Not to be confused with Kronic the Wedgehog
"Featuring a deadly pickaxe! This middleweight entry clocks a top speed of 4 miles an hour. Wedgehog runs off 2 9.6 volt domestic electric drills, and weighs in at a power-packed 24 kilograms!"
Jonathan Pearce introduces Wedgehog

Wedgehog was a lightweight robot that singularly participated in the first series of Robot Wars. At the time, it was actually a Middleweight. Although Wedgehog was substantially lighter than the rest of the robots in its heat, it defeated Dreadnaut in the Arena, which was 64kg the heavier, to reach the Heat Final. However, it lost there to Robot the Bruce.


"The construction of Wedgehog was very 'make it up as you go along'. We had a vague idea of the set out of the components we had, but no exact designs were ever made. I find this approach much more fun and much faster as long as you know what you're doing."
— Wedgehog website [1]

The insides of Wedgehog

Wedgehog arena

Wedgehog in the arena

It was a black aluminium wedge, with a pickaxe as its weapon. However, this weapon was not very powerful and was referred to as a "toothpick" by both Jeremy Clarkson and Jonathan Pearce. Also the robot travelled at 4 mph and ran off two 9.6V domestic electric drills.

"Wedgehog were very lucky as Bosch gave them two free drills worth £250 each. They used the same speed controllers as I did as they had a slight problem getting rid of the braking function. The pneumatic axe was quoted by Jeremy Clarkson as a "toothpick" and that gives an idea of its effectiveness."
— Oliver Steeples of University of Reading[2]


The name Wedgehog, like Kronic the Wedgehog's and Edge Hog's, is a pun on hedgehog, referring to the robots wedge shape.

The TeamEdit

"The team consisted of me, Chris, and two very good friends Joe and Hugo. We all love fiddling with things, taking them apart [sometimes with explosives], and putting them back together to see how they work. Some day we hope to set up some kind of special effects company."
— Wedgehog website on the team[3]

The team with Wedgehog

Wedgehog's team (sometimes referred to by Robot Wars competitor websites as The Shadow Project) consisted of three students. Team captain Chris Glaister was the lead designer of Wedgehog, and builder of the weapon system, also being responsible for sourcing two £200 Bosch motors for free as part of a sponsorship.

"I did most of the research and general design of Wedgehog starting from meeting some Robot Wars people at Robotix '96. I hassled Bosch in to giving us two battery drills worth about £200 each for free which were used as the main drive for the robot. I also designed and built Wedgehog's weapon, which despite looking quite threatening in the workshop turned out to be as useful as a tooth pick in the real competition. I designed and built most of the drive system and radio control set up for Wedgehog."
— Chris Glaister on his contributions

Teammate Joe Wentworth constructed Wedgehog's shell and wheel mounts, while Hugo Elis assisted with construction and designed the shape of Wedgehog's shell.

"Joe's good at 'heavy' engineering, like bending massive pieces of steel between his teeth and making accidentally drilling halfway through his leg look as painless as breaking a fingernail. Joe's main part in the construction of the robot was the construction of the armor shell and wheel mounts, both excellent jobs. Joe is a bit of a chemical and explosives expert, which you can see from the array of chemical burns and scars on his arms and the natural asbestos coating on his hands."
— The Wedgehog website on Joe Wentworth

Robot HistoryEdit

Series 1Edit


Wedgehog breaks down on the spikes

Wedgehog fought in Heat C of the First Wars. In the Gauntlet, Wedgehog broke down a metre from the end of the Gauntlet after taking the maze and becoming impaled on a spike, however this was still more than enough to make it through to the next stage, placing third of six on the leaderboard.


Wedgehog controls the ball with its extra panels

In the Football Trial, Wedgehog had attached panels to its front wedge to help control the ball. It was awarded the second goal because it had touched the ball last of the remaining competitors before goalkeeper Dead Metal inadvertently pushed it in. Wedgehog went through to Heat Semi-Final, here, it fought Dreadnaut, who'd suffered from reliability problems twice before this stage. Dreadnaut definitely had the weight advantage, but just a few bumps and bashes from Wedgehog, and Dreadnaut's engine burned out, it was declared immobile and Wedgehog was put through.

Wedgehog robot the bruce

Wedgehog is beached on the grille

Finally, it met Robot the Bruce in the Heat Final, the first product to come out of Team Chaos. After putting up some resistance, the heavier and more powerful Robot the Bruce eventually caught it from the side and bulldozed Wedgehog onto the grill, ending its challenge as it was unable to get away. A short time later, after it had been declared immobilised, Wedgehog suffered fierce attacks from the incoming house robots Sergeant Bash and Matilda, taking damage from their cutting weaponry.


Series 1
The First Wars - UK Championship
Heat Final
Heat C, Gauntlet 13.23m (3rd) Qualified
Heat C, Trial (Football) Scored 2nd Goal (2nd) Qualified
Heat C, Semi-Final vs. Dreadnaut Won
Heat C, Final vs. Robot The Bruce Lost


  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 1

NOTE: Wedgehog's successful Gauntlet and Trial runs are not included

Series RecordEdit

  • Wedgehog before being painted
  • A rejected design, sketched by Hugo Elias
  • Another rejected design from Hugo Elias
Series Wedgehog Series Record
The First Wars Heat Final
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 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

Wedgehog 2018

Wedgehog's shell in 2018

Wedgehog 2019

Wedgehog at Robonerd 2019

Wedgehog is no longer active as a competitor, but it is shown at Robots Live events. However, only its shell is displayed, without the internals. As of 2018, it is currently in the possession of Team MAD, and has been owned by the team for several years. Team MAD displayed the shell of Wedgehog at Robonerd 2019 alongside their active heavyweight machines.



  1. Wedgehog website - Construction (Archived)
  2. Wedgehog profile on Oliver Steeples' website (Archived)
  3. Wedgehog website - Team (Archived)

External LinksEdit

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