Nelly the Ellybot was a featherweight robot built by Team Pun-Chant which competed in the 2018 King of Bots UK International Championships. In the main championship, it reached the Top 20 after winning one qualification round by knockout, and finishing second in its others to Furious George and Amnesia respectively. However, before its knockout battle against Saber-X, Nelly the Ellybot withdrew from the championship due to electrical issues[1][2] and was replaced by Blunt Force Trauma Remix.

Following additional repairs, Nelly the Ellybot also competed in two whiteboard battles, losing its first to Meow and winning its second against Straddle 2, despite sustaining heavy damage from the latter's bar spinner. Team Pun-Chant also expressed interest in competing in the Gladiator battle, but chose not to enter due to the damage inflicted to Nelly the Ellybot throughout the competition.

The robot's name and design are both derived from the Toy Dolls song, Nellie the Elephant.

Design

Profile image of Nelly the Ellybot

Nelly the Ellybot is a purple, semi-cylindrical robot with a two-wheel drive system which is, as its name implies, designed to resemble an elephant. Its weapon is an electric chain-driven axe with a spiked head, capable of striking opponents repeatedly and functioning as a self-righting mechanism in conjunction with the robot's rollover design. In addition to its armament, Nelly the Ellybot also featured an angled front wedge made out of titanium salvaged from scrapyards, used to offer additional protection against powerful spinning weapons.[3] Additional cosmetic details included a set of large googly eyes at the front and plush 'ears' on each side, emphasising the robot's animal-based theme.

Robot History

King of Bots UK 2018

Furious George pits Nelly the Ellybot

At the 2018 UK International Championships, Nelly the Ellybot was initially drawn to fight two vertical spinners - Enigma and Furious George – in its opening qualification round. However, Enigma withdrew before the fight began, leaving it to fight the Smushed Banana team’s entry on its own.

From the start, Nelly the Ellybot struggled with having the left-hand side of its drive disabled, leaving it vulnerable to a charge from Furious George. It backed away to avoid its opponent's spinner, but was buffeted by a blow to its back armor which ultimately disabled Furious George's weapon. Nelly the Ellybot was also having problems with its receiver [2] and began smoking as Furious George resorted to bumping and manoeuvring it towards the center, then into the pit. Thus, it scored its first knockout loss, its default second-place finish scoring it two points. Along with the receiver issues, Sarah Maylan later explained during the livestream that one of Nelly the Ellybot's drive motors malfunctioned as Team Pun-Chant were putting its removable link in, with the other malfunctioning during the battle.

Next, Nelly the Ellybot fought Amnesia and X-303, starting with no noticeable issues as it pursued and attempted to strike Amnesia with its axe. It again attacked the Team Immersion machine as the latter forced X-303 in between the arena railings, only to be thrown upside down when X-303 clipped its wedge. Nelly the Ellybot self-righted, briefly hesitating before landing a few axe blows on Amnesia in a head-to-head skirmish. However, it was in turn flicked upwards by a charge from X-303, only to land another axe blow on the front of Amnesia. For a while, Nelly the Ellybot turned its attention towards X-303, glancing off and pursuing the Bad Timing Robotics entry into the bottom-right corner.

While once more engaging in combat with Amnesia, it took a side-on blow from X-303's drum which briefly stunned it. Nelly the Ellybot drove out and again bumped the side of X-303, narrowly avoiding the open pit in the process. As its opponents engaged, it built up a side-on drive on X-303, eventually succeeding in getting underneath, axing and shoving it against the top wall. Nelly the Ellybot rounded X-303 along the arena perimeter, where Amnesia helped pin X-303 in place while Nelly the Ellybot landed a few more axe blows. In doing so, Nelly the Ellybot pushed X-303 onto Amnesia's flipper, resulting in Amnesia throwing the drum spinner over. Sparks flew as Nelly the Ellybot snuck underneath a gyrating X-303, before the purple machine turned to axing Amnesia again. The earlier axe blows eventually resulted in one of X-303's drive belts coming lose, hindering its mobility.

