Robot Wars Wiki

"This is a robot that has brought a new meaning to the word "destruction" in Robot Wars! Her vertical spinning disc is very formidable."
— Dave Barker interviewed in a Robot Wars Club newsletter

S3 (standing for Sting 3) was a competitor robot that appeared in Series 5 and 6 of Robot Wars as well as the second series of Robot Wars Extreme.

An axlebot with a powerful vertical flywheel, S3 won the Most Original Entry award in Series 5. S3 was considerably more successful than its predecessor Sting, reaching the top eight of Series 5, defeating former semi-finalists Plunderbird 5, MouseTrap, Stinger, Wild Thing and Spawn Again, before ultimately being defeated by eventual champion Razer. It reached the same stage in Series 6, winning its heat and defeating Dantomkia before eventually being defeated by Firestorm 4.


"In the finish, the deciding factor was the nature of Robot Wars itself. After all, we didn't want to just win, we wanted to do it in style with lots of good TV to boot, and that meant damage infliction and lots of it! A big weapon it was to be then!"
— 1 Law Associates website on designing S3

Series 5 appearance

Inspired by Hypno-Disc, the 1 Law Associates chose to build a robot with a large spinning flywheel, but chose to mount it vertically to avoid it being seen as a “Hypno-Disc clone”. The design stage of S3 started in August 2000, and the building of the robot began in Spring 2001, with the robot only being finished the night before the qualifiers.

"It's a weapon on wheels! The cylindrical body houses all the drive and control gear, the front segment is the weapon, it runs either way up. That blade is 20 kilos, 18 inches in diameter, and spins at 1000 rpm."
— Jonathan Pearce describes S3 in Series 5

Official profile for Series 6

S3 eschewed the scorpion-like design of its predecessor, being a two-wheeled axlebot (the shape of the body with the weapon protruding from the front led it to be more frequently compared to a hammerhead shark head) armed with a large front-mounted, 18-inch steel vertical flywheel weighing between 17-20kg. The flywheel (which the team named a "snatch" weapon) featured two 3 inch teeth and spun at up to 1000rpm, and was consistently able to cause significant damage to its opponents, on occasions sending components flying out of the arena or towards the ceiling. The weapon was powered by a 750W Bosch 24V DC Motor via a 3:1 reduction V belt and pulley drive.

"Early in the design phase of Sting Dave had played around with the idea of a kinetic energy weapon based on a flywheel. ... Rather than use a powerful motor and the associated heavy batteries or a temperamental internal combustion engine to drive a weapon, a much smaller power source would be used. The smaller motor instead of being directly coupled to the weapon would drive an internal flywheel. The flywheel would act as a secondary battery but it would store kinetic rather than electrical energy. The flywheel would then be mechanically coupled to the weapon ( EG an axe or cutting disc. ) The advantage would be the time taken to transfer the stored energy into an action. Even a huge electrical motor can only transfer a finite amount of electrical energy over a given period. A flywheel spun up to high speed could potentially transfer all its stored power in a single blow!"
— 1 Law Associates website[1]

Top view of S3 in Extreme 2

The robot was powered by 2 24 A/hr Yuasa sealed gell cell batteries and had 2 750 Watt Bosch 24 Volt DC Motors, driving custom made wheels via 5:1 chain and sprocket gearbox's. S3's armour was a smooth sculpted aluminium monocoque shell with no discernible external plates or bolts, which was between 4 and 6 mm thick.[2]

"This has improved drive, more power, better control, is heavier, stronger and more destructive with the vertical disc, but don't trust the aluminium armour."
— Jonathan Pearce on the improvements to S3 in Extreme 2

S3 in Extreme 2, equipped with anti-flipper plates

For Extreme 2, the team added new "anti-flipper" plates to S3 (sourced from a butcher) to prevent opponents from getting underneath it, as the robot's shape meant it was vulnerable to getting flipped. However, these plates prevented S3 from falling back onto its wheels when it was on its side, which cost it in its All-Stars battle against Bigger Brother and Firestorm 4.

The Team[]

Main article: 1 Law Associates

The 1 Law Associates in Series 5

Official photo of the team in Series 6

S3 was entered by the 1 Law Associates from Leicestershire, who had previously entered Sting into Series 2 and 3. The captain was Dave Barker, the main speaker for their post-battle interviews. Ian Pritchard operated the weapons and was often the speaker for the team's pre-battle interviews with Philippa Forrester. The third member, Pete Allsopp, was S3's driver. In Series 5, the team sported green shirts with S3's logo on them, headbands, hats and dog tags, but these were replaced by simple black shirts for Series 6.


S3 made its first appearance at the Newcastle leg of the Robot Wars live event tour.

"9.30 PM the night before the Newcastle qualifying live event was upon us and we fitted the disc and the wheels for the first time! Two aerials manufactured by Ian from piano wire ( to enable either way up running ) were also fitted. No opportunity for any driving practice, all we could hope for was that everything ran! Dave's back lawn was the only available test area. ... All was not well however. Ian reported the Delbots failsafes kicking in when at the far end of the lawn. A distance of only about twenty feet. The robot had to fully function at over twice this distance tomorrow inside a building with numerous sources of radio interference to boot. After some hasty testing the twin aerials were scrapped in favor of a full length piano wire whip. We would have to hope it ran OK if inverted."
— 1 Law Associates website

Its first battle was against TX-108. S3 initially struggled, because the failsafes were cutting in, causing the robot to stop, and TX-108 grabbed it with its claw. Fortunately for the team, the House Robots separated the two, and S3 was able to use its disc to tear through the opponent's armour and immobilise it.

