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"Come on, beware of our massive bite"
— Steven Martin

Great White was a competitor on the Chinese Show King of Bots. A collaboration between Australian featherweight champion Steven Martin and UK roboteer Ellis Ware, Great White was a vertical spinner paired with a minibot named Remora. Uniquely, each member of the team was responsible for one of the robots. In the first round, it earned an impressive victory over the American Spin Doctor, before defeating Hunting Wind and Tánshè in consecutive wins. After reaching the top eight of the competition, Great White's run was ended by the Chinese drum spinner, Chiyung Jinlun. Great White also won a Tag Team battle alongside Spin Doctor, against Rust Boar and Wild Beast, winning on a Judges' decision.

Design

Great White

Great White (left) and Remora (right)

As its name suggested, Great White was designed after the shark species of the same name, and greatly resembled Steven Martin's previous heavyweight Death Roll. It featured a large serrated vertical spinning blade cut into the shape of a shark's tooth, which spun vertically at 5,500rpm. Great White's four wheels were exposed at the top, but guarded from the sides by the exterior of the chassis. A self-righting arm was mounted at the rear, which actuated sideways to allow Great White to right itself when overturned.

Remora was an invertible featherweight minibot built by Ellis Ware, featuring a two-wheel drive system and a pair of interchangeable horizontal undercutting spinners. These included a serrated disc - owing a greater resemblance to a circular saw than a conventional flywheel - and a bar spinner. The robot utilised magnets to keep it flush on the ground when driving around, helping to improve its controllability. Remora is essentially an improved and renamed version of Neon, a featherweight which Ware originally built in the space of two days, using spare components intended for his heavyweight robots.

Robot History

Season 1

Great White v Spin Doctor 1

The opening hit

Great White v Spin Doctor 2

Spin Doctor lights up Great White

Great White v Spin Doctor 3

Both robots overturned

"Spin Doctor is a really really fierce opponent. I think it probably would've been the favourite to win the competition."
— Steven Martin

In the blue corner, Great White started up against Robogames founder David Calkins and his robot Spin Doctor. As the two vertical spinners converged, it was Great White's flywheel that landed the heavier hit than Spin Doctor's drum, sending the American robot flying into the side spikes and dislodging the plexiglass panel protecting its side. As Spin Doctor moved away, Remora drove into the side and sheared away the rest of the panel, but the impact sent the featherweight hurtling into the side spikes and flying out of range. Remora tried to recover while Great White landed more powerful blows on Spin Doctor, delivering hard knocks to the drum, chassis and wedge but not causing lasting damage. Great White, rather, was showing signs of wear, as its flywheel began to slow down. With its opponent less dangerous, Spin Doctor charged in and set off its flamethrower, concealing both in a blaze of fire.

Great White v Spin Doctor 5

Heavy hits are given

Great White v Spin Doctor 4

Heavy hits are taken

Remora side strand

Remora flies across the arena

Within the inferno, Spin Doctor's drum began to chew up Great White's armour, bending the side panels out of shape. Eventually, Great White was able to escape by driving over Spin Doctor. Spin Doctor took the lead, snapping off the side panels for the flywheel and pressuring Great White into the side walls where it was overturned by the drum. However, the side drums on the arena also caught Spin Doctor and overturned it, with Remora pressuring the American robot to alleviate the pressure on its partner robot. Both Spin Doctor and Great White self-righted, but Remora became stuck on its disc and was carried right into the side wall, where it was hurled away in explosive fashion, after which point it would not move. It became clear that Spin Doctor's flamethrower was not working, but it kept the pressure up on Great White, who dealt another powerful hit but was overturned. The two battled on even footing, trading blows, but in the last thirty seconds of the match, Great White got a slam on the side of Spin Doctor that dislodged the drum and bent the wheels out of alignment. Left immobilised, Spin Doctor was counted out and Great White progressed by knockout.

Great White v Spin Doctor 6

A powerful hit is dealt to the back of Spin Doctor

"I think his robot worked really well, and had the battle going for as long as it did with all the massive hits was amazing, so credit to the robot for being as good as it is. But fortunately, we just came out on top, and I think it could've gone either way."
— Steven Martin

Great White fought Hunting Wind in the second round. The presenters remembered the fight with Spin Doctor fondly, but it was revealed that Great White had taken considerably more damage than previously thought. A wheel and weapon motor had to be replaced during repairs, and the machine was put back together just in time for its battle, without the ability to test.

"I'd like to think we'll win, but I'm not too sure. It's a very nicely built robot, and one hit from him in the wrong spot can definitely take us out."
— Steven Martin
Great White vs Hunting Wind 1

Sparks fly as Great White tears Hunting Wind's side armor off

Remora vs Hunting Wind

Remora delivers the final knockout blow

Remora took the lead armed with a bar spinner, but Hunting Wind's drivers activated the smokescreen in the face of Steven Martin and Ellis Ware. Peering through the obstruction, Great White landed a powerful blow on Hunting Wind's side that shelled the axe bot almost in one hit, tearing away armor. Hunting Wind's axe blow hit thin air and overturned the robot, pushing it into Great White's blade. Remora landed a follow up blow and tore off the loosened Hunting Wind's front armor. Left with no armor and the robot smoking, Hunting Wind was quickly counted out, putting Great White through to the third round in quick fashion.

