Robot Wars Wiki

"We've got good driving, that's me, we've got a very good weapon, and we've got a very sharp, lethal spike on the back"
— Nathaniel Poate on Short Circuit's strengths before the first-round battle

Short Circuit, officially capitalised as ShorT CirCuiT[1], was a competitor robot which fought exclusively in Series 6 of Robot Wars. In its only appearance, it lost its first round battle after sustaining substantial damage from Supernova. The robot was originally designed to enter Series 2, and attempted to qualify for the three following series before finally entering the Sixth Wars.


Short Circuit in the arena

Short Circuit was a yellow and red, hexagonal-shaped robot with two-wheel drive and two weapons - a small spinning disc at the front,and a large rear ramming spike. The robot was built with a solid bolted, aluminium-plated chassis, and its top panels were decorated with circuit boards and wires as a reference to its name. While the team were confident about Short Circuit's driving and damage potential, the robot had thin armour, which proved fragile to spinning weapons. The robot also had a very high ground clearance, which was an intentional decision for the robot's earlier qualification attempts where the team expected to run the Gauntlet.


The name Short Circuit is derived from the common electrical failure. The team officially capitalised their robot's name as ShorT CirCuiT to make its logo more visually interesting, while also referencing the capitalisation of the robot's name used previously for the Series 3 and 4 qualifiers, NataPataBot (derived from the two team members Nathaniel and Patrick).

"Short Circuit was short hand, the proper title was ShorT CirCuiT but only because of aesthetic reasons, the capitalisation made it more interesting to look at. I guess it actually stemmed from the original name, NataPataBot as that capitalised certain letters of the original team, Nathaniel and Patrick and Robot. When Pat sadly had to leave the team, I changed the name to Short Circuit, and it acquired its electronic accessories, which came from my secondary schools skip. an old VHS player and BBC computer were in that mix."
— Nathaniel Poate on changing the name from NataPataBot to ShorT CirCuiT[2] (edited)

The Team[]

The Short Circuit team

Prior to Short Circuit's successful qualification for Series 6, the team originally consisted of young student and team captain Nathaniel Poate from Gosport in Hampshire, alongside his teammate Pat, with both attempting to enter Series 2-4 with NataPataBot. However, when the team competed on Robot Wars in Series 6, Philip Johnson filled the second space on the team. Shortly after Series 6, Nathaniel Poate went on to become a university student.

"Those t-shirts were made a few days before the auditions hence the spray painted yellow and marker pen shadow outline!"
— Nathaniel Poate on his team gear, in 2019[3]


"As soon as [Robot Wars] started series 1, I was building my bot! I even built seesaw slopes to practise on along the pavement. That's one reason it had a huge ground clearance as I was expecting assault courses"
— Nathaniel Poate in 2019[4] (edited)

NataPataBot circa Series 4, prior to being renamed to Short Circuit

Short Circuit was first conceptualised while Robot Wars was airing its first series, with Nathaniel Poate and teammate Pat designing a robot named NataPataBot, which used the same core design as Short Circuit, including its high ground clearance which had been implemented for success in the Gauntlet. The robot entered construction ahead of Series 2, but was not finished until Series 3, where it was not selected to take part.

NataPataBot in the pits during the Series 4 Qualifiers

NataPataBot also attempted to qualify for Series 4, facing Atomic in its qualifying match. Atomic suffered from radio interference throughout the battle and was not able to drive properly or use its weapon to full effect. NataPataBot was able to spike through Atomic's side armour and would emerge victorious after Atomic fell into the pit.[5] Unlike Atomic however, NataPataBot would not receive a place on the show.

"My bot wasn't ready to enter Series 2 so they didn't turn it down, originally it was called NataPataBot which was our team at the time, Nat and Pat and Robot but this changed about Series 5 time."
— Nathaniel Poate in 2019[6] (edited)

For Series 5, NatPatBot was renamed to Short Circuit, and at the time used a chainsaw weapon, but Short Circuit still failed to qualify. The chainsaw weapon corroded just days before its Series 6 qualifier[7], and was replaced with a static spike.

" was the same bot (with a few mods like a chainsaw back then). We did have it for Series 6, however a few days before the filming, at the qualifiers, we decided to flood the chainsaw, and so it corroded. DOH! But yes, we did beat Atomic with the same bot."
— Nathaniel Poate on the Series 5 version of Short Circuit[8]

In its Series 6 qualifier, Short Circuit fought a large robot made from a giant metal frame, armed with a horizontal spinner weapon. Despite sustaining damage from the spinner of its other opponent, Short Circuit went on to win the battle and qualified for the series as a result. Before entering the Sixth Wars, the team of Nathaniel Poate and Philip Johnson changed their riveted armour panels for more solid structure.