"Things were not looking too good as Ian drove the robot into the arena. It was clear that the robot was not set up to drive easily and the failsafes were again cutting in at any range. This was nearly to prove our undoing as our adversary gripped the rear housing and proceeded to pierce it. Mercifully separated by the house robots Ian was able to bring the thankfully still functioning disc to bear and rip through other robots armor panels and it was quickly immobilised."
— 1 Law Associates website

S3 then had to fight Dynachrome.

"Again Ian was forced to try and keep the action as close to our end of the arena as possible due to control problems ( later discussions with the Dynachrome team revealed similar difficulties with their robot )"
— 1 Law Associates website

S3 convincingly won the battle, ripping its opponent apart, with the wheel protection of Dynachrome hitting the perplex protection around the arena, and it subsequently qualified for Series 5.

"This was to prove a spectacular bout when S3's disc made contact as pieces of robot flew high in the air. We were startled at one point when a section clattered down onto our control booth before bouncing off the roof and landing on the cameraman behind us! Two bouts and two wins. Not a bad result! The following week we were contacted by MBC to confirm that S3 along with 95 other robots had made it through to the main event, Robot Wars Series Five. This left us a total of 3 weeks to sort out our control problems and practice driving the robot!"
— 1 Law Associates website

S3 was seeded for Series 6, and as a result automatically qualified and did not need to go through the qualifiers.

Robot History[]

Series 5[]

Despite the team's appearance in previous wars, S3 was dubbed as a newcomer to the wars.

"As for the rookies, I have one tip: S3. But I didn't tell you that..."
Philippa Forrester at the start of the heat

Plunderbird 5 rams S3

Its first appearance was against another veteran in Plunderbird 5. S3 started facing away from its opponent, and when activate was called, it turned around. As it did this, Plunderbird 5 charged straight at it, but S3 bounced back and turned away when Plunderbird 5 crashed into it. Plunderbird 5 charged at S3, and despite a tyre bursting, causing the robot to jump upwards, pushed S3 into the CPZ, hobbling as it did so. S3 pushed back, and Plunderbird 5 reversed, allowing S3 to escape. Plunderbird 5, which was still bouncing up and down a little due to the tyre bursting, reversed out of the CPZ, pushing S3 back. S3 reversed away, turning back and forth as it did so, with Plunderbird 5 closely following it. As Plunderbird 5 closed in, it drove at S3's disc, which knocked the robot up and ripped chips from the front. Plunderbird 5 was not deterred, and continued pushing S3 back, but S3 turned, ripping a piece of armour off of one of Plunderbird 5's top corners.

"We haven't seen this sort of weaponry before! It is a vertically mounted disc, driven on by a 3000rpm electric motor. It looks very destructive, S3, and Plunderbird is in real trouble here!"
— Jonathan Pearce as S3 rips into Plunderbird 5

S3 rips Plunderbird 5 apart

Plunderbird 5 continued pushing, pinning S3 against the side wall. S3 reversed, and Plunderbird 5 followed. Plunderbird 5 tried to grab S3 with the claw as S3 turned away from the arena wall, but it had to drive off a flame jet, and as it turned away from S3, S3 hit the claw with its disc, causing it to fall off its ram, hanging forward useless. After reversing off the flame jet, Plunderbird 5 charged back at S3, which was waiting by Sir Killalot's CPZ, but when it reached S3, S3 hit the other side with the disc, and Plunderbird 5 stopped moving. S3 ripped into Plunderbird 5's side, sending pieces of armour flying off.

"I know that they've been here before in Robot Wars with Sting, but this is a new machine in S3 and it looks absolutely awesome!"
— Jonathan Pearce as S3 tears off the side of Plunderbird 5

S3 continues to rip Plunderbird 5 apart

Sir Killalot lifted Plunderbird 5 up a little, and S3 continued to tear through the side armour. Soon, both the wheels on that side were left exposed, S3 having ripped off all the armour on that side. S3 backed off and span in celebration, as Sir Killalot carried Plunderbird 5 over to the floor flipper, the wheels falling off as it did so. Plunderbird 5 was thrown, and S3 ripped off some more armour from the other side of Plunderbird 5 just before Cease was called.

Dave Barker: "Well, what can I say, it's martial law!"
Craig Charles: "Hey, I'll tell you what, your first time in Robot Wars, you could go all the way!"
Dave Barker: "Yeah, I think seriously, we stand a good chance, it's a good robot, it's driving well."
— Post-battle interview

In the next round, S3 fought the 20th seed and overhead guillotine, MouseTrap.

"...S3 was mightily impressive earlier on. Could be a star for the future for Dave Barker, Ian Pritchard and Pete Allsopp."
— Jonathan Pearce just before the start of the battle

MouseTrap slices into S3

At the start, both robots circled the other. MouseTrap drove at S3's front, but it turned away before making contact with the disc. MouseTrap drove towards the pit release button, closely pursued by S3, which landed a blow on its rear, knocking the robot upwards. MouseTrap drove into the wall, just missing the pit release tyre, before reversing straight into S3. S3 hit MouseTrap's side with the disc, but only dented it slightly. MouseTrap turned around and got under S3, firing the trap, which caught S3, slicing into the robot.

"I think Jason Launchbury's tactics here are to stay out of trouble, well, or try and snare S3 and they've done just that! And if that blade can cut off the radio aerial, S3 would be immobilised!"
— Jonathan Pearce

MouseTrap's spring entangles the two robots

S3 pushed MouseTrap towards Sir Killalot, but MouseTrap managed to turn itself and S3 around, and pushed S3 into the House Robot. However, MouseTrap pushed S3 into Sir Killalot's side, so instead of attacking S3, Sir Killalot turned around and tried to grab MouseTrap with the claw, unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, S3's blade caught the "spring" on the trap, which got tangled up in the disc, causing it to stop spinning.

