- "You know what it is, you know what it does, you know how it does it. And we're back for more of the same."
- — Tim Mann in Series 5
Stinger was a robot with 18 mph top speeds and a large spiked mace with conrods from a car engine attached on the end of an arm which took three months to construct. The arm was designed to swing around whenever the driver reversed the motors. Stinger had virtually no body (what little body there was 3mm steel from a gas turbine); all the electronics were within its two modified motorcycle domed wheels - Stinger's 1HP motors, power electronics and batteries as well as car parts from a Lotus and leather from a trouser belt, all of which rotated around a solid axle. This design was known as an axlebot. The robot itself was inspired by American robot The Master. Stinger entered in Series 3 through 6, plus both series of Robot Wars Extreme. In Series 3, a 5 kg grinding wheel (often nicknamed a "pizza cutter") was used instead of the mace. Team member Jonathan Pillai left the team to create his own machine Gahra which failed to qualify for Series 5, but was renamed Infernal Contraption and fought in Series 6 and 7, with little success.
- "A lot of momentum behind that weapon, and it becomes like a pendulum...with force, and also with venom"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Stinger was virtually uncontrollable in its debut appearance, and drove into the pit consequentially. However, improved engineering and driving saw it attain greater success later on. In Series 3 and 4, Stinger had a pair of bumpers to give it some pushing power, though this was subsequently removed. After the weight increase in Series 5, the team gave Stinger a thicker and heavier mace.
It performed very strongly in Series 4, knocking out the favoured Bulldog Breed 2 and the 4th seeds Panic Attack - in addition to giving reigning and consequent champions Chaos 2 a very close call - to place third overall. It also made two heat finals in Series 5 and 6, knocking out powerful robots in the Heat Semi-Final on both occasions, General Carnage 2 and Fluffy.
- "Sir Killalot...he has history with Stinger, they don't like each other"
- — Jonathan Pearce
House robot Sir Killalot seemed to hold a grudge against Stinger, on several occasions disrupting its battle by trying to pick it up by the lance and carry it around. This happened mostly when Stinger either drove into or was near a CPZ, one occasion in the first series of Extreme, in Stinger's Wild Card Warrior battle with Ajjay, Sir Killalot plucked up Stinger in the closing seconds, carried it to the opposite side of the arena, and dumped it out, right after cease was called.
- "What has Killalot got against us?"
- — Karl Skinner
Stinger was intended to enter the Seventh Wars, but it was forbidden from entering, because of a new rule stating that every competitor robot must have a moving weapon.
In 2012, the Stinger team started making a Monowheel.
- "A Tail of Two Wheels"
- — Stinger's website history
- "And there's a real sting in the tail."
- — A comment on Stinger by Jonathan Pearce
Armed with the grinding wheel or "pizza cutter" which weighed 5 kilograms, Stinger looked like a good design in its debut appearance. However, Stinger had an unfortunate draw in the first round, as it went up against previous Semi-Finalists Mace 2 in the first battle of the Third Wars. In the battle, Stinger kept bashing Mace 2 with its swinging weapon, all to no avail. 57 seconds into its bout, spinning madly into the arena side wall then into Mace 2, Stinger drove straight into the pit of oblivion, eliminating it from the competition.
- "Well, with some amazingly erratic driving, Stinger ends up in the pit, and out of the competition"
- — Craig Charles
At the end of the series, Stinger was nominated for the Most Original Entry Award for the Third Wars, but it lost to Hypno-Disc.
