- "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
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.
Definition[edit | edit source]
- 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 Disadvantages[edit | edit source]
- "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
- 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 immobilize 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 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 flippers 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 skillful 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 Flippers[edit | edit source]
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|
|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.|
|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.|
|Barbaric Response||Series 6-7, Extreme 2||Pneumatically-operated weapon was described as a 'body flipper' and could act as a srimech.|
|Beast||Series 5, 7-8||Known as 8645T in Series 5 and 8645T 2 in Series 7, where the flipper was combined with a long rear axe. Used only a full pressure flipper in Series 8 as Beast.|
|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 a pneumatic axe or spike. 200psi flipping arm not used in battle.|
|Centurion||Series 4||Replaced a lifter.|
|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.|
|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 X3||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.|
|Hammerhead 2||Series 7, Dutch Series 2||Flipper was mounted at the rear, forming the robot's 'flipping tail'.|
|Henry 2||Series 4|
|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 failed to work in any 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|
|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.|
|Mega Morg||Series 7|
|Meggamouse||Series 9||Capable of flipping 300kg. It 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 Mk2, 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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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|
|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.|
|√3²||Dutch Series 2||Elevation, a third of the three-way clusterbot, was armed with a pneumatic flipping arm.|
References[edit | edit source]