Team Roaming Robots are a team of roboteers who competed in Robot Wars, most notably Series 7.

The Team[edit | edit source]

Team Roaming Robots is a family team, captained by John Findlay, who at the time of competing on the show was a student, and drove both Ripper and Rip. After competing solo with Neoteric in Extreme 2, he was joined by his brother David, and friend Steven Johnson in Series 7. John Findlay's first robot was Banana-R Armour, which failed to qualify for The Fourth Wars.

Team Butcher, consisting of Findlay with Paul and Angela Gibbs

After this qualification attempt, John Findlay discovered that he lived on the same street as another roboteering team, Team Eco Warrior. They had also failed to qualify for the Fourth Wars with their robot Eco Warrior. Team Eco Warrior consisted of team captain Paul Gibbs, John Simmons and Lloyd Walters. Team Eco Warrior and Team Roaming Robots joined forces to enter Series 5 with T-Bone, under the collaborative team of Paul and Angela Gibbs with John Findlay. Together, they were known as Team Butcher.

The name Team Roaming Robots is derived from John Findlay's company, which was established during the later stages of Robot Wars. The portfolio of Roaming Robots included a live robotic combat tour which ran until 2013, educational courses which still run to this day, and birthday parties.

Robot Wars (Live)[edit | edit source]

In early 2013, John Findlay announced that the live events company Roaming Robots was to join forces with Robot Wars LLC, the brand behind the television series. The Roaming Robots and Robots: Extreme Wars brands were phased out and replaced with the revived Robot Wars brand. This led to a new Robot Wars tour travelling across England, to areas such as Gloucester and Portsmouth, and competing robots would aim to win each weekend-long event, usually containing six shows in total, with a morning and afternoon session on each day. The winner of each event would earn a trophy, and in 2013, the performances of each robot would be taken into account to decide an overall champion, which was Eruption.

Additionally, the rights to the House Robots were included as part of the deal. It was the intention that the House Robots would be found and restored, but failing this, replicas would be built. A replica Matilda was constructed from the original casts shortly after this announcement. The Robot Wars soundtrack became available for use, with the tour most notably using the instrumental version of Robot Wars (Android Love) as battle music.

In 2014, John acquired the original moulds for the House Robots but did not put them to use.

In 2015, Roaming Robots hosted the Robot Wars World Championship, inviting worldwide roboteers to compete for the title of World Champion, also hosting an Annihilator as a side event. The championship was won by Toxic 2 over Thor, with Gabriel in third place, while Toon Raider won the Annihilator. The championship was edited and released as a DVD, which could be purchased at the Robot Wars tour.

Since the announcement of the televised Robot Wars reboot, plans were put in place to alter the live event brand once more, with a new name and a new arena. In July 2016, it was announced that the 2017 live events tour would use the name Extreme Robots, leaving the Robot Wars brand behind to disassociate the company from the TV programme.

Robots[edit | edit source]

Name Weight Class Series
T-Bone Heavyweight Series 5
Neoteric Featherweight Extreme 2
Ripper Heavyweight Series 7
Rip Featherweight Series 7

Wins/Losses[edit | edit source]

  • Wins: 6
  • Losses: 5

Series Record[edit | edit source]

Main Series Team Roaming Robots 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 with Banana-R Armour
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 1 with T-Bone
Failed to qualify with R.I.P.P.E.R.
The Sixth Wars Failed to qualify with Ripper 2
The Seventh Wars Heat Final with Ripper
Featherweight Championship Final with Rip
Series 8 Ineligible with Ripper
Series 9 Ineligible with Ripper
Series 10 Not selected with Cyclone
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Did not enter
Series 2 Entered with Neoteric

Robots away from Robot Wars[edit | edit source]

Variants of Ripper[edit | edit source]

Ripper[edit | edit source]

The version of Ripper seen in Series 7 fought until 2007, being retired from fighting after being "Terrorhurtz'd" too many times.

