"The killer, Sater!"
Bridget Maasland in the Grand Final

Sater was a robot from the first series of Dutch Robot Wars. It managed to win its heat over NEAT Machine, Pathetica and Sniper to earn a place in the Grand Final, where it was eliminated by Botwork and Bamm Bamm.


"Why would two healthy people make it into their heads to spend all their free time building a robot? The answer is obvious: for fun!"
— Sater website on building the robot (translated from Dutch)[1]

Sater in the pits

Sater was a yellow, roughly box-shaped robot, equipped with a pneumatic lifting arm (referred to a a 'pneumatic hitchhiker' by the team), powered by a car compressor. Although the arm did not possess great freedom of movement, it could lift up to 125kg. The back end of the robot also featured a steep wedge. Its high-voltage motors, custom-built speed controller and comparatively light weight of 75kg made it one of the fastest robots in Dutch Robot Wars at 15mph; so fast that its 350mm pneumatic tyres were equipped with brakes. Sater's flipper was never used to lift another robot, only activating once in its Heat Final, instead relying on its brute force to win fights. Regardless of the lifter's functionality, Sater had no self-righting mechanism.

"The weapon was the Sater's biggest disappointment because it never really worked well due to all kinds of leaks in cylinder and hoses. It wasn't until our last fight before we could use it, where it was broken by a flywheel weapon."
— The team on their lack of weapon usage in the series (translated from Dutch)[2]

Sater in the arena for its first battle

Sater was based on a Satyr, with illuminating plastic red horns and broom bristles for hair. Sater's statistics board listed its strength as 'onverwoestbaarheid', which translates to 'indestructibility'. This primarily refers to Sater's 25x25mm thick frame, although its outer armour varied between 2-4mm in thickness and was more vulnerable.

"The frame was so compact that the installation of the components such as batteries and motors only just went. We had to charge the batteries in the robot because the build-in and expand would take too long, unfortunately we found out that we didn't always have enough time to recharge the batteries sufficiently for another fight and had to start our last fight with half-charged batteries."
— The team on their compact machine (translated from Dutch)[3]

The TeamEdit

"What should not also be missed is the educational aspect: both team members have an academic background. The real practical work was therefore not their packing, and this robot has changed a lot about that. But despite everything, building this robot is just a great fun job."
— The team on what they learned building Sater (translated from Dutch)[4]
Team Sater

Sater with its team

Team Sater was comprised of two brothers, Jarno and Niels Beekman, and their friend Erwin Voorhuis. Mechanical engineer Jarno Beekman was the team captain and was responsible for the mechanical aspects of Sater, while electrical engineering student Niels managed Sater's electronics. Erwin Voorhuis was the team's RC expert, setting up the control system for Sater. The team wore yellow worksuits, and wore red devil horns in their appearances on the show.

"Of course we're not the only ones who have helped with this Robot. We have got a lot of help from our parents, who supported us financially and morally. Harmen has also helped us by supplying his digital camera. We also would like to thank the people of the maintenance service of GE Odink en Koenderink for making a pressure container and giving us a cylinder.

Also, some co-workers of Jarno gave us some parts for the pneumatic system. And, last but not least we would like to thank Reinoud for the great artwork on the Sater!"

— Sater website on their additional assistance[5]


"But our project is a second goal: we want to participate in BNN Robotwars 2001. At the moment it is not yet clear whether we have been selected, the selection rounds are not over. [11-08-2001: we've been selected!]"
— The Sater team on applying for Dutch Series 1 (translated from Dutch)[6]

Sater entered the build phase ahead of Dutch Series 1, with the team regularly sending photos to the producers in aid of being selected for the series. Sater was chosen to compete in the series on 11th August 2001.

