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"So in a hurried attempt to get something submitted to Robot Wars, I came up with the idea for a heavyweight pyramid/wedge type robot. Having never built a robot before, I came on to this lovely website and quickly realised the world of robotics has changed since I last designed or researched how to build a robot."
— Mick Burke on The Big Bamboo

The Big Bamboo was a competitor which attempted to enter Series 8 of Robot Wars, but was not selected to compete.


The Big Bamboo was pyramid-shaped, and uniquely built with a bamboo chassis frame in mind. In addition, the robot was to be covered in polycarbonate with additional side skirts made from 6mm steel to keep it as low to the ground as possible. The thought process behind using such a unique material was that bamboo, at least compared to more common building materials, is light and strong within more traditional applications.

To defend against attacks, The Big Bamboo was initially desgined to utilise rubber underneath the steel skirts to seal the robot to the arena floor, however this idea was later scrapped with the knowledge that a perfectly flat floor would not be guaranteed, thus negating the idea.

Burke also planned for the robot to feature an internal gyroscope, which in theory could detect if an anything has gotten underneath and shift a movable counterweight to the other side of the robot, in order to distribute its weight and make it harder for opponents to overturn it.

For weaponry, The Big Bamboo was designed to use a Raspberry Pi to power its flipper, in order to save it from using CO2. It also utilised a pair of wheelchair motors for drive.[1]


Construction began in January 2016 with The Big Bamboo still in the process of being built during its attempted application, with very few components having been obtained. One issue team member Mick Burke faced was the bamboo itself that he had ordered, which was too thin for its intended use. It is unknown how much of the robot was completed in time for filming, or indeed whether any images exist of it.

Mick Burke had discussed converting The Big Bamboo into a featherweight, potentially withdrawing its Robot Wars application altogether. Regardless, it did not appear on the show and has not made a cameo at any live events since. There have been no further updates on The Big Bamboo since 2016.

Series Record[]

Series The Big Bamboo 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 Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Not selected
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter


  • Had it competed, The Big Bamboo would have been the only robot in the show's history to have utilised bamboo in its construction.