- "The only bot ever to win a BattleBot championship and is not from California begins with "Son of"."
- — Team Whyachi website
Son of Whyachi was an American heavyweight shufflebot which attempted to enter Season 2 of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors. However, its application for the show was rejected by Mentorn, with possible reasons including its status as a heavyweight champion on rival robot combat show BattleBots.
Son of Whyachi was a silver, black and red shufflebot, which utilized a '3-phase walking beam' mechanism as its source of locomotion. The robot was armed with a large overhead rotating weapon, consisting of an interconnected tri-bar spinner with a 5ft diameter and hammers at each end. The hammers, mounted close to the arena floor, were made out of hardened S7 tool steel and weighed 12lbs each, contributing to a total weight of 120lbs for the weapon alone. Spinning at 390rpm, with a tip speed of 70mph, Son of Whyachi's hammers proved exceptionally destructive, allowing it to completely immobilize five of its first seven opponents during its first season in BattleBots. However, the robot had a top speed of only 4mph, and the weapon sometimes had sufficient force to damage itself during attacks on other robots.
As shufflebots in Seasons 1 and 2 of Extreme Warriors were allowed to weight up to 350lbs (160kg), Son of Whyachi would have initially taken advantage of this allowance by weighing 315lbs (approximately 143kg).
- "Terry Ewert of Team Whyachi applied with the former champ Son of Whyachi; Ewert heard Mentorn needed good robots and wanted to exhibit his walking helicopter spinner one last time, before he replaced the walking mechanism with wheels. But the bot that had pulverized the champion Biohazard nine months before received a curt rejection over e-mail. Mentorn likely didn't want to use a robot that was so prominently associated with its rival BattleBots, but Ewert said, "I suspect they didn't want to repair the house robots"."
- — Gearheads: The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports
Son of Whyachi had attempted to enter Season 2 of Extreme Warriors via an online application, which was intended to be its final appearance in its original shufflebot form. However, Mentorn rejected Team Whyachi's application via e-mail; Gearheads: The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports claims that as Son of Whyachi was an established BattleBots competitor, they were against allowing it to compete in Robot Wars competitions. Terry Ewert also stated in Gearheads his belief that the real reason for Son of Whyachi not being selected was because of the producers' concerns over the damage its hammers could inflict on the House Robots.
Prior to The Seventh Wars, Adam Clark and Terry Ewert proposed a new War For Independence event with 259H and the Season 5.0 Son of Whyachi representing the UK and US respectively. However, this proposed idea never came to be.
|US Series||Son of Whyachi Series Record|
|Season 2||Not selected|
|Nickelodeon||Did not enter|
Outside Robot Wars
Prior to its attempted qualification into Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, Son of Whyachi made its debut in BattleBots Season 3.0. It first defeated Shaka on a judges' decision after ripping its castors off, before proceeding to land back-to-back knockouts against Crab Meat, Kill-O-Amp, Nightmare, MechaVore and Hexadecimator to reach the Heavyweight Final. There, Son of Whyachi faced the then-reigning Heavyweight Champion BioHazard; despite initially struggling and suffering damage to its own weapon, it was able to tear off some of BioHazard's skirts and eventually immobilise it on one side. When the battle was stopped prematurely, Son of Whyachi won the subsequent judges' decision, becoming the Heavyweight Champion on its first attempt.
Following rule changes prohibiting shufflebots from being eligible for walkerbot weight bonuses, Son of Whyachi was reclassified as a Super Heavyweight in BattleBots Seasons 4.0 and 5.0 as well as the 2004 NPC Charity Open, replacing Team Whyachi's other super heavyweight Whyachi. Due to its opponents now generally being much tougher against the spinning hammers, Son of Whyachi fared less well in this category. It lost its first battle of Season 4.0 to Swirlee, before switching to a six-wheeled design for Season 5.0. The latter incarnation of Son of Whyachi initially defeated Steel Reign before losing to No Apologies.
