- "Oh way out, man, it's got holograms"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Roobarb enters Series 6
Roobarb was a robot that competed in Series 6 and 7 of Robot Wars, as well as the New Blood Championship in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme. It was eliminated in the first round in Series 6, and the second round in Series 7, but reached the Heat Final in its New Blood Heat, losing to Mute.
- "We are a team of three printers from Twickenham, Middlesex who had been talking for two years about building a robot for Robot Wars, and finally got it together to actually do it. The three of us have little electronics or engineering experience, but we do have a great deal of enthusiasm, and by asking questions to people who have the required skills and learning from them, we have been able to undertake this project."
- — Team Roobarb website
Roobarb was a steep wedge-shaped robot armed with a low pressure pneumatic flipper equipped with two ramming spikes at the top and a square flipping plate, which gave it a passing resemblance to Bigger Brother. It featured a steel frame with polycarbonate armour backed with "laser holograph etching panels": essentially a form of shiny, holographic wrapping paper, and a top speed of 15mph. However, Roobarb had a 3cm ground clearance and an unreliable flipper in Series 6, although the flipper was upgraded in subsequent series to be more powerful and reliable.
The original version of Roobarb was never seen on television, after failing to qualify for Series 5, but did fight at live events. It was decorated with holograms, and had a flipper, but was lower, being more of a dome wedge shape. After the Series 5 qualifiers, this version fought at four live events before being rebuilt, the last being Brighton Model World in February 2002.
- "The first Roobarb had had its day and a new design was needed, we had to address the main problems; Gearbox breaking from motors, Size & Weight, Regulator Freezing, Speed. We all had various ideas on how to improve the new robot and set about implementing them. Keep the robot as small as we can (we have some big gearboxes to deal with), extra power, 36v instead of 24v and a lighter shell."
- — Team Roobarb website on redesigning Roobarb
The original version of Roobarb fought its first battle at the Series 5 qualifiers, having only been finished the night before. It fought M2 and lost. M2 failed to qualify, despite winning.
- "Our first fight was with M2, I had seen M2 at the Wilsons event and it is a good robot. We started the fight and Lee (the driver) was getting the interference problems again and to make matters worse the C02 regulator for the flipper froze. We managed to ram M2 a couple of times and had a bit of a tussle, but he got under us, flipped us over and won. A disappointing result (for us) but M2 went on to do well all day, so we hope he qualifies. It was part of the show for Shunt (a very powerful house robot) to tidy up after a fight, and as we were on our back he flipped us over, and in doing so broke our gearbox of the motor!! We had to try and fix the motor and address the C02 problem before the second fight. The plate which holds the motor to the gear box was shot and we didn't have a spare, so we bodged it with a jubilee clip and gaffer tape and a large washer, cut and grounded into shape. We also tried a different set up on the pneumatics and soldered the aerial to help with the interference problem."
- — Team Roobarb website
- "We were all clearly briefed to burn the carpet and the old lady and have some fun. We had full control but was hampered slightly by the gearbox but the flipper worked. As the fight went on we got into a bit of a battle with razor and shunt (don't ask why, we just did) so while the fire raged and the old lady was being ripped to bits we somehow managed to push shunt into the pit and within a minute we got razor as well, now by this time the pit was full, what with shunt in there and all that so razor didn't quite drop in and was able to get out, they also raised the pit so shunt got out as well. We then just went for it, we got done buy razor a couple of times and have the holes to prove it shunt had a few pops as well and we eventually ended up in the pit (they didn't raise it for us)."
- — Team Roobarb website
Ultimately, Roobarb was not chosen to compete in Series 5.
At the Series 6 qualifiers, Roobarb fought Hell's Teeth, Major Tom and an unknown third robot, also armed with a spinner. It won the battle, and automatically qualified for Series 6. Major Tom was also given a discretionary place.
- "The fight started and due to our starting position in the arena, and as they had the most experience in the arena, we went for Major Tom first. We flipped them and they rolled over back onto their wheels. This happened a few times and we managed to get them into what would be the CPZ area. As the fight was being judged in the same Robot Wars format, we figured that would score us points, we then turned to Hells Teeth! They were after us from the start and I think managed to get a small hit on us when we were working on Major Tom, anyway we managed to throw them up a few times. ... The other robot in the fight was having problems and after flipping them over we tried to get them back into the fight, but Hells Teeth with their spinning wheel hit us at the back, so we pulled out and went for them. Hells Teeth went for the 3rd robot and hit them with the spinning disk and that was the end of that. We managed to get a few flips on them and them on us, then they got stuck on what would normally be the flame pit! All this happened in around 2/3 mins and Major Tom was still going!! We went back to fight them but soon realised that our flipper had flailed, so we then relied on the pushing/driving tactics to see us to the end. We did manage to push Major Tom around the arena and felt that we had done enough to qualify. Matt Irvine was the judge for the fight and as we had effectively immobilised all three robots gave it to us."
- — Team Roobarb website
- "The wrapping paper does tear, leaving them vunerable to spinners. Mind you, I always like my rhubarb well-shredded..."
- — Jonathan Pearce on Roobarb's unusual choice of armour
Roobarb drew two spinners in the first round of Series 6: Shredder and the number 7 seeds S3. Also competing were fellow newcomers Armadrillo. At the beginning of the battle, Roobarb ran into Armadrillo, before ramming into the seeded S3. However, it appeared to be unable to flip S3, and was cut into by S3's spinning weapon and rammed into the arena side wall. Left in the hands of Sir Killalot, Roobarb broke down completely, counted out by the Refbot before being grappled again by house robot Sir Killalot and pitted, being eliminated from the competition.
