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Episode 1 of Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars was the first of two Christmas specials, aired in 2016, filmed as part of Series 9. In it, four celebrities were mentored by four veterans of the previous series of Robot Wars to enter robots of their own design, built by Robo Challenge, and battle each other's robots.

CompetitorsEdit

Arena Cleaner
Arena Cleaner
Attack Bar spinner
Armour 3mm hardened steel, 2mm steel
Weight 103kg
Speed 10mph
Drive 2x NPC Geared Motors
Power Electric
Battery LiPo 8s
From: Eastleigh
Team: Scott Mills, Chris Stark, Dave Moulds
Interstellar: MML
Interstellar
Attack Front-hinge flipper
Armour 6mm hardened steel, 2mm steel
Weight 102kg
Speed 11mph
Drive 2x NPC Geared Motors
Power Electric
Battery LiPo 8s
From: London
Team: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Martin Pocock, Lauren Aderin-Pocock, Shane Swan
JAR
Jarbot
Attack Hammer
Armour 6mm hardened steel, 3mm steel
Weight 109kg
Speed 11mph
Drive 2x NPC Geared Motors
Power Electric
Battery LiPo 8s
From: Leeds
Team: Jonathan Brownlee, Alistair Brownlee, Gabriel Stroud
The Cat
Thecat
Attack Horizontal spinner
Armour 6mm hardened steel, 3mm steel
Weight 110kg
Speed 10mph
Drive 2x NPC Geared Motors
Power Electric
Battery LiPo 8s
From: Cosford
Team: Suzi Perry, Dallas Campbell, Craig Danby

BattlesEdit

Arena Cleaner vs Interstellar: MMLEdit

"The anticipation is killing me!"
— Dr Maggie before the battle.
Arena cleaner vs interstellar

Arena Cleaner shreds Interstellar's wheel

Arena cleaner vs interstellar.2

Arena Cleaner inflicts further damage

Arena Cleaner stayed still as it spun its bar up to speed. Interstellar: MML cagily moved forwards, and aimed to slide underneath Arena Cleaner, but missed. Interstellar: MML exposed its side to Arena Cleaner, which drove forwards, and hit Interstellar: MML's wheel, ripping the tyre straight off. Arena Cleaner turned to face Interstellar: MML and hit the flipper with its spinning weapon once again, before turning around and driving at speed into the back of Interstellar: MML - ripping the other wheel clean off, and sending the grey flipper whirling across the Arena floor.

Arena Cleaner vs Interstellar

Shunt axes Interstellar: MML

While immobilised, Arena Cleaner raced in for one last attack, causing great damage to the side of Interstellar: MML, before Shunt moved in to puncture a hole in Interstellar: MML's flipper with his axe.

"We're just inspecting the damage, and there isn't any!"
— Scott Mills assesses the situation after Arena Cleaner's impressive debut

Winner: Arena Cleaner via KO (3 points)

JAR vs The CatEdit

The Cat vs JAR

JAR flings itself in the air

JAR wobbled across the Arena, while The Cat stayed back, using the time to spin up its disc. JAR moved in and drove into the side of The Cat, trying to use the hammer. It took two attempts to fire the hammer, by which time The Cat had glanced the plough on JAR and driven off. JAR reset its hammer, making the robot jump, but it seemed to stop moving.

"They are so competitive, the Brownlees, but they're in trouble. They're not moving."
— Jonathan Pearce

JAR tried firing the hammer a few times, but it was still immobilised. Cease was called, and Sir Killalot lifted JAR up, where a CO2 canister fell out.

Winner: The Cat via KO (3 points)

Arena Cleaner vs The CatEdit

Arena cleaner vs the cat remains

The wheel of Arena Cleaner is shredded

The Cat moved in scoop first towards the blade of Arena Cleaner, as they both spun their weapons up. Both turned away from each other, with Arena Cleaner's bar coming dangerously close to the wheel of The Cat. The two robots moved close to each other, and started brandishing their weapons to each other. Arena Cleaner mistimed an attack, striking the main weapon shaft of The Cat, but exposing its wheel, which was annihilated by The Cat's disc. Arena Cleaner spun into immobilisation, as The Cat came in for a second attack, claiming all three points.

