- "What we've created... it scares me!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Sabretooth (originally referred to by the show as Sabre Tooth) was a competitor in Series 5 and 6, and later Series 8, 9 and 10 of Robot Wars, also withdrawing from Series 7. Despite its gradual improvements, it failed to progress beyond the first round in Series 5, 6 and 8, either through poor reliability, severe damage from other opponents, or a faulty self-righting mechanism. Sabretooth's biggest achievement finally came in Series 9, where it reached the Heat Final despite taking tremendous amounts of damage along the way. It also finished third in its heat during Series 10, qualifying for the 10 Robot Rumble, and represented the United Kingdom in Robot Wars: World Series.
Although it was not successful in its appearances prior to Series 9, Sabretooth proved to be a recurring figure, consistently sporting the same name and similar aesthetics whilst competing in five different series total.
Versions of Sabretooth
Sabretooth (Series 5)
The original Sabretooth robot was was built around a Honda Melody Scooter, and is dome-shaped through the use of its rollcage, in favour of a self-righting mechanism. The robot's weapon was a wide set of shredding blades that spun at 2400rpm. Although the blades were fairly effective, the front chain was notably exposed. The robot itself was also somewhat slow, and its weapon proved unreliable in its only televised battle, stopping upon contact with Evolution.
- "Basically they got a moped, cut it up, welded lots of bits of metal to it, strapped on some motors and here it is!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sabretooth (Series 6)
In Series 6, a new Sabretooth armed with a large spinning disc weapon was built. However, its axle for the 13 inch cutting disc weapon broke during the qualifiers, so the team was forced to remove it. The damage came as a result of bending the chassis of a flipper-wielding opponent in its qualifier battle. The old axle was welded back together, but it would no longer hold up the power of the disc, so the team instead equipped a large tyre for extra speed and mobility, and an improved drive engine, giving Sabretooth 12-horsepower push and allowing it to reach reported speeds of 70mph (which would have made it the fastest robot in Robot Wars if this claim is accurate), in contrast to its former top speed of 12mph - although the robot's speed was noticeably geared down in combat. Sabretooth now weighed 100kg, and was powered by two 750w electric motors, although its aluminium armour was still thin, and a petrol engine would have proven to be flammable if used to power the weapon.
Sabretooth (Series 7 withdrawal)
An all-new Sabretooth was built for Series 7, featuring a horizontal flywheel, capable of spinning at an incredible speed of 9000rpm, powered by a 125cc engine. Although this disc proved to be very powerful, this came at the cost of safety, and the producers asked the team to tone down the power of their disc, a request the team could not fulfil before the filming of Series 7.
- "It was a bit over the top!"
- — Gabriel Stroud, on their Series 7 weaponry
Sabretooth (Series 8)
- "Sabretooth is unique in featuring three different weapons at one time: a 22kg aluminium drum spinner (operating at 4,500rpm), a flipper and a moveable gripper. The chassis consists of two layers of armour plate with HDPE, keeping it light and agile."
- — Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot on Sabretooth in Series 8
The team returned in 2016 to compete with a brand-new version of Sabretooth. The robot had three weapons, including an overhead claw at the front, which also doubles as the robot's srimech. The claw had a steep wedge plate underneath it, referred to on the Robot Wars website as a 'flipper', and a 22kg aluminium spinning drum at the back, powered by a brushless motor for top speeds of 4500rpm, which allowed the drum to emit an ominous scream at top speed.
Sabretooth's wedge design later became a recurring theme across future Sabretooth machines, and even the front of JAR, a robot mentored by Gabriel Stroud in Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars.
Sabretooth (Series 9)
For Series 9, another brand-new version of Sabretooth was built, this time a two-wheel driven 109kg robot, steel armour and a larger three-toothed, 7,000rpm drum weighing 25kg, powered by a 80cc Rotamax. It was comparatively slow at 9mph, but nevertheless powerful, with 1.7hp in each of its two T64 NPC motors. The Series 9 Sabretooth was now invertible to circumvent the Series 8 version's self-righting issues. Its design was inspired by a 'rocket powered industrial quarry robot' according to the official Robot Wars website, with the core basis of Sabretooth being based upon the featherweight 720, which the team bought for inspiration and later rebranded as Sabre20 for use at Robo Challenge events. This aesthetic was complimented by a rear circular section modelled on the exhaust of a jet aircraft.
The top armour of Sabretooth was the same type of scoop previously seen in the last version of Sabretooth and JAR, although Series 8's Sabretooth is known to have another scoop. This Sabretooth was also decorated with a custom-made gear, using the Team Legion name, and the names Gabe, Esme, Rob and Al. The remainder of the robot's armour was comprised from 3mm hard-wearing and wear-resistant steel plate, backed up by 4mm 'ultra hard' steel plate armour.
The exhaust pipe at the rear of Sabretooth was planned to be a flamethrower, and the robot still contains some components used to power the flamethrower, but ultimately the weapon was not completed as insurance could not be acquired to run this type of weapon in the arena.
Sabretooth (Series 10)
- "This time, aside from winning, I want respect, and admiration. I will stop at nothing to be the next Robot Wars champion."
- — Gabriel Stroud's confidence in the Series 10 version of Sabretooth
Series 10's Sabretooth took the invertible drum spinner design of the previous Sabretooth, and optimised it for greater efficiency, now taking design cues from the featherweight 722. The CAD process was also partially completed by Ellis Ware and Craig Danby. The team's signature metal scoop was recreated in the form of a flat armour panel on top, designed to cushion axe blows. Sabretooth's wheels were now protected by angled sides, making them less exposed to attacks from spinners, and the robot runs more easily when inverted due to its flatter top. The robot was now considerably faster at 15mph thanks to its two 48V AmpFlow motors, driven by VEX BB controllers. Sabretooth's armour now consisted of 3.2mm HARDOX and layered HDPE, with an internal machined aluminium chassis.