Son of Whyachi was again rebuilt for the 2004 NPC Charity Open, renamed Nitro SOW and switching to a tracked design with spinning hammers powered by two 15hp Yamaha kart engines. Competing once more in the super heavyweight division, Nitro SOW received a bye and beat OUCH!!, before losing to Bounty Hunter and Psycho Splatter 2.
In addition to Son of Whyachi, Team Whyachi built several other robots for competitions in various weight categories, including televised and non-televised BattleBots events. These include:
- Y-Pout, a triangular-shaped sit-and-spin heavyweight, which competed in BattleBots Season 4.0 and 5.0.
- Why Not, a middleweight version of Y-Pout.
- YU812, a lightweight version of Son of Whyachi.
- Red Square, a middleweight with a uniquely-designed front-hinged flipper and a body shape largely resembling that of BioHazard.
- Falcon, an invertible middleweight robot with a spinning drum.
- Warrior, a four-wheeled robot armed with a titanium toothed plough. This robot also entered Robotica Season 2 as Whyatica. Despite a strong start in its heat, it lost its Gauntlet run to Jav Man after flipping itself over, before breaking down early in its Labyrinth run, eliminating it in its heat.
- Warrior SKF, a rebuilt Warrior with a spinning rim and flipper similar in concept to Revenge of Trouble & Strife, which entered the 2009 BattleBots events.
- BABS, a robot very similar to Red Square, only silver and armed with a BioHazard-style lifter, which also competed at the 2009 events.
For the ABC BattleBots reboot, Team Whyachi returned with Warrior Clan - essentially Warrior SKF accompanied by two small wedge-shaped minibots armed with flamethrowers. In Season 1, Warrior Clan reached the round of 16 despite having one of its minibots obliterated by Nightmare at one point, eventually losing to Team Raptor's Ghost Raptor. In Season 2, Warrior Clan returned with the minibots replaced by a drone named Dragon. After winning its first round battle against Splatter to reach the round of 32, it was defeated there by the eleventh seed HyperShock, which took Dragon down with a rake and immobilised the main part of Warrior Clan through sustained attacks with its drum.
Son of Whyachi made its BattleBots return in 2016, as Team Whyachi's second entry into Season 2, also shortened to SOW. It fought in a preliminary qualifier to earn entry into the main bracket, likely due to Warrior Clan already having a place in the main bracket. There, Son of Whyachi fought Ultraviolent, and Creepy Crawlies, a five-way clusterbot entered by a team of British students, Ian Watts, his son, and John Frizell. Son of Whyachi dominated its qualifier, ripping apart Creepy Crawlies, while Ultraviolent never moved, giving Son of Whyachi a place in the bracket. It then defeated the former semi-finalist Ghost Raptor in a grudge match from the previous season, and earned the 6th seed and a place in the round of 32, but suffered a surprise knock-out loss at the hands of Poison Arrow there.
After BattleBots Season 2, Team Whyachi put Son of Whyachi's body up for auction on eBay, as they intended to build a new body for a possible third season. There were a huge number of bids for 10 days and the chassis was finally sold for a sum of $1,525.
Son of Whyachi also appeared in the 2018 season of BattleBots, albeit without Terry Ewert. Son of Whyachi lost its first battle to Brutus after being flipped over, but earned a destructive knockout win over Lucky in its second battle, and caused Monsoon to catch fire for Son of Whyachi's second consecutive win, leading to a third straight win after felling End Game in a single hit. Son of Whyachi qualified for the Top 16 as the eighth seed, but lost its opening battle against Lock-Jaw by judges' decision.
Warrior Clan was renamed Warrior Dragon, and entered as well, partnered with a small minibot and its 'Dragon' drone, winning its first battle against Chomp on a split decision. Warrior Dragon started strongly in its second battle of the season, taking the lead against ROTATOR, but lost mobility in the late stages of the battle, and a 2-1 Judges' decision declared that Warrior Dragon had lost to ROTATOR. Warrior Dragon's third and final fight was yet again a split decision loss, after becoming immobile in the late stages of its battle with Warhead.
