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"Tough as Nails' crusher unleashes 1.2 tonnes of force on opponents caught between its pincers. The width of the robot allows it to wrap its weapon around robots for maximum crushing effect."
Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot

Tough as Nails (originally Tough As Nails, or abbreviated to TAN) was a Dutch robot which competed in Series 7 and 8 of UK Robot Wars, and Series 2 of Dutch Robot Wars.

Tough as Nails originally entered the second series of Dutch Robot Wars, but was defeated in the first round by Scrap-2-Saur. However, it did win a major robotic event in the Netherlands prior to the Seventh Wars and was dubbed as a favourite for the series by Jonathan Pearce. Tough as Nails won its heat in the main series, defeating former UK champion Panic Attack along the way. It was eventually defeated in the semi-finals by Bulldog Breed. It also defeated two other Dutch robots to qualify for The Third World Championship at the end of the series, in which it reached the semi-finals and was defeated by the eventual champion, Storm 2. Tough as Nails lost its Group Battle in Series 8, after axe attacks from Thor caused its removable link to fall out. Tough as Nails also represented The Netherlands in Robot Wars: World Series during Series 10, after Team Tie-Rip's entry THE BASH proved to be irreparable, once again falling to Thor.

Much like Panic Attack, Tough as Nails gained a reputation for its favoured tactic of pitting other robots. Its large pincers were capable of controlling most robots and allowed Tough as Nails considerable control over its opponents. Using this method, it managed to pit all three of its opponents in its first victory, and three more during The Third World Championship.


Tough as Nails' clamping mechanism, as seen in Dutch Series 2

"When offered the chance in 2002 to build a robot as a graduation project, I had half a year time to design and build TAN."
— Jeroen van der Loo[1]

Tough As Nails was essentially a large horizontal crusher on wheels, allowing it to run invertible. The robot was built and designed around the mechanism, which operated within the robot's axle. As the crusher closed, the mechanism expanded, sliding Tough As Nails' wheels further apart. Tough As Nails' crusher was one of the largest in Robot Wars history, and was capable of crushing 200kg in Series 8.

Tough as Nails in Series 7

Side view of Tough as Nails in Series 7

Tough As Nails was the first robot to introduce HARDOX (brand name SSAB Sweden) as armour plating for robots, using 3.2mm of HARDOX for its body. Its armour was so resilient that it never needed to be replaced throughout any of the robot's appearances on TV, or its period of competing only on the live circuit. Tough as Nails was fast and controllable, but had a limited CO2 supply. The robot cost £2,500 to build, and the wheels provided by sponsors were finished by Jeroen van der Loo who found his own way to vulcanise HDPE.

Tough as Nails enters the arena in Series 8

Tough as Nails in the arena during the World Series

For Series 8 and 10, Tough As Nails' weight increased from 97kg to 107kg, and its former 1600W electric motors were upgraded to 3000W, with its top speed falling by 3mph despite using a new lithium polymer battery. Tough as Nails also used new tyres, as its pushing ability was generally affected by the transition from the wooden floor of Series 7, to the steel floor of Series 8.

The Team[]

Main article: Team KODOX

Team KODOX in Series 8

Tough as Nails was entered into Dutch Series 2 and UK Series 7-8 by Team KODOX, captained by mechanical design engineer Jeroen van der Loo, based in Helvoirt, the Netherlands. Jeroen van der Loo was the only static member of the team, and was accompanied by different teammates in all three of those series, with no overlap. These teammates were Alan Wood, who competed with Onslaught in Series 2-5, and Mario "Maddox" de Jongh in Dutch Series 2, Stefan J. Raaijmakers and Niels R. Schotten in UK Series 7, and for Series 8, Jeroen van Lieverloo, Maria Gliniak and Tim Bouwens. Team KODOX had previously competed in Dutch Series 1 with Arena Killer, also known as Absolut Krankhaft when it competed in the German series.

Tough as Nails also entered Robot Wars: World Series under the helm of Team Tie-Rip, captained by Jeroen van Lieverloo, who was also present on Team KODOX in Series 8. Jeroen van der Loo still reprised his role as the driver of Tough as Nails, but the team was otherwise comprised of Jeroen van Lieverloo's teammates Niels van der Berg and Kirsty van den Brink, as the combined group had originally entered the competition with THE BASH before Tough as Nails took its place.


Tough as Nails in The Pits during Dutch Series 2

Tough as Nails qualified directly for Dutch Series 2 with no need for preliminary battles. When attempting to enter UK Series 7, an unfinished Tough as Nails was transported in the same van as PulverizeR, Impact 2 and Gravity, with the aim of the robot being completed at the qualifiers. This plan was affected by the roboteers missing their ferry, leading to a haphazardly completed Tough as Nails entering its battle.

