Robot Wars Wiki

"...Tsunami, the new wave of robot!"
Craig Charles

Tsunami was a heavyweight robot from Germany that competed in German Robot Wars, and Series 7 of Robot Wars. Tsunami had finished as runner-up in the German series, losing out to Black Hole in the Grand Final. During its appearance in the UK Series, Tsunami flipped all three of its opponents out of the arena on the way to the Heat Final, where it suffered the same fate at the flywheel of X-Terminator.

Versions of Tsunami[]

Tsunami (German Robot Wars)[]

Tsunami in the arena in German Robot Wars

In the German Robot Wars, Tsunami was a steep wedge-shaped robot, weighing 90kg. It was painted black with a tidal wave design, and the robot's name in red on the sides. Its weapon was a flipper, which ran at a low pressure in exchange for lots of use throughout the battles, and could still overturn robots much bigger than Tsunami. Underneath the flipper was an aesthetic of open jaws, and the curved rear of the robot was decorated with LEDs. Tsunami was fast, courtesy of its two 750w electric motors, and had the lowest ground clearance in the German Wars, but its armour proved very susceptible to being ripped away, such as against Black Hole in the Grand Final.

Tsunami (UK Series 7)[]

Tsunami in the arena

For its UK Series appearance, Tsunami was altered to use a more compact and rounded design, made up of grey titanium armour, which was still susceptible to ripping, such as its battle against X-Terminator. Tsunami now used a steep flipper operating at full pressure, one of the strongest and most effective in the Seventh Wars. The robot was extremely quick at 30mph, and was more than capable of flipping robots out of the arena and self-righting effectively, also being one of the few flippers in the classic series to throw itself over with flips. Tsunami could also level its wedge at a slightly raised height for the purpose of entering the arena and travelling across the floor at full speed without digging its lip into the floor.

The tidal wave and red lettering was replaced by a different logo in white. Just like Scraptosaur, it had a snarling mouth full of teeth painted onto the battery that could be seen when its flipper was fired. Two stabilisers were also found in front of this section, although Tsunami tended to bend its own stabilisers upwards upon landing, which gradually raised its ground clearance throughout matches.

The Team[]

The team with Tsunami at the Dutch Robot Games in 2003

Tsunami was entered by Team Tsunami Robot, a German team from Laaber. Eric Ehrensberger captained the team, and he was consistently joined by Jochen Wittman in all appearances. For the German series only, Thomas Stigler filled the third space in the team.


Tsunami at the German series auditions

In order to qualify for the German series of Robot Wars, all German competitors were required to attend an inspection run by Derek Foxwell in May 2002, to receive safety advice, and pointers with the build. A relatively complete (albeit unpainted) Tsunami attended the event, and as German Robot Wars had less applicants than the number of spaces for competitors, Tsunami was automatically accepted for the German series.

Official Series 7 photo

In its qualifier for the UK's seventh series, Tsunami fought Shredder Evolution and Woden. However, Shredder Evolution was able to collect the points for immobilising Woden, and would ultimately win the battle over Tsunami. Despite this, Tsunami qualified for the series alongside Shredder Evolution through a discretionary place.

Robot History[]

German Series[]

"Out of the arena, we hope!"
— Jochen Wittmann on the team's tactics

Tsunami began its campaign in the German Series in a three-way battle against Dutch entry Absolut Krankhaft and Black Hole.

Tsunami flips Absolut Krankhaft over

It approached Black Hole, but retreated, driving in a circle until Black Hole used its discs to force itself underneath Absolut Krankhaft. Tsunami capitalised, flipping the Dutch robot onto its back. Somewhat sportingly, Tsunami eventually flipped Absolut Krankhaft back onto its wheels, but when Absolut Krankhaft drove into the pit release button, Tsunami closed the gap, and Absolut Krankhaft drove straight up the wedge of Tsunami, which landed the killer flip near the arena wall. Tsunami and Black Hole leisurely drove around the arena until Absolut Krankhaft was counted out by Refbot, and 'cease' was later called, with both robots qualifying.

This put Tsunami into the second round, where it could earn a place in the Grand Final by defeating Not Perfect.

