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"All built from second-hand parts, a new age roboteer, striving to compete against the super-electronic forces of the future."
Jonathan Pearce during the Most Original Entry Award nominations in Series 4

Sumpthing (also spelled Sump Thing) was a competitor from the third through to the sixth series of Robot Wars, also entering in both series of Robot Wars Extreme. Because of its low-tech design, Sumpthing never fared too well in any competitions; in its whole Robot Wars career, including both series of Extreme, Sumpthing only managed to win one Robot Wars battle. Its low-tech design did lead it to be nominated for the Most Original Entry award of Series 4, losing out to the clusterbot Gemini.

DesignEdit

"What we wanted to do was to strike a blow for the Lo-tek", explains Mr Dig, Team Captain, chief builder and mouthpiece for the SUMP conglomerate. ... Sumpthing is made from 100% pure recycled scrap. It is, quite literally, a pile of junk. But junk assembled with thought care and patience - plain to see because it looks brilliant."
— Part of an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine[1]
SumpthingS3team

The team with Sump Thing in Series 3

Sumpthing was deliberately designed to be as low-tech as possible, described by the team as "Part of the war against the high-tech computer age". It was constructed from recycled scrap, mostly found in skips, including brake discs from motorcycles and gearbox ring gears[2].

"We had no idea of radio control or electronics. This was something that was going to be made in a shed and probably smashed to pieces, so we weren't going to gamble a load of money on it - that'd be pointless - that's why we made it from scrap." Dead against a "frame-covered-with-sheet-metal-box-on-wheels", they built it in the style of things they admired and that interested them. … Mr Dig. "We were quite into the post apocalyptic survival thing (and Tech Noir). When it was on TV, people would come up to the robot and say: "Mad Max" - they got it!"
— Part of an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine[3]
Sumpthing 4 arena

Series 4 appearance

Its main weapon was a large pickaxe mounted on a base through a multi-purpose hydraulic system, which was linked to the drive system, so that every time the robot changed direction, the axe swung forward. Along with the axe, it also had two lifting forks, which were connected to the axe system, so that when the axe swung back after firing, the forks would raise up, hopefully lifting opponents. They were also intended for ramming opponents. The axe weapon was interchangeable with a swinging arm tipped with two saw blades, that were only used in Series 5 and Extreme Series 1. It had two wheels, which were made from gas bottles, and a rear wedge, in which the electronic controls were contained. The rear wedge was made from heavy duty steel plate, but this was the only armour Sumpthing had, with the mechanics for the weaponry being exposed.

The robot was fast, with a top speed of roughly 20mph. It was controlled by four 800 car starter motors from Minis. The team needed four as the motors only turn in one direction, so two were needed to drive the robot forwards, and another two to drive it backwards[4].

"We didn't want to use speed controllers because we didn't understand 'em and they're expensive and they break. We knew a little about car electrics, and we knew other people were using Bosch 750s So we used starter motors - 800 Watt - 'nearest we could find."
— Mr Dig in an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine[5]

The original version, which fought in Series 3, took two years to build. The team had started building during Series 1, but the construction took two years because the team had to wait for the right parts to appear in skips[6]. The total cost of the robot was £250[7].

"Sumpthing, which cost a tenner, until decorations were added on, and now it's over 60 quid!"
Philippa Forrester quickly reviews Sumpthing at the start of Heat B of Series 3

For Series 4, Sumpthing remained largely unchanged, though the welding was improved, and efforts were made to make the robot more reliable, which were largely unsuccessful. The weight was reduced by 1 kilogram.

"Greatly improved from last year, hopefully more reliable… bit more weld, bit less weight."
— Mr. Dig describes the improvements to Sump Thing
Sumpthing 5 arena

Series 5 appearance

With the weight limit being increased for Extreme 1, the team added a new weapon, a swinging arm with cutting discs on the end, which the team called “the twin discs of death”.

"We added the chainsaw to use the extra 20kg as offensively as we could." It was offensive alright - to work on, and the new weapon made the robot perform even more poorly, "yumming up" the battery's already barely sufficient battery power."
— Part of an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine[8]

The arm was referred to as a crusher on the statistics board. Although the arm with saw was interchangeable with the axe, the axe was not seen in any of Sumpthing's battles in Extreme 1 or Series 5. A couple of static spikes were added to the front to go with the saws, but these got stuck in other robots, first in Sgt. Bash, then in Pussycat. According to Robot Wars Extreme: The Official Guide, Sumpthing also had a bulldozing shunt as a third weapon, but this was not seen on the show.

SumpthingS6

Sumpthing in the arena in Series 6

"By Series 6 it was terrifying to work on and operate. So we removed the saw."
— Mr Dig in an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine[9]

The team removed the saws for Series 6, the axe and forklift were brought back, albeit with a new axe head. Before Extreme 2, the team stripped the robot down and rebuilt it, and as a result the robot was much more reliable., despite still running out of battery power before the fight ended.

