"Amat Victoria Curam"


Robot builders voted in 2003 to name the top combat robots of all time. Twenty-five combat robots from both sides of the Atlantic were elected by their peers to membership in the Combat Robot Hall of Fame, with thirteen robots gaining honorable mention. They achieved their status based on:

  • Dominating success in combat
  • Pioneering or perfecting influential designs
  • Having great fan or entertainment appeal, or
  • Otherwise making a lasting impact on the sport.

The hall re-opened for membership in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Over these years an additional fifteen robots were elected to full membership and twenty-two robots were named in the honorable mention roll.

Membership in the Hall is by ballot of the global combat robot community. Notification and balloting instructions appear in combat robot forums in the US, UK, Australia, and India in August of odd-numbered years. A robot appearing on at least 50% of authenticated ballots gains full membership in the Hall, and a robot appearing on fewer than 50% but at least 25% of the ballots appears on the Honorable Mention roll and remain eligible for promotion to full membership in future balloting.

Congratulations to the 2017 inductees: full membership to Carbide with honorable mention to ßeta.

See also: a full breakdown of the 2017 balloting



Robots elected to the Hall of Fame were named on at least 50% of the ballots submitted in the year of their induction.
They are listed in alphabetical order.
   

Biohazard - Inaugural class - The six-time heavyweight champion set the high water mark for longevity and top-notch design. Carlo Bertocchini's low, all electric lifter remains the most successful robot in history with six championships, twenty-seven wins, and three losses. This 'bot gets my vote to set right in the entrance to the Hall of Fame. Biohazard Website

Blendo - Inaugural class - The first of the gas-powered spinners, and the first 'bot to be judged too dangerous to compete. The design has been copied by countless imitators, who have learned that there is more to building a good spinner than just getting the thing to spin. James Hyneman was declared heavyweight co-champion of the 1995 Robot Wars. Blendo Website (archived)

Carbide - Inducted 2017 - The vangard of the new and fearsome UK spinners, 'Carbide' was a terror in the 2016 Robot Wars reboot and came back stronger and more durable to walk thru the field for victory in 2017. Experienced and successful roboteers Dave Moulds and Sam Smith joined forces to become the new UK superteam. Carbide on Facebook

Cassius - Inducted 2007 - A true Robot Wars design paradigm, Rex Garrod's innovative pneumatic flipper weapon doubled as a SRIMECH. The audience was stunned by the unexpected when it to became the first British combat robot to self-right (Robot Wars 1998). Cassius Website (archived)

Chaos 2 - Inaugural class - First flipper to put a 'bot out of the arena. Two-time Robot Wars heavyweight champion with more match wins there than anyone else (19). There are other great British flippers, but if I have to pick one I'll pick Chaos 2. As a plus, driver George Francis is a very nice guy! Chaos 2 Website

Complete Control - Inaugural class - This middleweight was the first 'bot that could effectively and reliably clamp its opponent, lift it off the ground, and parade around the arena waving it in the air. What could be more humiliating? Kudos to Derek Young. Complete Control Website (archived)


Diesector - Inaugural class - two-time super-heavyweight champion with sixteen wins, this 'bot was all action. Independent jaws, dual independent side-mounted hammers and enormous power. Donald Hutson drove it well and made it do a great victory dance. Diesector Website

Dr. Inferno Jr. - Inaugural class - Now, that looks like a robot! It won championships, too. Jason Dante Bardis combined a whole lot of power with exotic materials in a lightweight package to make a 'bot with a unique balance of style and performance. Two BattleBots lightweight championships, 12 wins, 3 losses. Infernolab Website

Envy - Inducted 2009 - Team Bud is the heart and soul of the UK Roaming Robots and their formidable full-pressure front-hinge flipper dominated their 2008 season. Envy Website

Explosion - Inducted 2013 - Team Invade's dominating UK featherweight flipper is the current UK champion and may be the most successful UK featherwight ever. The full-pressure flipper pioneered Hardox steel armor in the featherweight class. Team Invade website


Hazard - Inaugural class - Master of the spinning blade. The design was simple and the results were deadly. Tony Buchignani knew his metallurgy and physics, and created the most feared and successful 'bot in its class with three middleweight championships, seventeen wins, and only one loss! Hazard Website (archived)

Hypnodisc - Inaugural class - The British don't really do the whole-body spinner thing. David Rose's heavyweight disc-spinner took a different tack on big kinetic energy destruction. Its appealing mix of drivability and destruction inspired many imitators. Hypno Disc Website (archived)