Tsunami tips Not Perfect over

As Not Perfect entered the arena inverted, Tsunami could comfortably drive underneath it and use its wedge shape to tip Not Perfect up, and then overturn it using the flipper, also damaging Not Perfect's wedge. With its next flip, Tsunami completely removed the front wedge of Not Perfect. Because of this, Tsunami now had no difficulty getting underneath Not Perfect for its third flip, but could not overturn it until Tsunami's fourth flip, using its drive power to push the bulky opponent over. Tsunami wedged under the inverted Not Perfect, flicked it up, and then engaged in an extended pushing battle before using its flipper again.

Tsunami is burnt over the fire

Tsunami continued to ram and lift Not Perfect until it eventually pressed the pit release button, but could not bring its opponent towards the pit, instead lifting and then flipping Not Perfect into Dead Metal. Tsunami briefly pinned Not Perfect on its back, and later used the top of its wedge to suspend Not Perfect, and then throw it backwards. Clearly low on battery power, Tsunami was finally left exposed to a counter-attack from Not Perfect, being held over the flame pit until 'cease' was called. Regardless, Tsunami resoundingly won the Jury's decision. This put Tsunami through to the Grand Final.

There in the Grand Final, within the top four of the competition, Tsunami fought Dutch entry Tyke.

Tsunami throws Tyke

Smoke pours from the top of Tsunami

Tsunami had no difficulty exposing its opponent's ground clearance, and threw Tyke over. After a mistimed flip, Tsunami tossed Tyke onto the flame pit, and another flip from Tsunami hindered Tyke's mobility. Tsunami inadvertently fixed this problem with another flip, but Tsunami's next flip left Tyke with only one working wheel. Curiously, Tsunami started to emit a copious amount of smoke, but continued to use its flipper regardless with three consecutive attacks until Tyke was fully immobilised, while Tsunami's brief blaze subsided. The victorious Tsunami spun in circles and fired its weapon in celebration, having guaranteed itself a top-two finish.

In the championship battle, Tsunami once again faced the very first robot it encountered in the series, Black Hole.

Tsunami flips Black Hole over

Tsunami is wedged on Black Hole

Tsunami showed no fear, and threw Black Hole straight over, although it had to flee to retract its flipper. Tsunami started to gradually take damage from Black Hole's weaponry, eventually throwing it directly onto the spinning discs, and aggressively backed into it, driving into an empty CPZ. Black Hole landed a big hit, but Tsunami used its rear end to recoil Black Hole upwards, and then ram it. In decidedly worse driving, Tsunami drove directly into Mr. Psycho, and then up Black Hole's rear wedge, where it became stuck.

A panel is ripped from Tsunami

Tsunami sustains major damage

Both robots had to be separated by Mr. Psycho, and a damaged Tsunami pressed the pit release button in a new tactic. It earned its second flip, although this allowed Black Hole to spin its discs the right way up, and Tsunami took damage from consecutive blows. The two robots became stuck together when Black Hole cut through Tsunami's armour, and both robots pushed each other over the flame pit, but Tsunami's front wedge had been severed at this stage. An entire side panel of Tsunami was ripped loose by Black Hole, and then flung away entirely. In the dying moments of the battle, Tsunami's flipper was locked up, and armour was cut away from the rear of Tsunami until 'cease' was called on the final battle of the championship.

Tsunami had fought valiantly, but ultimately the damage sustained by it led to a unanimous Jury's decision in favour of Black Hole. Tsunami finished second in Robot Wars: The German Struggles.

Series 7[]

"Will the German runners-up hit Robot Wars like a tidal wave?"
— Jonathan Pearce

Off the back of its second-place finish in German Robot Wars, Tsunami entered the Seventh Wars UK Championship where it appeared in Heat F and in its first round melee, it met the eleventh seed X-Terminator and veterans Major Tom 3 and Team Demon's entry Diabolus.

Tsunami prepares to throw Major Tom 3 out

Tsunami throws Major Tom 3 out of the arena

Tsunami flips Diabolus out

Although Tsunami sustained minor damage from Diabolus' spinning discs in the opening stages, it responded by flipping Diabolus over, also flipping itself, but Tsunami self-righted easily. Tsunami then truly kicked into action when it snuck around the side of Major Tom 3, drove it to the arena side wall, and flipped it out of the arena just twenty seconds into the battle. X-Terminator had also immobilised Diabolus in the meantime, and threw it onto the side of the arena wall, so only ten seconds later, Tsunami launched Diabolus out of the arena, also removing its top armour panel. Tsunami had qualified for the second round alongside X-Terminator in style, becoming the fifth robot to throw two robots out of the arena in a single fight.

