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Orpheus is a British featherweight robot built by Team Driving Force which competed in the 2018 King of Bots UK International Championships. It picked up one knockout victory in its second qualification round, against Little Devil, but lost its other qualification rounds to Forge Master and Shrapnel, and the subsequent 8 Way Melee to Barróg. Orpheus was initially eliminated at this stage, having sustained severe damage from the spinning weapons of Shrapnel and Neon in the process.

Following the withdrawal of Telekinesis, a rebuilt Orpheus was reinstated to take the latter’s place in the Knockout Round, where it faced Little Devil again, and lost after taking even more damage from its opponent's drum. Orpheus subsequently fought a Losers’ Melee against Straddle 2, Take Cover and Forge Master, which it won on a Judges’ decision, securing its place in the round of 12. There, Orpheus fought and lost to Amnesia after getting flipped against the wall and pitted, before losing its second Losers’ Melee to Little Devil and Get Shrekt.

Orpheus also took part in a number of side events held throughout the 2018 UK International Championships. Paired with Meow, it fought one Tag Team battle, which both robots were disqualified from for leaving their starting area simultaneously. Orpheus was also one of eighteen robots to take part in the Gladiator battle, which it lost to Aegis after getting immobilized and severely damaged by Binky.


Official profile image of Orpheus, equipped with the beak-style crusher

Orpheus after undergoing several rebuilds mid-competition; note the duct tape

Orpheus was a two-wheel drive, double wedge-shaped robot armed with a set of interchangeable clamping arms. These consisted of a beak-like crusher and a toothed, bar-like grabbing arm, each used to crush opponents’ armor or to clamp opponents in place while pushing them into walls or arena hazards. Only the grabbing arm was used in combat, although the official profile image of Orpheus showed it with the crusher fitted. Although designed to withstand spinning weapons, Orpheus proved fragile against highly powerful ones, getting its armor split open various times throughout the 2018 UK International Championships. As a result, it often required extensive rebuilds which saw the robot being held together with duct tape in subsequent battles.

Robot History

King of Bots UK 2018

Orpheus is thrown upwards by Naughty Snake's spinner

Orpheus (top-right) is left balancing on its rear panel as both of its opponents fight each other

Orpheus’ first battle took place at the start of the second qualification round, where it faced Forge Master and Chinese competitor Naughty Snake. Immediately, it weaved across the closed pit and into Forge Master, twice getting underneath the axe-wielding machine. Orpheus spun round and headed for the pit release button, albeit without pressing it, and tentatively approached both of its opponents as they avoided attacking each other. Eventually, Orpheus approached, then pursued, Forge Master, before proceeding to line up a front-on charge at Naughty Snake. A hit from Naughty Snake’s spinner threw Orpheus onto its rear panel, where the Hemel Hempstead machine was left balancing as it took a quick nudge from Forge Master. With this, Orpheus was counted out and eliminated, finishing the battle in third place to eventual winner Forge Master.

Orpheus and Little Devil engage in a pushing match

Orpheus emerges victorious as Little Devil gets stranded on the side rails

Having picked up its first point of the competition, Orpheus was next scheduled to fight Apex and Little Devil; Apex withdrew prior to the start of the battle, leaving Orpheus to fight Team Xiake’s featherweight alone. In the opening seconds, Orpheus darted to the left, then to Little Devil, which appeared sluggish to move out of its starting position. However, as it tried to drive around the side of Little Devil, it sustained a hit from the Chinese machine’s drum, which simultaneously pushed Orpheus into the pit release button. Orpheus lowered its grabbing arm as it pushed Little Devil back, with the two robots breaking free as Little Devil in turn pushed it towards the center of the arena. It dodged another charge from Little Devil, weaving across the arena as Little Devil drove head-on into the side rails and got itself stranded. With Little Devil unable to reverse away, and therefore counted out, Orpheus spun round and reversed into the pit release button, having secured an unexpected knockout victory and four more points.

