Luna-Tic is a British featherweight robot built by Team Luna, which competed in the 2018 King of Bots UK International Championships. Fighting alongside its successor Raving Luna-Tic, and driven by Chris Sowry’s daughter, Felicity, it enjoyed limited success in the main championship, being eliminated in the qualification rounds after losing to Legion, Get Shrekt and Take Cover respectively. Luna-Tic would also compete in a whiteboard battle against its successor, which it won, as well as the eighteen-way Gladiator battle, which it ultimately lost to Aegis after the latter pushed it on top of an immobilized Crabsolutely Clawful.
Luna-Tic was a four-wheel drive, box-shaped robot armed with a rear-hinged, electrically-powered lifter. The lifter, driven using a linear actuator, allowed the robot to self-right when inverted, and was designed to incorporate a variety of interchangeable add-ons, including a broad 4mm HARDOX wedge for fighting spinners and a ‘moon scoop’ made out of a 110m diameter plastic pipe. Luna-Tic itself originally featured a chassis made entirely out of 10mm HDPE, which was increased in thickness to 15mm ahead of its entry into the 2018 UK International Championships. The robot was finished in a black and light grey color scheme, along with several decals sporting its logo and one of Team Luna’s mascots.
Luna-Tic originally took five months to build, at a cost of £300.
King of Bots UK 2018
Luna-Tic initially appeared in the second qualification round, where it was due to face Legion and Mad Rush in its first melee. Mad Rush subsequently withdrew from the battle and the championship due to a gearbox breakage, leaving Luna-Tic and Legion to fight alone.
Equipped with the HARDOX wedge, Luna-Tic began by weaving towards the center of the arena, only to be scooped up and pushed sideways into the wall by Legion. It spun round and shuttled back and forth along the arena perimeter, twice bumping into the wall, before ramming Legion head-on. Seconds later, Luna-Tic made another lunge at Legion, but missed, and was reversed towards the pit by Gabriel Stroud’s machine. Luna-Tic bumped into the nearby wall, only to back straight into the pit as it began to descend. As a result, it was eliminated from the battle via knockout, finishing second and scoring its first two points of the competition.
It immediately turned and rammed Conker 3 head-on, getting underneath Alex Botwright’s machine as the latter struggled to move out of its starting position. Luna-Tic quickly reversed into Get Shrekt, momentarily staying in the center before approaching and avoiding the flywheel of its green and black opponent. Dodging a high-speed slam from Get Shrekt, Luna-Tic attempted a front-on attack, only to be flipped over by Get Shrekt near the wall. Luna-Tic was left upside-down and unable to self-right, its front wheels spinning as it was being counted out. With this, it incurred its second-consecutive knockout loss, finishing the battle third and scoring one point.
It sped towards Take Cover in the opening seconds, spinning into the pit release button as a result, and briefly reversed into the Bristol-based machine. Turning round, Luna-Tic rammed Take Cover again with the wedge, the collision sending both robots recoiling across opposite sides of the arena. With is lifter bent, it proceeded to approach X-303, bumping into the wall and its Manchester-based opponent several times as it tried unsuccessfully to attack. Luna-Tic was spun away by another side-on blow from Take Cover, and pressed the pit release button as it tentatively followed the latter across the arena. Turning round, it drove forwards and threw Take Cover into the air with a front-on slam.
Luna-Tic followed this up with another pair of rams on Take Cover, before approaching X-303 again. Bumping into the wall, it reversed and stopped as X-303 drove into its wedge; this attack threw Luna-Tic violently into the corner and mangled its lifter. Luna-Tic maneuvered its way towards the pit, before valiantly ramming Take Cover once more near the flame jet. Seconds later, it reversed and drove head-on into X-303, whose drum threw Luna-Tic onto its back. As its count-out began, Luna-Tic slowly hoisted itself up using its damaged lifter, and moved forwards once its rear wheels regained contact with the floor. It maneuvered over the flame jet and into X-303’s drum, which threw Luna-Tic back upright.
