- "A robot which when it first started competing I described as a fun, cute, comedy lobster-bot, now it holds one of the most feared flippers in the war zone!"
- — Jonathan Pearce in Series 6
Thermidor 2 was a competitor robot that entered the British TV show Robot Wars. The third-longest appearing robot in the history of the show, Thermidor 2 (and its predecessor Thermador) appeared in Series 3-8, as well as both series of Robot Wars Extreme.
Thermidor 2 had one of the most erratic records in the show. It reached the semi-finals of Series 4 and 7, came second in the Extreme 2 Annihilator and amassed fifteen combat victories across its career. However, it was also no stranger to first round defeats, suffering such defeats in three of its six attempts at the UK Championship title in Series 5, 6 and 8, as well as the Extreme 1 Annihilator.
Thermidor 2 is well-remembered for its ability to flip opponents out of the arena. It was the first robot to defeat two opponents in a single battle in this way (Behemoth and Stinger) and would go on to tally a total of four in its career.
- 1 Versions of Thermidor
- 2 The Team
- 3 Qualification
- 4 Robot History
- 5 Results
- 6 Series Record
- 7 Appearances in Merchandise
- 8 Outside Robot Wars
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Honours
- 11 References
- 12 External Links
Versions of Thermidor
- "Our first idea was for a very powerful box with no weapons - this we rejected after about a week as it wasn't very original and was most definitely boring, not what anyone would want to see. Our next plan was to go for a robot that was visually exciting, perhaps not the most easily defendable design, but one that would be entertaining. It was decided that the robots were better if they had a theme like Elvis or Nemesis. After much thinking and rough sketches the final idea was to build a robot in the shape of a lobster, which gave us the ideal opportunity to have the front claws as weapons, and an angle grinder for the tail."
- — Team Lobster website
Team Lobster competed in Series 3 with Thermador, the team's original creation. The robot used a two-wheel drive, with distinctive large wheels taken from a Mini Metro, allowing it to run inverted. It was designed to look like a cooked red lobster, and as such, its main weapons were horizontal grabbing claws. It was made from 3mm aluminium alloy and had a small lobster's head made from a cycling helmet where its successor's flipper would be. As well as the lobster claws, it was equipped with a spike at the front and a small cutting disc in the tail. Building of the robot started in March 1999, and was finished midway through May, only days before the Series 3 auditions.
- "After reviewing why we lost last year, it was decided we needed more power and a more effective weapon. Fortunately, potentially minor modifications which shouldn’t take to long. Thermidor was stripped down and new motors ordered along with new gears. This time we used 3/8 chain instead of the ½ inch chain which gave us a significant weight reduction. With this weight in hand our weapon of choice would be a flipper. This was to form the head instead of the current cycle helmet arrangement. A hydraulic ram was now required. A trip to a scrap reclaim yard provided a number of pneumatic rams and a hydraulic pump all for £2 (not required but at that price they were a bargain, and nobody can resist a bargain, can they?) Talking at work it turned out that a colleague's brother worked for a hydraulic company. Enquires were made and in exchange for £60 a hydraulic cylinder was modified exactly to our requirements. With the cylinder now in stock the old head and front steelwork was cut away, along with all the steel that used to hold the internal gears and motors. A quick sketch on a scrap of paper and we were welding in new steel to support the ram and flipper."
- — Team Lobster website
Thermidor 2, styled by the team as Thermidor II, was equipped with a full CO2 powered flipper that could lift a ton and throw other robots over with ease. The flipper was depicted with an angry face, which would become synonymous with the robot. However, it retained Thermador's long tail section, though the rear cutting disc was removed, and spring-loaded lobster claws to help grab hold of its opponents, although the claws were now rarely used. Several holes were drilled into the claws to keep the robot within the weight limit.
In Series 5 and Extreme, the claws were redesigned to be wedge-shaped, preventing them from getting in the way of the flipper, and no longer featured holes which previously were needed to reduce the robot's weight.
- "Our weakness in the last war was our claws. All those holes had done them no favours they were just too weak. A new claw was designed this time with a sloping front. This has the advantage of using less metal as well as keeping clear of the flipper, even with the claws closed. Ian was tasked with the building (he just loves it) after a couple of days in the shed he emerged with two claws (Don't worry he hadn't mutated). New stronger mounts were added to the body of Thermidor and the claws were fitted. The new design looks superb."
- — Team Lobster website
Despite still being attached to a pneumatic mechanism, making them technically operable, they were almost never used as a weapon since, mainly serving as a decorative addition. The robot's back end was shortened and altered to be a curved shape instead of the conical back end of the previous Thermidor 2, which allowed it to self-right easier. Even so, it was proven to be capable of running inverted, as seen in its first-round battle that series. For Series 5, a new PCM radio was installed.
- Julia Reed: "I always think of you more of a pincer than a flipper"
- David Harding: "Oh no, the pincers are there for show, be very wary of our flipper"
- — Discussions on Thermidor 2's weapons during Extreme 1
For Series 6 the radio was changed back, and the antennae on top of the robot were removed. Otherwise, the robot was largely unchanged, a matter which embarrassed Team Lobster when Philippa Forrester asked them about the robot's improvements on TV.
- "Embarrassingly little work had been done since the last outing. The only modification being to reverse the previous modification and refit our old radio. The body still had the damage from previous battles. We would argue this made it look battle hardened."
- — Team Lobster website
For Series 7, a wheelie bar was added to the rear and the flipper's power was improved. Thermidor 2 could drive at speeds of up to 15mph, but was easily flipped, had a limited CO2 supply, and from Extreme 1 onwards its aluminium armour was comparatively weak. At the time, it weighed 95kg.
For Series 8, Thermidor 2 was brought out of retirement and reworked. Now armoured in 5mm polycarbonate, the robot weighed 110kg, and featured modern-day internals including 25.9v lithium polymer batteries, also sporting a greater gas supply. In its official photographs, Thermidor 2 appeared to use a brighter orange colour-scheme, although in televised combat, the robot used its more well-known red colours, with the addition of a new face on the flipper.
Thermidor 2's lobster design was a high and fun point of the robot. Jonathan Pearce particularly made numerous jokes throughout its appearances about Thermidor 2 being "broiled" (since lobsters do not turn red until they are cooked), often when it was defeated.
