- "Preying from overhead"
- — Robot Wars: The Official Handbook
Vulture was a heavyweight robot which competed in Series 10 of Robot Wars. It was entered by Team Immersion, whose captain had previously entered the Series 8 pilot with Tanto. After reaching the Heat Semi-Final against Terrorhurtz, Vulture settled for fourth place in its heat, withdrawing shortly before its Third Place Play-off.
- "New to Robot Wars the young builders from team Vulture have created an innovative design of dual weapons that include an axe and a spinner. The axe can travel 180 degrees in half a second. The weapon delivers 8kJ of kinetic energy on a hit; the equivalent of six .44 handgun rounds"
- — Robot Wars website
Vulture ran on a two-wheel drive, and was protected by a wide HARDOX front wedge, with three curved prongs designed to hold robots in place. The armour varied from 6-8mm in thickness. Its weapon was a comparatively light spinning blade on the end of a moving arm, powered by AmpFlow motors. This was described both as an "overhead spinner" and as a "spinning bar head", and had a top speed of 6,000rpm. The arm allowed Vulture to spin its weapon on either end of the robot. Alternatively, Vulture could use its wedge to breach the ground clearances of robots, and then bring its spinner down onto the top of opponents, like the earlier designs of Dead Metal. Two supporting structures surrounded each side of the moving arm, to give the robot birdlike features and allow the robot to self-right more comfortably, using the arm which travels 180 degrees in half a second. The robot is powered by an 8s LiPo 30V. However, the team noted a potential weakness in the robot’s welding. The overall design took design cues from the team's featherweights, Amnesia and RPM.
Vulture also had an optional, steeper 10mm 'anti-spinner' HARDOX 500 wedge, weighing a hefty 22kg, which could be applied to the front of the robot. Vulture was equipped with this for its debut fight featuring Apex, before the scoop was then used by Track-tion in two battles, after Team Immersion allowed the school team to borrow their scoop.
- "The robot has been built literally just to prove a point. You don't have to be an engineer, you don't have to have loads of experience, you don't have to be absolutely minted with money. We've started from nothing, and we're on Robot Wars, and we're going to win!"
- — Adam Hamilton
- "Team Captain Adam named their Robot Vulture not only because it will prey on the weaknesses of other robots in the arena but it’s named after a Pendulum song that inspired him."
- — The Robot Wars website
The name Vulture partially references the way the robot's overhead weapon can 'prey on the weaknesses of other robots' by attacking from above in a birdlike manner, but is primarily a reference to music by the drum and bass band Pendulum, and their 2010 song The Vulture, released as part of the album which Vulture's team is named after, Immersion. This keeps in line with Team Immersion's general theme of naming their robots after Pendulum and Knife Party music.
- Main article: Team Immersion
Vulture was entered into Robot Wars by Team Immersion, captained by 25-year old Adam Hamilton from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the driver and lead designer of the machine. He was joined by his partner Emma Jones, and housemate Thomas Long, who was responsible for the wiring of the robot. 19-year old Jarvis Callister also joined the team as a co-designer of Vulture, and the weapons operator.
- "After buying [Tanto] from Craig Danby, Matthew and Adam wanted to conjure up something fresh; however, we didn’t know what to do at this point, as our knowledge was limited with heavyweights"
- — Adam Hamilton
After Adam Hamilton competed in Series 8's pilot with Tanto, he formed the first concept for a competitor to use in Series 9. He and teammate Matthew Pearman initially conceptualised a two-part clusterbot named Immersion, with each part featuring a vertical spinner and a two-way flipper, and designs similar to that of the team's featherweight Amnesia. However, the team decided against this design, as they considered it too similar to that of Crackers 'n' Smash. The two, who competed in the pilot episode of Series 8 after loaning Tanto from Team Danby, then created the first CAD for Vulture, which was noticed by Jarvis Callister, who then joined the team and improved the design. Vulture was initially intended to use the two-way flipper concept popularised by Amnesia, but this proved to be infeasible. As Jarvis Callister headlined the CAD and Adam Hamilton was the most responsible for construction, Matthew Pearman left the team to attempt qualification for Series 9 with Dantomkia, and Matt Smith filled his space, having been part of Hobgoblin's team up to this stage.
