Robot Wars Wiki

Whirling Dervish was a robot that competed in Series 2 of Robot Wars. It managed to get to the arena stage of its Heat but lost to eventual Grand Champions Panic Attack.


Whirling Dervish in the arena

Whirling Dervish was a two-wheeled circular shaped robot. It had two large flail type weapons resembling a "food mixer" and powered by a centrally mounted motor which would spin the body at 450rpm. Its shell was made of an old car tyre with an old bandsaw blade around the bottom, which counter-rotated to the flail weaponry. It was powered by two wheelchair motors which could generate speeds of 5mph only. It also narrowly weighed over the weight limit for Heavyweights at the time.

The car tyre shell was notable for being able to rotate on the chassis. This, combined with a brushless motor from Lynch Motor Company, as well as the batteries, radio receiver and high power relay, meant that everything was spinning with the shell. Meanwhile, a motor shaft that was connected to the flails allowed the flails to spin in the opposite direction of the shell when the motor was active. In the midst of all the components rotating, the team decided to add lights to the chassis at the front and rear of the underbelly of the shell, in order to control the robot sufficiently. However, the lights of the studio caused the chassis lights to become almost invisible, contributing to it falling off the ramp in the Gauntlet.

"It's shell was made of an old car tyre with an old bandsaw blade around the bottom. I don't exactly know how they did it but the weights span in one direction and the body span in the other direction, thus minimising centrifugal forces which try to turn your robot."
— Oliver Steeples of Griffon and Cunning Plan[1]

Robot History[]

Series 2[]

Sir Killalot carries Whirling Dervish

At first Whirling Dervish looked to be a little uncontrolled, but it managed to steer onto the ramp. It then fell off. It looked like this would be its final distance, but then Sir Killalot picked it up and carried it a couple more metres placing it fourth on the leaderboard.

Whirling Dervish falls off the sumo platform

Next was the Trial stage which was Sumo. Whirling Dervish used its flails to attack Shunt, it managed to stay on the platform long enough to go through before it was finally pushed off after 20.27 seconds, once again in fourth place.

Panic Attack flips Whirling Dervish

In the Arena, it came up against Panic Attack. Whirling Dervish could barely hit its opponent as Panic Attack was very low and the flails only hit Panic Attack's top armour. After some pushing, Panic Attack managed to get underneath Whirling Dervish and flip it onto its back, sending Whirling Dervish out of the competition.

"The Whirling Dervish team have virtually re-tyred, immobilised."
Jonathan Pearce

At the end of the series, Whirling Dervish was nominated for the Most Original Entry Award but lost to Milly-Ann Bug.


Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championships
Heats, Arena Semi Final
Heat F, Gauntlet 9.5m (4th) Qualified
Heat F, Trial (Sumo) 20.27 seconds (4th) Qualified
Heat F, Arena Semi Final vs. Panic Attack Lost


  • Wins: 0
  • Losses: 1

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

Series Record[]

Whirling Dervish's official Series 2 image

Series Whirling Dervish Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Arena Semi-Final
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


  • Peter Gibson was originally part of the team, but he left to enter his own robot, Wheelosaurus, which fought in Series 2 and 4. Despite this, he was still listed as a team member on the stat board.
    • Coincidentally, both robots were nominated for the Most Original Entry award.