"I’m not proud, but a win’s a win, really… yeah, it was a bad ending, I’ll be honest. I wanted to go for a bit more, but if it’s stuck, you’re stuck!"
— Connor McBride on Orpheus’ victory against Little Devil

Shrapnel dismantles Orpheus in one hit

The remains of Orpheus following its third qualification round

In the very last qualification round of the event, Orpheus was due to face the vertical spinners of Nigel Barrage and Shrapnel; however, damage sustained in earlier battles forced Nigel Barrage to withdraw. Orpheus began by driving over the flame jet and dodging an initial lunge from Shrapnel; it reversed and lingered near the pit release button, before driving forwards and attempting to get underneath Shrapnel from the front. However, in doing so, Orpheus made contact with Shrapnel’s flywheel; the resulting impact ripped Orpheus apart and sent its chassis spinning towards the pit. With its weapon and much of its armor scattered across the arena, Orpheus was counted out, finishing second and picking up two more points with this spectacular knockout loss.

"I think, looking at it, none of the parts look too damaged. It’s just the armor and the bulkheads that got completely destroyed… it looks fine. It’s… I’ve got duct tape!"
— Connor McBride examines the damage inflicted by Shrapnel

By the end of the qualification rounds, Orpheus had scored a total of seven points, which was enough for it to finish this stage joint-twentieth overall, and to qualify for the 8 Way Melee. There, it was to face Calabash Bros, Barróg, Blunt Force Trauma Remix, Naughty Snake, Cobalt, Utopia and Neon. Although the extensive damage inflicted to Orpheus initially put its participation in doubt, the robot was rebuilt in time to take part, with much of its armor now held together with duct tape.

A taped-up Orpheus battles Cobalt and Blunt Force Trauma Remix

Orpheus has its grabbing arm ripped off by Neon

Orpheus and Utopia team up to pit Naughty Snake

Immediately, Orpheus targeted Cobalt, getting underneath and pushing the Yorkshire machine into the pit release button. Both competitors were approached by Blunt Force Trauma Remix, with Orpheus proceeding to reverse into Barróg before pushing Blunt Force Trauma Remix into the corner. Orpheus dodged the disc of Blunt Force Trauma Remix before retreating, and drove towards Neon. It sustained a few hits from Neon’s undercutter spinner, which tore off its grabbing arm and several pieces of its armor. Effectively dismantled as a result of this attack, Orpheus weaved across the arena and paused, just as Neon was ejected from the arena following an attack on Naughty Snake. It proceeded to drive into Naughty Snake and Utopia, and helped Gareth Anstee’s machine push Naughty Snake into the nearby pit, eliminating the Chinese machine from the melee.

A damaged Orpheus pushes Barróg towards the pit

Orpheus pushes Calabash Bros over the flame jet

Orpheus next pushed an inverted Barróg against the wall, then into the pit, leaving the Irish machine stranded on top of Naughty Snake. It and Utopia proceeded to attack Blunt Force Trauma Remix, before briefly tussling with Calabash Bros while Barróg self-righted out of the pit. After dodging Utopia, Orpheus drove into the front of Calabash Bros, pushing the purple Chinese machine backwards over the flame jet and into Barróg. Barróg pushed both competitors back across the arena into the corner on the far side. Orpheus carried Calabash Bros across the arena for several moments, all while proceeding to exchange bumps and nudges with Barróg. Shortly after, the battle was stopped so that Orpheus and Calabash Bros could be separated by an arena crewmember; on the restart, Orpheus pursued and pushed Calabash Bros, Utopia and Barróg a few more times, narrowly avoiding the pit and flame jet in the process.

Orpheus carries Calabash Bros around the arena; the battle was eventually paused to allow both competitors to be separated

Orpheus attacks Barróg, just as the Irish machine lifts Utopia

Orpheus retreated to the pit release button, and continued to nudge Utopia and Barróg until time ran out. Despite the damage inflicted earlier by Neon, it had survived to a Judges’ decision, which it lost to Barróg. With this, Orpheus was initially eliminated from the championship at this stage.