In the third round, Great White was drawn against Tánshè, featuring two roboteers with whom the Anglo-Australian team were familiar. Steven Martin admitted that Great White only had one weapon motor left, and damage could cost them the tournament. Both teams worked on their robots to try and beat the other's ground clearance. Remora once again equipped the bar spinner.

Steven Martin: " John's being doing this for many many years, and one good flip is all it takes, and we could be upside-down and not able to get back over. So it's really going to be a battle of, of who's the lowest wedge, and who can get under each other. Great White's coming for your wedge!"
John Reid: "Where's your parachute, Steve?"
— Each team throws down the gauntlet
GreatWhite vs Tanshe

Great White bends Tánshè's wedge

Tanshe vs Great White

Tánshè aggressively rams into Great White

Tánshè zoomed off the mark and deflected Remora into the air, shunting Great White into the side spikes. The impact caused Great White's fragile sides to splinter and fragment, pieces of metal and plastic strewn across the arena. Tánshè pressured Great White against the side of the arena, the heavy blade chewing the paint away and leaving deep scratches. Tánshè did not flip its opponent, and backed off for another attack, throwing Remora again, but as Great White continued to smash at the front wedge it became apparent that the flipper was bending out of place from the repeat hits. Tánshè flipped itself over and with its flipper buckled, struggled to self-right, though it did eventually do so.

Great White vs Tanshe

Great White removes an armor panel from Tánshè

Great White vs Tánshè

Great White lands the knockout blow

Its flipper wedge now bent almost perpendicular to the arena floor, Tánshè kept the pressure on, Great White momentarily impeded by the arena spikes and against the side walls. Tánshè pushed the speedy Remora into Great White's blade, smashing its wheel and limiting the minibot's effectiveness. However, Great White showed no signs of slowing down, whilst Tánshè's effectiveness was impeded, and Great White succeeded in tearing off the side panel. Great White kept up the attack, tearing off another side panel and landing a terminal blow that immobilized Tánshè. With a third destructive KO, Great White celebrated and progressed to the fourth round, taking time to praise Tánshè and its driver, John Reid.

"I was surprised. We went into this thinking it might be our last battle, but we got another win. The weapon did a lot of damage to their robot I didn't expect it to do anywhere near as much damage to their robot, but it bent bits of their robot I didn't even know it could!"
— Steven Miller's post battle interview

In the fourth round, Great White fought a second invertible drum spinner, Chiyung Jinlun.

Great White also fought in a Tag Team battle, filmed at the end of the series. There, it teamed with its very first opponent, Spin Doctor, to battle two more drum spinners, Rust Boar and Wild Beast.

Results

GREAT WHITE - RESULTS
Season 1
Round 1 vs. Spin Doctor Won
Round 2 vs. Hunting Wind Won
Round 3 vs. Tánshè Won
Round 4 vs. Chiyung Jinlun Lost
Tag Team
Partnered with Spin Doctor
Tag Team vs. Rust Boar & Wild Beast Won

Wins/Losses

  • Wins: 4
  • Losses: 1

Outside King of Bots

Deathroll official

Death Roll, Steven Martin's BattleBots entrant

Steven Martin

Steven Martin entered ABC's second season of BattleBots with Death Roll, another aquatic-themed robot. It was designed to look like a crocodile and was armed with a vertical spinning blade, this time shaped as a stylised outline of Australia, and a rear 'tail' to be used as a lifter or self-righting mechanism. It was eliminated in the first round of the tournament by Captain Shrederator.

Ellis Ware

Magnetar

Magnetar, Series 10 Robot Wars competitor built by Ellis Ware

Ellis Ware is the captain of Team Ranglebots, a team that has competed in Series 8-10 of Robot Wars. His first machine, Pulsar, reached the Grand Final of Series 8 after being reinstated following a first round loss, before being defeated in the Heat Final of Series 9. Pulsar's successor, Magnetar, reached the Series 10 Grand Final through three consecutive knockouts, but was eliminated after suffering issues with its self-righting mechanism. Ellis Ware also mentored Paralympian Kadeena Cox, who competed and won with Kadeena Machina in a celebrity special.

In addition to his heavyweight robots, Ellis Ware competes regularly at lower weight classes. Newton is a very successful beetleweight, twice placing second in a major championship. A series of featherweights named Tormenta have competed worldwide, with Tormenta 3 most recently placing sixth in the 2015 World Featherweight Championship. Ware also collaborated with Team Legion to compete with Rango and Django, the latter placing second in the 2016 World Featherweight Championship, losing to Explosion in the final.

Neon

Neon, the original version of Remora

Neon, the original incarnation of Remora, was initially constructed by Ellis Ware for the FRA Featherweight World Championship in 2017. Built in just two days using spare heavyweight components and featuring speeds of up to 26mph, Neon placed ninth out of fifty robots competing at the championship.

Trivia

  • In direct translation from the King of Bots website, Great White was known as Jaws.
  • With its current 3-0 combat record, Great White is currently the most successful Australian Heavyweight ever built, taking the title from RoboGames competitor Huntsman which had a 1-4 record upon its retirement.

External Links

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