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For the unrelated robot that failed to qualify for Series 3 and 4, see Typhoon (Series 3).

"Our military training teaches us that attack is the best form of defence and we wanted to build the most destructive weapon ever seen in Robot Wars."
— Peter Bennett, interviewed in Robot Wars Club Magazine

Typhoon was a middleweight robot, predecessor to Typhoon 2. It was entered in the Middleweight Championship in both series of Extreme and Series 7, winning the championship on all three occasions, making it an undefeated robot. However, Typhoon's victory in the Seventh Wars cost its brother robot Typhoon 2, as it had used up the last of the batteries used to power the machines, forcing the heavyweight robot to withdraw from the Third World Championship.


"We wanted a simple design which the cadets could build themselves and that steered us away from pneumatic flippers. The cadets were really impressed with the damage Hypno-Disc could achieve and we tried to think of a design that could do even better. ... To get maximum energy we needed a high inertia (a high mass concentrated at the edge with a large radius) and high speed of rotation. The idea of a heavy ring with cutters surfaced and this became the basis of our design. Next came the idea of a rotating cone to hold the ring and thus the weapon could be the armour as well. We had designed a full body spinner. Energy could be built up over several seconds and unleashed on our opponents in a millisecond."
— Peter Bennett, interviewed in Robot Wars Club Magazine

Typhoon in the pits

Following the uniform design of all the Typhoon machines to follow, Typhoon was a cone-shaped full-body spinner, painted to resemble the logo of the RAF.

"A rotating cone, with a rotating outer ring and electric power system. A highly agile unmanned fighting vehicle with rotating claw-shaped hammer cutter weaponry. Can be toppled though."
Jonathan Pearce describes Typhoon in Extreme 2

Typhoon in the arena during Extreme 2

Typhoon originally took three months to complete for its first appearance. The robot was built around a large section of gas pipe found in a scrapyard. Its outer shell could spin at 70mph in its first appearance and the weapon was listed on the statistics board as a "circular steel pipe", but in all subsequent appearances it was upgraded to spin at just over 100mph. This was easily the most powerful weapon seen on a middleweight robot in the TV show, though this was at the expense of a self-righting mechanism.

Typhoon in the arena during Series 7

"Self-righting was a major problem and we still have no practical solution. We therefore have to rely on the gyroscopic properties of the spinning cone to keep us upright. We believe we are only really vulnerable when the cone is not rotating."
— Peter Bennett, interviewed in Robot Wars Club Magazine

Typhoon was powered by lead acid batteries, as the Hawker Cyclones originally purchased for the robot were too heavy.

The Team[]

Main article: Team Typhoon

The team at the controls of Typhoon in Series 7

Typhoon was created by cadets and staff from the Air Training Corps in Edinburgh, Scotland. Team Typhoon intended to inspire young fans to develop their skills in engineering. Typhoon was built and designed primarily by its captain Flying Officer Peter J. Bennett, who would later publish a book about his Robot Wars story.

Typhoon was driven by the young Corporal Gary Cairns, who was selected for the position after winning an internal driving competition. Gary Cairns was a frequent speaker in interviews, and would later form his own team to enter Series 8 and 9 with PP3D. In Extreme 1, the third team member was Hazel Taylor, while Sgt. Graeme Horne took her place in Extreme 2. An unidentified female team member featured as the third team member in Series 7.

Robot History[]

Extreme 1[]

In its very first battle, Typhoon fought Doom, Genesis, Hard Cheese, Mammoth and Zap.

"And Typhoon looks the most effective of these immediately, of the middleweights! Spinning around madly there, with 770mm diameter to cause damage! And look at the action from Typhoon!"
— Jonathan Pearce at the start of the battle

Typhoon spins Zap across the arena

Mammoth after having one of its legs shredded by Typhoon

Typhoon started by staying out of the action, getting its weapon up to speed. It then came in and hit Zap, then Genesis, knocking them aside, but not causing any major damage. It continued to follow Zap and Genesis as they drove up the arena, knocking into them both. After hitting Zap, knocking it to the top of the arena where it broke down, it then attacked Mammoth, bending the front scoop and breaking one of the legs, leaving it unable to move.

"Typhoon is really whipping up a storm here! Tremendous stuff from the Edinburgh Air Cadets!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Typhoon attacked Genesis and Hard Cheese, knocking them both around with a series of blows from the spinner, leaving large gashes in the side of Hard Cheese. Both robots broke down after these attacks.

"This is only a middleweight contest, but I think if you threw Typhoon in with some heavyweights, they'd have a real chance."
— Jonathan Pearce

Typhoon obliterates Mammoth and Doom

Genesis was counted out and thrown by the floor flipper. Typhoon then turned on Mammoth and Doom. It hit Doom, causing a gash in the side, and hit Mammoth, breaking the leg on the other side. Typhoon hit Doom again, and Doom also broke down. Zap and Mammoth, without being counted out were then flung by the arena flipper as well, shortly followed by Doom and Hard Cheese.