Orpheus is flicked upwards by Little Devil's drum

Another blow from Little Devil rips Orpheus' grabbing arm off

Orpheus following its second battle against Little Devil

A number of robots withdrew from the subsequent Knockout Round, which allowed Orpheus to be reinstated in place of Telekinesis. There, it was drawn against Little Devil, in an effective rematch of the pair’s qualification battle. Having once again been rebuilt following the damage sustained in the 8 Way Melee, Orpheus started by driving across to the pit release button, where it withstood a side-on blow from Little Devil’s drum and shepherded the Chinese machine into the corner. Orpheus continued to push Little Devil alongside the wall for a few seconds, and eventually attacked it head-on, sustaining another hit from Little Devil which threw it upwards and bent its grabbing arm. The two competitors proceeded to push each other around in circles, until Little Devil ripped Orpheus’ arm and front wedge off along with some of its internal wiring. This attack left Orpheus immobilized in the center of the arena, where it was duly counted out.

Orpheus drives into Take Cover

Orpheus and Take Cover clash again

Orpheus shepherds a struggling Forge Master into the corner

Orpheus attempts to pit Forge Master

Orpheus was therefore relegated to the Losers’ Melee, where it fought Straddle 2, Take Cover and Forge Master. Immediately, it drove around and slammed into a spinning Take Cover, deflecting Gareth Barnaby’s machine into the wall. For a few moments, Orpheus continued to drive around and sustain blows from Take Cover, before nudging and pushing Forge Master sideways. Orpheus was sent spinning by another hit from Take Cover, and in turn was attacked by Forge Master, which threw itself over numerous times while trying to strike Orpheus with its axe. Capitalizing on Forge Master’s issues, Orpheus proceeded to pin the former against the pit release button, then push Forge Master towards the pit itself as it started to descend. Forge Master threw itself over the top of the pit, forcing Orpheus to give chase before it proceeded to approach and take more damage from Take Cover. With Straddle 2 immobile on one side, the three remaining competitors converged in the far side of the arena. Orpheus drove into Take Cover once more, before it and Forge Master pushed and nudged each other again. Orpheus proceeded to drive around the arena in an attempt to evade a pursuing Take Cover, and survived another side-on blow as Forge Master suddenly became immobilized.

Orpheus is spun round by Take Cover

Orpheus deflects Take Cover away

Orpheus deflects Take Cover again, this time towards the side rails

From this point onwards, Orpheus continued to charge into and deflect Take Cover, occasionally getting deflected itself by Take Cover’s hammers. Eventually, it shepherded Take Cover into the corner, and repeatedly launched the Bristol machine into the air as it took further damage and attempted to deflect it towards the pit. These attacks caused Take Cover to retreat, allowing Orpheus to pursue and temporarily pin it along the side rails. Even as Take Cover spun round again, Orpheus drove into it several more times, eventually causing a large piece of one of Take Cover’s hammers to be torn off. The two machines momentarily lingered in the top-right corner, with Orpheus proceeding to deflect Take Cover away and back towards the pit. Again, it pinned Take Cover against the wall as the Bristol entry stopped spinning again, reversing and raising its grabbing arm in an attempt to clamp Take Cover in place. Orpheus grabbed and pushed Take Cover into the wall one last time before time ran out, with the battle going to a Judges’ decision. After a well-fought battle, the decision went in favor of Orpheus, allowing it to reach the Round of 12.

Orpheus tries to self-right after getting flipped against the wall by Amnesia

Orpheus is pitted

There, it faced Amnesia. Initially, Orpheus dodged Amnesia’s first charge, only to bump into the pit panel and drive up the flipper of Adam Hamilton’s machine. As a result, it was pushed and flipped against the side rails by Amnesia, an attack which left Orpheus stranded on its back next to the pit release button. Orpheus attempted to self-right using its grabbing arm, only to be gingerly pushed off the wall by Amnesia. Landing upside-down, Orpheus was rendered helpless as Amnesia proceeded to push it into the pit.

