- "Named after the patron saint of roboteers."
- — Jonathan Pearce in Series 7
St. Agro was a competitor robot that fought in Series 6 and 7 of Robot Wars. It was eliminated in the first round of Series 6, but won its heat in Series 7 over Ceros and reached the Semi-Finals, losing to eventual Grand Finalist X-Terminator there. St. Agro's name was a pun on the team's home town, St Agnes.
- "As far as we know, this is the only double flipper that works in this way, and it works on two counter-levers, ram comes out, moves forward, opens the flipper, both sides. which means whichever way up we are, we can flip just as effectively."
- — Terry Carlin explains the workings of the double-sided double-flipper
St. Agro was a two-wheeled, invertible wedge-shaped robot driven by a pair of 800W motors with custom-made gearboxes, and featuring a chassis and batteries salvaged from a Merlin helicopter. The robot was armed with an unusual "double-sided double flipper", which was a pneumatic flipper that would open out on both the top and bottom of the robot with the aid of four linkage bars attached to the piston. This allowed St. Agro to attack efficiently even when it was inverted, while the robot also featured a top speed of 12 mph. St. Agro initially had black wheels with rubber tyres for its Series 6 appearance, which were changed to custom five-spoke wheels for Series 7. These wheels had small spikes on them for traction, much like Wheely Big Cheese
The robot's chassis was made from steel plate and heavy duty gas pipe, and was mostly built by Hydra South West, who also helped with the construction of the gearboxes, using 3D printing to make parts, although part of its internal framework was also made from vulnerable wood. St. Agro's drive motors were Litton 800W motors, purchased from Roger Plant of Team Big Cheese. St. Agro also used parts from Wares Scrapyard and Power House Karting.
As with all other flipper-wielding robots, the flipper had a limited CO2 supply and sometimes became stuck open, which happened twice across the two series it competed in. In Series 7, St. Agro's weakness was listed as "Prone to Flipper Failure", in reference to this. The robot's exposed wheels could also be easily damaged, which Matilda and X-Terminator demonstrated in Series 7.
St. Agro was entered into Robot Wars by a team known as Trelawneys Robot Army, who were based in St. Agnes in Cornwall, hence the robot's name. The team was captained by Terry Carlin, who was consistently joined by Michael Carlin (also referred to on-screen as Michael Gambon) in all of his appearances. Michael was the driver of the robot. For Series 6 only, Andru Blewett joined the team, while the young Benjamin Carlin took his place in Series 7. In all of their appearances, the team wore floral Hawaiian shirts "for good luck", a style which was frequently mentioned by the presenters of Robot Wars, including the ridicule of Jonathan Pearce.
St. Agro first attempted to enter Series 4, but failed to qualify.
- "We competed with St. Agro in the Robot Mayhem Event last year. It refused to move out of the gate for our second battle (duff crimp joint). We got the build wrong in that we used steel as the primary construction element. Our bot was only just in the weight limit with no allowance left for a weapon"
- — St. Agro website on the Series 4 qualifiers
St. Agro then tried to enter Series 5, but failed to qualify again due to its weapon not working.
- "This year at the Robot Wars series V trials we failed again. Our weapon didn't function. We had a dead mans switch wired in through a relay and servo. The servo wasn't in the right position so no weapon"
- — St. Agro website on the Series 5 qualifiers
St. Agro qualified for Series 6 after defeating Nasty Humphrey at the qualifiers, once the battery lead to Nasty Humphrey's receiver disconnected. St. Agro would also successfully qualify for Series 7.
Trelawneys Robot Army would later attempt to enter a brand-new robot armed with a bar spinner into Series 9, named S.C.A.R., short for Steel City Agro. However, the robot was not selected to compete. Maelstrom, a robot which replicated the design of St. Agro, also attempted to qualify for Series 8 under Team Shock, but was rejected in favour of Shockwave from the same team.
- "Saints alive, look at this! And wait for the shirts!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces St. Agro
- Philippa Forrester: "Agro team, who are you most worried about."
- Michael Carlin: "S.M.I.D.S.Y."
- Philippa Forrester: "Why?"
- Michael Carlin: "Because he could take our tires out."
- Philippa Forrester: "They've got great experience, but then they've got a weighty spinning disc which also could take your tires off."
- Michael Carlin: "Yep."
- Philippa Forrester: "Pretty much anyone could have 'em!"