"Typhoon, the only robot standing! They win the Middleweight Melee!"
Craig Charles

Typhoon had single-handedly defeated all of its opponents, becoming the Robot Wars Extreme Series 1 Middleweight Champion, and even ripped a fibreglass tusk away from Matilda[1], not shown on television.

Craig Charles: "It's a middleweight, why don't you build a heavyweight?"
Gary Cairns: "Well actually, now that we've won the medium weight, we want to challenge the military heavyweights!"
Craig Charles: "Do you really?"
Gary Cairns: "Yeah."
Craig Charles: "Now, do you think you could survive in there with the big boys? I think you could!"
Gary Cairns: "Yeah, definitely!"
Craig Charles: "Well we might see if we can arrange that, we'd love to see you do it!"

— Post-battle interview

Extreme 2[]

Reigning middleweight champion Typhoon faced Malc 1.5, Broadsword and Steel Sandwich in its first round fight.

"...[Broadsword is] fairly weak, it should be a walkover. ... We'll go for their [Steel Sandwich's] wheels. ... we'll see what happens"
— Gary Cairns to Philippa Forrester on his opponents

Typhoon hits Malc 1.5

Typhoon attacks Broadsword

Broadsword charged towards Typhoon at the start, but Typhoon kept its distance and Broadsword turned away. Typhoon began getting its spinner up to speed, staying away from the others as Broadsword fought Steel Sandwich. Once up to speed, it hit the rear of Malc 1.5, knocking it into the arena wall. It then attacked Broadsword, hitting the front but bouncing off. Broadsword rammed into Typhoon, and Typhoon bounced off again. After Steel Sandwich opened the pit, Typhoon hit its side, but did no damage, only knocking it a little. Typhoon tried to get its spinner up to top speed, and Steel Sandwich drove into it, with both robots bouncing off. Steel Sandwich rammed into Malc 1.5, and Malc 1.5's wheel fell off. Typhoon stayed out of the action as Steel Sandwich pushed against each other. However, it drove onto the flame pit, and became stuck there. It was pushed off by Dead Metal, but flames could sill be seen coming from Typhoon.

Typhoon burns in its opening melee

"...which means their electric motors could be burning."
— Jonathan Pearce

The flames died down, and Typhoon was still moving, but the spinner was not spinning. Malc 1.5 was counted out. Steel Sandwich continued to push Typhoon, but both robots went through as Broadsword was also immobilised, and was destroyed by Shunt.

In the final, Typhoon once again fought Steel Sandwich, alongside the vertical spinner of 259, and fellow Team Typhoon entry, Typhoon Twins.

"A lot of pride at stake for the Edinburgh Air Cadets, eh?"
— Jonathan Pearce

Typhoon throws 259 over

A trio of Typhoons swarm Steel Sandwich

As Typhoon began to spin up, 259 drove at it, but Typhoon hit the top corner and bounced off. Typhoon kept its distance as 259 followed it, and hit Steel Sandwich, sending it spinning. Steel Sandwich tried to use its wedge to get under Typhoon, but was thrown towards 259 by the spinner. Steel Sandwich slowly pursued Typhoon, but Typhoon dodged it, and hit 259, knocking it aside. Steel Sandwich continued to follow Typhoon, and when Typhoon's spinner was up to speed, it turned and hit Steel Sandwich, sending it spinning back. Steel Sandwich stopped moving, and Typhoon hit its rear, causing sparks. 259 opened the pit, and drove towards Typhoon, but Typhoon slammed into 259 with its spinner at full speed, and 259 was turned over. Meanwhile, the Typhoon Twins attacked Steel Sandwich, which stopped moving. One of the Twins was not spinning, and the other drove into Typhoon, but was knocked away by the spinner. 259 was counted out, and the Typhoon Twins pushed Steel Sandwich to the arena wall, with Typhoon hitting the side and knocking it into the wall. Steel Sandwich was counted out, but apart from some pushing between one of the Twins and Typhoon, the Team Typhoon machines did not attack each other in the last few seconds, leaving the judges to decide which of the machines was the winner.

"They haven't gone for the twins, they've gone for the big daddy!"
— Craig Charles announces the decision

Typhoon won the Judges' decision and the Middleweight Championship.

Craig Charles: "The squadron leader said there was no team orders there, but looked like you were kind of ganging up on the other robots, and you were kind of fighting as three!"
Keri Scott: "Well, we were going to get the rest out, and then go for each other at the end."
Craig Charles: "But why didn’t you go for each other at the end?"
Keri Scott: "…we tried, and then it ceased!"
— The Typhoon Twins team and Craig Charles on the alliance

Series 7[]

Hoping to defend its title again, Typhoon fought Phoenix (successor to Malc 1.5) and Steel Sandwich for its third middleweight accolade.

