"...used roller shutter blind as tracks. The tracks completely surrounded the body so provided armour where tracks are normally a vulnerability / liability."
— Simon Rafferty[1]

Rotraktor was a competitor robot that attempted to enter Series 4 of Robot Wars. It failed to qualify after losing its qualifier and being deemed 'boring' by one of the producers, compelling the team to build more 'visually interesting' robots for future series. They subsequently built and entered Barber-Ous for Series 5-7, as well as The Office Party, which failed to qualify for Series 5. Both Barber-Ous and Office Party were built using parts from Rotraktor.



A conceptual drawing of Rotraktor

Rotraktor was a white rectangular-shaped invertible tracked robot. The main weaponry consisted of dual retracting spears at the front, with the addition of a removable wedged shovel. As a tracked robot it was intended to use aluminium security shutter blinds as tracks. Although unique in that they completely surrounded the body and so provided armour where tracks were normally a vulnerability, these caused steering problems, so the team chose to remove them for the qualifiers, and used titanium plating as a substitute for body armour.

"These worked quite nicely, but lead to enormous roll resistance. Our motors were capable of delivering 1.6kw of power each, but still lacked the power to move it in a controlled manor without frying speed controllers. For this reason, we attended the trials running on the rollers that were designed to drive the tracks. Not ideal, but it allowed us to compete!"
— The team's website on the shutter blind tracks


Rotraktor faced The Steel Avenger in its qualifier battle. It was a fairly even match. Rotraktor did some pushing and jabbing on its opponent, though the new mobility from the tracks' rollers made little difference to the robot's control. There was no clear winner and the decision was based on the amount of applause received from the audience. The Steel Avenger received the most applause, mainly due to the level of aggression, and the number of axe blows it inflicted on Rotraktor, and thus won the battle. Afterwards, a producer explained to the team that, while Rotraktor was well-engineered, it was deemed too boring to compete and thus failed to qualify for Series 4.

"They wanted robots which looked exciting or unique - like the Irish robot that always caught fire. It was for TV after all!"
— Simon Rafferty on Rotraktor's failure to qualify

Series RecordEdit

Rotrakor logo

Rotraktor logo

Main Series Rotraktor Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Did not enter
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify
The Fifth Wars Entered with Barber-Ous
Failed to qualify with The Office Party
The Sixth Wars Entered with Barber-Ous 2
The Seventh Wars Entered with Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Did not enter
Series 2 Entered with Barber-Ous 2


  1. Private correspondence with User:Toon Ganondorf

External LinksEdit

The Rotraktor Website (Archived)

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