Stinger returned to the Fourth Wars, seeded 30 due to its unique design and popularity, following its blunder in Series 3. In its first round melee, Stinger went up against Spikasaurus and Bulldog Breed 2. In the battle, all three robots drove straight at each other and Stinger started hammering at Bulldog Breed but couldn't cause any major dents in the armour. It then turned its attention to Spikasaurus by hammering the top of the robot while Bulldog Breed flipped it, eventually Spikasaurus' roll bar became bent when it was flipped over and couldn't self right, but was flipped back over by a slam from the madly spinning Stinger. The battle went to the judges who eliminated Spikasaurus, putting Bulldog Breed and Stinger through to the second round of the heat. Next up for Stinger was newcomers Hammer & Tong in this second round, Stinger started strongly and started hammering at the outer shell of Hammer & Tong who couldn't get its spike hammer to hit the robot. Eventually Stinger started spinning around and hit the side of Hammer & Tong which knocked out the electronics. The house robots put Hammer & Tong on the floor flipper, and Stinger advanced to the heat final, where it met Bulldog Breed 2 once again. The battle started with Bulldog Breed flipping Stinger over several times, the invertible robot started to spin and managed to hit the side of Bulldog Breed which got to the electronics. After being hit five times CO2 gas started leaking out of the Bulldog while its flipper remained jammed open. Sir Killalot soon flipped it over with the lance before Dead Metal placed Bulldog Breed 2 onto the floor flipper. This put Stinger through to the Series Semi-Finals.Stinger was drawn against newcomers Mousetrap with its unique trap weapon in the first round of the Series Semi-Finalists. Stinger tried to target the spring which powered the trap and constantly hit Mousetrap which couldn't manage to hit Stinger despite the size of its weapon. Mousetrap's weapon soon stopped working after its drive chains broke and began to trail from the casing, and not long after it started to slow down and eventually stopped moving in the centre of the arena. Shunt axed through Mousetrap's wooden bodywork and Killalot picked up Mousetrap, dropping it into the Pit of Oblivion. Stinger then met Series 2 champions Panic Attack in the second round, this for a place in the Grand Final. What followed was a thrilling battle. Panic Attack charged at Stinger and managed to lift Stinger up but couldn't turn it over, eventually Stinger started spinning and managed to hit the side of Panic Attack causing only superficial damage, Panic Attack tried so hard to flip Stinger over with its lifting fork but couldn't while Stinger managed to land blows on Panic Attack time and time again. Eventually the match went to a judges' decision, the decision controversially went in favour of Stinger, awarding them the victory by one point for being the more aggressive machine. Many members of the audience disagreed with the decision, but nevertheless, Stinger was through to the Grand Final.
- "Stinger for President"
- — A fan-made banner for Stinger
In the Grand Final, Stinger went up against the reigning champions Chaos 2 in the eliminator round. Right at the start, Chaos 2 got a massive flip in on Stinger. Stinger spun in circles hitting Chaos 2's sides, and forcing it into Matilda's CPZ. In the process of escaping, Chaos 2 left its back exposed, and Stinger smashed its rear polycarbonate panel off. Chaos 2 carried on flipping Stinger, and eventually flipped it into Dead Metal's CPZ. Dead Metal grasped Stinger and Chaos 2 tried to flip both of them, but couldn't. Cease was called, and the judges were called upon to decide who would meet Pussycat in the Grand Final. The two robots were ruled to be equal in damage, style, and aggression, meaning that the deciding factor would be which robot had better control. The judges ruled that the robot with the advantage in that category was Chaos 2, giving them the win. Stinger took 3rd place by default after the Hypno-Disc team couldn't repair their robot in time after their battle with Pussycat for a playoff match between the two losers.
Stinger also competed in the pinball warrior tournament of the Fourth Wars. Its run consisted of it falling into the shallow pit, however, as it was shallow, Stinger was able to escape. Stinger ended the run with only 75 points, meaning that it finished a rather low joint 12th place along with Banshee.
Stinger also competed in the Northern Annihilator that took place during the Christmas season of the Fourth Wars, it was up against Suicidal Tendencies, Spikasaurus, Dominator 2, Chaos 2 and Killerhurtz. In the first round, Stinger stayed largely out of the main action, it was flipped by Chaos 2 in the early stages but no damage was caused, Stinger camped in the centre of the arena and tried to spin madly to ward off any incoming competitors. However, after Chaos 2 had been badly damaged by both axe-wielding machines, Stinger then decided to appproach the reigning champions and smack its backside. Cease was soon called, the immobilised Chaos 2 machine was eliminated and Stinger survived to go through to the next round. Unfortunately, in the second round, Killerhurtz rammed it into the arena side wall straight away, before it came round again to ram Stinger again, Spikasaurus cam ein at the same time, and the second slam from Killerhurtz forced Stinger into the spikes of Spikasaurus, puncturing one of the tyres, damaging some electrics inside the wheels and leaving Stinger spinning in circles for the rest of the battle. Stinger was left alone for the remainder of the round to make it clear to the judges that Stinger was merely spinning in circles, the house robots didn't come in to finish off Stinger, even the bout went on to the very end of time, but the judges' decision that resulted went against Stinger, eliminating it from the Northern Annihilator.