Nelly the Ellybot proceeded to reverse and dart around the back of Amnesia, twice striking its top armor. Dodging a struggling X-303, it drove head-on into and was flicked back by Amnesia in the center of the arena, again self-righting and responding with another axe attack. Driving over the flame jet, Nelly the Ellybot axed Amnesia again before suddenly stopping, flailing its axe in an attempt to avoid a count-out. Nelly the Ellybot got moving again and twice rode up the top of Amnesia's flipper, only to be flicked away both times and be left completely immobilised beside X-303, again due to receiver issues.[2] More axe swings could not prevent Nelly the Ellybot from being counted out along with X-303, culminating in a second knockout defeat and two more points for finishing second to Amnesia.

Like its opening battle, Nelly the Ellybot's third and final qualifier put it up against two spinners – the drum of Elevate and the horizontal undercutter of Telekinesis. Its ears were now removed and a pair of protective guards attached over the wheels to offer extra defence against its opponents' weapons. Additionally, a new receiver was given to the team from Team Tilly and installed in an effort to improve reliability.[2] In response, Telekinesis adopted its asymmetrical bar and HARDOX baseplate to minimize the damage potential of Nelly the Ellybot's axe.[4]

At this stage, Nelly the Ellybot was ranked 33rd in the event standings and needed to score the full four points for a knockout win in order to progress. It initially weaved around and drove under the rear of Elevate, missing an axe blow while also sustaining a blow from Telekinesis. Though Telekinesis succeeded in tearing off one of the wheelguards, Nelly the Ellybot ultimately came out of this gathering in the best shape as Elevate had stopped moving and one of Telekinesis' wheels had locked up. Nelly the Ellybot attempted to strike Elevate three times, but missed on each occasion, and withstood a few front-on hits from Telekinesis as it tentatively stayed near the bottom-left corner. It continued to stand up to Telekinesis' spinner as it lined up – and missed – an axe blow, only to have its left wheel damaged as Team ARD's machine kept attacking.

With this, both remaining robots were effectively immobilized on one side. As they met again, Nelly the Ellybot exposed its remaining wheelguard to Telekinesis, resulting in it being torn off and Telekinesis to deflect it away with another hit. Weaving precariously close to the flame jet, it stayed away from Telekinesis as the latter pressed the pit release button, itself now without a working spinner. Smoke was reported to be coming out of Telekinesis as Nelly the Ellybot swung its axe a few times and both robots met again near the bottom wall. Though unable to strike the top of Telekinesis, Nelly the Ellybot continued to show more vigorous movement as Telekinesis smoked even more and eventually lost mobility. As a result, Nelly the Ellybot was declared to have won by knockout, scoring four points to bring its total up to eight. In the process, it equalized Telekinesis on overall points, finishing the qualification rounds 18th and securing a place in the Knockout stage.

There, Nelly the Ellybot was to face Saber-X, the recently-crowned King of Bots Beijing featherweight champion and a machine from established Chinese competitors Team Saber. However, despite replacing its wheels and both motors, Team Pun-Chant encountered electrical issues which prevented them from being able to get it into a functioning state despite assistance from other roboteers. The cause of this turned out to be a snapped wire, hidden under a piece of electrical tape.[1] As a result, Nelly the Ellybot was forced to end its UK International Championship run and was substituted for Blunt Force Trauma Remix, which had been placed as a reserve following its defeat in the 8 Way Melee.

Nelly the Ellybot also took part in two whiteboard battles on the final day of the event. The first, 'Farmageddon', saw it face fellow animal-themed robots Crabsolutely Clawful, Furious George (for the second time), Spank the Monkey, Hedgebot and Meow. It initially approached and forced Crabsolutely Clawful upwards, with Furious George also dealing a blow to the Reckless Crabandon machine. Moments later, Nelly the Ellybot tipped the burning Spank the Monkey over while trying to axe its back panel, before being bumped by and engaging in battle with Hedgebot. However, it lost mobility shortly after due to a circuity issue[2] and was eliminated. Meow eventually won the 'Farmageddon' whiteboard on a Judges' decision when fellow survivor Furious George was disqualified for attacking an immobile Hedgebot.

The second, 'Battle of the Shuntposters', was against Straddle 2 and Spank the Monkey, the battle so-called due to roboteers Sarah Maylan, Tom Brewster and Tim Rackley all being affiliated with the 'Robot Wars Shuntposting' Facebook fan group, with Maylan being the group administrator. Straight away, Nelly the Ellybot approached Straddle 2, missing a few times with its axe as it targeted the wheels of Team Monsoon's machine. It retreated towards the bottom-right corner, but was thrown over by Straddle 2's bar spinner and forced to self-right beside the wall. With its axe stuck in the fired position, Nelly the Ellybot approached and weaved around the side of Straddle 2, before pushing Spank the Monkey around in circles and over the flame jet, where the latter promptly caught fire.