Mr Dig: "We have actually, unprecedentedly, completely stripped it down, to every single nut and bolt, put it all back together again using mainly grease and whale blubber."
Philippa Forrester: "And then it didn't work?"
Mr Dig: "No! It's not broken down in testing once!"
— Mr. Dig on repairs to Sumpthing

EtymologyEdit

The robot's name is a pun on the word something, using the word sump, which is a low space used to collect undesirable liquids such as water or chemicals, such as the oil pan in a car engine.

""We've had all sort of projects unde the heading of the SUMP Conglomerate," Explains Mr Dig. "One was the theoretical art band - SUMP. "Theoretical" because we rarely played - we made autonomous machines to make sounds, and we called 'em "sump things". The robot was an extension of what we were already doing, so we called it Sumpthing." So there is no sump as such. Rather, they like to think of the machine as a living thing in a vat (sump) of oil, that has existed for ever and that pulls itself together from its constituent parts like lumps of sedimentary rocks."
— Part of an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine, explaining the origins of Sumpthing's name[10]

The TeamEdit

""We'd watched the first series of Robot Wars and thought the robots looked a bit lame" says Mr Dig, candidly, "We thought: we can do better." They had to start with what they knew - not with robots but in Mr Dig's case, structural steelwork, blacksmithing and motorbikes, and in Johnathon Lort's, fine art. Geoff Germainey lending skills from the air-cooled VW repair."
— Part of an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine[11]
SumpthingS4team

The team in Series 4

SumpthingEx1team

The team in Extreme 1

Sumpthing was entered by a team from Leicestershire. Before entering Robot Wars, they had worked together on various projects under the name the "SUMP Conglomerate", but on Robot Wars, they used the name Team Tetanus. The team captain Richard Dignall was one of the only roboteers to use a stage name in Robot Wars, going simply by Mr Dig.

Geoff Germainey was the other ever-present member of the team. John Lort was present for most of Sumpthing's appearances, apart from Series 5, 6 and Extreme 1. For Extreme 1 and Series 6, he was replaced by Paul Bacon, who was not present for Series 5.

"Paul's replacing Johnny, 'cause Johnny's lost! Paul however, has been drafted in to help create the awesome twin discs of death."
— Mr Dig in Sumpthing's Extreme 1 introduction

QualificationEdit

Sumpthing successfully entered Series 3 through attending the auditions. Despite technical problems, it still qualified.

"Sumpthing's first ever outing to the RW auditions. Features included: Traction resistant tyres, self igniting electric's and zero control!"
— The Team Tetanus website on Sumpthing's first audition[12]

It qualified for Series 4 and 5 after attending the live qualification tour.

In its Series 6 qualifier, it was placed up against Terror Turtle and two other unknown robots. In the battle, one of the unspecified robots broke down very early on, with Sumpthing then managing to immobilise the other. During the remainder of the fight, Sumpthing managed to damage Terror Turtle's wheels and one of its overhead rotors, so it was awarded the win by a judges' decision and qualified for the main competition, unlike Terror Turtle.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 3Edit

"This cost under a tenner to build, they claim! It's a demented pickaxe with heavy-duty steel plate armoured areas, powered by four car starter motors. They believe they're into something good!"
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Sump Thing, referencing the song "I'm into Something Good"

In Sump Thing's first appearance in Robot Wars (Heat B of the Third Wars), it was placed against fellow newcomer Pitbull in the first round.

"We had examined Sumpthing and didn't think we could damage it with the jaws. The wheels were made from thick gas bottles, the electronics box thick steel. Their spike looked like it could do some real damage to Pitbull."
— Pitbull website[13]
Pitbull vs sump thing

Sump Thing is pushed by the flame torch

Sump Thing charged straight at towards Pitbull when "activate" was called, and landed a glancing blow on the top of Pitbull's back as it drove past.

"Sump Thing by far the faster of the machines, and immediately on attack, with that huge pickup slamming down there, powered by a four eight hundred watt starter motor."
— Jonathan Pearce in the first few moments of the battle

However, this strike of the axe caused Sump Thing to break down. Pitbull got behind its immobile opponent and pushed it towards the arena flame torch near Sir Killalot's CPZ.

"And in goes Sump Thing onto the flames of torture there, and I think is immobilised right from its first charge!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Sergeant Bash Sumpthing

Sgt. Bash crumples Sump Thing

Pitbull left it there to be burnt by the flame torch, and one of Sump Thing's wheels caught fire. Smoke could also be seen rising from the rear compartment where the electronics were. Sgt. Bash came out of his CPZ and pushed Sump Thing away from the wall. Pitbull then nudged Sump Thing towards Sir Killalot's CPZ, but Sgt. Bash got in the way of Pitbull, biting into Sump Thing with his front claw, almost cutting it in half.

"Tearing and rending machinery, splitting sumps, ravishing wheels..."
— Jonathan Pearce as Sgt. Bash cuts into Sump Thing
Sumpthing Sir Killalot

Sump Thing is dropped into the Pit by Sir Killalot

Sir Killalot then came out of his CPZ, and picked Sump Thing up with his lance, twisting it around on the drill. After spinning Sump Thing around, Sir Killalot carried Sump Thing over to the flame pit, and after holding it over the flames, carried it over to the pit and dropped it in, eliminating it from the competition.

