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Not to be confused with Fatal Traction.

"This school team from Surrey is the youngest in the competition. They created Track-tion at their ‘Robot Wars Club’, and are mentored by their technology teacher and Aftershock Team Captain Will Thomas."
— The Robot Wars website

Track-tion was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 10 of Robot Wars. It was designed and built by 12-13 year old students of Collingwood School, mentored throughout by their teacher Will Thomas of Team Shock, who assisted the team at filming. After famously resisting the dangerous spinner of Apex, Track-tion finished third in its heat, thereby qualifying for the 10 Robot Rumble.

DesignEdit

"Track-tion’s design is inspired by Sir Killalot's tracks, is made out of recycled parts from their school cupboards, and has a crusher that can exert 600kg of force."
— The Robot Wars website
Team Tracktion

Track-Tion with its team, including Will Thomas

Tracktion arena

Track-tion in the arena

Track-tion was the only robot in the rebooted series to run on tracks, using 2x CIM motors, offering the robot high traction at the expense of speed, hence the name. Track-tion's primary weapon was a small crusher at the front which exerted 600kg of force and allowed Track-tion to grip other robots and push them easily. The robot's top armour consisted of polycarbonate, with mild steel used elsewhere, although the front end of the robot is protected by its fork wedges. Comically, a household chopping board is also used for armour, possibly as the baseplate. Track-tion can run inverted, although its tracks were heavily exposed to the weapons of opponents. Overall, Track-tion shares many similarities with the Series 5 incarnation of Suicidal Tendencies.

"The unique tracked design means Track-tion can run both ways and is so powerful it can pull the school minibus with the whole team sitting inside!"
— The Robot Wars website
Track-tion wedge

Track-tion with Vulture's wedge, and its top armour removed

Track-tion

Track-tion in the arena with Vulture's wedge

Although it was not a planned feature of Track-tion's design, the robot fought two of its battles using a pneumatic lifting wedge. Ahead of fighting the powerful spinner of Apex, an anti-spinner scoop designed for Vulture was loaned to the team by Team Immersion, and replaced Track-tion's claw. This wedge was actuated by the claw's hydraulic ram, allowing the wedge to push forwards and satisfy the active weapon rule enforced for the series, but its main purpose was to protect the robot from spinning weapons, and inflict recoil damage.

"Track-tion's crushing arm exerts 600kg of force and its armour includes novel use of a chopping board."
Robot Wars: Build Your Own Robot
Ryland Research

The Securotrack unit which became Track-tion

Track-tion's chassis was originally that of a Securotrack high propulsion unit, with an element of autonomy, built and designed for the University of Reading by John and Fiona Ryland for the 2008 MOD Grand Challenge.[1] After being used for reconnaissance duties, the unit was donated to Collingwood School and modified in just under three weeks, including the addition of the crusher[2]. Footage of Track-tion as a Securotrack unit was used in a trailer for Series 10 of Robot Wars.

EtymologyEdit

The name Track-tion is a pun derived from the word 'traction', while deliberately referencing the robot's tracks. The name has been written in different forms, with the Robot Wars website and official publications favouring Track-Tion, although project leader Will Thomas confirmed his preference of Track-tion[3].

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 10Edit

Angela Scanlon: "Some of the teams have got twenty years of experience here. Do you think you have the edge?"
Dan: "We have three weeks' experience, so... I think we can take them on."
— Dan reveals Track-tion's lack of battle experience
Track-tion floor spikes

Track-tion is flipped over by the Floor Spikes

Track-tion competed in Heat 3. In its first round battle, Track-tion fought Rapid and fellow newcomers Bucky the Robot. On activate, Track-tion began slowly, turning towards Bucky the Robot, but Bucky the Robot dodged round it. As Rapid released the Fog of War, Track-tion trundled along, avoiding the other competitors. As the fog dispersed, Track-tion drove over the floor spikes, which fired, flipping Track-tion over, leaving it with a huge ground clearance.

"Who will be befuddled? Well, Track-tion seem to be going the wrong way. That's dangerous territory, they're caught on the spikes! That was because of the Fog of War. Now they've been ejected by Rapid - ooh they're flung out of the arena!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Rapid vs Track-tion R1

Track-tion is flipped out of the arena by Rapid

Rapid capitalised, and quickly pushed Track-tion towards the arena wall, before Track-tion was flipped clean out of the arena by the powerful flipper.

"Well played. They've had three weeks' experience, the Track-tion team, against one of the world's most accomplished team of engineers in Rapid."
— Jonathan Pearce

Rapid would eventually win the battle over Bucky the Robot on a Judges' decision, so Track-tion went through to the Robot Redemption Round with them, where it faced the runner-up of the second Group Battle of the heat, Apex. Before the fight, Track-tion was lent a wedge by Team Immersion in order to combat the massive spinner of Apex; the wedge was connected to the crusher's actuator, and used to replace the crusher itself.[4]

"Will that bar weapon of Apex be vulnerable to the new wedge at the front of Track-tion? Oh, a bit tentative here, you know."
— Jonathan Pearce
Apex vs Track-tion replay

Track-tion watches on as Apex destroys itself

Both robots began tentatively, with Apex allowing its bar to spin up to speed, while Track-tion lingered, barely moving off its starting position. Track-tion absorbed a small hit from Apex, with sparks flying off its wedge. It then received a second hit, with minimal damage taken, destabilising its opponent and causing Apex's spinner to hit its own pulley system. This sheared off Apex's weapon completely, and sent Apex itself flying across the arena in the opposite direction, while Track-tion watched on, making enough movement to prove its mobility. 'Cease' was called and Apex was pitted by Sir Killalot, while Track-tion progressed to the next round.

