- "The Alien has landed!"
- — Craig Charles
The Alien was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 5, 6 and 7 of Robot Wars. Despite the destruction it could inflict, The Alien did not achieve a great level of success in the three series it competed in, only reaching Round 2 in its first two wars.
The team also entered a featherweight in Series 7 called Alienator, which lost in the heats.
The Alien was a two-wheeled, box-wedge shaped robot with tank steering, a vertical spinning 7-12kg hammer with two 1.5kg lump hammers at the tips and a top-mounted self-righting mechanism capable of lifting 150kg. The hammer spun at 1000-1300rpm, was capable of flipping an opponent over on a successful charge, and was powered by a Sinclair C5 motor. It was armoured in 12mm polycarbonate from old phone box panels and by using steel tubing from an old work bench and kart parts, but had pneumatic tyres.
The Alien was entered by the Staffordshire-based Team Desert Storm, captained by the machine's builder Karl Asplin, who drove The Alien in battle. Karl Asplin brought his young daughter Sarah to the filming of Series 5 and 6, while instead bringing family members Christine and Daniel to the Seventh Wars. Other members of Team Desert Storm included Andrew Cope in Series 5, and Barry James in Series 6. Team Desert Storm also entered Alienator into the Featherweight Championship of Series 7.
Team captain Karl Asplin was also part of the Bulldog Breed team in Series 7, and both series of Extreme, despite not being credited on the stats boards apart from Extreme 1. He did not appear on the Bulldog Breed team in Series 5 despite being credited on the stats board.
The Alien attended the qualifiers for the Fifth Wars, and was drawn against R.I.P.P.E.R. in a head-to-head qualifier. R.I.P.P.E.R. was unable to use its two spinning blade weapons, as they were banned by the rules. As a result, The Alien was able to capitalise and win the battle, successfully qualifying for the main competition, unlike its opponent.
The Alien would later go on to qualify for Series 6 and 7 by attending the qualifier battles.
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The Alien began its Robot Wars career with a quick victory. The Alien initially used its wedge to slip under Velocirippa and push it around, making only glancing contact with its spinning hammer, but Velocirippa quickly broke down. The Alien then landed some celebratory blows with its spinning hammer, and waited for Velocirippa to be counted out and pitted by the House Robots.
- "The Alien has landed!"
- — Craig Charles
In the second round, it faced Prizephita Mach 2, another machine that had previously lost in the first round.
After several unsuccessful attempts at attacking, Prizephita managed to get underneath and flip over The Alien, who tried to self-right but it was flipped in a way where the self-righting mechanism pinned in off the ground. Despite the hammer still working, it was counted out by Refbot, much to the dismay of Sarah Asplin, but then righted itself with assistance from Shunt. The Alien did manage to hit Shunt with its spinning weapon but was still ruled out of the competition.
- "Unfortunately Sarah, you see, the machine wasn't really good enough. Dad'll explain!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
In a very eventful bout, The Alien used its weaponry to bend the front panel of ICU straight away, sending several of its decorative eyes scattering across the arena, and consistently flip over Sir Chromalot and GBH 2. It did enough damage to GBH 2 to send it out of the competition on a Judges' decision, which was unanimously in favour of The Alien despite only being 2-1 in favour of Sir Chromalot over GBH 2.
- "I think Shredder's a better draw than S3, I mean S3's awesome. ...We lost a chain on the weapon, which we've replaced that, and right at the last minute of the fight, we lost a chain on the one drive, we've replaced that, we're 100% functional again, ready to cause some damage!"
- — Team Desert Storm between rounds
In the next round, The Alien fought Shredder.
The Alien spun up its weapon in the opening moments of the battle. It crashed into the centre of Shredder, knocking it onto the flame pit, but after another contact, The Alien lost the use of its spinning hammer, and Shredder rammed into it. Shredder attacked with another ram, but drove up the wedge of The Alien, which pushed Shredder back onto the flame pit.
