Typhoon 2 was the heavyweight entry from multiple middleweight and lightweight champions Team Typhoon. Featuring the same design and weapon as its middleweight counterpart, Typhoon 2 was a powerful full-body spinner, which won the UK Championship in its first and only main series appearance in Robot Wars: The Seventh Wars.
After a brief appearance in the second series of Extreme, where it lost in the first round of the Annihilator, Typhoon 2 entered the penultimate heat of the Seventh Wars. After an initial first-round scare where it was the final robot to be immobilised by Bigger Brother it was able to win the heat by causing major damage to Hammerhead 2 and Iron-Awe 2.1, and went on to defeat Thermidor 2 and Atomic to reach the Grand Final. Typhoon 2 then defeated X-Terminator, and edged out Storm 2 in a close title fight to become the Seventh Wars champion.
Typhoon 2 was essentially a scaled-up version of Team Typhoon's middleweight and lightweight competitors. It was a four-wheeled robot with a circular base and a conical body, painted red, white and blue to resemble the Royal Air Force roundel. The cone also rotated on a central main shaft and acted as the robot's full-body spinner, with a heavy steel rim and four large cutting blades which could cause significant damage to other competitors and the arena wall when spun up to full gyroscopic speeds. This appearance resulted in Team Typhoon describing Typhoon 2 as a 'UFV' (Unmanned Fighting Vehicle).
Typhoon 2 also featured a petrol engine to power its weapon, driven by a starter freewheel attached to the main shaft, although it used Iskra electric motors for its drive system. It had previously used standard 750w electric motors for its appearance in the Extreme 2 Annihilator, where it was 8kg lighter and its high top speed of 18mph in Series 7 was upgraded from its original 10mph. Its 3mm titanium armor was also double the thickness of its shell during the heavyweight robot's debut appearance. Typhoon 2 also featured two independent drive systems based on the principles found in most modern aircraft, which allowed all four of its wheels to remain functioning even if one of the systems was disabled or if the machine lost drive to one side. However, Typhoon 2 was unstable when spinning at low speeds, could topple over easily and had no self-righting mechanism.
- "There wasn't a srimech in Typhoon 2. We looked at putting one in and had a number of ideas including car air bags or a giant ring on top however at the end of the day we decided not to bother as they would take away from the look of the machine."
- — Gary Cairns
The only indication of forward drive on Typhoon 2 was the flag atop the machine, and even this would occasionally point in the wrong direction according to Gary Cairns, making the robot difficult to control. Team Typhoon jokingly mentioned that Typhoon 2's controller featured a 'self-destruct' button where, should the robot become immobilised, it would be used "to stop their technology falling into enemy hands". Gary Cairns later revealed that the button was actually used to start the engine for Typhoon 2's spinning weapon. The button was humorously relabelled as an "arena-destruct" button during the Grand Final of Series 7 after Typhoon 2 damaged the arena.
Both versions of Typhoon 2 featured the same red, white and blue paintjob as the other team's machines, and each had a slightly different styling of its name font. Typhoon 2 originally featured a paintjob similar to its middleweight predecessor, the robot name having an orange streak underline and a drawing of a typhoon, while a large 2 in yellow font with a red outline was seen on the back. For Series 7, the name font was changed to solid black and the orange streak was removed, while the typhoon drawing remained, but was much larger. The 2 was also smaller and changed to solid black to match the font of the robot's name and two Scottish flags were present on either side of the 2.
- Main article: Team Typhoon
Typhoon 2 was created by cadets and staff from the Air Training Corps in Edinburgh, Scotland. Like all of the Typhoon machines, Typhoon 2 was intended as a project designed to get young people interested in engineering, the motivation of Team Typhoon. The robot was built and designed primarily by its captain Flying Officer Peter J. Bennett, who also conducted the team's interviews and later published a book about his Robot Wars story.