"I’m not sure why, but we messed up the planning of this trip. We were scheduled to take the fast ferry to the UK in the afternoon and arrive at the campsite by the evening, but we missed the ferry by more than a hour! Luckily we could take the night ferry. Unluckily for Jeroen van der Loo the qualifiers were the next day and he had planned to assemble Tough as Nails the same night we arrived. He had made several upgrades but ran out of time. The night ferry was the slow one so we had to drive straight to the qualifiers instead."
— Jeroen van Lieverloo on Tough as Nails' travel to the Series 7 qualifiers

Tough as Nails being constructed at the qualifiers for Series 7

There, Tough as Nails fought German entry I Bot One Beta, Team Death's new robot Metalis, and newcomer Skorpizoid. Tough as Nails became immobile after colliding with Metalis, losing its removable link while also immobilising Metalis. Eventually, the qualifier battle was won by I Bot One Beta. Despite this, Tough as Nails, as well as Metalis, was awarded a discretionary place, and qualified for Series 7 as a result.

Jeroen van der Loo completed an online application for Tough as Nails to compete in Series 8, alongside two new team members Maria Gliniak, his partner, and Tim Bouwens, builder of lower weight class robots Bonx and Catharsis. Although Tough as Nails was accepted for the series, this was not without complications, as the producers of the show confused Jeroen van der Loo for another roboteer who had applied with Gravity, Jeroen van Lieverloo. After Jeroen van Lieverloo resolved the confusion, he was invited to join Team KODOX for Series 8, after his own machine Gravity was not selected to compete.

"I got an email about being accepted! But there was something weird in the language. It seemed like a follow-up email to a phone call and I had not received a phone call. After a few minutes, I had figured it out. It was a mix-up. My name is super similar to Jeroen van der Loo, someone I travel with and we help each other a lot. But he is the brains behind Tough As Nails, not me, and a little birdy had told me that Tough as Nails had already been accepted. So I emailed back explaining the mistake and the nice lady apologized sincerely. She was also able to tell that Gravity had not been accepted. After I told Jeroen the news, he invited me onto his team and I helped out with the work that needed to be done on Tough as Nails. Us being on the same team certainly wouldn’t have helped with the confusion!"
— Jeroen van Lieverloo on the mix-up regarding Tough as Nails' selection for Series 8

Jeroen van der Loo applied for a largely unchanged Tough as Nails to compete in Series 9, although due to the robot being much the same as it was in Series 8, the team did not feel confident that their machine would be accepted. Ultimately these fears came true, and Tough as Nails was not selected to compete in Series 9. Instead, Jeroen van der Loo joined Team Rubbish to compete with Cobra, a team which Jeroen van Lieverloo had already joined.

"Jeroen put Tough as Nails forward but did not have the time to make the upgrades it really needed so we were unsure if it would get selected."
— Jeroen van Lieverloo describes Jeroen van der Loo's uncertainty towards Tough as Nails being selected for Series 9

Jeroen van der Loo once again applied for Tough as Nails to compete in the main competition of Series 10, but the robot was not selected as the producers wanted to see evidence of upgrades[2]. However, after both TMHWK and THE BASH applied for the main competition of Series 10, they were instead selected to represent The Netherlands in Robot Wars: World Series. After both respective teams accepted their positions, the producers also requested that Tough as Nails be brought to the filming of the World Series, as a reserve competitor. Jeroen van der Loo entered the competition as part of Team Tie-Rip with THE BASH, and after THE BASH proved to be irreparable, Tough as Nails replaced it as a competitor and fought its second televised battle of the reboot. After fans suspected that THE BASH may have intentionally withdrawn in order to offer Tough as Nails a chance to compete, Jeroen van Lieverloo refuted this, explaining Tough as Nails' status as a reserve while detailing the damage that THE BASH had sustained[3].

"They needed more than one Dutch robot and they had selected The Bash. Also selected were the Dutch Robot Girls with TMHWK, and Cobra, and I was part of the team for all three robots. For some reason they did not want Tough as Nails but they asked us if we could bring it anyway as a reserve robot."
— Jeroen van Lieverloo on Tough as Nails being selected as a reserve for Robot Wars: World Series

Robot History[]

Dutch Series 2[]

Tough as Nails fought Scrap-2-Saur in its first round of Dutch Robot Wars.

