6-7 Described as more of a lifter in Series 6, upgraded for Series 7.
Thermidor 2 Series 4-8, Extreme 1-2 Designed to resemble a lobster. First competitor to flip out two other robots in one battle. Series 4 and Series 7 Semi-Finalist.
The Swarm Series 10 Flipper belongs to Rubber Duck, one part of the four-part clusterbot. Capable of flipping a motorbike.
TR2 Series 8-9 Combined with a static axe at the rear in Series 8. Series 8 Grand Finalist. Appeared only in Battle of the Stars during Series 9.
Tricerabot 3.0 US Season 2 Capable of operating even when inverted. Runner-up in US Season 2. Did not use a flipper in US Season 1.
Trouble 'n' Strife Series 5
Tsunami Series 7, German Series German Series runner-up.
Turbulence Series 8 (pilot) Competed in pilot episode and Whiteboard battles only.
Twister (UK) Series 5
Vercingetorix Series 2-3
Weber Series 10 Represented Russia in Robot Wars: World Series.
Weld-Dor 3 Series 6, Extreme 2
Wheely Big Cheese Series 4-5, Extreme 1 Holder of the biggest flip in Robot Wars history, against Axe Awe. Series 4 and 5 Semi-Finalist.
Whipper Series 7 Featherweight Championship finalist.
X-Terminator 2 Series 4 Interchangeable with an axe, and proved the more effective weapon in battle. Series 4 Semi-Finalist with this weapon.
Zap Extreme 1
Zeus Extreme 2

ReferencesEdit

  1. Team Apocalypse Reddit AMA, 27th October 2017
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