This version of Vulture which applied for Series 9, while still based upon Amnesia, was a conventional wedge-shaped drum spinner, not unlike Pulsar, using a brushless motor provided by Harry Hills. However, Vulture would not be selected to compete in Series 9 of Robot Wars.
- "We weren’t successful with our application… back to the drawing board! We decided that it would be best to replace the disc with something unique. Matt got offered to go with Hobgoblin, Adam was used to lifting arms and gear reductions whilst Jarvis wanted to build a spinner still. This is where the madness really began, overhead saws are cool but what if we have a disc instead? Let’s go for it!"
- — Adam Hamilton
Fearing that the original idea of a drum spinner would be perceived as unoriginal by the producers, Hamilton and Callister conceptualised other designs for Vulture, again including a design reminiscent of the first Amnesia. Ultimately, the team settled upon the weaponry of Vulture which would go on to be used in Series 10. Thomas Long joined the team to assist with wiring, and Emma Jones also joined the team, who successfully qualified for Series 10.
- "After a lot of swearing and frustration, we finally got the machine ready only 3 hours before we set off for Glasgow. We threw in the back of the car and off we went."
- — Adam Hamilton
- "From Newcastle-upon-Tyne, doing it for the lads!"
- — Adam Hamilton brings Northern spirit to Robot Wars
Vulture competed in Heat 3, where in its first battle, it would face seasoned teams in Team Hurtz and Team Danby, with their robots Terrorhurtz and Apex. Dara Ó Briain remarked his surprise at Team Immersion's build quality in spite of their non-technical working backgrounds. Vulture had applied its anti-spinner scoop in order to defend itself against Apex.
- "This is fantastically ludicrous, this is a folly, this is madness that you'd even think you could compete here, but this looks great!"
- — Dara Ó Briain
Edited out of the televised broadcast, Vulture kept its distance from its opponents, and after a slam from Terrorhurtz, Apex broke the arena wall, and the battle was halted and restarted before Vulture could even make contact with the other robots. At the beginning of the restarted battle, Vulture pressed into Apex, which had already lost power to its spinner. Later, it drove under the back of Apex, and unintentionally struck the approaching Terrorhurtz with its rear spinner, engaging with Terrorhurtz until Apex unleashed Fog of War. It drove into both robots, but sustained a direct blow from Terrorhurtz's axe before bring its own overhead weapon onto the wedge of Terrorhurtz. The next attack from Terrorhurtz directly hit the moving arm of Vulture, and another blow buried Terrorhurtz's axe directly into Vulture, locking the two robots together. Vulture lacked pushing power as it was edged backwards, and then dragged onto the flame pit, where Vulture burned until Apex became stuck on the side of it. While freeing Vulture from the flame pit, Shunt slammed into Vulture's moving arm, which was now disabled, and the robot was only mobile on one side.
- Jarvis Callister: "The arm is actually dead now. Have we lost drive?"
- Adam Hamilton: "Yeah, we've lost drive on one side."
- — Team Immersion sense their defeat
Vulture turned in circles, and Professor Noel Sharkey contemplated whether to initiate the countdown clock. In order to relieve pressure on the robot's drive motors, Vulture voluntarily ceased all movement, and only struck Terrorhurtz and Apex with its spinner when the opposing robots drew near. Vulture was counted out, and had finished third in the battle, which was eventually won by Terrorhurtz.
- Angela Scanlon: "We have a twenty-minute window. That's all we've got, the timer's on now, so if we're not ready in twenty minutes, on a trolley, and on the way to the arena, it's curtains. Can you do it?"
- Adam Hamilton: "Yeah, it's just little fiddly bits that we'll do."