Iron-Awe 5 - Inducted 2009 - The 2008 UK heavyweight champion does not just dominate other robots, it removes them from the arena. In its first year of competition it flipped 33 robots out of the arena - five in a single match (twice)! Add to that a 19 match winning streak starting in 2007 and you have a true hall of fame robot. Team Iron Awe Website

KillerHurtz - Inaugural class - This Robot Wars polycarbonate uni-body wonder crossed the pond to finish heavyweight runner-up at BattleBots. John Reid's sophisticated control systems and a powerful pneumatic overhead axe made for a dangerous package. Teamhurtz Website

La Machine - Inaugural class - The original wedge and icon of the early years of Robot Wars. Winner of the 1995 Robot Wars middleweight crown, Greg Munson's superstar performer also won both the middleweight and heavyweight class rumbles that year. La Machine Website (archived)

Last Rites - Inducted 2009 - Ray Billings has a simple approach to building robots - build a giant weapon and attach a tough drivetrain to shove it at your opponent. Brute Force has no better friend. Motto: "Strategy is for those guys without weapons." When one of Ray's robots fires up, EVERYBODY heads for the stands to watch. Hardcore Robotics Website

Mauler - Inaugural class - The first 'Tuna Can' spinner was nearly as dangerous to itself as to its opponents. The various incarnations of Mauler were always entertaining, as was the Tilford clan that built them. When the heavyweight spinner demonstrated the physics of the 'tippy-top' and flipped itself onto its back in a moment of supreme instability it coined a term: forever after known as 'doing a Mauler'. Mauler Website (archived)

Mechadon - Inaugural class - It only had two match wins, but that makes no difference. What it lacked in fighting ability, it more than made up for in coolness. This 480 pound, six-legged superheavyweight wonder was a true walker, with independent multi-axis control of each leg. How did Mark Setrakian operate this thing? Team Sinister Mechadon Demo.

Megabyte - Inducted 2005 - The only single 'bot to win championships in two weight classes, Robotic Death Company's heavyweight spinner competes and wins against superheavyweight 'bots. Overall record: 55 wins, 18 losses, and 1 national championship. Robotic Death Company website

Minion - Inaugural class - This two-time champion was fast, controllable, and capable of thunderous ramming attacks. Christian Carlberg raised the bar in the super-heavyweight class with this bot. Minion Website (archived)

Nightmare- Inaugural class - King of the vertical spinners. A pure weapon on wheels, this heavyweight 'bot was the poster boy for destruction. The first 'bot capable of throwing pieces of its opponent up and out of the arena, Jim Smentowski forced event organizers to put a roof on the containment box. Nightmare Website

Original Sin - Inducted 2015 - Possibly the toughest heavyweight ever built. Team Late Night Racing believes that the way to win is to hurl their robot at you until you break. An unmatched heavyweight record of 64 wins and 15 losses, five RoboGames titles, and four ComBots Cup championships say they are correct! [No Website Available]

Overkill - Inaugural class - It's all about the blade, dude. The huge heat-treated 4130 steel blade is a real eye-catcher. Maybe the best of the show-off bots, Christian Carlberg's heavyweight Overkill looked great and performed at the highest level. Overkill Website (archived)

Panic Attack - Inaugural class - Looking like a piece of construction equipment and painted to send a strong 'keep away' message, Kim Davies' durable and strong lifter was a tough opponent. A Robot Wars champion and BattleBots heavyweight competitor, this Welsh 'bot surprised me with its strong showing in the voting. Panic Attack Website (archived)

Panzer / Wrath - Inaugural class - Todd Mendenhall is the only builder to win two different televised competitions. Versions of Panzer's six-wheel drive platform won the third season of Robotica, dominated the second Robot Wars Extreme Warriors tournament, and (as 'Wrath') had a 75% match win record at BattleBots. Versatile, powerful, and fast, the 'bot is difficult to match at any aspect of combat. [No website available]

Professor Chaos - Inducted 2011 - The middleweight terror from WPI Combat Robotics ruled the middleweight class in the U.S. since its first tournament in 2008 and pummeled the top robots in the division. Record: 14 wins / 2 losses. WPI Robotics website


Razer - Inaugural class - Two-time Robot Wars world heavyweight champion and a real work of art. Ian Lewis and company built the first successful hydraulic crusher-bot on the planet. Razer Website

Rust In Peace - Inducted 2015 - Dominating success in combat? How about 45 wins, 2 losses, and 12 tournament victories! This 60 kg drum robot pulled Indian combat robotics onto the world stage. The team also leads the movement toward safer combat arenas in India. Well done! R.I.P. on Facebook