Shunt flipped Arena Cleaner into the wall and repeatedly hit it with his axe - compounding the defeat for Scott Mills and Chris Stark.

"Two of the biggest spinners we've ever seen on Robot Wars, we knew sparks would fly!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Winner: The Cat via KO (3 points)

Interstellar: MML vs JAREdit

"Have Interstellar banished the bent bits?"
— Jonathan Pearce
Jar vs interstellar

Interstellar: MML avoids JAR's hammer

Having turned down the power of the axe, JAR were hoping to avoid killing itself with the power of the weapon itself. The two met in the middle of the arena, but Interstellar: MML moved out of the reach of JAR's hammer. Interstellar: MML stayed near to JAR, but didn't make any meaningful attacks, while JAR was firing the hammer multiple times. One on occasion, one of the rear castor wheels shattered. Interstellar: MML moved in and tried to flip JAR, but missed. JAR manoeuvred itself into the side of Interstellar: MML and attacked a wheel.

Jar vs interstellar 2

JAR strikes Interstellar: MML

JAR stayed back before making a more measured move towards Interstellar: MML, smacking the hammer into the flipper. Interstellar: MML escaped over the flame pit, but JAR drove towards them and scored another hammer blow on the flipper, before pinning them in the corner.

"We've lost our gas"
— Gabriel Stroud, as gas vents from the CO2 canister
Jar vs Interstellar MML

JAR loses its CO2

As the hammer was fired on JAR, the shock from it reaching full extension knocked a filled Fire Extinguisher loose, rending the axe useless. Interstellar: MML was pushed into a CPZ, where Matilda started ramming them. One wheel stopped working, so Interstellar: MML was impaired and unable to move forwards. JAR stayed mobile and attacked, but Cease was called.

Winner: JAR via Judges' Decision (2 points)

Interstellar: MML vs The CatEdit

Interstellar MML vs The Cat

The Cat collides with Sir Killalot

Interstellar vs the cat

Interstellar: MML flips The Cat

The Cat weaved away as Interstellar: MML moved in to spin up its disc. They collided, and the disc rode up the flipper of Interstellar: MML. The Cat whizzed away into Sir Killalot's CPZ and smacked into Killalot's claw, damaging it, but throwing The Cat into the air in recoil. Sir Killalot retaliated by trying to drive over The Cat, which had already stopped working, and Interstellar: MML picked up its first win.

"Well, were they overconfident? They went into Sir Killalot's territory, and they are out of this one."
— Jonathan Pearce

After Cease was called, Interstellar pressed the pit release button, shoved The Cat into the corner, and flipped it onto the wall.

Winner: Interstellar: MML via KO (3 points)

Arena Cleaner vs JAREdit

Jar vs arena cleaner OHKO

Arena Cleaner's one hit KO

"We know what we've got to do to make the final, we've just got to beat two of the UK's finest athletes!"
— Chris Stark assesses the odds against Arena Cleaner before the battle.

JAR moved away, allowing Arena Cleaner to spin up its weapon. The bar made contact with JAR's front scoop, which caused the hammer-wielding robot to stop. Arena Cleaner grazed the side of JAR multiple times before Cease was called.

"JAR - patched up - is in trouble."
— Jonathan Pearce
Arena Cleaner vs Shunt

Damage to Shunt caused by Arena Cleaner

Not content with damaging JAR, Arena Cleaner charged in and smacked the side of Shunt, damaging the wheel-guards, before a second attack on the rear scoop left Shunt with a large gash in the side. Shunt appeared to be immobilised by this, and Arena Cleaner had won the battle by knockout, convincingly.

It was later revealed[1] that there was a twenty-minute period between JAR and Arena Cleaner entering the arena, and the battle starting. During this time, JAR's safety link was removed, and reinserted by the Robot Wars crew incorrectly.

Winner: Arena Cleaner via KO (3 points)

Final TableEdit

Robot Points
The Cat 6
Arena Cleaner 6
Interstellar: MML 3
JAR 2


Exhibition battleEdit

Behemoth (Angela Scanlon) vs TR2 (Dara Ó Briain)Edit

An exhibition match was shown prior to the Grand Final, which saw the presenters of the show, Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon, drive TR2 and Behemoth respectively.