- — Pre-battle interview with Philippa Forrester
St. Agro began by charging at Warhog, getting underneath it and pushing it into the arena wall, but before it could fire its flippers, S.M.I.D.S.Y. pushed Comengetorix into it. St. Agro turned, dropping Warhog from the flipper. Warhog drove away from the arena wall, and St. Agro followed it. Warhog drove up the arena, bumping into Refbot, and St. Agro managed to get the edge of its flipper under Warhog, but Warhog drove off before St. Agro could fire the flipper.
- "Now a little flip from St. Agro, opening up the jaws of its flipper. Wonderful shirts, great design the boys from Cornwall, can they go through?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as St. Agro fires its flipper
However, after this missed flip, the flippers became stuck open, so St. Agro drove down the arena, away from the other robots, and opened the pit. St. Agro was attacked by Comengetorix, who tried to axe on its wheels, but narrowly missed. St. Agro started pushing Warhog, but S.M.I.D.S.Y. started pushing it around the arena. St. Agro managed to get away briefly, but S.M.I.D.S.Y. kept after it, and when St. Agro drove close to the pit, S.M.I.D.S.Y. took advantage, getting behind it and pushing it straight in. After a fairly heated battle, St. Agro was eventually followed by Warhog as S.M.I.D.S.Y. gave it a piggy-back to the pit.
- Philippa Forrester: "Now, quite early on you were out, I think really."
- Terry Carlin: "Yeah, right at the beginning. First flip, it failed."
- Philippa Forrester: "What's that taught you, about designing robots?"
- Terry Carlin: "Better luck next year!"
- Philippa Forrester: "But, isn't it taught you, when you're designing them, give them a good cuck around the garage and see if they still work afterwards?"
- Terry Carlin: "We did that!"
- Philippa Forrester: "Did you?"
- Terry Carlin: "Yeah!"
- Philippa Forrester: "So, bolt the bits on tighter next time, maybe."
- — Post-battle interview
- "A double-sided double-flipper, invertible, 40% of the robot is the weapon. That's good, if it all works, but if it doesn't - what good is it?!"
- — Jonathan Pearce sums up St. Agro
In contrast to its appearance in the Sixth Wars, St. Agro proved itself a powerful machine in its opening match of Series 7 where it was placed up against Robot Wars veterans Mega Hurts LT and Revolution 3, along with newcomers The Scrapper.
St. Agro started by attacking Mega Hurts LT, trying to get under the front, but St. Agro didn't get under its opponent properly, only getting its flipper under Mega Hurts LT's flipper. Mega Hurts LT fired its flipper at the same time as St. Agro and reversed, but then drove forwards as St. Agro drove after it. This exposed its side to the Cornish machine, and St. Agro took advantage, getting its flipper under the corner of Mega Hurts LT. Mega Hurts LT tried to get off, but St. Agro fired the flipper, although Mega Hurts LT was not thrown over as the flipper was only under the corner.
- "That was a mighty blow from St. Agro, with the double-sided double-flipper!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as St. Agro flips Mega Hurts LT
St. Agro turned around, but drove into the wall. It then went after Mega Hurts LT again, which had stopped moving after being pushed by The Scrapper. Driving around its other two opponents, St. Agro swiftly got under Mega Hurts LT and flipped it over. St. Agro drove to the other side of the arena, but went back after Mega Hurts LT when it self-righted. Mega Hurts LT reversed when St. Agro tried to get under it, and Revolution 3 pushed it onto the flame pit, so St. Agro drove around The Scrapper, then drove at Mega Hurts LT, only to reverse away without trying to get under it. The Scrapper was being attacked by Revolution 3, and St. Agro tried to get under it. On its first charge, St. Agro merely bumped past the corner, so St. Agro turned around and got behind The Scrapper. St. Agro fired the flipper, but the flipper was only under The Scrapper enough to lift it a little. The Scrapper was not moving forwards, having lost drive on one side, so St. Agro pushed it down the arena, then in one clean move, got underneath The Scrapper, pushed it to the wall and flipped it out.
- "I like the look of St. Agro with the double flipper as well. The trouble is with flippers, as I'm sure you know now, all you roboteers out there, if they are powered by a CO2 bottle, the supply is limited, so, is, the life, of, The Scrapper! Gone!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as The Scrapper is flipped out of the arena by St. Agro
St. Agro drove up the arena to where Mega Hurts LT was immobile, having lost drive whilst being pushed by Revolution 3. Getting its flipper under the front of Mega Hurts LT, St. Agro pushed it into a CPZ and tried to flip it out, but it was not able to.
- "So, from the evidence of what we've seen so far, St. Agro is the strongest here."