Typhoon 2 was driven in battle by the young Corporal Gary Cairns, who had previously driven the middleweight Typhoon, having won an internal contest to prove he was the most suitable driver. This also included control of the weaponry. In Extreme 2, the third team member was Cadet Keri Scott, the driver and team captain of Typhoon Thunder, whilst Sgt. Graeme Horne took her place in Series 7.
Despite later becoming a Robot Wars champion, Typhoon 2 never won a qualifier battle. It fought in two qualifiers for Series 6 - in its first, it was drawn against Prime Evil, Velociripper (unrelated to Velocirippa) and Fluffy. After Prime Evil withdrew, Typhoon 2 was left to battle the remaining two machines, but Fluffy emerged victorious. In its second, it fought Kat 3, Woden and Granny's Revenge 2. There, Typhoon 2 caused major damage to Kat 3's polycarbonate armour, but its spinner was fouling on the chassis bumper ring, and eventually it was flipped by Woden. Kat 3 won the battle, while Team Typhoon later discovered that the ring had only been polished in one spot.
- "Typhoon 2 never qualified for series 7. It lost its qualification match as the shell was rubbing on the chassis which stopped it from spinning properly. It was brought into the competition as a cannon fodder bot."
- — Team PP3D
In its Series 7 qualifier, Typhoon 2 fought Araknia, Ewe 2 and Big Nipper. The robot was fitted with "funky DIY" omni-wheels for the battle, though these did not work as well in practice as Team Typhoon had hoped. The battle was won by Ewe 2, but all four robots, including Typhoon 2 were awarded places in the Seventh Wars regardless.
Typhoon 2 made its debut in the second series of Robot Wars Extreme, competing exclusively in the Annihilator. There, it fought Kan-Opener, Thermidor 2, Revenge of Trouble & Strife, Major Tom and Raging Reality.
- "A team of air cadets, planning to whip up a storm with this, or self-destruct!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Typhoon 2 before the Annihilator
In the first round, Typhoon 2 avoided the initial action as it got its weapon up to speed, before dodging an attack from Revenge of Trouble & Strife and slamming into Kan-Opener. One of Kan-Opener’s jaws caught Typhoon 2’s cone, stopping it completely and leaving a massive gash in Typhoon 2 as it dragged and pulled itself free. With Typhoon 2 unable to spin its weapon up again, Raging Reality capitalised on this by getting under and flipping it over, leaving it stranded on its side and unable to self-right. Typhoon 2 was counted out by Refbot, and the first to be eliminated from the Annihilator.
- "Will they press self-destruct so that their secret will not fall into enemy hands? Out, Typhoon 2, first machine to go in the Annihilator."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Typhoon 2 is counted out
Fighting in the main competition for the first time, Typhoon 2 appeared in Heat O of The Seventh Wars, facing Colossus, the fourth seed, Series 5 runner-up and Minor Meltdown champion Bigger Brother and newcomer U.R.O. in its first-round battle.
- Jayne Middlemiss: "So, what are your tactics when you’re driving out there?"
- Gary Cairns: "Well, I’m sorry, but that’s a military secret."
- — The interview before Typhoon 2’s first-round battle
It briefly drove up to Bigger Brother before retreating to a CPZ in the opening seconds, as Bigger Brother attacked Colossus and U.R.O., and largely stayed out of the action, seemingly unable to get its spinner working at all. Typhoon 2 and Bigger Brother proceeded to attack U.R.O., with the two robots helping to push, lift and pin U.R.O. against the walls and angle grinder. It then drove into an empty CPZ as Bigger Brother gave chase, before eventually being flipped over. However, Colossus was counted out seconds later, despite Bigger Brother attempting to re-right it, and Typhoon 2 went through as U.R.O. was also eliminated later on, its weapon finally spinning as it lay on its side.
In the second round, Typhoon 2 fought Dutch Robot Wars competitor Hammerhead 2.
