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"It's called Recyclopse because it's made entirely out of recycled materials, from scrapyards. It has a quite lethal weapon, which comes out and then flips up."
— Rex Garrod

Recyclopse was the first robot from Team Cassius, which was entered in Series 1. It was notable as the first competitor to use a flipping weapon of any kind, as well as to flip another robot over with an active weapon, doing so to House Robot Matilda.

In its only series, Recyclopse reached the Grand Final after winning its Heat Final through a controversial judges' decision against Mortis. However, it became immobilised there after one of its drive chains broke following an attack by Roadblock, and lost the First Wars to the latter.


Official image of Recyclopse

Recyclopse was a black dome-shaped machine with a pneumatic steel wedge "tongue" that would shoot out of the front of the robot, with a reach of over 90cm, and flip its opponents over.

"The shape of Recyclops {sic} was another good point as its hemispherical glass fiber shell meant that if any pointy weapons had been used that would just have glanced off or just absorbed the energy."
— Oliver Steeples on the Griffon website[1]

Recyclopse in the arena for the Heat Final

Recyclopse from the top in the Grand Final

Recyclopse was made almost entirely of recycled materials, with the only thing purchased being the wheels. As a result, Recyclopse was the first robot to appear on the show that cost less than £100. The domed shape defended Recyclopse well against pointed attacks, but the robot was quite unreliable as its drive chain, which was originally a bike chain, kept slipping. Due to this, Recyclopse broke down in three of its five appearances.

At 79.5kg, Recyclopse was just 0.1kg over the original Heavyweight weight limit.

The Team[]

Main article: Team Cassius

The team with Recyclopse

Recyclopse was entered by the Mickfield-based duo of Rex Garrod and Simon West. The team captain Rex Garrod was the driver of Recyclopse, with Simon West assisting in repairs of the machine. George Francis of Team Chaos also assisted in constructing the robot, and likewise, Rex Garrod helped to build their machine Robot The Bruce. Prior to Robot Wars, Rex Garrod was best-known for presenting the TV show The Secret Life of Machines, and for building Brum, an artificially intelligent self-driven car, which was the star of its own TV series.


Recyclopse's name was a portmanteau using the words "recycle" and "Cyclops". The "recycl-" part of the name was a reference to the fact the robot was built from recycled materials, whilst the "-cyclopse" part of the name came from the Cyclops monsters from Greek mythology, which were a race of one-eyed giants. Recyclopse was designed with one large eye in keeping with this theme.


Rex Garrod talking about Recyclopse during the auditions

Recyclopse attended the Series 1 auditions alongside all other fellow Series 1 competitors, four weeks before filming. Recyclopse was complete by the time it attended the auditions with Rex Garrod detailing the specs and how it works to producers and inspectors. However, the batteries had worn out and died meaning Recyclopse was unlikely able to perform in the makeshift labyrith or perform any other task involving the robot.

Robot History[]

Series 1[]

Recyclopse in the Gauntlet stage

At the Gauntlet stage, Recyclopse first went for the ramp, but as soon as it tried to go up, the tongue got stuck, so Recyclopse reversed to take another route. As Recyclopse turned, Shunt came in, but Recyclopse pushed past it and drove down the House Robot route, but was blocked by Sergeant Bash. Shunt came in behind, trapping Recyclopse. Recyclopse tried to use its tongue to push Bash out of the way, but this pushed itself back. However, Sergeant Bash reversed, allowing Recyclopse to charge down the course, its tongue still sticking out as Bash chased it. Matilda was waiting by the finish line, but she could do little to stop Recyclopse, which pushed past the House Robot to complete the Gauntlet.

Jeremy Clarkson: "Well you were confident before you started, now you must be feeling even better."
Rex Garrod: "Not really, I wanted one of them to go over."
Jeremy Clarkson: "You wanted one of our House Robots over?"
Rex Garrod: "Well that's the game, isn't it?"
Jeremy Clarkson: "It's a game, but it's also impossible!"
— The ironic post-Gauntlet interview

Having completed the Gauntlet in the fastest time, Recyclopse came first on the leader board.

In the Trial, the five remaining robots played the robot version of British Bulldog.