- — Team Immersion while repairing Vulture
In the Redemption Robot Knockouts, Vulture was drawn against fellow newcomer Bucky the Robot. The full two-hour repair period was used to make stressful fixes to Vulture, but it entered the arena in a working state.
Vulture used its wedge shape to drive straight under the opponent, but missed with its overhead spinner, damaging itself in the process. Struggling for traction on the arena floor, Vulture drove onto the floor flipper and was tossed over. It self-righted, but landed straight in the mouth of Bucky the Robot, where it was gripped and pushed backwards into Dead Metal, where the two moving spinners clashed. Vulture reversed when freed, drawing near enough to the Arena Tyre to open the pit. Vulture was able to bring its spinner onto the front of Bucky the Robot and push it back into Dead Metal. Both robots drew near to the pit, and Vulture suddenly started to emit smoke.
- "There's a bit of smoke action out the back!"
- — Angela Scanlon
At this time, Vulture's spinner stopped working, and was left to fight using only its wedge as it drove under Bucky the Robot, and then succeeded in pushing it onto the floor flipper. In a stroke of luck for Team Immersion, Bucky the Robot was thrown onto its side, a position from which it could not self-right. Vulture held off, and spun in circles as 'cease' was called, having qualified for the Heat semi-final.
- "Vulture, waiting to prey, as vultures do, gruesome birds..."
- — Jonathan Pearce
In the semi-final, Vulture would once again face Terrorhurtz, which the team idolised. Ahead of its rematch, a 'pillow' was made from blocks of HDPE and other spare materials available to the team to protect the top of Vulture, including Velcro fastening, as the design had not been optimised to defend it from axes.
- "Vulture are up against Terrorhurtz, and they're their heroes, they watched them growing up, they're obsessed with John. And with that machine. And now, they're having to try and fend it off by creating what they're calling a 'pillow'. So hopefully this pillow, they're sacrificing armour to allow themselves to build this pillow that will hopefully stop the axe from getting through to the motor. It sounds... a little dodgy!"
- — Angela Scanlon
Vulture used a good turn of speed to drive under Terrorhurtz, but received an axe blow to the wedge, and a second blow to the top while edged into the CPZ. While Vulture attempted to bring down its own weapon, a big hit from Terrorhurtz shook loose part of Vulture's protective pillow, and the next two swings of the axe further damaged the bodywork and pillow of Vulture. Terrorhurtz disabled the spinner of Vulture, which could only flee in response, showering sparks as it sustained more blows.
- "Well they've battled long in this heat, and they've done really well. They've grown, I think, in confidence. Little bit nervy at the start, and now clearly just trying to last the three minutes."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Sustaining further blows, Vulture's wheel hub was struck by Terrorhurtz as it was held in a CPZ. At this stage, Adam Hamilton believed that Vulture had lost drive on one side while Terrorhurtz buried its axe back into the robot. The two were separated when Matilda threw Vulture over, merely allowing Terrorhurtz to inflict more punishment, although Vulture regained free movement as it continued to flee. Vulture circled around its opponent, strategising, and elected to press the Arena Tyre, which activated Fog of War to the disappointment of the team.
- "The Dial of Doom gives Fog of War, used tactically again! Confusing for them, confusing for me, I haven't got a clue what's going on. Where's Vulture out there, OH too near Dead Metal there!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
During Fog of War, Vulture drew too near to Dead Metal, and were gripped, as Terrorhurtz pressed the Arena Tyre to activate Fog of War once again. This time, Vulture drove onto the flame pit, where their movement was impeded by the damaged floor, and Vulture burned, where it was trapped in place by Terrorhurtz, and it also became clear that Vulture's tyre was starting to shred. The battle concluded at the end of three minutes when Terrorhurtz pushed Vulture into the corner of the arena and stranded it on its arm.
- "Come a long way from Newcastle to fight against their heroes, I think quietly, they'll be proud of the job they've done. All about pillow talk, meaningless mumble, Vulture slumber peacefully."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Vulture had managed to survive until a Judges' decision, although the unanimous decision was quite clearly in favour of Terrorhurtz.
