|This article's name is a rough translation from Chinese, and the team have yet to specify the robot's official name. As such, the article's title may not be entirely accurate.|
地心铲 (translated as Earth Shovel, also referred to as Shovel Core) was a Chinese competitor robot which fought in Season 2 of King of Bots. Built by the To The Future team, it was first selected by Tao Shen to fight near the end of the second episode, winning over Pot of Love on a Judges’ decision. As a result of its victory, Earth Shovel would secure a place on Tao Shen’s team alongside Pixel Hunter and Storm Slasher, a position it would later defend by beating Monster in its second battle with a knockout flip. In Episode 8, it competed in the Attrition War and defeated Flaming Wheel, but lost to Boxing Champion only minutes later. Earth Shovel's second and final loss came at the end of a head-to-head with Cat King, in Tao Shen's final round of the competition.
Prior to their televised debut, To The Future also competed with a titular featherweight at various King of Bots live events, featuring a similar flipping weapon to the heavyweight Earth Shovel. This robot fought in various events held throughout 2018, notably reaching the Round of 16 at that year's Hangzhou event before being defeated by Anchor and Shield.
Earth Shovel was a four-wheel drive robot with a tall wedged box-shaped chassis and hinged side panels. Its weapon was a rear-hinged flipper forming a broad angled wedge at the robot’s front. The bottom edge of Earth Shovel’s flipper incorporated five infra-red sensors, enabling it to fire semi-automatically whenever opponents drove up it. The robot was painted in a contrasting two-tone gray and white color scheme, with black triangles on the flipper edge and its team logo on its top, side and rear panels. The side panels of Earth Shovel were hinged, providing the robot with a low ground clearance, at the expense of its sides being easily broken.
King of Bots II (Season 2)
Prior to the main series being filmed, Earth Shovel fought in a "warm-up battle" alongside Mr Hippo, taking on the team of Vulcan and Xiake in a two-on-two battle which was not included in the main series. Many roboteers in attendance were protesting the idea of untelevised "warm-up fights" by refusing to use their weaponry in these battles, and so both Vulcan and Xiake launched no meaningful attacks on Earth Shovel or Mr Hippo for the majority of the fight. However, Earth Shovel eventually broke this agreement (potentially through its semi-automatic weapon system) by flipping Vulcan, so Vulcan responded by throwing Earth Shovel out of the arena. As a result, it and Mr Hippo lost the fight.
- "Basically we were told that the warm up fights didn't mean anything, so we all refused to use our weapons (hence why they fights haven't been shown as they weren't the greatest!) But the flipper one did try a cheeky flip on us, so I threw him out of the arena for breaking the agreement! Might have been that fight we broke the arena as well."
- — Alan Young describes the warm-up fight
After initially being considered for selection in Episode 1 of Season 2, Earth Shovel would not make its televised combat debut until Episode 2. There, Tao Shen chose it to compete in the penultimate head-to-head of the episode, where it fought Pot of Love, a full-body spinner from a father-and-son team.
Immediately, Earth Shovel charged across the arena towards Pot of Love, eventually succeeding in lifting the latter off the floor with its first ram. In doing so, it took a side-on hit from Pot of Love, which sent Earth Shovel into a half-spin and Pot of Love into a grinder. Earth Shovel waited in the red corner while Pot of Love bounced off the grinder and flipped violently onto its side. As soon as Pot of Love stabilized itself, Earth Shovel proceeded to ram its opponent again, the deflection launching Pot of Air a considerable distance into the air.
Earth Shovel attempted to ram Pot of Love once more; however, Pot of Love clipped its side again, causing To The Future’s machine to spin violently into the wall spikes. Undeterred, Earth Shovel drove around and pursued Pot of Love, whose shell suddenly stopped working following its most recent attack. Earth Shovel flipped Pot of Love, flipping it a full 360 degrees.
Earth Shovel then completed another flip on Pot of Love, flipping it onto the top of one of the grinder mounts. However, it could not follow these attacks up with a third flip, driving straight past Pot of Love as the latter wobbled its way from the grinder. While Pot of Love landed on its wheels again, Earth Shovel spent the next few seconds circling across the arena. Eventually, it rammed Pot of Love a few more times, deflecting Pot of Love into the air and the wall spikes in the red corner, as well as causing vital components to shear off the top of its opponent's shell.
While Pot of Love's weapon eventually stopped working again, Earth Shovel shuffled tentatively over the pit panel, seemingly having lost a lot of speed. This allowed Pot of Love to ram Earth Shovel's wedge; however, the collision was enough to cause Pot of Love's shell to be prised off its own chassis. Earth Shovel circled round and chased the partially-deshelled Pot of Love, before the two competitors exchanged rams. As they neared the grinder, one ram was enough to cause Pot of Love's shell to detach completely, prompting laughter from the audience and celebrities. Earth Shovel and Pot of Love kept ramming each other until the timer expired, at which point Earth Shovel bumped into the wall spikes on its way back to the blue corner.