Sewer Snake - Inducted 2007 - Team Plumb Crazy has held an unprecedented stranglehold on the U.S. large combat robot classes. At one time Matt and Wendy Maxham's stable included the #1 ranked heavyweight (Sewer Snake), the #1 ranked middleweight, and the the #3 ranked lightweight. Sewer Snake's record: 66 wins, 22 losses. Team Plumb Crazy Website

Son of Whyachi - Inaugural class - If brute force doesn't work, it's because you're not using enough of it! Terry Ewert packed a really big punch with this monster spinner that combined a rule-shaving 'shufflebot' propulsion system with huge power and great craftsmanship. Also gets a point for being rendered ineligible to defend its heavyweight title due to rule changes it precipitated. Team Whyachi Website

Tazbot - Inaugural class - Donald Hutson builds cool 'bots. I think that if I had my choice of 'bots to drive in a tournament just for fun, I'd pick heavyweight Tazbot. The rotating turret with lifter adds an extra degree of movement and excitement. Miniature replicas of Tazbot were the most popular of the BattleBots toys. Tazbot Website

TerrorHurtz - Inducted 2009 - The 2004 Roaming Robots champion and 6th Wars semi-finalist carries the most powerful overhead axe in the UK: 900kg of force and 2300 joules of energy. Top notch design and workmanship make John Reid's 'bot a favorite with builders and the audience. This 2007 Honorable Mention winner achieved full Hall of Fame membership in 2009. TerrorHurtz website

The Judge - Inducted 2005 - You just had to be there! When the giant overhead hammer came down, the whole building shook and the crowd shouted "GUILTY!" A unique rack and pinion hammer actuator by Jacha Little gave the super-heavyweight unprecedented striking power and speed. Overall record, 24 wins, 12 losses. Mechanicus website (archived)

The Master - Inducted 2011 - The original 'thwackbot', The Master was a pioneer in interchangeable weaponry and the 'all in the wheels' drive train. Weapon modules included a grinding wheel, a lifter, and a long chain 'whip'. Mark Setrakian was co-winner of the 1995 Robot Wars heavyweight title with this creation, and it continued to compete for many years. Record: 8 wins, 4 losses. [No website available]

Tornado - Inaugural class - Innovators and Robot Wars champions. Andrew Marchant's rambot once claimed to have the most power of any combat 'bot on the planet. The controversy over the 'anti-crusher web' alone should put them in the hall of fame. Tornado Website

Toro - Inaugural class - Alex Rose took the game into the air! This 'bot stunned the robot community when it first rolled out and started throwing its super-heavyweight opponents end-over-end through the air. Winner of the championship and back-to-back rumbles. Simply awesome! Inertia Labs Website (archived)

Vertical Disc of Destruction (VDD) - Inducted 2005 - The first insect-class 'bot inducted into the hall, Ted Shimoda's VDD brought the power of the verical disc spinner to the antweight world in a big way. The current incarnation features a revolutionary kevlar-wrapped carbon fiber rod spaceframe chassis. Team Think Tank Website (archived)

Vlad the Impaler - Inaugural class - Chunky and powerful, this two-time heavyweight champion by Gage Cauchois pioneered the pneumatic lifter as an effective weapon and was the first immobilized robot to self-right in competition (1997 U.S. Robot Wars). Record: 16 wins, three losses. Vlad the Impaler Website (archived)

Voltronic / Voltarc - Inaugural class - Another of the early BattleBots icons and a very tough heavyweight competitor. Builder Stephen Felk may give the most animated interview in robotic combat and has been immortalized with his own verb, as in: "I got too excited at lunch and I felked myself." (No website available)

Ziggo - Inaugural class - The lightweight ultra spinner. Eighteen wins, sixteen knockouts, three lightweight championships. Jonathan Ridder understood the physics of the spinner better than anyone else. Woof! Team Ziggy Website (archived)



Robot Win/Loss records supplied by BotRank

Hall of Fame Member Count by Weightclass
Fairy
0
Ant
1
Beetle
0
Hobby
0
Feather
1
Light
2
Middle
5
Heavy
26
Super
5





Honorable Mention

Robots on the Honorable Mention roll appeared on at least 25% of ballots in year of their induction.
They remain eligible for promotion to full membership on future ballots


Honorable Mention 2003

  • Backlash - Nightmare's little sibling carves out its own space in the Hall of Fame. The lightweight vertical spinner was the champion of BattleBots season 1.0 and was runner-up in season 2.0. It appeared in all five televised seasons of BattleBots and has a record of 13 wins and 4 losses.