A smaller, weaponless version of Thermidor 2 was also built as a practice robot when the robot competed in the original series. It was featured alongside the Series 4 and Series 5 versions of Thermidor 2 in Ultimate Real Robots Magazine.
- "David is the man behind all the electronics in the robot. He holds an HND in Electronic Engineering and works for a world class instrument manufacturer, where he is pictured in front of his always tidy and organised desk. An incurable optimist, and holds possibly the world's largest collection of old bangers. ... Ian has responsibility for the mechanical construction of the robot, although in view of the fact that he's set light to himself and other things before, possibly not to be trusted with welding equipment. Manages to keep David's aspirations in perspective."
- — Team Lobster website on the team members
Thermador and Thermidor 2 were named after the French lobster dish. In Series 3, Thermador was mistakenly spelled with an a. It was not until filming that the team were informed that they had spelt it wrong.
- "One of the production crew looked at our robot and pointed out that 'Thermador' is spelt 'Thermidor' (the spelling was debated at the start of the project – could we be wrong?). She assured us she was right as she was a amateur French cook (she was French, so it might have been true). To double check she went to ask the cook. On her return with confirmation from the cook we agreed to change the spelling for the show."
- — Team Lobster website
- "David is the man behind all the electronics in the robot. He holds an HND in Electronic Engineering and works for a world class instrument manufacturer, where he is pictured in front of his always tidy and organised desk. An incurable optimist, and holds possibly the world's largest collection of old bangers."
- — Team Lobster website on David Harding
Thermidor 2 was entered into Robot Wars by Team Lobster, who were based in Costessey in Norwich. The team captain was David Harding, an electronic engineer who at the time of Series 8 was aged 48, with over 25 years of industry experience. David Harding was the co-builder of the machine, and managed the electronics of Thermidor 2, also operating the weaponry in battle, and taking the lead in most of the team's interviews.
- "Dave has put his house renovation on hold to focus on rebuilding Thermidor 2. Dave’s daughter Poppy named her cat after her favourite house robot, Matilda."
- — The Robot Wars website on David Harding in Series 8
The other static teammate of Team Lobster was Ian Harvey, who was present in all of the team's appearances except for the Annihilator in the second series of Extreme. Ian Harvey was a service technician at the same business as David Harding, aged 47 in Series 8. Alongside being the co-builder of the machine, Ian Harvey was the driver of Thermidor 2 in battle, and was also a prominent speaker in many of the team's interviews.
- "Ian has responsibility for the mechanical construction of the robot, although in view of the fact that he's set light to himself and other things before, possibly not to be trusted with welding equipment. Manages to keep David's aspirations in perspective."
- — Team Lobster website on Ian Harvey
In Series 3 and 4, the eleven-year old schoolboy Eli Kirkpatrick was also part of Team Lobster, although he did not appear on the show after these first two series. Other young team members of Team Lobster included Christopher Snowling in Series 5 (who did not appear on television despite being listed on the statistics board), and Sarah Snowling in Series 6.
- "Eleven-year-old Eli was a member of the team in the third and fourth wars. He has now left the group to pursue a solo career."
- — Team Lobster website on Eli Kirkpatrick
In the second series of Extreme only, Nigel Blackenberry joined the team to assist with repairs and maintenance whilst Ian Harvey was absent. Blackenberry had assisted Team Lobster since the team's inception, manufacturing the robot's PCB components. However, the Team Lobster website described him as 'shy', explaining why he only appeared as a televised team member on one occasion.
- "Nigel's known for being a little bit shy and didn't want his picture to appear. However, he didn't have enough money to pay us not to publish. On a day release course from work at the local college, and hence in a perfect position to use the college's facilities to manufacture all the pcb's."
- — Team Lobster website on Nigel Blackenberry
The team's official website also credits three extended team members who never appeared on the televised lineup. Rob Emery, a colleague of David Harding, Ian Harvey and Nigel Blackenberry, was briefly the webmaster for the Team Lobster website. Ian Greenaway was also responsible for the graphic design on the website. Finally, David Harding's partner Diana Kirkpatrick, aunt of Eli Kirkpatrick, was responsible for transporting Team Lobster to events.
- "Girlfriend of David and Aunt of Eli, Diana's been appointed Transport Manager, having recently passed her driving test. Calculations as to how the robot plus the other team members will now fit in Diana's Astra are continuing."
- — Team Lobster website on Diana Kirkpatrick
At the Series 3 auditions, Thermador was overweight and unpainted, but still qualified.
- "First up was the weigh-in - we knew we were slightly over weight, as we hadn't had time to lighten the gears used in the drive train. The scales showed we were 4.4kgs over the weight limit - not a disaster. We explained why it was overweight, and this was marked on our sheet. The chaps on the weigh bridge seemed enthusiastic about the design which was good to hear. ... Next was our technical check with Mat Irvine. He seemed very enthusiastic about our theme. Checks were made on the position of the gas cylinder, grinding disc motor speed, failsafe, etc. The only technical things we needed to change were the positioning of the on/off switch, and the lack of insulation on the battery terminals. Mat then gave us advice on the colour to paint the robot, and extra details to add to the design to enhance the lobster theme. Next was a trip to the nurse to get medical attention for my cut finger (only a small cut, but Mat insisted). The last test was the driving course - we collected our transmitter, hooked up our batteries and waited our turn. After a short lecture on safety procedures we turned the robot on. With Ian driving (being used to radio controlled cars) we had to complete a number of tasks including pushing some concrete blocks, running up a ramp, spinning on the spot, and generally showing we had some control. The last test was a check that the failsafe worked by driving in a straight line whilst the transmitter was switched off. The robot stopped dead (unlike some we observed). We were finished, which co-incided nicely with a break for lunch. ... Everyone we met both on the production side and the competitor side were so friendly and enthusiastic it made for a very enjoyable day."
- — Team Lobster website
At the Series 4 qualifiers, Thermidor 2 had a seal blow on the pressure side before the battle, which could have left them with no weapon.