"You're going down, Sump Thing! You're going down! ...and you've gone! All that work and planning, Sump Thing out! Pitbull the winners, quite clearly. Right from the start."
— Jonathan Pearce, as Sump Thing is pitted

Series 4Edit

"We wanted to build something that was dead low-tech, so we can hack back at the computer-electro age, of the scientific generation!"
— Mr. Dig introduces Sump Thing

A revised Sumpthing machine (renamed Sump Thing for this series) participated in Heat K of the Fourth Wars, and was placed against the number 28 seeds Weld-Dor 2 and newcomers Little Fly in its first round battle.

Little Fly vs Sump Thing vs Weld-Dor 2

Weld-Dor 2 in battle with Sump Thing and Little Fly

Sump Thing started by driving forwards, as Little Fly drove after it. Sump Thing span on the spot, then drove further down the arena to avoid Little Fly. Little Fly was pushed by Weld-Dor 2, and Sump Thing held back as the two fought.

"Interesting to see Sump Thing here, they say it's got a little bit of welding, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a little bit of a razor blade at Dig's house, I would think. Not a complete one."
— Jonathan Pearce

Little Fly got its lawnmower blade stuck in Weld-Dor 2, but as it got free, Sump Thing drove at the side of Little Fly and hit it with its axe. This did no damage, so it reversed and tried again, but Little Fly turned and the axe bounced off the spinning blade. As Weld-Dor 2 pushed past Little Fly, Sump Thing tried the axe again, but missed. Weld-Dor 2 tried to get under Sump Thing, but Sump Thing quickly moved away, so Weld-Dor 2 turned to fight Little Fly. Sump Thing stayed away from its two opponents at the bottom of the arena, but as the two robots reversed, Sump Thing charged at Little Fly. However, it stopped mid-charge as Weld-Dor 2 charged at Little Fly, and drove into the side of Weld-Dor 2 as it rammed into Little Fly.

"Oh, slam! Like dodgems in a fairground. Good even contest, this."
— Jonathan Pearce

The axe fired, but missed. Little Fly's blade was caught in the side of Weld-Dor 2 again, and it pushed it up the arena on to a flame jet. Sump Thing followed the two, and as Weld-Dor 2 pushed Little Fly back, Sump Thing tried axing Little Fly, but the axe had no effect despite hitting twice, then Sump Thing missed its third blow.

"That's Sump Thing with the great axe coming down once again, the pick axe, "built for brawling" Jules described Sump Thing. Low-tech in the war against high-tech computers! Sump Thing, fighting back for the age-old traditions, perhaps."
— Jonathan Pearce
Welddor sump thing

Sump Thing hits Weld-Dor 2 with its axe

Sump Thing reversed as Weld-Dor 2 charged at Little Fly, then rammed into it as Weld-Dor 2 reversed. Sump Thing's axe still had no effect, so it reversed, and as Weld-Dor 2 pushed Little Fly, Sump Thing got behind Weld-Dor 2 and hit the rear with its axe. Weld-Dor 2 continued pushing Little Fly, and Sump Thing axed it again. Weld-Dor 2 reversed against Sump Thing, then as Weld-Dor 2 pushed Little Fly towards a CPZ, Sump Thing rammed into Weld-Dor 2 a couple of times. Weld-Dor 2 left Little Fly by Sgt. Bash's CPZ, and turned to charge at Sump Thing, but stopped short of Sump Thing and turned away. After pushing against Little Fly, Weld-Dor 2 rammed Sump Thing a couple of times, trying to push it onto the flame pit. Weld-Dor 2 then drove away and charged back at Sump Thing, getting underneath it, but Sump Thing drove off the flipper and up the arena. Weld-Dor 2 chased it, and pushed it towards Dead Metal, but Sump Thing turned itself away from Weld-Dor 2. The two charged back at each other, and this time Sump Thing got side-on against Weld-Dor 2, firing the axe at its wedge. Sump Thing's front spikes were caught in Weld-Dor 2's side, allowing it to push Weld-Dor 2 towards the flame pit. Sump Thing swung the axe a couple more times, with the second blow hitting Weld-Dor 2 just behind the flipper. The seeded robot stopped moving at this point, due to the damage it had received from Little Fly. Sump Thing continued to fight Little Fly as the House Robots attacked Weld-Dor 2, culminating in Sir Killalot pitting it. Sump Thing qualified for the next round of the heat, along with Little Fly.

"We're overjoyed we made it through the first round!"
— Mr. Dig celebrates what proved to be Sumpthing's only win ever before Round 2

Sump Thing was then placed up against MouseTrap in the second round of the heat.