"They are locked together in some ghastly dance of death!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Sir Killalot grabbed MouseTrap by the blade and pulled both robots out. MouseTrap lifted the trap, but S3 was still caught on the "spring", so MouseTrap pushed it to the top of the arena, firing the trap again. S3 pushed back, nearly pushing MouseTrap into an angle grinder, but MouseTrap pushed S3 back past the floor flipper.

"To and fro! Shove and heave! Who's got the greater power?"
— Jonathan Pearce

S3 causes severe late damage

MouseTrap lifted the trap, and S3 got off the wedge, but was still caught on the hose spring. After pulling back, S3 finally got itself free of the spring. MouseTrap pushed S3 against the arena wall and fired the trap, with the blade hitting the disc of S3 and stopping it, before MouseTrap reversed. S3 stopped a moment to get the disc back up to speed, before slamming into MouseTrap's side. MouseTrap tried to get away from S3, but S3 caught up with it, tearing a large chunk of armour from the top in the last few seconds.

"That was too close!"
— Dave Barker after the battle

The judges sided in favour of S3, mostly due to the damage it caused. S3 was then through to the Heat Final.

"I don't think I've been as excited about the debut of a machine since seeing Chaos for the first time!"
— Jonathan Pearce reviewing S3's route to the Heat Final

There, it fought fifth seed Stinger, Grand Finalist in the previous war, for a place in the Semi-Finals.

"It's a really tricky robot to fight, obviously. It's not the usual kind of robot that we like to take apart, it's not got big body panels on it for instance, but we've got some ideas, we'll have a good go."
— Dave Barker to Philippa Forrester on fighting Stinger

S3 knocks Stinger into the wall

Both robots made identical movements, driving forward, spinning in a circle, and halting. Stinger fired the mace, but was not close enough to hit S3, and S3 drove down the arena away from Stinger. Stinger followed, but as it closed in, S3 turned away and escaped. Stinger drove into S3's rear and bounced off, before S3 span around and Stinger charged at it, landing a couple of powerful blows on Stinger, knocking the axlebot up and turning it over. Stinger missed six consecutive attacks with its mace, before S3 interrupted Stinger's usual sit and spin technique with a well placed attack on its mace. Stinger started spinning again, but S3 landed another well-timed hit on the mace, which sent Stinger flying into the CPZ, crashing into the side wall. S3 chased it, driving into the CPZ as Stinger tried spinning again, and reversed as Shunt came in. Shunt pinned Stinger against the arena wall, then reversed to block S3's escape, before pinning Stinger against the wall again. S3 reversed away and hit the pit release button, before driving at S3, which struggled to hit Stinger with the disc as Stinger was spinning. However, S3 managed to land a blow on one of the wheels, knocking Stinger over.

"S3 looks purposeful, menacing, relentless in the pursuit of its quarry!"
— Jonathan Pearce

S3 knocks out Stinger

Stinger slowed down after this blow, and after another blow to the wheels from S3's disc, drove into an angle grinder, where it stopped moving completely. S3 pushed Stinger against the arena wall, landing more blows on the wheels, flipping it over.

"...and now, S3 attacking the vulnerable tires of Stinger, and Stinger seems to be wedged in there, and I wonder if damage has been caused to all the electrics within the hubs!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Stinger was counted out and thrown by the Floor Flipper, coming back to life on impact, but it was already eliminated. S3 was through to the Semi-Finals.

"Stinger is a very well designed bot. All the sensitive stuff is in the wheels - rubber is a great armour in RW - given the weapons we are allowed to use. However, Stinger didn't just "stop working" We managed to bend the main drive system to the extent that the gears no longer meshed correctly."
— Dave Barker on YouTube

In the Semi-Finals, S3 was drawn against Bigger Brother, the only other unseeded robot to reach the Semi-Finals.

"Two robots that have both impressed me immensely so far."
— Jonathan Pearce at the start of the battle

Bigger Brother tries to flip S3 out of the arena

The two robots slowly moved towards each other, then Bigger Brother charged under S3, and S3 got one of its wheels stuck on top of Bigger Brother. Bigger Brother pushed S3 down towards the bottom arena wall, but S3 managed to get off Bigger Brother's top. Before it could get away, Bigger Brother pinned it against the pit release button and tried to flip it out. S3 did not go over the fence, the weight of the flywheel stopping the robot falling over the fence. However, S3 found itself stuck on the arena wall, with one wheel hanging over the edge. The pit had opened when Bigger Brother rammed S3 into it, and Bigger Brother almost drove in as it reversed from S3. Bigger Brother got under S3 again and flipped, but again the weight of the disc kept S3 in the arena, and it fell off the flipper, away from Bigger Brother.

"S3 is hanging on by a thread!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Bigger Brother tries to flip S3 out

Bigger Brother pits S3

Instead of getting away, S3 span and drove into the wall. Bigger Brother drove around to the front of S3, knocking off the pit release tyre as it did so, and pushed S3 into the pit. However, in doing so, one of Bigger Brothers wheels was left hanging over the pit. Despite this, Bigger Brother had enough purchase on the floor with their one wheel to turn itself out of the pit, whereas S3 could not escape.