Typhoon knocks out Phoenix

Typhoon began by avoiding Steel Sandwich as Steel Sandwich chased after it, trying to get the spinner up to speed. It drove down the arena whilst being chased, before quickly driving up the arena. Phoenix charged at Typhoon, but missed and crashed into the CPZ. By now, Typhoon was up to speed, and slammed into the front of Steel Sandwich, knocking it away. Typhoon moved down the arena, away from the others, to speed up its spinner again. Steel Sandwich followed it, but Typhoon avoided it, driving around it and up the arena. Once Typhoon was up to speed, it turned and hit the front of Steel Sandwich, sending it spinning away. Phoenix chased after Typhoon, which managed to avoid it, but as Phoenix turned away, Typhoon drove into the top arena entry gate, which brought its spinner, which had been spinning slowly, to a stop. Typhoon drove down the arena, and Steel Sandwich rammed into it before it could start spinning. Typhoon moved away from Steel Sandwich, driving up the arena. However, smoke was beginning to rise from inside Typhoon, and it could not get its spinner spinning again. Steel Sandwich chased after it, but Typhoon kept away from it.

"Now the name of the game boys is contact in Robot Wars, I don't know if anyone told you, but ... wake me up when it's over."
— Jonathan Pearce as the robots avoid each other

Refbot opened the pit, but Phoenix still stayed away from its opponents, whilst Typhoon kept away from the pursuing Steel Sandwich and got its spinner up to speed.

"Typhoon spinning, has been a lot more adventurous in the past. Oh, a lovely pirouette! Dances like Fred Astaire!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Typhoon pushes Steel Sandwich into the pit

With the spinner up to speed, Typhoon hit Phoenix, knocking it into Growler, after which it broke down. Typhoon drove around Steel Sandwich, then hit it with the spinner, sending it spinning away. Steel Sandwich recovered and drove at Typhoon, but Typhoon drove around Steel Sandwich and hit the side. Steel Sandwich was knocked away, and appeared to only be moving on one wheel. Whilst Phoenix was counted out, Typhoon pushed Steel Sandwich towards the pit, but became stuck after driving onto Steel Sandwich's wedge. Refbot pushed it free, and Typhoon slowly pushed Steel Sandwich into the pit, leaving Typhoon as the Middleweight Championship for the third time in a row.

"You're the middleweight champions again, it's getting boring!"
— Craig Charles to the Typhoon team


Extreme Series 1
Middleweight Championship
Middleweight Championship vs. Doom, Genesis, Hard Cheese, Mammoth, Zap Won
Extreme Series 2
Middleweight Championship
Round 1 vs. Broadsword, Malc 1.5, Steel Sandwich Won
Final vs. 259, Steel Sandwich, Typhoon Twins Won
Series 7
Middleweight Championship
Middleweight Championship vs. Phoenix, Steel Sandwich Won


  • Wins: 4
  • Losses: 0

Series Record[]

Main Series Typhoon 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 Failed to qualify with Typhoon 2
The Seventh Wars Middleweight Champion
Heavyweight Championship with Typhoon 2
Featherweight Championship with Typhoon Cadet
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Middleweight Champion
Series 2 Middleweight Champion
Middleweight Championship with Typhoon Twins
Lightweight Championship with Typhoon Thunder
Annihilator with Typhoon 2

Although Team Typhoon did not enter Series 8-10, driver Gary Cairns participated in Series 8-9 with his own team, PP3D Robotics and their robot, PP3D.

Outside Robot Wars[]

Typhoon as Typhoon 870 in Techno-Games

Team Typhoon entered several of their robots into Techno Games, with Typhoon in particular being converted into Typhoon 870, which was outfitted with novelty hands to give the robot more reach. It functioned as the goalkeeper in Team Typhoon's football campaign, which led to a bronze medal.


  • Along with Razer, Tornado and PulverizeR, Typhoon is one of four robots to have fought and defeated both a clusterbot (Typhoon Twins) and a walkerbot (Mammoth), and is the only non-heavyweight to do so.
  • Typhoon held its title for three years, from Extreme 1 until the end of Robot Wars, amassing four wins placing it on the list of 20 robots never to have lost a battle.
  • Typhoon, like Chaos 2 and Panzer Mk, successfully defended its title, is the only robot to defend its title twice and the only non-heavyweight to defend its title.
    • Having won the middleweight title three years in a row, Typhoon is the only robot ever to win a trophy three years running.
  • Typhoon is one of just two robots to compete in both series of Extreme and be undefeated in both, the other being Bulldog Breed.



Undefeated Robot (4 wins)
Only robot to immobilise 5 opponents in a melee