Mr Dig: "We've got a different axe on it, because the other one got a bit bent, so we found a chisel and welded that to it, and the wheels got a little bit shredded by the fly, so we've had to fix them."
Julia Reed: "So what's your message for MouseTrap, if you've got one?"
Mr Dig: "I don't know really. They're not the worst people in the world, you know, they're not full of diodes and computer chips and stuff. Got some pneumatics going on, you know we'll have to see."
Geoff Germainey: "There's some chains and cogs in there, we noticed, but we feel fairly confident."
Mr Dig: "I think that might be their weak spot though!"
— Pre-battle interview
MousetrapVSumpthing

MouseTrap traps Sump Thing

Sump Thing started by driving at MouseTrap, but then turned before MouseTrap could get under it, trying to get at the side, but when it tried to use the axe it missed.

"I thought they were very impressive in the first battle. Nippy around the arena, very aggressive, good control..."
— Jonathan Pearce on Sump Thing in the opening moments of the battle

Sump Thing drove at MouseTrap, and drove over the wedge front so fast that MouseTrap missed when it fired the trap. Sump Thing quickly turned around, ramming into the side of MouseTrap and hitting the top with its axe. This did no damage, so it tried again, but MouseTrap got out of the way. Sump Thing drove onto the front of MouseTrap, swinging the axe a couple of times, then MouseTrap fired the axe, pinning the axe down, but then released it.

"And it has pinned Sump Thing's weaponry down! A great slam of the mousetrap. … I wonder why they didn't keep it there though. They pinned Sump Thing in, they could have dragged it towards the pit, dragged it into a CPZ, let the House Robots take over. Did they let Sump Thing get away too cheaply there? Will they rue that decision?"
— Jonathan Pearce
SumpThingAxesMousetrap

Sump Thing axes MouseTrap

MouseTrap then shoved Sump Thing into the arena wall, but Sump Thing was moving much faster, and soon rammed into its side as MouseTrap slowly moved away from the wall. Sump Thing bounced off, and as MouseTrap turned around, Sump Thing drove into the side. MouseTrap reversed, dodging Sump Thing's axe as it swung. Sump Thing quickly drove across the arena after MouseTrap tried to get under them, and turned as MouseTrap followed them, missing with the axe. After very briefly being lifted by Sump Thing's forks, MouseTrap pushed Sump Thing into Dead Metal's CPZ, but as it did so, Sump Thing drove over the wedge of MouseTrap, escaping the CPZ before Dead Metal could attack, and MouseTrap drove right into the House Robot. MouseTrap reversed away before Dead Metal could attack, and when the two robots turned to face each other, Sump Thing missed with the axe. MouseTrap slammed the trap onto Sump Thing, but Sump Thing reversed, seemingly undamaged. MouseTrap drove at Sump Thing, getting under it, but Sump Thing drove over the top, causing MouseTrap to miss when it fired the trap. Sump Thing got at the side of MouseTrap and fired the axe a couple of times, and MouseTrap appeared to stop moving.

"This is very even at the moment, but MouseTrap has suddenly stopped moving, and it's Sump Thing doing all the aggression..."
— Jonathan Pearce as MouseTrap stops
Sump thing immobile

Sump Thing immobilises itself

Sump Thing kept swinging the axe, but then MouseTrap darted forwards. Sump Thing charged behind of MouseTrap, but its wheel hit the back of MouseTrap, causing it to miss with the axe. Sump Thing hit the side of MouseTrap and fired its axe, and MouseTrap slowly reversed, but then appeared to stop moving, rocking back and forth. Sump Thing lined up another attack and charged at MouseTrap, but MouseTrap managed to dodge Sump Thing as it charged, before Sump Thing struck its axe, causing Sump Thing to jump up and the forklift underneath it to swing down, lifting the wheels off the ground. The forklift stayed in place, meaning Sump Thing's wheels were unable to come down, therefore the robot couldn't move, thus making it technically immobilised, as decided by the judges.

"What's happened there? Sump Thing has caused itself distress and damage! We'll have to look at it again, but it came hurtling across the arena, and I think Sump Thing is immobilised here. Let's look at it again. Down went the forks on the front, and they buckled underneath, and that means there's no traction for the great wheels. Sump Thing... Dig, you have dug yourself into oblivion here!"
— Jonathan Pearce
DeadMetalPitsSumpThing

Dead Metal pits Sump Thing

The House Robots came out to attack, and Dead Metal grabbed Sump Thing and pulled it across the arena. Sir Killalot picked it up with his claw, and span it around and threw it. Dead Metal pushed Sump Thing into the pit, ending its best ever run.

Craig Charles: "He was only moving ever so slightly, if you just kept away from him, and just sort of … behaved yourselves..."
Geoff Germainey: "We got a few good blows in there."
Craig Charles: "Yeah, I mean it's a lovely, lovely axe, lovely design that robot as well. What went wrong?"
Mr Dig: "Well, we've got a chain and it snapped, when the chain snaps, it leaps over and beaches itself on its own forklift. Now, it's a bit of a design flaw, you might think!"
— Post-battle interview

At the end of the series, Sumpthing was nominated for the Most Original Entry Award, but it lost out to Gemini.