"I thought you were going to take the arena wall down as well. You banged right into it! But what a bit of driving, he couldn't get you out, so he opens the pit and BISH - you're down it!"
— Craig Charles to The 1 Law Associates

However, S3 was not out of the competition yet, as the losers' melee had been introduced for Series 5, where it fought the ninth seed Wild Thing who lost to Chaos 2 and the thirteenth seed Spawn Again who had lost to Razer.

"I think we're really gonna have to watch our back for this pair!"
— Dave Barker to Philippa Forrester, on his opponents

S3 attacks Wild Thing

Wild Thing and Spawn Again both closed in on S3, and S3 initially turned from one opponent to another, seemingly unsure which one to attack first. Wild Thing drove at S3's front, and S3 slashed Wild Thing with its disc. Spawn Again then got under S3, but did not flip it over. S3 attacked Wild Thing, using its disc to propel it onto its side against the wall. Spawn Again closed in, meaning that Wild Thing could not pull away from the side wall.

"They're ganging up on Wild Thing it seems here. Is it a process of elimination, gang up on one than take on t'other?"
— Jonathan Pearce

However, all three robots relented and moved away from the side wall. Wild Thing pushed Spawn Again across the arena, and S3 cut into its rear, before striking its side. The impact knocked Spawn Again back, and immobilised it. Wild Thing rammed S3 from behind, pushing it away from Spawn Again, which fired its flipper but was unable to move. Refbot counted out Spawn Again, as S3's disc hurled Wild Thing away again. S3 rammed into Wild Thing, but Wild Thing pressed S3 against the side wall, stopping the disc, and then into Shunt's CPZ, where Shunt axed S3 and flipped it onto Wild Thing's front with the scoop. Wild Thing pushed S3 out of the CPZ, then turned around and pushed it back in, pinning it against the wall. However, Shunt axed it and pulled it back a little, which allowed S3 to hit Wild Thing's side with the disc. and Wild Thing again caught itself on S3's disc and had damage inflicted. As Sgt. Bash pitted Spawn Again, Wild Thing slammed S3 into the side wall, and cease was called. On style and control, Wild Thing won, but the aggression inflicted damage from S3 was so great that the judges ruled in favour it.

"You are cutting it fine, aren't ya?"
— Craig Charles to the 1 Law Associates

Progressing through again, S3 fought two time world champion Razer for a place in the Grand Final.

Philippa Forrester: "It's going to be a tactician's battle, I think, between these two. First time robot - very, very experienced robot. How do you fell about being up against Razer?"
Dave Barker: "Yeah, well when we managed eventually to qualify we had a chat in the pits, as you do, and we said "Yeah, what we really want to go up against that "beaky, pointy, spiky thing" over there"
The 1 Law Associates (together): "I don't think so!"
— The team being sarcastic in the pre-battle interview

S3 is pierced by Razer

At the start, Razer drove at S3, and tried to get in a good position to grab the cylindrical body. S3 turned away and escaped, briefly driving onto the flame pit, then bumping into an angle grinder, before turning to fight Razer. Razer got straight under S3, avoiding the flywheel, and pushed it into Shunt, who axed it, and Razer crushed slowly through S3's armour as Shunt lifted the two up together and axed S3 again. Pulling out of Shunt's CPZ, Razer raised its claw, and pulled S3 into the air with it. Smoke began to rise from S3 as it was carried.

"The cylindrical body is held high. I've described this as a hammerhead shark - it is a mere minnow, gobbled up by the big fish that is Razer."
— Jonathan Pearce

Razer held S3 over the flames, burning the rubber of its tires, before carrying it to Dead Metal, who carved long slashes in S3's rear armour.

"Sliced by Dead Metal, and a grizzly end to worthy competitors. They fought before as Sting, but this S3 machine looked far more competitive and deadly. Is a credit to Pete Allsopp and Ian Pritchard and David Barker"
— Jonathan Pearce

Razer carries S3 around the arena

Shunt came in and axed S3, separating the two robots. S3 drove at Razer head on, but the disc was not spinning, so it retreated, but drove into Shunt as Razer followed it. It tried to reverse away, but swerved into the side wall. Razer tried to get under it, but S3 turned away and escaped. Razer was in close pursuit, and got under it again, slamming it into the side wall, then steering it into the claws of Dead Metal. With the disc no longer spinning, Razer crushed the front of S3 where the disc was held. Razer crushed into the body of S3, puncturing it and lifting the whole robot up against the side wall. S3 was nearly lifted out of the arena by Shunt, Razer and Dead Metal as they all pinned it up against the wall. However, Dead Metal turned on Razer, as it was also in the CPZ, grabbing it and cutting into it with the saw. As Dead Metal reversed, S3 fell off the wall, but landed on Razer's front, and Razer pushed it straight into Dead Metal. Dead Metal pushed S3 into the CPZ, cutting into the rear. Dead Metal dragged S3 out of the CPZ and let it go, but Razer got straight under it again, grabbing S3 by the disc. However, S3 was able to push Razer into the claws of Dead Metal, which cut into Razer and pushed the two competitors together into Shunt's CPZ. Shunt axed S3 as Razer reversed out of danger, and the two House Robots pinned S3 against the wall, with Shunt lifting S3 up against the wall with its scoop. In the last few seconds, Razer punctured and lifted the body of S3 again, as Shunt axed it. Shunt helped Razer lift S3 up against the wall as cease was called. With both robots still mobile, the judges were consulted, but the decision was clear, and S3 was eliminated.

"I was actually scared for them, because I reckon that circular saw of yours could of done an awful lot of damage to them, but they came right at you, grabbed hold of you straight away, picked you up, paraded you around!"
— Craig Charles

S3 manages to remain in the arena

At the end of the series, S3 won the Most Original Entry Award, and was also nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer Award, despite the team having fought before in Series 2 and 3, but lost to Fluffy anyway.