- "Stop pointing, as it gives away the answer!"
- — Dara Ó Briain to Adam Hamilton, who pointed at John Reid before the winner was announced
Vulture could now only qualify for the Grand Final by winning its Third Place Play-off against Track-tion, to earn a space in the 10 Robot Rumble. The battle posed a moral dilemma to Team Immersion, as they had previously lent their anti-spinner wedge to Track-tion earlier in the episode, and needed to retrieve the panel ahead of the 10 Robot Rumble, where the wedge would be necessary. Ultimately, the team did reclaim their wedge, and stored it under their pit bench.
- "There is a saying that no good deed goes unpunished, and you are currently living that!"
- — Dara Ó Briain
However, Vulture encountered bigger problems than the morals of their scoop, as Vulture unexpectedly suffered from an internal failure. Only minutes before Vulture was to enter the arena, Team Immersion discovered that some of the wires powering the machine had been pinched, as these wires were housed too close to the robot's weapon arm and frame. In order to repair this, Team Immersion would have needed to replace the motor that the wires were attached to, and as the motor was positioned in an area of the machine which was infeasible to access within the allotted time-frame, Team Immersion were left with no choice but to formally forfeit the fight to Track-tion. This ended Vulture's heat campaign in fourth place, and the team draped their jacket over the beaten machine.
- "We nipped a couple little wires, and that was it, we couldn't reach it, so we'd have to completely take apart the motor and put it back together again."
- — Adam Hamilton
|VULTURE - RESULTS|
|Series 10 - UK Championship|
Heat, Fourth Place
|Heat 3, Group Battle||vs. Apex, Terrorhurtz||Lost|
|Heat 3, Robot Redemption||vs. Bucky the Robot||Won|
|Heat 3, Semi-Final||vs. Terrorhurtz||Lost|
|Heat 3, Third Place Play-off||vs. Track-tion||Withdrew|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 2
NOTE: Vulture's withdrawal against Track-tion has been excluded from the tally
|Series||Vulture Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Pilot only with Tanto (Adam Hamilton)|
|Series 9||Not selected|
|Series 10||Heat, Fourth Place|
Outside Robot Wars
Following on from its appearance on Robot Wars, Vulture was immediately retired. Its chassis was given away to featherweight roboteer Joel West-Ward, and used as a testing bay with an off-screen team member of Team Immersion, Matthew Pearman. Vulture's thicker anti-spinner wedge used by Track-tion was given to Alasdair Sutherland, the spinner weapon was given to Isaac Sharp, and most of the internal components from Vulture were later used in other heavyweight robots built by Adam Hamilton. The only pieces of Vulture still owned by the team are its two thinner wedges, the former being used exclusively in Vulture's photo-shoot while the latter was used in battle, and was signed by the roboteers in attendance.
In March 2019, Joel West-Ward sold the chassis of Vulture to Theo Beech, who intends to restore the robot to working condition for UK live events, albeit initially without a spinning weapon. Theo Beech brought Vulture to Robonerd in August 2019 where it appeared as a static exhibit.
For more information on the robots entered by Team Immersion outside of Robot Wars, including Vulture's heavyweight successors Bonfire and Immersion, and robots in lighter weight classes built by Adam Hamilton, Thomas Long and Jarvis Callister, see Team Immersion.
- Team Immersion brought their featherweight Amnesia to filming, and displayed it in The Pits, but it could not enter alongside Vulture as a minibot.
- Vulture was the only robot to forfeit a battle in Series 10.
- Vulture's anti-spinner scoop was responsible for the flying bar spinner of Apex breaking the arena wall in its battle against Track-tion.
- Vulture is the final robot to be listed in the competitor profiles of Robot Wars: The Official Handbook, due to the book listing the robots in alphabetical order. This is an error, however, as Wyrm should be the last robot listed alphabetically.
- Vulture is also completely missing from the Index page, the only robot to be omitted.
- Team Immersion - Combat Robots Facebook Page
- Vulture on the Robot Wars website
- Team Immersion on The Builders Database