Heat C of Robot Wars: The First Wars was the third of six heats which determined the Grand Finalists of Robot Wars: The First Wars. The episode featuring Heat C was originally broadcast on March 6, 1998 on BBC Two.

  • Just like Heats A and B, Heat C introduced some of the most famous Robot Wars names, namely in Team Chaos and Plunderbird.
  • Also like Heat A, a genuine competitor was defeated in the Gauntlet by a stock robot, in this case W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G..
  • The unreliability of Dreadnaut was seen in this episode, breaking down three times across the episode.
  • The heat final between Wedgehog and Robot the Bruce is ranked equal 19th in the Shortest Battles in UK Robot Wars, at 27 seconds.
  • This heat also marked the first appearances of a Rambot (Robot The Bruce) and a robot with interchangeable weaponry (Plunderbird).
  • During the Trial of this heat, Dead Metal had been adapted to be without his circular saw, the arm now possessing a large ball used for steering the ball away.

Competing robots

Weight 81.2kg
Dimensions 0.91m x 0.82m x 0.34m
Speed 15mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 0mm
Power 2 x Sinclair C5 motors
Weapons Circular saw
From: University of East London
Team Members: Phillip Martin, Martin Smith & Kanesh Lingham
Weight 92.6kg
Dimensions 1.45m x 0.92m x 0.75m
Speed 5mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 0mm
Power 12V Starter motor
Weapons Forklift
From: Nuneaton
Team Members: Ken Feltwell & David Vowles
Plunderbird 1
Weight 77.7kg
Dimensions 1.00m x 0.70m x 0.36m
Speed 7mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 8mm
Power 12V motor
Weapons Circular saw, steel spike
From: Bordon, Hampshire
Team Members: Mike Onslow, Bryan Kilburn & Jon Dilley
Robot the bruce.jpg
Robot The Bruce
Weight 84.6kg
Dimensions 0.82m x 0.52m x 0.37m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 50mm
Power 24V electric motor
Weapons Brute force
From: Ipswich
Team Members: George Francis & Mick Cutter
Weight 24kg
Dimensions 0.90m x 0.80m x 0.30m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 2mm
Power 2 x Electric motor
Weapons Pickaxe
From: London
Team Members: Chris Glaister, Joe Wentworth & Hugo Elias
Weight 10.8kg
Dimensions 0.80m x 0.57m x 0.20m
Speed 10mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 34mm
Power 10V motor
Weapons None
From: Edmonton
Team Members: Michelle Wheeley


Competing order: 1. Cruella 2. Dreadnaut 3. Plunderbird 1 4. WYSIWYG 5. Wedgehog 6. Robot the Bruce
Ranking Competing Robot Report Distance
Robot the bruce dead metal shunt.JPG
Robot The Bruce The final robot to take on the Gauntlet, Robot the Bruce took the House Robot route, pushing past Shunt and running into Dead Metal. With Dead Metal obstructing it, Robot the Bruce merely pushed Dead Metal into the endzone, shrugged it to one side, and cleared the Gauntlet.
"Now, of all the driving I've seen in here, that's just about the best"
— Jeremy Clarkson
Dreadnaut Its huge weight gave it an advantage right from the start and it managed to force its way past Shunt. It ploughed through the skittles, and ran into Dead Metal. The House Robot tried to trap Dreadnaut against Shunt, but Dreadnaut forced its way through and took the opening to clear the Gauntlet. Completed
Wedgehog Wedgehog took on the maze, successfully traversing the early stages and only catching itself on the side wall once or twice. Exiting the maze, Shunt pushed the drill box towards Wedgehog, but it diverted around the springs and grille to avoid them. It seemed clear to take the endzone, but the five spikes raised as it drove forward, lifting the drive wheel off the ground, and leaving Wedgehog unable to cross the finish line. 13.23m
Cruella Cruella lunged free of the turntable and Shunt blocked the left-hand route. Shunt retreated and Cruella seized the opportunity, darting around Shunt and into the route. However, it took time to knock down the skittles, not taking the clear path to the end. Shunt caught Cruella again and pushed it into the pyramids, before the end of the run. 10.15m
WYSIWYG WYSIWYG charged out of the starting turn-table, and rammed into the bars of the maze, and then beached itself on the ramp. Shunt came across, and caught itself as well. Dead Metal eventually came across and freed both robots, but by the time Shunt was free, WYSIWYG was darting through the maze. However, in the last few seconds, WYSIWYG reversed back to near the start, losing all of its gained distance. 5.55m
Plunderbird shunt.JPG
Plunderbird 1 Just like Cruella and Dreadnaut, Plunderbird attempted to take the House Robot route. However, without Cruella's control or Dreadnaut's power, Plunderbird was unable to gain purchase on Shunt, and was trapped between the House Robot, the ramp, and a pyramid. Shunt repeatedly struck with his axe, and cease was called, with Plunderbird having travelled a minuscule distance.
"Plunderbird? Blunderbird! One, two, in, out...and Plunderbird is being hacked, and is on the rack"
— Jonathan Pearce as Shunt attacks Plunderbird
Eliminated: Plunderbird 1
Dreadnaut breakdown.JPG

Immediately after its Gauntlet run, Dreadnaut started smoking. Dave and Ken ran down into the arena and clipped circuits, before hosing Dreadnaut down with a fire extinguisher. Safely returned to the pits, the team had to rewire Dreadnaut in order to avoid disqualification. After all robots had run the Gauntlet, Plunderbird 1 was set to be eliminated, but doubt remained as to whether Dreadnaut would recover.