Series 6[]

"Good. Very, very good!"
— Jonathan Pearce as S3 enters the arena

For reaching the semi-finals in Series 5, S3 was seeded seven in Series 6 and in its first round melee, it went up against newcomers Roobarb and Armadrillo, and Series 5 returneeShredder who was in the same heat as S3 in the previous series but did not battle it. Despite being seeded and its performances in the last wars, the Roobarb and Shredder teams both claimed to not be afraid of S3, though the Armadrillo team claimed their robot was 'cannon fodder' upon hearing they were drawn against S3.

Philippa Forrester: "They're all quite frightened of you, actually not all of them frightened of you, because the Shredder team over there, they're not frightened at all, the Roobarb team over there, they're not frightened at all, but I think they're a bit stupid, and the Armadrillo team here are frightened. So that's the news!"
Dave Barker: "Well, we're really frightened! We had a really good run last year, obviously, we've got a lot to live up to, but we'll see how it goes!"
— Pre-battle interview

S3 breaks one of Shredder's discs

In the opening seconds, Shredder and S3 went straight for each other, and the impact of S3's spinning disc on its first attack tore one of Shredder's own discs off and sent it flying out of the arena. Roobarb started pushing S3 back, and Shredder rammed into its rear, before driving away. S3 reversed away from Roobarb, and Roobarb drove towards the CPZ. S3 chased after it, then hit Armadrillo with the disc when it came into the corner with them. In doing so, it bumped into Roobarb, and Roobarb stopped moving. Shredder opened the pit, and whilst Sir Killalot attacked Roobarb, S3 chased after Shredder higher up in the arena. Shredder managed to steer behind S3, pushing it into the arena wall disc-first, the disc knocking part of the side wall up on impact.

"S3's new weaponry is destroying our arena! It is so powerful, it is destroying our arena! We will remember..."
— Jonathan Pearce

Shredder pressures S3 into breaking the arena wall

Shredder pinned S3 against the wall, with the help of Armadrillo, and prevented it from escaping as S3 tried reversing away. As Mr Psycho hammered Roobarb, Shredder and Armadrillo allowed S3 to escape, and S3 went after Armadrillo, then attacked Shredder, flipping it up with the disc, grinding into the side, then hitting it again as it span on the spot. Shredder managed to reverse into S3, pushing it towards Mr Psycho, but Shredder reversed away from danger before the House Robot could attack. Shredder pushed S3 some more as Roobarb was counted out, pinning it against the arena wall by the CPZ, where Mr Psycho hammered the wheel. Shredder blocked S3's escape, so Mr Psycho hammered it again, this time hitting the body.

S3 is hammered by Mr. Psycho, and breaks a second arena wall

Mr. Psycho worries S3

"Now, did that cause any damage at all to S3? I wonder. The electronics are well protected there, this is a good machine, only Razer beat them last time."
— Jonathan Pearce

S3 found itself cornered in the CPZ by Mr Psycho and Shredder, and Mr Psycho hammered S3 again. S3 found itself trapped between Mr Psycho's hammer and Mr Psycho, but the House Robot soon reversed and raised his hammer. Before S3 could get away, Shredder pinned against the top arena wall, and Mr Psycho landed another hammer blow. Shredder pushed S3 back into the CPZ, and Mr Psycho hammered it again, before Shredder pinned it in the corner.

"But S3, to me, is withstanding all this punishment you know, from no less than the mighty Mr Psycho."
— Jonathan Pearce

Roobarb was pitted by Sir Killalot, and S3 tried to escape the CPZ, having knocked up a part of the top arena wall. However, Mr Psycho pinned it down with his claw, preventing its escape. Mr Psycho eventually reversed, but S3 struggled to get away, driving into the wall, then turning away, only to turn into the wall again. Mr Psycho reversed some more, and S3 drove away from the CPZ, towards the centre of the arena. It got its weapon up to speed and went after Shredder as they drove towards them, but time ran out before they could get a hit in. The judges were required to decide which of the three remaining robots would be eliminated, and they decided to eliminate Armadrillo.

S3 faced Sir Chromalot in the second round. Before the fight, S3 had to go through a lot of repairs due to the significant damage it took from Mr Psycho.

"We've had to replace the gearbox shaft, the batteries had all been knocked out, the wheels were oval, but apart from that, it's all right!"
— Ian Pritchard on the repairs to S3

S3 does not fall for Sir Chromalot's trick

Sir Chromalot went straight for the pit release button and stayed near the pit of oblivion, attempting to draw S3 in. Not falling for this tactic, S3 held back, slowly closing in, keeping a safe distance from the pit. Sir Chromalot turned, nearly reversing into the pit as it did so, then drove towards Dead Metal. It drove into the CPZ, but turned and escaped before Dead Metal attacked. S3 drove up the arena, past the pit, and Sir Chromalot followed.

"I think this is cat-and-mouse, "come on, have a go at me S3, if you think you're hard enough and daft enough, and I'll just lead you onto that pit"."
— Jonathan Pearce on Sir Chromalot's tactics

S3 throws Sir Chromalot over

S3 charged at Sir Chromalot, and landed a glancing blow with the disc, which only lifted it up a little. S3 then drove at Sir Chromalot, flipping it over with one hit from the disc, then landed another blow, knocking it opponent up. S3 pushed against Sir Chromalot, preventing it from self-righting, but then reversed, and Sir Chromalot flipped itself back onto its wheels. It drove to the bottom arena wall, then close to Dead Metal, then past the pit. S3 drove around the pit, so Sir Chromalot turned and drove closer to the pit.

