- "One of the most important achievements of our team was a successful selection for participation in the legendary show Robot Wars in England."
- — Weber Robotics website (translated from Russian)
Weber was a heavyweight robot which competed in Robot Wars: World Series, part of the tenth series of Robot Wars, where it was the first and only robot to represent Russia on the show. Although it fought well, Weber was ultimately overwhelmed by the experienced British competitors Eruption and Big Nipper in its Tag Team battle, and lost its head-to-head against Concussion. The team were known as Weber Robotics, who also use the name Team Big Brother at Russian events.
- "The Weber robot was created for battles in Russia, and under the terms of the regulations it was forbidden to use sheet steel. This condition was for entertainment. It was allowed to use only pipes of square or round cross-section. The rest of the team plated the Robots with plastic, we did not do it and came up with a design. As far as participating in different leagues, the robot began to be sheathed with armor plates."
- — Weber Robotics on the skeletal design of Weber (translated from Russian)
Weber was a wedge-shaped robot powered by four batteries, and a two-wheel drive. These yellow wheels are exposed so that Weber can drive on its back end. The robot’s weapon is a large rear-hinged flipper, fired using a powerful piston, and retracted by bungee cords, although these cords have previously snapped in battle. The robot is comparatively lightweight at 70kg, although this offers Weber a high top speed of 15.5mph. Weber's 8mm steel armour shares similarities with Beast, in that the robot’s skeleton and flipper are made from steel frames with various gaps leaving its internal components exposed. Underneath the flipper is a threatening smile with LED eyes, visible through the robot's framework.
- "Weber is a pneumatic flipper, especially designed to work in the minus -25°C of the Moscow-- phwoar, that's cold!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The version of Weber which competed in the show featured several differences compared to its live circuit setup, including additional back armour, and different wheels. The robot was also 20kg lighter, as the robot's weight is normally 90kg, according to the Weber Robotics website. Many of these changes were made due to Weber being disassembled for travel to the United Kingdom, and alterations were made to the robot during reconstruction.
- "The matter is that when we participated in RW, we have taken our robot in luggage with us on plane. ( RW were not covering shipment cost for the proper custom clearance.) That is why we brought it in sutecases [sic] disassembled and welded onsite at RW. During the assembly we decided to protect wheels with additional shielding, that is how our current look in the international series came from. Later already in Moscow we decide to change wheels and add full protection."
- — Alan Gubiev
The Moscow-based Weber Robotics (alternatively Team Big Brother) were the only Russian team to compete on Robot Wars, and represented their country in the process. The team was usually captained by Andrei (Andrew) Taktashov, although the lead speaker in the team's interviews and temporary captain for Robot Wars was Russian Space Agency staff Alan Gubiev, partially because of his proficiency with the English language. Misha Gaziev was the team's welding expert, and Akim Lesovets maintained the electronic systems and radio links. Outside of the televised team, Weber Robotics also includes teammates Dima, Novel and Alexey.
As part of the Rest of the World team, Weber represented Russia in Robot Wars: World Series, aired as part of Series 10. In its episode, Weber first entered a Tag Team battle, alongside its Dutch teammate THE BASH, to battle the reigning British champion Eruption, alongside fellow British entry Big Nipper. Its flipper blade was notably covered in Diotoir fur for the fight.
- "We are the first team from Russia, for the whole history of the existence of Robot Wars which took part in this cult show. For us as a team it was how to get into a children's fairy tale. After all, we, as boys, enjoyed watching the first seasons on TV back in the late 90's, and now this childhood place is fulfilled, we fought on equal terms with the mastodons of games, the teams that have been taking part in the battles for 20 years already."
- — Weber Robotics website (translated from Russian)
Weber started against Eruption, with both robots driving at each other early on. Eruption proved to have the lower front, with Weber sliding up the flipper, before reversing off it. Eruption caught up with Weber and dug underneath again, flipping Weber into the air. Weber darted away from Eruption before turning into the champions and flipping it over.
Eruption self-righted quickly while Weber missed another flip. It then drove over the Floor Flipper, and it was thrown through the air, landing on its wheels. Weber retreated from Eruption, but quickly turned towards it again, missing with a flip as it was pressured into the CPZ containing Big Nipper. Weber quickly escaped, being lifted slightly by Big Nipper along the way, and tagged THE BASH. However, it soon found itself back in the action after THE BASH was immediately flipped and immobilised by Eruption. Weber attempted to nudge THE BASH, but was pushed away by Dead Metal as it came in to attack the Dutch machine.