- — Jonathan Pearce as St. Agro pushes Mega Hurts LT into the CPZ
Growler and Dead Metal came over to the CPZ, blocking St. Agro as it tried to get away. Dead Metal drove onto St. Agro, pinning it against the wall, but St. Agro actually managed to flip the House Robot off the flipper and push it back, escaping the CPZ as it did so. Growler grabbed Mega Hurts LT, took it out of the CPZ and span it around, throwing it into an arena wall. St. Agro got under its side and flipped Mega Hurts LT over again. However, after this, the flipper became stuck open. Revolution 3 had also stopped moving, so St. Agro got behind it and pushed it.
- "Revolution 3 and St. Agro for me, they don't want to cause each other any damage, as they've done the hard work. Hang on a minute, is Revolution 3 still moving? Is St. Agro's jaw locked open? The countdown will surely defeat Mega Hurts, but there could be work to be done on St. Agro's weaponry, and Revolution 3."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Mega Hurts LT is counted out
Regardless, Mega Hurts LT was counted out, sending St. Agro and Revolution 3 through to the next round.
In the second round of the heat, St. Agro was placed up against Dutch series finalist Scraptosaur.
- "St. Agro has been one of the most impressive robots we've seen in Robot Wars: The Seventh Wars, but we've also seen shocks and surprises."
- — Jonathan Pearce, at the start of the second round battle
Both robots started by trying to get at the side of their opponent, with Scraptosaur turning left but then swerving right as St. Agro drove at it. Scraptosaur got at the side of St. Agro, but didn't get its flipper under the side so missed as it tried to flip. As St. Agro reversed a little and tried getting under Scraptosaur, Scraptosaur span, and this allowed it to get under the side of St. Agro and flip it. St. Agro was unaffected as it was invertible, and quickly turned around and tried to get under Scraptosaur. It got the flipper under the side, but Scraptosaur turned off before St. Agro could flip, so St. Agro missed and turned itself over. Scraptosaur tried to get its flipper under the back of St. Agro, but St. Agro drove away and turned around. Scraptosaur tried to get under the side of St. Agro, but St. Agro reversed. However, it reversed into the arena wall, so tried to drive past Scraptosaur quickly, but Scraptosaur managed to flip St. Agro over.
- "...Michael Gambon at the controls, 17 years of age, a student. Loves his beach parties, loves his tennis. Love-all out there? Doubt it!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
St. Agro tried to get under the side of Scraptosaur, but Scraptosaur turned to face St. Agro and reversed. St. Agro pushed it into the wall, and Scraptosaur turned against St. Agro to avoid the flipper. The two robots turned around for another attack, and as St. Agro tried driving around Scraptosaur, Scraptosaur missed a flip, having not got the flipper under St. Agro's side. Scraptosaur drove down the arena and opened the pit, and as St. Agro drove after it, got the flipper under St. Agro's front, but only managed to lift it a little. St. Agro drove away, with Scraptosaur chasing after it, and although Scraptosaur caught up and got at St. Agro's side, it missed again with the flipper. Scraptosaur did manage to get under the side of St. Agro and flip it over, but the flip still had no effect on the invertible St. Agro. The two robots circled each other, each trying to get its flipper under its opponent, whilst also avoiding the other's flipper.
- "St. Agro purposeful, just looking for another chance to get in under the ground clearance of Scraptosaur"
- — Jonathan Pearce as the two robots try to get under the other
Scraptosaur got under the side of St. Agro first and flipped it over, and whilst the flipper was still raised, pushed St. Agro. St. Agro fired the flipper, but couldn't get free of Scraptosaur. However, after reversing for another charge, St. Agro was able to get the flipper fully under Scraptosaur and flip it over into a CPZ. Scraptosaur did not have enough power left in its flipper to self-right, so St. Agro held back as Scraptosaur was counted out and attacked by the House Robots.
- Craig Charles: "Talk me through the fight."
- Michael Carlin: "They flipped us a few times, we sort of came out okay from it, we flipped them and they broke. It was just lucky really!"
- — Post-battle interview
In the Heat Final, it faced promising newcomer Ceros.
- "St. Agro and Ceros standing toe-to-toe, wheel-to-wheel, flipper-to-flipper! Muscles will tussle, and who will be left standing at the end?"
- — Jonathan Pearce before the Heat Final
St. Agro started by driving around Ceros, and tried to get under the side, but Ceros reversed. St. Agro tried getting under Ceros' side again, but Ceros turned and tried to flip St. Agro, but missed and turned itself over. St. Agro got behind Ceros and flipped it before it could try to self-right, knocking it onto its side. Ceros seemed to be stuck, with its flipper not closing, but after a push from Refbot, the flipper closed and Ceros flipped itself back over. Ceros got under the side of St. Agro and flipped it over, but St. Agro was unaffected as it was invertible.