It dodged Hammerhead 2’s initial charge as it got its weapon spinning, before deflecting Hammerhead 2’s front and luring it into Matilda’s CPZ. Typhoon 2 glanced off one of Hammerhead 2’s side hammers before slamming into its front, sending Hammerhead 2 spinning across the arena. Another hit caused one of Hammerhead 2’s wheels to lock up, immobilising it on one side, before Typhoon 2 slammed into its tail, causing both robots to momentarily lift off the floor. Hammerhead 2 tried to flip Typhoon 2 over with the tail, but missed, before Typhoon 2 ripped into its front and side panels.
Another couple of hits tore more chunks of Hammerhead 2’s armour off – its front panel coming clean off - and sent it spinning, with Hammerhead 2 being left completely immobilised after this onslaught. Typhoon 2 backed away as Hammerhead 2 was counted out, flipped, had pieces of railway track dropped on it, and pitted, progressing to the Heat Final. Gary Cairns later considered this battle to be the team's favourite from Series 7 in an interview held after the Grand Final.
- "We talked about the danger created by spinners… this machine is a spinner in itself!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Typhoon 2 immobilises Hammerhead 2
In the Heat Final, Typhoon 2 faced seasoned Robot Wars veteran Iron-Awe 2.1, which had just eliminated Bigger Brother.
Again, it drove around Refbot and away from Iron-Awe 2.1 in order to spin up its weapon to maximum speed. After some hesitation, Typhoon 2 slammed into Iron-Awe 2.1 twice, sending it spinning across the arena both times. It retreated and manoeuvred around Iron-Awe 2.1 as its spinner built up speed again, before sending Iron-Awe 2.1 violently spinning and buckling its flipper on its next hit. Another succession of hits buckled Iron-Awe 2.1’s front further and nearly lifted it over, with Typhoon 2 also knocking the pit release button off the wall before slamming side-on into Iron-Awe 2.1 again. Typhoon 2’s spinner briefly slowed as it clashed with Iron-Awe 2.1 once more, before driving away and nearly sending Iron-Awe 2.1 spinning into the pit after another hit.
- "Iron-Awe, get down that pit! Save yourself!"
- — Jonathan Pearce immediately before Typhoon 2’s knockout blow on Iron-Awe 2.1
With Iron-Awe 2.1 lingering near the edge of the pit, Typhoon 2 slammed into it once again, the impact immobilising Iron-Awe 2.1 as it was sent spinning towards Shunt’s CPZ. Typhoon 2 emerged victorious as Iron-Awe 2.1 was attacked by Shunt, counted out and had a cooker dropped on it, which Typhoon 2 destroyed just after 'cease' was called. Following this destructive and dominant performance, Typhoon 2 advanced to the Semi-Finals.
As before, it dodged Thermidor 2’s initial charge and lured it across the arena before sending Thermidor 2 spinning away with its blades. This impact immobilised Thermidor 2 instantly, and Typhoon 2 buffeted it into an empty CPZ with a few hits before backing away and allowing Shunt and Sir Killalot to attack Thermidor 2.
- "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...this spinning, whirling dervish of a robot!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Typhoon 2 immobilises Thermidor 2
Typhoon 2 stayed clear as Thermidor 2 was counted out, picked up by Sir Killalot and held over the Flame Pit. Thermidor 2 was then thrown by the Floor Flipper and had a washing machine dropped on it, as the Edinburgh Air Cadets progressed to the second round.
There, Typhoon 2 fought the unseeded Atomic for a place in the Grand Final.
Once again, Typhoon 2 attempted to drive away from Atomic to get its weapon spinning, but was scooped up by Atomic and almost thrown onto its side straight away. Attempting to escape the CPZ, Typhoon 2 drove itself into an angle grinder, allowing Atomic to knock it over against the wall as it attempted a second flip. In doing so, Atomic flipped itself over, and with its flipper malfunctioning, Typhoon 2 gingerly approached Atomic, getting its spinner up to maximum speed as it prepared for an attack.