With both robots still mobile, the battle went to a Judges’ decision, which ruled Earth Shovel victorious and allowed it to take the second place on Tao Shen’s team.
Earth Shovel's place on Tao Shen's team could have potentially been lost in Episode 3, when a wave of twelve international robots debuted, all vying for a place on the now-completed celebrity teams. Earth Shovel would be forced to defend its position from Monster.
Both flippers travelled across the arena and bumped into each other at the start of the match, with Earth Shovel maintaining more control over the arena, forcing Monster to drive into the arena spikes. Earth Shovel then drove into the side of Monster, but failed to get underneath it, and on a second drive, Earth Shovel was caught by Monster's flipper, which flicked it up into the air, causing its side skirts to wobble. However, Monster did not maintain its attack, and was bumped side-on by Earth Shovel, also parking over a flame jet.
Monster made a more aggressive charge, but drove up Earth Shovel's wedge and was fortunate not to be flipped up. Earth Shovel managed to catch Monster side-on again and moved it back, but with over two minutes of the match now complete, Earth Shovel had not succeeded in using its weapon, nor had Monster completed a second lift. After a tentative ram from Monster, and an attack which saw Earth Shovel briefly wedge under Monster, Earth Shovel drove under Monster and delivered it to the Grinder, which tore slices into Monster's thin armor.
Another collision between both robots popped Monster into the air, which was followed up by another head-on drive to knock Monster into the air, but never while using Earth Shovel's active weapon. After one more charge where Monster nearly tipped itself over from Earth Shovel's wedge, it was Earth Shovel that finally delivered the knockout blow in the battle, with less than thirty seconds before the end of the battle. Catching Monster side-on, Earth Shovel drove it across the arena, and fired its flipper for the first time, to knock Monster onto its side. Although Monster waved its flipper, it could not self-right, and Earth Shovel won by knockout to retain its place on Tao Shen's team.
As part of this team, Earth Shovel was intended to fight against Two BBQ and Switch on a team with Po Feng, representing Tao Shen in a series of battles against Zhu Zheng Ting's team. However, Tao Shen's robots lost two consecutive battles before this could take place, and the battle did not go ahead. Instead, Tao Shen was forced to choose between his representatives Earth Shovel and Pixel Hunter, with one robot being eliminated from the competition, although Earth Shovel escaped this situation with Pixel Hunter being removed from the team.
An identical scenario occurred in the next part of the round, where Earth Shovel was intended to fight against Spectre and Cat King on a team with Mr Hippo, this time in a series of battles against Emma Dumont's team. Once again, Tao Shen's robots lost two consecutive battles before this could take place and the battle did not go ahead, forcing Tao Shen to eliminate either Earth Shovel or Mr Hippo from the competition, despite neither having fought in that particular series of battles. Once again, Earth Shovel was spared from elimination with Mr Hippo being removed from the team.
Earth Shovel would next compete in the 'Attrition War' during Episode 8, where Earth Shovel fought on behalf of its team captain Tao Shen, and two other celebrity managers, Emma Dumont and Tu Ziya. With the team already off to an opening loss, Earth Shovel needed to even the scores by defeating Flaming Wheel.
Earth Shovel was quick off the mark, ramming into the spinning shell of Flaming Wheel, although it was knocked aside with its flipper firing automatically. Flaming Wheel hung back to reach maximum spinning speeds, allowing Earth Shovel to charge in, but Earth Shovel again seemingly came off worse, with its front corner being clipped. However, the next blow worked in favour of Earth Shovel, with a charge from Flaming Wheel onto its opponent's wedge knocking it high into the air, where it landed with an almighty crash.
Flaming Wheel was visibly shaken, and backed straight into a Grinder to inflict recoil damage onto itself, which Earth Shovel followed up by ramming it head-on. Earth Shovel guided Flaming Wheel into the corner, where it ripped away an arena spike and hit the hammer hazard, before a head-on drive caused Flaming Wheel to leapfrog over the top of Earth Shovel and land on the other side. Although this initially seemed favorable for Flaming Wheel, an awkward contact with the floor caused one of its collars to pop loose from the top of the robot, which spelled significant danger for the machine.
Flaming Wheel's shell was visibly loose, and the robot took evasive measures until Earth Shovel caught up with a head-on slam, and caused Flaming Wheel's shell to fly off the robot entirely, hitting the arena walls and pinballing across the warzone. With Flaming Shell left with no armor or weaponry, Earth Shovel's driver celebrated mid-match, and then wedged under the fleeing Flaming Wheel to turn it over. Pinned on its spinner shaft, Flaming Wheel could not run inverted, and it was counted out, awarding the win to Earth Shovel.
Following on from Earth Shovel's relatively quick victory, the team were happy to remain in the arena and fight Boxing Champion without carrying out any repairs to their machine, as per the rules of the Attrition War.