Meanwhile, Straddle 2 began to show reduced mobility after losing drive to one side, giving Nelly the Ellybot the incentive to push and nudge it around the arena perimeter. Nelly the Ellybot proceeded to push Straddle 2 twice more from the side and past the pit release button, sparks flying as it survived contact with Straddle 2's spinner. Another push allowed it to steer Straddle 2 into a smouldering and immobile Spank the Monkey. However, while pressing its surviving opponent against the wall, Nelly the Ellybot drove into and forced Straddle 2 into the air upon colliding with its bar spinner. After this impact, it appeared to twitch across the floor, its left wheel detaching from its axle and leaving it immobile on one side as well.

The whiteboard was stopped to extinguish the fire engulfing Spank the Monkey, ultimately going to a Judges' decision. A battered Nelly the Ellybot was declared the winner via knockout, with Maylan crediting teammates James Pearson for the robot's design and construction and Gus Collier for the electronics during her interview. Though the damage proved too great for Nelly the Ellybot to compete in the Gladiator as initially planned, this victory allowed Maylan to retain her title as the "Kween of Shuntposting."[2]

Results

NELLY THE ELLYBOT - RESULTS
King of Bots UK 2018 (Insomnia 63)
Main Championship
Knockout Round
Rumble vs. Furious George, Enigma Lost (2 points)
NOTE: Enigma withdrew from this battle due to unknown reasons.
Rumble vs. Amnesia, X-303 Lost (2 points)
Rumble vs. Telekinesis, Elevate Won via knockout (4 points)
Knockout vs. Saber-X Withdrew
NOTE: Nelly the Ellybot withdrew from the Knockout Round due to electrical issues, and was replaced by Blunt Force Trauma Remix.
Whiteboard Battles
Farmageddon vs. Crabsolutely Clawful, Furious George, Spank the Monkey, Hedgebot, Meow Lost
Battle of the Shuntposters vs. Spank the Monkey, Straddle 2 Won

Wins/Losses

  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 3

NOTE: Nelly the Ellybot's withdrawal from its knockout battle is not considered to be a loss.

Outside King of Bots

A heavyweight version of Nelly the Ellybot was originally selected to compete in Series 9 of Robot Wars, but withdrew after the robot could not be completed before filming of the series began. This version was also submitted for an entry into Series 10, but was not selected. Though the original robot was never finished, early designs for this incarnation of Nelly the Ellybot featured an overhead arm modelled on an elephant's trunk, which like its later namesakes was to function as a hammer weapon.[5]

A new heavyweight version of Nelly the Ellybot built by Gus Collier competed in the 2019 season of BattleBots, on a team including Collier himself, captain Sarah Malyan, Charlie Dangerfield and Shane Lale. The heavyweight design scales up the featherweight robot, using a powerful electric hammer. It fought Rainbow in its first battle, but was blown apart by the horizontal spinner, losing in a destructive knockout. Nelly the Ellybot took even more damage in battle with Deep Six, and although the battle was declared a double knockout, Nelly the Ellybot still lost the subsequent Judges' decision.

The BattleBots incarnation of Nelly the Ellybot (also simply referred to as Nelly) made its live events debut at the 2019 FRA UK Championship, hosted as part of the Robots Live! event in Stevenage. In the main championship, it was eliminated in the first round after losing mobility against Deadlock and YOTON, despite landing a powerful blow on the latter in the opening moments. Nelly the Ellybot also took part in several whiteboard battles throughout the rest of the event, at one point getting thrown out of the arena by Manta.[6]

In 2020, the heavyweight Nelly the Ellybot was confirmed to return for that year's season of BattleBots, prior to its subsequent postponement.[7] However, Team Pun-Chant later withdrew their entry due to ongoing travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, instead switching focus to prepare a redesigned version for 2021.[8]

Team captain Sarah Maylan also co-produced the online webseries Bugglebots, dedicated to beetleweight class robots, and took on the role of pit reporter for this series.

References

External Links

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