- "Whoa, look at that speed for Typhoon 2 now! Listen…listen! The Typhoon is nearing! It is closing! OOOHHH! Momentarily, Atomic was in the eye of the storm, and in the calm, until Typhoon 2 came in!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Typhoon 2 slams into Atomic
Sparks flew as Typhoon 2 slammed into Atomic, sending it spinning into the wall and forcing its flipper down. Another hit buckled Atomic’s flipper and tore into its side, with Typhoon 2 leaving it beached in the CPZ before sending more sparks flying as it struck its side once again. Atomic was counted out before being speared, carried to the Floor Flipper and pitted by Sir Killalot, while Typhoon 2 advanced to the Grand Final.
- "Will Typhoon 2 whip up a storm? Just wait and see…"
- — Jonathan Pearce, at the end of a recap of Typhoon 2’s run to the Grand Final
In the Grand Final, Typhoon 2 was drawn against the eleventh seed X-Terminator in its eliminator.
In the opening moments, it constantly drove away from X-Terminator’s flywheel as the latter approached, preventing X-Terminator from being able to hit its spinning cone before it got up to speed. Typhoon 2 continued luring X-Terminator around the arena until it hit head-on into its flywheel, sending sparks flying as X-Terminator spun around. Another hit from Typhoon 2 sent small pieces flying from X-Terminator and disabled its flywheel, with X-Terminator hitting the pit release button.
Typhoon 2 slammed head-on into X-Terminator a few more times, sending more sparks flying and momentarily lifting it in doing so. Sustained attacks from Typhoon 2 buckled X-Terminator’s front scoop and tore into its right-hand side, before Typhoon 2 drove itself into the wall, tearing a large section out of it, and ripped part of X-Terminator’s scoop off. ‘Cease’ was called, and the battle was stopped for safety reasons while repairs to the arena were carried out.
- "I’ve never seen damage anything like this before. X-Terminator hopes bashed, our arena smashed!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as the battle is stopped
While being interviewed by Jayne Middlemiss, Mat Irvine considered Typhoon 2 as being ‘potentially the most dangerous’ competitor the Judges had ever seen up to this point. Once the arena had been repaired, the battle was restarted, with Typhoon 2 immobilising X-Terminator not long afterwards with a side-on slam which affected the Belmont machine's batteries. X-Terminator was counted out and pitted by Dead Metal, allowing Typhoon 2 to progress to the Grand Final.
As before, Typhoon 2 dodged Storm 2’s initial charge before deflecting off its front wedge, and drove across the arena as Storm 2 gave chase. A second hit deflected Storm 2 away from Typhoon 2, before Typhoon 2 steered precariously close to the wall and hit Storm 2 again a couple of times. In doing so, Typhoon 2 hit the wall, stopping its spinner and allowing Storm 2 to get underneath and lift Typhoon 2 over the flame jet, but not completely over.
- "If it does go over, it’s all over!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Storm 2 attempts to turn Typhoon 2 over
Typhoon 2 slipped off of Storm 2’s lifter as it was steered towards an angle grinder, and drove away, only to drive itself into Matilda’s CPZ and allow Storm 2 to lift it against the wall a second time. Again, Typhoon 2 escaped, getting its weapon up to speed before hitting the wall, damaging it for a second battle in a row. This brought the battle to an abrupt halt as more repairs were required, with the Judges stating that Storm 2 was on top upon being interviewed by Jayne Middlemiss.
- "Storm 2, on top before the ‘cease’ according to the judges – and again – and pursuing Typhoon 2! Typhoon 2 take-off!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as the Grand Final resumes
When the battle restarted, Typhoon 2 spun its weapon up to full speed before ‘Activate’ was called once again, in an effort to prevent its petrol engine from stalling. However, it was immediately deflected and launched into the air by repeated slams from Storm 2. One slam stopped Typhoon 2’s spinner as Storm 2 pushed it into Matilda and lifted it a third time, before pushing it across the arena towards an empty CPZ. One of Typhoon 2’s blades caught the edge of the pit square, causing it to roll on its side into the pit release button before it escaped and deflected off of Storm 2’s wedge.