- "After a couple of weeks we decided to get fixed up for the next live event and discovered that the armature's in both motors had failed, this was due we think to the fact that we had put 36v into them! they just gave up and bust. This was a better reason for crashing out than the link not being put in properly. We replaced the armature's and went back to 24v and have had no problems since"
- — Team Roobarb website reflects on their Series 6 defeat
- "Embracing the nerves here, the Roobarb team."
- — Philippa Forrester
Roobarb started brilliantly, as it flipped Terror Turtle over after about just ten seconds of fighting leaving it immobilised as Terror Turtle couldn't self-right. It was then flipped into Dead Metal's CPZ by Mute, but Roobarb swiftly self-righted. It then tried to flip Terror Turtle out of the arena, but failed to do so, as its flipper was only low pressure. Roobarb pressurised Mute, forcing it to drive uncontrollably into the pit, but Terror Turtle was already immobilised for thirty seconds and eliminated, nonetheless, Roobarb was definitely through to the next round.
Roobarb faced Maximus in round two of the heat, flipping it over with ease. Maximus self righted however. Roobarb managed to flip its opponent again, and tried desperately to flip it out of the arena while it had the chance, but failed to do so. After several attempts at trying to flip it out, Roobarb accidentally eased Maximus back onto its wheels. Roobarb got Maximus into the CPZ, where the house robots later immobilised the limping Maximus machine, so Roobarb was through to the heat final, where it faced Mute again.
- "Roobarb couldn't finish them off. Will that be a telling factor, the lack of finishing power?"
- — Jonathan Pearce looks back at Roobarb's inability to flip out Maximus
In this battle, Roobarb was flipped straight into Shunt at the start of this match, but self-righted well. Roobarb was then very nearly flipped out of the arena, but self-righted using the top of the arena wall to lever it off.
- "Brilliant recovery! That is the finest recovery we've seen on Robot Wars! They're out, they're going out, they're going out! No, they're not, they're bouncing back! That was brilliant!"
- — Jonathan Pearce on Roobarb's near-brush with defeat
This allowed Roobarb to escape and then come back onto the attack. Roobarb then flipped Mute, but Mute self-righted. Roobarb then pressed the disc button, but was pushed across the arena by Mute, who'd now used up all of the power in its flipper. It was then pushed into Sergeant Bash and Shunt by Mute. But then Roobarb forced Mute onto the flame pit at the end, where Mute finally lay immobilised, but survived long enough for a judges' decision. The judges awarded the win to Mute, eliminating Roobarb from the competition.
Roobarb fought in the first broadcast heat of the Seventh Wars, and was drawn up against Dutch entry Twister, the wooden machine Brutus Maximus and the number 9 seeds Pussycat. Roobarb and Pussycat barely made contact with each other, and attacked the other two robots for most of the fight. After a few tentative exchanges with Twister, Roobarb was pushed by Brutus Maximus. Roobarb then flipped Twister, and then later flipped Brutus Maximus, the latter three times in quick succession. The fourth flip from Roobarb dislodged one of Brutus Maximus' wheels. As a bruised and battered Brutus Maximus was later counted out, the battle ended with both Pussycat and Roobarb all over Twister with flips and blade attacks, the battle went to a judges' decision for the remaining three machines, with Roobarb going through with Pussycat.
- "You can hear the armour creaking and being pulled!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tiberius crushes Roobarb
In the second round of the heat, Roobarb went up against the much more experienced Tiberius 3 machine. In this battle, Roobarb missed one flip, and from then on it was all over for Roobarb. Tiberius 3 seized Roobarb with its crushing beak, pierced down to the internals, and raised it high into the air.
- "I don't think it'll be dumping Roobarb into a bowl of custard. Its going to be into the pit of doom and gloom."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Tiberius 3 then suddenly dropped Roobarb, but Roobarb had stopped working properly, and Tiberius 3 pushed it over to the pit release button, activated it, and pushed Roobarb down into the pit of oblivion, eliminating Roobarb from the competition.
|ROOBARB - RESULTS|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat D, Round 1||vs. S3 (7), Armadrillo, Shredder||Eliminated|
|Extreme Series 2|
|New Blood Championship|
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Mute, Terror Turtle||Qualified|
|Heat A, Round 2||vs. Maximus||Won|
|Heat A, Final||vs. Mute||Lost|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Brutus Maximus, Pussycat (9), Twister||Qualified|
|Heat A, Round 2||vs. Tiberius 3||Lost|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 3
|Main Series||Roobarb Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Seventh Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|Series 8||Not selected|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 2||Did not enter|
Outside Robot Wars
An earlier version of Roobarb also competed at the 2001 Dutch Robo Games as Silver Fish, featuring a rounded wedge shape and a flatter flipper than the version seen in Series 6-7 and Extreme 2. This version also appeared at the Brighton Robot Rumble that same year. - https://web.archive.org/web/20021009033729/http://teamgrimreaper.co.uk/bbbpic.htm
- Roobarb was one of eight competitors from The Sixth Wars to enter the New Blood Championship, alongside Doctor Fist, Mr Nasty, Revolution 2, Cedric Slammer, Thor, Edge Hog and ICU.