Stinger made several appearances in Extreme 1, but did not have a great deal of success.
Stinger's first battle of Extreme, also the first battle of Extreme was a vengeance battle against Tornado.
- "My mother hates them, they just spin around in a circle"
- — Andrew Marchant before fighting Stinger
In the battle, Tornado was the continuous aggressor with Stinger only getting a few minor hits on Tornado. However, all of a sudden, Sir Killalot picked up Stinger about to put it out of the arena, but failed to do so, and Stinger came back into the centre of the arena. Stinger held on to a judges' decision, but the battle went in favour of Tornado.
It fought newcomer Ajjay in a Wild Card Warriors battle. Ajjay was supposed to have horizontal spinning flails, but the weapon failed to work, so Ajjay's only means of attack were pushing and spinning in place. Ajjay pushed Stinger around, and then accidentally drove into a CPZ, where Killalot picked it up and dropped it. Stinger hammered Ajjay with its mace, and then drove into a CPZ itself, and it too was picked up by Killalot. Since time had almost run out, Killalot carried Stinger over to the wall, and dropped it out of the arena right after cease was called. Stinger was technically still active at the end, so it went to the judges, who ruled in favour of Stinger.
Stinger challenged Behemoth for the Challenge Belt next. It buffeted Behemoth's front and side by spinning round and round, but Behemoth was slowly edging it towards the wall. Once Stinger was trapped, Behemoth pushed it into Killalot's CPZ, where Killalot picked it up and carried it around the arena. Stinger escaped, and Behemoth once again edged it onto the wall. Behemoth then picked up Stinger, and trapped it with its scoop/axe combination. Stinger was helpless as Behemoth carried it over to the pit and dropped it down into it.
In its Mayhem, Stinger met Behemoth (again) and Thermidor 2. Stinger looked on as Thermidor easily flipped Behemoth out of the arena. The lobster then turned its attention to Stinger, whose shape proved more difficult to get ahold of than Behemoth's, but Thermidor flipped it several times, and did eventually manage to get Stinger out of the arena too.
In the All-Stars, Stinger faced fellow Grand Finalist Pussycat. Stinger used its mace to bounce Pussycat, and Pussycat got its blade caught in the arena floor. It managed to free itself, and Stinger carried on bludgeoning it with its mace. With a well-aimed attack, Pussycat hit one of Stinger's tyres, and started to tear out the material inside it. It went to the judges, who went in favour of Pussycat.
Stinger's final Extreme 1 appearance was the House Robot Rebellion, where it, Scorpion, and Plunderbird 5 faced Shunt and Dead Metal. Stinger focused on Dead Metal, hammering the house robot's front with its mace. Eventually, Dead Metal grabbed it and held it sideways so that it couldn't swing its mace weapon. Plunderbird and Scorpion had both been pitted, so Stinger was ganged up on by Dead Metal, Shunt, and Matilda who had just entered the battle. Time ran out, and Stinger was declared the winner for being the only survivor of the three competitor robots.
Series 5In the fifth wars, Stinger was seeded number 5. Its first battle was against Hippobotamus. In the battle, Stinger performed its usual tactic of spinning round and round, smacking its opponent's sides. Hippobotamus tried to retaliate with its disc arm weapon, but Stinger was too quick, and easily avoided it. Stinger carried on hammering away at the Hippo's top, and then Dead Metal grabbed it and sliced through the lid. Stinger then accidentally drove into Sir Killalot's CPZ, so Killalot picked up Stinger and carried it around the arena until time ran out. Hippobotamus's lid had come loose, and its sandpit shell had taken very heavy damage, but it was still mobile, so a judges' decision was needed. Not surprisingly, the judges went for Stinger. Stinger's next match was against General Carnage. Stinger once again spun around and struck its opponent's sides. General Carnage managed to get a few flips in on Stinger, but that did not affect the fully invertible machine. Stinger hammered General Carnage's top, and after the latter fired its flipper again, it suddenly stopped moving, and was counted out. In the heat final, Stinger met S3. Stinger tried to axe down on S3's body while avoiding the deadly disc, but ended up getting nipped a few times. S3 got Stinger up against an angle grinder, and started to cut into Stinger's tyres. Stinger had stopped moving, so the Refbot counted it out. After being sent flying on the floor flipper, Stinger regained mobility, but since it had already been deemed immobile, it did not change the fact that S3 had beaten it.