Tough as Nails grabs Scrap-2-Saur

Scrap-2-Saur flips Tough as Nails

Tough as Nails started the battle well, grabbing hold of Scrap-2-Saur briefly before letting go. However, it was flipped once by Scrap-2-Saur before driving over the flame pit. Due to a thermal cut-off from the speed controllers, Tough as Nails's motors shut down, and it became immobile very early on into the fight. After enough time passed, Refbot counted Tough as Nails out, eliminating it from the competition in the first round.

Two barrels fall onto Tough as Nails

Mr. Psycho put the immobile Tough as Nails on The Drop Zone, where two barrels fell onto it. At this point, Tough as Nails' speed controllers had cooled down, so the robot was able to move again, though it had already been eliminated. Tough as Nails grabbed one of the Drop Zone's barrels and carried it around the arena, until Mr. Psycho came in and smashed Tough as Nails's rear with his hammer. The hit caused a small fire, burning out a speed controller and one of the hydraulic tubes, effectively immobilising Tough as Nails again. Dead Metal pushed Tough as Nails, barrel still in its claws, down into the pit, and then fell in himself in the mist of the smoke.

"To repair it the houseroboteers borrowed me a hydraulic tube from Sir. K, but I had to give it back after not being selected for the wildcard."
— Jeroen van der Loo[4]

Tough as Nails had fallen in the first round, while Scrap-2-Saur went on to reach great success in the series. Tough as Nails remained in attendance, hoping to receive a wildcard place in the Grand Final, but the opportunity did not arise, and Tough as Nails was fully eliminated.

UK Series 7[]

Tough as Nails made its first appearance in the UK Championship in Heat M, where it was drawn against Tag Team Terror champion Robochicken, B.O.D. a robot created by the same team who competed with Night Raider in the New Blood Championship, and Annihilator champion Disc-O-Inferno in the first round.

Disc-O-Inferno falls victim to Tough as Nails's party trick

Tough as Nails immediately made its way over to the pit release button and activated it while the other three competing machines hung around the centre of the arena. Suddenly, Tough as Nails caught Disc-O-Inferno off guard with a charge and grabbed it from behind. Tough as Nails then arced Disc-O-Inferno towards the pit of oblivion - Disc-O-Inferno's spinning weapon damaging B.O.D. in the process - before releasing its grasp with Disc-O-Inferno hung over the pit, eliminating the Heat Finalists of the Sixth Wars early on.

Robochicken is pitted

"Very, very good tactics by Tough as Nails, and the disco didn't last long, did it?"
— Jonathan Pearce as Tough as Nails pits Disc-O-Inferno

Tough as Nails drags B.O.D. towards the Drop Zone

B.O.D. was then overturned by Robochicken, so the two remaining machines squared off, with Robochicken inverting Tough as Nails with a flip before missing with a second use of its arm. Tough as Nails then grasped the top of Robochicken and took it into Shunt, where the House Robot axed down onto the chicken. Suddenly, with Tough as Nails still holding onto Robochicken, the Dutch machine threatened to pit Robochicken, but Refbot's counter reached ten before the eventual pitting took place. With Tough as Nails the only competing machine still mobile, it decided to help the House Robots out by taking hold of B.O.D. and placing the beaten machine onto the Drop Zone, where it faced a shower of bowling balls.

Tough as Nails places it on top of the other competing machines

"Tough as Nails is our sweeper out there, and wants to make a clean sweep of it all."
— Jonathan Pearce as Tough as Nails grabs hold of the immobilised B.O.D.

Tough as Nails then placed B.O.D. on top of the other pitted machines, and cease was called, with Robochicken progressing with Tough as Nails.

In Round 2, Tough as Nails faced Series 2 champion and number eight seed Panic Attack.

Panic Attack's prongs are buckled by Tough as Nails

Tough as Nails continues its tussle with Panic Attack

Tough as Nails crashed into the front of Panic Attack straight after activate before clasping Panic Attack side on and pushing the Welsh machine into the pit release button. Panic Attack fought back as it slid underneath one of Tough as Nails' wheels but was unable to lift it up. The two machines met head on again, before Panic Attack backed into the arena wall, which allowed Tough as Nails to pinch Panic Attack and lift half of the robot off of the arena floor. However, Tough as Nails found itself too close to Mr. Psycho, and was hit by a strong blow from the House Robot's hammer. Tough as Nails then released Panic Attack before charging across the arena floor and clipping the front of Sgt. Bash, which responded with a lick of flame. Tough as Nails swiftly regained control though, and grabbed hold of the back end of Panic Attack, which had reversed into it. Tough as Nails continued to pressure Panic Attack, forcing it into a CPZ before dislodging its forklifts as it came in with an angled drive.