Big Nipper lifted up THE BASH, and Weber inadvertently pushed THE BASH over, knocking off its turret in the process. Weber flicked the back of Big Nipper as it pushed THE BASH into Dead Metal. As Big Nipper turned to focus on Weber, the Russian robot missed a flip, allowing Big Nipper to dig its claws between the flipper and body of Weber and pushing it into an arena wall. Weber was briefly lifted off the ground by Big Nipper, before escaping the claws after rearing up. It was pushed some more by Big Nipper, and failed to flip Big Nipper again.
- "Big expansive waste of energy there by Weber, trying to get the flipper into use."
- — Jonathan Pearce
It flipped THE BASH's broken turret as Big Nipper tagged Eruption. Weber activated Rogue House Robot before being flipped from behind by Eruption. Weber drove into Dead Metal after mistiming a charge at Eruption, and was pushed into an arena wall by the House Robot. Eruption attempted to free Weber from the clutches of Dead Metal by lifting the House Robot, but was unable to do so. Weber took damage from Dead Metal's circular saw, sparks flying as the armour was damaged. Eventually, it flipped its way out of Dead Metal's grip, but was put under pressure by Eruption once more, and it tumbled through the air after being flipped by the champions. Big Nipper came out to attack Weber too, but Weber flipped Big Nipper up slightly in reply, before retreating from both of its opponents. Eruption flipped Weber from behind, almost throwing it out of the arena, but Weber bounced back off the wall. Unfortunately, it was left stranded on its back, and failed to self-right. It was quickly counted out while Big Nipper and Eruption attacked Dead Metal, and 'cease' was called.
- "Bit of inexperience showing there. Onto the Floor Flipper, and each time they come down they can sustain damage, rocking and rolling a little bit there... Very nearly in Siberia, bounced back down, but back into the fire of the arena."
- — Jonathan Pearce assesses Weber after cease
In its Head-to-Head battle, Weber faced Concussion, and needed to beat the UK robot in order for Team Rest of the World to have any hopes of still winning the tournament.
- "Team captain Alan from the Weber team works for the Russian space agency! His job is to organise rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, so if you want something shot into space - like your boss - Alan is the man to talk to!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Weber Robotics before their second fight
Weber started slowly, edging backwards while Concussion darted off its starting position in an arc. Weber moved towards Concussion and took a small hit from the drum, and it flipped itself over after missing an attack. Weber took a few seconds to self-right, but eventually did so. Concussion quickly slammed into Weber and started spinning on the spot, and Weber held off before being hit by the drum again. Weber was briefly pushed over the pit, but turned away and drove underneath Concussion from the side, its wedge flipping Concussion over.
- "They need to win this, and within time as well. Can't allow it even to go to the judges if the Rest of the World is to stand a chance of winning."
- — Jonathan Pearce
After Concussion self-righted via its drum, Weber pushed under it again, trapping Concussion in the grip of Dead Metal, whose saw connected with the drum. With both robots released from the House Robot, Weber pressed the Dial of Doom, which activated Rogue House Robot. This allowed Dead Metal to come in and attack Weber, pushing it back against the Dial. Weber was pressured into Sir Killalot's CPZ by Dead Metal, but dodged Sir Killalot, instead driving back into Dead Metal, sending sparks flying as it attempted to lift up the House Robot, to no avail.
- "The Russians in a sandwich there of House Robots. You really don't wanna be there... And the House Robots taking it out on Weber, over the Flame Pit, and in some distress - they've lost a wheel."
- — Jonathan Pearce
At this point, Weber backed into Sir Killalot's claw, allowing the House Robot to dislodge one of the tyres on Weber's wheel. This severely hindered Weber's mobility, and it was only able to spin on the spot before Concussion bashed into it from behind, knocking it towards an arena wall. Weber missed a flip on Concussion, who proved too fast for the Russian robot's attack. After absorbing another hit from Concussion, Weber reared up and spun on the spot, but this didn't save it from being counted out and being dumped in the pit by Sir Killalot, quickly followed by Concussion.
- "Weber spins, but I don't think they spin to win. Lovely pirouette to finish - Concussion were on top though. And Weber, from the Russian Space Agency, hardly in orbit. Arena, we have a problem. Splashdown."