"The other robot had some giant metal welded frame, think Mammoth robot from BattleBots but horizontal, he was having a good go and knocked off some of our panels as they were all just riveted, but in the end I think a tussle together made him slow. after the fight I thought well that was fun and we were going home. But Derek, the Robot Wars guy told us to wait, and after a period of time, them discussing, they came back and said we were through. Given some tips for upgrading the robots panels i.e. don’t use rivets, and to come back in a weeks time for the filming."
— Nathaniel Poate in 2019[9] (edited)

Nathaniel Poate conceptualised a new robot for Series 7 named Sandwich[10], but ultimately did not finish it in time for the Seventh Wars due to clashes with university.

"Series 6 was the last one I entered as I was then going to uni and couldn't complete the new build of the next bot, I do still have all the parts for it, but it's so outdated now it isn't worth it."
— Nathaniel Poate in 2019[11] (edited)

Nathaniel Poate is still active in the modern day robotics community and did apply to compete in Series 8 during the rebooted era of Robot Wars, although he can no longer remember what he attempted to enter into the series[12]. The team subsequently did not apply for Series 9 or 10.

Robot History[]

Series 6[]

Short Circuit entered Heat H, and faced three experienced machines in its first round battle; Tiberius 3, Supernova and the tenth seed Spawn Again.

"Newcomers, and long odds for the Short Circuit boys."
Jonathan Pearce introduces Short Circuit

Short Circuit escapes as Tiberius 3 (left) grabs Supernova

Supernova shreds Short Circuit

It immediately retreated towards the edge of a CPZ as Supernova came to attack it, before slamming into Supernova as Tiberius 3 grabbed hold of the latter. This - combined with an intervention from Sgt. Bash - knocked Short Circuit's disc from its mount, leaving it dangling from its front as Sgt. Bash pushed it out of the CPZ. Short Circuit hesitated before bumping into Supernova again, with Supernova's disc tearing a massive gash in Short Circuit's rear panel and prising part of its baseplate off as the former pushed it around in circles. Another slam from Supernova bent the left-hand side of Short Circuit's chassis, and Short Circuit was left immobilised with its body and baseplate almost fully separated. As Refbot counted Short Circuit out, Supernova completely split it apart with another hit.

"That looks a mess, let's be honest. Ooooh, Supernova... split it!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Supernova separates Short Circuit's body from its baseplate

Sgt. Bash proceeded to pit Short Circuit, where it was soon joined by the also-immobilised Tiberius 3. This eliminated both robots from the Sixth Wars.

"Short Circuit, short-circuited..."
Craig Charles announces Short Circuit's elimination


Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heats, Round 1
Heat H, Round 1 vs. Spawn Again (10), Supernova, Tiberius 3 Eliminated


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 1

Series Record[]

Series Short Circuit Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Not selected as NataPataBot
The Fourth Wars Failed to qualify as NataPataBot
The Fifth Wars Failed to qualify
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Not selected with unspecified robot
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

Outside Robot Wars[]

Wanna Choppa in testing

Although retired from heavyweight combat, Nathaniel Poate is still active in the robotics community, building a featherweight robot armed with an axe named Wanna Choppa which competed in featherweight melees at Extreme Robots events, such as Cheltenham in late 2018. In April 2020, the robot was converted to become Wanna Flippa. The team are nowadays known as Team SC, in reference to Short Circuit.


  • Thanks to his father, Nathaniel Poate owns one of the 10 points barrels from Series 2, possibly making it the only Pinball barrel left in existence, as the others were recycled.
  • Short Circuit was the only robot from Heat H of Series 6 to be entered by a team which did not appear in another episode or series.

External Links[]


  2. Private correspondence between Nathaniel Poate and ToastUltimatum in 2019
  3. Private correspondence between Nathaniel Poate and ToastUltimatum in 2019
  4. Private correspondence between Nathaniel Poate and ToastUltimatum in 2019
  5. Private correspondence between RobotManiac and David Bebb of the Atomic team in March 2021
  6. Private correspondence between Nathaniel Poate and ToastUltimatum in 2019
  7. Nathaniel Poate on the Robot Mayhem forum
  8. Nathaniel Poate on the Robot Mayhem forum
  9. Private correspondence between Nathaniel Poate and ToastUltimatum in 2019
  11. Private correspondence between Nathaniel Poate and ToastUltimatum in 2019, before Poate discovered his Series 8 application form
  12. Private correspondence between ThatRedOtter and Nathaniel Poate in 2020