- "Going into the fight against [Earth Shovel], we were very lucky that our teammate had done some decent damage to them, so it was a lot easier for us to get underneath them."
- — Aren Hill
Boxing Champion made the first contact, wedging under Earth Shovel after the first ten seconds had passed. After having sufficient time to charge up its spinner to full speed, Boxing Champion used its punching mechanism to push its spinner directly under the side armor of Earth Shovel, connecting with maximum bite on Earth Shovel's flipper to throw it completely onto its back. Earth Shovel immediately fired its flipper in an effort to self-right, but landed directly on its front end with the flipper still open. Earth Shovel could not retract its flipper from this position, and it was counted out, collecting its first loss of the season.
With Earth Shovel quickly defeated, the team of Tao Shen and the other celebrities were placed at a deficit again, and after a three-match winning streak from Boxing Champion, the team lost the Attrition War. This placed Earth Shovel in danger of being removed from Tao Shen's team, but the team of Big Carioca admitted that their robot could not continue regardless, so Big Carioca was cut from Tao Shen's team instead of Earth Shovel.
Earth Shovel was the first of Tao Shen's three remaining robots to fight against Ye Hong Li and his team, opening the next round with a battle against Cat King.
Earth Shovel made the first move and crashed into Cat King, but rode straight up its opponent's forks, making the team wary of their inferior ground clearance. Earth Shovel then made a measured shove, bumping into the side of Cat King while avoiding the accelerating spinner. The floor flipper disrupted the motions of Cat King, causing it only to scrape the back end of Earth Shovel upon contact, and Earth Shovel cleanly resisted Cat King's next charge. However after this time, Cat King had fully spun its blade up to speed, and it connected with the flipper of Earth Shovel, launching it across the arena and slicing through its wedge. Cat King was not far behind in pursuit, and delivered another big hit to Earth Shovel, ripping up its side.
Yet, just when Cat King thought it had a clear advantage, it rode up the wedge of Cat King and was flipped over. Cat King rolled back, but used its lifting arms to self-right. However, Earth Shovel was quicker with its response, and flipped Cat King directly onto its side during the self-righting attempt. Cat King still tumbled back down, and delivered two consecutive blows to Earth Shovel's flipper, prompting Earth Shovel to ram it hard in retaliation, knocking Cat King off the floor briefly.
Unfortunately for Earth Shovel, the damage to its wedge was preventing it from gaining a purchase, and easily allowed Cat King to bite into it with another big hit, launching Earth Shovel onto its side by the arena wall. Cat King knocked Earth Shovel down from this position, but the two became stuck together via Cat King's lifter. Cat King carried Earth Shovel around the arena for a period of time, with even Earth Shovel's flips and the arena floor flipper being unable to separate the two machines, until a third attempt from Earth Shovel to flip itself free resulted in it landing on Cat King's blade, taking more damage as the two finally separated.
Earth Shovel was left completely inverted after the separation, and seemed to be motionless, with the referee starting to count it out. Despite this, Earth Shovel successfully self-righted with only a few seconds left on its fatal count. Cat King still delivered more damage to the sides and front of Earth Shovel, shaking its side panel loose, and launching the whole robot into the air with one attack. Cat King continued to cleave away at Earth Shovel, but Earth Shovel still came back for more and rammed directly into Cat King's blade, sustaining more damage. Danger momentarily struck for Cat King as it drove into the Grinder, but otherwise continued to slice into Earth Shovel, trying to rip away its loose side panel. Even though it had sustained numerous attacks, Earth Shovel carried on as though it were unharmed, and in the final two seconds of the battle, it flipped Cat King onto its back. Cat King did not have time to self-right before the end of the battle, but later self-righted to prove it was not immobile. As a result, the late hopes of Earth Shovel were quashed, and Cat King won the Judges' decision.
- "Our battle against the pancake flipper was a certain victory for us. That robot is good for making breakfast, not for fighting!"
- — Martin Mason
Ultimately, despite Dragon King beating Warrior, Tao Shen's team lost the series of battles overall two-to-one when Po Feng was defeated by Spectre. With Tao Shen once again defeated, the celebrity manager, along with his three robots, were all eliminated from the competition at this stage.
|EARTH SHOVEL - RESULTS|
|King of Bots II (Season 2)|
Part of Tao Shen's team
|Episode 2, 1v1||vs. Pot of Love||Won|
|Challenger Round||vs. Monster||Won|
|Attrition War||vs. Flaming Wheel||Won|
|Attrition War||vs. Boxing Champion||Lost|
|Episode 10, 1v1||vs. Cat King||Lost|
|NOTE: Tao Shen's team were eliminated from the competition after falling to Ye Hong Li in Episode 10.|
|2v2 (with Mr Hippo)||vs. Vulcan & Xiake||Lost|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 2
NOTE: Earth Shovel's "warm-up battle" is not included
|Series||Earth Shovel Series Record|
|Season 1||Did not enter|
|Season 1.5||Did not enter|
|Season 2||Tao Shen's team|