  • Bigger Brother / Little Sister - Ian Watts scores points for the cute kids and effective high-pressure pneumatic flipper. Effective competitor at both Robot Wars (12 wins) and BattleBots (4 wins). Does a great victory dance, too.

  • Blade Runner - The overall record of 5 wins and 5 losses isn’t spectacular, but Ilya Polyakov elevated the lowly ‘twackbot’ layout by implementing the ‘MeltyBrain’ technology that allows simultaneous spinning and controlled movement. Technological breakthrough! Appeared in all five televised seasons of BattleBots.

  • Firestorm - Quirky active differential steering and reverse-angle pneumatic flipper make the 'bot fast, stable, and dangerous. The only 'bot to ever topple the gargantuan Mr. Psycho! Graham Bone added refinements on each new version of this innovative Robot Wars competitor.

  • frenZy - There has never been a wackier or more animated 'bot than frenZy. Pioneer of the overhead electric pickaxe, frenZy spends as much time in the air as on the ground. Patrick Campbell stays calm and collected while his machine goes completely nuts. It should have its own cartoon show.

  • JuggerBot / Tricerabot - Mike Morrow's Team JuggerBot made the final fight at Robotica - twice! They made the final fight at Robot Wars Extreme Warriors, and were the only 'bot to ever put 'Sir Killalot' into The Pit. They competed as a superheavyweight at BattleBots 3.0 only to lose a close decision to the eventual champion. If you can beat these guys, you're doing everything right.

  • Mortis - A tough and versatile competitor from the early UK Robot Wars, Arthur Chilcott's Mortis remains a favorite amongst robot fans. The combination of lifting arm and overhead spike gave Mortis great flexibility and staying power.

  • Son of Smashy - A second Canadian ‘bot by Derek Young scores a piece of the fame pie. The middleweight features a pre-wound spring powered axe that is reset by electric winch during the match. Son of Smashy went 5 and 0 to win the 1999 BattleBots event in Long Beach.

  • Spiny Norman - The little 'bot that simply would not die in the '94 Robot Wars melee. The '94 melee was the first and only time that 'bots from all weight classes were pitted together. The crowd went completely ape cheering for Will Wright's indestructible marvel as it survived repeated attacks from 'bots 8 times its weight.

  • T-Minus - The smaller version of super-heavyweight champion Toro, middleweight T-Minus packed a huge full-pressure pneumatic flipper into a compact package. Class champion in BattleBots 5.0 – overall record 14 wins, 2 losses.

  • Vladiator - Super-heavyweight ‘bots were generally big, lumbering juggernauts until Gage Cauchois mated big Lynch motors into a titanium shell and put serious speed and power into the class. Vladiator bounces around the arena like a giant pinball with attitude. Class champion in BattleBots 3.0, second in 5.0, champion Mechwars 10 – overall record 18 wins, 5 losses.

  • Warhead - Who says the Brits can’t build spinners? The Razer team put together the most frightening internal combustion powered heavyweight weapon ever seen at BattleBots. The display of gyroscopic forces alone was awesome. Record: 5 wins, 1 loss.


Honorable Mention 2005

  • 3pd - The first beetleweight mentioned in the hall. The drum weapon Andrew Peterson put together is in perfect balance with the chassis and drive system. Record: 48 wins, 21 losses.

  • Dark Pounder - A pioneer in the era of magnet-bots back when steel arena floors were popular, Russ Barrow's antweight still maintains the best ant competition score on record: 44 wins, 5 losses.

  • Max Wedge - The first 'bot to score back-to-back RFL National championships. Mike Phillips has demonstrated the reliability and power of his dominating middleweight. Record: 39 wins, 8 losses.

  • Solaris - The first hobbyweight 'bot to be mentioned in the hall. Pete Covert kept refining Solaris until the powerful drum weapon was feared across the nation. Record: 42 wins, 12 losses.

  • Tombstone - Nothing subtle here. The weapon is a 97 pound tool steel bar spinning at 2200 RPM. The rest of the 'bot is just there to push the weapon around. Forget about the other 'bots, the arena isn't safe from Ray Billings and this super-heavyweight attack! Record: 14 wins, 8 losses.


Honorable Mention 2007

  • Big Nipper - A robust horizontal crusher/vertical lifter weapon mated to a heavilly armored 4WD chassis gives Graeme Dawson's Robot Wars veteran the staying power needed to be a consistent winner on the UK robot circuit.