"Tough as Nails, in their first UK Robot Wars doing very, very well. Purposely, again, grinding down Panic Attack."
— Jonathan Pearce

Tough as Nails grapples Panic Attack

After a period of jostling, Tough as Nails attempted to force Panic Attack towards the pit, but Panic Attack held its ground and angled Tough as Nails' drive away from the pit. Tough as Nails then dragged Panic Attack over a CO2 jet and into Sgt. Bash's clutches, with the House Robot's front claw clamping down on Panic Attack's lifting forks before dragging it further into his CPZ. Mr. Psycho then came across and brought his hammer down twice onto Panic Attack, but only connected hits to Panic Attack's skirts before Panic Attack moved away. With the battle running out of time, Panic Attack desperately tried to drive Tough as Nails towards the pit of oblivion, but Tough as Nails moved away after some pressure and cease was called. The battle went to the judges, who gave Tough as Nails the win, sending it through to the Heat Final.

"Well. The judges have their decision. You know the criteria lads. They've gone...for Tough as Nails!"
— Craig Charles announces the decision

In the Heat Final, Tough as Nails met Robochicken for a second time, which flipped its way to a rematch with its Dutch adversary after defeating Mega Morg in the second round.

Robochicken attempts to topple Tough as Nails over the arena wall

Tough as Nails was sent on the back foot immediately, as Robochicken came in with a flip while Tough as Nails tried to move away. Tough as Nails was flipped once more as it attempted to close its pincers, before being thrown over by its claws as Robochicken continued its strong start. Tough as Nails fought back, as it edged Robochicken on the edge of Shunt's CPZ before slamming it into the arena wall, but another flip from Robochicken near the arena wall prompted Tough as Nails to charge across the arena floor to activate the pit release tyre.

"Robochicken, here, could be on the verge of a very famous victory."
— Jonathan Pearce as Tough as Nails struggles to find its feet

Tough as Nails pushes Robochicken into the CPZ

Tough as Nails then scuttled away but quickly found itself under pressure from Sir Killalot before it was driven across the arena floor by Robochicken and was lifted up against the angle grinder. Tough as Nails tried to move into space once more, but slammed into the arena wall, which allowed Robochicken to come in with another attack, although it only managed to lift Tough as Nails up as apposed to throwing it over, as its flipper was evidently running low on CO2. Tough as Nails then came on the attack, and after narrowly missing with one snap of its claws, Tough as Nails managed to close its arms around Robochicken, piercing its armour in the process.

Tough as Nails pierces Robochicken's shell

"Robochicken: you could see the damage there - and I think they expended too much energy early on without managing to finish off Tough as Nails. Suddenly, the Heat Final has turned."
— Jonathan Pearce

Tough as Nails then drove Robochicken back into Shunt before attempting to edge Robochicken into the pit as time ticked down. Robochicken survived, but was forced into the CPZ one last time before cease, although Tough as Nails itself was hit by Shunt's axe. The battle went to the judges, with Tough as Nails given the edge, sending it through to the series Semi-Finals.

In the first round of the Semi-finals, Tough as Nails - sporting the comb from the head of Robochicken on one of its claws - met Bulldog Breed, the twelfth seed, who was partnered with Robochicken in the Tag Team Terror in Extreme Series 2 which they won.

Tough as Nails is flung into the air by Bulldog Breed

Both machines drove at each other straight away, with the contact sending Tough as Nails up and over. Tough as Nails attempted in vain to snap its claws around Bulldog Breed and then stumbled up the front of it, before going over to the pit release tyre and descending the pit. Bulldog Breed then came in on the attack, inverting Tough as Nails with one flip, before sending Tough as Nails up into the arena with a second flip.

"Tough as Nails bounces down; they cannot get Bulldog Breed in their grips, and this is brilliant stuff from the bulldog."
— Jonathan Pearce as Bulldog Breed starts strong

Both robots tussle over the flame pit

Tough as Nails tried to respond, but could only balance upwards on its wheels before coming perilously close to being thrown out of the arena as Bulldog Breed flipped it up on the arena wall. Tough as Nails edged itself back onto the arena floor and then caught Bulldog Breed in its grasp, but could only drag its opponent around in circles before Bulldog Breed flipped Tough as Nails aside. Tough as Nails continued to persevere though, and another grab followed by a mistimed flip from Bulldog Breed allowed Tough as Nails to drive Bulldog Breed across the arena floor and into the side wall.