Extreme 1Edit

"Built from bits, scavenged from rubbish skips, but the crusher, axe and new circular saw could leave opponents in the scrapyard."
— Jonathan Pearce introduces Sumpthing in the Mayhem

Sumpthing participated in the Mayhem and Tag Team Tournaments in the first series of Robot Wars Extreme.

Pussycat vs sumpthing

Pussycat clashes with Sumpthing

In the Mayhem, it faced S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Pussycat, who were more favoured machines. Sumpthing started by staying away from its two opponents as S.M.I.D.S.Y. rammed Pussycat. Sumpthing slowly came in, driving into Pussycat. Sumpthing tried to use its saw on Pussycat, but Pussycat slashed the circular saw arm with its saw, ripping loose the chain for the saw.

"You can see there, yes, the chain drive for the circular saw has come off Sumpthing!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Pussycat destroys Sumpthing's offensive ability
Sumpthing attacks Bash

Sumpthing charges into Sgt. Bash, in the Mayhem

Pussycat turned around and hit Sumpthing again, this time on one of the wheels, and the impact knocked part of Sumpthing's rear off. Pussycat tried to cut Sumpthing's front, but was blocked by Sumpthing's spike. As Pussycat turned away, S.M.I.D.S.Y. pushed Sumpthing, but nearly drove into the pit as it drove past. Sumpthing drove after it, driving to the edge of the pit, then drove up the arena, keeping away from S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Pussycat as they fought. Sumpthing chased after its two opponents, swinging the arm at them, but couldn't catch either of them. It drove into Pussycat, but Pussycat turned away. Sumpthing held back as S.M.I.D.S.Y. continued pushing Pussycat, but then got its spike stuck in wheel of Sgt. Bash, who was out of his CPZ.

"Sumpthing are nothing"
— Jonathan Pearce as Sumpthing tries to free itself
Pussycat vs sumpthing 2

Pussycat, locked together with Sumpthing

Matilda flicked Sumpthing free with her tusks, and Sumpthing drove up behind Pussycat, which was pushing S.M.I.D.S.Y. into the CPZ. However, Pussycat turned, knocking Sumpthing aside. Pussycat tried driving away, but was blocked by Matilda, who was still out of the CPZs. Sumpthing drove at Pussycat, but had steering problems and drove beside it, then drove into Sgt. Bash, reversing away as Sgt. Bash fired his flamethrower. S.M.I.D.S.Y. was only spinning in circles at this point, and Pussycat tried to attack the front of Sumpthing. Pussycat became stuck in the Sumpthing's spike.

"For me, it's Pussycat and Sumpthing doing all the aggressive work here... Sumpthing locked together with Pussycat - that spike, you know, is causing damage but also, in a way, is detracting from Sumpthing."
— Jonathan Pearce

The two robots pushed against each other, whilst Refbot tried to push them apart. Eventually, Pussycat managed to pull itself off the spike. Pussycat attacked S.M.I.D.S.Y. as it drove around in circles, and Sumpthing reversed into S.M.I.D.S.Y., then kept its distance as Pussycat attacked S.M.I.D.S.Y. to cause further damage. S.M.I.D.S.Y. drove to the edge of the pit, and Pussycat nudged it down, just before time ran out. Sumpthing had survived to a judges' decision, but the judges gave the win to Pussycat.

"They're one of the robots we've always wanted to fight, one of the best robots out there"
— Alan Gribble on fighting Sumpthing

Sumpthing and S.M.I.D.S.Y also participated in the Tag Team Tournament together, where they were described in the pits as 'the grease-monkeys' of the competition by Jonathan Pearce. In the first round of the competition, the pairing were drawn up against Cerberus and Thermidor 2.

Julia Reed: "Your opponents are calling you a bunch of greasy, grimy, dirty no-hopers."
Mr Dig: "Well, apart from the "no-hopers", I think they're absolutely right about the dirt."
— Before the battle
Sumpthing SMIDSY

Sumpthing damages its own team-mate

Cerberus and S.M.I.D.S.Y. started this battle, but after S.M.I.D.S.Y. finally managed to put a slice in on Cerberus, sparks came out of S.M.I.D.S.Y.'s disc weapon, and it retreated at speed back to its team's corner, colliding with its team mate Sumpthing.

"...they're bashing into their teammate Sumpthing! Now, I wonder whether or not S.M.I.D.S.Y. is already having control problems."
— Jonathan Pearce
Thermidor Sumpthing

Sumpthing, about to be flipped by Thermidor 2

S.M.I.D.S.Y. went back to attack Cerberus, but then became stuck in forward drive, driving into the arena wall. Sumpthing came out to fight Cerberus, but Thermidor 2 came out to join the battle. Sumpthing drove onto Thermidor 2's flipper, and Cerberus blocked it from moving away and Thermidor 2 flipped it, leaving it stuck on the two front spikes.