Sater 2002

Progress on Sater 2 in mid-2002

"[1-06-2002] Long time no see... we are very busy building Sater II because selection day is the 29th of June. You will see the results of it here. The frame will be ready next Wednesday (we hope) and also the gearboxes and speedo's will soon be ready. After that, the weapon will be build (we already have almost everything for it finished)."
— The team on building Sater 2 ahead of Dutch Series 2[7]

The team intended to enter Dutch Series 2 with an upgraded machine, Sater 2 (styled as Sater II). This version boasted a lower profile, four-wheel drive, and a more powerful full-pressure CO2 flipper, which the team described as a unique 'pinball machine' system[8]. However, Sater 2 ultimately did not appear in the series - it is unknown whether the machine simply was not finished, or if it was rejected from the series.

"Innovative pinball concept, no Chaos 2 clone! Delivers an estimated 40% more vertical power than Chaos 2."
— The team on Sater 2's weapon

Robot HistoryEdit

Dutch Series 1Edit

In its first-round battle, Sater was drawn against one of the only robots in the series to have prior experience in the Robot Wars Arena, NEAT Machine.

"The Sater would finally take action. Well, action: during the first fight it turned out there was a lot of interference. As a result, we had a lot of problems driving the robot. The reception was very bad. This left a wry taste; we expected this not to be a problem."
— The Sater team on their interference during the NEAT Machine fight (translated from Dutch)[9]
Sater vs NEAT Machine

Sater is axed by the immobile NEAT Machine

Sater started the battle with its rear wedge facing forwards, and backed into NEAT Machine, but was pushed backwards, and seemingly lost all mobility. In the process of pushing the motionless Sater backwards, NEAT Machine also stopped moving, leaving both robots inactive within the opening seconds of the bout. However, Sater suddenly regained sluggish movement, reversing backwards, and driving straight under the axe of NEAT Machine which spiked the top of Sater. Although Sater had returned to a standstill under NEAT Machine's axe, and only displayed limited-at-best movement afterwards, the completely immobile NEAT Machine was counted out by Refbot, allowing Sater to win by knockout.

In Round 2, Sater faced another robot with an axe, Pathetica.

"We had to work hard now to improve our reception. We have an antenna that sits inside the robot the mantle of a piece of coax done. This allows you to have no failures from within the robot (e.g. of the engines) enter the antenna. Also we then relieved the compressor with some capacitors and coils. This turned out to have a very good influence on reception."
— The Sater website on fixing the robot's reception issues (translated from Dutch)[10]
Sater vs Pathetica

Sater rams the immobile Pathetica

Sater was the quicker robot in the opening stages and approached Pathetica, but just like its previous bout, drove straight in front of the axe to sustain a blow. In retaliation, Sater bumped the back end of Pathetica, and broadsided it, holding it in place. Sater then drove to the front corner of Pathetica, and rotated its opponent slightly, before driving away. Sater crashed back into the front of Pathetica, and skirted around the pit release. Sater was then rammed by Pathetica, but the impact of the collision instead caused Pathetica to break down, causing Sater to happen upon another knockout victory. Sater drove under the side of Pathetica using its lifting arm, but could not use its weapon, and Sater remained in place until Pathetica was counted out by Refbot.

"After a few tests we were convinced that this was enough to have good reception in the arena. This also turned out during our second fight; we had good control of the Sater all over the arena. Unfortunately, the weapon did not work. Apparently, the tube of the compressor was leaking. As a result, no pressure was built up. We also fixed this."
— The Sater website on their weapon issues (translated from Dutch)[11]

Sater progressed to the Heat Final, where it faced Sniper.

Sater lifter actually works

Sater rams into Sniper, briefly raising its lifter

Sater vs Sniper

Sater is trapped on the flame pit by Sniper

Sater made the first move, and drove towards the pensive Sniper, but was slightly dented when Sniper turned straight into the side of Sater. While Sniper went to press the pit release button, Sater caught up and rammed the back of Sniper, then made a clean getaway. On its next charge, Sater drove straight at the flipper of Sniper and raised its lifting arm, but did not travel up the opposing wedge, causing Sniper to fire at thin air and jam its flipper open for the next few stages, also offering Sater another opportunity to ram its opponent. Sniper was lingering over the flame pit after closing its flipper, so Sater came in with a ram, but held itself over the fire. Sniper capitalised on this, and circled around Sater to prevent its escape. Having been positioned on the flame pit for a long period, Sater was visibly burning when Refbot freed it from the flame pit, but it still drove towards Sniper for one last attack before 'cease' was called.

