Tanto was a small robot built by Team Danby which was selected as a reserve for Series 7 of Robot Wars, despite winning its qualifier battle. Under loan to Team Immersion, Tanto did not qualify for the main competition of Series 8, but it was chosen to compete at the pilot episode, where the team were known as Team Tanto. Unable to use its spinner for safety reasons, Tanto lost its Group Battle.
The Series 8 version of Tanto was later sold to Team Nebula, who rebranded the robot for it to become Neutron. The name Tanto is derived from Japanese tantō blades, which are short and compact like the robot Tanto itself.
At the time of Series 7, Tanto was a grey box-wedge with some ramming prongs and a disc for a weapon. It weighed 89kg, and could reach top speeds of 22mph thanks to its Etek motors powering each wheel. The grinding disc was added on because of the rule for Series 7 that all heavyweight competitors must have a moving weapon.
In 2016, Tanto was rebuilt to house a 300mm diameter, 25mm thick single toothed HARDOX disc. It maintained its invertible two-wheeled design, though featured longer wedges previously seen on versions of Tanto which competed outside of Robot Wars to lead robots into its disc. The robot's small size allowed it to use thick, dense HARDOX armour, and holes are cut out of its frame to conserve weight. Tanto was now even quicker at 24mph, although its exposed wheels create a weakness to spinners.
Tanto defeated Piranha in its qualifier battle for Series 7. Usually, winning a qualifier would grant a robot automatic entry to the series, but Tanto was only considered to be a reserve, and went unused. It has been asserted that Tanto may have been relegated to a position as a reserve due to its lack of a noticeable weapon. Team Danby also failed to qualify that year with TX-108, which had previously failed to qualify for Series 5 and 6.
Team Immersion attempted to qualify for the main series of Series 8 with the new version of Tanto, and although it was not selected to compete in the main series, it was invited to compete in the pilot episode.
For Series 9, Tanto attempted to qualify under the new ownership of Jack Tweedy and Craig Croucher, who renamed the robot Neutron, but were not selected to compete.
Tanto was originally built by Team Danby, one of the oldest running teams in the UK. They first competed in the Featherweight Championship of Series 2, fighting with a robot called Deadline, and built several robots since then, including TX-108 which competed in Roaming Robots 2006 alongside Tanto. Despite this, the team had very limited coverage on Robot Wars prior to the reboot, with Anto and Gi-Ant-O being their only two robots to appear in the original series.
For Series 8, Tanto was entered by Team Immersion, a young team of roboteers with experience on the live circuit with different weight classes and formed in January 2016. Initially fighting individually, the team have built several notable robots between them. The team's most successful robots were Adam Hamilton's featherweight, 'Amnesia', which finished fourth and third in the 2016 and 2017 Featherweight International Championships, and Craig Croucher's 'Mr Snappy', which won the UK Beetleweight Championship Annihilator in 2015. Adam Hamilton was the team captain, while Jack Tweedy was the driver.
Tanto was sold to the newly formed Team Nebula after the Robot Wars pilot episode was filmed, who rebranded the robot as Neutron, attempting to enter Series 9 with it. Neutron is nowadays owned by the YouTube content creator 'OrangeDoseOverJuice'.
Team Immersion, with a new lineup under captain Adam, qualified for Series 10 with Vulture. Jack Tweedy from the Tanto pilot team joined Team Danby with Apex for the same series. Craig Croucher of the pilot team attempted to enter Series 10 with Jellyfish and Ice Cream, but was not selected to compete.
Although Tanto was selected to compete at the untelevised pilot episode, an event used to test the camera equipment, the arena was unfinished upon Tanto's arrival, meaning Tanto was unable to use its spinning disc weapon for safety reasons.
Tanto fought Basher, Turbulence, and Ka-Pow! in the first round. Tanto was defeated when it drove over the top of Ka-Pow!, causing the small robot to somersault in the air, and lose its safety link upon landing. Tanto was immobile because of this, and Basher attempted to push it into the pit, but fell down with Tanto, and both robots were eliminated from the competition.