Orpheus puts early pressure on Little Devil

Orpheus is thrown upwards by Get Shrekt

Orpheus' battery is exposed as Little Devil pushes it around

Little Devil gets underneath Orpheus

With this defeat, Orpheus was once again required to fight a Losers’ Melee in order to remain in the main competition. There, it faced Little Devil for the third time, as well as Sam Price's vertical spinner Get Shrekt. In the opening seconds, it approached and rammed the side of Little Devil, which promptly spun round and attempted to get its drum into position. Orpheus attempted to push Little Devil again, but was hit by Get Shrekt, whose flywheel threw Orpheus into the wall and caused its front wedge to fall off. Orpheus weaved across the arena and drove into the front of Little Devil, sustaining a hit from the Team Xiake machine’s drum and ejecting a piece of internal padding protecting its battery. With its battery now trailing out, Orpheus retreated towards the right-hand wall, only to sustain a rear-on blow from Little Devil. Orpheus spun round and stopped moving completely, resulting in it being counted out and eliminated from the Loser’s Melee. With this, it was eliminated from the 2018 UK International Championships along with Little Devil, which also lost the battle after getting itself stuck on the wall once more.

Orpheus and Meow bump each other in the opening seconds

Orpheus and Crabsolutely Clawful team up on Apex

Orpheus pressures Crabsolutely Clawful while coming under attack from Broadax 2

Orpheus (top) deflects Take Cover once more

In addition to the main championship, Orpheus also took part in two side competitions held on the last day of the event. Firstly, it was paired with Meow for one of three Tag Team battles, where both robots fought Apex and Broadax 2, as well as Crabsolutely Clawful and Take Cover. Orpheus started the battle by approaching Broadax 2 and colliding with Meow, which in turn had left its starting area in contradiction to Tag Team rules. Orpheus continued to pursue Broadax 2 across the arena for some time, before approaching a stationary Apex. After unsuccessfully trying to push Broadax 2, Orpheus then rammed Apex into Crabsolutely Clawful, before getting underneath Team Danby’s machine as it was being pushed by Crabsolutely Clawful. Orpheus pursued and briefly got underneath Crabsolutely Clawful as the latter tried to grab Meow – by this point inverted and stationary following an earlier attack from Take Cover. As it tried to force one of Crabsolutetly Clawful’s claws through the railings, Orpheus was nudged, then pushed away by Broadax 2, and sustained a blow from Take Cover as it bumped into Apex. As in their earlier encounter, Orpheus proceeded to deflect Take Cover towards the far corner, before getting underneath and pursuing Broadax 2.

Orpheus briefly gets underneath Broadax 2

Orpheus is attacked by Apex and Broadax 2

Orpheus sinks into the descending pit

In the process, Orpheus was sandwiched between Apex and Broadax 2, sustaining a few axe blows from the latter as Apex pushed it round in circles, then into the side rails. Orpheus drove away and bumped into Apex again, before attempting to pursue the red and gold machine towards the far corner. However, Orpheus accidentally swerved into the descending pit, eliminating itself from contention as the still-inverted Meow attempted to re-join. The pair were subsequently disqualified from the Tag Team battle after they initially left their starting zones together, with the battle itself ultimately being won by Apex and Broadax 2.

Orpheus and Barróg (right) team up on Neon

Orpheus (bottom) is attacked by Crabsolutely Clawful and Barróg

Orpheus was also one of eighteen robots to compete in the Gladiator battle, which took place immediately before the main UK International Championship final. There, it fought alongside Crabsolutely Clawful, Take Cover, Impact, Aegis, Barróg, Meow, Neon, Mini ACE, Binky, The Claw, DB12, Hedgebot, Sabre20, Satanix, Luna-Tic and Raving Luna-Tic. Orpheus immediately turned and blocked Neon, allowing Barróg to briefly get underneath Ellis Ware’s machine. It and Neon proceeded to push each other back and forth, until Orpheus broke free and bumped into Barróg. Orpheus was then grabbed and pushed into the bottom-left corner by Crabsolutely Clawful, where it was lifted off the floor and pressed against the side rails by an approaching Barróg. Orpheus tried to reverse, but was pushed into DB12 by both Barróg and Impact. As Barróg proceeded to grab and lift DB12, Orpheus drove away, and pushed The Claw back before being rammed at high speed by Take Cover.

