Rhino was a British competitor robot which fought in King of Bots II, built by Robert Pickford, a long-time teammate of Gabriel Stroud, alongside Paul Streeter, builder of Ninja. The robot itself was originally designed by John Reid. Rhino earned a place on Di Yang's team by stranding Mist Lion on the Grinder mount for a curious knockout, although it succumbed to Spectre and Cat King in a 2v2 battle when its teammate ORBY Blade was immobilized in the opening seconds and Rhino was forced to fight alone. Despite this, Rhino won its next head-to-head by defeating the experienced Xiake comfortably, but suffered back-to-back losses against Yesaji during the Attrition War, and Deep-Sea Shark in the following round.
Rhino was a four-wheel driven robot boasting high top speeds, and a great deal of pushing power and manoeuvrability. Its weapon was a vertical spinning blade, designed to maximize the size of its single tooth while still keeping the weapon balanced. Two bladed wedgelets would lead other robots into this weapon, while also being attached to sturdy upright armor plates, designed to protect the robot from spinners. The robot's high top speed allowed for maximum engagement with the vertical spinner, and Rhino was also equipped with a separate self-righting mechanism at its back end, although this did not help the robot self-right when flipped over by Cat King.
King of Bots II (Season 2)Edit
Rhino made its King of Bots debut in Episode 3 of Season 2, after the celebrities had already filled their teams with three Chinese machines. Robert Pickford aimed to take one of these positions, and was randomly drawn against Mist Lion of Di Yang's team, in a battle which was broadcast only as part of a montage.
The two robots collided head-to-head, with Mist Lion initially bringing Rhino off the floor with a powerful slam. Both robots then aimed their vertical spinners at each other, and Rhino ground away at Mist Lion's wedgelet, throwing sparks. At the end of this exchange, Rhino managed to wedge under the side of Mist Lion, and deliver a series of vertical spinner blows while driving it into the Grinder. The rotating Grinder absorbed Mist Lion, and pulled it up, which Rhino capitalized upon, delivering a light blow with its spinner to throw Mist Lion atop the Grinder, where it perfectly landed on a flat mount next to the arena hazard. With all of Mist Lion's wheels cleared from the arena floor, it could not escape, and the referee counted it out, awarding Rhino the win by knockout. As a result, Rhino joined Di Yang's team, at Mist Lion's expense.
Rhino was quickly left to fight this battle alone, as ORBY Blade was thrown over by Cat King in the first attack of the match, leaving it unable to self-right. As Di Yang's remaining representative, Rhino pushed Spectre back, before clipping its front wedge and throwing Spectre backwards with two successive blows from its spinner. As all three remaining robots congregated near the circular saws, Rhino launched Spectre into the air with another powerful blow, only for Spectre to land back on its wheels. Both of Emma Dumont's teammates rammed each other head-on as the count-out for ORBY Blade began, before Rhino and Spectre continued their duel, ramming, chasing and luring each other across the arena.
With ORBY Blade officially eliminated, Spectre and Cat King took turns in ramming Rhino, while all three competitors again gathered in the blue corner. Spectre lured Rhino towards the nearby hammer, allowing Cat King to hit and lift Rhino with its own spinner. With Rhino perched on top of Cat King, Spectre sunk its teeth into its fellow UK competitor, before pushing and dragging Rhino into the grinders, ORBY Blade and the spikes in quick succession. Cat King slammed into the helpless Rhino twice more, breaking Rhino's drive belts and flipping it over. Like its fallen teammate, Rhino was unable to self-right, and it lost the battle as a result.
Rhino quickly approached and met Xiake in the center of the arena, only to sustain a blow to its front wedge from the Chinese machine's drum. This attack caused Xiake to throw itself into the air, while Rhino was knocked back towards the circular saws. Despite this, Rhino dodged another lunge from Xiake, before turning round and hitting its side. It proceeded to push and flip Xiake against the furthest wall spikes, all while damaging one of its side panels. Rhino's attack was met with jubilation from Di Yang's team, who immediately anticipated a swift knockout victory for the British machine. However, Xiake eventually freed itself from the spikes, compelling Rhino to attack again. After a brief gyro-dance, it proceeded to tear into Xiake's right panel, ripping its opponent's right-rear tire off and briefly throwing it upwards against the wall.
Having gained the upper hand, Rhino continued ramming and damaging Xiake, at one point throwing the latter upwards against the corner using its spinner. Another ram momentarily left Xiake still against the wall spikes, before Rhino pressured its ailing opponent as it was lifted by the nearby floor flipper. Rhino hit Xiake's top panel, before ramming it drum-first into the blue corner, re-righting the red and black machine in the process. It rammed Xiake once again, only to turn and reverse away as it became clear that Xiake was suffering mobility issues. For a few moments, Rhino maneuvered across the arena to line up another attack, eventually ramming Xiake again and removing its front-left wedgelet.
When the hinge for Xiake's wedgelet lifted its left wheels off the floor, Rhino took advantage, nudging, pushing and ramming Xiake into the corner spikes. Rhino reversed and raised its srimech as Xiake was left immobile on one side, the impact having reset its wedgelet to its correct position. With Xiake subsequently being counted out by the referee, Rhino earned itself and a jubilant Di Yang a controlling knockout victory. This ensured that Yang could equalize Huang Jian Xiang’s team on points at this stage, with one victory apiece. Following the outcome of their subsequent 2v2 battle, where no winners were declared, both celebrity managers would finish the round on a tie, and all robots advanced.