CerberusThermidorvsSumpthingSMIDSY

Sumpthing beaches itself on its own spikes

"Sumpthing spiked onto the arena floor, which means they can get no drive whatsoever, they're going nowhere!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Sumpthing subsequently couldn't move, so it was counted out by the Refbot. Shortly after, its team-mate was also counted out, having broken down altogether, eliminating Sumpthing and S.M.I.D.S.Y. from the competition.

"Well, we've got this slight problem... normally you see, most people have a self-righting device and we merely have "flip resistant ointment""
— Mr. Dig to Craig Charles after the battle

Series 5Edit

"Eco robotic warriors Sumpthing return with improved power, and a weapon that can cause some serious damage, so they say, but they've never really proved themselves in the arena, with durability being their main shortcoming, proved in their second-round battle against MouseTrap in the Fourth Wars."
— Phillipa Forrester introduces Sumpthing at the start of the Heat
WidowSumpthing

Sumpthing slices Widow's Revenge

In its first round battle, Sumpthing was placed up against Widow's Revenge. Sumpthing started slowly, after a pause, it slowly moved towards its opponent as Widow's Revenge turned around to use its disc. Sumpthing hit the wedge and started grinding against Widow's Revenge. As it did so, Widow's Revenge hit Sumpthing, causing sparks to fly. Widow's Revenge reversed and turned around, hitting the saws of Sumpthing with its drum, knocking the arm upwards. Sumpthing reversed, then drove at Widow's Revenge, slamming the top with its arm. Widow's Revenge turned around, and Sumpthing span and hit Widow's Revenge, but caused no damage, then hit the top twice in quick succession with its arm. Widow's Revenge turned around and tried driving up the arena, but Sumpthing drove into it, and tried to hit Widow's Revenge with its saws, but Widow's Revenge turned away in time, twice.

"Sumpthing on the attack, slamming down. 98 kilos of machinery there, it is the lighter, only slightly, and certainly is the quicker."
— Jonathan Pearce as Sumpthing attacks Widow's Revenge
GearSlips

One of Sumpthing's gears slips

Sumpthing drove back at Widow's Revenge, but drove close to its drum and reversed away. Sumpthing drove down the arena towards the pit release, with Widow's Revenge following it. Widow's Revenge tried to attack with its drum, but Sumpthing span on the spot to deflect Widow's Revenge, and Widow's Revenge reversed as Sumpthing span around on the spot. Widow's Revenge turned around to use its disc, but Sumpthing span into its side. Widow's Revenge tried again, and this time, after trying to push Widow's Revenge with its rear wedge, Sumpthing turned into the disc, creating more sparks. Sumpthing hit the pit release button, but one of its gears slipped, leaving it spinning in circles.

"Has something gone wrong with Sumpthing? I think it has! And have the Widows sensed here they come in for the kill as the clock ticks down to a judges' decision."
— Jonathan Pearce, in the closing stages of the battle
Widow's Revenge vs Sumpthing

Sumpthing after Sir Killalot dropped Widow's Revenge onto it

Widow's Revenge was also driving erratically, not attacking Sumpthing, and it drove to the edge of Sir Killalot's CPZ. Sir Killalot picked up Widows Revenge and dumped it on top of Sumpthing. Neither robot could move, and time ran out. Despite Sumpthing only moving on one wheel, it had not been counted out, so it still survived to a judges' decision.

"Both robots labouring towards the end there..."
— Craig Charles after the battle

The judges unanimously voted in favour of Widow's Revenge, eliminating Sumpthing from the competition.

Series 6Edit

"Low-tech? A brainless brawler on the limits of control, an archaic reminder of the industrial age! Their description, not mine!"
— Jonathan Pearce describes Sumpthing

Sumpthing entered Series 6, reverting to an axe rather than the circular saws used in Series 5 and Extreme Series 1. Sumpthing was placed against Dominator 2 (seeded 6th), Axe-C-Dent 2 and Hydra in its first round battle of the heat.

"We started in Wars 3, and when we entered Wars 3 we were low tech then. We are positively archaic now!"
— Mr. Dig
SumpthingHydra

Hydra pushes Sumpthing into the CPZ

At the start, Axe-C-Dent 2 was flipped by Hydra in the opening seconds, immobilising it, so the remaining three were left to fight it out alone. As Hydra and Dominator 2 smashed into each other and Hydra unsuccessfully tried to flip Dominator 2, Sumpthing rammed into Dominator 2. Hydra turned to face Sumpthing, and after missing with its axe, Sumpthing reversed, and held back as Hydra flipped Dominator 2 over. Hydra got its flipper under Sumpthing and tried to flip, but due to its shape Hydra could only lift it a little.