Sabretooth's drum weighed 22kg and ran two NeuMotors and X-Series MGM electronic speed controllers, giving the weapon a top speed of 7000rpm, matching its top speed from Series 9. The drum itself was CNC machined with offset double teeth, mimicking the engagement that a single tooth drum would achieve whilst giving it the appearance of a three-tooth design. The weapon's high top speed enabled the robot to willingly 'gyro-dance' for self-righting purposes. Sabretooth retained the 'mission badge' with the team members on it, this time located behind the drum instead of on the top. Sabretooth's rear exhaust pipes were still present despite having no function.
To remedy Sabretooth's issue of running out of spare parts in Series 9, Team Legion brought spare components for every piece of Sabretooth to the filming of Series 10, including a chassis and complete armour panels, essentially meaning that they had brought 'two Sabretooths' to filming. Sabretooth was also designed to be modular, so that its parts could be easily swapped out with those spares. However, the brushless motors used in the updated Sabretooth limited the ability of the untested drum spinner, as the team could not run it for extended periods of time without overheating the robot. As a result, Sabretooth was forced to revert to the motors that the team used in Series 9, starting with the 10 Robot Rumble, and for both of its fights in Robot Wars: World Series. Sabretooth also used a number of different feeder wedges, including a flat strip used against Apocalypse and two small wedgelets used against Apollo, although these usually detached in battle.
- "We chose Sabretooth, because of the Xmen comics, plus we always thought it sounded like a cool name. I guess it stuck."
- — Gabriel Stroud on Reddit
All six versions of Sabretooth used the same name, with no variation through numbers or alternative version names. The name "Sabretooth" was derived from the Sabretooth character from the X-Men comic books. The robot's visual design also draws inspiration from the saber-toothed cat, the original basis for the comic book character's name.
- Main article: Team Legion
Sabretooth was entered into Robot Wars by Team Legion, known in the classic series simply as Team Sabretooth. The team was captained by 43-year old software company director, the enthusiastic Gabriel Stroud, who was the driver of Sabretooth in most of its battles. He was consistently joined by Robert Pickford, who led the construction of the Sabretooth machines, and also drove the robot on occasion, otherwise operating Sabretooth's weaponry in Series 10.
For Series 5 and 6, the young Polly Parr-Stroud was also present on the team. Gabriel Stroud's 15-year old daughter Esme joined the team for Series 8 and 9 to operate the weaponry of Sabretooth, having originally been born during the filming of Series 5, although she could not attend the filming of Series 10 due to clashes with exams. The Series 8 version of Sabretooth was designed by Harry Hills, who was present on the team during Series 8 before later entering Series 9 and 10 with his own robot Hobgoblin. 68-year old Al Cannon was involved with the machining of Sabretooth and its parts for many years, and finally joined the televised team in Series 9 and 10 to assist with maintenance, also holding a Team Legion sign during battles to represent Esme Stroud.
Sabretooth qualified for Robot Wars on its first attempt, earning a place in the Fifth Wars after attending the live qualification tour. Sabretooth also qualified for Series 6 successfully, but at a cost - during its qualifier battle, Sabretooth broke its vertical spinner and sheared the axle it was mounted on, damage that the team could not repair before the Sixth Wars, leaving Sabretooth weaponless in its televised appearance.
In its qualifier battle for Series 7, Sabretooth fought Disc-O-Inferno, Hannibal and Hassocks Hog 2. It teamed up with its fellow horizontal spinner Disc-O-Inferno, and immobilised Hannibal with a single blow whilst Disc-O-Inferno defeated Hassocks Hog 2. Both spinners survived despite Disc-O-Inferno accidentally damaging Sabretooth when being flipped by Hassocks Hog 2. Sabretooth lost the judges' decision to Disc-O-Inferno, but received a discretionary place into the series. However, the team were asked to tone down the power on their disc, and were unable to comply in time for the show, so they were forced to withdraw from the Seventh Wars.
- "We made a deal with the Disc-O-Inferno team to go for the flippers, we dispatched our opponent with one hit, Disc-O-Inferno took care of Hassocks Hog 2. Disco was flipped by the hog resulting in a momentary lack of control which caused minor damage to Sabretooth. We did qualify but were asked to tame our disc down which ran at 9000rpm due to the 125cc engine driving it. In the time we had, we could not manage this so withdrew from the competition."
- — Gabriel Stroud
Sabretooth successfully qualified for Series 8 through online applications, impressing the producers with its appearance, and after also being accepted for Series 9 in the same manner, its qualification for Series 10 was hardly in doubt.
In its debut fight, Sabretooth fought a fellow newcomer in the first round of the Fifth Wars, fighting the wooden entry Evolution.
- "To me, Sabretooth looks a bit cumbersome, a little clumsy..."
- — Jonathan Pearce at the start of the battle
Sabretooth started tentatively, edging towards Evolution while both robots were spinning their weapons. Evolution's weapon made first contact, and dragged Sabretooth backwards. While Evolution was on the offence, Sabretooth turned in place and used its spinning blades to cut into the wooden armour of Evolution. Despite causing damage, this caused Sabretooth's blades to jam, leaving the robot without a weapon.
- "Snagging the Sabretooth teeth! You can see them whirling away, caught on the body of Evolution, and then stopped turning, a worry then for Rob Pickford and Gabriel Stroud at the controls of Sabretooth."