Sparks flew as Storm 2 nearly pitted Typhoon 2, before Typhoon 2 slammed into Storm 2’s front a few more times. Storm 2 responded by pushing Typhoon 2 into the CPZs and an angle grinder, with Typhoon 2 losing a drive belt and Storm 2 having one of its wedge panels falling off as the battle drew to a close. The drive belt itself had previously been dislodged in the battle with X-Terminator, and had no effect on Typhoon 2’s mobility as both robots spun and drove around in jubilation once ‘Cease’ was called. Nevertheless, despite Team Typhoon’s efforts, the petrol engine had stalled by this point, leaving the spinner to rotate very slowly during the final moments.
Since both robots were still mobile, the Grand Final went to a Judges’ decision; upon returning to their bullpens, both were inspected by the Judges for damage as part of their deliberation. Ultimately, despite Storm 2 being consistently more aggressive and controlled, Typhoon 2 scored higher on style and damage. As the latter carried more weight than Storm 2's aggression under the original scoring criteria, it was declared the Grand Champion of The Seventh Wars, in one of the most controversial finishes in Robot Wars history.
- "The judges have said that style was won by Typhoon 2. They've said that control was won by Storm 2. They've said that aggression was also won by Storm 2. They've said that damage - there's a bit of your [Team Storm] robot back - was won by Typhoon 2. Now, because of the way the scoring is awarded for those categories...damage carries more weight, THEY'VE GONE FOR TYPHOON!"
- — Craig Charles announces the decision
The Third World Championship
- "We were told that as winners we had a place in the World Championship, but this possibility had never entered our heads. The team held a council of war and decided to concentrate our limited resources on the upcoming middleweight final which we succeeded in winning for a record third year in succession."
- — Peter Bennett, explaining Typhoon 2's withdrawal from The Third World Championship
As the newly-crowned UK champion, Typhoon 2 was one of five robots to automatically qualify for The Third World Championship, and was due to fight Tough as Nails from the Netherlands and Rawbot from Sweden in its first-round battle. However, it was forced to withdraw after Team Typhoon only had one set of batteries remaining between it and their middleweight, Typhoon, and elected to defend their Middleweight Championship title with the latter. Typhoon 2’s withdrawal was stated in the TV broadcast to be the result of ‘technical problems’.
- "Absolute stunner. Typhoon 2, recently-crowned UK champions, withdrawing late on because of technical problems in the pits…"
- — Jonathan Pearce notes Typhoon 2’s absence from the Third World Championship as its first round battle commences without it
Due to its withdrawal from the Third World Championship, the Series 7 Grand Final marked Typhoon 2's last appearance in Robot Wars, although it continued to fight in international live events for some time after the original series was cancelled.
|TYPHOON 2 - RESULTS|
|Extreme Series 2|
|Round 1||vs. Kan-Opener, Major Tom, Raging Reality,
Revenge of Trouble & Strife, Thermidor 2
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat O, Round 1||vs. Bigger Brother (4), Colossus, U.R.O.||Qualified|
|Heat O, Round 2||vs. Hammerhead 2||Won|
|Heat O, Final||vs. Iron-Awe 2.1||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Thermidor 2 (14)||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 2||vs. Atomic||Won|
|Grand Final, Eliminator||vs. X-Terminator (11)||Won|
|Grand Final||vs. Storm 2 (16)||Won|
|The Third World Championship|
Representing UK, Eliminated in Heats
|Heat||vs. Rawbot (SWE), Tough as Nails (NED)||Withdrew|
|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.|
- Wins: 7
- Losses: 1
Typhoon 2's withdrawal from The Third World Championship is omitted from the Losses tally.
|Main Series||Typhoon 2 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|
|The Seventh Wars||Grand Champion|
Middleweight Championship with Typhoon
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 Championship with Typhoon|
|Series 2||Annihilator, Sixth Place|
Middleweight Championship with Typhoon and Typhoon Twins
Lightweight Championship with Typhoon Thunder
Outside Robot Wars
Shortly after its success in Series 7, Typhoon 2 also briefly competed at international-level live events. The team used the £5,000 prize money from their victory in Series 7 to compete overseas in the heavyweight combat tournament of the 2005 RoboGames competition in San Francisco, California. The motors used during its time on Robot Wars were also replaced and upgraded for the competition.