Ripper (Model 2)[edit | edit source]

John Findlay built a replacement Ripper after the 2007 UK Championships. It was similar in shape, but smaller than the original.

Ripper Evo[edit | edit source]

The team then replaced Ripper with Ripper Evo, an improved version of Ripper, in 2008. Ripper Evo reached the semi-finals of both the 2008 and 2009 UK Championships, as well as winning the Roaming Robots 2008 Winter Tour. After a long run, many problems with Ripper Evo had been found, and a new Ripper was built in late 2010.

Ripper (Model 3)[edit | edit source]

Ripper at the 2012 UK Championships in Deeside

In late 2010, John Findlay set about building a brand new, stronger and more powerful Ripper Evo. The 'Evo' in the name was removed as it annoyed John. Ripper reached the Grand Final of the 2010 UK Championships, losing out to Iron-Awe 5, then going on to win the 2011 UK Championship, before finishing 7th in the 2012 UK Championship. In late 2012, Ripper was crowned 2012 Winter Tour champion, retaining its title from 2008. The third version of Ripper was sold to Gareth Anstee of Team G.A.R in 2013 and it made its first appearance under its new name, Dystopia, at Guildford 2013.

Ripper (Model 4)[edit | edit source]

Ripper in 2016, with its brand new spinning drum

The fourth model of Ripper made its first Robot Wars appearance at Guildford in June 2013. John Findlay purchased and fitted Iron-Awe 6's pneumatics and drive to the fourth Ripper as Team Iron-Awe wanted to build a new, more powerful Iron-Awe 7.

In 2016, Ripper was updated to feature a red spinning drum, integrated into the design of the flipper. It was this concept of Ripper which attempted to qualify for the rebooted series of Robot Wars. Ripper was able to use its drum at some of the later Extreme Robots events, winning the 2017 Extreme Robots championship, and over time, this model became known as Ripper mk5.

Ripper (Model 6)[edit | edit source]

Ripper in 2018

Ripper was rebuilt again in 2018, using a more compact design for ease of transportation overseas. It first appeared publicly at the Extreme Robots event of that year in Manchester, where it won the event after defeating Beast in the final. This version of Ripper competed on the Chinese TV show Clash Bots, but its removable link fell out in battle with Brain Storm, and Ripper lost the battle. This version of Ripper was also applied for the eighth season of BattleBots, but was ultimately rejected. It is currently unknown as to why.

Despite an unsuccessful appearance on television, this model of Ripper dominated the live circuit hosted by Extreme Robots, winning every single show that John Findlay hosted in 2018 until the end of October, defeating robots such as TR3, St Ripper and Tauron Mk 3 in Grand Final battles, before only conceding the Maidstone event due to a wiring error.

Ripper (Model 7)[edit | edit source]

Two new versions of Ripper are currently being built for the 2020 season of BattleBots, initiallly to be filmed in April 2020[1] before later being postponed.

You Little Ripper (middleweight)[edit | edit source]

You Little Ripper

In May 2019, John Findlay completed a middleweight version of Ripper, also known as You Little Ripper, scaling down the design of Model 6. It is a regular competitor at middleweight battles held during Extreme Robots events, winning its very first middleweight event in Portsmouth during its May 2019 debut.

Variants of Rip[edit | edit source]

Rip (Rip Evo)[edit | edit source]

The team once fought with Rip Evo which was an improved version of Rip, and finished runner-up in the 2009 UK Featherweight Tag-Team Championship. It was sold in 2012 to Team Shock who rebuilt it as Shockwave 2. Shockwave was sold tp Tony Smith and renamed Eric Jr. 2 before eventually becoming Utopia under the hands of Gareth Anstee. This has since been extensively rebuilt so it now bears a strong resemblance to Dystopia (itself an updated version of Ripper Evo, which Rip Evo originally resembled)

The team also fought with a new Rip, a rebuilt version of Beauty 3, until it was given to another team, with new internals, where it now fights as Busted. John has built a new Rip (called Rip 2) with resembles the current Ripper.