- — Jonathan Pearce
The unarmed Sabretooth was then pushed back into the arena wall, although it responded by ramming into Evolution as Sir Killalot left its CPZ. Sabretooth attempted to push Evolution onto the flame pit, but became beached on the tank-like robot and could not drive away until it was freed by the House Robot. Sabretooth then took evasive action as Sgt. Bash illegally strayed out of its CPZ to cut into the body of Evolution, damaging its drive system. While Sabretooth continued to stay in safer confines of the arena, Sir Killalot immobilised Evolution by picking it up, bending the weapon, and placing it in the centre of the arena for Sabretooth to attack with a slam. Time expired, and 'cease' was called at the end of the battle. In spite of Evolution's immobility, the battle was sent to a Judges' decision, as Evolution was deemed to have been attacked unfairly.
- "When SabreTooth bites, he'll turn out your lights!"
- — A banner held by an audience member
In a close decision, the Judges ultimately voted in favour of Evolution, causing Sabretooth to fall in the first round.
- Craig Charles: "What happened? That spinning thing, going at 2,500rpm, it didn't like move, like anywhere near that fast!"
- Gabriel Stroud: "It was at the beginning, it's got a clutch in it, and I think we've broken the clutch in the front there, so we need a new motorbike, so anyone who's got a motorbike that we can have, we need a whole new moped!"
- — Post-battle interview
- "More problems, the aluminium body has thin gas pipe armour. Presumably the petrol from the weaponry is still on board as well, and flammable. This Sabretooth could soon be extinct!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, with little faith in Sabretooth
In the first round of Sabretooth's heat in Series 6, it fought the experienced John Reid and his robot Terrorhurtz, alongside the heavyweight version of A-Kill and Reptirron The Second. However, after breaking its spinning disc in the qualifiers for Series 6, Team Sabretooth had to compromise and equip their robot with a large tyre in place of its active weapon, which supposedly increased the robot's top speed to 70mph at the expense of having no damage output.
- Philippa Forrester: "So you were saying how you've got no weapons..."
- Gabriel Stroud: "Yeah, what happened in the preliminary rounds, we lost our disc and it sheared the axle. We didn't have time to get a new axle, so we have welded the old axle up, but it won't obviously take the power of the disc, so we've put the back wheel in and dropped it on the ground. We've got twelve horsepower of push now! And we can break the land speed record for roboteering, because this will do seventy miles per hour!"
- — Gabriel Stroud redeems the broken weaponry
Sabretooth first engaged with Reptirron the Second while the impressive Terrorhurtz was focused on attacking A-Kill. Not long afterwards, Reptirron the Second showed signs of immobility, while Sabretooth drove dangerously close to the jaws of Growler, and an angle grinder. Sabretooth's increased speed was not evident, as it showed little purposeful movement, and then exposed its back end to Terrorhurtz, allowing the destructive axe to reign down blows on the framework of Sabretooth. It was pushed into the arena wall, and after enough blows from Terrorhurtz, it became clear that Sabretooth had been immobilised, and it was left alone.
- "Sabretooth, we wondered and worried about all the way through, they're being counted down. ...Well Sabretooth, all the damage was done, really before they came into the arena."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sabretooth was counted out by Refbot, and Growler positioned it on the floor flipper, which tossed Sabretooth onto its wheel. Having won the battle alongside A-Kill, Terrorhurtz landed further blows on Sabretooth. Finally, Shunt dropped Sabretooth into the pit, and 'cease' was called on the robot's second loss.
- Philippa Forrester: "Well, I may have missed, you know when you said you were going to go really fast. Was it faster than the speed of light, is that why I missed it?"
- Gabriel Stroud: "Well, it didn't work, did it? It moved so fast, you couldn't see it! No, it didn't work."
- — Gabriel Stroud on his earlier claims
Returning to Robot Wars after thirteen years, Sabretooth faced Seventh Wars runner-up and New Blood and Third World Champion Storm 2, veteran Terror Turtle, and live circuit success story Eruption in the first round, a draw which Team Legion found to be extraordinarily difficult. Sabretooth faced immediate difficulty, as its claw weapon, which also functions as its self-righting mechanism, was broken in the process of repairs.
- "When we were trying to fix it, it broke! So don't tell anyone, we can't self right!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Compromising for the lack of a srimech, Sabretooth's tactics were to spin the rear drum up to full power, and make itself unapproachable to flippers, pushing its opponents aside. It bravely targeted Eruption to try and dispose of the flipper first, and landed a glancing blow, but was tossed when Eruption slid underneath the drum, with Sabretooth fortunately landing back on its wheels. Sabretooth was not discouraged, and it buffeted Eruption, but when it was flipped once more by Eruption, it landed on its back. With Sabretooth unable to self-right due to its broken claw, it was rendered immobile, and was left alone until 'cease' was called.
- Angela Scanlon: "That self-right was always potentially a chink in the armour, and unfortunately, it kicked in earlier than we would have liked!"
- Gabriel Stroud: "We were giving Eruption a good fight, and I was really pleased that we got flipped and we came back again, and we carried on, but eventually it was only a matter of time before we went over."
- — Team Legion are consoled over another first-round exit
Sabretooth was nearly required to fight a second battle in the heat, when Team Eruption were struggling to repair their robot in time for its match against Apollo. Had Eruption dropped out, Sabretooth would have filled its place, but ultimately Eruption made it to the arena. Gabriel Stroud was also required to sell one of his spare motors for use in PP3D, which also may have faced withdrawal.
Sabretooth competed in Heat 1, where it fought the new robot from a Grand Finalist team, Aftershock, as well as the experienced Crank-E and Dutch entry TMHWK. Angela Scanlon immediately spoke to Team Legion about their lack of a televised combat win.
- Angela Scanlon: "You're a glutton for punishment!"
