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- "A chip off the old block!"
- — Robot Wars: The Ultimate Guide
Splinter was the second robot from the Norwich-based Team Ivanhoe, which took part in Series 4-5 of Robot Wars as well as the first series of Robot Wars Extreme. It reached the Semi-Finals of Series 4, where it was destroyed by Hypno-Disc and replaced with a new version that reached the fourth round of the first Extreme 1 Annihilator. However, the second version of Splinter fell in the second round in Series 5 after being flipped out by Bigger Brother.
In Series 4, Splinter was a box-shaped robot powered by wheelchair motors and armed with a front scoop and side-mounted axes intended to grab hold of other robots. Splinter originally was designed to roll over back onto its wheels if flipped, but this idea was scrapped when Splinter's arms became longer than anticipated and its aluminium case ending up flat-topped. Instead, Splinter's arms would stretch out, which combined with its low centre of gravity, would help the robot fall back onto its wheels when tipped over, which worked effectively against Eric.
The robot also featured a welded steel frame, aluminium checker-plate armour and high traction tyres driven by Bosch motors, which gave it a solid construction and good pushing power which was crucial for all of its Series 4 victories. However, these attributes were not enough to prevent this version of Splinter from being destroyed by Hypno-Disc in the Semi-Finals, with Team Ivanhoe stating that they would build a new version for future series after their loss.
After being decimated by Hypno-Disc, a new version of Splinter was built for Series 5/Extreme 1 with a higher top speed of 15mph and an overhead pneumatic axe in addition to the grabbing arms which were enlargened. The robot used a scoop-like front wedge in its Mayhem battle, which was widened for its Annihilator and Series 5 appearances with triangular brackets extending out of the robot's sides. Splinter was also made considerably tougher and more controllable than before, but this version suffered from a vulnerable aerial and a high ground clearance. Both of these issues lead to Splinter's subsequent defeats against Pussycat and Bigger Brother respectively.
Splinter was built by Team Ivanhoe, consisting of the father-and-son duo of Stuart and Craig Weightman. The team were based in Thorpe Marriott, Norwich, with son Craig being a student at Taverham High School. The team had previously competed in Series 2 with Ivanhoe.
For its attempted entry into Series 7, Splinter was entered by the Dutch roboteers of Team RCC, consisting of Leo van Miert and Gerard von Dorst at the time, with other members of Team RCC also attempting to enter the series with RCC 2.
Splinter successfully qualified for Series 4 and 5, receiving automatic qualification in the latter as a result of being seeded and a previous series Semi-Finalist. Team Ivanhoe, however, originally planned to enter it into Series 3, but it was not selected to compete due to it being underweight. The team's other Series 3 entry, Ivanhoe 2, was not selected either.
After this, Splinter was sold to the Dutch/Belgian team, Team RCC, who attempted to enter it into Series 7 with minor changes. It was due to compete against German Hammer, Hammerhead 2 and Supernova, but was forced to withdraw because of technical difficulties.
- "A father and son team who fought in the second series back with a completely changed robot. Wheelchair motor powered crusher, scooper. Welded steel frame, it's the heaviest in the heat."
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Splinter
In Heat I of Series 4, Splinter's first round battle saw it fight against Small Torque and the thirty-first seed Centurion. It was immediately lifted up by Centurion as it came in to attack, but pushed Centurion into Sgt. Bash as Small Torque used its disc to get underneath Splinter itself. As a result of its initial attacks, Centurion became immobilised, while Splinter and Small Torque continued attacking each other until 'cease' was called, with both robots going through to the second round.
There, Splinter faced the sixteenth seed, Killerhurtz. Killerhurtz started the quicker machine, but Splinter immediately drove into its side and grabbed hold of it with its side axes, pushing it around the arena. Killerhurtz eventually broke free, but couldn't get into position to use its axe on Splinter. Splinter grabbed Killerhurtz again and shoved it around a few more times, and when Killerhurtz broke free, it mistakenly drove into Shunt's CPZ. Shunt axed Killerhurtz and lifted it with its scoop, and when it let go, the sixteenth seed then became stuck in forward gear. Killerhurtz drove straight into the arena side wall, where it began smoking and was deemed immobile.