The Alien pushed Shredder onto a steam vent, but drove itself into a CPZ and was attacked by Shunt. Shredder attempted to capitalise, but drove up the wedge of The Alien, which pushed Shredder into the centre of the arena, and then back onto the flame pit, and the closed pit. The Alien separated in order to activate the pit, but was slammed into the wall by Shredder. This afforded The Alien the chance to use its wedge to push Shredder into an empty CPZ, trapping it using its own self-righting mechanism, but Shunt axed The Alien instead. The Alien escaped, and Shunt then buried its axe through Shredder, pushing it into the wall.
At this stage, The Alien started to lose ground, and was pushed onto the floor flipper, and was pinned over the steam vent which caused Shredder earlier damage. The slowly moving The Alien was followed around the arena by Shredder, and was pushed back into Shunt for an axe blow. While trying to hold The Alien in the CPZ, Shredder was also dented by Shunt, but The Alien could only narrowly escape the CPZ as it was attacked again by Shunt and slammed by Shredder just before 'cease' was called.
- "No, it's not the most destructive, but this is a different side to Robot Wars. The tenacity, the competitiveness, the durability of well manufactured machines."
- — Jonathan Pearce
After an extremely close battle, Shredder was declared the winner, to the disagreement of The Alien's team and some boos from the audience.
- Craig Charles: "What do you think the Judges based that decision on?"
- Carl Asplin: "I haven't got a clue! There's bits of their robot out there, there, there's none of our robot off there. We had them in the corner a few times as well, we pushed them in there. Mind you, they got us as well, but..."
- Craig Charles: "I think your weapon didn't work for very long though, did it?"
- Carl Asplin: "Theirs didn't work very long though, either! I think we broke theirs, and they broke ours at pretty much the same time."
- Craig Charles: "You don't agree with the decision, then?"
- Carl Asplin: "I don't. I think it was us."
- — The Alien's team on the loss which surprised them
The Alien started promisingly, attacking the seeds with their hammer repeatedly. Eventually, 13 Black started smoking and one of its discs stopped spinning, but The Alien's attacks on 13 Black had caused its own safety link to fall out, immobilising it completely. The Alien was thrown by the floor flipper before being pushed onto the Drop Zone where an ocean buoy fell on top of it. Unlike Tomahawk (from the previous heat), The Alien held firm, but it was still out of the competition in the first round.
|THE ALIEN - RESULTS|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
Heats, Round 2
|Heat E, Eliminator||vs. Velocirippa||Won|
|Heat E, Semi-Final||vs. Prizephita Mach 2||Lost|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
Heats, Round 2
|Heat D, Round 1||vs. GBH 2, ICU, Sir Chromalot||Qualified|
|Heat D, Round 2||vs. Shredder||Lost|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
Heats, Round 1
|Heat D, Round 1||vs. 13 Black (7), Herbinator, Lightning||Eliminated|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 3
|Series||The Alien Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Seventh Wars|| Heat, Round 1|
Featherweight Championship with Alienator
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Like many other Robot Wars Competitors, Team Desert Storm also entered Techno Games, where they entered a weaponless and red version of The Alien called Brutal Beetle in the 2003 series, which was beaten by Typhoon Rover in the Assault Course. They also teamed up with The Stag (under the name BeetleBot) for the football, but lost in the first round.
The Alien was revealed to still be assembled in 2017, with minimal signs of wear. It was then brought to Extreme Robots in Cheltenham as a static exhibition in November 2018, brought by Sarah Asplin who was part of the Tauron team for the event.
In 2018 Sarah Asplin made her return to combat robotics, competing in the 2018 and 2019 seasons of BattleBots. She competed with a vertical bar spinner named Monsoon, on a team with her partner Tom Brewster, and originally Tim Rackley and Sam Griffin of the Concussion team, before Rory Mangles and Alasdair Sutherland took their places in the 2019 season. For more information, see Tauron.
- Sarah Asplin has coincidentally competed on both Robot Wars and BattleBots with a vertical bar spinner, despite The Alien and Monsoon originally being created without her involvement.