- Gabriel Stroud: "We've learnt so many lessons! The key lesson, is this time, it runs both ways up! The drum is a monster!"
- — Gabriel Stroud believes he may finally win a battle
Sabretooth was intentionally evasive at the start of the battle, allowing Aftershock to immobilise Crank-E, only challenging TMHWK when Team Dutch Robot Girls approached it. Sabretooth quickly won this battle, immobilising TMHWK with a side-on charge, ripping shards of its HDPE side panel away, eventually tearing it off completely. Wedged under TMHWK, Sabretooth drove it across the arena and into Shunt. Sabretooth sent one of TMHWK's front wedges flying, and the beaten machine was turned over by the arena spikes. Both defeated robots were counted out, but Sabretooth drew too close to Shunt, and the House Robot beached it on the arena wall. As a result, Team Legion were unaware that they had earned their first victory in Robot Wars.
- Angela Scanlon: "Sixteen years, you've waited for a little sniff of glory!"
- Gabriel Stroud: "But have we won?"
- Angela Scanlon: "Wha-- no wonder it took sixteen years! Well, I mean, you're through!"
- Gabriel Stroud: "Oh, we have? Yay! I need it confirmed! I need it confirmed, it's been so long!"
- — The revelation dawns upon Team Legion
The jubilant Team Legion qualified for the second round, where their first opponent was Terrorhurtz, in a rematch from Series 6. Sabretooth raised its ground-scraping wedge for this battle, as it was limiting the robot's control in the previous fight.
When activate sounded, Terrorhurtz charged Sabretooth, which was slow in spinning up its drum, although it scattered sparks once it started spinning, sustaining axe blows in the process. After this, Terrorhurtz drove into the arena wall, a mistake which Sabretooth capitalised on, throwing Terrorhurtz's axe rest panel aside, flipping the robot up, and burying the spinning drum into Terrorhurtz's weaker back end. Both robots met again in the centre of the arena, and Sabretooth threw Terrorhurtz skyward, then remained underneath the falling Terrorhurtz to damage its underside.
- "All of a sudden, Sabretooth, after sixteen years of misery and hurt, are looking delightful! They didn't even know they'd won the previous bout, so unused to victory!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
However at this point, smoke poured out of Sabretooth, and the drum also stopped working after losing a huge chunk. Sabretooth needed to use tactical driving to sneak around the back of a limping Terrorhurtz, which had also lost drive to one side. Sabretooth could not push Terrorhurtz effectively, and drove in front of it to receive an axe blow. Team Legion then realised Terrorhurtz's immobility, and pressed the pit release button in the hopes that Rogue House Robot would be activated. Their wish was granted, and after an attack from the rogue Shunt, and a follow-up hit from Sabretooth, Terrorhurtz was rendered immobile, and Team Legion earned 3 points for a knockout victory.
- "That was a stupendous fight! Crazy, crazy fight!"
- — The elated Team Legion
The team could not remain cheerful for too long, as they then discovered the significant damage that their drum had sustained. Robert Pickford was required to bend steel rings out of metal off-cuts to wrap around the drum, supporting the chunk that had come loose in the last battle. Sabretooth's drum was fixed in time for its second encounter with Aftershock.
Sabretooth made a driving error in the face of Aftershock, exposing its wheel and losing shreds of armour, before a second error saw Sabretooth drive over the floor flipper, where it was turned over. The normally invertible robot could not move due to the damage sustained to its body-shape. Aftershock used its spinner to right Sabretooth, but caused further damage, and ripped away its top armour.
- "Oh they need a good drummer out there. Phil Collins anywhere? No, he's not here!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sabretooth was now in great peril, and pressed the pit release, causing the pit to descend. This gave Aftershock a chance to inflict the killer blow on Sabretooth, turning it over and showering sparks. Although Sabretooth was immobile, Team Shock did not realise this, and landed another barrage of hits, barrelling Sabretooth through the air. Off-screen, the punishment continued as Sir Killalot lifted and damaged Sabretooth even more.
- "I feel a bit funny after Aftershock..."
- — Gabriel Stroud responds to Angela Scanlon's sympathy
Sabretooth had lost the battle with a huge amount of repairs now needing to be made. Broken components included Sabretooth's motors and speed controllers, and its drum was still in need of repairs before the battle had even begun. Team Shock would later apologise for the extensive damage they caused. After hours of hard work, Sabretooth entered the test arena to see whether or not the robot would be functional for a battle with the reinstated Jellyfish. Although the team accidentally wired their drum to spin in the wrong direction, Sabretooth was fit to enter the arena.
- "Two hours ago, I think that was in pieces. So many people helped... we're back on track, thank you!"
- — An emotional Gabriel Stroud thanks the roboteers in the pits
Although Sabretooth got its weapon up to speed, it could not damage Jellyfish, as the weapon was spinning in the wrong direction. Jellyfish hugged Sabretooth on two occasions, and Team Legion could only drive their robot over the top of Jellyfish. Sabretooth was idle in the centre of the arena, and it was gripped by the clamp of Jellyfish. Eventually breaking free, Sabretooth's drum hit the surface of Jellyfish, and became stuck on its back pole. Sir Killalot separated the two robots, but both were stuck on the surface of the slightly lowered pit, and could not escape until 'cease' was called.
- "Who is the quick, or the dead? Well neither of them were the quick, let's be honest! This is gonna be close!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The battle was sent to an adjudication, and Dara Ó Briain revealed that this was in fact a split decision. However, despite one Judge voting in favour of Sabretooth, the battle was ultimately won by Jellyfish. This left Sabretooth with a total of three points at the end of Round 2, tied with Terrorhurtz. Because Sabretooth defeated Terrorhurtz in their head-to-head battle, Team Legion qualified for the Heat Final.