"...and S3 looks perplexed, they're just constantly standing the other side of the pit. "If you wanna come after us, you've got to negotiate the pit". They don't think that S3's driving skills are good here obviously."
— Jonathan Pearce

Sir Chromalot turned to face S3, driving towards it, and S3 flipped it over again with the disc. Sir Chromalot quickly self-righted and drove away, driving along the edge of the pit. It turned, and drove up past the pit, whilst S3 drove around it and nearly pushed it into the pit. Sir Chromalot narrowly managed to turn itself away and tried to escape up the arena, but S3 caught up with it, flipping it over again with the disc. Sir Chromalot was stuck on its side, and fired the flipper to get down. Landing on its back, Sir Chromalot's attempt to self-right failed, the flipper seeming weaker than before. S3 hit it with the flywheel again, knocking it back onto its wheels, but Sir Chromalot failed to move away, and it became clear it was immobile. S3 backed off as Refbot came in to count Sir Chromalot out. The House Robots put Sir Chromalot on the flipper, and pitted it, and S3 was through to the Heat Final.

"Tactical battle, we knew what they were trying to do, and we knew they knew that we knew we'd drive, but we didn't go for it though, sorry lads!"
— Dave Barker

In the Heat Final, S3 met Shredder again.

"Shredder is a bit more manoeuvrable, but I don't think it has the power of S3. So it's a really interesting match for us, it's a good test case of the different types of disc."
Noel Sharkey before the Heat Final

S3 cuts into Shredder's wheel

Shredder started the faster, driving around S3. S3 turned to face it, and Shredder tried to get in a position to use its discs, but kept being hit by S3's flywheel, so tried to escape. S3 followed it, knocking it up with the flywheel a couple of times.

"Question I think, for this Heat Final: which robot has sustained the most damage so far? Which robot is really competing at the most capability?"
— Jonathan Pearce

S3 drives its disc into Shredder

Shredder got at S3's side, avoiding the disc and pushing the seeded robot back towards the arena wall. S3 turned, and clipped Shredder with the disc as Shredder crashed into the arena disc button. Shredder managed to drive around S3 as it moved away from the side wall, hitting it with its discs. However, after driving onto the arena spinner, it became stuck, and S3 ripped into its side with the flywheel, ripping the armour by the wheel. Shredder started moving again, turning around and driving over the spinner as it charged back at S3, only to be knocked up with the flywheel. One of its discs was now looking bent, and was not spinning. S3 stood, waiting for Shredder to drive into it, and Shredder did, being knocked up by the flywheel as it tried to attack with its discs. After a couple of blows, both discs were left bent, and neither was spinning. With no weapon, Shredder could only drive around as S3 landed more blows, leaving the armour badly torn. However, whilst the two fought by the flame pit, S3 reversed onto the flames, and Shredder was able to block its escape, pushing it back, but then turned, driving over the flames itself, and allowing S3 to escape.

S3 earns the knockout win over Shredder

S3 continued to drive around Shredder, landing more blows, but was fazed when Shredder started spinning on the spot. Shredder stopped and drove at S3, being flicked up again by the flywheel. Shredder started spinning again, which allowed S3 to get its flywheel to top speed. S3 waited for Shredder to stop spinning, then drove into it with the flywheel, turning it over with one hit. After that hit, Shredder was left immobile by the flame pit. S3 opened the pit, and stood back as the House Robots attacked Shredder, before Shredder drove into the pit. S3 was through to the Semi-Finals again.

"People are out to get you, I mean people just want to stay away from you!"
— Craig Charles to the 1 Law Associates team

S3 faced newcomer Dantomkia in round one of the series Semi-Finals.

Philippa Forrester: "Do you know what you're up against? You've seen them in action."
Ian Pritchard: "Yeah, they took Chaos out, very well. Yeah, very good."
Philippa Forrester: "They took Chaos out, yeah. Can they do the same to you?"
Ian Pritchard: "Most probably!"
Philippa Forrester: "It's going to be harder to flip you though, because you're a difficult shape."
Ian Pritchard: "We don't really like flippers that much, because Bigger Brother took us out of the arena very nearly last series, so we're dubious flippers. Quite well made as well, strong robot."
— Pre-battle interview

S3 further damages the immobilised Dantomkia. Note that Dantomkia's front spike is wedged under the grinder

S3 waited for Dantomkia to drive at it, but Dantomkia got straight under S3 and pushed it back. S3 turned itself off Dantomkia's front before it could fire the flipper, so Dantomkia's flip missed. Dantomkia tried to get under S3 again, but S3 turned away. Dantomkia tried to get in a good position to flip S3, but S3 kept turning to prevent its opponent getting under it, before driving away. Dantomkia tried to get under one of S3's wheels, but S3 span around with Dantomkia, so Dantomkia still couldn't get under it. Dantomkia turned away, and S3 hit the side with its flywheel, knocking it aside. S3 tried to hit Dantomkia's side again, but Dantomkia turned, getting under S3 and pushing it back. S3 got off of Dantomkia's front by turning away, but when it turned to attack, Dantomkia got under the disc, and pushed S3 across the arena. S3's disc rode up the side of Dantomkia, and fell backwards. S3 retreated, and Dantomkia drove after it. However, in doing so, it drove into an angle grinder, and became stuck under it. S3 took advantage, hitting it with the disc. Refbot nudged Dantomkia away from the angle grinder, but Dantomkia was immobile, its safety link having fallen out. Meanwhile, S3 drove to the bottom arena wall, and drove straight into it, destroying the arena wall for a second time in the Sixth Wars.