"Sumpthing, right in the middle of your picture, is very unpredictable."
— Jonathan Pearce as Hydra fails to flip Sumpthing
SumpthingShunt

Shunt drags Sumpthing to the flame pit

As Hydra and Dominator 2 fought, Sumpthing drove into Hydra, but Hydra merely pushed past it and went back after Dominator 2. After fighting Dominator 2, Hydra rammed into Sumpthing, which reversed away into the arena wall, but Hydra followed them. Whilst Axe-C-Dent 2 was counted out, Hydra pushed Sumpthing into an empty CPZ, but then Dominator 2 charged at Hydra, so Hydra left Sumpthing. Shunt quickly came into the CPZ and pinned Sumpthing against the arena wall, axing it right into the mechanics. Sumpthing drove into the bottom arena wall, and Shunt axed it in the mechanics again. Shunt pulled Sumpthing out of the CPZ and pushed it onto the flame pit, despite Sumpthing struggling to stay off the flames.

"...we're about to say goodbye to Sumpthing if it gets into trouble in there with the House Robots. … Sumpthing still in the CPZ, in comes Shunt with the axe, right into the middle there of the Sumpthing team"
— Jonathan Pearce as Shunt attacks Sumpthing
Sumpthing pushes Dominator 2

Sumpthing pushes Dominator 2

Growler vs Sumpthing

Sumpthing is attacked by Growler

Shunt let Sumpthing go, driving after the other two mobile competitors, which were fighting at the top of the arena. After holding back, Sumpthing drove into the back of Dominator 2, but Dominator 2 ignored it, instead axing the immobile Axe-C-Dent 2, so Sumpthing drove into the rear of Hydra, which moved away to avoid Sumpthing's axe. Hydra turned around as Sumpthing came towards it, nudging it to Growler, and trying to flip it, but missed. Sumpthing drove into the rear of Dominator 2 as it reversed away from Axe-C-Dent 2. Dominator 2 turned around, but missed when it tried to axe Sumpthing. As Hydra fought Dominator 2, Sumpthing appeared to stop, only moving on one wheel. Growler rammed into it as he drove out to attack Axe-C-Dent 2. Refbot came to count Sumpthing out, and Growler grabbed it in his jaws, then took it to the pit and dropped it in.

"And Sumpthing is not fully mobile, and now that's a shame, for Mr Dig, Geoff Germainey and Paul Bacon, the self-titled "King of Shame", because Sumpthing's about to be counted out ... Once again, beaten in the heats in Robot Wars."
— Jonathan Pearce, as Sumpthing is counted out, then pitted by Growler

Along with Axe-C-Dent 2, Sumpthing was eliminated from the competition.

Mr Dig: "Once again, we've got away unscathed, but unfortunately, the low-techness of the whole machine has kinda let us down a tad! We took the fight to the techno people, we did our best, but I think we're gonna have to retire the old machine!"
Phillipa Forrester: "It's time to go home and start again."
Mr Dig: "Put 'im back in the skip where we found 'im!"
— Post-battle interview

Extreme 2Edit

"Hardly a clean machine-- good, it'll need to fight dirty, here!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Sumpthing enters the arena

Sumpthing was involved in the Tag Team Terror alongside S.M.I.D.S.Y. for the second tournament in succession. In the first round of the competition, the pairing were drawn up against two former Tag-Team participants from different teams, in X-Terminator and Mini Morg.

SMIDSY Sumpthing X-Terminator

S.M.I.D.S.Y. drags X-Terminator into Sumpthing

S.M.I.D.S.Y. and X-Terminator started this battle, and S.M.I.D.S.Y. was axed by X-Terminator, and the axe got into the wheel hub, and X-Terminator pushed S.M.I.D.S.Y. up the arena, towards Sumpthing. As X-Terminator collided with Sumpthing, Sumpthing tried to axe X-Terminator, but X-Terminator got out of the way as it pinned S.M.I.D.S.Y. against the wall.

"And already you can see Sumpthing getting in on the action there! Immediately, they get out in support of Mik Reed's S.M.I.D.S.Y.."
— Jonathan Pearce as Sumpthing tries to axe X-Terminator, then comes out
SumpthingChased

Sumpthing is chased into a CPZ by Dead Metal

Sumpthing came out, but X-Terminator pushed it into an angle grinder. Sumpthing got away as X-Terminator pushed it, driving into the arena centre. Sumpthing drove at X-Terminator, but missed its charge, then X-Terminator tagged Mini Morg. At the same time, Sumpthing tagged S.M.I.D.S.Y.. Sumpthing briefly came out to attack Mini Morg as S.M.I.D.S.Y. rammed X-Terminator, then S.M.I.D.S.Y. drove into the CPZ. However, Sumpthing drove into the CPZ as well, and Shunt and Dead Metal came in, pinning Sumpthing against the wall. S.M.I.D.S.Y. went out to fight X-Terminator, whilst Dead Metal chased Sumpthing into the bottom CPZ.

