"Nippy, zippy and altogether dippy! What you see is what you get with this robot! Weighing in at 10.8 kilograms, this lightweight entry may surprise us all with its amazing acceleration and magnificent manoeuvrability!"
Jonathan Pearce introduces WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get, pronounced Wiz-ee-wig) was a robot that competed in the British television show Robot Wars.

Along with Grunt and Eubank the Mouse, WYSIWYG was a stock robot brought in to make up the numbers for that series, and was not allowed to reach the arena stages. It was created by first series judge Eric Dickinson.



Michelle Wheeley with WYSIWYG

"It's made out of wood, which means it's quite light and can move quite fast, it's wedge-shaped, so it can hopefully tip up the other robots, but I think I'm going to have to stay out of the way of the House Robots!"
— Michelle Wheeley describes her machine

WYSIWYG was a box-wedge robot painted white with a black Starsky & Hutch style stripe along the top and sides. It had no weapons but was very manoeuvrable and nimble, and was built for superior acceleration. Despite being introduced as a lightweight, WYSIWYG was actually a featherweight weighing 10.8kg. This made it the only featherweight in First Wars not to compete in the featherweight heat, meaning it was well below the weight of its opponents.

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 1Edit

"Now what you see is a young woman driver, and what you get … ah right."
— Dated stereotypes from Jonathan Pearce during the Gauntlet

WYSIWYG becomes stuck on the ramp

WYSIWYG was the fourth robot to run the Gauntlet in Heat C. WYSIWYG started by charging off the turntable, but crashed into a fence. It quickly reversed and chose the centre route, but got stuck on the edge of the ramp. Shunt went in to free WYSIWYG but got stuck himself. Shunt was pushed by Dead Metal, which in turn pushed WYSIWYG free. WYSIWYG then reversed and went for the maze route, but had steering problems, turning into the top railings, and after struggling to correct itself, WYSIWYG reversed along, nearly driving onto a grille. It turned itself around, narrowly avoiding turning onto the grille as it hit the side railings. It reversed and turned, then drove down the maze, but drove into the second fence. It reversed, and time ran out. As "Stop, and deactivate robots" was called, WYSIWYG darted forwards, driving onto the grille.

Jeremy Clarkson: "Dearie, dearie me. Now, what on earth happened there?"
Michelle Wheeley: "It was a slaughter!"
Jeremy Clarkson: "It WAS a slaughter, except you actually managed to get a House Robot stuck, which is an all-time first!"
Michelle Wheeley: "Yeah, felt pretty good actually!"
Jeremy Clarkson: "Okay, well you managed to go … the wrong way, but nonetheless some way."
— Post-Gauntlet interview

WYSIWYG had only covered 5.55m, but this was still more than Plunderbird 1, and WYSIWYG progressed.


WYSIWYG and the other robots in the football trial

In the Football Trial, WYSIWYG was required to fall at this stage due to its status as a stock robot. Before the Trial, WYSIWYG and few of the other teams added extra panels to their robots to improve their ball control. WYSIWYG started by bumping into Robot the Bruce as it charged at the ball, before turning away and into Cruella. WYSIWYG then drove down the arena, away from the others, before turning around and driving into the front of Robot the Bruce, blocking it. WYSIWYG moved away from Robot the Bruce, and drove into the side of the arena. Whilst Wedgehog and Cruella fought for the ball, WYSIWYG drove into the side of Dead Metal. The House Robot span, knocking WYSIWYG away. WYSIWYG escaped as Robot the Bruce got hold of the ball, and drove behind Wedge hog as Robot the Bruce scored the first goal.

WYSIWYG damage football Cruella

WYSIWYG pushes Cruella

In the second round, WYSIWYG reversed into Dreadnaut, then turned to push the ball away. However, it turned incorrectly, driving up the arena, allowing Wedgehog to reach the ball. Cruella took the ball, and WYSIWYG charged at Cruella.

"Ooh, go on WYSIWYG, that deserves a yellow card!"
— Jonathan Pearce

The two robots pushed at the ball together, but Cruella managed to turn, pushing WYSIWYG aside. As Cruella pushed WYSIWYG, WYSIWYG's metal front came loose. WYSIWYG turned around, and despite being hit by one of Dead Metal's pincers, managed to block Cruella. Dreadnaut and Wedgehog got the ball away, but Dreadnaut broke down, allowing Wedgehog to get the ball and dribble it into the goal.


Dreadnaut lies immobile as Cruella beats W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. to the ball

The game restarted, and Cruella blocked WYSIWYG as they both moved around the immobile Dreadnaut. Cruella pushed the ball into Dreadnaut, then pushed the ball onto the curved wall, and after a few attempts freed the ball into open play. Meanwhile, WYSIWYG attacked Dead Metal and was knocked into the goal post, and Cruella eventually scored the next goal.


Dreadnaut and W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G., both immobile

Before the fourth battle, both remaining robots had broken down, and the judges had to choose a winner. As both robots had failed to score, the robot with the most touches of the ball was awarded victory, which they declared was Dreadnaut.

In truth, this was the second instance in the series of stock robots being prohibited from passing the second round, which left WYSIWYG ineligible to qualify, thus it made no effort to win through the round.

Jeremy Clarkson: "Michelle, big commiserations. Perhaps nobody explained that in a game of football, you have to actually, sometimes, aim AT the ball!"
Michelle Wheeley: "Well, because they're all much bigger than me, I had to try and get in someway, if they didn't get out of my way, I bashed them out of my way! I thought that would be worth something anyway."
Jeremy Clarkson: "Yes, it's worth a trip home!"
— Post-Trial interview

1996 Championship Edit

WYSIWYG was featured in the official VHS release of American Robot Wars 1996, where an interview with Eric Dickinson about WYSIWYG took place as well as a Grudge Match against the 73kg French robot Steel at Work.

"The English robot hadn't travelled all this way to be denied to be taking on the French robot, Steel at Work."
— Paul Vallis entire commentary of the fight
Wysiwyg vs steel at work

WYSIWYG knocks out Steel at Work

The Grudge Match was a quick one, with WYSIWYG quickly slamming into the slower moving Steel at Work in an immediate attack. WYSIWYG circled around Steel at Work, which was only turning in circles, before delivering a second blow, knocking out the drive chain. Steel at Work began to smoke as WYSIWYG darted around the arena celebrating its victory.


Series 1
The First Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Trial
Heat C, Gauntlet 5.55m (5th) Qualified
Heat C, Trial (Football) Least Possession (5th) Eliminated

Series RecordEdit

  • The insides of WYSIWYG
  • The back end of WYSIWYG
Series WYSIWYG Series Record
The First Wars Heat, Trial
The Second Wars Entered with Cruella (Michelle Wheeley)
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 Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter

Outside Robot WarsEdit


WYSIWYG is flipped over

Eric Dickinson also competed with WYSIWYG in American Robot Wars '96. In the American Robot Wars '96, each of the "bullet holes" in the sides had a pneumatic ram inside them. It did not fare as well in the Main Competition however, losing to the eventual Champion Wedge of Doom in the first round.


  • WYSIWYG was the only one of the three Series 1 Stock Robots to fail to complete the Gauntlet.
  • WYSIWYG was the only featherweight not to compete in Heat D, or a featherweight competition.
  • Whilst it did fight in the US Robot Wars, WYSIWYG is one of 20 robots never to fight in the UK Series, having only ever been in the Gauntlet or Trial.
  • WYSIWYG is a term used for creating websites and stands for What You See Is What You Get.
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