Robot Wars Wiki

"Don't pat this doggy - it has a spike that flies in and out 7.5 times per second, plus a big gyroscopic flywheel which is meant to stop it getting flipped."
— Robot Wars Magazine[1]

Ruf Ruf Dougal was a competitor robot that fought in Series 5 and 6 of Robot Wars. In both of its appearances, it was defeated in the first round. The robot's name and design were based on the character Dougal from the children's television series The Magic Roundabout.


Ruf Ruf Dougal in Series 5

Ruf Ruf Dougal was a two-wheel drive robot modelled on Dougal from The Magic Roundabout, armed with a unique reciprocating spike machined out of a Ford Fiesta driveshaft. The spike was driven by a 20kg flywheel, which enabled it to fire seven and a half times per second according to the Robot Wars Magazine. The flywheel also acted as a stabiliser, making Ruf Ruf Dougal very difficult to flip over.

Ruf Ruf Dougal in the pits during the Series 6 qualifiers

Ruf Ruf Dougal in the arena in Series 6

Ruf Ruf Dougal was made entirely out of scrap materials, with a body and chassis built out of valve springs, plywood, a radiator, and half a polyethylene barrel, among other materials. Its head was made out of two crash helmets (one according to Jonathan Pearce's commentary). The robot was also covered in fragile and highly flammable fur (loft insulation according to the magazine), which was brown in Series 5 and pink in Series 6. To prevent flames from spreading to the robot's internals, the team added aluminium foil to its underside and a fire blanket underneath the fur.

Modifications carried out to Ruf Ruf Dougal for Series 6 included the repositioning of its removable link from the front to the back of the robot, as well as improvements to its spike and chassis.


"Our first fight against Pendragon was won easily because after a couple of attacks they stopped working and got dumped in the pit. Only after watching the house robot feast did I realize we had lost a drive chain and could only move in circles but the fight was already won."
— The Ruf Ruf Dougal website describes the fight against Pendragon[2]

Ruf Ruf Dougal as it appeared at the Series 5 qualifiers

Ruf Ruf Dougal attended the Cardiff leg of the qualifying tour in July 2001, where it first fought Pendragon, using its spike to damage its opponent's side armour. According to the Ruf Ruf Dougal website, these these attacks caused Pendragon to lose mobility, allowing Ruf Ruf Dougal to pit it for the victory. It is possible that the Ruf Ruf Dougal team had confused this encounter with their upcoming rumble which also featured Pendragon, as the Pendragon team claim that the head-to-head went to a Judges' decision between two mobile machines. Nevertheless, Ruf Ruf Dougal is known to have won the fight, allowing it to qualify for Series 5.

"Better set the record straight here. Pendragon only “lost” to Dougal because the producers decided to enter the robot that burst into flames easily. Dougal pierced the polycarbonate but stopped when it hit the suspension components (T6 alloy) and didn’t stop the robot working, we both drove out of the arena."
— The Pendragon team on their fight with Ruf Ruf Dougal[3]

Ruf Ruf Dougal also competed in a four-way melee, once again featuring Pendragon alongside the experienced Panic Attack. Ruf Ruf Dougal became immobile after being pushed onto the Flame Pit by Shunt.

Ruf Ruf Dougal's coat, after sustaining damage from Brutus Maximus during the Series 6 qualifiers

"Our second fight was a four way melee, after 2 robots were out the commentator, stood next to me, was shouting "burn the dog, burn the dog" needless to say with the help of Shunt were were toasted on the flame pit and it was time for home."
— The Ruf Ruf Dougal website

In its Series 6 qualifier, Ruf Ruf Dougal fought Anarchy, Brutus Maximus, and Mr Nasty. During the battle, its coat was torn up by Brutus Maximus, and Shunt pushed the robot onto the flame pit to set it alight. Despite losing the battle, Ruf Ruf Dougal received a discretionary place in Series 6, alongside all three of its opponents.

Robot History[]

Series 5[]

Ruf Ruf Dougal competed in Heat D, where it faced the clusterbot - and eighteenth seed - Gemini in the first round.

One half of Gemini lifts Ruf Ruf Dougal

It was immediately pushed from the side by one of the Gemini halves as the other tried to attack from the front, but dodged another shove before it was almost flipped over. Ruf Ruf Dougal pushed the Gemini half that flipped it back before being lifted a second time, after which it pushed the Gemini half back into an angle grinder. In an attempt to drive away, it veered into Sir Killalot, who attacked Ruf Ruf Dougal after it was pinned against the angle grinder by the Gemini half.

"It's made out of scrap... and from the evidence of the opening seconds, it's heading back to the scrapyard, and not to a safe kennel!"
Jonathan Pearce as Ruf Ruf Dougal is attacked by Gemini and Sir Killalot

Ruf Ruf Dougal has one of its ears torn away...

...before finally being turned over

Ruf Ruf Dougal swiftly backed and turned away to escape, bumping into the Gemini twins as it did so. Seconds later, it drove over a CO2 jet, the jet blowing away one of its decorative 'ears' as it activated. Ruf Ruf Dougal hesitated as it tried to dodge Gemini once again, before one half of Gemini flipped it close to the side wall, allowing the other to get underneath it. Its fur was partially flicked away by one of Gemini's flipping arms, before one of the Gemini halves proceeded to drag Ruf Ruf Dougal backwards and lower it back onto the arena floor. Ruf Ruf Dougal drove slowly towards the pit release button, but another lift from Gemini knocked its removable link out, immobilising it completely. This allowed Gemini to rip more of Ruf Ruf Dougal's fur off and finally turn it over, before Sir Killalot grabbed, lifted and dumped it out of the arena.