This version of Rip is John Findlay's primary featherweight, and competes at most of his events, also functioning as a House Robot in Roaming Robots educational courses.

Rip (Rip-Off)[edit | edit source]

Long after it competed on Robot Wars, the original version of Rip was handed to Team Toon, who renamed it Rip-Off. However, Team Toon found little use for Rip-Off, so it was returned to John Findlay and regained the name Rip. Although Rip is still operational, and received a new paint-job in 2016, it rarely competes.

Other Robots Built[edit | edit source]

R[edit | edit source]

R before being painted

Team Roaming Robots created an antweight called R, which is shaped to resemble Ripper, with a similar paint-job. It is John Findlay's robot that sees the most usage from his son, and is also used as an example at Findlay's educational events.

Stripper[edit | edit source]

Stripper in the arena

In 2009, John Findlay competed in the 2009 Featherweight UK Championships with a robot called Stripper which was a green full-body spinner made out from the rim of a motorbike wheel. Stripper didn't do well in the main competition but it managed to reach the final of the Annihilator 2009 where it finished as runner-up to Tiny Toon.

Gripper[edit | edit source]

Gripper in 2015

Gripper was built by John Findlay in 2015, spouting a crushing ram as its weapon. Gripper did not pick up many combat wins, and was soon retired.

Halo[edit | edit source]

Main article: Halo

Halo in 2016

Built to rival Thor, Halo is a highly armoured robot with an axe, built by John Findlay, also in 2015. It attempted to qualify for Series 8 of Robot Wars under loan to Krissy Knee.

Mangler[edit | edit source]

The first design of Mangler

Mangler in 2016

In 2014, John Findlay started building a new invertible robot called Mangler that is to double up as a featherweight house robot and heavyweight competitor. Mangler is armed with rotating drums that rotate under 500rpm.

Mangler recently returned to combat, and appeared at Mechatrons 2017 in Dublin. Findlay intends for Mangler to take part in Extreme Robots events.

Fluffy[edit | edit source]

Team Roaming Robots have competed with a featherweight ramming robot called Fluffy, which is covered in polkadot fur, similar to that used by Diotoir. Fluffy has a self ignition system which sets its fur on fire.

It made its Robot Wars debut at Colchester 2014, where its self ignition system set the fur on fire.

Major Damage[edit | edit source]

Findlay's House Robot, Major Damage

Major Damage is a House Robot at John Findlay's events, first created in 2007, and is heavily inspired by Mr. Psycho. It uses a ten-tonne crushing claw on the end of a lifting arm, and a 40kg overhead hammer, powered pneumatically. Major Damage differs from Mr. Psycho due to the flamethrower found inside its claws, first added in 2013. Major Damage runs on tracks, and is extremely heavy at roughly 1000kg, evidenced by the fact the House Robot has yet to be flipped[2].

Unnamed Featherweight[edit | edit source]

In 2017, as part of an educational video[3], John Findlay challenged himself to build a featherweight robot for less than £200. Made out of wood, the featherweight was not built to be competitive, and it lacks a weapon, but Findlay achieved his goal by spending only £193 on the project.

Cyclone[edit | edit source]

Main article: Cyclone (UK)

Cyclone at the Extreme Robots event at Gloucester 2017

Smasher at Clash Bots

In 2017, John Findlay built a new heavyweight called Cyclone (not to be confused with the US or Dutch series competitors), an invertible, six-wheel drive robot with a wedged box-shaped chassis and a front-hinged flipper, similar in design to Robot Wars World Champion, Storm 2. Cyclone made its live events debut in April 2017 at the Robots Live! Burgess Hill event, and became a regular and successful competitor at Extreme Robots events. Additionally, it applied for Series 10, but was not selected to compete. Cyclone later competed on the Chinese TV show Clash Bots under the name Smasher, where the robot's lithium polymer batteries were damaged by Dark Wolf, causing Smasher to lose in a blaze of smoke.