- "St. Agro can work both ways up, it's invertible, don't forget, which usually negates the power of another flipper. Unless the cut-out can be loosened, unless the electronics can be loosened..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Ceros flips St. Agro
St. Agro tried to get under the front of Ceros whilst its flipper was still open, but fired the flipper too early, so only lifted Ceros up a little. St. Agro turned around for another attack and drove straight under Ceros, flipping it over. St. Agro briefly pirouetted after the flip, then fell back, and Ceros quickly self-righted.
- "This is tremendous stuff - great control by the drivers to be able to self-right like that, under pressure."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Ceros appeared to have reduced mobility, rocking back and forth on one wheel. St. Agro opened the pit, and tried to flip Ceros into the pit as it opened, but only flicked Ceros a little as it failed to get the flipper under Ceros properly. St. Agro tried to reverse Ceros into the pit, but didn't have the pushing power, and Ceros turned away from the pit.
- "Ceros, OH, on the brink of oblivion, and disaster - on the brink of the pit! They need to get away from there, one shove and they're down! … They've left themselves here, very vulnerable. St. Agro needs to get behind for a shove.."
- — Jonathan Pearce as the action heats up near the pit
St. Agro turned around and drove at the front of Ceros as it was by the pit, but Ceros got its flipper under the front of St. Agro and flipped it back. Ceros turned around, but could not get away in time. St. Agro got beside it and tried to push it down, but fired the flipper and Ceros managed to turn away. St. Agro reversed for another charge, but missed its charge. As it tried to get in the right position, St. Agro drove in front of Ceros, and Ceros nearly flipped it into the pit, with St. Agro narrowly being able to reverse in time. St. Agro drove after Ceros, but drove too close to Matilda, who hit one of St. Agro's wheels with her flywheel, cutting off part of the wheel.
- "Matilda's flywheel comes in, and look at the wheel of St. Agro! Ripped! Broken! Operating now, really only on one wheel, limping, St. Agro!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
St. Agro hobbled towards Ceros, but drove at the wrong angle, allowing Ceros to get under the side and flip St. Agro towards the pit, but St. Agro fell the wrong way, avoiding the pit. St. Agro got under Ceros and flipped it over by the CPZ.
- "I honestly think it's going to come down to the machine that has the FF at the end - the flip-ability factor … St. Agro, doesn't look as if it'll pass an MOT, but Ceros is gone here I think."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Ceros is stuck upright
Ceros tried to self-right, but Matilda came out as it did so, blocking it as it tried to flip itself over. Ceros was stuck up against the arena wall, and Matilda hit it with the flywheel. Ceros' flipper was no longer working, leaving it unable to self-right. Refbot counted Ceros out, and Matilda reversed into Ceros and tossed it out of the arena with her flywheel.
- Craig Charles: "Luck or judgement?"
- Michael Carlin: "Luck, definitely luck!"
- Craig Charles: "So, you're through to the series Semi-Finals, are you gonna keep wearing the shirts?"
- Michael Carlin: "Oh definitely! We need them, they're our lucky shirts!"
- Craig Charles: "Ah, can't you turn the contrast down on them or something like that?"
- Michael Carlin: "We're going to scare off the opposition."
- — Post-battle interview
St. Agro was through to the Semi-Finals, but the broken wheel had to be welded back together as the team did not have a replacement wheel. In the first of the two Series Semi-Finals, St. Agro fought the eleventh seed X-Terminator in the first round.
- "The major thing with us is we've only got a limited amount of flips, we have to conserve them carefully, otherwise we're gonna end up at the end running around, trying to escape from a spinner that's spinning around trying to kill us!"
- — Terry Carlin to Jayne Middlemiss before the battle
St. Agro started much quicker, darting across the arena past X-Terminator. X-Terminator turned around as it did so, and St. Agro tried to get under the front of X-Terminator, but couldn't get under the front scoop, and X-Terminator hit one of its flippers with its flywheel. St. Agro reversed for another charge, but still couldn't get under the front scoop, and X-Terminator buckled the flipper and flipped St. Agro over. St. Agro drove to the centre of the arena, but X-Terminator was close behind them, and soon caught up, ripping off part of one wheel and flipping the whole robot over.
- "...and St. Agro already tattered here! There's a chunk out of one of the wheels, look!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
St. Agro reversed, then drove back at X-Terminator, only for X-Terminator to buckle the flipper front upwards. St. Agro turned around drove down the arena. After driving into the wall, St. Agro opened the pit, and X-Terminator came in behind it, hitting the back and flipping the robot against the bottom arena wall three times in quick succession.