Recyclopse is the first to flip a House Robot

Recyclopse started by steadily driving forward, veering to the left side of the arena. However, as it approached the pyramid, it ground to a halt and stopped before passing the pyramid. Recyclopse fired out its tongue as Matilda came in. Matilda nudged it a little, then left it. After being attacked by Mortis, which had crossed the line first, Matilda came back to attack Recyclopse, ramming it a couple of times. Matilda became stuck on the tongue of Recyclopse, and Mortis reversed into Matilda and pushed it fully onto the tongue, allowing Recyclopse to flip the House Robot over, the first time a competitor managed to flip over a House Robot with an active weapon. Despite being immobile, Recyclopse's progress was still enough to go through to the Arena stage, as Detonator had barely moved from its starting position due to battery failure.

Jeremy Clarkson: "You! You! You hurt one of my pets!"
Rex Garrod: "I'm pleased!"
Jeremy Clarkson: "I'm not pleased! It's got a good weapon on it, though."
Rex Garrod: "Quite good, quite good."
— The post-Trial interview

After the Trial, it was revealed that Recyclopse had stopped moving due to a broken chain.

In the Arena stage, Recyclopse was drawn against Scrapper.

Philippa Forrester: "Who don't you want to be pitched against for your final battle?"
Rex Garrod: "It doesn't worry me!"
Philippa Forrester: "It doesn't worry you? That's the voice of confidence!"
Rex Garrod: "It's just fun!"
Philippa Forrester: "Let me just say, it's Scrapper."
Rex Garrod: "Oh, it's Scrapper? Oh dear."
— The pre-battle interview (a deleted scene that was included in The First Great War video[2]

Recyclopse topples Scrapper

The two robots slowly moved towards each other. As Scrapper closed in, it turned on the spot, and when it got close to its opponent, it swerved past it. As Scrapper turned around, Recyclopse reversed to get in a good position to charge straight at Scrapper, but in doing so, it drove close to the CPZ. Dead Metal came out, hitting Recyclopse with its claws, then turning to hit it with the scorpion tail. Scrapper turned to attack Recyclopse, but turned too far and exposed its side to its opponent. Recyclopse shot forward, turning Scrapper on its side using its body, rather than its flipper.

"You stick your tongue out at me and I'll wink at you! Very nice, indeed, as the two robots come together. Manoeuvring for position at the moment. Don't go broadside- Oh, no, no, no, you shouldn't have done that! Broadside and the tongue came out!"
— Jonathan Pearce's entire commentary in the fight.

The battle lasted just fifteen seconds.

"Oh well, that's a pity, I wish I could have had a bit of a better fight, really."
— Rex Garrod after the battle

In the Heat Final, Recyclopse fought Mortis. Before the final, Mortis' main shaft for the axe broke, leaving the axe useless. The team altered Mortis to act as a battering ram.

"I think I can out-push Mortis, I've got to get the tongue in the right place. I had to make mine rather theatrical, so it looked nice, but it's not really in the right place!"
— Rex Garrod before the fight

Mortis forces Recyclopse around the arena

Both robots jumped into action, but neither attacked the other during the opening moments. Mortis dodged Recyclopse's charge, and then reversed into the round robot, pushing past it. Mortis drove away from Recyclopse, driving down to the bottom of the arena, driving over the edge of Matilda's CPZ as it turned around. Recyclopse followed Mortis, and in doing so, drove into Matilda's CPZ. It managed to reverse out before Matilda attacked, but as it turned to attack Mortis, it drove through the CPZ, and the House Robot pushed Recyclopse out of the CPZ but did not attack further. Meanwhile, Mortis reversed past Matilda, but became impaled on the spikes in Matilda's CPZ. Mortis was sliced by Matilda's chainsaw and bumped by the spikes. Recyclopse came in to try and get under Mortis using its pneumatic tongue, but it found it difficult due to the spikes, and Mortis escaped. It rammed Recyclopse from the rear and drove beneath it, piggybacking it around the arena, and dropping it since Recyclopse's defensive round body helped to cancel out the attack.

"Good defensive work by Recyclopse, holding on there. Rex Garrod managing to spin away, good work by him!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Mortis rams Recyclopse into the side wall

Recyclopse tried to ram Mortis, but could not move it. Mortis drove away, and the two then clashed head-on in the arena centre. Recyclopse's first charge against Mortis did nothing, so it reversed before coming in for another charge, this time with the tongue extended. However, Recyclopse missed as it charged at Mortis, and Mortis got underneath and rammed Recyclopse into the side wall. However, Shunt pushed Mortis onto the sidebars where it became stuck. Recyclopse tried to escape from the wedge of Mortis and managed to move forward, but the tongue was fully extended, so Recyclopse could not get down. Shunt axed Mortis just as cease was called. The match went to the judges, who voted in favour of Recyclopse. This decision was popular in the pits, but Random Violence Technologies strongly disagreed with it.