"This is a terrific tug of war out there now!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Tough as Nails attempts to edge Bulldog Breed towards the pit

Bulldog Breed fought back and pressed Tough as Nails backwards over the flame pit, and against the arena wall before coming in with another flip which sent Tough as Nails' tyres on top of the arena wall. Tough as Nails drove down from the side wall, but was forced to withstand another attack from Bulldog Breed before it could move away. Tough as Nails then tried to force Bulldog Breed towards the pit of oblivion, but the bulldog held strong and the two machines separated once more. Cease was then called after a small period of jostling, and the battle went to a judges' decision. The judges ruled in favour of Bulldog Breed, and Tough as Nails' Seventh Wars campaign came to an end.

The Third World Championship[]

As well as the UK Championship, Tough as Nails also competed in the Third World Championship. First of all, it faced Scraptosaur and Gravity in a Dutch qualifying battle, in an attempt to join the Dutch champion, PulverizeR, in the main competition.

Tough as Nails pits Scraptosaur very quickly

Tough as Nails immediately hunted down Scraptosaur and grabbed hold of it before nudging into the pit release button. Scraptosaur fired its flipper in an attempt to free itself from Tough as Nails' grasp, but Tough as Nails wasn't deterred and slid Scraptosaur down into the descending pit. Tough as Nails then charged after Gravity and inverted itself after riding over the top of it. This did nothing to affect Tough as Nails though, which chased Gravity around the arena. Gravity managed to keep itself away from Tough as Nails and used Refbot as a shield as well, but eventually Gravity drove up Refbot's front plough and was quickly hunted down by Tough as Nails.

"Gravity, ducking behind Refbot? No wonder."
— Jonathan Pearce approves of Gravity's tactics to avoid the threat of Tough as Nails' pincers

Tough as Nails is thrown back by Gravity

Tough as Nails deposits Gravity in the pit

Gravity slipped away from Tough as Nails again, before another Tough as Nails drive over the top of Gravity saw the flipper robot throw itself over as it mistimed the activation of its weapon. Gravity quickly sprung back onto its wheels and flipped Tough as Nails over but Tough as Nails then came in with a drive itself which allowed it to shovel Gravity towards the pit of oblivion, where it dumped its fellow Semi-Finalist from the Seventh Wars. With both of its opponents pitted, Tough as Nails progressed to the heats of the Third World Championship.

In its heat battle in the Third World Championship, Tough as Nails was drawn up against Rawbot from Sweden, as well as Scotland's Typhoon 2, representing the United Kingdom. However, before the battle took place, Team Typhoon had decided to use their last set of batteries for the Middleweight Championship battle, and as a result, Typhoon 2 was unable to compete,[5] leaving Tough as Nails and Rawbot to fight alone.

Tough as Nails begins to line up Rawbot for the Pit after activating the Pit Release

Rawbot is pitted by Tough as Nails

Tough as Nails managed to grab hold of Rawbot in the opening seconds of the battle and used it to activate the pit release button. Rawbot had already been immobilised at this stage of the battle, making the rest of the sequence very easy for Tough as Nails. Turning around with Rawbot still in its grip, Tough as Nails readjusted, and reversed Rawbot into the pit of oblivion for a very quick win by knockout.

"Tough as Nails gets some Dutch courage - they're through to the Semi-Finals of the World Championships!"
— Craig Charles

In the Semi-Final Tough as Nails met Seventh Wars runner up Storm 2, which was representing the United Kingdom.

Tough as Nails is hit by Mr. Psycho's hammer

Storm 2 pushes Tough as Nails towards the pit

Storm 2 quickly found itself in between Tough as Nails' claws, but used this as a means to drive Tough as Nails back itself - ramming it into the arena wall. Tough as Nails was then hit by a hammer blow from Mr. Psycho, before the two competing machines separated. Storm 2 continued its strong start though, driving Tough as Nails backwards before turning around and driving it against the arena wall again. Tough as Nails then found itself beached on top of Storm 2, with the English robot using this as an opportunity for another strong drive. This time, though, Tough as Nails was not only slammed into the arena wall, but also lost the rubber covering for one of its wheels in the process. Tough as Nails activated the pit and grabbed hold of Storm 2 in an attempt to turn the tide of the battle, but once again, Storm 2 dictated proceedings, as it crashed Tough as Nails into Sir Killalot.

"The storm is too strong, and they are blowing Tough as Nails across this arena floor."
— Jonathan Pearce

Tough as Nails' removed tyre

Tough as Nails was then driven towards the pit of oblivion, before being suspended over the arena hazard. Tough as Nails kept hold of Storm 2, but with it becoming evident that Tough as Nails was unable to escape its fate, it let go, and plunged into the pit, taking the Netherlands' hopes with it.