- "I think this time round, we'll give the Aftershock boys a little taste of their own medicine!"
- — Pre-battle confidence from Gabriel Stroud
Sabretooth entered the Heat Final without a working weapon, so it attempted to hit Aftershock before the vertical spinner got up to speed, but this attack was not fast enough, and Sabretooth was punted towards Sir Killalot. The House Robot held Sabretooth over the flame pit, and Aftershock attacked it while it was in the air. Sabretooth's one functional wheel could not gain purchase on the arena floor, and after being thrown by Sir Killalot, Sabretooth stopped completely. Will Thomas did not power down Aftershock's weapon, but held off to see if Sabretooth was immobile. Sabretooth showed signs of life, but Gabriel Stroud seemingly wished to play dead to avoid further punishment.
- "Don't, because they'll hit you!"
- — Gabriel Stroud, when Robert Pickford controlled Sabretooth
After another hit, Sabretooth was finished, and it was counted out. An emotional episode had come to a close for Team Legion, and the sixteen-year wait resulted in a Heat Final finish. Sabretooth remained in contention for a wildcard position in the Grand Final, but this was awarded to Apollo, eliminating Sabretooth from the competition.
- "We rebuilt it twice in the pits, pretty much from scratch, and the fact that we've got to this point is, I think, an amazing feat of skills, engineering, everything, and it's all down to these guys. We've had an amazing ride, and it's been... really good!"
- — An emotional finish for Team Legion
- Gabriel Stroud: "The whole robot's modular, so we can change the parts out now really fast, that's our thing!"
- Angela Scanlon: "So you're not going to be hammering away here through the night, and just swapping out?"
- Gabriel Stroud: "No no, there's another robot under the bench!"
- — Team Legion's secret weapon
Sabretooth returned in Heat 1, where it would face the newcomer Donald Thump, and veteran Behemoth. Before the battle, Team Legion revealed to Angela Scanlon that they had brought a second complete version of Sabretooth, which was hiding under the table, although in the interest of fairness, the team were required to disassemble their second Sabretooth.
- "I'd like to see us v Carbide in the Grand Final. We've gotta win the series!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Behemoth quickly challenged Sabretooth at the beginning of the fight, but Sabretooth responded by rolling Behemoth over using its spinning drum. Donald Thump put its weapon directly against Sabretooth's, although the drum of Sabretooth removed an eye from Donald Thump at the expense of the drum's momentum. Sabretooth fled to try and spin up its weapon, bumping Behemoth, but turned straight into Donald Thump, which ripped the side armour of Sabretooth up. It retaliated by slamming into the face of Donald Thump, loosening it, and grazed the scoop of Behemoth before being flicked away, while Donald Thump became immobile.
Sabretooth chased Behemoth across the arena, and hit the bucket weapon head-on, rebounding away into the Arena Tyre, which activated the pit, and Sabretooth barely missed driving over it. With great momentum, Sabretooth crashed into the front of Behemoth, knocking out its opponent's safety link and immobilising it. However, despite this KO, the steep shape of Behemoth caused Sabretooth to be overturned by the same attack, and due to the earlier damage from Donald Thump, an otherwise mobile Sabretooth could no longer place its wheels on the arena floor. In an effort to show mobility, Sabretooth spun its weapon and wheels, but the battle was sent to a Judges' decision to decide a winner between Sabretooth and Behemoth.
- "You smashed into each other, and it was that impact which totalled you both!"
- — Dara Ó Briain
The Judges declared that Behemoth had won the battle based on its overall performance, and Sabretooth would be knocked into the Redemption Robot Knockouts. Gabriel Stroud was displeased with the result, stating that he felt 'a little bit robbed', believing that he deserved the win for the Group Battle.
- Angela Scanlon: "This is a bit awkward! There was so much talk, we're gonna win, we're not just here to win a battle..."
- Gabriel Stroud: "We should've won! But you know, if we hadn't been flipped by Behemoth at that point, we would still be going!"
- Angela Scanlon: "Okay, keep telling yourself that, Gabriel!"
- — Angela Scanlon mocks Team Legion's boasts
In the Redemption Robot Knockouts, Sabretooth fought newcomer Apocalypse. Gabriel Stroud reluctantly handed the controller to Rob Pickford for him to drive Sabretooth in the head-to-head battle. The exhaust pipes were removed from the back of Sabretooth.
- Angela Scanlon: "You're kind of stuck in everything, is that hard to hand the controls over?"
- Gabriel Stroud: "It's terrible, I can't...it'll be me, there'll be a lot of...maybe some swearing!"
- — Control moves over to Rob Pickford
Sabretooth made a driving error in the opening stages, presenting its back end to Apocalypse, and Team Asgard fired their weapon repeatedly, hitting Sabretooth in sequence, and also loosening its front wedge, causing Sabretooth to attack its own armour panel as it was pushed back. Gabriel Stroud strongly encouraged his teammate to start landing hits.
- "Look at Gabriel, he's a nice guy, but Robot Wars has created a monster in him!! He's so determined! He just wants to create mayhem out there! He wants the victory at all costs!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sabretooth was edged towards Shunt by Apocalypse, where it struggled to escape, until it eventually drove towards the Arena Tyre to activate Fog of War. While Team Legion were blinded by the fog, Sabretooth drove over the floor flipper, and was tossed across the arena. Sabretooth was still receiving blows from Apocalypse, but finally landed a side-on attack.
- "Whack him! Whack him, drive into him, hit him!"