"Look at the power here of the German flipper, how high that went!"
— Jonathan Pearce

In the second round, Tsunami rode the wave of momentum as it fought Team UK Robotics new robot Constrictor, to their dismay, who hoped that Tsunami would damage itself with the recoil of its own flipper. Team Tsunami Robot were very confident about the battle.

Jayne Middlemiss: "You are fighting Constrictor, are you worried about that?"
Jochen Wittmann: "Not really."
Jayne Middlemiss: "Why not?"
Jochen Wittmann: "It's a low-pressure flipper, they've got only one ram, we have two rams."
— Team Tsunami Robot ahead of the second round

Tsunami barrels Constrictor across the arena

Tsunami throws Constrictor out of the arena

Tsunami was easily able to get underneath Constrictor's weapon, and threw the whole robot over, which caused armour to hang loose from Constrictor after the first flip. Although Constrictor self-righted, Tsunami wedged under it and maintained its presence. Constrictor fled, and Tsunami exploited its vulnerability, barrelling it across the arena with a flip, causing armour to fall off Constrictor completely, and followed this up by ramming the up-ended machine. Constrictor simply stood still, failing to self-right, so Tsunami lined up the perfect flip, drove under Constrictor's rear ground clearance, and tossed it out of the arena, breaking the record for most consecutive out of the arena flips in the show in the process, with three.

"Perhaps the only thing that could stop this machine — over-confidence?"
Jonathan Pearce after Tsunami's second round victory.

Tsunami had qualified for the Heat Final, where it once again met the eleventh seed, X-Terminator. Both teams were cautious of what promised to be a battle between two strong robots.

Jayne Middlemiss: "What are your tactics going to be in the arena?"
Jochen Wittmann: "Try to get under their skirts, flip them as soon as we can, put them out of the arena!"
— Team Tsunami Robot reveal their plans

Tsunami flips X-Terminator over

Tsunami throws X-Terminator against the arena wall

Tsunami's brave effort backfires

Tsunami started the battle cautiously, fearful of its opponents disc, which landed a blow to the rear of the fleeing Tsunami. It backed away, but managed to slot its flipper under a corner of X-Terminator and launched the seeded machine over, which skittered all the way to the arena wall on the momentum of its vertical flywheel. X-Terminator could not self-right, but Tsunami sensed an opportunity to end the battle in style, and tried to flip it out of the arena, but X-Terminator stayed in the confines of the warzone, and landed on its side. Using its side self-righting mechanisms, X-Terminator laid vulnerable on the arena wall. Tsunami took its time to line up the finishing blow, but missed with its effort, and flipped X-Terminator back onto its wheels, within the arena.

"Ironically that has righted X-Terminator, and now you begin the wonder about the supply of CO2 on board Tsunami"
— Jonathan Pearce

Tsunami loses momentum

Tsunami becomes the robot thrown out of the arena

After saving its opponent, Tsunami was on the receiving end of a comeback, as X-Terminator rolled Tsunami over using its flywheel, and flung it with a follow-up attack. Tsunami's ground clearance was inferior to X-Terminator's, and its flipper sustained a blow from the flywheel, and X-Terminator closed it towards Sir Killalot, sustaining more damage. Tsunami returned to evasion, but was tossed into the air by another attack from X-Terminator, and was forced to self-right. This was X-Terminator's opportunity to close in and cause heavy damage, slicing through Tsunami's wedge, overturning it, and forcing Tsunami to self-right directly into X-Terminator, which ripped away the back panel from Tsunami, which was now smoking.

"I think X-Terminator are now on top and are now about to carve damage onto what has been a very good machine"
Jonathan Pearce as Tsunami's impressive run is about to end.

More armour was taken from Tsunami by another attack, which could no longer self-right successfully, and X-Terminator pushed the battered Tsunami into the wall to follow this up with a bigger slam. Tsunami was finally eliminated from the heat when X-Terminator closed in with its last attack, discarding Tsunami out of the arena completely.

"Tsunami turns into a gentle ocean ripple, lapping at the toes of defeat!"
Craig Charles following Tsunami's defeat.