In the Heat Final, Splinter faced Eric. Eric came in on the attack, but could not get underneath Splinter and flip it over. Splinter eventually grabbed Eric and pushed in into the CPZ, where Shunt axed and lifted Eric. Splinter pushed Eric around the arena again, but had a momentary scare when one of its side axes got stuck in a hole in the arena side wall, but it managed to free itself. Eric then flipped Splinter onto its side, but Splinter extended one of its arms to self-right. For the remainder of the match, Splinter grabbed Eric in its side axes, and pushed it around the arena again until 'cease' was called. The judges were called to decide the heat winner, and they ruled in favour of Splinter.
- "...and then it all went wrong in the Semis."
- — Robot Wars Extreme - The Official Guide summarises the fight with Hypno-Disc
In the first round of its Semi-Final, Splinter received a tough draw when it was paired with the number 2 seeds Hypno-Disc. It started well, ramming straight into the disc of Hypno-Disc, and resisting its initial blows in the opening moments. Despite running into the side wall and taking a slam from the disc, Splinter fought back and rammed Hypno-Disc into the side wall, stopping the disc and allowing Dead Metal to catch it. However, a front-on charge from Splinter caused Hypno-Disc to tear the scoop off its mountings, with a second hit sending it flying off altogether.
- "If they keep attacking on a frontal collision with that disc, they'll protect their more vulnerable sides...and maybe, who knows - oh no, they won't!"
- — Jonathan Pearce in the moments leading to Splinter's scoop being torn off
Splinter's innards were hanging out, but Hypno-Disc continued attacking, ripping away Splinter's shell from the front and left sides, and then dislodging most of Splinter's internals. Splinter lost all mobility after these attacks, and sustained even more damage from Dead Metal before Sir Killalot picked up its remains, spun them and threw them across the arena. Splinter landed upside down in pieces, and 'cease' was called. Unseen in the televised fight, however, it was then thrown by the Floor Flipper and dropped into the Pit which is shown in the extended version of the battle. Splinter was eliminated from the Fourth Wars and this battle with Hypno-Disc was considered to be the most violent match ever in Robot Wars, and was named as such in the Ultimate Guide.
- "...We were going to build a new one anyway, Hypno-Disc has done us a favour by taking this one to bits."
- — Team Ivanhoe's reaction to the destruction of their robot by Hypno-Disc
Following its rebuild, Splinter returned for the first series of Extreme competing in the first Annihilator. Before it did, it first fought in a Mayhem battle against Killertron and Aggrobot 3 in order to qualify for the Annihilator. In this battle, all three competitors began by dodging around each other. Suddenly, Splinter was caught side-on by Aggrobot 3, and flipped over by its lifter. Splinter was then grappled by Dead Metal, still upside down, however, Aggrobot 3's lifter was stuck in place, and as its wheels were up off the ground, it was immobilised and counted out. At that point, Splinter finally used its axe to self-right, but now had one of its grabbing arms knocked out of place and was unable to drive in a straight line. Despite this, Splinter won the Mayhem after Sir Killalot suddenly picked Killertron up and dumped it into the pit, despite Killertron still being fully mobile and not anywhere near a CPZ.
In the first Annihilator, Splinter saw itself go up against X-Terminator, Arnold A. Terminegger, Thermidor 2, Hypno-Disc and Pussycat. In the first round, Splinter stayed out most of the action until it axed Thermidor 2 and slammed it into an unoccupied CPZ, leaving it immobile there. Splinter then joined X-Terminator in axing the limping Hypno-Disc while Thermidor 2 was counted out, putting it through to the second round.
In the second round, Splinter grabbed Pussycat and pushed it around, while X-Terminator and Arnold A. Terminegger concentrated on attacking Hypno-Disc. All five robot met in the centre of the arena, with Splinter and X-Terminator axing Hypno-Disc a few more times. Splinter once again grabbed and shoved Pussycat, and then used its arms and axe on Hypno-Disc. Having freed Pussycat, Pussycat then immobilised X-Terminator, allowing Splinter to qualify despite Hypno-Disc being close to immobilisation.
In the third round, Hypno-Disc again had technical difficulties, and lost mobility after its first hit on Arnold A. Terminegger. Splinter originally targeted Pussycat, but sought vengeance by pushing Hypno-Disc into the open pit, but Pussycat nudged Hypno-Disc in before it could do so itself. Splinter pushed Pussycat into the pit seconds later, but both robots went through anyway as Hypno-Disc was already pitted.