- "Turning the gas on there was a loud pop, followed by a lot of hissing. Disaster stuck - we had blown a seal on the high pressure side. Now not only did we not have a spare it was obvious that the problem was a design fault and that replacing it would do no good anyway. Only one thing left - we would have to fight with no weapons and face the consequences, ie we would get creamed! With the robot loaded on the trolley we took our place in the queue. We told Mat that because of our seal problem we would have no weapons. He offered us more time if we had a chance of fixing saying the last battle wasn’t until four in the afternoon. Over a cup of coffee we reviewed our options. A plan was hatched requiring the use of 2 jubilee clips and a new ‘o’ ring. As usual we had nothing of any use. Asking others including the guy who runs the house robots yielded not much more. Time for a trip out - first call the second hand tyre shop opposite the main gate. The bloke looked at us as if we were stupid and suggested we tried the caravan centre up the road, who were very helpful , but didn’t have a clip big enough. Our luck changed at the car mechanic next door . A full range of clips, and he even threw in some thin aluminium. Back at the studio after borrowing some tinsnips we began to fabricate a suitable bodge. Just as we had almost finished cutting the aluminium the house robot guy returned with a proper hydraulic seal and asked if that would be any use. The aluminium/jubilee Heath Robinson arrangement was immediately binned and the pucker part fitted. We were rolling again!"
- — Team Lobster website
Fortunately, the problem was fixed, so Thermidor 2 fought against Generation X in its qualifier, which it won. Thermidor 2 qualified as a result.
- "Their robot was fabricated from quite thick aluminium all welded, and polished to give a shiny finish. Very well made with a petrol powered cutter on the front. After a bit of a wait we got almost in the arena when it was relayed that they had problems. Just as we were about to be pulled off (the arena, what did you think?) news came that they were OK and raring to go. The robots were driven out in the arena and we took our place in the box. The crowd seemed quite excited. The introductions were made and after the countdown we charged at their robot. Our flipper went right under the body - Fire 1! The flipper launched Generation X three feet into the air (so reports told us later). As soon as they landed - Fire 2. We flipped them again, and after a few more goes they looked pretty dead. After a victory dance we were declared the winner. Ian returned to drive the robot home whilst Eli and I had to talk to the presenter bloke. Back in the pits we talked to the guys from Generation X who were disappointed that they had not done better. Whilst their robot could run upside down, the battery had broken free and snapped the head of one of the servos, leaving them without drive. Bad luck!"
- — Team Lobster website
Thermidor 2 did not have to go through the Series 5 qualifiers, nor the Series 7 qualifiers, due to being seeded, and it qualified for Series 8 through open applications. It had to go through the Series 6 qualifiers due to it not being seeded, though who it fought that year is unknown.
- "The heaviest in the field with its huge pincers at the front of the lobster shape, 3mm alloy shell, cycle helmet and all, start peddling boys, or else you could be on your bike!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Thermador
Thermador competed in Heat M of its first televised Robot Wars appearance. Thermador easily defeated its first opponent Plunderstorm in the first round of the heat, as the previous semi-finalists never truly started moving, Plunderstorm turned to face the arena side wall, as only one track was working, before the machine stopped completely, the Judges subsequently declared it immobilised. Thermador then closed in and gently slammed Plunderstorm into the arena side wall, before quickly retreating, so that the House Robots could close in themselves to do some damage to Plunderstorm. Sir Killalot hoisted up Plunderstorm with its lance, getting into the track, and carried it over to the pit of oblivion, before dumping it down.
- "Your'e still in shock, aren't you! You're Round 2 material now, in Robot Wars!"
- — Philippa Forrester to the team
As a result of this easy victory, Thermador was put through to the second round of the heat. Here, Thermador was put up against fellow newcomers Scutter's Revenge, which proved to be a much more eventful battle. During the battle, Thermador tried to slam Scutter's Revenge front-on before it fell before the larger robot's onslaught. The claws of Thermador meant that it couldn't break free easily from Scutter's Revenge's large scoop. Thermador was pushed slowly towards the pit of oblivion and eventually pitted, eliminating it from the competition.
- "Thermador wants to get it in its claws, and then force towards a CPZ, but is being pushed towards the pit itself, and the lobster is in the net and caught, and it's Scutter's Revenge who go through."
- — Jonathan Pearce
- Julia Reed: "Wheels from a Mini Metro, I believe, are they going to go back?"
- David Harding: "No."
- — Pre-first round
- "It was at this point we found out who we was in our heat. Not good news. Our first battle included Gravedigger. Victory looked so far away we would need a telescope to see it! The only handy bit was Kronic the Wedgehog looked quite vulnerable, and they might just have gone out before us. Never mind - let battle commence. It wasn’t going well when we drove the robot out into the arena and walked up the steps to the booth only to find the robot had wandered over the fire pit and was being toasted. A low transmitter battery meant that the robot was a bit twitchy."
- — Team Lobster website on the team's worries before the battle started
Thermidor 2 made a fair impact in its first round, trading blows with Kronic the Wedgehog, but neither was able to flip the other. However, Kronic the Wedgehog rammed Thermidor 2 hard, and one of Thermidor 2's claws buckled slightly. Kronic the Wedgehog then intercepted a run from the seeded Gravedigger, and flipped it onto the arena side wall, where it was unable to move. Thermidor 2 then closed in and flipped Gravedigger onto its side and secured its defeat. Both Thermidor 2 and Kronic the Wedgehog stayed out of the way from danger as the House Robots finished off Gravedigger, as they were both safely through to the next round of the heat.
- "This was not really the outcome we had planned as both we and the Gravedigger team are from Norwich, but in the end it was either them or us - sorry guys"
- — Team Lobster website
Thermidor 2's second round battle saw it up against the 29th seeds Dreadnaut XP-1. Thermidor 2 made its way forward and immediately gave Dreadnaut XP-1 a little flip, flicking Dreadnaut XP-1's front into the air. This was followed by a bigger flip, which sent Dreadnaut XP-1 flying over onto its back.
- "Great power in this flipper, looks quite unassuming but it's one of the strongest weapons we've seen so far in this series."
- — Jonathan Pearce after Thermindor 2 flipped Dreadnaut XP-1 over
The House Robots closed in. Matilda sliced through Dreadnaut XP-1's fibreglass shell and one of its tyres with the chainsaw, and Dead Metal dragged it to the flipper, which chucked it a fair distance. Dreadnaut XP-1 was now righted and tried to move away, but the House Robots continued to attack it, with Shunt firing its axe into the body and Sir Killalot snipping the front and carrying it to the flame pit. Sir Killalot then dislodged the body shell after further punishment from Shunt. Dead Metal finally pushed it into the pit, and the 29th Seed was eliminated.