- "Stinger is a very well designed bot. All the sensitive stuff is in the wheels - rubber is a great armour in RW - given the weapons we are allowed to use. However, Stinger didn't just "stop working" We managed to bend the main drive system to the extent that the gears no longer meshed correctly."
- — Dave Allsop, Captain of S3
- Philippa Forrester: "So, the lobster right, reckons you're going out of the arena"
- Kevin Scott: "The lobster doesn't know what he's talking about, we're going to chop his...flipper off and take his claws away"
- — Stinger pre-first round interview
Stinger returned for the Sixth Wars, and was granted the number 11 seed, making it one of only two seeds to have not reached the Semi-Finals of the previous series. Stinger was placed in Heat F of the main competition, and was drawn up against newcomers Chompalot, the new and improved 13 Black, and old rivals Thermidor 2. In the battle, despite being seeded number 11, Stinger stayed out of most of the action throughout the battle, and contributed very little. At the start however, the four robots met near the pit, and 13 Black hit the pit release button. Stinger then got a crucial blow on Thermidor 2, which meant that the latter could only spin in circles, however Stinger was dangerously close to the pit; its mace was practically dangling inside, but Stinger managed to escape, just as 13 Black was about to come in and shove it down. Chompalot then grabbed Stinger and tried to crush it, but it managed to free itself. Meanwhile, Thermidor 2's lack of movement resulted in it being counted out by the Refbot, before Thermidor 2 then drove itself down the pit. 13 Black then drew Chompalot into the CPZ, and attacked Chompalot with its discs, immobilising the dragon-like robot. Stinger then bashed into 13 Black, before 13 Black turned and immobilised Stinger too. Fortunately, by this time, Chompalot had already been counted out by the Refbot, and flipped by the arena floor flipper. This put Stinger and 13 Black through to the next round of the heat.
- "With Stinger, you never know what's going to happen with that mighty mace."
- — Jonathan Pearce at the start of the Fluffy battle
In the second round, Stinger was drawn up against the Most Promising Newcomer of the last series: Fluffy. In this battle, Fluffy hit Stinger's wheels several times with its powerful spinning hammer, with Stinger then flailing out of control away. After taking several hits, one of Stinger's wheels appeared to stop moving, but Stinger got it going again before it could be counted out by the Refbot. Stinger then came back strongly, as Fluffy stopped facing Stinger with its hammer, allowing Stinger to easily come in and bash down on Fluffy's top multiple times, without letting Fluffy make another run. Fluffy's blade had stopped spinning, allowing Stinger to hammer away at its top without fear of retaliation anyway. Stinger's onslaught eventually immobilised Fluffy, the latter was subsequently counted out and flipped by the arena floor flipper.
Stinger then progressed to the heat final, where it was placed up against 13 Black once again. In this battle, Stinger hammered 13 Black's top, but didn't appear to do any damage. 13 Black hit Stinger's wheels with its discs, and a piece of rubber flew off Stinger. Stinger tried to get some more hits in on 13 Black, but took damage from 13 Black's discs every time it landed a hit. Both robots ended up in a CPZ, so Killalot picked up Stinger, and held it until the clock ran out. The judges ruled that 13 Black was more aggressive, and was therefore the winner, eliminating Stinger from the competition.