Team Whyachi entered the 2019 season of BattleBots with three separate robots: Son of Whyachi, the hydraulic flipper Hydra, and the twin drum spinner Falcon. Son of Whyachi and Hydra both reached the Top 16, with Son of Whyachi defeating HUGE, Texas Twister, Kraken and Copperhead, losing only to Whiplash, while Hydra won four straight fights against Free Shipping, WAR Hawk, Petunia and Bronco. However, both were knocked out in the first round of the Top 16, with Son of Whyachi falling to SawBlaze, and Hydra losing to Minotaur. Falcon was less successful, losing to Breaker Box on a split Judges' decision and then falling to Ribbot by knockout, although it did defeat Marvin.
In the 2020 season of BattleBots, a redesigned Hydra returned alongside a brand-new Team Whyachi robot Fusion, using both a horizontal spinner and a drum spinner at different sides. Hydra started its campaign with a narrow win over former runner-up Witch Doctor after throwing it around the arena despite suffering mobility problems at the end of the fight. Its second win over twice-Top 16 finisher HUGE was no less controversial, after using a specially designed frame to limit HUGE's movements. Hydra finished its Fight Night run at 3-0 after a dominant performance against Uppercut, granting it a place in the main competition as the top seed. Fusion lost its first fight to MadCatter after catching fire, but redeemed itself with a destructive victory over Aegis, whilst another quick knockout against WAR? EZ! left Fusion with a 2-1 win record. This was enough for Fusion to qualify for the main competition alongside Hydra as the 15th seed. In the main championship, Hydra started strongly against HyperShock, immobilising it with a series of strong flips before throwing HyperShock out of the BattleBox. It followed this fight with a dominant performance over Gigabyte, flipping it around the BattleBox to win a unanimous judges' decision, before losing to Whiplash on a split decision in the Quarter-Final. Fusion was not so successful, dramatically burning out in its first fight against Tantrum despite damaging its opponent's weapon and drive.
Although it did not take part in the main competition, Son of Whyachi also returned as part of the BattleBots Bounty Hunter tournament, where it competed as a "legendary robot". It was eventually challenged by Gigabyte and started strongly by breaking off its opponent's srimech, but an impact between the two spinners flung Son of Whyachi over, handing the victory to Gigabyte. Fusion also competed as a challenger for the right to fight Beta. Here, it swiftly immobilised Rampage, but burnt out its weapons against Lock-Jaw and was eventually rendered immobile, eliminating it from the competition.
Both Hydra and Fusion returned for the 2021 season of BattleBots, the first time since 2015 that Team Whyachi had competed without Son of Whyachi present. Neither Hydra or Fusion performed well in the Fight Night round, only winning a single battle each against Gruff and Cobalt, respectively. Hydra lost its remaining fights to defending champion End Game and Glitch, whilst Fusion was defeated by Copperhead and ICEWave. As a result of their 1-2 records, neither Hydra or Fusion could qualify directly for the main competition and Fusion was eliminated at this stage, but Hydra was able to win a play-in match against Defender to become the 31st seed. In the main competition, it managed to secure a surprise victory over previous quarter-finalist Ribbot despite losing its flipper-tip, before defeating previous semi-finalist Black Dragon on a judges' decision. Hydra then got the better of Blip before losing out to eventual champion Tantrum in the final four.
- In 2003, Son of Whyachi was inducted into The Combat Robot Hall of Fame as an inaugural member, in recognition of its engineering, powerful spinning weapon and direct influence on shufflebot rules in future competitions. An Honorable Mention was also made in 2011 for fellow Team Whyachi heavyweight Warrior SKF, which later formed the main part of the team's future BattleBots competitor Warrior Clan.
- 'BattleBots® Inc. Technical Regulations' [2001, Season 4.0], available from the Team Run Amok website
- Ultimate Real Robots magazine article, 2003
- Team Whyachi page on Son of Whyachi (archived 4th December 2004)
- The Combat Robot Hall of Fame ®, Team Run Amok website
- Team Whyachi page on the original and Season 5.0 versions of Son of Whyachi
- Team Whyachi page on the ABC/Discovery incarnations of Son of Whyachi
- Son of Whyachi on BattleBots Wiki