"The wheels finally come off Tough as Nails' drive for world domination"
— Craig Charles

Series 8[]

Tough as Nails competed in Heat 2 of Series 8, the only Dutch entry to qualify. In the first round, it fought newcomers Shockwave, and veterans DisConstructor and Thor.

Angela Scanlon: "Ready to represent Holland?"
Jeroen van der Loo: "Yes, show them who's boss!"
— Team KODOX fly the flag

Tough as Nails charges into DisConstructor as battle begins

Tough as Nails pushes two robots at once

When the battle started, Tough as Nails replicated its first UK battle by targeting the spinner, DisConstructor, although Tough as Nails was deflected backwards by the spinning disc. Tough as Nails dodged an attack from Thor, but was caught by Shockwave, which allowed Thor to come in and attack. Tough as Nails was wedged upwards slightly, and grabbed the top portion of Thor, waging an even battle. When Thor gained proper purchase, however, Tough as Nails was slammed into an empty CPZ, and only missed Thor's axe blows due to its shape.

Tough as Nails is positioned by Shockwave to sustain blows from Thor

This turned into a two-way attack, as Shockwave helped to push Tough as Nails into the wall after having pitted DisConstructor, although this put Thor on top of Shockwave, allowing Tough as Nails to push both robots backwards. In retaliation, Tough as Nails was pushed into the corner by Shockwave. Tough as Nails grabbed Thor and pushed it towards Shunt, as Tough as Nails was too lengthy to be hit by its opponent's weapon. Yet when Tough as Nails grabbed Thor, Shockwave would respond and assist Thor with its push, this time sliding Tough as Nails up the arena wall. Thor pushed back, and held Tough as Nails against another wall, and Shockwave helped create the position where Tough as Nails would sustain axe blows from Thor.

Tough as Nails joins DisConstructor in the pit

These repeated blows had immobilised Tough as Nails, which lifelessly rolled across the arena.

"It's not Dutch delight - that's for sure."
— Jonathan Pearce

Thor pushed Tough as Nails onto the lip of the pit, and edged it in on a second attempt, with just eleven seconds left on the clock.

Series 10[]

"After we got The Bash back into the pits, it felt like everything was broken. I tried to find out first why it had not driven but I could find no simple explanation. A gearbox had broke in the battle and the turret thing had failed. I was lost so we decided to swap over to Tough as Nails. It was not a pre-planned decision for the show, but we had the robot there and it did have a chance of winning; at least it would have been a much better battle for the TV."
— Jeroen van Lieverloo on THE BASH being replaced with Tough as Nails

Although Tough as Nails was not scheduled to compete in any fights during Series 10, it made a late appearance in the second episode of Robot Wars: World Series, where after THE BASH, entered by Jeroen van der Loo alongside captain Jeroen van Lieverloo, was forced to withdraw due to irreparable damage. Representing The Netherlands as part of the "Rest of the World" team, substitute Tough as Nails fought the UK representative Thor.

"This last-minute change from the Netherlands has turned an international friendly into a global grudge match."
— Dara Ó Briain

Tough as Nails is hit by Thor's flaming axe

On activate, Tough as Nails went after Thor, driving into Matilda's CPZ while Thor reversed over the Flame Pit, setting fire to the Diotoir fur attached to the axe. Tough as Nails attempted to grab Thor from the front, snapping its pincers shut without getting a proper grip on its opponent. As a result, Thor was able to push back easily, and axed the top of Tough as Nails. Tough as Nails was shoved into the CPZ, taking another hit from Thor's axe as the Diotoir fur flew off it. Thor reversed away, and Tough as Nails slid off before pressing the Dial of Doom. This released the Fog of War, and Tough as Nails drove into Thor, but failed to grab it, with Thor pushing Tough as Nails away with a flick of the axe. After failing to get a purchase on Thor once more, Tough as Nails was pushed towards Matilda, who flicked Tough as Nails up against the wall. Spinning away, it was then rammed by Thor; the two machines separated before Thor came in for another drive, axing one of Tough as Nails' pincers. Tough as Nails dodged Thor's next blow before slamming into the UK robot, near an arena wall. Once again, Tough as Nails couldn't grab properly, allowing Thor to push it away with the axe again. Tough as Nails slid off the side of Thor's wedge, just avoiding an attack from Shunt in the process.