- — Gabriel Stroud during the battle
Apocalypse struggled to leave its own circumference, but Sabretooth had also lost power to its drum, which it had hardly used throughout the battle, and a revived Apocalypse landed further blows on Sabretooth. Spurred on by his team captain, Rob Pickford slotted Sabretooth underneath a grabbing arm of Apocalypse, and used its improved drive system to smash Apocalypse into the arena wall, immobilising it in a come-from-behind victory. Pickford was aware of this victory, and challenged Shunt momentarily, although Gabriel Stroud continued to order the driver to attack Apocalypse until smoke started pouring out of the beaten robot.
- Gabriel Stroud: "Now just pummel him into the wall! Right come on, now come out of there and now hit him again!"
- Rob Pickford: "He's stopped. He's stopped!"
- Gabriel Stroud: "No, hit him again! Go and hit him! I don't care, hit him!! Oh he's on fire..."
- — Tension amongst Team Legion
'Cease' was called and Sabretooth had progressed to the next round, ensured of at least two more battles. Dara Ó Briain called Gabriel Stroud 'lucky' for winning.
- Gabriel Stroud: "I got so furious in there! I was just, argh, we just need to get this, I just, I keep on bashing him! So that's what we were doing, and, well we did it! You can't take that away!"
- Dara Ó Briain: "You did, no no no, you got the win! But it was the fact that your beautifully constructed weapon ate itself, and then you just blunt force trauma'd them into a wall!"
- — Dara Ó Briain
In its next battle, Sabretooth fought former champion Apollo. Team MAD considered Sabretooth to be their biggest threat within the heat, but Team Legion were similarly cautious. Curiously, Sabretooth still lacked its rear exhaust pipes.
- "Apollo's looking really really strong, and obviously he has been a previous champion, so it's going to be a tough one to crack!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Sabretooth got its drum up to speed, and damaged the wedge of Apollo, but was flipped in response, and edged into Sir Killalot's CPZ. While the drum was struggling to gain momentum, Sabretooth fled from the pursuant Apollo, tricking the chasing robot into flipping itself over, but Sabretooth could not capitalise, and drove dangerously close to the arena wall, where it was flicked up. Sabretooth continued to flee, unable to assert itself.
- "Sabretooth's fighting for its life here, isn't it?"
- — Professor Noel Sharkey
Sabretooth caused some sparks by attacking Apollo's wedge, but caused little damage, and its drum ceased again, so Sabretooth used the Arena Tyre to activate Rogue House Robot. Sabretooth was already close to Dead Metal, so it was gripped and held against the arena wall, and very nearly sustained a direct attack to the wheel from Dead Metal's saw. When freed, Sabretooth continued its tactic of running away to try and gain speed on the spinning drum.
- "Such a good driver, so knowledgeable about robots, about what it takes to win in the arena, but can his machine win against the redoubtable Apollo?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sabretooth drove directly over the top of Apollo, but was launched into an empty CPZ by the flipper. Sabretooth's efforts to flee only saw it flipped into Dead Metal, and after an attack to the side of Apollo which caused no damage, Sabretooth drove too close to the arena wall, and Apollo flipped it out of the arena. After Sabretooth's second loss in the heat, it would have to compete in a third place playoff for survival. Team Legion were consoled by a group hug with Team MAD.
- "One split second, one lapse in concentration, one Robot Wars campaign over!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
In order to qualify for the 10 Robot Rumble, Sabretooth would need to defeat Team Big Brother's four-part clusterbot The Swarm, which had applied an anti-spinner wedge to its invertible robot Skye, and also deployed their anti-spinner unit. Gabriel Stroud was particularly enthusiastic about the idea of qualifying for the 10 Robot Rumble, and threatened to defeat The Swarm at all costs.
- "You know what, I'm playing to get into the 10-way!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Sabretooth slowly spun its drum up to speed, and sustained a blow from the bar spinner of Blenda, but threw the invertible Skye across the arena. A strong follow-up attack sent Blenda skidding across the arena, and a third blow flipped Blenda onto the flame pit. This once again silenced the drum of Sabretooth, tearing a hole in the front of Sabretooth. It was lifted by Rubber Duck, but knocked Blenda away using its greater weight against the active bar spinner. Sabretooth drove over the arena spikes, but when trying to attack Sabretooth, the spikes rocketed into the air and were strewn across the arena floor. Sabretooth continued its assault and barged Blenda into other units of The Swarm, and then drove it over the floor flipper, where both Blenda and Sabretooth were turned over.
- "Take on the arena hazards at your peril! First Sabretooth, then Ian Watts' Blenda, up up and away!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sabretooth continued to bump into The Swarm's robots without the use of its drum, even using the broken arena spikes as a form of attack, and eventually charged the anti-spinner version of Skye into the angled arena wall, where Skye became stuck. Sabretooth would need to defeat a further two units from The Swarm to earn a win by KO, but it instead drove into Shunt, and was lifted into the same position as Skye, and struck with the axe.
- "Oh no, why have they gone in there, Sabretooth? Why go in there, that's suicide!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Despite Sabretooth's questionable driving, both Rubber Duck and Blenda had lost mobility, meaning that Sabretooth had immobilised enough robots to win the battle outright, as it slammed the active Skye into the arena wall. Not enough time remained on the clock for The Swarm to officially be deemed immobile, so the battle was sent to a Judges' decision. Regardless, Sabretooth easily won the decision on the basis of its opponent being immobile, and earned its place in the 10 Robot Rumble.
- "If it's the other way round, I'm gonna be calling out Professor Noel Sharkey, he'll be down here, and then I'll make him retire!"
- — Gabriel Stroud shortly before receiving his win
- "I'm so excited and looking forward to doing the 10-way, that we'll go all-out to do that, even if we do nothing else, to do a 10-way battle on Robot Wars with so much carnage and robots flying everywhere, and bits and chunks, and if we can go through that and plough the field, which is what we really plan to do, just to have them all blasting off us - what could be better than that?"