Sir Killalot prepares to dump Ruf Ruf Dougal out of the arena

"They're turned on their side, and it doesn't want a tummy tickle, this doggy. I think it just wants someone in there to save it and take it to a nice warm home and basket by the fire somewhere. Well, Sir Killalot will oblige... out you go!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Sir Killalot dumps Ruf Ruf Dougal out of the arena

As a result of this, Ruf Ruf Dougal was eliminated from the Fifth Wars.

Series 6[]

"Ah, I can't wait to find out about all the doggy dos and don'ts!"
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Ruf Ruf Dougal in Series 6

Ruf Ruf Dougal returned for the Sixth Wars, competing in Heat A. In its first-round battle, it fought Cyrax, Tetanus 2 and Weld-Dor 3.

Ruf Ruf Dougal is lifted early on by Cyrax (bottom left)

Ruf Ruf Dougal catches fire

It immediately backed into Weld-Dor 3 before being pinned and lifted against it by Cyrax. After backing onto the Floor Spinner, Ruf Ruf Dougal spun round and attacked Cyrax, ramming into it several times with the spike, before its tail caught fire while driving alongside the Flame Pit. The fire quickly spread along the rest of Ruf Ruf Dougal's fur, as it was pursued and lifted again by Cyrax.

"Oh-oh! Dougal's tail’s on fire! Ha, ha, ha, ha! What's he going to do to put this out? Tail?! The whole coat's on fire now!"
— Jonathan Pearce laughs as Ruf Ruf Dougal's fur burns

Ruf Ruf Dougal is axed by Cyrax

Cyrax lifted Ruf Ruf Dougal again as it pushed it into Sir Killalot, who attempted to grab Ruf Ruf Dougal before it spun away. With most of its fur burnt and charred, Ruf Ruf Dougal was again attacked by Cyrax as Refbot attempted to extinguish its fire, with Cyrax punching through its top several times with its axe. Still burning, Ruf Ruf Dougal was again lifted by Cyrax before bumping into Weld-Dor 3, at which point it attempted to push Cyrax again. After having one of its ears destroyed by Cyrax's axe, Ruf Ruf Dougal backed away towards the wall, spinning round as the ear fell off onto the floor.

"Oh please, put Dougal out of its misery!"
— Jonathan Pearce as the burnt Ruf Ruf Dougal spins near an angle grinder

Ruf Ruf Dougal was then simultaneously lifted and pushed by Cyrax and Tetanus 2, with Tetanus 2 grabbing hold of Ruf Ruf Dougal as it pushed it onto the Flame Pit again. Its underside briefly caught fire as its two remaining opponents continued attacking, but it reversed away just as 'cease' was called, and survived to a Judges’ decision. Needless to say, the decision went against Ruf Ruf Dougal, eliminating it from the Sixth Wars along with the already-pitted Weld-Dor 3.

Philippa Forrester: "You know when you named it "Puff Puff"..."
Peter Sturgess: ""Ruf Ruf." "Ruf Ruf.""
Philippa Forrester: "You sure you weren't thinking 'puff' of smoke?"
Peter Sturgess: "'Puff' of fire, and things like that?"
Philippa Forrester: "He was well and truly barbequed!"
— The post-battle interview


Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Gemini (18) Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat A, Round 1 vs. Cyrax, Tetanus 2, Weld-Dor 3 Eliminated


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 2

Series Record[]

Series Ruf Ruf Dougal 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 Heat, Round 1
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

Outside Robot Wars[]

Ruf Ruf Dougal in 2015

Following its appearances, Ruf Ruf Dougal did not return for another series of Robot Wars, and was offered for sale online by the team before being broken up for parts.

"Ruf Ruf Dougal, fresh from defeat in Series 6 may well be for sale. I've got a new job and will soon have a new baby and house so I can't spare the time he needs for improvement. If I sell him it will only be as a package which includes 2 spare drive motors,2 flywheel motors and 2 spare batteries. Other details as per website. I'd be looking for something over £1000 but a good radio, 4 good motors, batteries etc. wll {sic} cost that and don't forget his proven ability in series 5 and 6!!! As I'm working away you may be better to speak to me one evening on my mobile."
— Peter Sturgess on the Official Robot Wars forum[4]

Pup Pup Dougal

Pup Pup Dougal in battle with King BtL

In 2015, Ruf Ruf Dougal was seen to still be intact[5], stripped of all coating but otherwise in one piece. However, it was revealed in 2019 that Ruf Ruf Dougal was scrapped in 2017 [6] In 2019, A new Beetleweight Ruf Ruf Dougal, named "Pup Pup Dougal" was built by Elizabeth Mann and Owain Ratcliffe (from Team Chimera and Team Penny, respectively), with the original team's permission. Pup Pup Dougal would compete at Robonerd 2019, losing a rumble against King Btl, 10.1 and Weld-Dor Mini, before coming sixth in the event's Content Creator Rumble, which was won by Drizzle.


External Links[]