With its lifter almost fully raised, Luna-Tic approached X-303 again, nudging it into an also-approaching Take Cover. This combined attack sent X-303 flying into the pit, eliminating the Bad Timing Robotics machine from contention. Luna-Tic proceeded to drive into Take Cover twice more in the bottom-right corner, but was thrown onto its side against the railings by the second impact. It tried to self-right from the corner, but was unable to do so, resulting in Luna-Tic being counted out. Having finished second, Luna-Tic scored two more points, for a total score of five points. With this, it finished the qualification rounds joint thirty-third overall, and was eliminated from the 2018 UK International Championships at that stage.
As well as the main competition, Luna-Tic would take part in a whiteboard battle against its successor, Raving Luna-Tic, the latter driven by Chris Sowry, father of Luna-Tic's driver Felicity Sowry.
In the opening seconds, it drove towards and alongside a spinning Raving Luna-Tic, attempting to get underneath the newer Team Luna machine. The two robots briefly nudged and bumped each other, with Luna-Tic speeding into the wall and hesitating over the red triangle. This allowed Raving Luna-Tic to get underneath and pin Luna-Tic against the wall for a few seconds. Once both competitors separated, Luna-Tic responded by pushing Raving Luna-Tic sideways towards the center of the arena. A head-to-head ram ensued, before Luna-Tic reversed and again pushed Raving Luna-Tic, this time into and alongside the wall. In doing so, it caused one of Raving Luna-Tic’s drive chains to break; the chain trailed out of Raving Luna-Tic as Luna-Tic kept pushing it over the flame jet and across the arena floor.
Again, the two Team Luna machines separated; Luna-Tic turned and bumped Raving Luna-Tic as the latter struggled for continuous drive. With Raving Luna-Tic briefly stranding itself on its broken chain, Luna-Tic rammed the pit release button twice, before continuing to bump and nudge its successor a few more times. Eventually, Luna-Tic positioned itself behind Raving Luna-Tic and rammed it into the top-left corner. Getting underneath Raving Luna-Tic, it proceeded to push the latter around and against the wall, before slowly lifting Raving Luna-Tic up and against the railings. Luna-Tic reversed, causing Raving Luna-Tic to land on its antennae and preventing its successor’s wheels from touching the floor. Luna-Tic lowered its lifter and drove around the arena, having won the whiteboard battle for itself and Felicity Sowry.
Both Luna-Tic and Raving Luna-Tic fought together again in the Gladiator, an eighteen-way melee held immediately before the final of the main 2018 UK International Championships. There, they competed alongside Crabsolutely Clawful, Take Cover, Impact, Aegis, Barróg, Meow, Orpheus, Neon, Mini ACE, BANE, Binky, The Claw, DB12, Hedgebot, Sabre20 and Satanix.
Immediately, Luna-Tic breached the ground clearance of a charging Crabsolutely Clawful, briefly pushing Joe Brown’s machine over Impact before getting pushed itself by Raving Luna-Tic. Hesitating, it sustained a heavy blow from DB12’s disc, which threw Luna-Tic a considerable distance into the air and damaged its lifter. Luna-Tic sped back and forth across the arena, slamming into the side of Orpheus and the wall. Charging into Orpheus again, it was rounded up by both BANE and DB12, but survived, briefly tussling with Impact and Meow. Luna-Tic next drove into Take Cover twice, before ramming Aegis from the side; seconds later, it pursued and rammed Satanix, Crabsolutely Clawful and Sabre20 into the wall at once. This attack helped to immobilize Crabsolutely Clawful, which Luna-Tic rammed and flipped into Sabre20 before ramming Satanix into the corner.
Luna-Tic next attacked Impact, avoiding its flipper and ramming it into an already-eliminated Crabsolutely Clawful. It was briefly scooped up by Barróg, before darting to the center of the arena and bumping both Orpheus and Aegis simultaneously. Luna-Tic and Aegis briefly pushed each other around in circles, with Luna-Tic slamming into the wall as it tried to push Rory Charlesworth’s machine back. Both robots rammed and pushed each other in and out of the bottom-right corner, before Luna-Tic proceeded to slam Aegis back in with assistance from Orpheus. Seconds later, Binky sent Impact flying into Luna-Tic, briefly trapping the Team Luna machine in the corner. Raising its lifter, Luna-Tic bumped the now-inverted Impact out of the way, and retreated from the corner.