Behemoth vs tr2

TR2 throws Behemoth towards the pit release

Behemoth moved before Activate was called, but after missing TR2, fired the scoop and flipped itself up. Behemoth stayed still for a short amount of time, so TR2 drove underneath and flipped Behemoth high into the air. Behemoth landed on its wheels and reversed at speed into the side walls.

"You're careering wildly!"
— Dara assesses Angela's not-so elegant driving style.
Behemoth vs tr2 2

TR2 continues to flip Behemoth

Behemoth tried to open the pit, but it took a few attempts to actually hit the button. TR2 followed up by getting right underneath Behemoth and tossing it into the side wall again, propping Angela's robot on its rear end.

Behemoth spent a while trying to right itself, so Dara used the opportunity to spin TR2 on the spot, as a premature victory dance. Behemoth eventually righted itself and tried to attack TR2, missing with the scoop. Behemoth again fired the scoop at the wrong time, lifting up, and eventually rolling over after coming crashing down on TR2's wedged side.

Behemoth vs tr2 3

Behemoth lands on TR2's flipper and is launched

TR2 drove at Behemoth, who was the higher robot, and Angela's robot took off over the ramp. Behemoth once again flipped at the wrong time, so TR2 waited patiently for Behemoth to fall onto its flipper, before sending the scooper cartwheeling across the Arena.

Behemoth vs TR2

Dara allows Angela to flip TR2

As an act of sportsmanship, Dara stopped TR2 to allow Behemoth to get in a successful flip. TR2 was flipped, but easily self-righted. As they closed up again, Cease was called.

"Don't quit the day job"
— Jonathan Pearce, obviously unimpressed with their driving

Outside of the televised broadcast, the battle continued for another minute, until Angela Scanlon misjudged a charge and Behemoth fell in the pit. The match had no official winner, although the crowd favoured TR2.

Winner: No winner declared

Grand FinalEdit

Arena Cleaner vs The CatEdit

Arena Cleaner vs The Cat

The Cat's wheel is easily removed

The Cat entered the Arena after an extensively bodged rebuild on the whole weapon mechanism. Both robots spun up, with The Cat again presenting its wedge for Arena Cleaner to hit. Arena Cleaner smacked into the side of The Cat, grazing a wheel. Arena Cleaner returned and clipped the other wheel, the impact causing the originally damaged tyre to fall off, leaving The Cat severely hobbled. The Cat spun on the spot, mainly due to the gyroscopic force from the spinning blade. Arena Cleaner hung just out of reach and waited for The Cat to be in the right position. As the other wheel presented itself, Arena Cleaner slammed in and stopped the other wheel.

Arena Cleaner vs Cat

Arena Cleaner ensures a knockout

"Arena Cleaner, the more aggressive and the more mobile, and coming in slowly, in a measured way."
— Jonathan Pearce

At this point, The Cat was only moving because of the disc. Arena Cleaner hung about, and the two weapons collided, to no real effect. Arena Cleaner scored a few more hits on the rear wedge, before turning and finally removing The Cat's other tyre.

"Arena Cleaner has done it - they are a Robot Wars Celebrity champion!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Sir Killalot vs The Cat

Sir Killalot toasts the cat...

Sir Killalot vs Arena Cleaner

...and dispatches of the champion.

With The Cat completely immobile, Sir Killalot grabbed The Cat and cooked it on the fire pit, before spinning and throwing it, in a move Suzi Perry described as 'illegal'. Arena Cleaner turned off its bar spinner and started trying to chase and attack Sir Killalot, before the House Robot picked up the new champion and dumped it in the pit.

Winner: Arena Cleaner

TriviaEdit

BOTS Celebs

The celebrities from Episode 1

  • Three of the four competitors in this episode were first revealed on Christmas Day, in a Make it Digital article released by the BBC.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://soundcloud.com/insidethebot/5th-january-2017-robot-wars-christmas-specials-ft-will-bales
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