"No wonder they're elated, that team of schoolchildren has just beaten the biggest bar in Robot Wars history!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Rapid vs Track-tion

Track-tion is flipped out in the fastest Robot Wars battle ever

Track-tion opted to keep Team Immersion's wedge which had been taken from Vulture for its next fight, where they faced Rapid again. However, Track-tion did not last long against Rapid, as Rapid immediately drove under Track-tion's wedge and flipped it straight out of the arena in under 6 seconds, in what became the shortest battle in Robot Wars history. After a very quick defeat, Track-tion was relegated to the third place play-off of the heat.

"Very mean! The young aims and dreams crushed. You rotters, Rapid."
— Jonathan Pearce

This meant that Track-tion had to beat Vulture to qualify for the 10 Robot Rumble, after it was beaten by Terrorhurtz. Track-tion's team returned the borrowed wedge to Vulture before battle was due to commence, and used cardboard to try and protect the top of their robot. However, Vulture pulled out before the battle began after discovering pinched wires which were found inside the robot. Vulture could not be repaired in time, so Track-tion automatically qualified for the 10 Robot Rumble.

Afterflop

Will Thomas' crudely drawn face on Track-tion

There, Track-tion, the only newcomer in the battle, faced Apollo, Big Nipper, Concussion, Eruption, Expulsion, Iron-Awe 6, Sabretooth, Terrorhurtz and Thor, all vying for a place in the Grand Final. In homage to the fallen robot entered by the team's teacher Will Thomas, Track-tion mockingly referenced Aftershock by entering the arena with a cardboard replica of the spinner on the top of Track-tion, brandishing the name 'Afterflop' while also featuring Will Thomas' face drawn in marker pen - this modification had originally been designed to cushion the overhead blows of Vulture in the team's previous draw. Track-tion fought using its standard crusher setup.

"It's chaos!"
— Team captain Dan during the battle
Concussion vs Track-tion

Track-tion, complete with 'Afterflop', loses its track

Track-tion vs Thor

Track-tion becomes the second robot to fall in the pit

Moving slightly before 'activate' was called, Track-tion slowly moved towards the centre of the arena, facing Expulsion, but could not catch its quicker opponents. The exposed tracks of Track-tion were quickly targeted by Concussion, and with a single blow from the drum spinner, one of the tracks was torn loose, then further dislodged by Big Nipper. This rendered Track-tion immobile in the opening stages of the 10 Robot Rumble. The pit was opened by Thor, and Concussion drove straight under Track-tion, skidding it backwards, and Terrorhurtz axed its crusher, while Expulsion drove straight into the pit. After a brief period of Fog of War, Thor pushed the immobile Track-tion into the pit, making it the second robot to fall in a battle ultimately won by Eruption.

"Track-tion, yes, still in there, and finally out! So two have gone!"
— Jonathan Pearce

ResultsEdit

TRACK-TION - RESULTS
Series 10
Series 10 - UK Championship
Heat, Third Place
Heat 3, Group Battle vs. Bucky the Robot, Rapid Lost
Heat 3, Robot Redemption vs. Apex Won
Heat 3, Semi-Final vs. Rapid Lost
Heat 3, Third Place Play-off vs. Vulture Won by forfeit
NOTE: Vulture was forced to withdraw from the playoff due to a severed wire.
10 Robot Rumble vs. Apollo, Big Nipper, Concussion, Eruption, Expulsion, Iron-Awe 6, Sabretooth, Terrorhurtz, Thor Lost

Wins/LossesEdit

  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 3

The third place play-off fight, where Vulture forfeited, is omitted from the Wins tally.

Series RecordEdit

  • Track-tion with 'Afterflop' atop the body
  • Track-tion's Team Toad sticker (left panel)
  • Track-tion in its win against Apex
Series Track-tion Series Record
Series 1-7 Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Heat, Third Place

NOTE: The students' teacher Will Thomas competed in Series 8 with Shockwave, and Series 9-10 with Aftershock.

TriviaEdit

  • Track-tion was the only robot in the reboot to run on tracks, and was the first UK robot to use this locomotion since Series 7's Trax.
  • Track-tion was also the only newcomer to compete in the 10 Robot Rumble.
  • Track-tion is one of two robots to be thrown out of the Arena multiple times in the same episode, the other being Cherub.
    • The two are also the only robots to be thrown out of the Arena multiple times by the same robot, Rapid in Track-tion's case, and Eruption in Cherub's.
  • Various sources such as Robot Wars: The Official Handbook and The Pits have erroneously spelt the robot’s name as Tracktion and Traction, with the official website using the incorrect capitalisation Track-Tion; the team claim to use various spellings, with Track-tion being the leading choice.
  • According to Will Thomas, Collingwood Carnage started work on a new robot after Series 10 was filmed, which was to be built from scratch for the first time.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnofficialRobotWars/permalink/701828970096871/
  2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnofficialRobotWars/permalink/701828970096871/?comment_id=701900093423092&reply_comment_id=701959623417139&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R8%22%7D
  3. Private correspondence between Will Thomas and ToastUltimatum
  4. https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnofficialRobotWars/permalink/701669333446168/?comment_id=701672493445852&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R0%22%7D

External LinksEdit

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