Thermidor 2 then went through to the Heat Final, where it had to fight Kronic the Wedgehog again. Before the fight, the Thermidor 2 team were concerned that its flipper wouldn't work. Its claws had also broken, and it was being put back together just beforehand.
This battle was very close between the two, as the shape of Thermidor 2's claws meant that it got in the way of Kronic the Wedgehog's flipper a lot. However, Thermidor 2 pierced the flipper with its claw weaponry, and Kronic the Wedgehog's flipper broke off, merely hanging by a thread. It was from here on that Kronic the Wedgehog began to lose power; it slowed until the robot stopped completely. Kronic the Wedgehog was declared immobilised, so Thermidor 2 progressed to the Series Semi-Finals.
- Julia Reed: "You need to find another Mini Metro to nick some wheels off"
- David Harding: "Yeah, we'll have a look in the car park before we go!"
- — Post-Heat Final
In the Series Semi-Finals, the unseeded Thermidor 2 was put up against the number 19 seeds and future runners-up for the series Pussycat in the first round. In the battle, although Thermidor 2 began it by flipping Pussycat high into the air several times, it sustained a lot of damage from Pussycat's blade as the battle wore on and the wheels were damaged particularly badly. Thermidor 2 suffered so much damage that it was running very slowly towards the end of the battle. Thermidor 2 managed to survive to a Judges' decision, but the decision went in favour of Pussycat, eliminating Thermidor 2 from the competition.
- "The only problem we now had was to repair the damage ready to compete in the Sumo event. This involved the use of a sledgehammer to straighten the claws (we're not joking), a couple of new body panels, a tub of car filler, and the spare set of wheels. This took about a day of working like idiots to complete. The recorded time for the Sumo was about 4 seconds. Was it worth it? Yes of course it was."
- — Team Lobster website
Thermidor 2 also took part in the Sumo Basho competition of the Fourth Wars. Thermidor 2 drove straight at Shunt, which proved to be a fatal mistake as Shunt pushed it straight off. It only lasted 5.03 seconds, and placed 13th on the leaderboard at the end of the series.
Thermidor 2 was also nominated for the Best Design Award at the end of the series, but lost out to Gemini.
- "We're Team Lobster. My name's Dave, this is Ian, this is our robot Thermidor 2. We're angry, we're ready to fight, keep out of our way."
- — David Harding's straight-to-the-point introduction
A newly-improved Thermidor 2 made a wide range of appearances in Extreme Series 1, with varying success. Thermidor 2's first appearance was in the Tag Team Terror tournament, alongside Cerberus. In the first round, the pair went up against S.M.I.D.S.Y. and Sumpthing. In this battle, Thermidor 2 entered the arena wearing the Robot Wars cap it would wear during its team introduction.
- "We met in the Third War, we've been good friends ever since."
- — David Harding on their Tag Team partnership with Cerberus
Cerberus started the battle for the team, battling S.M.I.D.S.Y. while Thermidor 2 waited in the corner. After a brief tussle, S.M.I.D.S.Y. suffered control problems, slammed into Thermidor 2, and immobilised itself up against the arena wall. Sumpthing came out before S.M.I.D.S.Y. was counted out, so Thermidor 2 did too, running up behind Sumpthing and flipping it, using Cerberus as a chock. Fortunately, Sumpthing beached itself on its own weapon, leaving Sumpthing and S.M.I.D.S.Y. at the mercy of the House Robots and putting Thermidor 2 and Cerberus through.
- "They've got no chance!"
- — Confidence from David Harding before the fight
Cerberus started against Suicidal Tendencies but did not have much battling happening. Eventually, Thermidor 2 came out of its CPZ, rammed into Cerberus as if to tag it, then charged into the CPZ of the opposing team to attack The Steel Avenger, who quickly darted out. Missing a flip, Thermidor 2 was quickly pinned into the CPZ by Suicidal Tendencies and Steel Avenger and then escaped. Cerberus then rammed into Thermidor 2's wheel, pushing it back, seemingly attacking its own team-mate.
- "Cerberus, again tagging Thermidor, almost as if they're trying to have a go at one another! The old Claw and Paw, Claw and Roar, Claw and Jaw, whatever you like to call it!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Despite several attempts, including Thermidor 2 trying to flip Suicidal Tendencies away, and Steel Avenger attacking Cerberus, none of the four robots were able to land any meaningful attacks on their opponents. Driving around for a while, Cerberus and Suicidal Tendencies eventually pushed each other in a tug-of-war of sorts. Steel Avenger then pushed Thermidor 2 onto the flame pit and finally managed to land an axe blow. Cerberus tried to use what was left of its jaw to push Steel Avenger away, before slamming into Thermidor 2 again in a bid to get it off the flame pit.
- "Well erm, I don't know what's happened to that team, because they've been at each other all the way through this, tooth and nail!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, questioning the Thermidor 2/Cerberus team
Unfortunately for Cerberus, the aid came too late, as Thermidor 2 had already broken down due to a wire falling off the battery. The Steel Avenger axed it a few times whilst Refbot counted it out. Suicidal Tendencies pushed Cerberus away whilst Steel Avenger activated the pit. After using its rear flipper to lift up Cerberus, it attempted to push the dog-based robot into the pit, but Cerberus veered away, nearly causing Steel Avenger to drive in itself. After all three drove away, Steel Avenger landed an axe blow on Cerberus. Meanwhile, Sergeant Bash and Sir Killalot were taking turns in cutting holes in Thermidor 2's fragile shell, before the latter performed his trademark spinning attack, flinging Thermidor 2 across the arena, upside-down. Sir Killalot then pierced Thermidor 2's wheel and placed it on the floor flipper. Thermidor 2 was thrown and landed quite heavily on top of Steel Avenger. Suicidal Tendencies pushed Thermidor 2 away just as Cease was called, with Cerberus still mobile. Despite this, Thermidor 2's immobilisation proved crucial in the judges' decision. As a result, they lost the decision and did not make it through to the final.
