008 was a robot from Scotland which competed in Season 1.5, the debut season of This is Fighting Robots. It was built by former Robot Wars UK champion Gary Cairns, and was the follow-up to Crossfire, which competed in Season 1 of King of Bots. 008 was not selected by any celebrities after its preliminary rumble, but was later chosen by Sa Beining as a late replacement for one of his original robots Raging Moustache. With this, 008 participated in the main competition as part of the Yellow team, where lost its first battle to Weber on a Judges' decision and became immobilized during its Tag Team battle, partnered with Greedy Snake. However, both robots would subsequently win the latter on a Judges' decision, after Greedy Snake single-handedly fought Xiake and Vulcan following 008's immobilization. 008 was finally eliminated during a head-to-head battle where Formula directly replaced 008 as part of the yellow team, after 008 lost mobility.
008 uses an invertible design, with two exposed tires at either side of the robot, and two plastic skids on top with a further skid rotating under the disc. Its primary weapon was a 30kg horizontal flywheel, mounted underneath the robot's body to undercut opponents and strike the lowest point of other robots. 008 was also armed with four rear flamethrowers. Its weapon is extremely powerful, although it also inflicts heavy recoil upon the robot. Its wheels, flywheel and weapon shaft were all reused from Gary Cairns' robot PP3D, while the weapon belt tensioner mechanism were reused from Crossfire. A LEM 170-127 racing spec motor powers 008's weapon, and its weapon bearings were remade, with the design originally being used by PP3D. The robot's drive motors were also salvaged from PP3D, but were improved with CNC machined gearbox casings and stronger bolts. However, 008's wheels could be bent out of alignment to immobilize the machine, a weakness Xiake exploited.
The etymology and aesthetic design of 008 was heavily influenced by the production team. Gary Cairns planned to name the robot Stellar, and paint the robot purple and green. However, the production team advised that the robot be named 008 (phonetically zero-zero-eight), and use white, gray, black and gold for its color-scheme.
- "The colour scheme and name were picked by the production team. I originally wanted it to be purple and green but they wanted the white, grey, black and gold (pain in the arse to paint!). They wanted to called it zero zero eight. I wanted stellar but they said 008 would sound better to a Chinese audience. I just went with it because they're the ones paying the bills"
- — Gary Cairns
This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)
008 was not selected by any of the celebrities during their initial selection process, and so was required to compete in a four-way rumble in order to impress them. There, it fought Ninja, Saturn and Xiake. Brief highlights of the battle itself were featured as part of Episode 2; one of 008's notable moments saw it drive disc-first into Xiake's drum, causing both robots to recoil across different parts of the arena. However, 008 subsequently had its right wheel ripped off by Saturn, which also hit one of its side panels. The wheel bounced across the arena as 008 was left spinning in circles, resulting in it getting eliminated from the battle via knockout. Aware of the battle conditions, Gary Cairns also attempted to impress the celebrities by firing 008's flamethrowers, and despite being immobile on one side, 008 survived for the full duration of the battle. However, none of the celebrities selected 008 for their teams, initially eliminating Team Far North.
008 was given a reprieve when Turkish competitor Raging Moustache withdrew from the competition. As Sa Beining had already chosen the latter machine for his team, he enthusiastically picked 008 to replace it, securing its place in the main competition as part of Beining's Yellow team. As a member of this team, 008 fought Cat King, Red River Hong and Weber in its next rumble.
008 was extremely passive in the opening stages, remaining in its opening zone to power up its spinner, while avoiding the other machines. This was due to Cat King spinning up before the match started and the team objecting to the referee standing beside them. It eventually drew near to Weber, causing the Russian machine to flip itself over, despite 008 making no contact. Outside of the televised edit, 008 struck the back end of Cat King, causing it to lose a drive belt. Red River Hong then charged into 008 for a weapon-to-weapon contact, generating many sparks. 008 and Red River Hong crashed into each other's weapons once again, ripping armor from both machines, and causing Red River Hong to start smoking. Despite this, Red River Hong smashed into the side of 008, ripping another armor panel from it, and 008 lost the use of its spinner shortly afterwards. 008 was starting to lose free movement as well, and lingered over the flame jets, before being stranded in the air by the ramrods on the arena floor. Towards the end of the battle, 008 could not leave its own circumference, and was flipped up by Weber, but it survived to a Judges' decision. Although the Judges were choosing between three robots that had lost full mobility, the winner was declared to be Weber.
Despite its loss, 008 remained in the competition, and later fought again in the Tag Team round. There, it was paired with Greedy Snake of the Blue team, and fought Xiake for the second time, alongside its teammate Vulcan from the Green team. Moments before the battle began, 008 began smoking as a result of one of its speed controllers overheating. Despite concerns from Sa Beining, Blue team captain Zhang Yishan and the driver of Greedy Snake, Gary Cairns insisted that he would carry on with the fight anyway.
- "For those wondering, the smoke coming out the top of 008 was the speed controller I had running the 4 heater nozzles for the flame thrower at the back. The setup for this battle was a lot longer than normal so they were running for longer. I saw the smoke coming out, still had drive and disc and knew it wasn't going to get any better so shrugged my shoulders and got on with the match."