- "This had the drive motors and engine start motor replaced with a mini magmotor. The drive was more powerful but geared to the same top speed. The engine start motor could be used as am initial boost to spin the shell up quicker for the first few seconds of the fight (similar to modern robots using a brushed motor in conjunction with a brushless motor to get up to speed quicker)."
- — Gary Cairns explains the internal upgrades to Typhoon 2 following its Robot Wars success
Although it lost its first round battle to SJ (the renamed ex-BattleBots competitor SlamJob), it progressed through the losers' bracket, also getting revenge on SJ in the process, before facing defending champion Megabyte in the Bracket Final. While Typhoon 2 won the battle by immobilising Megabyte with its first hit, it sustained severe damage which could not be repaired in time for the Grand Final, where it was due to fight Sewer Snake. As a result, it withdrew from the Final and won the silver medal in the heavyweight (220lbs) category.
Typhoon 2 was retired from robot combat altogether shortly after its RoboGames appearance. In 2012, it was rebuilt to repair the damage sustained at RoboGames.
Typhoon 2 made two appearances at the Dundee Science Centre in 2013 and 2014. It would also appear as a static display in 2018 at a Rampaging Chariots event alongside Triforce.
- In every fight aside from its Grand Final eliminator, Typhoon 2 faced at least one robot with either a flipping or lifting weapon.
- Typhoon 2 is one of six UK Championship competitors to debut in Robot Wars Extreme: Series 2, and along with Lightning, one of only two to debut outside the New Blood Championship.
- Throughout Series 7, Team Typhoon regularly made jokes about their tactics and the function of the machine as being "military secrets".
- In a June 2004 issue of the Robot Wars Club newsletter, Peter Bennett confirmed that Team Typhoon had begun updating Typhoon 2 ahead of a hypothetical Eighth Wars, in an effort to address weaknesses encountered during its Series 7 run. However, the show would enter its hiatus upon the conclusion of Series 7.
- After Team Typhoon did not compete in Series 8 of Robot Wars, Typhoon 2 became the only UK Robot Wars champion to not attempt to defend its title in the following series. Driver Gary Cairns would enter Series 8 with his own robot, PP3D, although it has no further connection to Team Typhoon.
- Typhoon 2 is one of two Semi-Finalists from Series 7 that lost its original qualifier battle and had to rely on a discretionary place from the producers. The other was Tough as Nails.
- Typhoon 2 is also the only Robot Wars champion known to have failed to qualify for a prior series.
- Typhoon 2 and Razer are the only Robot Wars champions to lose their first televised battles, not counting the Belgian champions.
- Typhoon 2 was measured in the Pits for the creation of a toy, however the show was cancelled before a toy could be made.
- Typhoon 2 is the only Grand Champion to have neither won nor lost a fight via a pitting.
- Typhoon 2 is one of only two robots to defeat Storm 2, the other being Apollo.
- Typhoon 2 was the third and last occurrence of one machine in each World Championship failing to work and losing its only battle by default. This had previously happened to Terror Australis in the First World Championship and Yeborobo in the Second World Championship, though unlike those two Typhoon 2 failed to even enter the Arena.
- Excluding Series 1 and Series 3 as they did not include seeds, Typhoon 2's Semi-Final battle against Atomic was one of only three Semi-Final battles in the history of Robot Wars to not include at least one seeded machine. The other two being Atomic vs. M2 from the same series and Bigger Brother vs. S3 from The Fifth Wars.
- Reply to a 2022 post from Robot Wars Shuntposting by Gary Cairns
- Reddit post by Gary Cairns
- Robot Wars Newsletter (Robot Wars Club), Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2004)
- YouTube comment by Gary Cairns