- "So that confirms it. Steel Avenger and Suicidal Tendencies through to the Tag Team Terror final. It's goodbye to Thermidor and Cerberus."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Thermidor 2 also fought in the Flipper Frenzy, where it helped its 'opponents' - Chaos 2, Bigger Brother and Wheely Big Cheese - to attack the House Robots. Thermidor 2, Bigger Brother and Chaos 2 teamed up on Sergeant Bash, flipping the House Robot over with ease and nearly flipping it out of the arena.
- "Thermidor gets the first flip in - on Bash, who retreats away, to fight another day - and is toppled! Look at this, Thermidor, straight in, up goes the flipper, Bash flies!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Matilda, having already immobilised Wheely Big Cheese, then attacked the trio, forcing them to flee. Bigger Brother broke down on the arena floor flipper, and Matilda flipped Chaos 2 onto its side with her flywheel. The other robots were counted out by Refbot as Thermidor 2 continued to try and flip Matilda, skilfully avoiding her flywheel weapon. Cease was called and Thermidor 2 was declared the winner, as it was the last competitor robot left standing.
- "We're not scared at all! Their weapons are rubbish, ours is the only good weapon!"
- — Confidence from David Harding before the Mayhem battle
Thermidor 2's Mayhem battle to qualify for the first Annihilator was one of the highlights of Extreme Series 1, despite the fight being rather short. Up against Behemoth and Stinger, two former annihilator competitors themselves, Thermidor 2 started by flipping Behemoth from the side, causing it to roll right over and land back on its wheels. It then attacked Behemoth from behind, throwing it head-over-heels out of the arena.
- "I bet even George Francis of the Chaos team is making notes about Thermidor this time around"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Thermidor 2 flips Behemoth out
Thermidor 2 then chased down a rather nervy Stinger, with Stinger tentatively trying to stay off Thermidor 2's flipper. Eventually, Thermidor 2 caught Stinger by the arena side wall and managed to flip one wheel over the arena wall, so that its weight caused it to fall out, lying just inches away from Behemoth. This was the first time a robot flipped two opponents out of the arena in a single battle, and the only time that those circumstances led to only one robot remaining inside the arena at the end of the battle.
- "They've got both of them out! Thermidor - last man standing, the only one in!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Thermidor 2 was through to the Annihilator. It failed to carry across this success to the Annihilator, despite going in as one of the favourites to win. It went up against Splinter, X-Terminator, Pussycat (who it lost to in Series 4), Hypno-Disc and Arnold A. Terminegger.
- "The most impressive performer in Extreme so far, the pneumatic flipper is devastatingly powerful, the claws will drag opponents, and with 95 kilos slamming into you at 15mph, the Thermidor's cooking!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Thermidor 2 in the first Extreme 1 Annihilator
As the battle started, Pussycat drove straight at Arnold A. Terminegger, who attempted to fend the former UK runner-up with its axe. Splinter then grabbed hold of Arnold A. Terminegger, pushing it away from Pussycat. Hypno-Disc hit X-Terminator, its disc causing minor damage to X-Terminator's scoop, whilst Thermidor 2 pushed X-Terminator from behind. Arnold A. Terminegger pursued Pussycat again, and Pussycat drove into Splinter, who's axe struck but did not seem to cause any damage. Then, Thermidor 2 got underneath Hypno-Disc and flipped it up onto X-Terminator's body. X-Terminator then used its axe to push Hypno-Disc off, and the two-time grand finalist landed on top of Pussycat. Hypno-Disc then fell off Pussycat as the latter turned to attack Thermidor 2's open flipper, whilst Arnold A. Terminegger then used its hammer on Hypno-Disc's weapon, which seemed to have stopped. X-Terminator then joined Arnold's attack on Hypno-Disc using its own axe, whilst Splinter caught Thermidor 2 from behind and pushed it into the CPZ, where it sat seemingly immobile. Having finished off Thermidor 2, Splinter then joined X-Terminator in attacking Hypno-Disc, who was struggling to move properly. Arnold A. Terminegger, meanwhile, had also hammered Pussycat to a near standstill, Splinter then started attacking X-Terminator. Meanwhile, Shunt had noticed Thermidor 2's immobility and dragged it out of the CPZ.
- "Thermidor is being broiled! And that is a huge surprise for me!"
- — Jonathan Pearce laments the loss of Thermidor 2
Shunt then axed it and dragged it onto the Arena Floor Flipper, where Refbot counted it out. Cease was called before Thermidor 2 could be flipped by the Arena Floor Flipper. Nevertheless, Thermidor 2 was eliminated from the Annihilator in the first round.
- "...the battery failed going completely open circuit"
- — Team Lobster website explains the loss in the Annihilator
- "Girls are soft and friendly, this is a man's game!"
- — David Harding's 'sexist' comment
The resulting battle was over quickly, with Thermidor 2 immobilising Napalm in the opening seconds. Thermidor 2 flipped the immobile Napalm around the arena, causing it to fall apart from the impacts.
- "Napalm against Thermidor, who believe the Napalm team should be back in the kitchen, broiling lobster perhaps, and it's the lobster at this moment in time, reaching boiling point!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Thermidor 2 flips Napalm 2 around the arena
Thermidor 2 then left Napalm on the flame pit, and after Refbot had finished counting it out, it delivered the coup de grâce by throwing Napalm clean out of the arena just before cease was called.
- "Their argument you should stay in the kitchen is right. You shouldn't be in the arena....you're out of it now!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Thermidor 2 wins the battle of the sexes
However, despite winning the battle, Team Lobster apologised for their 'sexist' comments from before, which the team had of course played up purely for television narrative.
- "Just incase you think we were horrible to the Napalm team, It was just a bit of fun. We get on really well with them and even gave them a hand to rebuild their robot. Girls do make good engineers (honestly), and we don't really think they can't do anything. If that was our opinion I don't think Diana would have agreed to marry me this year."
- — Team Lobster website
- "A lobster with claws and flipper. Gas pressureised weaponry. Twenty-four volt electric drive. Top speeds of fifteen miles an hour. Semi-Finalists in the last wars, much improved. Watch out for them - this is no Santa Claws!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Thermidor 2 was seeded number sixteen for the Fifth Wars, relatively low for a Semi-Finalist from the previous series. In the first round, it was drawn against Prizephita Mach 2.