  • CycloneBot - In spite of a competition score next to last in BotRank historic list, Michael Worry's full-body spinner remains a crowd favorite with 'melty brain' cyclone propulsion and a real-time 'tauntware' display that insults their opponent while rotating at full speed. Record: 11 wins, 20 losses.

  • Gravity - Arguably the most powerful flipper ever seen at Robot Wars, this Dutch champion became the model for a new generation of monster flippers in Europe. W. J. Dijkstra's team claims 4 to 5 tons of lifting force, enough to toss house robots like toys.

  • Storm 2 - The 2004 Robot Wars world champion and 7th Wars runner-up has unbeatable speed and ramming power. Team Captain Ed Hoppitt liked the Robot Wars arena so much that he bought it!


Honorable Mention 2009

  • Beauty 2 - This full-pressure CO2 flipper has dominated the UK featherweight circuit: 2009 champion, 2008 UK champion, 2007 Euro champion, 2007 Winter Tour champion, and 2007 Tag Team champion

  • Totally Offensive - Team Mad Overlord has refined the featherweight bar spinner to an art form. The 2004 and 2005 RFL national champion has a lifetime 47 win 19 loss record.


Honorable Mention 2011

  • Anticide - The dominant UK antweight, Andrew Hibberd's tiny flipper claims to be the most successful ant of all time. The chassis was made on a 3-D 'printer'. Successes include three consecutive Antweight Fighting Robot World Series wins.

  • Gyrobot - This odd antweight has no wheels, legs, or treads. It moves by inducing a gyroscopic reaction in its vertical spinning blade to tilt the robot from side to side and rotate by precession! Builders love strange designs.

  • Kronic - A full-pressure heavyweight flipper from the UK with a long record of success: 2005 Roaming Robots champion, 2006 International Challenge winner, 2010 Team Bud Challenge champion, and Fighting Robots Annihilator champion for 2010 and 2011.

  • Warrior SKF - Another oddball design beloved by builders. This Team Whyachi heavyweight flipper is powered by energy stored in a horizontal spinning ring. It's an interesting alternative to pneumatic flipper power, but hard on the flipper clutch!


Honorable Mention 2013

  • Eruption - Team Invade's British Heavyweight Robot Wars 2013 champion. Since its introduction in September of 2011, the full-pressure flipper has run up an impressive string of match and tournament wins for Team Invade while becoming a fan favorite for its acrobatic style of combat.

  • Upheaval - Team Mad Scientist's flipper totally owns the NERC featherweight sportsman class. This top ranked featherweight sportsman has won the Motorama Robot Conflict five years running. Since the start of 2009, the 'bot has run up an astounding 24 win / 1 loss record at that event.

  • Ziggy - In the twilight years of the superheavyweight combat class, one robot gained near-complete dominance. 'Ziggy' ran up a remarkable 11 match win streak at the premiere RoboGames event from 2006 thru 2010 to establish an unmatched five-year undefeated record at the tournament. CM Robotics' pneumatic 4-bar flipper tosses robots like ragdolls and can even punt a football more than 60 yards.


Honorable Mention 2015

  • Tetanus / Triggo - Team Brain Damage owns the featherweight class in the northeast US. Full-body spinner 'Tetanus' went 21-2 with five titles before being updated with a stronger shell and renamed 'Triggo' and adding on with a 10-1 record with two titles so far.

  • Touro Maximus - Winner in the heavyweight class at RoboGames, Team RioBotz from PUC-Rio University in Brazil have been making an impact on combat robotics since 2006. Their academic approach to robot design has influenced many designs in multiple weight classes. Record: 26 wins, 11 losses.

  • Weta, God of Ugly Things - Not only does Team Rolling Thunder's beetleweight drumbot have a 65% win record with multiple titles, but the kits they have made and sold based on the design have won their own strings of tournaments. Are the kits 'too good'? Some builders say 'yes'.


Honorable Mention 2017

  • ßeta - Team Hurtz wins the persistence award. Built for the original BattleBots, 'ßeta' was unable to compete due to unexpected arena conditions. ßeta returned 13 years later for the reboot but lost critical parts in shipping. In 2016 the stars aligned and 'ßeta' was able to demonstrate the mighty electric hammer, gaining fans worldwide!

 


The Story Behind the Creation of The Combat Robot Hall of Fame

Comments about the selections? Questions? Send them here.


Contents copyright Mark Joerger, 2003, 2004, 2005, 20011, 2017
'Combat Robot Hall of Fame' is a trademark held by Mark Joerger, 2003