Stinger's only appearance in Extreme 2 was in the Tag Team Terror, where it teamed up with Nasty Humphrey. Their only match was against The Steel Avenger and Lightning. Nasty Humphrey and Lightning started out in the arena, and Lightning easily got under Nasty Humphrey, and pushed it into Mr. Psycho. Nasty Humphrey escaped, and tagged Stinger, while Lightning tagged Steel Avenger. Both robots traded blows with their weapons but missed, and then Stinger started spinning on the spot. Steel Avenger rammed into Stinger and disabled one of its wheels, meaning that Stinger could only move in circles. Steel Avenger went for the pit release button and pushed Stinger into the pit, but it couldn't stop in time, and drove into the pit itself. Lightning and Nasty Humphrey faced each other again, and Nasty Humphrey's axe proving ineffective against Lightning. Lightning got underneath Nasty Humphrey again, and managed to flip it onto its side. Time ran out before Nasty Humphrey was deemed immobile, but the judges ruled that Stinger and Nasty Humphrey had lost.
US Season 1
Stinger fought in the War of Independence competition in Season 1 of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors. In the first round, it fought General Chompsalot. It managed to get several blows in with its axe, but General Chompsalot proved to be much more aggressive and managed to bite down on Stinger's wheels several times until the end where Stinger eventually lost on a judges' decision.
|STINGER - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Mace 2||Lost|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
30th Seed, Third Place
|Heat J, Eliminator||vs. Bulldog Breed 2, Spikasaurus||Qualified|
|Heat J, Semi-Final||vs. Hammer & Tong||Won|
|Heat J, Final||vs. Bulldog Breed 2||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Mousetrap||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 2||vs. Panic Attack (4)||Won|
|Grand Final, Eliminator||vs. Chaos 2 (1)||Lost|
|Grand Final, Playoff||vs. Hypno-Disc (2)||Won by default|
|NOTE: Hypno-Disc was forced to withdraw from the playoff due to damage sustained in the previous round.|
Equal Twelfth (with Banshee)
|Round 1||vs. Dominator 2, Suicidal Tendencies 2|
Spikasaurus, Killerhurtz, Chaos 2
|Round 2||vs. Dominator 2, Suicidal Tendencies 2|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Round 1||vs. Pussycat||Lost|
|Mayhem & Annihilator|
|Mayhem||vs. Behemoth, Thermidor 2||Lost|
Vengeance, Wild Card Warriors,
House Robot Rebellion (with Scorpion and Plunderbird 5)
|Wild Card Warriors||vs. Ajjay||Won|
|House Robot Rebellion||vs. Shunt & Dead Metal||Won|
|NOTE: Stinger was given the victory for being the only contestant robot to survive the full 5 minutes.|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
5th Seed, Heat Final
|Heat C, Eliminator||vs. Hippobotamus||Won|
|Heat C, Semi-Final||vs. General Carnage 2||Won|
|Heat C, Final||vs. S3||Lost|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
11th Seed, Heat Final
|Heat F, Round 1||vs. 13 Black, Chompalot, Thermidor 2||Qualified|
|Heat F, Round 2||vs. Fluffy||Won|
|Heat F, Final||vs. 13 Black||Lost|
|Extreme Series 2|
|Tag Team Terror|
Competing with Nasty Humphrey, Round 1
|Round 1||vs. Lightning & The Steel Avenger||Lost|
|War of Independence|
Representing UK, Eliminator
|Eliminator||vs. General Chompsalot (USA)||Lost|
- UK Wins: 12
- UK Losses: 10
- US Wins: 0
- US Losses: 1
- Series 1-2: Did not enter
- Series 3: Heat, Round 1
- Series 4: Third Place
- Series 5: Heat Final
- Series 6: Heat Final
- Series 7: Did not enter
Outside Robot Wars
After several years in retirement as a static display robot for charity events, Stinger was bought by John Findlay of Team Roaming Robots in early 2010, and participated in the 2010 UK Championships, where it fell in the Qualifying Stage and finished 4th in the Annihilator. Stinger was forced to withdraw from the 2011 UK Championships due to technical difficulties, and is currently back to being a static display at events. It is planned to return to combat in 2014.
Appearances in Merchandise
- Stinger/Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction
- Stinger/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
- Stinger was the first robot to lose to Chaos 2 via a judges' decision.
- Stinger's prototype was a LEGO model.
- Stinger was one of three robots that reached the Grand Final in their only progression through the heats despite multiple appearances. The other two are Killertron and Terrorhurtz.