- "Not many modifications this time. The biggest improvement was a new PCM radio, this type of radio has a bit of intelligence and rejects any interference. Confident of no control problems we were ready for the battle. What a disaster!!"
- — Team Lobster website
Thermidor 2 swiftly slid under Prizephita Mach 2 and flipped it, but Prizephita Mach 2 simply rolled back onto its wheels, and proceeded to flip the seeded machine several times itself. Eventually, the constant self-righting caused Thermidor 2's flipper to run out of CO2 (it self-righted on the first attempt the first two times but wasted several flips collectively on the third and fourth times), and before long it broke down completely.
- "And the cause of our sudden failure you've guessed it the new radio. We'll be sticking to our old Hi-Tec in future. In summary - probably not our best year."
- — Team Lobster website
After being counted out by Refbot, Sgt. Bash seized the lobster and pitted it, making Thermidor 2 the first seed from Series 5 to be eliminated in the first round of the main competition and the only semi-finalist from the previous series to fall in the first round.
- "Thermidor 2 roasted in the pit!"
- — Craig Charles
Thermidor 2 was once again nominated for the Best Design Award at the end of the of the series but lost out again, this time to previous two-time winner Razer.
- "Dave has tweaked with the speed controllers a bit, so we should get a bit more power behind us"
- — Ian Harvey to Philippa Forrester
An unseeded Thermidor 2 returned for the Sixth Wars, with the only obvious change being the removal of its decorative antennae.
- "Embarrassingly little work had been done since the last outing. The only modification being to reverse the previous modification and refit our old radio. The body still had the damage from previous battles. We would argue this made it look battle hardened. The format this year was a four-way melee for the first round with the best two going through to the later rounds. We were in against Chompalot, Stinger, and 13 black. Before the battle we had the usual interview with Philippa this time Ian said a few words. As usual the question of what modifications had we made came up. To cover up our lack of effort spent Ian tried to bluff by saying we had made a few modifications, but Philippa wouldn't let it go so Ian tried to fob her off by saying we didn't want to let the opposition know our secrets. Unfortunately Philippa obviously trying to expose Ian as a complete fraud she pressed the question further. In desperation Ian said that I had modified the Speed Controller to give more power. With the beads of sweat beginning to form she decided to let him off the hook"
- — Team Lobster website
It fought in Heat F, and was drawn up against the eleventh seeds Stinger (who it threw out of the arena in their Extreme 1 Mayhem), 13 Black and newcomers Chompalot in the first round melee. The initial clash with Chompalot saw one of Thermidor 2's tyres clipped by a glancing blow from 13 Black. After this, Thermidor 2 was attacked by Stinger, which landed a vital hit on top of Thermidor 2's thin top armour. This attack caused damage to a drive motor directly underneath the armour, and subsequently stopped Thermidor 2's mobility on the right-hand side. From this point in, Thermidor 2 could only drive in circles, and was tucked away near the CPZ behind the pit. It still flipped Stinger several times, but the damage it had suffered proved telling, and Thermidor 2 was soon counted out by Refbot.
- "In theory this round should have been OK, but disaster struck only a few seconds into the battle. Stinger managed to hit us by accident just catching one of our motors. This left us with drive to only one wheel. Only able to go round in circles we were counted out by the ref bot. ... The bigger disaster was the fact we had now gone out first round two times in a row."
- — Team Lobster website
When House Robot Dead Metal closed in, Thermidor 2 revealed that its flipper was still working, throwing Dead Metal off it, but it was soon caught by the much heavier Sir Killalot. Breaking free, Thermidor 2's mobility fully returned. It escaped the grasp of the House Robots, but drove itself into the pit to avoid excessive punishment, eliminating it from the competition in the first round again. Thermidor 2 was eventually followed down the pit by Chompalot.
- "So it is lobster for tea, I'm afraid!"
- — Philippa Forrester
- David Harding: "We're going to hold back, let them destroy themselves and then move in for the kill"
- Philippa Forrester: "Run away basically? Run away until the last minute, where you're going to make it look like you're being aggressive?"
- David Harding: "That's not how we'd describe it"
- — Team Lobster's Annihilator tactics
Thermidor 2 exclusively competed in the Annihilator during Extreme Series 2. Thermidor 2 was against Typhoon 2, Raging Reality, Revenge of Trouble & Strife, Major Tom and Kan-Opener at first, and went in as one of the favourites to win.
- "It obviously looked bad. Setting our sights realistically we felt that to survive the first round would be an achievement and a significant improvement over our current success rate."
- — Team Lobster website on how they felt at the start of the Annihilator
In the first round, it was flipped over immediately by Raging Reality, but after a few tries, it self-righted. Thermidor 2 then flipped Major Tom from the rear into Typhoon 2, but then turned away to avoid Revenge of Trouble & Strife. Kan-Opener then approached it, and Thermidor 2 flipped it up a few times, but did little else in this round as Typhoon 2 was flipped over by Raging Reality and counted out by Refbot, therefore being eliminated, allowing Thermidor 2 to go through to the next round.
In the second round, it got a good flip on Major Tom straight away, rolling it right over. It then flipped over Raging Reality, who quickly self-righted and billowed CO2 gas. Raging Reality's flipper did not fire again for the rest of the battle, and it would break down after a few more exchanges with Kan-Opener. Thermidor 2 spent most of the battle locked with Revenge of Trouble & Strife, who landed strong blows on Thermidor 2 with its flywheel but Thermidor 2 survived. Thermidor 2 then stopped the spinning disc of Revenge of Trouble & Strife by trapping it between its flipper and claws. Both robots then attacked Dead Metal. However, Raging Reality was counted out by Refbot soon afterwards and Thermidor 2 went through to the next round, not before Thermidor 2 teamed up with Major Tom to attack Sir Killalot, who was holding Raging Reality over the flame pit.
In Round three, Thermidor 2 continued its bout with Revenge of Trouble & Strife, it held it on an angle grinder before harming it with a powerful flip, however Revenge of Trouble and Strife just managed to stay on its wheels. Thermidor 2 then flipped it again, this time right over, rendering it immobile, leaving it to Kan-Opener and Major Tom to pit Revenge of Trouble & Strife.