"What's S3 doing? Trying to destroy our arena? Sgt. Bash, have a word."
— Jonathan Pearce

Dantomkia was counted out by Refbot, and Sir Killalot pitted it. S3 was through to the second round of the Semi-Finals.

"Stunned, both teams to be honest. So am I."
— Jonathan Pearce on Dantomkia's sudden immobilisation

Firestorm 4 was now the only machine that stood between S3 and the Grand Final.

Ian Pritchard: "Bit nervous now. Firestorm, good robot, better control than we have and another flipper as well!"
Philippa Forrester: "Another flipper, which I know you don't like!"
— Pre-battle interview

S3 is toppled out of the arena by Firestorm 4

Firestorm 4 started by charging straight at S3 and wedged underneath S3 repeatedly, but could not get in a position to flip S3 because it kept falling or quickly turning off the wedge. S3 tried to escape, but bumped into the arena wall. As Firestorm closed in, it span, then drove past Firestorm, driving over the wedge. S3 darted up the arena, with Firestorm in close pursuit. Firestorm got under S3, only for it to fall off, before turning around and getting under S3 again, pushing it into the top arena wall and flipping it over. As S3 was pushed into the wall, the disc caused a part of the top of the wall to fall off. Instead of getting away after being flipped, S3 span on the spot, and Firestorm 4 got under S3 from behind, and pushed it towards the wall. Firestorm 4 stopped to position itself, and S3 drove into the wall. Firestorm 4 then slid under S3 and flipped it onto the disc of doom release button. S3 tipped itself back over by spinning one of the wheels, but it landed on its opponent's flipper and Firestorm 4 flipped it onto its side again, but this time, the disc was on the wall, rather than on the button, and the weight of S3's spinning disc caused it to tip over the side wall and out of the arena.

"They teetered and they toppled and Firestorm have flicked them out. And even S3 seem to appreciate the tactics there"
— Jonathan Pearce

S3 was eliminated, at the same stage as the last series.

Craig Charles: "Where do you go from here guys?"
Dave Barker: "New robot..."
Craig Charles: "A new robot?"
Dave Barker: "New robot, a brand new one. Maybe similar design, but she's really tired now, she's sort of sticking plaster holding her together for tonight, and yeah, we'll see where we go."
— Post-battle interview

Extreme 2[]

For finishing in the Semi-Finals of Series 6, S3 was able to enter the All-Stars Tournament of Extreme 2, and in the first round it was drawn against Firestorm 4 and Bigger Brother, two robots that had beaten it before. The team had added anti-flipper plates to combat being flipped, but these proved to be their undoing.

Dave Barker: "...We don't usually do flippers, but we now do, we have an anti-flipper skid at the front, so the plan is that they run up it and hit the disc, and then its "bye-bye"."
Philippa Forrester: "Right, that's the plan...!"
— Pre-battle interview

S3 is thrown out of the arena by Bigger Brother

Firestorm charged straight at S3, but Bigger Brother rammed into Firestorm, pushing it back before it could reach S3. Bigger Brother tried to flip S3, but this failed because Firestorm drove off the flipper. Firestorm drove around S3, and S3 hit Firestorm's side with the disc. Firestorm was not deterred however, and got under one of S3's wheels and pinned it against an angle grinder. As Firestorm backed off, Bigger Brother got behind S3 and flipped it up, and S3 landed on Firestorm as it charged at Bigger Brother. S3 was stuck on its side, where it was left spinning in circles, the "anti-flipper" plates preventing the robot from falling back onto its wheels. Bigger Brother then drove S3 towards the arena wall and flipped it over and out. This eliminated S3 from the All-Stars championship and was also its last appearance on Robot Wars.

Philippa Forrester: "So in terms of a Robot Wars defeat then, would you say that was one of the most embarrassing ways you could go?"
Pete Allsopp: "Yes, very much so!"
— Post-battle interview


Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Semi-Final, Round 2
Heat C, Eliminator vs. Plunderbird 5 Won
Heat C, Semi Final vs. MouseTrap (20) Won
Heat C, Final vs. Stinger (5) Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Bigger Brother Lost
Semi-Final 1, Losers Melee vs. Wild Thing (9), Spawn Again (13) Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 2 vs. Razer (4) Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
7th Seed, Semi-Final, Round 2
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Roobarb, Shredder, Armadrillo Qualified
Heat D, Round 2 vs. Sir Chromalot Won
Heat D, Final vs. Shredder Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Dantomkia Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 2 vs. Firestorm 4 (3) Lost
Extreme Series 2
Heat, Round 1
Heat A, Round 1 vs. Bigger Brother, Firestorm 4 Eliminated


  • Wins: 8
  • Losses: 4

Series Record[]

Main Series S3 Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Entered with Sting
The Third Wars Entered with Sting 2
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Semi-Finals, Round 2
The Sixth Wars Semi-Finals, Round 2
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
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 All-Stars, Round 1


Outside Robot Wars[]

S3 at the 2002 Roaming Robots Gaydon event

S3 being prepared for battle at the Gaydon event

S3 competed at a Roaming Robots event at Gaydon in 2002. In its only battle, it went against Kan-Opener and Gyrobot. S3 lost the battle to Kan-Opener after it was pitted along with Gyrobot.[3][4]

S3 on display with Sting 2 at Snibston Discovery Park

S3 preparing for a demonstration with Razer at the Roaming Robots Red Nose Day 2003 event