"In underneath Tough as Nails. Tell you what though, this is a willing battle, though, by the Dutch team. They're coming out here, all guns blazing and having a real go at Thor."
— Jonathan Pearce

Tough as Nails is axed by Thor again

Tough as Nails and Thor edged against each other, side-by-side near Shunt's CPZ. Thor sped away while Tough As Nails lingered, before mistiming a charge and sliding past Thor. As Tough as Nails attempted to spin back around, it received a hit from Thor's axe. Tough as Nails proceeded to activate Rogue House Robot, which led to Shunt attacking Thor briefly. Tough as Nails rammed into Thor while Shunt pushed it into a CPZ, eventually overturning it. Tough as Nails couldn't capitalise in time, and Thor self-righted before speeding away. Tough as Nails chased after Thor and drove up its wedge, and Thor reined down another axe blow to the body of Tough as Nails while shoving it across the arena floor. Tough as Nails stopped for a very brief moment, and Thor slammed into it from behind, pushing it towards an arena wall. Tough as Nails was rammed from the side by Thor as it fled towards the centre of the arena and over the Flame Pit. It bounced off Thor's wedge, before turning into Thor to grab it. Instead, Thor axed and pushed Tough as Nails towards Shunt, whose axe blow landed between Tough as Nails' wheel and its body. Tough as Nails began to chase Thor across the arena, and finally grabbed onto Thor by the axe, its wheels lifting off the ground as it did so.

Tough as Nails grips Thor's axe

"Good work here, by the Tough as Nails team from the Netherlands. Doing a good job for their country and their team, riding piggyback up on Thor. They had a chance there, to buckle Thor's weaponry - they just couldn't get the grippers together."
— Jonathan Pearce

Tough as Nails is axed in the closing seconds

Once it released Thor, Tough as Nails attempted to drive around the back of its opponent, but Thor quickly drove away before Tough as Nails could grip it. Tough as Nails avoided another hit from Thor, but momentarily stopped again, allowing Thor to push it from behind. It came back to life and reversed past Thor to safety, but Thor reacted fast, axing one of the pincers in the dying seconds of the fight. Tough as Nails then stopped again, and Thor's wedge caught on top of it, but Tough as Nails reversed away to dodge a final axe blow from Thor before cease was called.

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar: "It is tough as nails!"
Professor Noel Sharkey: "It really is just tough as nails. It's tougher than nails, actually, isn't it? Nails would be broken by now."
— The judges pass comment on Tough as Nails' resilience to Thor's axe

The battle was sent to a judges' decision, but although Tough as Nails had prevented Thor from collecting the full three points for a knockout win, the victory was ultimately given to Thor, putting Team UK back into the lead. Ultimately, Team Rest of the World lost the episode by a margin of 16-3.


Dutch Series
Series 2
Dutch Championship
Heats, Round 1
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Scrap-2-Saur Lost
UK Series
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Semi-Finals, Round 1
Heat M, Round 1 vs. B.O.D., Disc-O-Inferno, Robochicken Qualified
Heat M, Round 2 vs. Panic Attack (8) Won
Heat M, Final vs. Robochicken Won
Semi-Final 1, Round 1 vs. Bulldog Breed (12) Lost
The Third World Championship
Representing The Netherlands, Semi-Finals
Qualifier vs. Gravity (NED), Scraptosaur (NED) Won
Round 1 vs. Rawbot (SWE), Typhoon 2 (UK) Won
NOTE: Before the battle had started, a lack of available batteries forced Typhoon 2 out of the competition, leaving Tough as Nails and Rawbot to fight alone.
Semi-Final vs. Storm 2 (UK) Lost
Series 8
Series 8 - UK Championship
Round 1
Heat 2, Group Battle vs. DisConstructor, Shockwave, Thor Eliminated
Series 10
World Series, representing The Netherlands
Replacing THE BASH
Episode 2, Head-to-Head vs. Thor Lost


  • UK Wins: 5
  • UK Losses: 4
  • Dutch Wins: 0
  • Dutch Losses: 1

Series Record[]

Dutch Series[]

Dutch Series Tough as Nails Series Record
Series 1 Entered with Arena Killer
Series 2 Heat, Round 1

UK Series[]

Series Tough as Nails 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 Semi-Finals, Round 1
Series 8 Heat, Round 1
Series 9 Not selected
Entered with Cobra
Series 10 World Series
World Series with THE BASH

NOTE: This record refers to the qualification record of Jeroen van der Loo only.