This put Thermidor 2 through to the fourth round. Here, Major Tom was constantly picked on by the other two machines. Thermidor 2 flipped it against the arena wall, with Kan-Opener then piercing it and shoving it off, before Thermidor 2 flipped it over to the other side of the arena, where it became immobilised, and then utterly destroyed by the house robots.
Subsequently, Thermidor 2 fought Kan-Opener head to head in the Annihilator final. In the battle, Thermidor 2 was unable to flip Kan-Opener properly, and was slowly beaten into submission, with Kan-Opener constantly shoving it around the arena, into CPZs and creating huge holes and slices in the wheels, flipper and bodywork. Even the tyres were punctured by the claws of Kan-Opener. Thermidor 2 was still mobile at the end of the battle, but only just. With just four seconds left to the end of the bout, Kan-Opener finally shoved the limping lobster-bot down the pit of oblivion, becoming the Annihilator champion.
- "Will they go to the judges!? No! Right at the death there, pitted! Kan-Opener the Annihilator champions, Thermidor couldn't quite hold on!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, immediately after his last statement
- "This year we have added a little 'kick down' piece on the back just to keep the nose down, we hope that's going to make the difference."
- — David Harding
Thermidor 2 returned for Series 7, and was granted the fourteenth seed placing due to its status as a veteran and former semi-finalist, despite going out in Round 1 in the two previous wars. Its antennae were reattached and the robot was fitted with a small anti-wheelie device at the back. There was nothing to hint at these previous unsuccessful runs during its first round battle against 8645T 2, Mobot and Mighty Mouse.
- "Improved from last year with the active wheelie bar. Flipper power improvements. Quick at fifteen miles an hour. Small and strong, but there's a limited CO2 gas supply."
- — Jonathan Pearce on Thermidor 2 in its Series 7 heat
In the battle, Thermidor 2 immediately flipped 8645T 2 onto its axe, which then self-righted. Thermidor 2 then drove away for another run-up and then went in for another charge on 8645T, this time flipping it onto its side, where it couldn't self-right. Thermidor 2 then intercepted Mobot and pushed them to the edge of the arena, where the lobster flipped Mobot out. Thermidor 2 then grabbed Mighty Mouse, trying to flip it out of the arena too, but failed. Thermidor 2 did manage to turn Mighty Mouse over in a CPZ, but the mouse went through with the seeded machine regardless, as 8645T 2 had long since been counted out.
- "We have seen the power of the number fourteen seeds Thermidor!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as 8645T 2 is counted out
Thermidor 2 then convincingly defeated Team Victor's newest machine, The Kraken in the next round. Thermidor 2 constantly flipped The Kraken around the arena, severely damaging The Kraken's pneumatic claw weapon, nearly flipping it out of the arena several times throughout the battle. Eventually, Thermidor 2 flipped it over again but didn't self-right it, instead, pushing it over to the pit, but flipping The Kraken, allowing it to break free and continue fighting. Soon afterwards, Thermidor 2 flipped The Kraken over again, again not self-righting it, this time carefully pitting its opponent and going through to the Heat Final, where the fourteenth seeds faced Mighty Mouse again.
- "Improved from the last wars, they needed to improve, and they could be worthy contenders for the title."
- — Jonathan Pearce on Thermidor 2
What followed was a whole match of evasion on Mighty Mouse's part, with the underdog making no attempt whatsoever to attack the seeded machine. Thermidor 2 managed to get several strong flips in before Mighty Mouse lost part of its controls. Time elapsed as Mighty Mouse was only able to drive backwards and forwards against the arena wall. Against all odds, the mouse survived to a Judges' decision, but the outcome was obvious to everyone.
- "I think we know who's going to win it!"
- — Craig Charles, at the end of the fight
Thermidor 2 went through to the Series Semi-Finals for the first time since the Fourth Wars.
Thermidor 2's impressive run ended very quickly in its first round battle of the Series Semi-Finals, where it fought eventual champions Typhoon 2, a robot it fought in the Extreme 2 Annihilator. In the battle, Thermidor 2 was the quicker machine to the middle of the arena, however, Typhoon 2 was only just quick enough to dodge away from Thermidor 2 so that the full body spinner could get up to speed. Soon afterwards, Thermidor 2 did manage to catch Typhoon 2, but the spinner was already up to speed, and just one blow the Edinburgh Air Cadets' machine was enough to knock out Thermidor 2, immobilising it completely.
- "You can feel the effect of Typhoon 2's slam from up here, and I think that is done for Thermidor 2. That is immensely powerful!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Thermidor 2 was counted out by the Refbot, before Sir Killalot carried it around the arena, holding it over the flame pit, placing it on the Floor Flipper and finally placing it under the Drop Zone, where a washing machine was dropped on it. Cease was eventually called, and Thermidor 2 was eliminated from the competition.
- Craig Charles: "Talk me through it..."
- David Harding: "It's not going to take long is it?"
- — Post-battle
The battle started, and Thermidor 2 was keen to dodge the spinning weapons, pushing Chompalot into Shunt's axe blows, although Ironside3 landed a glancing blow on Thermidor 2's wheel, which seemed to immobilise that side. Pushed back, Thermidor 2 attempted to flip Chompalot but lost grip, and was barged into the arena wall, and back into Shunt. An axe blow from Shunt noticeably punctured Thermidor 2's tyre, confirming that it could no longer drive on one side. Ironside3 reversed into Thermidor 2, and Chompalot pushed it away. Thermidor 2 was now completely immobile, and started to smoke after a hit from Ironside3. Thermidor 2 laid dormant for an extended period, and although it seemed to regain mobility on one side at the end of the battle it was already eliminated from the competition, whilst the other three robots went to a Judges' decision.
- "Step forward everyone who thinks they're still in, not so fast Thermidor! You're going nowhere!"
- — Dara Ó Briain
Although the decision was given in favour of Ironside3 and Chompalot, Thermidor 2 came near to a second chance when Chompalot withdrew from the competition after its devastating loss to Gabriel. The Judges had to pick between Thermidor 2 and Pulsar to be reinstated in Chompalot's position, but ultimately Pulsar was chosen.
- "Thermidor didn't really do much, we had to choose Pulsar."