- — Gabriel Stroud ahead of the 10 Robot Rumble
Sabretooth played an explosive role in the rumble. Though it remained out of the action early on, it charged up to the cluster of Apollo, Big Nipper and Concussion. First, it snagged a hit on Apollo as it was being lifted by Big Nipper, overturning the former champion by throwing it high into the air. As Apollo was thrown upwards, Sabretooth clipped Concussion's drum and disabled it for the rest of the battle. To top off its dominance in the group, it pressured and pummeled Big Nipper into the side wall. At this stage, Expulsion, Track-tion, Iron-Awe 6 and Concussion had fallen.
Sabretooth made another attack on Apollo, but the former champion was prepared and hurled Sabretooth into the side wall. The next attack was more successful, as Sabretooth tore off the top of Apollo's flipper and exposed the innards. After a few more battering blows on Apollo, Sabretooth switched its attention to Eruption and began grinding at the face of the flipper, throwing sparks. Sabretooth attacked Terrorhurtz, clipping the edges while not being fazed by its opponent's entanglement devices, though it did not find the success of its Series 9 attacks. Sabretooth was becoming a fierce presence in the battle, without having taken any serious attacks, but in the height of its prowess skidded near the Pit and fell in, leaving only four robots in the rumble.
- "I was power sliding around it and the arc caught me out. Lucky for us as the fight lasted 4.5 mins and our lipos were about to give up the ghost."
- — Gabriel Stroud
Sabretooth also represented the United Kingdom in Robot Wars: World Series, and entered the arena brandishing the Union Flag on its back end. In the Tag Team round, it partnered with Terrorhurtz to battle loanerbot entries the Portuguese Rabid M8, and the Irish Diotoir. As Diotoir was to battle for the Rest of the World first, Dave Young advised that the combined Team Legion and Team Hurtz should allow Terrorhurtz to start the battle, and the team obliged, while Sabretooth waited in an empty CPZ.
- Gabriel Stroud: "I think, whoever they choose, we'll choose..."
- John Reid: "We'll react!"
- — The teams decide which robot battles first
This decision proved worthwhile, as Terrorhurtz was able to disconnect Diotoir's removable link with a single axe blow, and after Terrorhurtz inflicted further damage, it tagged Sabretooth, allowing it to attack Rabid M8. This encounter was similarly short, as Sabretooth collided with the side of Rabid M8's weapon using its drum spinner, also directly hitting its exposed tyre in sequence, and immediately immobilised the Portuguese robot by removing its own link. While both international robots were being counted out, Sabretooth pushed Rabid M8 backwards until it was officially eliminated. As a result, the British side earned three points for their team in prompt fashion.
- "I didn't even hit him, we didn't hit him very hard!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
In Sabretooth's head-to-head battle, it fought the Belgian representative Cobra, which had been equipped with a defensive lifter and entanglement devices in order to nullify Sabretooth's drum - Sabretooth was unmodified, barring the addition of decorative fur from Diotoir.
Sabretooth attempted to spin up its weapon, but was slowed by the wedge of Cobra. Sabretooth quickly used the Arena Tyre as a tactic, which activated Fog of War, allowing Sabretooth to drive around the arena, but was deflected when it struck the wedge of Cobra. Sabretooth was forced to flee, while Cobra activated Rogue House Robot. This caused Sir Killalot to chase Sabretooth, and Cobra rammed into the vulnerable machine to overturn it. Sabretooth again exposed its back end to Cobra, which slammed it up, and then drove it into the corner of the arena to throw it from the ground. Slammed into another corner, Sabretooth did not flee, and instead proceeded to 'gyro-dance' using the forces of its drum to balance on its side, and eventually caused Sabretooth to self-right.
- Professor Noel Sharkey: "I've never seen them do that before!"
- Professor Sethu Vijayakumar: "Gyro-dance, we call it the gyro-dance!"
- — The Judges on the balletic movement of Sabretooth
Sabretooth then returned to its attack, and hit the wedge of Cobra, but was again barged back into the wall. In one attack, Sabretooth was flung into the air, but damaged Cobra's tyre by landing on it with the spinning drum. Sabretooth was briefly stuck on top of Cobra after another slam. Skidding into Sir Killalot, Sabretooth also drove into the wall, but was righted by Cobra in another charge against the wall. Sabretooth started to assert itself more, and finally struck the back end of Cobra after it had driven into Dead Metal, but Sabretooth was again turned over by Cobra's speed. Sabretooth attempted to self-right by gyro-dancing, but was caught by Sir Killalot, only succeeding at self-righting when Cobra collided with its drum. Within the final seconds, Sabretooth was held against the wall once more, and delivered to Sir Killalot before 'cease' was called.
- "Oh we love this! And Sabretooth dances on. In super slow-mo, it looks even better..."
- — Jonathan Pearce on Sabretooth's gyro-dance
The battle was sent to a Judges' decision, which was unanimously awarded to Cobra. Although Sabretooth was responsible for the first loss of the UK team, the British representatives ultimately won the tournament, and Gabriel Stroud was very pleased with the battle.