Rhino would next represent Di Yang, alongside temporary allies Zhu Zheng Ting and Huang Jian Xiang, in the 'Attrition War'. Rhino took the place of Boxing Champion, which had just earned three straight victories for the team, and prepared to fight Yesaji.
- "This is gonna be an easy win. Rhino is way more aggressive, the weapon spins up faster, and it hits so much harder."
- — Robert Pickford
Both robots spun up their blades and soon came into contact, with Rhino accidentally swerving straight into Yesaji's spinner. Rhino was thrown into the air by Yesaji's 4500rpm spinner, but landed upright. Rhino responded with a side-on hit, knocking Yesaji up and pushing it across the arena, but then exposed its backside to Yesaji and the Indian machine pressed it against the arena wall. The two robots then dueled over the top of the floor flipper, with Yesaji wedging under Rhino and carrying it in circles. The robots were stuck together for such a long time that Rhino disabled its spinner, with Yesaji's also naturally coming to a stop.
When the robots finally separated, Rhino turned its spinner back on and charged Yesaji, but in its next attack, rode up the wedges of Yesaji and was slammed into the wall. This was enough to fully disable Rhino's spinner, and the robots circled around each other until they collided with a slam so fierce that Rhino almost toppled over its front upon impact. Yesaji was momentarily clipped by the Grinder, but continued to press against the ramming Rhino. Yesaji was very briefly able to turn its spinner back on, but it gave out only seconds later thanks to a ram from Rhino. The two robots continued to ram and push each other until time expired, and the Judges turned in a unanimous victory for Yesaji, resulting in defeat for Rhino.
Rhino would next represent Di Yang in a head-to-head against Deep-Sea Shark of Huang Jian Xiang's team.
At the start of the battle, Rhino sped over to Deep-Sea Shark and tried to find an opening, but Deep-Sea Shark remained in its starting position, only turning in place to keep its spinner pointed towards Rhino. This frustrated the Rhino team, who kept swerving around Deep-Sea Shark until they exposed their side to the blade of Deep-Sea Shark. It was at this moment that Deep-Sea Shark finally moved forwards, and it tore through the side of Rhino, ripping away one of its side panels and eventually causing one of Rhino's drive belts to fall out, leaving Rhino with only half its drive system for the remainder of the match.
Rhino still maintained its higher aggression and hit the front of Deep-Sea Shark, but caused only minimal damage. Rhino's next attack saw it scrape at the wedges of Deep-Sea Shark, bending one of the three wedges up slightly, but its drive issues were becoming more readily apparent. Knowing that it needed to land more attacks of its own, Deep-Sea Shark moved in, but ran into the blade of Rhino twice, ramping itself into the air as a result of its first moment of aggression. A visibly damaged Deep-Sea Shark retreated, eventually losing one of its wedges entirely while regaining its composure. Nevertheless, Deep-Sea Shark still recognised its advantage in the battle, as Rhino could not catch its retreating opponent.
Rhino still kept its blade facing forwards, and struck an approaching Deep-Sea Shark. Rhino suffered a more precise blow after this, with Deep-Sea Shark hitting its side while Rhino could offer no hits in response. The next blow from Deep-Sea Shark was more decisive, generating a shower of sparks off the hardened front of Rhino, while narrowly avoiding its opponent's spinner. The robots separated, and with Rhino unable to travel freely across the arena, Deep-Sea Shark measured up its shot and then drove back into Rhino's front to toss more sparks. In the final seconds, Deep-Sea Shark was momentarily lifted by the floor flipper, and seemed as though it had backed off for the remainder of the fight, with Rhino even raising its self-righting mechanism to signal the end, but Deep-Sea Shark dealt a last-second blow to Rhino, ending the match on a favorable note. The Judges rewarded Deep-Sea Shark with the victory.
- "The reason we didn't win that fight is because when we went to attack them, they just sat there! They sat there, they were facing us, and every time we tried to get round them, they just sat there, so as we were turning to try and get around the side of them, they ran at us, and unfortunately, they caught the side, which took off some of our armor, and damaged our drive. There was nothing we could do!"
- — Robert Pickford
|RHINO - RESULTS|
|King of Bots II (Season 2)|
Part of Di Yang's team
|Challenger Round||vs. Mist Lion||Won|
|2v2 (with ORBY Blade)||vs. Cat King & Spectre||Lost|
|Attrition War||vs. Yesaji||Lost|
|Head-to-Head||vs. Deep-Sea Shark||Lost|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 3
|Series||Rhino Series Record|
|Season 1||Did not enter|
|Season 1.5||Entered with Ninja (Paul Streeter)|
|Season 2||Part of team, two wins|
Outside King of BotsEdit
Alongside Gabriel Stroud, Rob Pickford competed in Series 5-6 and 8-10 in the British TV show Robot Wars as part of Team Legion, competing with Sabretooth. Pickford and Stroud's machine started its career slowly, failing to accrue a single combat win in its first three series. It improved upon this record in Series 9, winning two battles to reach the Heat Final, and Sabretooth also finished third within its heat in Series 10 before representing the United Kingdom in Robot Wars: World Series.
Team Legion's featherweights Django and Legion are both successful competitors on the featherweight circuit. Both robots competed at the Featherweight World Championship in 2016, where Legion did not experience high success, but Django reached the Grand Final, placing second after being flipped out of the arena by Explosion. At the King of Bots UK featherweight championship in August 2018, Legion won its first battle against Luna-Tic before losing a melee to Saber-X when it was thrown out of the arena.
- Robert Pickford's connection to Gabriel Stroud and John Reid, and Paul Streeter's past experience with Ninja, was not explored in Rhino's debut episode.