- — Dr Lucy Rogers
|THERMADOR - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat M, Round 1||vs. Plunderstorm||Won|
|Heat M, Round 2||vs. Scutter's Revenge||Lost|
- Wins: 15
- Losses: 9
|Main Series||Thermidor 2 Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Fourth Wars||Semi-Finals, Round 1|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Sixth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Seventh Wars||Semi-Finals, Round 1|
|Series 8||Heat, Round 1|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
Appearances in Merchandise
- Thermidor 2/Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem
- Thermidor 2/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
- Thermidor 2/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox)
Outside Robot Wars
Thermidor 2 would appear at a few live events in between and after Robot Wars, albeit not competing and only as a static display. When Robot Wars entered its twelve-year hiatus, Thermidor 2 did not appear at any live events in any capacity and was essentially retired. Over this time, however, the robot was still in one piece with Team Lobster, residing in Ian Harvey's shed, until its revival in 2016.
David Harding revealed on an Inside the Bot podcast episode that he planned to build a new lobster-based robot, following on from Thermidor 2's early exit in Series 8. It is unknown if this ever came to fruition.
- The original Thermador was one of sixteen competitors from The Third Wars to appear in Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem, but was mistakenly called "Thermidor 2".
- Thermidor 2’s final win in its career, against Mighty Mouse in Series 7, was its sole victory via judges’ decision, ending a 14-fight streak that had begun in Series 3.
- When the Series 4 version was tested in captain David Harding's kitchen, it made a huge dent in the radiator.
- Thermador and Thermidor 2's first appearances put them up against Semi-Finalists from the previous year in the first round, Plunderstorm and Gravedigger, both of whom it defeated. Ironically, its next two appearances put it up against first round dropouts from the previous year, Prizephita Mach 2 and 13 Black, both of whom it lost to.
- During the original run of the show, Thermidor 2 made the Series Semi-Finals in both years that Philippa Forrester was not the pit reporter, a pattern it shared with X-Terminator.
- On both occasions that Thermidor 2 won its heat, Kronic the Wedgehog was in the same heat.
- Thermidor 2 is one of four UK Series Semi-Finalists to have made the finals in non-sequential series (doing so in the Fourth and Seventh Wars). The other three robots to do so are Tornado, reaching the semi-finals of the Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Wars; X-Terminator, which reached the semi-finals of the Fourth and Seventh Wars; and Behemoth, which reached the semi-finals in the Second Wars and the Grand Final of Series 10.
- Christopher Snowling was listed amongst the team members in Series 5, but did not appear on television.
- Thermidor 2 is one of eleven robots to have fought in five or more series of Robot Wars' initial run, having fought in Series 3 through 7. It shares this pattern with S.M.I.D.S.Y., Bulldog Breed, Team KaterKiller, Team Big Brother, Team Ming, Team Scutterbots, and X-Terminator.
- Ian Harvey is the cousin of YouTube and former Channel Awesome comedian Stuart Ashen. Thermidor 2 is actually referenced by Ashen in a review as part of his POP Station Watch series.
- Strangely, according to Thermidor 2's statistics board for Series 5, its weakness was labelled as "Experienced Competitors", something that would be a strength.
- Thermidor 2 and Plunderbird are the only robots to have reached a semi-final of at least one series and yet lose in the first round of three other series. Coincidentally, the two fought each other in Thermador's first appearance.
- Thermidor 2 is the only robot with more than one semi-finals appearance to bear this unfortunate statistic.
- Thermidor 2's Round 1 losses in Series 6 and 8 saw it placed in a battle featuring Chompalot and a horizontal spinner (13 Black in Series 6, Ironside3 in Series 8). Coincidentally, these heats also featured a thwackbot that reached the Heat Final, and lost on a judges' decision.
- Thermidor 2 and Gravedigger are the only two robots to reach a Semi-Final and then subsequently lose in the first round of the next two series they fought in. Coincidentally, Thermidor 2 was partly responsible for Gravedigger's defeat in Round 1 of The Fourth Wars.
- Thermidor 2 was the only semi-finalist from Series 4 to lose in the first round of Series 5.
- The only House Robot which never shared the arena with Thermidor 2 was Growler.
- Thermidor 2 was one of four robots to have been seeded despite losing in the first round of the previous series. The others were Killerhurtz, Stinger and Plunderbird 4.
- Of those four, Thermidor 2 was the only one to have been seeded in Series 7; the other three were all seeded in Series 4.
- Thermidor 2 only never fought Killerhurtz nor appeared in the same episode as it at some point.
- It also received the highest seed of the four, at number 14.
- Thermidor 2 was the only robot to beat Dreadnaut and not lose its next battle.
- Thermidor 2 was the only robot in Heat 5 of Series 8 not to fight Gabriel.
- If Thermidor 2 had been chosen to be reinstated instead of Pulsar in its Series 8 heat, it would have fought Beast in its first head-to-head in a rematch from Series 7.
- Thermidor 2 was the only robot in the Extreme 1 Flipper Frenzy not to fight Chaos 2 again at any point - Wheely Big Cheese fought it in Series 3 (as The Big Cheese) and the Extreme 1 All-Stars and Bigger Brother fought it in Series 5.
- Mobot was the only robot thrown out of the arena by Thermidor 2 that never won a heat.
- Thermidor 2 was the only fourteenth seed to reach the Semi-Finals in the series in which it was seeded as such, doing so in Series 7.
- Thermidor 2 was the third of six robots to win a heat by defeating two seeded robots in a single episode. It shares this with fellow Series 4 semi-finalists Dominator 2, Tornado and Splinter, as well as S3 and Bigger Brother from The Fifth Wars.
- Despite being red in Series 8, all of Thermidor 2's photos are orange.
- Thermidor 2 is one of three robots to have made the semi-finals on more than one occasion and not advance past the first round. The other two are Spawn Again and Wheely Big Cheese.
- Thermidor 2 is the only one of the three to have not taken part in a Losers' Melee for a chance to advance into the second round.
- Thermidor 2 fought the other two at some point (fighting Team Scutterbots in Series 3 and Wheely Big Cheese in Extreme 1, though they attacked the House Robots rather than each other).
- For unknown reasons, Thermador was not introduced in Philippa's pit report in Series 3.
|First robot to throw two robots out of the arena in one battle|
- Team Lobster Homepage
- Team Lobster's diary of Series 3
- Thermidor 2 on the Robot Wars website