"They're all out there now, I think! Sumpthing being chased around … how can you keep up with this?"
— Jonathan Pearce
AttackingTogether

Sumpthing comes to help S.M.I.D.S.Y. as it is attacked by Mini Morg and X-Terminator

SMIDSY Sumpthing Refbot

Sumpthing counted out, right before time is up

Sumpthing escaped and drove to the top of the arena, where S.M.I.D.S.Y. was fighting X-Terminator and Mini Morg. It drove as X-Terminator, but mistimed its turn, so missed with the axe. Sumpthing drove into its partner, then Dead Metal tried to grab Sumpthing, and chased it into a CPZ at the bottom of the arena. S.M.I.D.S.Y. came in to help Sumpthing, but also got cornered, being axed by Shunt. Dead Metal cut into Sumpthing whilst X-Terminator axed S.M.I.D.S.Y., and then Sumpthing stopped moving, having run out of battery power. Refbot counted Sumpthing out in the last few seconds, reaching 10 just before cease was called. As the other team had both robots still mobile, X-Terminator and Mini Morg automatically went through.

"And they need to come up with two knockout blows because a judges' decision would automatically give it to the team with two robots left and do you know? That could happen here because I think Sumpthing is about to be counted out. We're also running very, very close to time. Will it be counted out before Cease is called? That's the big question. I think they're out! And Cease they call! It means Sumpthing and S.M.I.D.S.Y. are out! Are gone!"
— Jonathan Pearce in the last few seconds of the battle

This was Sumpthing's last appearance.

"We fought furiously, team victory assured, then in the last few seconds ran out of juice! Okay it lost, but we were well pleased with it that day. It started low-tek, now it's archaic. But it was built in the true spirit of The Wars."
— Part of an interview with the team from Ultimate Real Robots magazine[14]

ResultsEdit

SUMPTHING - RESULTS
Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat B, Round 1 vs. Pitbull Lost
Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 2
Heat K, Eliminator vs. Little Fly, Weld-Dor 2 (28) Qualified
Heat K, Semi-Final vs. MouseTrap Lost
Extreme Series 1
Tag Team Terror
with S.M.I.D.S.Y., Round 1
Round 1 vs. Cerberus & Thermidor 2 Lost
Mayhem
Mayhem vs. Pussycat, S.M.I.D.S.Y. Lost
Series 5
The Fifth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat K, Eliminator vs. Widow's Revenge Lost
Series 6
The Sixth Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Round 1
Heat J, Round 1 vs. Axe-C-Dent 2, Dominator 2 (6), Hydra Eliminated
Extreme Series 2
Tag Team Terror
with S.M.I.D.S.Y., Round 1
Round 1 vs. Mini Morg & X-Terminator Lost

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 7

Series RecordEdit

  • Sumpthing's first test drive
  • Sumpthing in the pits during Extreme 1
  • Sumpthing with Mr Dig and Geoff Germainey
Main Series Sumpthing Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Did not enter
The Third Wars Heat, Round 1
The Fourth Wars Heat, Round 2
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 1
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered
Series 2 Entered

Outside Robot WarsEdit

  • A robot Dig built for a event in Newark in 2004
  • Sumpthing at the Enginuity Museum in 2013
  • Sumpthing at Robonerd in 2018

Sumpthing was retired after Extreme Series 2, possibly after Sumpthing was refused entry for the Seventh Wars (due to its lack of an actual powered weapon). After a number of odd appearances at certain live events around the country, Sumpthing is currently on display at the Enginuity Museum in Coalbrookdale, along with S3 and Sting 2.

In 2017, Sumpthing appeared at a local vintage vehicle festival which marks the first time Sumpthing has been out of the museum.[15]. The Series 5 version of Sumpthing later appeared at Robonerd in September 2018 as a static display.

TriviaEdit

Sumpthing s3 stats

Sumpthing's statistics board in Series 3

  • Only three of Sumpthing's eight battles were head-to-head battles.
  • Sumpthing has the most losses out of all of the robots from Leicestershire.
  • Six of Sumpthing's seven losses featured a past or future UK Semi-Finalist (only Widow's Revenge was not).
  • Sumpthing's removable link was covered by a hinge originally from a padded cell door from a lunatic asylum.
  • In Series 3, Sumpthing's statistics board incorrectly stated that it was powered by two car starter motors. However, Jonathan Pearce correctly mentioned that it was powered by four car starter motors.
  • In both Sumpthing's first and last appearances, it was the first robot to be introduced in the episode it appeared in.
  • In both series of Extreme, Sumpthing appeared in the same episode as S.M.I.D.S.Y. and X-Terminator.
    • Incidentally, S.M.I.D.S.Y. was involved in all of Sumpthing's battles in both series of Extreme.
  • Throughout the series that it appeared in, Sumpthing never shared the arena with Mr. Psycho.

HonoursEdit

Nominations

ReferencesEdit

  1. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 62
  2. Real Robots Magazine, issue 62
  3. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 62
  4. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 63
  5. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 62
  6. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 63
  7. Comment on YouTube by Mr Dig
  8. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 64
  9. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 62
  10. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 62
  11. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 62
  12. Team Tetanus website
  13. Pitbull website, Pitbull at War
  14. Ultimate Real Robots Magazine, issue 64
  15. https://www.reddit.com/r/robotwars/comments/60x5yo/mr_dig_aka_sumpthings_driver/djev2j3/

External LinksEdit

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