- "That fight was amazing, I think that's one of our best fights. And, you see our pirouette? Our dance? What could be better than that, we should've won on that alone! It is Strictly Come Dancing, there was an amazing dance, we did lots of damage, and you know what, I don't care if we didn't win, because that was the fight of your dreams, wasn't it? That's what it was!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
|SABRETOOTH - RESULTS|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat G, Eliminator||vs. Evolution||Lost|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat I, Round 1||vs. A-Kill, Reptirron The Second, Terrorhurtz||Eliminated|
|Series 8 - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat 4, Group Battle||vs. Eruption, Storm 2, Terror Turtle||Eliminated|
|Series 9 - UK Championship|
|Heat 1, Group Battle||vs. Aftershock, Crank-E, TMHWK||Qualified|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Terrorhurtz||Won by KO (3 points)|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Aftershock||Lost (0 points)|
|Heat 1, Head-to-Heads||vs. Jellyfish||Lost (0 points)|
|Heat 1, Heat Final||vs. Aftershock||Lost|
|Series 10 - UK Championship|
Heat, Third Place
|Heat 1, Group Battle||vs. Behemoth, Donald Thump||Lost|
|Heat 1, Robot Redemption||vs. Apocalypse||Won|
|Heat 1, Semi-Final||vs. Apollo||Lost|
|Heat 1, Third Place Playoff||vs. The Swarm||Won|
|10 Robot Rumble||vs. Apollo, Big Nipper, Concussion,
Eruption, Expulsion, Iron-Awe 6,
Terrorhurtz, Thor, Track-tion
|World Series, representing the UK|
Partnered with Terrorhurtz for Tag Team battle
|Episode 1, Tag Team||vs. Diotoir & Rabid M8||Won via KO (3 points)|
|Episode 1, Head-to-Head||vs. Cobra||Lost (0 points)|
- Wins: 5
- Losses: 10
|Series||Sabretooth 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||Withdrew|
|Series 8||Heat, Round 1|
|Series 9||Heat Final|
|Series 10||Heat, Third Place|
- NOTE 1: Gabriel Stroud also competed in Battle of the Stars as mentor for Episode 1 fourth-place finisher JAR.
- NOTE 2: Harry Hills entered Series 9-10 with Hobgoblin.
Outside Robot Wars
In spite of Sabretooth using a spinning disc as a weapon, Series 8 version was briefly featured on the Extreme Robots website before those events gained a spinner-safe arena. Sabretooth was listed as a competitor, hinting at potential participation in 2017 Extreme Robots live events, before its statistics were removed from the website.
In July 2017, Gabriel Stroud stated on Instagram that he was upgrading the Series 8 version of Sabretooth, with a view to entering it into live events and Robot Wars whiteboard battles in the future. This robot would eventually compete in a whiteboard match in This is Fighting Robots, using a new black colour-scheme driven by a Chinese celebrity. During the battle, it was immobilised after being thrown into the arena wall by a vertical spinner, stranding it.
In Guildford, the Series 10 version of Sabretooth competed at Extreme Robots using an alternative white colour-scheme and the name Atom. In its first battle, it fought Behemoth, Meggamouse, Saint and Dozer, but despite surviving for longer than Saint and Dozer, it was pitted by Behemoth. It then fought Tauron, Expulsion, Suspension and Cyclone, but was pitted by Cyclone. In a tag team battle where it was paired with Thor, Atom was left to fight alone against YOTON and Harpy, eventually becoming immobile. In another battle between it, Behemoth, Expulsion and Tauron, it survived until the time limit expired.
Sabretooth returned to robotic combat in October 2019, featuring internal revisions, new wheels, and the option to use wedgelets leading into its drum. It competed at Extreme Robots in Maidstone, but it lost both of its battles to old foes from Robot Wars, Brutus and Aftershock, losing an entire side panel to the latter.
In July 2021, Gabriel Stroud confirmed Sabretooth had applied for BattleBots 2021. Stroud would again team up with Robert Pickford and Alan Cannon, who were present during much of Sabretooth's time on Robot Wars. This version of machine competed as Rhino in King of Bots II under Robert Pickford's guidance, but was repainted and given bespoke weaponry for BattleBots. However, due to the team's National Interest Exception VISAs being rejected, Sabretooth had to withdraw from the competition, as was the case with every other UK competitor accepted for the 2021 season.
For more information on Team Legion's excursions outside of Robot Wars aside from Sabretooth, see Team Legion.
- Sabretooth's participation in Series 8 was first officially revealed through the second teaser trailer, which shows Team Legion admiring their robot to the theme of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, before showing clips of Sabretooth in its first round battle.
- Sabretooth is the only robot to reach the Heat Final of the main competition despite only collecting one single win in the Head-to-Heads. Only Robo Savage achieved this before in a side competition, and both qualified on a total score of 3 points.
- Sabretooth is the second robot to reach a heat final on a tiebreaker.
- Behemoth also achieved this feat in the previous series, similarly by defeating Terrorhurtz.
- Prior to its official trailer, Sabretooth was leaked as Series 8 competitor as early as March 6th, 2016, due to a tweet from Angela Scanlon, showing her posing in front of Sabretooth's work bench.
- The 9000rpm spinning speeds of Sabretooth's flywheel at the time of Series 7 still holds the record for the fastest spinner in UK Robot Wars, equal with Grand Finalist Pulsar.
- In its Series 9 introduction, Sabretooth was incorrectly spelled as Sabertooth.
- Coincidentally, Sabretooth's second loss and second win were both in battles involving Terrorhurtz.
- Sabretooth is one of three robots, the other two being Behemoth and Big Nipper, to compete in both era of Robot Wars and have a superior win percentage in the reboot (38.5% in the reboot compared to 0% in the classic era).
- Legion Sabretooth Facebook page
- Sabretooth Twitter
- Team Legion - Sabretooth YouTube channel
- Gabriel Stroud on Instagram
- Sabretooth (Series 8) on the Robot Wars website
- Sabretooth (Series 9) on the Robot Wars website
- Sabretooth (Series 10) on the Robot Wars website
- Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot
- Added to the wiki by Gabriel Stroud
- Gabriel Stroud confirms Sabretooth's involvement in BattleBots 2021