|TANTO - RESULTS|
|Series 8 - Pilot Episode|
|Pilot Episode, Group Battle||vs. Basher, Ka-Pow!, Turbulence||Eliminated|
|Main Series||Tanto Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Featherweight Championship with Deadline|
|The Third Wars||Super Heavyweight Championship with Toxin (event cancelled)|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify with Vindicare|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify with TX-108|
|The Sixth Wars||Failed to qualify with TX-108|
|The Seventh Wars||Unused reserve|
Featherweight Championship with Gi-Ant-O
Failed to qualify with TX-108
|Series 8||Entered with Foxic|
Not selected with Apex
|Series 9||Entered with Foxic (Craig Danby)|
Entered with Apex (Chris Danby)
Not selected with Vulture (Adam Hamilton)
|Series 10||Entered with Apex|
Not selected with Foxic (Craig Danby)
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Entered with TX-108 (unaired)|
Entered with Anto
|Series 2||Entered with Gi-Ant-O|
|Series||Tanto Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Pilot, Round 1|
|Series 9||Not selected as Neutron (Jack Tweedy, Craig Croucher)|
Not selected with Vulture (Adam Hamilton)
Not selected with Dantomkia (Matthew Pearman)
|Series 10||Entered with Vulture (Adam Hamilton)|
Entered with Apex (Jack Tweedy)
Not selected with Jellyfish and Ice Cream (Craig Croucher)
Outside Robot Wars
In 2014, Tanto fought at the STEM Tech Olympiad event in Miami, Florida, where it was destroyed by the highly successful Brazilian competitor Touro Maximus. Tanto was repaired but lost to Polar Vortex by knock out.
Versions of Tanto
All versions of Tanto have been compact, fast and invertible, with a two-wheel drive system. Each version of Tanto has been around 65cm long, 50cm wide and 25cm tall. Versions 1-6 were all entered into competitions by Team Danby, while only Version 2 was entered by Team Immersion.
Version 1 of Tanto was originally a weaponless robot, but was armed with a spinning disc mounted on the front wedge so that it could try to qualify for Series 7 (see Design and Qualification).
Version 2 had a lower box wedge-shaped chassis, and was painted grey with black stripes. Its wheels were mounted inside the chassis.
Version 3 had a box-shaped chassis with two large prongs replacing the front wedge, as well as thin wheelguards. This version of Tanto displayed the huge pushing power shared among all versions through using two 11kw motors, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 30hp per 100kg or 300hp per tonne. At a event in Magna in 2005, Tanto pushed five opponents simultaneously at one point. It also reached the finals of the Roaming Robots 2005 Winter Tour where it lost in the first round to Behemoth.
Version 4 featured prongs similar to those of the previous version but lacked the wheel guards, giving it a resemblance to earlier versions of Craig Danby's antweight, Anto. Competed at the 2006 UK Championships but lost to Mighty Mouse.
Version 5 featured a largely identical shape and weapon to Version 4, again with exposed wheels. This version never competed after it lost a wheel when it clipped a curb during a test drive.
Version 6 of Tanto was built in 2013, featuring a low wedge-shaped profile with two wedge-like forks. The new design maintains the tradition of Tanto being compact for a heavyweight, weighing in at 92kg and being just 65cm long, 50cm wide and 25cm tall. It also sported a new Union Jack-style livery, which was inspired by a robot design uploaded onto the Official Robot Wars Facebook page. Craig Danby has revealed that this version can reach speeds of between 25-30mph. Tanto later received a new top design consisting of the Danby family crest by the forks, the robot's name on its top/back panel and a "lucky" number, 23, added to the side of its forks, close to the wheels.
Version 7, the final version of Tanto (see Design) was the first version since Version 1 to feature an active weapon, with Team Immersion redesigning it to feature a 25mm HARDOX vertical single-toothed disc. Craig Danby and Team Immersion worked together to build this version in time for the pilot episode of Series 8, filmed in 2016. After the pilot, Tanto was sold to Team Nebula (consisting of Craig Croucher and Jack Tweedy who briefly joined Team Immersion for the pilot episode) and subsequently renamed Neutron.
Robot Wars Live Events
Tanto Version 6 made its debut in the new Robot Wars Live Events at Guildford. It only fought once in the heats where it was beaten in its battle against Ripper, Cherub and Thor. In the Robot Wars 2013 UK Championship at Newport, it finished second in its heat against Ripper and Iron-Awe 7 allowing it to receive a second chance to progress through the loser's melee. However, it was immobilised on one wheel during the melee, and did not progress. Tanto also took part in the Robot Wars Winter Tour 2013 at the end of the year. It fought in the secondary heat stages against Dystopia and DTK, but was immobilised in the corner and eliminated.
Tanto made its last appearance at a live event under the ownership of Team Danby in 2015, at the Robot Wars World Championships held in Colchester. Tanto fought Iron-Awe 5, Tiberius and Thor, but was thrown out of the arena by Iron-Awe 5.
- Team Danby first built the original Tanto while in Spain.
- At the filming of the pilot episode, Dara Ó Briain remarked that he was particularly fond of Tanto.