Tsunami had been eliminated at a relatively early stage of the competition, but the team said they were not disappointed, and had fun in the competition despite Craig Charles stating how close to victory they had come.

Craig Charles: "That was a fantastic fight! You took a gamble. You had them immobilised on the arena wall, and you thought "I know, I'll try and flip them out". It backfired and bit you on the bum, didn't it!"
Jochen Wittmann: "That was the fall, yes, we didn't do it again!"
Craig Charles: "Why did you, sort of... do that? I mean, it's very sporting!"
Jochen Wittmann: "They have a self-righting system, and we are not sure if it works as it says, so we tried to flip them out of the arena."
Craig Charles: "They were definitely stuck, you know, Refbot was about to count them out..."
— Craig Charles raises the possibility of regret


German Series
German Robot Wars
German Championship
Heat B, Eliminator vs. Absolut Krankhaft, Black Hole Qualified
Heat B, Final vs. Not Perfect Won
Grand Final, Eliminator vs. Tyke Won
Grand Final vs. Black Hole Lost
UK Series
Series 7
The Seventh Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat F, Round 1 vs. Diabolus, Major Tom 3, X-Terminator (11) Qualified
Heat F, Round 2 vs. Constrictor Won
Heat F, Final vs. X-Terminator (11) Lost


  • UK Wins: 2
  • UK Losses: 1
  • German Wins: 3
  • German Losses: 1

Series Record[]

German Series[]

German Series Tsunami Series Record
German Robot Wars Runner-up

UK Series[]

Series Tsunami 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 Heat Final
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

Outside Robot Wars[]

Tsunami at the Dutch Robot Games 2003

Tsunami throws Bamm Bamm over

Between the German series and the Seventh Wars, the Series 7 version of Tsunami debuted at the Dutch Robot Games in 2003, where it found a great deal of success[1]. Tsunami won its opening melee over Scorpion and 00-0, and then knocked out Bamm Bamm and H.A.R.R.Y. in the second round[2]. It was finally eliminated by Edge Hog in the semi-finals on a Judges' decision[3], in a rumble which also contained Bigger Brother.

Adrenalin, Team Flatliner's featherweight

Stalker, Team Flatliner's other featherweight

Following the end of Robot Wars, Tsunami continued to fight in live events, including the 2004 Roaming Robots event in Folkestone. In 2007, Tsunami was sold to another German team called Team Flatliner, it remained out of action for five more years until it was refurbished and brought out of retirement in 2012. Team Flatliner also created two featherweight robots, Adrenalin and Stalker, both of which were armed with rear-hinged flippers.

Robot Wars Live Events[]

Tsunami at Mad Metal Machines

Tsunami circa December 2012

Tsunami has only made one appearance in the Robot Wars Live Events. It competed in the first live event of the newly rebranded Robot Wars at Portsmouth in March 2013. Tsunami lost its heat against Eruption where it was thrown out the arena and also lost every other whiteboard fight it competed in. It did however win the European Challenge, defeating Gravity and Luzifer along the way.


  • At thirty-six seconds, Tsunami's battle against X-Terminator, Major Tom 3 and Diabolus is the shortest battle in UK Robot Wars to require two immobilisations. However, it did not make the top 30 list.
  • Had Tsunami defeated X-Terminator in Series 7, along with St. Agro and Bulldog Breed afterwards, the four competitors from the Grand Final would all have been named after types of natural hazard or disaster (Typhoon, Storm and Tornado).
  • Due to the nature of the international series they competed in, Tsunami and Lizzard were the only domestic championship runners-up prior to UK Series 8 to have fought the eventual Grand Champion earlier in the same competition. This also happened with Carbide and Eruption in Series 10.
  • Through throwing three of its opponents out in its first two Series 7 battles, Tsunami broke the record of most consecutive out of the arena flips. Thermidor 2 and Chaos 2 previously held the joint record with two. The record would later be broken by Atomic and matched by Eruption.
  • Tsunami was the fifth robot to flip two robots out of the arena in one battle, including Dantomkia's edited out flips in Extreme 2.
  • In its Series 7 appearance, Stuart McDonald pronounced Tsunami's name as "Tuss-ami".
  • Team Tsunami was the team name for the US competitor Snookums, which had no connection with Team Tsunami Robot.