Outside Robot Wars[]

Between Dutch Series 2 and the Seventh Wars, Tough as Nails found great success at the Dutch Robot Games in 2003, winning the European championship[6], which was alluded to in its UK Robot Wars debut. It opened its campaign with a victory over Black Hole and Dantomkia, then won its semi-final over Kan-Opener and Ansgar, finally pitting Edge Hog in the Grand Final. Along the way, Tough as Nails also defeated the likes of Gravity, Chip and Twisted Metal EVO in non-competition fights. Tough as Nails later went on to win the Dutch Robot Games event in 2004 as well.

In the 2006 UK Championship, Tough as Nails was pitted by Tiberius, but it escaped the pit, and then defeated Tiberius in the same way. By defeating Steel Sandwich, Tough as Nails escaped its heat, but it was flipped out of the arena by the eventual champion Turbulence in the next round. Tough as Nails later won the International Special held in the 2011 UK Championships held at the O2 Arena, London.

An antweight version of Tough as Nails was also built in 2002, which emerged victorious in the antweight division of Dutch Robot Games 2003, just like its heavyweight counterpart[7]. Series 8 team member Jeroen van Lieverloo has also built featherweight and beetleweight robots which heavily resemble Tough as Nails, the inspiration behind the designs. The featherweight robot was originally started by Alexander Russchen, and is named Total Loss, while the beetleweight machine is named Hold My Beer. For more information, see Team Tie-Rip.

Robot Wars Live Events[]

Tough as Nails pulls a forklift during testing

Since the launch of the Robot Wars Live Events in 2013, Tough as Nails has attended only a few of the events due to the team residing in The Netherlands. It first competed in the second live event of the new Robot Wars at Portsmouth in March 2013 where it fell in the heats after being flipped out the arena by Maelstrom.

In 2015, Tough as Nails fought in the Robot Wars World Championships, held in Colchester. In the first round, it was drawn against Rybot, Kan-Opener and Maelstrom. Rybot was quickly flipped over, and a combined attack from Tough as Nails and Kan-Opener immobilised Maelstrom, allowing the two pincers to qualify for the second round, although Kan-Opener was able to immobilise Tough as Nails by trapping it in the arena wall. In the second round, Tough as Nails fought Beast and Gabriel. Tough as Nails damaged the tyre of Beast, and pitted it, but regardless lost the Judges' decision to Gabriel, the more aggressive robot. Tough as Nails had a second chance to qualify, in a losers' melee against Eruption and Tiberius. Tiberius was quickly stranded on the wall by Eruption, leaving Tough as Nails and Eruption to fight alone. Tough as Nails fought well, grabbing hold of Eruption while it was self-righting, and dragged it around. Eruption eventually pushed Tough as Nails into the pit, but the Dutch robot escaped. Tiberius was freed from the wall, and it pitted Eruption, leaving Tough as Nails as the winner, which also pitted Tiberius. However, in the quarter-finals, Tough as Nails was flipped out of the arena in seconds by Manta.


Official Series 7 photo

  • Tough as Nails' main tactic was to grab robots and then dump them down the pit, however, ironically, Tough as Nails was the last robot in Robot Wars history to lose a battle by being pitted for twelve years, until the series was rebooted.
  • By competing in the Third World Championship as well as the second episode of the World Series, Tough as Nails competed in the final episode of both the original and rebooted series of Robot Wars.
  • Tough as Nails is one of two semi-finalists from the Seventh Wars that lost its original qualifier battle and had to rely on a discretionary place from the producers. The other was the eventual champion, Typhoon 2.
  • The basic materials for the wheels were arranged by Maddox's former employers.
  • Craig Charles and various members of the production crew had bet money on Tough as Nails to beat Bulldog Breed during the semi-finals of Series 7.
  • Along with Razer, Tornado, Storm 2, Behemoth, 101, Krab-Bot and Manta, Tough as Nails is one of only eight robots to finish in the top four of a World Championship and reach the semi-finals of a domestic championship.
    • However, it is the only one of the eight not to finish in at least the top eight.
  • Tough as Nails is one of four robots to have held a positive win-loss ratio in the original run of Robot Wars, before losing this acclaim in the reboot, alongside Diotoir, King Buxton and Supernova.
  • Tough as Nails is the best performing Dutch Robot in World Championship history, being the only Dutch Robot to win a battle in such a tournament.
  • Of all the robots Tough as Nails fought, Robochicken, Scraptosaur and Thor were the only robots to fight it twice.
  • During Series 7, Tough as Nails fought the champions of the Tag Team Terror tournament in Extreme 2.
  • Throughout the series that it appeared in, Tough as Nails never shared the arena with Growler or Cassius Chrome.
  • Tough as Nails in both of it's fights in the rebooted series was against Thor.

External Links[]