- — Jonathan Pearce
As a result of Weber's loss, Team Rest of the World could no longer catch up to Team UK's points tally of 11 compared to their own 3, giving Team UK the victory overall - eventually by a 16-3 margin.
|WEBER - RESULTS|
|World Series, representing Russia|
Partnered with THE BASH in Tag Team battle
|Episode 2, Tag Team||vs. Eruption & Big Nipper||Lost (0 points)|
|Episode 2, Head-to-Head||vs. Concussion||Lost (0 points)|
- Wins: 0
- Losses: 2
|Series||Weber Series Record|
|Series 1-7||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||World Series|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
In November 2016, Weber debuted at the Perm 2016 Championship in Russia, and won its first group battle by knockout, flipping one robot out of the arena. In its second fight, Weber snapped its bungee cords and could not retract its flipper, but utilised the arena hazards to win. In its third round battle, Weber fought Nan and Pve, and stranded one on the wall, but Weber and the invertible spikebot became locked together, and had to rematch later into the event, where Weber threw it out of the arena. In the final, Weber fought Energy and Solarbot, where the bungee controlling its flipper once again snapped. Regardless, Weber threw Energy of the arena after the opponent flipped Weber’s weapon back into place. The snapped bungee cord proved costly when Solarbot stranded Weber on its side, pushed it over, and eventually threw it out of the arena, resulting in a second-place finish for Weber Robotics.
At Bronebots in 2017, Weber fought Ripper, Solarbot and Thor, surviving the latter's attacks well, but lost when its flipper jammed open, and Weber could not self-right without assistance, and it was eventually pitted. Weber also fought The Saint after creating defensive wheelguards for the battle.
The tenth series of Robot Wars was the first televised show that the team attempted to enter, but Weber Robotics later entered the first season of the Chinese TV show King of Bots. For this, they built Stingray (known as Stingrey on the team's website), an invertible yellow robot armed with a drum spinner. In the first round, it fought a full-body spinner representing the United States of America, Megabyte. However, Stingray was outmatched by the American spinner, as within two hits, Stingray's drum was ripped away. Further attacks from Megabyte immobilised Stingray on one side, and it was counted out less than a minute into the match. Thus, Stingray fell in the first round.
For the Chinese show This is Fighting Robots, follow-up to King of Bots, Weber Robotics built a brand-new version of Weber. It uses a much larger design, with consistent armour around the robot, and a more powerful flipper. Using new a silver and yellow aesthetic, Weber still features grating in the flipper, while the previous version of Weber was retired. Weber was not initially selected by any celebrities for their robot teams, so Weber fought in a four-way melee against Bonesaw, Hunting Wind and Mr Hippo. Weber was able to destabilise the American spinner of Bonesaw, causing it to flip over, immobilising it. Weber was also thrown over, but its self-righting ability impressed celebrity Zhang Yishan, who immediately added Weber to their team. Although Weber was later damaged by Mr Hippo, it had already progressed. In its competition rumble, it fought 008, Cat King, and Red River Hong, and started by throwing Cat King over, eventually leading to the loss of its weaponry and wheels. 008 also lost full mobility and its weaponry, and Weber was able to immobilise Red River Hong by stranding the invertible machine on its side, despite Weber also struggling for mobility. The Judges chose between three robots which could hardly move, but Weber won the battle on behalf of Zhang Yishan. Under the controls of Zhang Yishan, Weber fought Cat King, and its inexperienced new driver initially missed with its flips, overturning the robot, but a late flip on Cat King allowed Weber to win the Judges' decision. In a head-to-head battle against Tánshè, Weber was one second away from a win by knockout, but Tánshè staged a late comeback and won the Judges' decision over Weber. As a result, Weber was eliminated from the competition.
The version of Weber seen during This is Fighting Robots attended the WorldSkills Hi-Tech 2018 championship, held in Russia in October 2018. For this event, Weber now used a new blue colour to go with its signature grey paintwork.
Weber Robotics have also created four other robots. Dolf I was a top-mounted bar spinner, weighing 75kg, and won the Championship of Armored Light 2015. Piramida weighed 110kg, and used a unique shock pneumatic weapon system. Dolf II was the team’s first flipper, also weighing 90kg, and finished in third place at the Battle of Armorbot 2016. At the same event, the team entered the champion Rake, which weighed 110kg and was armed with a 360 degree lifting bar. Both Dolf II and Rake are still active to this day, competing at Bronebots alongside Weber.
- Before appearing in the World Series, Weber made a cameo appearance in Heat 5 of Series 10, behind Jason Marston.
- Weber's original Russian name, Big Brother, is shared by a successful UK competitor.
- Weber was the only robot to represent Russia in Robot Wars.
- In a VT for Weber, Alan Gubiev was filmed standing with JAR for unclear reasons.
- As the team entered This is Fighting Robots with a new version of Weber, this makes Weber the only robot to compete in the rebooted series of Robot Wars and another televised competition.
- ↑ Private correspondence between User:VulcansHowl and Weber Robotics Facebook page, 9th January 2018
- ↑ Private correspondence between User:VulcansHowl and Weber Robotics, 11th January 2018
- Weber Robotics website
- Weber Robotics Official Instagram
- Weber Robotics Facebook page
- Weber Robotics Community YouTube channel