"Sater, burn in Hell!"
Rob Kamphues, referencing Sater being stuck on the flame pit

The battle was sent to a fairly close decision by the Jury, but Sater was awarded the victory, and it progressed to the Grand Final. In the first round of the Grand Final, Sater fought in a melee against Botwork and Bamm Bamm.

"The last day of filming. We were supposed to be in action twice more this day. During the last game we heard people in the audience call our team name! We were encouraged. We were also filmed that day by the Italian Robot Wars; the presenter of this program had the same hairstyle as The Sater. The red and black hairs had the colors of AC Milan."
— The team on their final day of filming, including the Heat Final and Grand Final (translated from Dutch)[12]
Bamm Bamm vs Sater

Sater is struck by Bamm Bamm


Sater's lifter is buckled by Botwork

Sater became immediately involved, approaching Bamm Bamm which missed Sater with its hammer blow, and circled around straight into Botwork on the same drive, charging head-first into the spinning disc, causing one of the decorative red brush-heads to fall off Sater's lid. Sater then drove under Bamm Bamm, but was unable to use its lifter, and Bamm Bamm fired its hammer in the vicinity of Sater. Defensively, Sater pressed the pit release button, and drove back into Bamm Bamm, but was directly hit by the hammer. Sater drove past the pit, drawing dangerously near to it, and then charged straight into a roaming Sir Killalot, which caused Sater's other brush-head to fall off. Rejoining the action, Sater pushed Bamm Bamm backwards, almost into the disc of Botwork, before then driving into the side of Botwork, sustaining a glancing blow from the spinner. Sater remained in place, and this allowed Botwork to target its lifting arm, bending the weaponry with repeated spinner hits - Sater's side armour was also visibly torn up. Time started to elapse on the battle, and Sater was slow in its escape from Botwork, trundling away until 'cease' was called. The battle was sent to a decision by the Jury, but the damage sustained by Sater throughout the battle led to its elimination at this stage.

"This was of course the end of a wonderful week-end which we really enjoyed. That's why we're already working to create a new robot. We want the same theme this year because this (apparently) struck very well."
— The team on the end of their campaign (translated from Dutch)[13]


Series 1
Dutch Championship
Grand Final, Round 1
Heat E, Round 1 vs. NEAT Machine Won
Heat E, Semi-Final vs. Pathetica Won
Heat E, Final vs. Sniper Won
Grand Final, Round 1 vs. Bamm Bamm, Botwork Eliminated


  • Wins: 3
  • Losses: 1

Series RecordEdit

  • Sater's grin
  • An unpainted Sater
  • Rear of the unpainted Sater
  • Sater's frame
  • Sater prior to Series 1
  • The insides of Sater 2
Dutch Series Sater Series Record
Series 1 Grand Final, Round 1
Series 2 Did not enter

NOTE: The team started building Sater 2 for the second series, but it is unknown if the robot was completed in time for applications

Outside Robot WarsEdit

Sater 2 DRG with team

Sater 2 with its team at the 2003 Dutch Robot Games

Sater 2 made its competition debut at Dutch Robot Games in 2003. It quickly broke down in its competition melee against Storm 2 and Das Gepäck[14], but did collect a knockout victory over Philipper 2 and Caesar in a non-competition battle[15]. It also entered a six-way Flipper Frenzy, which was won by Hard[16].

Sater 2 later competed at the FRA World Championship 2004.


  • At 75kg, Sater was the lightest robot in the first series of Dutch Robot Wars, and indeed, the lightest robot in either series of Dutch Robot Wars, being 1kg lighter than Bluemax.
  • Dutch Series 2 competitor The Black Beast bears a striking resemblance to Sater, but no link between the two machines has been confirmed.



External LinksEdit

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