Cyclone 360

Following Cyclone/Smasher's loss on Clash Bots, a completely new version, Cyclone 360, was built in 2018, assuming the form of a full-body spinner made out of a wheel hub. Cyclone 360 debuted at the Extreme Robots Portsmouth event that year, and, as with its predecessor, competes regularly at those events.

St Ripper[edit | edit source]

St Ripper when it was first built

St Ripper (pronounced Stripper) was the second spinner that John Findlay built in 2018, this time using a spinning 'drisc' on a invertible machine. St Ripper was driven by two large tyres, protected by spoked framework surrounding the outside of the machine. St Ripper made its combat debut at the Extreme Robots events held in September 2018, beginning with Colchester where it finished in second place, defeating Aftershock to reach the final before losing to Ripper.

St Ripper with four-wheel drive

After these events, St Ripper was upgraded to use a four-wheel drive, alongside a stronger weapon shaft, and a coat of paint. This version of St Ripper won the Extreme Robots event held in Maidstone under a new driver, by once again defeating Aftershock in its final battle. It was less successful in Cheltenham, losing its first-round battle against 2point0, and lost its losers' melee to TR3. At Portsmouth 2019, St Ripper performed well throughout the event, but sustained major damage in a loss to Aftershock.

Team Roaming Robots had originally intended to enter the Chinese TV show Clash Bots with an invertible drum spinner named Guan Yu, but ultimately John Findlay's role on the show was not that of a competitor, so Guan Yu was never seen. It is possible that Guan Yu's design later became St Ripper.

Dominator[edit | edit source]

Dominator at Clash Bots

In the Chinese TV show Clash Bots, two robots much larger than traditional competitors fought a battle against regulation competitors, one of which was Dominator. This robot was heavily inspired by Major Damage, in turn inspired by Mr. Psycho, and was equipped with a similar claw, hammer weapon, and tracks. Dominator is a separate robot to Major Damage, built in the space of just over two weeks[4].

Galactus[edit | edit source]

Galactus in early 2019

Galactus V2 in July 2019

Galactus was a heavyweight robot built by John Findlay in the first half of 2019, alongside You Little Ripper. Galactus is a black and yellow invertible robot armed with a horizontal bar spinner. It sustained structural damage at its first Extreme Robots event, so the robot was entirely rebuilt in July 2019, now weighing 100kg.

Widget[edit | edit source]

Widget is a robot that John Findlay built in May. It is a large tank-esque robot with a long flexy neck with a large eye and a mouth and 2 small ears on top of its head.

Widget's official picture.

Other Robots Acquired[edit | edit source]

Stinger[edit | edit source]

Stinger in 2010

John Findlay purchased Stinger in late 2009 and entered into the 2010 UK Championship and the Annihilator where it finished fourth. After withdrawing from the 2011 UK Championships, it was returned to just being a static display robot. It has since returned to combat in 2014.

Stinger at Robot Wars live

Stinger made its debut in the new Robot Wars live events in 2014 at Colchester. It has won several 'retro battles' against robots including Mr Nasty, Bulldog Breed and The Steel Avenger, and recently defeated Iron-Awe 5 at The World of Robots 2016.

Mighty Mouse[edit | edit source]

Mighty Mouse in late 2015

In 2013, John revealed that he has Mighty Mouse's shell on loan and is taking it to school events.

Schumey Too[edit | edit source]

Schumey Too in 2014

In May 2014, John acquired Schumey Too. In August, Schumey Too was sold to Krissy Knee, the owner of Rybot. Eventually it was retired due to battle damage.

Kan-Opener[edit | edit source]

Kan-Opener J-Spec in 2017

In February 2017, John acquired Kan-Opener J-Spec, reserving it for Platinum VIP ticket holders at his shows to drive in "Pay to drive" fights. John Findlay also drove Kan-Opener J-spec at the Irish heavyweight championship in 2020, where it was jammed into the wall by Immersion in the first round.