- "We are now down to the stage where the fittest and meanest survives, and the weakest are marmalised! Oh dear, can hardly watch, Terry Carlin."
- — Jonathan Pearce as X-Teminator flips St. Agro against the wall
As St. Agro fell down from the wall, one of their wheels was clearly loosened, and X-Terminator continued ramming it against the wall and trying to cut into the wheel, before getting behind St. Agro, hitting the back and flipping the robot up. St. Agro had stopped moving after X-Terminator's slams, and Refbot began to count it out. As Refbot finished its count, X-Terminator pushed St. Agro into the flywheel of Matilda. Matilda ripped off a part of St. Agro's top, then reversed into St. Agro again, ripping off a part of St. Agro's wheel.
- "Look at that missing out of that wheel! You're not talking foam rubber, that was real metal munching!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Matilda rips St. Agro's other wheel
Shunt came in and hit the top of St. Agro. Although the axe did not puncture the armour, CO2 began to escape from St. Agro. Shunt axed St. Agro again, and after it was removed from the CPZ, Matilda pushed it to the floor flipper, with the help of X-Terminator. After being thrown, Matilda hit the front with her flywheel a couple of times, and X-Terminator got behind St. Agro and pushed it into the pit, putting an end to St. Agro's campaign.
- Craig Charles: "What was your tactic, how did you think you were going to take them on?"
- Michael Carlin: "We thought we could get under them, and try and get them quick before their spinner spun up, but couldn't get under them."
- Craig Charles: "The rest of it was just downhill from there really."
- Michael Carlin: "Yeah."
- Craig Charles: "Ends in tears!"
- Michael Carlin: "Hopefully not!"
- Craig Charles: "So St. Agro, where does he go?"
- Michael Carlin: "Gonna rebuild it, get it lower to the ground, more powerful flipper, come back next year!"
- — Post-battle interview
|ST. AGRO - RESULTS|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat J, Round 1||vs. Comengetorix, S.M.I.D.S.Y., Warhog||Eliminated|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Semi-Finals, Round 1
|Heat H, Round 1||vs. Mega Hurts LT, Revolution 3, The Scrapper||Qualified|
|Heat H, Round 2||vs. Scraptosaur||Won|
|Heat H, Final||vs. Ceros||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 1||vs. X-Terminator (11)||Lost|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 2
|Series||St. Agro Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Seventh Wars||Semi-Final, Round 1|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Not selected with S.C.A.R.|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
The Series 4 version of St. Agro, among other Robot Wars competitors such as Killertron, Wheely Big Cheese, Eye of Newt, Tor, Rottweiler 2 and Miss Struts, took part in the 2000 Children in Need event which consisted of tug of war, battles and sumo matches .
A notable incident involving St. Agro happened at a live event where the robot's weaponry had not been fitted with a locking bar, and the flippers fired randomly in the pits. Although this accident did not harm anyone in attendance, this led to the enforcement of locking bars at live events, and subsequently the Robot Wars reboot, whereby all flipping mechanisms must be locked whenever the robot is not in battle.
- St. Agro's defeat in Round 1 of The Sixth Wars was the only time a robot from Cornwall fought in the main competition but did not win its heat, a record which St. Agro rectified in the Seventh Wars.
- St. Agro's team was one of only two Cornish teams to compete in the main competition of the show, alongside Bodmin Community College. Coincidentally, both teams featured different members with the surname Blewett.
- The only house robot which never shared the arena with St. Agro was Sgt. Bash despite him appearing in all episodes that St. Agro appeared in.
- St. Agro's official photo for Series 7, seen on its statistics board, shows St. Agro with the safety covers still on its wheels.
- Both of St. Agro's losses involved it being pitted.
- In both of those losses, Shunt was present.
- Both robots that pitted St. Agro (S.M.I.D.S.Y. and X-Terminator) fought each other in the Extreme 2 Tag Team Terror.
- St. Agro was the only newcomer in Heat J of Series 6.
- In both of St. Agro's heat appearances, it fought in the second melee and was the second robot to be introduced in the melee.
- In both of its first round melees in the heat, St. Agro's flippers got stuck open.
- In both of its first round melees, St. Agro was the second robot to be introduced and in all of its one on one battles, it was the first robot to be introduced.
- ↑ St Agro website (archived)
- ↑ St Agro website (archived)
- ↑ Robot Wars Forum (archived)
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20010502142330/http://www.team-eon.co.uk:80/cin_2000.htm