Luna-Tic turned round, and proceeded to ram both Aegis and Orpheus from the side before spinning on the spot. Speeding into the center, it duelled with Binky, initially avoiding the latter’s flywheel as the two robots pushed each other back and forth. Luna-Tic shoved Binky back towards the red triangle, only to turn round and push an already-eliminated Sabre20 towards the flame jet. Bumping into Barróg, it sustained a light hit to its left-rear wheel from Binky, which had also thrown Barróg over towards the red triangle. Luna-Tic retreated, before slamming into Satanix and Binky in quick succession. While trying to push Binky back, Luna-Tic was twice flicked up onto its side by Ian Botwright’s machine, all while sustaining considerable damage to its lifter.
Landing upright, Luna-Tic approached Barróg, and almost drove itself into a crowded pit while maneuvering across the arena. It briefly rammed Orpheus once more, only to push Aegis back yet again before the trio converged with Binky near the top-right corner. Luna-Tic was flipped over by Binky’s flywheel in the process, forcing it to self-right; Barróg and Aegis both bumped and pushed Luna-Tic while it did so, the latter eventually leaving it in the center. With its rear wheels making contact with the floor, Luna-Tic spun round for a few seconds, before Aegis rammed it into the corner and on top of one of Crabsolutely Clawful's grabbing arms. Luna-Tic was left stranded as a result, and was counted out while raising and lowering its lifter. With this, it was eliminated from the Gladiator battle - which Aegis ultimately won - although Luna-Tic briefly dragged Crabsolutely Clawful around when it managed to regain contact with the arena floor.
|LUNA-TIC - RESULTS|
|King of Bots UK 2018 (Insomnia 63)|
|Rumble||vs. Legion, Mad Rush||Lost (2 points)|
|Rumble||vs. Conker 3, Get Shrekt||Lost 1 point)|
|Rumble||vs. X-303, Take Cover||Lost (2 points)|
|Whiteboard||vs. Raving Luna-Tic||Won|
|Gladiator||vs. Crabsolutely Clawful, Take Cover, Impact, Aegis, Barróg, Meow, Orpheus, Neon, Mini ACE, BANE, Binky, The Claw, DB12, Hedgebot, Sabre20, Satanix, Raving Luna-Tic||Lost
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 4
Outside King of Bots
The featherweight Luna-Tic debuted in 2017, initially attending that year’s Extreme Robots event in Manchester. During the event, it fought in eight melee battles, picking up its first combat victory in the process. Several improvements were made to Luna-Tic ahead of its participation in the 2017 FRA Featherweight International Championships, where it won four battles and finished the main championship in the top 16. Since then, Luna-Tic continues to attend live events alongside Raving Luna-Tic and a number of other robots built by Team Luna. These have included appearances at the first three Robodojo live events in Yorkshire - in both March 2019 and July 2019, Luna-Tic won all four of its Sportsman head-to-heads, and ultimately finished as the runner-up to Amnesia on both occasions.
Luna-Tic competed in the FRA UK Featherweight Championship in August 2019 under the controls of Chris Sowry, sporting new fork attachments. It comfortably defeated Nigel Barrage and edged out a split decision over Mitternacht, but otherwise lost to Forge Master II, Crabsolutely Clawful and Barróg Doom, resigning it to fourth place in its Heat. Nevertheless, Luna-Tic competed in the Annihilator and won the entire event, defeating Blunt Force Trauma 3 in the Final. It also finished second in the Robodojo Sportsman 2019, losing out to winner Amnesia.
Other versions of Luna-Tic have also been built for different weight classes, featuring a similar shape and lifting weapon to their featherweight namesake. A heavyweight version – featuring a chassis predominantly made out of recycled 25mm box-section – debuted at the Extreme Robots Gloucester event in 2017,but was retired after the 2018 Heavyweight championships due to heavy damage and its poor performance over the year. A beetleweight Luna-Tic was also built in 2017, and is primarily used at charity events organized by Team Luna.