Orpheus (background), forces Crabsolutely Clawful against the wall

Orpheus puts pressure on Binky, Impact and Meow

Orpheus is pushed by Aegis, while Binky gives chase

Orpheus and Aegis are pushed into the corner by Luna-Tic

Next, Orpheus attempted to push The Claw, Barróg and DB12 towards the pit simultaneously; unable to do so, it resorted to pushing Crabsolutely Clawful towards the wall, causing one of the latter’s claws to get wedged under the pit release button. The same attack also trapped a speeding Take Cover, eliminating the sit-and-spin robot from the battle. Orpheus then pursued an inverted Meow, before driving into and getting pushed back by Aegis. After a few moments, the two competitors pushed each other again, only for Barróg to slip underneath Orpheus and separate the pair. Retreating, Orpheus rammed Luna-Tic, Impact and BANE, then the stranded Crabsolutely Clawful. After dodging the vertical flywheel of Binky, Orpheus rammed Aegis head-on once again, only to be pushed into the bottom-right corner by both Aegis and Luna-Tic. Orpheus lost drive on one side at this point, eventually allowing Aegis to push it across the arena and into Meow.

Binky throws Orpheus into the air

Orpheus is catapulted by Binky, in an attack which eliminates the Team Driving Force machine

In the process, Orpheus briefly lifted Meow with its arm, but was soon pushed further into the top-right hand corner by Aegis. After this, Orpheus lingered around the perimeter of the arena for some time, attempting to weave across the arena on its reduced drive while simultaneously brushing past Aegis and Luna-Tic again. Eventually, Binky approached and began attacking the side of Orpheus, damaging and flicking it into the air with a powerful hit. With one of its top armor panels loose, Orpheus continued spinning around, only to be pushed back and thrown into the air by Binky. This attack left Orpheus immobilized and severely damaged once again, eliminating it from the Gladiator battle, which was ultimately won by Aegis.


King of Bots UK 2018 (Insomnia 63)
Main Championsip
Round of 12
Rumble vs. Forge Master, Naughty Snake Lost (1 point)
Rumble vs. Apex, Little Devil Won via knockout (4 points)
Rumble vs. Nigel Barrage, Shrapnel Lost (2 points)
8 Way Melee vs. Calabash Bros, Barróg, Blunt Force Trauma Remix, Naughty Snake, Cobalt, Utopia, Neon Lost
NOTE: Orpheus was reinstated for the Knockout Round, taking the place of withdrawal Telekinesis.
Knockout vs. Little Devil Lost
Losers’ Melee vs. Straddle 2, Take Cover, Forge Master Won
Round of 12 vs. Amnesia Lost
Losers’ Melee vs. Little Devil, Get Shrekt Lost
Tag Team
Paired with Meow
Tag Team vs. Apex & Broadax 2, Crabsolutely Clawful & Take Cover Disqualified
NOTE: Orpheus & Meow were disqualified for leaving their starting zone together at the start of the battle, in breach of Tag Team rules. As the only remaining team with two mobile robots, Apex & Broadax 2 were awarded victory via a Judges' decision.
Gladiator vs. Crabsolutely Clawful, Take Cover, Impact, Aegis, Barróg, Meow, Neon, Mini ACE, BANE, Binky, The Claw, DB12, Hedgebot, Sabre20, Satanix, Luna-Tic, Raving Luna-Tic Lost


  • Wins: 2
  • Losses: 8

NOTE: Orpheus & Meow's disqualification from their Tag Team battle is considered to be a loss.

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