Robogeddon[edit | edit source]

In 2014, John Findlay purchased Robogeddon from Andrew Cotterell and debuted it at the Robot Wars Santa Pod event. Competing under a different name, this robot now serves as a House Robot for featherweight battles, and is armed with large tank tracks for locomotion.

Sparta[edit | edit source]

Sparta at Clash Bots

Although it is not confirmed who built Sparta, John Findlay drove Sparta as a competitor on Clash Bots, where he had also driven Ripper, and entered Smasher. Sparta greatly resembled the BattleBots competitor Mohawk, sporting a hydraulic crushing arm topped with bristles. The robot used a steep wedge shape, and was driven by two wheels. Sparta was able to overturn the Brazilian robot Dark Wolf with a charge, but its wheels were targeted by the vertical spinner, and Sparta was immobilised.

Previously Owned Robots[edit | edit source]

Double Action[edit | edit source]

John Findlay built a new heavyweight machine called Double Action with a flipper/axe, nicknamed a "Flax", weapon. Double Action was converted into a robot with a front hinged flipper called Orbiter. Team Roaming Robots and Team Mouse were originally working together to turn Orbiter into an axe-wielding robot. The plan to convert Orbiter into an axe wielding robot fell through, and Orbiter is now called Rybot and was in the possession of Krissy Knee. Rybot made its debut at the Robot Wars Winter tour final in Gloucester, later competing in the 2015 World Championship.

Hammertime[edit | edit source]

The team also occasionally fought with Hammertime, a reincarnation of Corkscrew Two with the spinner removed and an axe added. The axe was removed and given to Scorpion, turning Hammertime into a rambot, before it was sold to Team Tilly and became Dizzy Tilly, eventually competing on Clash Bots.

S.M.I.D.S.Y.[edit | edit source]

In 2010 Team Roaming Robots bought S.M.I.D.S.Y. from Team Hydra, but later sold it on to Team Avenger, who after one event sold it again to Team Troublesome, changing hands once again to Gary Cairns, and finally to Team ACE.

Storm Force[edit | edit source]

The team have also owned Storm Force before it was sold to Liam Bryant.

Scar[edit | edit source]

The team have owned Scar which, along with T-Bone, was sold to a Glasgow based team who also owned Eric and Chimera.

Pussycat[edit | edit source]

John Findlay briefly owned Pussycat, using it for static display, before returning it to Alan Gribble in 2013.

Televised appearances[edit | edit source]

John Findlay's career in robotics has led to him making various televised appearances outside of Robot Wars, usually alongside Ripper. In 2011, John Findlay appeared on Epic Win and controlled Ripper, as it attempted to escape from a caravan, with assistance from Thor, but ultimately had to forfeit after the robots became stuck.

In 2012, John Findlay appeared on the BBC Two programme Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is where he bought eight toy robots for £75, and also allowed antiques expert Paul Hayes to drive Ripper.

In October 2014, John Findlay appeared on Pawn Stars UK, where he attempted to sell Ripper and Beast to a buyer. However, he declined the offer he was given, as the stated price was too low.

In October 2017, John Findlay appeared during the thirteenth series of The Apprentice, alongside his robots Ripper, Kan-Opener and Major Damage. He allowed a group of businesswomen to battle Ripper and Kan-Opener against each other.

John Findlay was a competitor on the Chinese TV show Clash Bots, as part of a fictitiously villainous team, alongside Peter Redmond, Tyrone Ellis and their Chinese captain. Findlay and his team did not enter the main competition, but fought in a series of exhibition battles for narrative purposes. As part of this team, Findlay drove Ripper and Sparta, while Peter Redmond drove Findlay's machine Smasher. John Findlay's House Robot-type machine Dominator also appeared on the show, separate from Findlay's team. The 'villainous' team featuring John Findlay did not win any of their battles.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.