S3 at the 2003 Robot Crusade event

Although it did not appear on Robot Wars again after Extreme 2, S3 would still make a few appearances at events. S3 was a static display for an antweight-only combat event at Snibston Discovery Park in Leicester.[5] It would also attend two events in March 2003, first at the Roaming Robots Red Nose Day 2003 event. S3 fought in one battle against Judge Shred 3 and Corkscrew but due to safety concerns, S3 was not allowed to run its disc at full capacity, nor was its fellow spinner opponent. As such, Judge Shred 3 won the battle. S3 also performed a demonstration alongside Razer, the two robots destroyed an array of computers, VCRs and a metal box.[6] Its other appearance that month was at the 2003 Robot Crusade event at the Enginuity museum in Coalbrookdale where S3 again took part in a demonstration.[7] The team would ultimately retire from robot combat not long afterwards due to other commitments and personal reasons.[8]

"We had decided to call it a day as the commitment to the show was huge in terms of time and we all had other things on and families to consider"
— Dave Barker on their retirement in December 2021

At one point, the team considered selling S3 to Adrian Sandercock, but this ultimately did not happen, with the team changing their minds at the last minute.[9][10]

S3 on display at Enginuity

S3 under the ownership of Team Shock in December 2021

In 2011, S3 was given on long term loan to the Enginuity museum, where the robot had previously done demonstrations before, as the team were no longer able to compete.[11] This was part of The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, with the team also lending Sting 2 for display. S3 was on display at the museum for several years until 2021, when it was acquired by Will Thomas of Team Shock in December after he had been in touch with the team. Will has stated that he will be using S3 for teaching aids.[12]


  • The team's other concept for S3 was a rambot, but they decided on the spinning flywheel due to it being considered more entertaining.
"In the end the decision came down to two basic concepts. A pusher with loads of grip and power and a tough shell to boot, the aim being to force the opponent into the pit or a CPZ. This design had done quite well in past programs. The alternative was a "weapon on wheels" with less in the way of pushing ability and armour, but with a very destructive weapon and agility to avoid trouble and bring the weapon to bear. In the finish, the deciding factor was the nature of Robot Wars itself. After all, we didn't want to just win, we wanted to do it in style with lots of good TV to boot, and that meant damage infliction and lots of it! A big weapon it was to be then!"
— 1 Law Associates website on designing S3
  • S3 is one of only eight robots to fight in more than one UK Championship and never fail to reach the Semi-Finals.
  • S3 was originally intended to have a self-righting mechanism, but this idea was scrapped during construction because it was too complex.
"The original idea was for a cam to be engaged by a solenoid on the "top" skid, which would be the bottom skid when inverted. This in turn would come into contact with a lug on the main disc which would hinge the entire skid assembly away from the housing, thus flipping the robot right way up. Why bother when all we needed to do was to run the inverted robot up against the opposition and let the disc do the rest?!"
— 1 Law Associates website[13]
  • According to Team Captain Dave Barker, S3 was not called Sting 3 so it would not be confused with Stinger. Ironically, S3's first appearance saw it fight Stinger and beat it.
  • S3's statistics board in Series 5 mistakenly displayed its weight as 100kg when it was actually 90kg. This is proven in Series 6, when Ian Pritchard stated that the robot was 'another 8kg heavier than in Series 5'. As S3 weighed 98kg in Series 6, the robot having a weight of 100kg in Series 5 would be impossible, as this would make the Series 6 incarnation 2kg lighter.
  • S3's two losses in Series 5 were to that series' champion and runner-up. This was the only time in the original run of the series that this happened.
  • According to the Robot Wars Magazine, S3 would have been seeded eighth for the Seventh Wars, had it competed.
  • S3's loss to Razer in Series 5 was its only loss not to involve Bigger Brother or Firestorm, or both.
    • Razer is also the only non-flipper robot to defeat S3.
  • In both of S3's main series appearances, it fought in the same heat as Shredder.
  • S3 in Series 5 was one of the few robots to be referred to as a newcomer despite appearing in Robot Wars before.
  • In the Fifth Wars, S3 defeated three former semi-finalists on the way to winning its heat (Plunderbird, MouseTrap and Stinger). No other robot has ever achieved this feat, though TR2 did defeat Dantomkia (under a new team) and Or Te (but was not responsible for its immobilisation) alongside King B Remix in Series 8.
  • S3 was the only seeded robot in Series 6 that was not originally seeded for at least three series (Dominator 2 was originally seeded for Series 7, but pulled out at the last moment).
  • During Series 5, all five of the robots S3 defeated were former semi-finalists, the most former semi-finalists defeated in a single run.
    • All of those former semi-finalists were seeded at some point and S3 itself was seeded in Series 6.
  • S3 was the fifth of six robots to win a heat by defeating two seeded robots in a single episode. It shares this with Dominator 2, Thermidor 2 and Splinter from the Fourth Wars, as well as fellow Series 5 Semi-Finalist Bigger Brother.
  • If counting Axe-Awe as seperate to Iron-Awe 2, S3 was the first machine thrown out of the arena twice.
  • In Series 6, a teddy bear was seen on S3's workbench.
  • Dave Barker often used female pronouns when describing S3.
  • Dave Barker's favourite fight was S3's Series 5 battle against Plunderbird 5.[14]
  • Excluding Series 1 and Series 3 as they did not include seeds, S3's Semi-Final battle against Bigger Brother was one of only three Semi-Final battles in the history of Robot Wars to not include at least one seeded machine. The other two being Atomic vs. M2 and Atomic vs. Typhoon 2 from The Seventh Wars.




External Links[]