"They're not working - we're working. We pushed them out, we had all the attacks, and we think we should've won."
— Chris Sorsby
"We could not really see a way to decide and kept asking for it to be a draw. But, in those days draws were not allowed and so we were forced to make a decision with a very aggressive crowd screaming in our ears and pushing us into the barriers. We decided on Recyclopse but none of us felt good about it."
— Noel Sharkey

Recyclopse was through to the Grand Final, where it fought Roadblock, Robot The Bruce, Cunning Plan, Bodyhammer and T.R.A.C.I.E..

"From Heat 2, Recyclopse with the extending tongue, licking all opponents!"
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Recyclopse for the Grand Final

Roadblock rams the speared Recyclopse

Roadblock pushes Recyclopse around

Recyclopse started by driving at Bodyhammer, but Bodyhammer merely drove past, and Recyclopse was speared by T.R.A.C.I.E. Roadblock came in, pushing Recyclopse a little, before T.R.A.C.I.E dragged Recyclopse into a CPZ at the top of the arena. Recyclopse got free of T.R.A.C.I.E's spears, and after driving back and forth at the other competitors that were fighting, chased after Bodyhammer, managing to get its tongue under the Cold Fusion Team's robot. Bodyhammer got off the tongue after being pushed into Roadblock, and Robot The Bruce charged at Recyclopse. Roadblock got under Recyclopse and pushed it around the arena. As Recyclopse was being pushed, Bodyhammer drove into it whilst it was trying to get away from Robot The Bruce. Robot the Bruce chased after Bodyhammer, driving under Recyclopse as it did, and despite knocking it up, did not get Recyclopse off the wedge. Roadblock continued to push Recyclopse, so Recyclopse extended its tongue, and managed to get free of the ramp. Roadblock still pushed Recyclopse by the tongue, pushing it towards a CPZ at the top of the arena. Recyclopse reversed away, but suddenly the chain came off, leaving Recyclopse immobile.

"There's the chain off Recyclopse! And that attack by Roadblock had paid off, Recyclopse is out!"
— Jonathan Pearce

The battle eventually went to a judges' decision, but having been immobilised, Recyclopse was not considered for the decision, which was won by Roadblock.


Series 1
The First Wars - UK Championship
Grand Finalist
Heat B, Gauntlet Completed (1st) Qualified
Heat B, Trial (British Bulldog) Halfway (4th) Qualified
Heat B, Semi-Final vs. Scrapper Won
Heat B, Final vs. Mortis Won
Grand Final vs. Bodyhammer, Cunning Plan, Roadblock, Robot The Bruce, T.R.A.C.I.E. Lost


  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 1

NOTE: Recyclopse's Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included

Series Record[]

Series Recyclopse Series Record
The First Wars Grand Final
The Second Wars Entered with Cassius
The Third Wars Entered with Cassius 2
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter


Outside Robot Wars[]

Recyclopse's shell after being retired

Rex Garrod shows the pump Recyclopse's shell covered

Recyclopse was retired after The First Wars, with a good deal of its electronics being recycled into Rex Garrod's next entry, the similarly successful Cassius, and the shell was used to cover the water pump at the bottom of Rex Garrod's garden for a while, before being moved to Garrod's workshop, where it sits alongside all three versions of Cassius.

Beetleweight Recylopse built by Team Asimov's Loophole

In August 2020, roboteering group Asimov's Loophole built a beetleweight replica of Recylopse in tribute to Rex Garrod. The replica includes a glowing eye and functional double flip action.


  • Recyclopse was the first of nine robots to have flipped Matilda. The others were Chaos 2, Cassius, Panic Attack, Inquisitor Mk 2, Facet, Steg 2, Tricerabot and Apollo.
  • Recyclopse is one of 23 robots to have completed The Gauntlet.
  • Recyclopse's Heat Final battle against Mortis was the first to have gone to a Judges' decision. Incidentally, the aforementioned decision was the first to end in controversy.
  • Recyclopse was the only robot to lose a Grand Final due to a breakdown or mechanical/technical issue. Robot the Bruce and Hypno-Disc were overturned, T.R.A.C.I.E. and Cunning Plan got stuck together, Cassius was pitted, Eruption was immobilised through damage inflicted by Carbide, and all others lost on judges' decisions.
  • Unlike Cassius Recyclopse's loss didn't involve a pitting.


First robot to flip a House Robot over
Pioneer of the Front-hinged flipper