Philippa Forrester: "Guys, that was very nearly Plunderbirds are not go."
Mike Onslow: "Yeah, well we don't want to win by someone else's misfortune. It doesn't make us happy to be through because someone else blew up."
— After Plunderbird's Gauntlet run

Ultimately, Dreadnaut had to abandon its drive motor and convert the forklift motor to act as the drive, leaving Dreadnaut weapon-less, but still active. It also meant that Plunderbird 1 was out.

Trials (Football)

Robot the Bruce scores the first goal

1. Robot The Bruce - 1st Goal - Robot The Bruce, Wedgehog and WYSIWYG had all added panels to the front to help them control the football. Robot The Bruce was first to get the ball but succeeded only in pushing it into the side. Dreadnaut got a touch but Wedgehog was the first to make an attempt on goal, which was saved by Dead Metal. Wedgehog recovered the ball but Robot The Bruce took it off the lightweight and pushed it into the goal.

2. Wedgehog - 2nd Goal - Cruella and Wedgehog fought over the ball whilst Dreadnaut seemed to be trying to prevent Wedgehog from scoring.

"Look at that! Get out of the way Dreadnaut. What is Dreadnaut doing? I think Dreadnaut's a bit of a goal hanger here."
— Jonathan Pearce

Wedgehog managed to shake off Cruella and take it to the far right of the goal before Dead Metal moved across and put the ball in. Because Wedgehog had the last touch the goal was given to them.

"Can he finish? It's an open goal, you've got to score, here...but who did score?"
— Jonathan Pearce as Dead Metal shoves the ball into the goal.

Cruella puts the third goal in

3. Cruella - 3rd Goal - Cruella and WYSIWYG fought for the ball whilst Dreadnaut remained immobile.

"Now, I'm not too sure if Dreadnaut is goal-hanging, I think he's suffering a reoccurence of that old injury."
— Jonathan Pearce

WYSIWYG decided to tackle Dead Metal and immediately paid for it as Dead Metal slammed it against the post and it stopped dead. With two robots out Cruella had little difficulty putting it into the net.

4. Dreadnaut - Most touches of the ball - Both WYSIWYG and Dreadnaut had failed to score due to both robots breaking down, but Dreadnaut was judged to be the more possessive player so it was allowed to continue.

Eliminated: WYSIWYG



Robot The Bruce vs Cruella

Robot the Bruce drives up onto Cruella

"It's the box against the wedge, no weapons on board either."
— Jonathan Pearce

Cruella started reasonably, using its wedge to get beneath Robot the Bruce twice, but unable to push it on its side. Cruella spun, trying to deflect Robot the Bruce's charge, but it failed in this, and Robot the Bruce slammed into Cruella's side. It then pushed it, but Cruella escaped, and used its wedge again, but failed to tip its foe over. Robot the Bruce reversed up Cruella twice more, but then Cruella turned and drove onto a grille, immobilising itself instantly.

"Oh! That's suicide! What on earth is Phillip Martin doing? He's on the grille, he won't get off there now."
— Jonathan Pearce

Winner: Robot The Bruce

Dreadnaut vs Wedgehog

Shunt drags both robots away from the grille

"Dreadnaut, the big slug, against Wedgehog, the piece of cheese."
— Jonathan Pearce

Dreadnaut had a huge weight advantage, and would be assured victory if its motors remained cool.

Both robots drove forward, and bumped into each other, not attacking properly. Dreadnaut rammed Wedgehog and crumpled its side armour, whilst Sergeant Bash attempted to intervene, but his saw snapped off just as it did against Killertron. Meanwhile, Dreadnaut had skewered itself to its foe, and attempted to finish the match by pushing it onto a grille. It succeeded, but could not release it. Shunt pushed Dreadnaut away, dragging Wedgehog to safety in the process. After intervention from Matilda, Wedgehog pulled free, but Dreadnaut had broken down, notable from smoke billowing out of it.

"There's smoke from Dreadnaut! Its gone again - the engine! This is surely Wedgehog's Semi-Final now!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Cease was called, and Dreadnaut, after its third breakdown, was finally eliminated.

Winner: Wedgehog


Robot The Bruce vs Wedgehog

Robot the Bruce rams Wedgehog onto the grille

Before the fight, the Wedgehog team said that their only hope for a victory was for Robot The Bruce to run up its wedge-shaped front and roll over, as Robot The Bruce weighed four times as much as Wedgehog and had thick armour that would protect it from Wedgehog's weaponry.

Philippa Forrester: "Are you nervous at all?"
George Francis: "A little bit. I didn't do too well against the last wedge one, it took a little bit of doing."
— Team Chaos learns from over-confidence
"Get in your boxes, and do fighting! Though God knows how, with a see-through box..."
— Jeremy Clarkson before the fight begins

Robot the Bruce ran into Wedgehog, and side by side, they spun around in circles. Robot the Bruce ran into Wedgehog broadside, and pushed it effortlessly across the arena and onto a grille.

"It could all be over very, very quickly. He's on the grille...I don't think he's gonna get out of there. Are you sure to take on a grille with that thing?"
— Jonathan Pearce after Wedgehog gets shunted onto a grid.

Whilst Matilda and Bash attacked, Robot the Bruce challenged Shunt. Cease was then called and Robot The Bruce was declared the obvious winner.

"Matilda's in, looking for a few scraps, as usual, Shunt takes on Robot the Bruce, but I think it's too little too late! Robot the Bruce is the winner!"
— Jonathan Pearce as the fight ends.

Heat Winner: Robot The Bruce

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