- "Everybody who watched the original run of Robot Wars wished they could build one, It wasn't until I watched the fight between Behemoth and Hypnodisc during Extreme 1 that Luna-Tic started to take shape. Combining attack and defence into a single weapon package looked ideal, but what chassis to mount it all on? Tornado was showing great control with their 4WD skid steer drive perfect for mounting a Behemoth scoop. The last robot of inspiration was Panic Attack, I loved how Kim Davis controlled the lifting folks to great effect. They weren't as impressive as Gas Flippers, but I wanted the control of lifting to the required height instead of just BANG and sending them into the air."
- — Chris Sowry on his inspiration for the original build of Luna-Tic, Luna-Tic XP1
Chris Sowry was initially inspired to build Luna-Tic upon watching the original run of Robot Wars, and began work on an earlier heavyweight incarnation of the robot, Luna-Tic XP1, for entry onto the latter show. This version had a drastically different appearance to the versions seen at live events, featuring a box wedge-shaped chassis formed out of two car ramps, four trolley wheels and a vertical flywheel made out of a brake disc. Due to Robot Wars entering its hiatus, and Sowry's limited experience and funds at the time, Luna-Tic XP1 went unfinished, and remained in storage by the time the show returned to television in 2016. Sowry would later be inspired to build the featherweight Luna-Tic by tutorial videos produced by Ellis Ware, demonstrating how to use drill motors for combat robots.
- "What really made me realise I could do this was Pulsar made by Ellis Ware who lived not 20 miles from me. Local media advertised Ellis as a "High School drop out turned self taught roboteer." I discovered his YouTube page and watched videos with his Featherweight build Tormenta. He showed how to extract motors and gearboxes from Cordless drills and how to attach them to wheels. The problems I encountered with Luna-Tic XP1 was gone."
- — Chris Sowry, citing Ellis Ware as an inspiration for the featherweight Luna-Tic
In addition to the Luna-Tic series and Raving Luna-Tic, Team Luna also compete with the following robots:
- CROTA – an invertible, two-wheel drive featherweight with interchangeable pickaxe, long axe blade or lifting spike weapons. Driving is shared between Verity and Oliver, the younger two children of the team/family.
- Claws – A two-wheel drive beetleweight with static ramming wedges.
- Claws 2 – The successor to Claws, armed with a pair of servo-driven grabbing claws. A birthday present for Felicity Sowry, it initially appeared at Bristol Bot Builders 3 in 2018, suffering recurring issues with its wheel hubs.  An improved Claws 2 subsequently competed in the online web series Bugglebots, winning its first two battles against Léim and Apex to reach the Heat Final stage. There, it fought SCD, but lost on a close Judges’ decision, relegating Claws 2 to the five-way rumble. Despite performing strongly throughout the rumble – pitting Maximum Ogredrive in the process – Claws 2 was pitted by Snappy in the closing seconds, and eliminated from the competition. However, it and Felicity Sowry received the ‘Best Newcomer’ award at the end of the series.
- Sythe – A third beetleweight equipped with an axe/grabber weapon. Driven by the family's second daughter Verity and appeared at the FRA Beetleweight championship 2019 finishing in the top 16 and also took part in the 'Battle in the bough' held in Edinburgh November 2019
- Toothless – A featherweight completed in July 2019, a hardened box-shaped robot armed with a lifter and broad tooth-shaped wedges. Reached the Top 16 in the FRA UK Featherweight Championship 2019 under the controls of Felicity Sowry, and won the Gladiator battle at the same event. Toothless also won the final round of the Robodojo Sportsman in December 2019 beating Amnesia in the final.
- Luna-Tic 360 - Chris Sowry's first own Beetleweight, featuring a Breaker Box/Shockwave lifting arm that can fully rotate around the body. It can replace this with forks and a rotating arm depending on its opponent. It reached the top 16 in the FRA Beetleweight Championship 2019 and lost to the eventual winner Dwayne Dibbling in the heat final at the 'Battle in the bough' in Scotland November 2019.
- Stormbreaker - Driven by the family's youngest Oliver, Stormbreaker was originally an early version of Bonecrusher given to the team by Alastair of Suvv Industries. A 2 wheel driven brick and allowed Oliver to finally take part in his first tournament up in Scotland at the 'Battle in the bough'.