In the fourth round, Splinter employed its usual tactic of grabbing Pussycat, but Pussycat was able to push back. The three competitors circled round around each other for a while, with Splinter managing to land a few axe blows on Pussycat before Pussycat hit its rear panel, immobilising it completely. Pussycat's blade broke off after a few more attacks on Splinter and being toppled by Arnold A. Terminegger, but this was not enough to prevent Splinter from being counted out by Refbot, and flipped by the Floor Flipper. 'Cease' was called, and Splinter was eliminated from the Annihilator.
Seeded seventeenth after its Series 4 performance, Splinter returned for the Fifth Wars to face V.I.P.E.R. 01 in the first round. In this battle, Splinter used its grabbing arms to grab V.I.P.E.R. 01 by the side, allowing it to inflict damage with the axe while avoiding V.I.P.E.R. 01's spinning blade. V.I.P.E.R. 01's batteries were down on power, causing it to move sluggishly across the arena. Splinter capitalised on this by dragging V.I.P.E.R. 01 across and into Shunt's CPZ, allowing Shunt to axe holes through the unseeded machine's top armour. Splinter then placed V.I.P.E.R. 01 onto the Flame Pit, where it, Shunt and Dead Metal kept attacking it into 'cease' was called. The battle went to a judges' decision, which inevitably went in favour of Splinter.
- "Don't look so worried, don't look so worried, the judges have gone for Splinter!"
- — Craig Charles to Craig Weightman before he announces the decision
Splinter's second round battle saw it go up against Bigger Brother. In this battle, Splinter was immediately flipped onto its side by Bigger Brother, but successfully used its side arms to self-right, much to Team Ivanhoe's delight. However, Bigger Brother then returned and flipped Splinter onto its back and got it pinned against the arena wall, before flipping Splinter out of the arena completely. Splinter was eliminated, and did not appear in any other series of Robot Wars after this.
|SPLINTER - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
Semi-Finals, Round 1
|Heat I, Eliminator||vs. Centurion (31), Small Torque||Qualified|
|Heat I, Semi-Final||vs. Killerhurtz (16)||Won|
|Heat I, Final||vs. Eric||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Hypno-Disc (2)||Lost|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Mayhem & Annihilator|
Third Place in Annihilator
|Mayhem Qualifier||vs. Aggrobot 3, Killertron||Won|
|Annihilator, Round 1||vs. Arnold A. Terminegger, Hypno-Disc,|
Pussycat, Thermidor 2, X-Terminator
|Annihilator, Round 2||vs. Arnold A. Terminegger, Hypno-Disc,|
|Annihilator, Round 3||vs. Arnold A. Terminegger,|
|Annihilator, Round 4||vs. Arnold A. Terminegger, Pussycat||Eliminated|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
17th Seed, Heat, Round 2
|Heat I, Eliminator||vs. V.I.P.E.R. 01||Won|
|Heat I, Semi Final||vs. Bigger Brother||Lost|
- Wins: 8
- Losses: 3
|Main Series||Splinter Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Entered with Ivanhoe|
|The Third Wars|| Not selected|
Not selected with Ivanhoe 2
|The Fourth Wars||Semi-Finals, Round 1|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Sixth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Seventh Wars||Failed to qualify|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 2||Did not enter|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
After the original series of Robot Wars ended, Team RCC continued fighting with Splinter at live events. However, it was eventually retired due to being too badly damaged against opponents such as Terrorhurtz.
- "After so many battles the metal was so bent out of shape that it needed a rebuild. It retired after one last fight taking on TerrorHz and Kan opener at the same time."
- — Leo Van Miert of Team RCC on Facebook
- In both of its appearances in the main competition, Splinter competed in Heat I.
- All three of Splinter's losses on Robot Wars involved a robot that came or would finish runner-up in the main UK Series championship - Hypno-Disc, Pussycat and Bigger Brother.
- Splinter was the only robot in the first Extreme 1 Annihilator not to finish as a runner-up in a competition during its Robot Wars career.
- At the start of its Series 4 heat, Jonathan Pearce said Splinter was a newcomer despite its team appearing in Series 2 with Ivanhoe. This was corrected later on in the episode when Ivanhoe's Series 2 performance was shown.
- Splinter in Series 4 was one of the few robots to be referred to as a newcomer despite appearing in Robot Wars before and one of the few to have this corrected later on.
- Splinter was one of the few robots to be referred to as its predecessor.
- ↑ Private correspondence with Leo van Miert, 4 January 2019