- — Gary Cairns explains the cause for 008 smoking before its Tag Team battle
Immediately, 008 turned and drove into the front of Greedy Snake, to Sa Beining’s frustration. It proceeded to dodge an approaching Vulcan, only to clatter into Greedy Snake again as all four robots circled the edge of the pit. Moments later, 008 drove disc-first into Xiake, the impact lifting it off the floor and allowing Xiake to push the Scottish machine back. This resulted in 008 violently recoiling as its disc repeatedly hit the floor; however, it quickly stabilized and survived a second blow from Xiake’s drum. The two competitors drove head-on into each other again; the impact caused 008 to cartwheel across the arena, into and out of the pit. Flames spouted from the back of 008 as it bounced and flew through the air, its disc once again hitting the floor at full speed. 008 landed upright, but its right wheel hub was badly bent and the tyre punctured, leaving it spinning helplessly on its disc as the fire spread across its body. After being nudged by Greedy Snake, 008 continued spinning until it became immobilized close to the grinders, eliminating it from the battle.
However, after initially driving itself into the pit and being raised back up, Greedy Snake subsequently pitted Xiake and battled Vulcan until time ran out, taking the battle to a Judges’ decision. The decision subsequently went in favor of Greedy Snake and 008, despite the Scottish machine's prolonged immobility.
- "It was a confusing setup but the only reason I didn't go home was because [Greedy Snake] won the fight for us. We were told after that had Vulcan shoved us down the pit for the second time (even though the robot was dead) we would have lost the match as it would have gone to the judges."
- — Gary Cairns’ thoughts on the aftermath of 008’s Tag Team battle
Despite being one of only three members of Sa Beining's team, 008's position on the yellow team was challenged by Formula, which aimed to replace it. The two robots met each other in the middle of the arena, and sparks flew as 008's flywheel bounced off of Formula's flipper. Going on another attack, Formula then got underneath 008, but failed to flip it and had its decorative spoiler ripped away as 008 drove over it. Chasing after it some more, Formula finally managed to get its flipper into play as it threw 008 into the air, and 008 landed with a crash.
As the battle continued, 008 seemed to be slowing down with fire visibly bellowing from its insides. Approaching each other tentatively, Formula once again collided with 008's still working flywheel, sending shards of the machine flying across the arena. By now, the damage sustained to Formula was becoming apparent, it as only seemed capable of driving backwards and forwards, but 008 was clearly in not much better condition. As 008 limped forwards towards the heavily damaged Formula, it seemed to wedge itself onto its own flywheel, smoke now also rising from 008. The countdown started, and since Formula was at-least showing some movement, 008 was the one declared KO'ed, despite Formula losing mobility shortly afterwards. 008 was dropped from the yellow team as a result, and was eliminated from the competition.
|008 - RESULTS|
|This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)|
|Preliminary Rumble||vs. Ninja, Saturn, Xiake||Not selected|
|NOTE: Although 008 was not selected in battle, it was chosen by Sa Beining to replace Raging Moustache on his team|
|Main Rumble, Round 1||vs. Cat King, Red River Hong, Weber||Lost|
(with Greedy Snake)
|vs. Vulcan, Xiake||Won|
|Challenger Round||vs. Formula||Lost|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 2
NOTE: 008's preliminary rumble is not considered a win or a loss.
|Series||008 Series Record|
|Season 1||Entered with Crossfire|
|Season 1.5||Sa Beining's team|
|Season 2||Did not enter|
Outside King of Bots
Prior to entering King of Bots with Crossfire, Gary Cairns earned several years of robot combat experience through competing in the UK TV shows Robot Wars and Techno Games. He initially competed in the latter shows as part of Team Typhoon, a team consisting of cadets from the Air Training Corps, where he served as one of their drivers. Among the team’s most famous and successful robots were the Typhoon series of full-body spinners, which were built to compete in different weight classes and featured cone-shaped bodies painted to resemble the roundel of the British Royal Air Force (RAF). Cairns drove the original version of Typhoon, which won three consecutive Middleweight Championships during the original run of Robot Wars, as well as a heavyweight derivative, Typhoon 2, which won the seventh series outright before making a one-off appearance at RoboGames in 2005.
Following Robot Wars’ initial cancellation, Cairns built an invertible horizontal spinner, Swarm, with the intention of competing with it in the 2006 UK Championships. However, Swarm was forced to withdraw from the championship due to technical issues, and did not appear at any live events thereafter.
Although Team Typhoon did not return for Robot Wars’ revival in 2016, Cairns formed his own team, PP3D Robotics, to compete in Series 8-9 of the rebooted show. Their entry for these series, PP3D, was an invertible robot utilizing an undercutting flywheel and 3D-printed parts. It reached the second round in both of its appearances, but ultimately progressed no further. PP3D provided Cairns with his experience in using undercutting flywheels prior to implementing one in 008.
- Team Far North - King of Bots Facebook page
- Official PP3D Robotics (Far North) team website
- Team Typhoon and PP3D Robotics on Robot Wars Wiki